Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 140676

Onyx Pearl by Agonist

Oh gawd no! This kicks off ultra-mainstream with that lame Axe body spray top with the mix of grape candy and Windex, with a bit of artificial oud hiding beneath. Given time, as the grape fades, you get a bit of clary sage in its place, still engulfed in a buzzing fusion of ammonia and fake oud.

This is a really generic men's mall scent pretending to be a $1300 art perfume. Just say no...
20th January, 2018

Uomo Noir Absolu by Valentino

Big, loud, spicy/pepper iris opening . This lasts for 3-4 hours. Afterwards, the drydown is a smooth, creamy sandalwood. Feels best for date night in colder weather.

Excellent projection and longevity is good.
20th January, 2018

Shades Wood by Armaf

Hmm, I don't hate it but it is tough to love.

Lots of spicy oud and rose in the opening. Reminds me of many middle eastern scents that I've tried. In the style of a Montale. I see cumin listed but don't detect it, which is a good thing for me. Also, something boozy or like a mixed drink in there somewhere?

The drydown is a little smoother and woodier.

Big projection and longevity. Not many sprays needed here.

20th January, 2018
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Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

An odd scent for me since it reminds me of a truck stop gas station bathroom with the cigarette and florals, kind of like how they try to cover up bathroom smells with floral deodorizers. It's quite linear as the drydown stays the same.

Below average projection but decent longevity.
20th January, 2018

Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

The opening smells like hospital hallways freshly cleaned. Something very industrial-soapy about this that also puts it into the "old-guy" smell category for me. If a young guy can pull this off, good for him, but it would seem difficult. The drydown isn't half-bad. Sweet, clean and not nearly as abrasive.

This really projects on me and has excellent longevity.
20th January, 2018

Guerlain Homme L'Eau Boisée by Guerlain

Big, bright and bitter lime opening. Reminds me of vitamin c chewables I used to have to choke down when I was a kid. THe drydown loses all that lime and is just a pleasant woody note which I prefer to the harsh opening.

Feels like a summer scent but could be versatile per event. Very good projection in the opening but longevity is average.
20th January, 2018

Eau de Iceberg Amber pour Homme by Iceberg

The opening of Eau de Iceberg Amber is sweet and woody with some florals. Very pleasant and borderline feminine so it has a moderness to it. The amber in the drydown is light and cool, unlike other amber's I'm used to and it also starts to become more of a mature scent. Feels more like a casual spring or fall scent.

Projection is good and longevity is very good.
20th January, 2018

Aqua Quorum by Antonio Puig

Very clean, deodorant/body gel smell. Smells like the 90s. Not strong and does not project but seems to have decent longevity.
20th January, 2018

Al Wisam Day by Rasasi

I'm not a big fan of SMW but this is so close and so much less that I have to give a thumbs up because I would recommend it. The opening is very close to SMW. The drydown is where I prefer Al Wisam Day as it goes into a sweet, soft woody note that I do like.

Projection and longevity are both very good.
20th January, 2018

Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza by Acqua di Parma

Zesty, sour lemon opening and then it gets a little greener and more floral. The drydown is soft and soapy.

Good projection in the opening but longevity is just below average.

20th January, 2018

French Lover / Bois d'Orage by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I can't find the complex mix of animalic notes that Rogalal notices, nor the poisonous aspect that Gimmegreen describes. I'm not saying they are wrong, better noses than mine have reached similar conclusions, notably Katie Puckrik in the States and Luca Turin in the UK.

However most of us seem to be agreed that it's in no way a French Lover, the name Bois d'Orage or Stormwood suits it much better.

It's a nice angelica roots note, very like Angeliques sous la Pluie. (If you don't know what angelica roots oil smells like, you do now). But perhaps with more emphasis on a woody backing rather than the musk of J C Ellena's creation.

There may well be nutmeg present like Kain says as well as the pimento quoted, only Pierre Bourdon knows for certain.
20th January, 2018

Sycomore Eau de Toilette by Chanel

So then the kid says
"Mom! She smells like a story!"
Damn kid spotted her.
20th January, 2018

Silver by Al Rehab

It's not that bad but I did sell mine not long after buying. I'm not a huge fan of SMW either but I wanted to try it out since it was so cheap and has lots of hype as an excellent clone.

It is similar to SMW but very strong on the synthetic metallic note. Not as inky as SMW or natural. Does have the florals but again more synthetic.

