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Maharanih Intense by Nicolaï

This is another great fragrance from Nicolai, interesting and balanced, wearable and memorable, an alluring smell. Looking at the notes, sandalwood and civet seem to describe what I'm smelling. It's slightly gamy in a way that could almost be too challenging. On the right person it could be stunning.

This definitely has a vintage quality, the gravitas of quality ingredients.
23rd April, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

2000 Fleurs by Creed

The floral blast that greets me during the opening blast sets the tone: floral, floral, floral!

The top notes are dominated a lovely magnolia, that is supported by a fairly gentle violet with a light touch of a rose.

The drydown sees the rise of a soft jasmine - less intense than in Jasmal of the same House - that is accompanied by a haunting narcissus, an ingredient used only rarely and then not always convincingly, but here it finds in beautifully. It is mixed with iris in the background and this dyad works very well.

The base skips the usual Creedy ambergris for a softer and smother ambery variant, but the floral representatives, especially narcissus and jasmin, play important roles right up to the last minutes.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a - for Creed - sensational thirteen hours of longevity on my skin.

A delicious spring scent for daytime as well as evenings, this Creed, whilst clearly traditional in its core, is nonetheless with not without a creative twist, is composed of ingredients of very high quality, and is blended very well. 3.5/5.
23rd April, 2018

Furyo by Jacques Bogart

Ever have an "Oh my God" moment when spraying on a fragrance and taking it in for the first time? Well, I certainly had one with this little doozy, but more on that later. Bogart brought in some big guns with a young pre-Firmenich/pre-Guerlain Thierry Wasser, fresh off his perfume debut with Salvadore Dali Pour Homme (1987), coupled with Ron Winnegrad, the late-70's wonder perfumer who brought us both the original Lagerfeld/Lagerfeld Classic cologne and Dunhill Blend 30 in the same year. The two combined crafted a masculine floral that was part of a brief late-80's resurgence of the old Victorian style, but like several of it's contemporaries, was augmented with powerful animalics, building up and making more sophisticated the basic one-two punches of earlier powerhouses such as Kouros (1981) or Bogart's own One Man Show (1980). Furyo was part of a new but short-lived generation of slightly more unisex and friendlier powerhouses that were meant to carry men into the 90's in place of the heavy bergamot/oakmoss/woods battle axes they were still wearing, but history would see to it otherwise. Furyo, just like classmates Balenciaga Ho Hang Club (1987), Paco Rabanne Ténéré (1988), Azzaro Acteur (1989), Balenciaga Pour Homme (1990), and Jacomo Anthracite (1991), would be swept away mid 90's after their competition for the future of men's fragrance defeated them: aromachemical aquatics, ozonics, and "fresh" fougères. These much lighter, simpler, easier-to-understand fragrances rebooted men's perfume aesthetics back to all the smell-alike barbershop fougères of the 60's, but with the added plus of being cheaper to produce and eventually focus-group-tuned for mass appeal. Poor old Furyo and friends would be a lumped into the same dinosaur exhibit with the stiff oakmoss powerhouses they sought to replace, but with even less chance at legacy buyers because they were on the shelf for not even half as long. It's a crying shame really, but ultimately I can see why, as like with everything else in this special club, Furyo is very much a niche scent, just before ultra-high-end niche-interest perfume was even a thing. Furyo has a similar built-in sprayer like most Bogart bottles, but comes in a gorgeous red glass presentation with faux-gilded details on the sprayer head/cap mechanism, giving it an ultra-high-class feeling compared to other bottles at this time which were going for modern art aesthetics or blocky 80's industrial minimalism. N ot only does the juice inside smell profound, but the visual presentation is one of Bogart's classiest and most profound, without looking pretentious like bejeweled Lalique bottles.

