Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 144524

Vetiver Geranium by Creed

Tremendous geranium and vetiver combo in the opening but then the cedar takes over in the drydown that lasts all day and strong. Really impressive performance on my skin.

It's clean, refined, unisex and very pleasant but be careful with the sprays as it could be come cloying or maybe even worse, overwhelming to the point that you cannot smell it. Go easy on the sprays.
22nd June, 2018

After My Own Heart by Ineke

A particularly delicious raspberry note leads into the lilac, which is represented as an abstract sort of rosy smell, peppered with a pinch of hairspray aldehydes. This all happens over soapy fabric softener musks, which gives a very modern feel to this.

Smelled blind, I would have assumed this was a 2018 Armani or Tori Burch or something similar - the abstract floral fabric softener smell paired with realistic fruit is hyper-modern, so Ineke was definitely ahead of her time releasing this 12 years ago. That being said, that high-gloss fabric softener sheen feels so mainstream and commonplace now that it's hard to get really excited by this. Saying that this would feel completely at home in a mall Sephora is a compliment, but not much of one.
22nd June, 2018

Twilly d'Hermès by Hermès

I'm not really that into tobacco/coumarin perfumes - there's a certain sort of brown paper bag muskiness that turns me off. That being said, there's something ballsy and intriguing about Twilly that captures my attention.

The tobacco/hay smell is upfront and unapologetic. The real cleverness is the way that the ginger and tuberose fuze with it to create a technicolor, over-amplified version of itself, a sort of hyper-tobacco caricature that's fascinating in its boldness, even if it's a smell I don't really like.
22nd June, 2018
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Ferrari Radiant Bergamot by Ferrari

Starts with sparkling Lemonheads candies. Reminds me of 4711 and Mugler Cologne with its sharp, clean green notes. Lots of green lemons. Later the drydown is a spicy musk very much like a traditional men's aftershave.

The projection is below average but the aftershave drydown lasts all workday.
21st June, 2018

Vanille Noire by Yves Rocher

A well calibrated synth woody vanilla with fruity accents (never overly sultry a la Bottega Verde Vaniglia Nera). Subtle, dry and close to skin.
21st June, 2018

Giorgio for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills

Being a child of the 80's, this brings back good memories. An unapologetic lightly sweetened non-hippy patchouli powerhouse of a fragrance that will not only beat you over the head, but will kick you for good measure as you're laying on the ground.

Two sprays are enough, as 3+ will fumigate the room. This is the perfect fragrance to wear heavily if you want people or any other creatures that breathe to avoid you. Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful spicy woody fragrance and smells great but most people today are just not used to having their sinuses assaulted by the powerhouses of yester-year.

Pros:
4 oz can be purchased for under $20 USD.
Great bang for your buck.
Nuclear projection.
You will be avoided by most sentient lifeforms (Perfect for introverts).

Cons:
You will be avoided by most sentient lifeforms (Bad for extroverts).

A must-have for any collection.

8/10
20th June, 2018 (last edited: 21st June, 2018)

Beach Hut Woman by Amouage

This reminds me of lychee. I'm just not a fan. And the overall sense is one of apricots, oddly enough. It's great if you like a pseudo-apricot scent. I don't get much other than that. Vaguely reminiscent of an aldehyde such as 'Y'.
20th June, 2018

Captured By Candlelight by 4160 Tuesdays

Stardate 20180617:

Starts with sweet bubblegum and some incense. Maybe the snuffwd out candle Accord.
Morphs into sweet toffee, woods and rum.
Like it
20th June, 2018

Island Life for Him by Tommy Bahama

Fresh, fizzy and clean. Almost soapy clean and has a shower gel lean to it but still smells pleasant and natural. Great for casual/warm weather wear.

Thumbs up for the smell alone, the wife and I really like it.

