Perfume Reviews

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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Rose de Siwa / FK2 by MDCI

From the start the opening is diving into the rose that the title promises: a pleasant, lean, friendly rose that is a tad simple and stripped down; this rose is neither a rich rose, nor is it a complex representative of this species of olfactoric flower.

In the drydown there is a floral impression, with a light violet delivering the main component here. Additionally a light and somewhat innocuous hawthorn impression are present, which is rather flat and not very vivid - this is no Aubépine-Acacia.

The end is announced by a woodsy-musky mix that is soft, light and - plainly - not very interesting in itself, but on me the rose returns towards the end and now - surprisingly - has gained in colour and depth, with a greenish hint of rose leaves now present. Unfortunately, this final glow over the last hour is extremely close to my skin.

I get soft sillage, adequate projection and in total six hours of longevity on my skin.

Looking at this creation as a whole, I find it a somewhat thin, tinny and generic spring blend, which, at times, overly evinces it's synthetic nature; but there are some redeeming characteristics present, especially the at time rather nice rose notes. 2.5/5.
25th August, 2016

Artek Standard by Comme des Garçons

I've been wearing this fragrance consistently since I acquired it and will likely finish this bottle before anything else that I have in my collection. This and Dry Clean are my favorites of the CDG line. What can you expect with Artek Standard? It is sharp, especially in the opening and you are immediately hit with a poignant lemon-y tea metallic accord with a cedar backbone. The saffron appears clean and a floral musk supports these quirky notes. Artek shares some characteristics with Santal 33 by Le Labo (both have that sharp woody backbone) but there is no sandalwood at all in this fragrance. I've layered this with CDG Synthetic Series 6: Dry Clean and some how they work wonderfully together. It is very clean and versatile. With respect to performance, you can spray this 10x without offending anyone yet it isn't a weak concentration either. The fragrance is weird but very attractive and easy to wear. Who is better at creating abstract/avante garde fragrances than Comme des Garcons? I really recommend this to any CDG fan....
24th August, 2016 (last edited: 25th August, 2016)

Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

Stardate 20160824:

VCA has been churning out great fragrances since 1976 starting with First by J-C Ellena. I like what they do for many reasons
- Their price point. Great stuff can be had for $30 bucks
- They make good quality stuff. In fact all of their male colognes are top notch - Tsar, PH, MiP
- Their reformulations are pretty good

It is pity they do not get recognized and appreciated by Creed and BN9 loving generation. Well, good for us as we can have their elixirs for cheap.

Tsar is a great masculine fragrance. It is green and a bit spicy - in a Fougere style.
Safe for office and fun to wear. I have both vintage and current formulation and this one is good in both versions (just avoid the clear ribbed bottle vintage version).
One of the few where modern reformulation is almost as good as original.
Get it. For $24/100ml it will be a crime if you don't.


24th August, 2016
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Armani Eau pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

This Armani is what Bvlgari and Paul Smith have been trying to imitate all this time. It's a classic build and very straightforward without being boring. I sometimes wonder whether there is vetiver in it. This is essentially one of the scents trying to create a fresh escape route from the heavy-handed 80's just before the advent of Calone. Orangey scents seem to work well on me, so of course I like this one.
24th August, 2016

Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

If the top notes of this scent lasted forever I would wear this all the time.

I have once sampled the current version of Tabac at a Perfumania and can't for the life of me remember any details (always a bad sign), but I recently acquired an old mini which boasts an opening accord so aldehydic I was nearly in beautiful shock. The blending makes distinction difficult ( this is the Stolberg/ West Germany version), but I seldom find scents with so much tonka/amber/vanilla which prove so mild and balanced. Tabac doesn't last too long, and the opening fifteen minutes are absolutely the best part for me, but I have to admit that this is one of the best budget scents out there.

I also now realize that Whiskey by Commodity was just an ill-fated attempt to recreate this classic.
24th August, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Ambre Topkapi / PB by MDCI

The opening combines vetiver with a fruity-woodsy mix. The vetiver is clean, fairly thin, bright and not at all earthy or with a root-like undertone. The fruitiness is a bit of citrus, a touch of berries, with the woodsiness being quite generic.