Furyo starts with a bizarre dandy-like fruits and flowers opening that instantly sets it apart from anything else in it's rare class. Traditional opening notes of lavender, artemisia, coriander, and bergamot are joined by fig leaf, juniper berries, and laurel. The berries and fig make themselves readily apparent right away, with the more conventional top notes blurring into a smooth accompaniment. Before long, you realize just how floral this actually is, and how it's predominantly a rose scent much like Ténéré and Acteur, sitting somewhere between Ténéré's dry rose (and unfortunate slight carpet deodorizer vibe for that reason), and Acteur's sweeter near-feminine damask rose. The middle is where this rose lives, supported by indolic jasmine similar to another rare latter-day masculine dandy scent called Aramis 900 (1973), but unlike the grassy galbanium used to slightly neuter the femininity of the rose, here in Furyo it's augmented further with geranium and spicy cinnamon. The top and middle are pretty wild, but in the base we get both urinous civet and the sharp, almost waxy castoreum, imbuing Furyo twith he projection and sillage of Caesium-137, just without making your skin glow like a drum of nuclear waste after you've sprayed it on. This sumo wrestler base has it's twin animalics further buffed with amber, patchouli (which definitely comes through with skin heat), vetiver, vanilla, oakmoss and white musk. The end wear of Furyo is rich, sweet, inviting, yet frighteningly muscular and challenging, making me wonder if this was made to be both attractant and passive vetting of potential romantic liaisons all in one. He or she who dares wins when approaching a person wearing Furyo, that's for damned sure. Several people who tried this before me warned of a heavy nag champa note, and I have plenty of various nag champa incense (most of it from Shrinivas Sugandhalaya and the like), and I've burned enough of it to say that maybe this slightly compares to the smell of the box, but not the actual product when burned, and I don't really get that powdery-piquant nag champa vibe at all after the opening, although I do understand that such a swirl of fruit and heavy florals in the top and middle could make a nag champa ghost note to some noses, just not to mine.

What I do get here is the Alpha Male of the late-80's masculine floral pack. It's strong where Ho Hang Club isn't, sweet where Ténéré isn't, animalic where Acteur isn't, and is only really rivaled by Balenciaga Pour Homme, which also has a respectable animal growl but only with one such ingredient and not two like Furyo, making it the beta if anything to Furyo's alpha. Furyo deservedly gets recollections of room-clearing might from folks who used it back in the day, and despite it's floral delicacies, is every bit the horny monster -if not more- that the earlier powerhouses were. Perfumer Thierry Wasser seems most likely responsible for the very flirtatiously floral top and middle, while Ron Winnegrad, knowing his past work, was likely responsible for the monster base that has not one but two scary animalics in it. The key underlying difference between Furyo, and something like Antaeus (1981), is Furyo achieves it's massive power without being overly macho, since the animalics work under the other notes and not over top them, making it strong in a more general way like some of the siren-song feminine powerhouses of the decade. This is easily my favorite of this late-80's transitional floral crowd, because it doesn't even try sitting on it's hand, but rather just goes out and gets what it wants, with a rose corsage to soften the blow it lands. It's easy to see why this is the among the most difficult to find and more expensive of the universally-discontinued lot, since it's got both performance and unique character (with Balenciaga Pour Homme again being the only rival), while the rest usually have just one or the other. If you do end up tracking this down and buying a bottle, please be careful with application, as even a standard three-spray to neck, chest, and face will leave you gasping in a cloud for a good hour. You don't have to apply this to your shirt to extend the top notes either, as just having that shirt touch skin will inevitably scent it, this stuff is that potent. I mean, what do you want for a fragrance with a name that translates roughly from Japanese to "prisoner of war"? I was excited, enticed, and scared all at once, hence my reaction. Epic stuff for sure but really very niche in interest, especially in the 21st century. Furyo doesn't feel made with a context in mind, but just as "perfume for art's sake", which is a mindset not typically afforded perfumers working for designer houses, even highly-reputable ones like Bogart, which makes this that much more of a gem. Just please, whatever you do, sample this if at all possible before you believe all the hype (including mine), or you may regret it. This stuff pulls no punches AT ALL.
23rd April, 2018
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Akaster by Parfums de Marly