The big issue is the performance on my skin, the projection is poor and longevity is worse. I suggest many sprays and on clothing to improve performance.
20th June, 2018

Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

Le Mâle is a very important fragrance, and indeed a very controversial fragrance, in the world of perfume. This was Jean-Paul Gaultier's debut masculine and it set the world alight with it's bizzare tin can packaging and risqué muscular male torso bottle with sailor shirt stripes to match the previous year's Classique (1993) and it's bare-chested feminine bust. Le Mâle did several things at once upon release: it established perfumer Francis Kurkdjian as his first creation (and arguably most successful one); it's loud and bombastic smell cut through the club scene like a hot knife through butter and was the de facto king of the club scene until Paco Rabanne 1 Million arrived in 2008; it unintentionally gave the gay community on the male/male side a champion scent due to it's bottle design, bright smell, and "sailor boy" aesthetic that was in line with gay ideals of male beauty. You simply couldn't get away from this stuff in the club scene, and even after scents like Curve for Men (1996), and Givenchy Pi (1999) started taking nibbles at Le Mâle's dominance in more mixed clubbing company, it continued to rule the gay scene for years to come, and is still a strong contender even in the face of the aforementioned 1 Million.

In fact, Le Mâle has perhaps become too successful for it's own good, which fuels the controversy around it's artistic merits because everyone was just overexposed to it back then like they were 1 Million, and more-recently Dior Sauvage (2015). The scent's famous artemisia and mint opening is much to blame for it's shrill piercing of hot nightclub air, but it isn't quite an ozonic as it doesn't have a huge grapefruit note, but just the usual bitter bergamot and a contrasting cardamom note. Le Mâle is all about contrasts, which is how it gets to be so freakishly loud without being cloying like Joop Homme (1989) at similar volume levels. Cinammon and dirty cumin is opposed by fresh lavender and orange blossom, showing Francis Kurkdjian borrowing a play from Edmond Roudnitska in the "dirty but clean, virile but pleasant" department, but the base ends up taming this beast at the end. Sandalwood, cedar, tonka, amber, and vanilla act as a forgiving security blanket that hides the diametrically-opposed notes in the top and middle. By the time Le Mâle is (finally) a skin scent, only wisps of the mint and lavender really remain to mix with the heavier, creamier, and powdery base, making this a very barbershop-like smell in it's final throes. I actually get a bit irritated by this finish, but wearing it on shirt helps keep the top around longer.

Le Mâle is finally starting to appear dated around it's 25-year mark, and like other notorious period scents from the 90's like Nautica (1992) and Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1995), is so inexorably linked to the decade of it's birth that even in the gay scene (where it had the longest clubbing lifespan), it's seen as "old-school", which hurts it's wearability. If loud mint, bergamot, lavender, spice and vanilla traffic jams sound like something you could dig, you can't go wrong with Le Mâle, but if you werd duly overexposed to it like I was, then you can appreciate it's importance but never bring yourself to wear it, or wear it again in some cases. Nuclear sillage and the longevity of canned Spam is the name of Le Mâle's game, so I need not go into that. Where you use it is up to you because it will make a scene wherever it's found (much like Joop as well), and has come in so many different packaging editions that it's also become a darling with collectors. The scent has always been something of a sneeze fit inducer to me, so I'm forced to give it a neutral, but in no way am I dismissing the entire Le Mâle line, as there have been many different and nice flankers in the years since, a good portion of which are also designed by Francis Kurkdjian. A famous fresh, jarring, semi-powdery scent that is instantly recognizable but sadly just not for me.
20th June, 2018

Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford

Tom Ford followed up his eponymous masculine two years later with a scent that seemed at once drawn from even older inspirational sources but also less of an anachronism. Tom Ford for Men (2007) was just a suicide sundae of notes (in place of ice cream toppings), conjuring everything from early 70's barbershop to early 80's men's orientals with some gourmand twists tossed in and finished in an amber base borrowed from the best of vintage Avon. Grey Vetiver (2009) seems in name to be a remix of Geoffrey Beene's Grey Flannel (1975), and Guerlain Vetiver (1961), but is in fact closer to a mash-up of Guerlain's take on vetiver and the debut Dior masculine Eau Sauvage (1966), with the lemon/hedione combo of the Dior scent replaced with a modern grapefruit accord. Harry Freemont worked on this, and his track record is proven both in more classical-minded scents and more synthetic commercial fare, making him a good choice for a modern take on classic vetiver and dry citrus chypre theme. Grey Vetiver comes across as still quite office-safe just like Tom Ford for Men, but has better performance in hotter weather outdoors and just is overall more distict of a composition, and more memorable, making it a surefire future classic.