Later in the drydown an ambery cinnamon develops with a slightly herbal undertone, with the co-operation of lavender and Jasmine providing a nitnifba more pleasant core impression that stays in the centre of this mix.

As far as the performace is concerned, I am getting moderate sillage, adequate projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin, and much longer on clothes.

All in all a mélange of various notes that are not really working well together and that appear lumped together like the chunky bits in a stew without any clear line of development. Very synthetic, and most notes are quite generic. The whole gives an impression of lacking substance, more a thin veneer than a composition displaying convincing character. Should the intention be to evoke the gorgeous Ottoman palace the title seems to allude to, then this aims fails to be achieved.

Neutral or thumbs down? A close call, but the pervasive colourlessness leads me towards a negative score. 1.75/5.
24th August, 2016

Sandalo Misore by I Profumi di Firenze

This fragrance has to be possibly the most satisfying one regarding the note of sandalwood that I have ever tried.

It starts citrusy, then piles of sandalwood emerge and take you on a beautiful sensory trip for several hours until the dry down arrives with a dry dusty patchouli.

Good longevity & projection.

Thumbs up!
24th August, 2016

Sport de Paco Rabanne by Paco Rabanne

I don't often think of sport fragrances as 'lovely,' but this really is. The bright, limey opening is delightful and the woody base smells more natural than I'm used to experiencing in this type of product. The white floral heart can come off as a little plasticky when sniffed up close but it's not really bad. All in all I think SdPR is a simple and fleeting but highly enjoyable thing.
24th August, 2016

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

When you want the soapy greenery of a classic giant like Nobile but without the smoky decadence and finely tailored formality, you need Paco! This is singing praise of rosemary and moss, and it's cool, clean, semi-sweet, and fairly airy. Before this 'casual wear' herbal donned the three-piece suit and heralded the 80's it was a carefree, uncluttered affair. Unfortunately it hasn't aged well after reformulations, and it is now just a pleasant echo on the wind in its current form.
24th August, 2016

Lacoste (original) by Lacoste

This member of the Lacoste family suffers from the same affliction plaguing the rest of the line - pathetic longevity. In this case, however, it feels intentional; a sporty scent made to be fleeting and refreshing without sacrificing quality, and one which can be liberally reapplied without issue. The opening smells mostly of bergamot and lemon or grapefruit, with a disarmingly soft sage note rising up to bridge the citrus to the remarkably pleasant sandalwood base. The base itself smells like a decent sandalwood, but may actually be a collective of wood and tonka which simulates sandal very well. This is an ideal pick for a 'Summer scent,' and I am very glad Lacoste didn't feel the need to put Sport in the title.
24th August, 2016

Cologne du 68 by Guerlain

While deeply, intimately familiar with the women's Guerlains, I am less so with the men's.

And perhaps partly for that reason, if compelled at gunpoint to guess if this were a Guerlain or a Goutal, I would have bet my life that it were a Goutal and now be dead! I have not smelled Les Nuits D'Hadrien in a while, but that's what this reminds me of, Goutal's singular take on citrus in Hadrien or Eau du Sud layered over some vanilla and amber and noticeable immortelle, not Guerlinade. It does have a particular silky smooth character that only Guerlain manages to get, so maybe Goutal as calibrated by Guerlain.

Lovely and versatile, though on me it doesn't read as 68 notes complex.
24th August, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

Artisan Acqua by John Varvatos

Artisan Acqua is a citric oceanic scent that reminds me strongly of those delicious preserved lemons used in Moroccan cooking—whole lemons are salted and left to pickle in jars and then used in savory dishes—often served hot—like the stews served in the traditional Tagine. Lemony, salty, savory and slightly decaying, as if the second law of thermodynamics had somehow been called into play. There is nothing fresh about these fermented lemons—they are soft, salty and mushy; I love to eat them, but do not really want to smell like them (capers fall into this category as well). Artisan Acqua has spices and herbs as well (sage, coriander and basil) which perhaps adds to the feeling that I have been feasting at Dar Maghreb or the Moun of Tunis. Moss and Fir Balsam are reportedly lurking in the basenotes, but I do not smell them. This is not a long-lasting scent; the caravan has packed up and moved on while you are still licking the Ktefa from your fingers and waiting for your mint tea to cool. I am generally a fan of John Varvatos fragrances—they are as good as any designer scents out there—but this one misses the boat for me—too savory, too gourmand, too quickly gone.
23rd August, 2016