Well, another entry into the world of rose-oud...I'm really liking this entry though...very classy smelling western oud with some added woody oomph from the cypress...a very smooth and slick feeling fragrance...spicy tasting and get a nice hint of lemon in the background...aromatic/light/airy...i find this to be very pleasurable to wear...projects very nicely...semi-linear , which I find to be not a bad thing because i enjoy smelling this as is...decent life span too...overall , a nice addition to the rose-oud army...
23rd April, 2018

Oajan by Parfums de Marly

I get a vanilla flavored cherry pie drizzled wth honey and then sprinkled with a ton of cinnamon...one of those scents to reach for when its time for winter holidays , parties and family get togethers...not a super big fan of gourmand type fragrances , but I enjoy wearing this...has a nice semi-smoky resiny touch...I can see this guy hanging around with the likes of Burberry London . Bogart Witness , Wazamba , John Varvatos and his older brother JV Vintage...only drawback for me is the lack of longevity and projection on my skin...happy with the decant I have of this , no need for a full bottle...
23rd April, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Parfum d'Été by Kenzo

I’m reviewing the current version, as I haven’t smelled the original in twenty years.

Breezy and fresh in a very 90’s way, with Lily of the Valley playing the diva, and Hyacinth and Freesia singing backup, it’s in the same genre as Gucci Envy and Cristalle Eau Verte: a green floral revival. I tend to think of it as Diorissimo modulated for Generation X.
23rd April, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

FlowerbyKenzo Le Parfum by Kenzo

I’ve been on my second bottle of this for about 10 years. It’s got similar DNA to Flower the original, but a medicinal almond and opoponax take center stage. And it isn’t as powdery. It’s languid and resinous. Syrupy, even. But it’s more Robitussin than Log Cabin. I like wearing this one along with Flower as a base layer for it. It’s also cozy in the winter as a stand-alone.
23rd April, 2018

Mitsouko by Guerlain

It's been about 10 or 12 years since I've tried Mitsouko, back when my Dillard's used to carry all the classic Guerlains. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. But I didn't really like it, either. I did groove on the initial brightness of it, the juicy peachiness interwoven with citrus, but then after the first few minutes it devolved into something more harsh, yet at the same time kind of vague. I figured I just wasn't sophisticated enough to appreciate it, and yet I never revisited it.

Until recently, when I was gifted with a bottle of the EDP, which turns out to be from 2014, supposedly a very good reformulation year. The peachy/citrusy opening still really sparkles, and the middle sings a very fine spicy (cinnamon? clove?) tune on my skin for about an hour. But after that it just falls off the cliff and muddles itself into a big ol' bunch of fusty/dusty/musty-ness, and not in a way that I would normally champion, like, say, the way Joy’s symphonic florals turn to rot or Djedi's mix of damp-basement and lemony roses or Youth Dew's balsamic orange blossom weirdness. Here, and at least on my skin and to my nose, Mitsouko is kind of a mess—an expensive, beautifully made, historically significant mess, to be sure. But still a mess.

The good news is, if you love it, it will last forever. It's still wafting from the T-shirt I had on when I spritzed it two days ago.
22nd April, 2018

Patchouli Intense / Patchouli Homme by Nicolaï

This is good. It gives me a memory of being in France. It works as a masculine fragrance, as labeled. It would make a virile aftershave. Maybe I've encountered someone in France wearing this. This definitely smells like being in France: in someone's house, in a car.

This came in a sample pack with some Etat Libre d'Orange samples, including Je Suis un Homme, which I preferred to this for being more wearable in my style.

This one, Nicolai Patchouli Homme, is strong, and makes a statement. It smells of essential oils, thick and concentrated. I could imagine it being too much for some people to feel comfortable trying to pull off. I could also imagine people being elated to have a bottle of this, and feeling extreme confidence and mood elevation wearing it. Because of my associations with the smell, it feels like a better fit for someone over 40, even a woman. It's so evocative.

