Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

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Dubai Ruby by Bond No. 9

Dubai Ruby is a unisex sensual fragrance housed in a beautiful gold & red star shaped bottle; very nice indeed!

It evokes a blend of East meets West on a hot summer night; I would swear there is a blend of gardenia/tuberose & rose in the heart similar to B9; again very beautifully done.

I have sampled it a few times and am finding the longevity a little bit shorter than most Bonds; was it meant to be worn in Hot Dubai weather?
I shall carry on using my sample until I understand the fragrance a bit better.

I wonder if a Tola oil might become available in the future for cooler weather use to ensure usual Bond longevity.

Thumbs up!
02nd May, 2016

Calycanthus Brumae by Acqua di Stresa

Acqua di Stresa Calycanthus Brumae is aromatic and piquant (extremely peppery and cardamomish), gingery and mildly spicy (cloves and nutmeg??), silent and mystic, humid and susurrant, cottony and breezy. Supremely musky, vaguely minty-waxy, deeply spicy-vegetal, floral (in a sort of softly honeyed way) and delicately laundry (spicy/soapy laundriness). It ideally evokes nostalgic afternoons along a mountainous lake's shore with the vision of a little picturesque town rooted gracefully bottom up a promontory. Arcane as the memory of disappeared toiletries of your childhood. This juice speaks about wet rural dawns and old cottages surrounded by nature. The scent opens kind of soapy-anisic-spicy (vaguely victorian, with hints of pepper, ginger, green notes and aromatic spices) and unveils a perfect final cocktail of aqueous frankincense, aromatic floral notes (camphoraceous Calycanthus), secret roots, woods and musks. Dry down is a cottony whisper of pure nostalgia. A pity for the faint duration on my skin. Synth but not too much. A poetic little shadowy juice for struggling souls.
01st May, 2016 (last edited: 02nd May, 2016)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

The two main phases are obvious: the leathery-smoky opening, combining a deep and slightly harsh leather with a smoky, campfire-cum-barbecue impression. Which on my skin is never overly intrusive or unpleasant. Rich - yes, intensive - yes, deep - yes, but all well combined.

The leather is quite dark, and a bit like an old leather coat, with hardly any gasoline not present - this is much less bold, raw and gutsy than Knize Ten; it is deeper and darker than Cuiron and also than the Cuir of the Nombre d'Or series.

A green, slightly herbal and slightly floral transition leads to the second phase, which sees a fairly dark vanilla together with a Taueresque sweetly-spicy incense impression; a synthetic sandal wood together with the spice keep the sweetness in check; this composition is never overly sweet, sickly or cloying; the balance is quite impressive.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a great eleven hours of longevity.

The wintery fragrance displays many of the features characteristics for many of Tauer's products. Very pleasant and blended very well, overall very nice. 3.25/5.
01st May, 2016
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Love Shot by Ex Nihilo

Ex Nihilo Love Shot is a pleasant surprise for me. I have to admit that its name was initially kind of misleading about the orientation of my expectations since I was frankly expecting something less complex, less elegant, probably more experimental, fruity and abrasive. On the contrary Love Shot is far more classic in style and articulated than it seemed. First of all this is a feminine juice in my humble opinion, a really elegant french modern floral-chypre with a classic musky-spicy background conjuring holy classics from Ungaro, Cartier, Van Cleef&Arpels, Fendi, Ysl or Estee Lauder. The aroma is multifaceted, bright, spacious, musky/floral, fruity, woody, herbal, spicy, sophisticated and hyper elegant like a classic piece of french traditional perfumery. The kind of woman jumping on mind is sensual, dynamic and always maniacal in "fresh chic loveliness". There must be included far more notes beyond the listed raspberries, musk and lether imo. The latter is like a silky twist surrounding all the elements by a smooth final velvety embrace. It seems to detect hesperides, spices, aldehydes, florals (violet, rose, sambac jasmine, osmanthus?), patchouli, balsamic elements, vanilla and may be sandalwood, anyway I suppose the performer Nathalie Gracia-Cetto is surely "filled with" classic french tradition but at same time witting about secrets of modern neo-classic perfumery represented by creations a la Chanel Mademoiselle Coco but also Thierry Mugler Angel, Lumiere Noir Femme and further (minimalistic musky complexity). Actually, depite its classic background it is undeniable Love Shot is a modern chypre with a musky super smooth (and cleaner) final twist (a la Kurkdjian) that is glamour-chic, clean and fresh all at once. Love Shot combines gracefully a traditional spicy/woody/vegetal chypre tradition with fresh muskiness, colourful fruitiness (a well calibrated red-berrish presence) and fluidy spiciness, overall enveloped by a silky-chic modern musky/leathery touch. Yes, should probably be appropriate to say "minimalistic but not simplistic". The outcome is like a new age Ysl Paris, something surely "cleaner" but yet balanced, structured, hyper parisian, spacious and elegant. A great neo-classic for a modern "power-lady" projected towards future but even aware about that insuperable french tradition that is the holy repertory of the elegance's history.
30th April, 2016 (last edited: 02nd May, 2016)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Noontide Petals by Tauer