Grey Vetiver opens with grapefruit, orange blossom, and sage, which skims the line between classic and modern citrus styles with the presence of sage but the absence of bergamot or lemon. The grapefruit top is very dry, and not the juicy or shrill type one expects from a Kenneth Cole ozonic or a Calvin Klein scent where they are likely to be found. The vetiver note comes up quickly from the middle, and makes it's presence felt throughout the remainder of the wear, but it doesn't beat over the head with grassy green or smoky ambiance like older styles, but rather stays muted in it's more extreme facets to just be a dull rounded thud, letting the composition around it get more attention but acting like a mesh reinforcing the rest of the pyramid with it's sharpness like galbanum used to in years past. Soapy orris and a "browning" note of nutmeg are likely responsible for this muting, keeping the vetiver cuffed to a chair until the base of pimento, amber, miniscule allowable oakmoss, and norlimbanol/Iso E Super scratchy woods note bring it to a finish. Grey Vetiver is much fresher and somewhat dryer than most old mid-century chypres from which it draws inspiration, but with that vetiver dollop, is more convincing of the style than something like Kenneth Cole Signature (2005), being more wearable to the vintage lover looking for fresh digs or the more scrutinizing perfumisto that wants a bit more provenance than most modern designers are willing to give.

Grey Vetiver is the current best of Tom Ford's signature line for a good reason: it's a fresh and contemporary citrus scent for casual or office use, medium to warm weather, and plays very heavily into traditional grass roots design (pun intended) without feeling quite as dated as the previous self-titled masculine, nor as ambiguous. Grey Vetiver gets out there and lets itself be known, but still dresses sharp, uses an inside voice, and holds the door open for others in impeccable Tom Ford style. Folks unwilling to drop near to $200 for something from his much more-risque but personable Private Collection (for all intents the Tom Ford niche line), are best to start here with Grey Vetiver if they want a high-quality taste of Mr. Ford's "what's old is new again" aesthetic that he began with LVMH then took with him when they sent him packing. Sillage is moderate, and decent longevity considering the style make it worthy of a work day, but there isn't much use for this in winter or in the evening unless it's a work-related night time event or an extremely-structured activity (like a gala or ball). Two thumbs up for this modern vetiver for the masses.
20th June, 2018

Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

It's unsurprising that Tom Ford would take this anachronistic direction with his first standalone masculine since leaving LVMH as creative director to form his own empire. He even chose Estée Lauder as the parent umbrella to distribute his scents, which is another nod to the old-school in a more roundabout way. Tom Ford for Men is a huge jambalaya of all things "traditionally masculine" as composed by Yves Caesar, and although not 100% stuck in the past due to it's note pyramid, is complex, blended, and understated in ways men's fragrances haven't been in decades. I feel Tom Ford was really trying to tap the pre-powerhouse era of the late 60's and early to mid 70's, when cologne was cologne with a macho swagger but not an unzipped fly swaddled in flowers like the 80's. Tom Ford for Men gets a lot of flack from perfumistos for being subtle and boring, but I feel it's not made for the guy who wants to part the crowd but rather just calmly exude confidence, with body heat turning up the volume much like Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme (1971) or Un Homme Charles Jourdan (1979). Tom Ford for Men really links back to these and Azzaro Pour Homme (1978) in it's use of barbershop aesthetics, but marries them to a more complex oriental design a la JHL (1982) or Jaipur (1998).