Performance is excellent. Strong projection and lasts all day.
20th January, 2018
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Oxford by Ruth Mastenbroek

A really "comfortable" mix of floral and oud, deep, earthy vetiver. Its a really well blended fragrance, that has a freshness to it while also giving really being deep and resounding. I am not sure what floral notes here are similar to iris, but I pick up a good deal of it prior to it settling into its base. Normally, I am not a fan of that note, but it really works well here. I look forward to trying other Mastenbroek fragrances based- upon this fine offering.

20th January, 2018

Dark Woman by Police

A floral that ends up powdery and slightly gourmand. Violet, black current, iris, and jasmine really stand out here. Then, the vanilla takes over. It is predominate for quite some time. It is a dark vanilla; seemingly from notes of sandalwood, cedar, and resin. Hours later this settles into a make-up, powdery skin scent. If this perfume were a color, it would be lavender-shaded. Overall, it is a lovely perfume for its inexpensive price.
20th January, 2018

Perry Ellis m by Perry Ellis

This is an absolutely fabulous aromatic creation. Perfect for winter. Definitely appropriate for women, as well. This stuff sings, on my skin. I can actually smell every note here, except the vetiver. It begins as a spicy fragrance. It mellows into a calming, woody blanket. Sillage is good. Longevity is good. I paid like, nothing, for a tester. So very worth the money, for it is well done. I ought to dig through my perfume storage boxes more often because, I forgot I had this.
20th January, 2018

Aqua Velva Ice Blue by Williams

Note: Review is of the current version.

To the best of my knowledge, Aqua Velva Ice Blue comes only in the form of an aftershave, commonly found in drugstores in North America. It's mass market, more so than Pinauds, perhaps matched by Gillette. Aqua Velva Ice Blue is fresh, minty, sporty and has a musky dry down. While not unpleasant, it smells very run of the mill for its market segment; the scent is also weaker than Gillette, which could be a positive as many don't want their aftershaves to linger on. It stings less than Pinaud or Gillette, but also seems to be of somewhat inferior quality to the aforementioned brands.

It's okay to have it, but one can get better aftershaves (either in terms of scent, astringency, or moisturising properties) from Pinaud, Gillette or Nivea.

2.5/5
20th January, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

First Love by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is an unashamedly floral composition.

Jasmine and rose are in the forefront, with honeysuckle-sweetness providing added depth. Initially gives a touch of freshness by a citric backgound, I can detect whiffs of oleander and lotus in the later stages. Towards the end a faint woodsy-greenish impression arises, as if from the stems and leaves of the flowers.

I get soft sillage, good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

Whilst this spring scent is not exceptionally original and the performance is not spectacular either, the ingredients as quite nice and the blending is very well executed. 3/5.
20th January, 2018

Graduate 1954 by Roads

A perfectly pleasant beachy floral. It's mostly creamy ylang ylang, backed up with a touch of tuberose for projection and orange blossom for sweet depth. It's fairly coconutty and quite rich. It's got a salty beach air smell hiding in plain sight, while a creamy, soapy mix of vanilla and white musk makes the whole thing soft and smooth, and eventually becomes the drydown.

There are many, many beachy coconutty ylang florals out there, so I have to ask "what is Graduate 1954 doing to stand out" and I think my answer is "nothing", but in a good way. A lot of perfumes of this style can come off as cheap novelties, relying on sweaty body notes or shampoo cheapness, while others use questionable plasticky aldehydes or go wild with the loud flowers. What Graduate 1954 brings to the table is a confident, well thought out maturity and attention to detail that's often missing from the genre.
20th January, 2018

Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Voleur de Roses.

Floral woods.

Rose and patchouli have gone hand in hand in perfumery since many decades ago. Voleur de Roses is a rose-patchouli, but unique in an overcrowded niche. There is a haunting melancholic quality to it, helped with a rose that's fresh, moist, dark and plummy - paired with an earthy, damp patchouli. Part of it hints at soil, but it is rather abstract. This is a perfume that tells a story. Someone came and took away the roses in bloom, just after the summer showers. All that's left are a few petals in the ground. Voleur de Roses - what a perfect name.

Like several other L'Artisans, I find Voleur de Roses to be a subdued fragrance. It has average duration on skin of about five hours, but sillage is rather muted after the first thirty minutes or so. Still, I'm still willing to ignore this in consideration of how charming and memorable Voleur de Roses is. Among other rose-patchoulis, Voleur de Roses smells vaguely similar to Czech & Speake's No 88, though the latter is more brooding, gothic and opulent. Voleur de Roses is elusive, and therein lies part of its attraction. Once the roses leave after about an hour, the dry down is a sublime floral-woods, faint and delicate.