Jubilation 25 by Amouage

Although this is marketed Feminine, I find it quite wearable as a man. The Frankincense, Tarragon, Lemon interweave provides a slightly rough burning edge that appeals to my masculine heart.
The rose is presented as a soft petal floating on a warm, humid, ambered and cuminized musk.
Reminiscent of Eau D'Hermes but oh! so more luxuriously sensual.
23rd August, 2016
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Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme by Salvatore Ferragamo

Decent middle of the road scent that would work for the office or casual wear. Could be worn year round but isn't very strong or long lasting. Slightly spicy, some citrus and woods. For the price it would be ok to have in your collection.
23rd August, 2016

Robert Graham Fortitude by Robert Graham

Stardate 20160823:

I thought Courage (another one of theirs) was bad. This is worse. Top is OK with patch and some vanilla/caramel note but after 10 minute this just smells like bug spray.
It seems like this house is not even trying.

23rd August, 2016
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vetiver Insolent by Miller Harris

The only insolence seems to be the complete avoidance of the 'heart' notes. Opens up airy, spicy and green but then dives straight into the base, which I rather like as it consists of a very long lasting mossy wood with very little hint of Tonka [as listed] to my nose.
23rd August, 2016
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Sunshine Man by Amouage

Yuck!

Smells like vanilla ice cream. This could be nice as in Dries Van Noten as that has a discernible base of wood, whereas in Sunshine Man the accord just sort of 'hangs there' and in time becomes a bit sickly.

Another fragrance ruined by an overload of Tonka.
23rd August, 2016

Azzaro Pour Homme Intense (new) by Azzaro

A new (and frankly well inspired in its range) velvety interpretation of the iconic Azzaro Pour Homme 's aromatic/boise/fougere theme which is by now morphed in to something softly musky, syrupy, lusty, liquorous, suede-oriented, sweetly spicy and ambery. I get a classy-chic quite modern new version of the classic (the original and the "old" Intense) Pour Homme. Over the first aromatic-fougere somewhat classic opening (lingering around throughtout in its aromatic influence) a central delicious phase of luxurious cognac captures the scene before the juice starting to decline in to something profoundely musky, ambery, silky-leathery and with a trademark spicy-woody chic spark (really elegant and bold). This spiciness is quite luxurious, I detect something boozy-syrupy (a well appointed fleshy-boozy cinnamon) quite captivating and perfectly married with a classic kind of laundry aromatic background. Dry down is woody (I get a musky vetiver a la DHI), balmy, vaguely leathery and marsted by a salty-sweet spicy-liquorous presence. A well appointed smooth-oriental Azzaro's reply to a nowadays mainstream theme (Valentino Uomo, Dior Homme Intense, Boss The Scent and further).
P.S: after a couple of hours the juice seems less complex and aromatic, namely less interesting.
23rd August, 2016

Rare Teas Collection : Golden Needle Tea by Jo Malone

Beautiful elegant presentation of Creamy Sandalwood. Neutral sugar,mild ethereal spice and hint of Leather. Low tannin.This is the most Masculine in the series. I'd take it over the Tam Dao. Did I say Ethereal. I'll still fight through the fizz of the Chanel Bois for my dose of Sandal though!
22nd August, 2016

Tom Ford Noir by Tom Ford

Stardate 20160822:

This is one of the better ones from TF. I find his regular collection better than the Private Blends.
It is midway between Shalimar and the spicy modern ones like Spicebomb or The One. And more wearable too.
Basenoter apixiefan got it right. It is Shalimar Pour Homme.





22nd August, 2016

Parisian Rhapsody by Le Soft Perfume

Le Soft Perfume Parisian Rapsody is a sweet oriental dream gourmand scent. It is not an overpowering aroma despite the sweetness and the solid stick case-appearance of packaging makes this perfume easy to have with you everywhere(travel, office etc).
The aroma is soft gourmandish reminding of the Greek delight loukhoumi(red fruits/rose/sugar) .
It's my easy-to-go scent for this summer. A truly amazing product and that's why i recommend it.
22nd August, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Royal Leather by By Kilian

Form the opening on the leather is indeed present, a leather that is more on the soft and mellow side; but this leather is given a distinctly smoky characteristic by a black tea note.