A strongly aldehydic bergamot refreshes my nostrils with a summery opening vibe - not uncreative and also pleasant! Soon it is softened by floral impressions in the drydown, with the ylang-ylang dominant on my skin, supported by a more discrete tuberose. It is never really a sweet composition on my skin.

The base is clearly a turn into the woodsy territory, but the wood is rather nonspecific except from occasionally a synthetic sandal arising, with whiffs of a tame and somewhat pale sandalwood shining through here and there. A bit of vanilla and a good helping of styrax characterise the final stretch.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin, although it is performing less well after the first half.

An agreeable summer scent, with a nice concept but not rivetingly exciting and a bit uninspiring in the second half. 3/5.
30th April, 2016

Tola Pure Oil: Bond No. 9 Perfume by Bond No. 9

I have had an spiritual connection with Bond no 9 since I became introduced to the House about 8 years ago; the fragrances had a magical attraction and the clear glass bottles did enchant me.

I became a lover of the classic collection; the compositions were so well done that I would only wear fragrances from this house for years. My lovely Harrods SA (Miss J) enhanced this wonderful experience...

Signature became one of my all time favourites; when the Tola range arrived I fell in love again with Bond...

This Tola has moisturising oil with the essence of Bond no 9 signature fragrance: rose, musk & oud. The result is fruity but ever so uplifting...

Ideal for anointing after a shave without the sting of alcohol.

I am in Love again...

Excellent Longevity

Thumbs up!
30th April, 2016

Paradise for Men by Alfred Sung

Do you know what really ruins most aquatic fragrances? There is a common theme which apparently can't be avoided in order to keep the 'fresh' aesthetic alive; most aquatic scents have too much cardamom and very flimsy base notes.
The very essence of the genre is in the impossibly fresh top notes (which never last). Modern men's fragrances have overwhelmingly avoided the early 90's floral approach to mid range after many failed attempts, and likely because there is a huge American bias in our mindset which states "flowers=women." The bases of these then fresh-but-not-floral creations resort to clouded or screechy synthetic woody bases which do absolutely nothing to support the rest of the development. This means the fragrance is a burst of money-grabbing top notes followed by a precipitate nothingness, a vacuous anti-fragrance borne of the wanting for the opening to last forever (as it is the only selling point) and an immediate need to bail the water out of the boat as the vessel quickly sinks.
Paradise smells as lovely as many dozen fragrances just like it, but only for half an hour. After that it is the same forgettable, sinking ship that most aquatics bring to mind.
If I smelled this on a passerby I couldn't tell you with any degree of certainty what it was.
30th April, 2016

Dirty English by Juicy Couture

Not bad but not good either just bleh. It shouldn't offend anyone so it is good for weekend wear or the office. No aspect of this juice is offensive to my nose but nothing about it makes me want to keep smelling it either.
29th April, 2016

Chess by Yves de Sistelle

The ginger and spice notes barely reach a register above a smooth, slightly powdery amber-guaiac and supple suede accord. The effect is quite comforting, actually, even if mild and rather unidimensional. No gambits, no sharp attacks -- this one is a positional Queen's Gambit Declined where a drawn position is quickly reached on the board. But because this outcome is the result of proper, blunder-free (even if somewhat unambitious) play, my neutral rating tilts slightly upwards.
29th April, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Rose Flash by Tauerville

Indeed a rose mono-floral composition, but not boring: the rose is brightish, with a distinct fruity component initially, but soon a greeninsh-herbaceous undertone is evident. Later rich rose blossom dominates, and towards the end woody impressions come and go. All these permutations keep it interesting.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent and the longevity an impressive twelve hours on my skin.