There are too many notes for a proper breakdown, but I get the bergamot, orange, and verbena in the top, then all the kitchen herbs a few moments later. Basil, thyme, black pepper, then tobacco draw this into semi-gourmand territory but the orange blossom and ginger make it more oriental. The top and middle phases are appropriately brief like in older 70's aromatics, showing the level of homework done by Yves Caesar on Tom Ford's behalf to achieve such a classic dry down. The amber-led vibrato of the base notes are what make or break this scent for the studied collector, as it's literally nothing new or exciting, nothing challenging like an 80's masculine floral or modern niche, and nothing self-asserting like a newfangled ambroxan scent. You get amber, vetiver, patchouli, what oakmoss is allowable, and a series of aromachemicals to fill in the blanks like "leatherwood" (a variant of norlimbanol), Iso E Super, and cypriol in the finish. Tom Ford for Men starts with mid-century citrus, then 70's herbs and spices, before finishing in a modern chemical-assisted base that pays homage to the male oriental. The sillage is low, but longevity is a beast, making this a good semi-modern office scent for the classic masculine fan.

Tom Ford for Men is the signature for the guy who doesn't want to leave a trail, but wants you to remember his scent when he leaves. I understand all the negative reviews and indifferent neutral takes considering what Tom Ford helped create for the male persuasion under LVMH. After Gucci Pour Homme (2001), Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003), this seems almost like a let down, but I can't help myself from liking this because I'm a fan of all the classic understated stuff like Arden for Men Sandalwood (1958), Monsieur de Givenchy (1959), Balenciaga Ho Hang (1971), or even Aramis Tuscany Per Uomo (1984), where a genteel manner was preferred over a muscular display of prowess or virility. Perhaps it is too quiet when it should be loud, too blended when it should be more focused, but it has it's place in the wardrobe of a guy who already has aquatics, florals, you name it, and just wants something classy that can be worn as a daily grind while saving more potent and pretentious juices for those times when he actually -does- want to make a statement. Tom Ford for Men is just a comfortable, well-worn pair of slip ons for those days when the polished wing tips can stay in the closet, pure and simple.
19th June, 2018 (last edited: 20th June, 2018)

Juniper Sling by Penhaligon's

Fresh, green, dry and woody with a zesty zing like a mixed drink in the refreshing and pleasing opening. The drydown is all vetiver and maybe a bit of dusty leather. This is one of those scents where you love the opening and the drydown is actually a letdown.

If someone can catch you in the first 15 minutes, it should be noticeable and might grab a compliment. Anything beyond that and you'll probably be the only one enjoying the vetiver drydown. That is a knock on the projection but it does last all workday, so no issues with longevity.
19th June, 2018
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Le Vetiver Itasca by Lubin

I like this more than Lubin's Le Vetiver Bluff, and find it at least on par with their regular Le Vetyver/Le Vetiver, although different.

Le Vetiver was more of a soapy vetiver. Le Vetiver Itasca is more complex, and smells part classic, part well done modern niche.

Having recently sampled Le Labo's Vetiver and Dior's Vetiver, I'm feeling like this one is my clear preference over those two.

Whereas I found Lubin's Le Vetiver similar to Guerlain Vetiver, Le Vetiver Itasca is more in the style of the Le Labo and the Dior.

The Elie Saab Vetiver is still my favorite of the ones I've sampled (including others such as Sycomore edt and edp, and Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire).

Le Vetiver Itasca has great development. It stays nice and interesting all day, completely wearable. The kind of thing that would be safe to wear in the office, but still interesting.
19th June, 2018

Bleu de Chanel Parfum by Chanel

Heartwood soul set free
Fresh and woody inside-out
Yet utterly Bleu.
19th June, 2018
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Wanted by Night by Azzaro

The prominent impression I get is that of sweet fruitiness. The fruity side is quite nonspecific, with touches of ginger and vetiver. The sweetness is mostly cinnamon-based, a bit vanilla-like at times, although otherwise not particularly typical.