Voleur de Roses is lovely to wear on rainy summer days. Unfortunately it might leave you before you'd want it to, but you'd long for it and want to go back to it. There are gazillions of rose-patchoulis on the market, but Voleur de Roses remains a rare specimen.

3.5/5
20th January, 2018

Stetson by Stetson

Sly vetiver adds
Yosemite macho to
This cowgirl Tabu.


20th January, 2018

Muschio Bianco / White Moss by L'Erbolario

A white, lactonic, kind of waxy-nectarinic musk with a bright angular hesperidic opening and a soapy dry down. Smooth and pleasant, with a subtle floral wave. An easy-going body lotion for young sensual high school teenagers.
20th January, 2018

Inisfree by Fragrances of Ireland

This is a green floral. One of my mother's favorites, I currently have her bottle she bought in the 90's. It has a strong lily of the valley vibe throughout its life on the skin. Also, lemon and lavender on top. It has a hint of rose and jasmine in the middle. The base has a woody end of sandalwood, cedar, with muguet still present.
19th January, 2018

Eternity Purple Orchid by Calvin Klein

This is wearable but not particularly memorable. The top is predictable. The middle is somewhat muddled. Only the base, has any redeeming quality. It's powdery, floral, and mildly musky. Barely a hint of orchid in here. Should have been named Eternity Pastel Purple - it is that light and pale.
19th January, 2018

Silver Scent by Jacques Bogart

Not bad. Opening definitely has the grape soda feel but then it dries down to a loud fume cloud of synthetic fruit and dainty florals. The lavender keeps this masculine but it's almost feminine. That lavender is probably also the reason why I feel like this has an old-school feel to it.

Very good if not excellent projection and longevity.
19th January, 2018

Reaction Women by Kenneth Cole

Very light concoction. I smell only melon, orange, apple, muguet, and a hint of musk. If I had smelled the watermelon note I might have enjoyed this more. Mild, somewhat breezy, but too bland for me. Good scent for spraying on sheets.
19th January, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cucumber by Demeter Fragrance Library

There is a lovely cucumber that dominates the opening phase, but after the first twenty minutes a fruity, nigh-melon-y sweetness develops. It reminds me of the sweetness I remember from some pickled Polish Ogorkis. There is, however, neither acidity nor vinegar here, just the gentle and somewhat generic sweetness.

I get soft sillage, adequate projection and four hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent with a nice opening but with a generic sweet undertone that prevails over time. It is never cloying though, just anaemic and a bit thin. Not a fresh cucumber after the opening stage. Not right for a cucumber sandwich. 2.5/5.
19th January, 2018

Delicious Chocolate by Gale Hayman

This is pretty good, for an inexpensive scent. Getting harder to find though. It is a pleasant blend of plum, peach, Mexican chocolate, vanilla, amber, and musk. The chocolate is predominate. Plum and peach are barely noticeable. The vanilla, amber, and musk compliment this very well. A great, daytime, winter perfume.
19th January, 2018

McGraw Southern Blend by Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw's "McGraw Southern Blend" was an accident, but a happy one, and I'd say both for me, the person who's name adorns the bottle, and the corporate backer Coty Inc. Anyone with knowledge of perfume who gets this as a gift will expect little, and rightly so, while anyone without such knowledge who is blindsided by this in their stocking will probably have an epiphany about fragrance itself upon discovery. It certainly isn't some prince in pauper's clothing, but neither is it demographic-driven swill that will sell at face value, like so many celebrity-branded scents that have come and gone over the course of the past 30 or so years they've existed. McGraw evidently has some modicum of artistic input on the stuff bearing his name, and I can say he has simple, if not elegant taste. However, within the small spectrum that is his fragrance brand, not all things are created equal and this is a creation he's lucky to be the herald of, since something of it's design could easily be upped in concentration and marketed as a niche product for much more money. The whole idea behind the initial two fragrances was something plain-spoken and masculine, so it's no surprise that ambery barbershop and bay rum vibes run throughout them both, but while the eponymous fragrance was almost entirely an amber scent with some woods and lavender on top, this one shows a bit more artistry and sophistication, almost bringing a gourmand-like quality with the spice and grapefruit that mixes with the barbershop foundation which carries over from the debut scent. It's most appropriately McGraw 2.0, and rather nice for what it is. I'm not usually one to indulge in mass market stuff unless it's vintage (sorry Coty, Avon has my heart in that regard), but this one could easily not be if it was just a tad deeper.