I could imagine someone who wears Yatagan liking this. There's something similar in the boldness, bordering on brash, this one even more so, perhaps.
22nd April, 2018

Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

This is a review of the 2009 version. It is pretty much like I remember wearing, back in the 90's. Less spice though. The top is briefly sweet then quickly turns flowery. Carnation and jasmine are prominent for me, in the middle. The base is darkish for awhile, then the amber and vanilla kicks in. I will enjoy the decant I have but, a full bottle isn't in my future. I DO have a vintage sample around somewhere. That review will follow later, at some point...
22nd April, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Jasmal by Creed

This is a lovely jasmine composition. The jasmine is present right form the start, is rich but elegantly restrained and never sets a foot wrong.

In the early stages the bergamot adds a fresh touch, being in the background on my skin at least. This is never a refreshing creation.

In the drydown the ambergris - often used by Creed - is present indeed, but is is smoother and softer than in many other products of this House.

Towards the ends, a gentle woodsy impression together with whiffs of galbanum add another pleasant twist to this Jasmin-centred mix.

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

A delightful Jasmin scent with a few uplifting touches, ideal for spring and blended well of high-quality ingredients. 3.25/5.
22nd April, 2018

Lost in Flowers by Strangelove NYC

Kind of like someone covered the barnyard with flower petals to mask the smell...being a huge fan and collector of animalic fragrances I find this fragrance very appealing...to my slowly learning nose this smells like a quality oud...not sure if its real oud or a synthetic , but if it is synthetic , its top of the line...This is pretty much overall a flower flavored oud , but not linear...morphs through various versions of this composition...and what makes me think that this is some really good oud is that I get all those nice little real oud nuances...a liitle wood...an ocassional whiff of tobacco...and it has this feeling of great depth...the flower smell is very realistic and gorgeous...hey , did I happen to mention that this projects like a beast...wonderfull olfactory journey...a big thumbs up...whats really strange is that , here and there I get a babershop soapy effect...in quality , overall structure and vibe this , to my nose , brings to mind that this could come from Chanel or Guerlain if they were to do a flower/oud composition...
22nd April, 2018

Un Homme by Charles Jourdan

Charles Jourdan, much like Christobal Balenciaga, would ultimately become much better known for shoes in the modern era than anything else, and just like the late Balenciaga, would not live to see any masculine perfumes bear his name (although Balenciaga was alive to witness a few feminines at least), meaning this creation was made entirely without his input. Another uncanny similarity to Balenciaga is the fact that this debut masculine from the house would be an equally mild, traditional, almost palatial aromatic fougère to Balenciaga's Ho Hang (1971), both at a time when bold and brash was the standard. There are differences however, and owning one doesn't rule out the need for the other, and if one enjoys either than one should possess both, for they are of a unique style that was rarefied even when new. The house of Charles Jourdan wouldn't explore perfume very far, as the children of the late house master would inevitably run the company into the ground after a series of very controversial stiletto heels marked the brand. Only a singular masculine was made and Un Homme is it, being released in 1979 right on the cusp of the powerhouse era, making it even further against the grain than perhaps Ho Hang was, but those in the know often favorably compared it to the barbershop standard of Azzaro Pour Homme (1978), which preceded it by a year. I can definitely see what those folks are on about, because there is a similar anise and lemon top to this fragrance, but it is buried under a much more complex pyramid of herbal notes that merge with a base that borders between chypre and fougère, while Azzaro stays in it's neat and tidy fougère fast lane. The nose here is Françoise Caron, sister to the more prolific perfumer Olivier Cresp, and herself the nose behind the famed Hermès L'Eau d'Orange Verte (1979) which debuted concurrently with this obscure gem.