So far it reminds me of the original, but here there is added depth and spiciness; a soft spiciness. I do net get any convincing tobacco or woods.

I get strong sillage, excellent projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring scent has many characteristics of the original, but this flanker is a bit deeper in its timbre and a bit spicier. The sweetness is quite overwhelming and cloying at times, and the whole is excessively synthetic. Not Azzaro’s finest hour. Apply with caution. 2.25/5.
19th June, 2018

Santalum Slivers by Kerosene

opens with a peppery citrus...a citrus blend...i don't get so much any individual notes as I do a fruit melange...if anything, the orange struggles to try to draw your attention...cucumber gives it a watery texture and refreshing quality...a very pleasant and enjoyable smell I am getting from this...would pair up nicely with a pair of shorts and a Hawaiian type shirt...as it progresses a nice smooth sandalwood rises and weaves it's way into the citrus...overall, a very nice citrusy/woody experience...I can see enjoying wearing this...
19th June, 2018

Dia Man by Amouage

I've had the opportunity to smell 3 different formulations of Dia...the current magnetic cap, the pre-magnetic cap version, and now , the old Khangar bottle version...to me, this is Amouage's most polite and laid back scent...the scent profile seems to say the same , but it seems to get progressively weaker as it goes along the years...the Khanjar version is definitely somewhat juicier and richer than the current version...a shame that in all 3 versions the projection and longevity are poor, because I do find this to be a very attractive scent and gives me much pleasure smelling it...I can understand comments that I've read comparing this in various ways to XXV...there's the incense, the flowers, the flavor of rich fruits and citruses...and there is a vague resemblance in the overall smell of the 2 fragrances...to me though , XXV is a true oriental , whereas Dia strikes me more as a quasi-oriental with a Western edge...I think if there was a designer scent at a decent price that smelled like this, it would be a smash hit with the general public...a gentleman's scent...
19th June, 2018

L'Eau Majeure d'Issey by Issey Miyake

Smells like a mature take on the sweet, modern aquatic. My first thought was Invictus Aqua, Mont Blanc Legend Spirit or something from Nautica but this seems to be a little more natural than those in the opening and turns out very nice. The drydown is much more ordinary, still fresh and pleasant but more synthetic. Not getting any citrusy yuzu, so this doesn't seem to have any original L'Eau d'Issey DNA to me.

Projection is average to good and longevity is very good, lasts all workday.
19th June, 2018

Supernova by Dua Fragrances

Does have a strong resemblance to Elysium but feels heavier and more peppery in the opening. Drydown kicks in fast, becomes lighter but still smells like Elysium which means I really like how it smells. That said, I prefer Elysium both in smell and performance by a large margin. Elysium smells brighter, more intense, with a more rich and full feel and performs slightly better in projection but so much more in longevity on my skin.

Projection is average while it lasts and longevity is in the 3-4 hour range on my skin.
18th June, 2018 (last edited: 19th June, 2018)

Déclaration by Cartier

I used to wear Eau D’Hermes, and Declaration reminds me of a fresher, brighter version of it. The dusty, dry spices and leather are all there, though it’s as if they serve to provide a backdrop for the silky and refined orange note, the same orange I couldn’t get enough of in Bulgari’s The Vert when it came out. There may be natural orange in here, too, but I’m picking up on a component with crazy radiance and longevity that has neither the bite nor the top-note-only volatility of natural orange oil. I first smelled this note in the Bulgari, so it makes me experience Declaration as being very much ot its time, though I wouldn’t call it dated - it’s far better than can be so easily dismissed.

Like my favorite classic colognes, I think Declaration smells less overtly masculine than it does overtly money! So elegant and interesting and masterful.