This tea bears reminiscences of Oolong, but milder and with less edge. It is much more subtle that the famous black tea note in Bvlgari Black. Similarly, the leather this tinnier, less complex and much less creamy than the leather note in the great Royal English Leather from Creed.

In the drydown tinges of herbaceous moments and whiffs of heliotropes are present, but soon a softish patchouli as well as a pleasant oud note develop in the base. The oud is weak on my skin but blends in nicely.

The leather is the ever present leitmotif of this fragrance, and with time is loses the accompanying smokiness more and more, but the latter never completely disappears.

I get moderate sillage, strong projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a peasant autumnal leather composition, but is is quite synthetic on the whole but well crafted and blended. It just - by the skin of its teeth - warrants a positive score, but is is not outstanding in the genre of leather fragrances. 3/5.
22nd August, 2016

Gentlemen Only Casual Chic by Givenchy


The opening’s cardamom is stronger than the ginger and the juniper / cedar screws up the spices in the accord – it would have been a better opening if the spices had stayed longer and the coniferousness had been delayed and reduced, because with the loss of the spices, the juniper and cedar present too much of a plastic, artificial character that I find quite boring. Things don’t improve with the base… I smell no sandalwood and the ambroxan doesn’t seem to be very amberish. Not a very impressive fragrance, and like its progenitor, its chief crime is that Gentlemen Only Casual Chic is uninspired and dull.
22nd August, 2016

Royal Mayfair by Creed

(Hmm! Just read all the reviews of Royal Mayfair here – rogalal is correct: There must be major variations in the changing batches of this fragrance. My 2015 Creed-carded-sample gives me a a Royal Mayfair that is in no way like the white florals discussed in the most recent reviews. Neither is my sample like those mentioned in the five reviews citing rose / pine dominant accords. My sample clearly resembles nine of the first fifteen reviews that mention a prominent eucalyptus dominance.)

It took a couple of attempts for my brain to organize what I was smelling. The opening accord was somewhat woody, somewhat exotic, and somewhat familiar. The pyramid says gin, lime, and pine, but they formed an accord that had a definite element of some restrained aromatics that wouldn’t be explained by the list of opening notes. I finally decided that what was confusing me was the eucalyptus note rising up from the base… This eucalyptus was not the usual Vicks Vapor Rub version, this one’s aromatic delivery comes through at a lower register… It seems more like a slightly aromatic wood note as it does foliage. I’m sure that the woody-eucalyptus note is also made more complex by the opening’s pine and gin notes, which I can detect as subtle enrichers.

I disliked the eucalyptus dominated opening at first but after a few weeks gone by, I have grown to enjoy it very much. The opening is unique; it is warm, rich, woody, even a bit boozy… so intriguingly complex and it lasts from beginning through the middle, and through the base. Throughout the run of the fragrance, I never get a hint of citrus. I can identify the gin, pine, rose, cedar, and, of course, the enjoyable woody eucalyptus note. Discrete sillage and limited longevity.
22nd August, 2016

Homme (Aoud) by Martine Micallef


The first accord that I get in Aoud Homme is a strong honey / aoud with a rose background. I get very little spice. I’m a bit surprised because when I first saw the list of ingredients, I thought all I would smell would be aoud and rose; but the honey is quite prominent… a strong honey note enlivened with the aromatics of aoud. This first accord lasts impressively. Eventually the honey aoud is augmented by a light sandalwood and stronger patchouli. The honey still is present as it gathers up a bit of cinnamon. As for the other spices in the pyramid, I can’t separate them out. This heart accord is soft, reticent, and moderately aromatic. It is elegant and enjoyable. In five testings I have not experienced much of a gourmet ambiance… only a mildly plush and sweet aromatic texture.