When I tell people what this is or show them the bottle, they either have zero idea who Charles Jourdan is, or didn't realize he had fragrances if they remember the name, always citing the shoe boutiques inhabiting high-end shopping districts as where the name rings a bell. The scent opens with that familiar anise and lemon, but it's far more subtle than Azzaro or even the later Aramis Tuscany Per Uomo (1984), which is far brighter yet. The lemon/anise accord in Un Homme is quickly swathed in an herb bath of tarragon, majoram, and cradled in piquant bergamot and gentle lavender. Before you know it, the anise is barely present in the company of all the greens, allowing the heart quicker access to the nose of the wearer. Supposedly the note breakdown of this heart contains patchouli alongside carnation, cyclamen, geranium, and cedar. I smell the last two notes here, as they're unmistakable, but the rest in buried in blending. The base here has leather and sandalwood, both which are present but quiet compared to how they're usually presented, with oakmoss and musk doing most of the talking, with a dot of coumarin for body. This is still clearly a fougère, but it's chypre-like gentle dryness sure blurs the lines, and when combined with the soft citrus/herbal top, draws this closer to the aforementioned Ho Hang than Azzaro to my nose (outside of the anise), and with the geranium/lavender mix, incidentally pairs very well with many vintage mid-century after shaves as well. It's not mega-classy, super macho, or particularly romantic, but Françoise Caron delivered a very relaxed and understated brand of masculinity that was most certainly an underdog in an age of baroque aromatics and bulky leather scents. People who fell in love with this upon release likely used it as a signature and stood apart from the crowd of guys using more popular scents at the time, and it easily could be still due to it's relative subtlety for it's style and the era in which is was made, if not for it being long discontinued.

Un Homme Charles Jourdan must be a well-kept secret by perfume collectors in any case, as it still retails for at or slightly above modern designer retail, although there are some shameless types trying to charge niche prices for surviving stock, so don't jump on the first offer you find for this if it sounds like something you want to explore. It's an underdog in the same barbershop family as anything mentioned above, but is definitely greener and more herbal than any of the vanillic stuff such as Canoe (1936), Brut (1963), or Sartorial (2010) in the same category. To be sure, something this relaxed and confidently masculine can be an everyday wear but will date you unless you work around folks who love really old-school compositions (or just work alone), but as a weekend day wear in spring or fall, this won't let you down. It's not sharp enough for summer and loses power in cold weather, so keep that in mind. Fans of vintage smells won't need much further convincing to try this, but for those of you out there running more streamlined wardrobes, this may seem a needlessly expensive and precious variant of something already owned that's much easier to replenish, so that's some food for thought too. I just love an underdog, so this is definitely right up my alley, and I also love barbershop smells, particularly herbal ones as they're less common and so smooth, so it's double-down on that for me too. My roommate commented that I had that "just shaved" smell when I put this on before going out for food, and I said "that's exactly what I love about this", and perhaps you will too. A certified obscure classic here, and unlike Charles Jourdan's vintage stilettos, it won't give you varicose veins from wearing it too much.
22nd April, 2018
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Fire Island by Bond No. 9

Although I've never actually been to Fire Island (I wish!); when I smell this I am immediately reminded of Euro sunscreens such as Ambre Solei: the association is undeniable.

Growing up in Australia, we were always exposed to every type of sunscreen protection there was to offer, and Fire Island smells almost exactly like an expensive European sunscreen. There's nothing tropical here; no coconut or Tiare Flower, just the sense of a really lovely sunscreen.

For me, this almost has too much tuberose, but thankfully, once it dries down, I'm left with very realistic representation of sun kissed skin and body lotion.

Despite the above this is a wonderful fragrance, and for me, quite a departure from Bond No 9's usual fruity, patchouli/amber/oud scents. This reminds me more of what L'Artisan Parfumeur used to be about; quirky fragrances that absolutely reminded you of a particular place or thing.