But keep in mind that I am sure not one to shy away from a good bone dry cumin note - I like L’Autre, too.
18th June, 2018

Colonia Intensa Oud Concentrée / Colonia Oud Concentrée by Acqua di Parma

WOW! Well crafted and extremely balanced from start to finish. Great longevity and sillage. The most unique Oud fragrance I own or have tried. It has the AdP dna for sure but the juice is so much more than the usual. Nice citrus with spice with a soapy type oud and musk combination with hints of leather. Exceptional IMO. A must have. Full bottle worthy. If you find this juice in your price range grab it up. Enjoy!
18th June, 2018

Oriental Pearl by Unknown

Most of Shanghai Tang's fragrances seem to be skin scents. Little or no sillage. This one is the exception. Oriental Pearl is your basic oriental style blend, with amber, patchouli, benzoin, labdanum, and a touch of vanilla. It has a smokiness to it resembling tobacco. It has a sweetness. It is a great, inexpensive perfume.
18th June, 2018

Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi

The ultimate powdery fragrance. A hint of delicate flowers. Musky, dusty sugar. Teint de Neige oozes femininity.
It brings to mind many different scenarios, of the women who would wear this. Femme fatale to demure, young Miss.
18th June, 2018

Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler did a 180 turn from his A Men (1996) and went away from the aromatic gourmand prototype which was that scent, making what is literally a modern take on a classic 18th century cologne. He didn't reinvent the wheel here, and instead just added a few modern twists to the citrus/flowers/herbs formula that eau de colognes always used going all the way back to Farina and 4711. The story has it that Mugler was trying to duplicate an ordinary bar of soap imported from Morocco that he liked, which was itself based on a traditional cologne fragrance. He wanted something different, something special about his cologne, so there is a purported "S Note" in the pyramid that remains unidentified as an ingredient. I'm going to be honest about this: It's really difficult to do a full thorough review about something that is just meant to be an update to a traditional and well-worn design. This is an eau de cologne with a little more beef than traditional varieties since it uses an actual base note to keep it on skin, whereas the older ones were just assorted smell-goods suspended in alcohol. Mugler does a good job with making something that can last as day wear better than anything actually from the 18th and 19th centuries in this category, but that's about all the kudos I can give.

You have to like traditional colognes to like this, and with much better options in both the niche realm and in higher-end designers, this just becomes more like the option for people who can only buy fragrances from Macy's. Mugler Cologne opens up with bergamot, lemon, neroli, and petitgrain, which is nothing out of the ordinary for this style. The separation from other colognes begins with the magical "S" note, which I can only denote as "savon" or soap, a waxy, kinda rosy, floral, round smell that you get from classic aromatic fougère compositions throughout the 70's and 80's, just dialed way down low so it doesn't disrupt the classic cologne vibe. The Orange flower and assorted herbs like sage and basil do the rest of the "greening up" of the scent until the white musk base comes in at the end, not too dissimilar to Caswell-Massey Number Six (1789). The overall vibe achieved by this combination is a classic cologne opening that merges with the soap and ends in the musk, so it's clean, very old-school, rather unisex as expected, but with a little more beef than the usual cologne, although that isn't to say it's long-lasting. One trick I do like is rubbing the area where the cologne is applied will reactivate the scent, so I guess the secret "S" has something to do with that, or does it?

All told, this is as good of a modern take on a classic cologne as can be expected from the designer realm, and although more expensive than a traditional cologne, isn't beyond the realms of attainability for the average stiff who likes this sort of thing. Alberto Morillas probably had fun being assigned to do something so prescribed and traditional as this, and there is a bit of that indescribable spunk you get from a "cover version" of an old song that I find here. I'm not super impressed by it because it's not distinctive besides the soap and musk additions, but I like it enough that it might one day find it's way into my collection, so it gets a thumbs up for me. I'd honestly view this as a slightly longer-lasting, and slightly soapier replacement for something like Farina or 4711, and although Atelier Cologne or anything from the Guerlain Imperiale line bests it, none of those will best it in price, which is where it counts for something this simple. Spending a lot of money on a good cologne just isn't necessary in the 21st century, and Mugler gets that, so this came along to provide the same, if not better level of performance that the old dogs from centuries past used to provide to nobility and the gentry classes. You'll find this in any good department store and where you use it doesn't matter, as it's just basic freshness in a bottle, pure and simple. Nice bottle too, I might add.
18th June, 2018