As it stands, McGraw Southern Blend is a sweet and rounded scent that opens with grapefruit, bergamot, and anise. It really has a lovely way of reminding me of Avon Leather (1966) in that anise, but this is no leather chypre and it soons takes us down through a boozy whiskey note that burns off to leave behind some lavender before finally settling in on that barbershop base, which really brings out the niche character in the way the tobacco and vetiver play with that amber. It's a rare "man's man" accord that could easily go toe to toe with barbershop revivals like Penhaligon's Sartorial that would come out a year after this (2010) and hold infinitely more respect than this if only because it's from Penhaligon's, has 3 times the notes and blending, plus will last longer than 4 hours on skin. It compares most to Hervé Léger Homme (2010) by Avon, but is less woods-oriented than that one. Bluntly, this is the same tailored gentleman vibe channeled through US southern gentry culture, so it's simpler, a little more shameless about it's own indiscretions, but will show the same degree of honor and grit if challenged as any proper English gentleman across the pond, if not more. It doesn't need fanciness and a textbook worth of scruples to make it's point, but what it's sorely lacking is concentration, which supposedly states EdT on the bottle, but methinks is really EdC, which I reflect in my score. As an ambery barbershop with both a boozy and smokey attitude, it perfectly fits the singer who's brand it represents, but I kind of wish something like this had been conjured up by Caswell-Massey instead, if only because it would get more serious perfume fans to actually try it, as anyone who's spoken highly of this as myself does so with apparent surprise in their tone. The average Joe this is lobbed towards would just come back with "it smells good" in their Amazon.com review or Facebook post, if they even bothered that much, which is what hurts this the most.

McGraw Southern Blend's mass-appeal market position coupled with it's celebrity tie-in notoriety ironically makes it unsung with the people who could really give it the credit the scent deserves, as it's declared a failure sight unseen. Granted, I wouldn't have purchased this myself not knowing how it smells, and likely will not replace it when gone, but that's more to do with it's discontinuation and Tim McGraw fans eventually driving it's price up as a musical memorabilia collectable, which compounds with any perfume collectors interested in buying it to wear. It's still reasonable to get at the time of this review but in 2, 4, 6 years down the road, I'd be even less likely to pay $100+ an ounce prices for this than I already would for vintage designer or niche scents, which is another indication of how the marketing and presentation ultimately hurt this. In short, it's a boozy, smokey barbershop scent that straddles fougere, oriental, and gourmand lines, making it a simple, perfectly abstract, and memorable masculine for the guy that wants to smell rustic but still civilized. It's attachment to Tim McGraw is both a blessing and a curse as without him, it probably wouldn't have been made, but because of him, it won't stand the test of time. It's also a cheap thrill (for the moment) if you like tobacco-oriented scents and aren't ready to toss Tom Ford your money, but for only a bit more, you could just as easily buy any number of similar scents that were also coming into vogue at this time. Gold records and marriage to Faith Hill sold separately.
19th January, 2018

Lights by Roads

I've quite enjoyed getting to know Lights. It seems to ask an interesting question: If you take a classic clove floral like Nuit de Noel or Chanel No 5 and subtract out the aldehydes and powder, what do you get? The result is quite interesting. The feel is considerably more modern and "niche", but still clearly evokes a classic feel.

So what does it smell like? It kicks off floral, with a mix of jasmine, rose, and clovey carnation that will be familiar to fans of classics, but laid much more bare than its inspirations, mildly soapy and cut with doughy violets instead of exploding with the powdery aldehydes with which this mix is usually paired. Given time, as the florals fade, it lands on a nice Mitsouko-esque doughy, mossy suede, but animalic with musk and held together with soap and a sharpness from coumarin.

All told, I quite like this. Clovey florals are a favorite element of mine, and I like the successful modernization of classic themes, and any perfume that smells like the flowers from Joy over the base of Mitsouko HAS to be a thumbs-up. That being said, when in the mood for this sort of vibe, I'd personally wear Joy or No 5 or one of many Carons before I'd reach for this, but I appreciate its artistry and also that it may make for a much more office-friendly perfume than the powder-bomb perfumes that clearly influenced it.
19th January, 2018
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