I really love this because of the association with my youth and growing up in Sydney. Its very tenacious though and lasts for ages; so if you want to be transported back to the beach, be prepared to stay for a while. 2 thumbs up and 5 stars!
21st April, 2018

Enigma by Wajid Farah

A little too much leather, for my tastes. It's slightly sweet. Woody, too. Skip this one, folks.
21st April, 2018

Zeste Mandarine Pamplemousse by Creed

Odd, dry citrus, like
Complimentary insults,
Not soon forgotten.
21st April, 2018

Remarkable People by Etat Libre d'Orange

Juicy, beverage accord on top. Slightly sweet and savory in the middle, like a food condiment. It has a pipe-tobacco vibe. The base is rather subtle. Overall not bad. Leans more towards the masculine.
21st April, 2018

Sean John by Sean John

Very sweet, fruity gum or candy opening, reminds me of a much better version of Eternity Now, but that kind of sweetness. Ladies will like how this smells, while it lasts, which brings me to...

Sad performance. Soft projection that only lasts maybe an hour. The scent then sits close to skin for 4-5 hours.
21st April, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Spring Flower by Creed

Fruity-floral is indeed the core of the opening phase. Apricot and bergamot are prominent initially, with the fruity side outweighing The bergamot; the latter keeps up a bright atmosphere.

The drydown reverses the ration, putting the floral side upfront. A rose impression arises, quite intense but remaining on the brighter side and expressing some characteristics of a restrained tuberose in the background. This is given added depth by a pleasant jasmin in the background.

The base displays mainly the jasmin, and combines it with the ambergris so typical for this house. White musks appear towards the end.

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

An agreeable spring creation for day and evening, this scent is not particularly creative, but most of the notes are nicely done. At times the fruity component can appear a bit too artificial, but overall it is solidly crafted. In total, it - just - deserves a positive rating. 3/5.
21st April, 2018

Pink Heart by Map of the Heart

This is an interesting, different little perfume. I state little, as this isn't loud or brash or obvious. It has a gorgeous opening of a sweet, herbaly tea accord. That's the shiso, neroli and basil, doing that nicely. The middle is earthy sweet, with narcissus, jasmine, broom, and a touch of iris.

The base is not loud. In fact it is barely there for me. I get sweet (again!) tobacco. More earthy at the base, too. I can't put my finger on any particular base notes. Overall, this is kind of unique. I'm not a huge fan of "tea" in a perfume. This one is good though. I like it much better than Tea For Two by L'Artisan Perfumeurs.
21st April, 2018

Baladin by Nicolaï

I'm less excited for this Nicolai fragrance than I have been about the last couple I tried, Odalisque and Musc Intense, especially Odalisque.

This is interesting. It's interesting to see leather listed as a note. I'm not thinking of a better way to describe it - upholstery, maybe, some newly-manufactured product - and a box of crayons. I get visions of an elementary school with recent refurbishments.
20th April, 2018

Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel

Thirty-some years ago I had a miniature bottle of this. Recently I obtained a vintage sample. It is like smelling this for the first time, as I do not remember it from long ago.

I am able to pick out many notes, even though they are all mixed together well. I get a touch of citrus. Rich honeysuckle, lily, jasmine, carnation, tuberose, muguet, and a hint of rose. The base doesn't take long to emerge, for me. Sandalwood, amber, patchouli, oak moss, and incense seem to hug the florals. I won't even entertain the thought of a purchase of a modern bottle or decant. I seriously doubt it would be this rich, dark, and dreamy. It is greenish, slightly animalic (probably from the jasmine and patchouli), and has je ne sais quoi. Nostalgic.
20th April, 2018

Musc Intense by Nicolaï

This house makes some nice perfume. I do smell pear. It's blended into a classic-smelling accord, quite delicious and alluring.