Tribute Attar by Amouage

This has so many things I love in a fragrance hitting my nose right from the start...I get the dirty and smoky orange rind that some people mention , but it lurks behind other facets...for me to get some enjoyment from that note i have to take a slow deep inhale and pause to catch on to it...dark/brooding/gothic/smoky are some of the descriptors that come to mind...an overall animalic feel...no civet or castoreum or anything along those lines...more of just an overall sense of wild feral animals roaming a dark wood with an ocassional wild rose blooming here and there...deep/rich/dark tobacco leaves...leather is there too...there's seems to be a lot of people out there that put this fragrance up on a pedestal, call it an oriental masterpiece and claim they found their holy grail...well, I have to say , I understand where they are coming from cause I'm on board with that...one of the most awesome fragrances I've ever smelled...get some great wood tones as it dries down...and, it goes without saying, this has a tremendous sprinkling of incense throughout...another one for my wish list... ( I do have a small decant what I believe was the most current version )...not a harsh smoke in this to my nose...more of a sweet smoke...IMHO , I think that Myths Man and Interlude Man are a sort of offshoot of this blueprint....mysterious deep dark rich smoky orientals...but that's just me...oh, and overall...this was definitely a incense/tobacco/leather scent to my nose...the rose did not really stand out for me...it's there, but not a key player to me..
18th June, 2018

L'Homme Ultime by Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme Ultime is poised as an "ultimate" version of the original YSL L'Homme (2006) composed a decade prior, and as an atypical flanker seeking to improve the original rather than supplement it, I'd say it's a mixed bag. In some ways, I do like it better than the first because it has a nice rose that wasn't in the first version, but in other ways, I find Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme Ultime to really be more of a supplement like it's brethren, because something is also lost. The original perfumers Domonique Ropion and Ann Flipo return, but Peter Wargyne sits out and is replaced with Juliette Karagueuzoglo, who has also worked on various other L'Homme flankers. Ultime is not spoken of quite as much as La Nuit de L'Homme (2009), a flanker that almost surpasses the original in popularity, and is far more ubiquitous, but Ultime is a silent-runner dark-horse champion that I feel is more perfumisto-friendly as a designer masculine that includes both ginger and rose, even if this includes only such enthusiasts interested in modern designers anyway. L'Homme Ultime won't set the world on fire, and neither did the original either, but for fans of that rarest of categories known as the masculine floral, this might be the closest one finds at a department store counter these days, if not diving into vintage or niche brands to find such a fix.

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme Ultime opens with a typical grapefruit replacing the bergamot of the first, and ginger reminiscent of it's forefather intact, but with an added twist of cardamom to make it even spicier. There's no calone in Ultime like there was in the first L'Homme, so that slightly round and sweet melon note won't give this the shimmer of the original. The middle of sage and geranium is coupled with rose instead of the typical lavender, with no sight of the pepper or violet the original contained. The rose/sage/geranium middle is the star of Ultime, and where perfume enthusiast will take greatest interest. Granted, it's no Amouage Lyric Man (2008), Ungaro I (1991) or even Azzaro Acteur (1989), but it definitely is a nice dry rose that compliments the brighter top components well. The base of vetiver and cedar plays another complimentary role and is filled in with the olfactory epoxy glue that is norlimbanol and ambroxan, so this is the point when vintage fans stuck on their oakmoss ask the waiter for the check please and bail out. Everyone else who has submitted to the Almighty Wizard of Shnozz and his My First Chemistry set will be use to the dry and slightly scratchy finish of this, which falls in line with Calvin Klein cK2 (2016), which is another grayed-out rose experiment, but not done as well and even more synthetic. performance is superior to the original in most regards, with longer life and greater projection, so that's a definite leg up.