Aoud Homme does, though, remind me of many of the aoud scents I’ve tried – aoud has a way of doing that to scents. I guess this is why I’m having a difficult time saying anything more about Aoud Homme: It’s a well-made scent – quality ingredients, adequate structure, acceptable performance, and pleasing aroma. The problem with Aoud Homme is that there is little that differentiates it from the myriad aoud fragrances that are being produced now – most for less – some for half the cost. This is a very good scent but I think it needs more distinctive characteristics.
22nd August, 2016

Noir Exquis by L'Artisan Parfumeur


Noir Exquis is pretty much a classic gourmand – it is nicely constructed… smells good. It is discrete and well balanced in sweetness and masculine woodiness. In a way it might be called interesting; for example, that nice coffee / maple syrup combination that peeks through is genuinely unique and quite sniffable. It performs well if one accepts the light discretion of its sillage… It’s light but its longevity is excellent. There are many nice things going on with it, yet it basically ends up missing out on something. Possibly what it’s missing is that quirky little something that is characteristic of most L’Artisans. I can’t fault Noir Exquis even though I feel it’s missing something, so I will give it a thumbs up... It’s undeniably pleasant. But since Noir Exquis is a gourmand, it’s not my really thing.
22nd August, 2016

Fath Pour l'Homme by Jacques Fath


Citrusy and floral… Of the florals, I get a powerful violet note that seriously stands out from the rest of them... too much violet for me. This might very well be a good fragrance for those who like violet notes, but I find Fath Pour L’Homme quite screechy and annoying – too much violet.
22nd August, 2016

31 rue Cambon by Chanel


First sniff told me it’s a Chanel… second sniff said “chypre.” After that it comes across to me as animalic and it doesn’t seem to be the leather that’s responsible for that… The leather is smooth, rich, and satisfying. Perhaps 31 Rue Cambon has a very indolic iris. The iris note is quite strong and it’s the type of iris note that I enjoy very much but often find it unwearable. I having some questions about the references to 31Rue Cambon’s lightness and softness… seems borderline aggressive to me, but in a very good way. Actually, I see 31 Rue Cambon as a top-quality leather scent. It’s a winner and I don’t say that about a leather fragrance very often.
22nd August, 2016

Vitriol d'Oeillet by Serge Lutens


Begins with a strong floral accord suggestive of a modified carnation aroma. When the spices move in, they move to a clove ambiance with the sharpness of cayenne in the background. In spite of the robust spices, the accord retains much of its floral nature. I’m not sure how the two kinds of peppers fit into the composition – I do not smell them directly but they are integrated into the spice composition. Along with the spicy / floral heart notes, there camphor has risen in the background, and the floral / spice / camphor accord remains to the end of the fragrance – I don’t experience the wood base.

Abstract? Yes, but… I would prefer it less nutmeg-metallic and more floral. But in all, this is a enjoyable fragrance – admirably constructed as Lutens’ fragrances usually are and lightly fresh which is a rare performance for a Lutens’ fragrance. A modest thumb's up.
22nd August, 2016

Voyance by Baruti

This Baruti's recent creation is mostly based on a "vetiver-tuberose" main connection as supported by soft balsams and by a trail of subtle-chic woods (kind of velvety and "intensely woody"). Voyance is manifestely influenced by a powerful note of tuberose (stout in the top), a wet, kind of initially fruity (something conjuring red berries), musky and juicy floral note (nothing carnal or indolic but something synthetically musky and soapy). I understand that for several of us it could be a particularly hard opening to approach but I have to say to moderately appreciate it (and tuberose is a note that generally I tend to dislike or to "approach" with lot of skeptical moderation). Well, I get the fruitiness but there is something more, the chic element of the game, a more than pleasant accord of musk and sandalwood/gaiac wood with a glamour-sophisticated balmy twist (in its background). Surely gaiac wood enhances this adamant woodiness which finally seems to be kind of exotic, musky-cosmetical, balmy, spicy-seasoned and salty. Vetiver jumps up exotically in the second part of development as perfectly merged with fruity-creamy tuberose and creamy-musky woods in order this connection to unfold a quite soft and balmy sweet-salty (and soapy) vetiver's rendition. Tuberose provides floral/fruity intensity while the vetiver/tuberose'overlapping affords a sort of sweet-salty game of contrasts. Along dry down tuberose tends to retrocede, mostly working as balmy-sweet element of the dominant seasoned vetiver/woods/musk's olfactory backbone. Nothing groundbreaking for us, just a quite pleasant soft final wake of creamy subtleness with good balance and discreet (modern) appeal.
21st August, 2016
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