After pear, which is almost a boozy, eau de vie (clear brandy)-type pear, sandalwood seems to be the most assertive of the listed notes.
20th April, 2018

Wild Country Outback by Avon

Avon hadn't put out a flanker for it's legendary cowboy cologne since the musk version landed in the 80's. The 1967 original Wild Country had become the mass market direct seller's oldest continually-produced scent period and most popular male fragrance because men just had a tendency to keep buying it, passing it down to their sons, and etc. since it's inception during Avon's first big push for male clientele. The musk version faded from sight in the 90's outside the Latin market, and the seller decided to release a new version in 2003 for it's now-shuttered Australian market, but released the flanker in the US too. Avon was rather daring in the 2000's, a gambit that lead to some great underrated cheapies but also lead to their fiscal decline, and this is one such unsung gem. Avon Wild Country Outback is at it's core, an old "fern" style barbershop scent reinterpreted with modern synthetics and white florals, released smack dab in the middle of an aquatic glut. I can see why it didn't work on the mass level Avon needed it to, since it really didn't have an audience, but it hung around a few years so I guess it did better than some things from the period that had just one bottling run. It's original packaging duplicated the beaker-like dimensions of the original Wild Country, but it soon moved into the 3.0oz 88ml "pill sprayer" that most masculines getting a second bottling run received at the time. Both are the same formula, so "deep vintage" fanatics need not hunt unless they want the cooler bottle.

Wild Country Outback opens with bergamot and a light bamboo note, white pepper, calone and cucumber, with some unidentifiable synthetic green notes that make it reminiscent of Calvin Klein's Contradiction for Men (1999) but lighter and drier. From that stark and frugal opening comes a dainty middle of lovely cypress, a touch of iris, muguet, geranium and pale lavender, making Wild Country Outback smell almost feminine or at least dandy in the way of the old 19th century piquant men's florals used to, before those notes disappear on a bed of white musk, some synthetic Iso E Super for the "wood" accord, and vetiver. Surprisingly, I don't get the "Avon amber" here like I'm used to, but I guess in a masculine unafraid to feature a prominent cucumber note, it's not on the agenda unless it's there in very miniscule quantities. Wild Country Outback is definitely budget-conscious artifice but artfully done and a great alternative to an aquatic or other "freshie" on a bright or warm day. Wild Country Outback isn't even a lick like the original and I wonder if it had been named differently, if it's success would have been greater? It's so daringly different that it was never destined to be anywhere as ubiquitous as it's venerable namesake, but as an early 2000's reinterpretation of what a wild frontier man would wear, it's a fascinating 180 degree shift from the carnations and rawhide of the first Wild Country. We'll never know the answer to that any sooner than we'll know the nose behind this little sweet-talker, but that's the way it works for Avon.

Wild Country Outback won't blow the doors off anyone to be sure, and it didn't sell by the bucket, so despite a respectable few years run, Avon gave it the axe globally sometime in 2007ish or so. However, here is another example of Avon having "gotten their s**t together" on the front of male fragrance after nearly two decades of banal or downright bizarre creations. The fresh bamboo, cucumber, white florals, and cypress notes are really what makes this stand apart as "fresh but different", giving me a lovely springtime wear that has staying power and subtle sillage without being indolic or ozonic. Wild Country Outback is more than a skin scent, but barely. Sure, there are better barbershop ferns, or you could jump strait to the original Fougère Royale (1882) for the most consummate experience, but I'm going against the usual grain here by saying that the bargain bin synthetics are actually what gives this crisp, sharp, and chipper scent it's charm; it's quite literally the antithesis of niche in the way it embraces synthesis rather than disguise it's own chemicals unde ar crowded note pyramid of exotic flora. I also highly doubt anything about this evokes imagery of the Australian bush, but Avon is about as culturally authentic as a Taco Bell, so expecting that is setting yourself up for failure. Worth a try for the fan of dime store charms and recently-deceased vintages or just more modern smells overall, but if you're not a kook in that way like I am, you best move along.
19th April, 2018 (last edited: 20th April, 2018)

Marc Jacobs Splash Cotton by Marc Jacobs

Mine, is the 2016 version. Has the same notes / ingredients. Light, breezy, fresh, modest, clean. Decent water notes here. A light peach, for a change. The wood is light, too. It DOES remind me of cotton. I'm glad I got a decant of this to finally try. It is quite different, from all the dark, heavy hitters in my collection.
19th April, 2018

Vetiverus by Oliver & Co.