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme Ultime is a modern mainstream masculine rose for the guy that wants a dumb-grab rose scent that isn't blatantly and obviously a rose perfume like something a lady friend would wear, but loves the idea of rose nonetheless. It's orchestrated in such a way that if it had just a few more natural ingredients and were just a bit stronger, it could almost be a niche release, but is of surprising quality anyway. Fans of the original will probably appreciate this one the best out of all the available choices in this line, since Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme Ultime seems to preserve the spirit of the first scent of the line best without just feeling like a cash-in on a name like most flankers. it rides a bit more romantic than the original scent, and is likewise good for spring, summer, and early fall use. Folks not a fan of the original will probably not find favor in Ultime either, unless a rose accord is enough to sway their opinion, but I'm a sucker for rose so this is a sure win for me. I admit it's faults and it's definitely a status-quo designer, but sometimes a plain ol' cheeseburger is fine. If we ate Filet Mignon every day, we'd lose our appreciation for the finer things, would we not? A drier, brighter, stronger, rose-powered but ultimately safe flanker to the stalwart L'Homme line. Two thumbs up.
18th June, 2018

Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Begins with cardamom and spice, for me. The tea, incense, and leather become oddly woody with an animalic accord. All this quickly passes in which the iris dominates on my skin. It is all iris from there on out. The middle notes could have lasted a bit more. I was enjoying the "skank". I DO enjoy my powdery irises so definitely a thumbs up, for that.
17th June, 2018

Figment Man by Amouage

Figment Man opens up huge and feral! Bright, fresh lemon. A throaty, spicy pepper. Deep animalic notes of earth and soil. I’d say that the ‘animal accord’ listed has a lot of civet in it with a muskiness that is slightly urinous in a very subdued, completely non-offensive way. As it dries you can begin to detect the subtlety sweet geranium come through along with some wet woods. The woody notes almost smell like old, dry, dead wood that has been dried and rehydrated multiple times over the years as it lay on the ground in someone’s flowerbed somewhere, and the labdanum present isn’t the sweet, gummy resin that’s secreted by our friend the rock rose plant, but is more like the cistus labdanum oil that’s made from the steam distilled leaves from the same plant. It’s a very bright/fizzy green, almost camphorous smell that’s robust and sharp. All of this excitement mixing together reminds me of gardening, fresh overturned earth, and being outside in the wet, springtime months. As it dries down further you lose the lemon and the pepper, but a smooth and smoky vetiver emerges in the background that sits beside that damp earthiness that stays present the entire duration of the fragrance. It has a vintage Kouros-like kick to it that’s definitely not typical of a lot of current fragrances on the market, and people that tend to like very robust animalics that long for vintage style fragrances, but are open to a modern twist, should definitely try this. I can see the comparison when people mention Zoologist: Bat, but the comparison is fleeting at best and can only be made because of the dampness if the earthen accord. Figment Man is far more complex and is more reminiscent of actual dirt/earth rather than the synthetic wet drywall-like note I got from Bat. I’ve also recently had the pleasure of getting to sample some beautiful mitti attar and I don’t know if that’s what Christopher Chong and Annick Menardo were going for, but I want to say that Figment Man is almost like an extremely amped up and more complex interpretation of something like that. This is a must try for anyone looking for realistic green earth scent, but be warned...this is definitely not for the faint of heart!
17th June, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Parfait de Rôses by Lancôme

On me I can detect two phases:

Firstly, the rose. The rose is fresh, light and elegant. More on the elegant side. Neither dark nor creamy, this rose is on the nimble side. There is an agreeable sweetness mixed with just enough greenness to balance out the sweetness.

Secondly, the second phase, constituted of a sweetish and non-distinct impression that is hard to characterise. The rose, initially still present, is inexorably swallowed by this olfactory melasse.

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

This spring scent’s rede is nice, but nothing truly special. The second phase is rather unimpressive, and the initial rose is not special enough to push this composition into the positive realm. 2.75/5.

17th June, 2018
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