Oliver and Co's Vetiverus is a potent Vetiver. It rides in medicinal and herbal...the first night that I tried a sample, my nose was a little bit stuffy, and I couldn't quite place the herb until I tried it the next day. It was absolutely clove! But mysteriously, clove is not listed as one of the notes so I did some research. Turns out that concentrated carnation can smell like cloves because carnation (Dianthus caryophyllata) contains eugenol, the same scent molecule found in the oil of clove. Very interesting.

For me, the medicinal quality opens Vetiverus, but then recedes to be replaced by a sharp vetiver over thick ambergris. Very rich. A slightly bitter floral enters that has the tonality of osmanthus pollen interwoven with a more true carnation note. In the mid-period, hints of orange came through the powder and the vetiver/ambergris became mildly salty. In the close, the clove shows through again, leaving a strong herbal base. Quite a unique scent, but I wasn't as taken with it as Vaninger. This is a house to watch.
19th April, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Acqua Fiorentina by Creed

The opening combines apple and pear notes very nicely, fruity and with an added restrained freshness owing to a lemony bergamot in the background.

The drydown gives it a floral turn, with a light rose notes and whiffs of carnation and muguet moving in, but the fruitiness remains into the base. The rose is simple and neither rich nor heavy.

The base loses the fruity parts, and sees the emergence of a woodsy layer that is mainly cedar in nature, but I get again touches bergamot interwoven with the wood and the florals.

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

A pleasant spring scent for days and warmer evening, which is classic in the selection of its good-quality ingredients. It is blended very well. 3.25/5.
19th April, 2018

1932 Eau de Toilette by Chanel

As a huge fan of powdery scents I enjoy this - for at least twenty minutes. Then this fades quickly away. The only notes I smell here are minimal aldehydes and neroli, then jasmine, rose, ylang, lilac, orris root, and musk, all blended so much I really had a hard time telling these notes apart. And even now, I am beginning to wonder if I smelled them. At any rate, this is lovely but not worth the high asking price. I have many other perfumes in my collection that are similar and last longer.
19th April, 2018
JBS1 Show all reviews
United States

Ferrari Bright Neroli by Ferrari

I got two colognes from Fragrance Split today. One was GIT,and it was spot on,and the other was this one, Bright Neroli.
Let me first say that what I got from Fragrance Split was good, and the service was also solid.
That said ,when I sprayed Bright Neroli on it was OK. The name is what it is.I thought to myself, wow, I should get a bottle of this,especially what Bright Neroli is selling for. Then it started to change .All this began about 10 minutes in.About 15 minutes past and I said,no,I'll pass on this one,for it's getting into the overly synthetic side of colognes.20 minutes and I was getting pissed.My thought was this stuff is starting to stink.One hour latter and I was trying to wash it off.
I just took a smell from the twist up sprayer that Fragrance Split gives you,which is nice,and if only Bright Neroli stayed that way I would be happy. Sadly though,it doesn't. You get what you pay for.
Myself I would rather pay up for Acqua Di Parma's Colonia or Annick's Neroli . Both are nice. Then there's Le Gallion's Cologne too.
Sad to say it, but I am afraid to even give Bright Neroli away.I will though.It might work for someone else,just not me.
I would like to add that I generally shy away from reviews,but I thought that I should regarding Bright Neroli .
19th April, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

My Queen by Alexander McQueen

The initial mix of orange blossom and heliotropes - with hints of a dark lime-neroli mixed in at times - offers shaded freshness of a restrained nature. Nice.

The drydown takes a floral turn, with iris being given richness by a darker violet impression. Soon the base rings in with a pleasant vanilla impression, which has caramel characteristics initially.

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

A scent for spring days and evenings, this composition is not particularly creative, but it is blended very well of ingredients of very good quality. Very solid. 3.25/5.
18th April, 2018
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