A spring scent galore for the rise lover. 3.25/5.
29th April, 2016

East India by Beaufort London

This is real bold spices with a peppery piquant prickliness layered upon black tea and whiskey filtered tobacco. Lots of character is present in East India and thankfully these spices avoid the downfall of a sweet vanilla ending. Thank you for sparing us that. I can not imagine wearing this in warm weather. But, there is a ton of character in here with a smoldering tarry dark glow that will warm the darkest night. I would rate it 3.5, maybe 4 of 5 gold stars for this fine creation from the Beaufort London perfumery lab.
28th April, 2016

1805 by Beaufort London

1805 is a salt water brined, old leather blend stained with hints of gun powder, tobacco and balsam woods. All in all a very pleasant masculine outdoorsy leather scent. There are a couple of things that throw people off about this fragrance. The first is a marketing description which describes the scent as a sea battle which ends in gunpowder blasts and blood stained seas, bits of old ships broken up etc. - all BS of course. Just disregard all this since it doesn't smell like that, but there is enough there to influence how you read the scent when first applying it. Disregard the attempt to ruin the fragrance by its art direction. Second problem is poor bottling practice - early bottles, the one I received for example, was released before the oils were fully blended or emulsified. It smelled raw, disjointed and kind of awful - for the first few months. I had to let my bottle rest for a few months to allow the ingredients to meld and the fragrance improved dramatically with the aging. I would give it a 4 of 5 stars, however the potential for it to be rated much lower is present due to the reasons mentioned above. Test carefully before jumping in on this one.
28th April, 2016

Musiqa Oud by Nishane

A well rounded, rich, warm expanding slightly animalic oud with a natural deer musk aspect. This fragrance has a similar warm sweet musk you find in Muscs Koublai Khan but there is an additional complexity from the oud and woods base. Don't know where the animalic floral musk tone comes from, but it is there. Rather than smelling like an oud oil it has the character of a mukhallat oil blend of jasmine animalics, or possibly musk gazelle with oud, safran leather and gaiac wood. The overall impression is very bold highly projecting oud that is quite a positive charge with its bold oud and sweet musk aspect. I rate it 3 of 5 stars, downgrading it only on personal compatibility with this profile. The fragrance is bold, lasts well and is artistically assembled. But, this is not my thing at all as it is just too potent for my taste.
28th April, 2016
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Electric Wood by Room 1015

Tested from a 5ml sample.
Not sure what to say about this one. I love the smell of wood, especially when it's crisp, clean, cold and dry, when it actually smells of real wood. For me this fragrance is dominated by an oddly sweet, musky, warm aspect (I guess from the listed notes the ambroxan, which I've never smelled in pure form, so I'm guessing). I even thought leather at first. It kind of smells of a "thing", not a person, animal or flower or tree or anything natural in any way. When I was a child my parents had an old record player and the smell when you opened the lid reminds me of this oddly enough. For me this drowns out the wood, which only shines through beautifully in glimpses. Definitely goes powdery after a while too, which gives that feminine make-up kind of feeling that I'm not overly keen on smelling on my own skin. I'm going to pass on this for now. I've got enough of the sample left to come back to it another time when I might feel differently.
April 2016.
28th April, 2016

Polo Supreme Oud by Ralph Lauren

Wow! This is my third experience wearing RL Supreme Oud and it is great IMHO. With my limited experience with the Oud note I do know that some can come off smelling ummm "different". M7 Oud Absolu (which is a top five in my collection) this is not. This doesn't have the "cola vibe" that M7OA does. It is good with great longevity (7 to 8 hours) and projection is average to me (3 hours). Now that the price has started to come down (at least online) people looking for a nice Oud scent that won't offend need to look no further. Enjoy!
28th April, 2016

1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums

I like this fairly well. It smells like a sweet tobacco perfume, but then I do not see tobacco listed; so maybe I am smelling the birch, leather, and vanilla.
28th April, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vanilla Flash by Tauerville

Yes, yummy vanilla galore, sweet but not sticky or cloying m, medium heavy, rich, intensive, a touch creamy and with elements of natural goodness - veering into the realm of the gourmand.

There is enough variation to prevent boredom, with at times a floral undertone, and towards the end a touch of a smooth and fairly bright patchouli. He opportunity to play out a harsher and crispier patchouli against the vanilla sweetness could have been grasped here by other perfumers, but Tauer opted for a more tone-in-tone interplay of the patchouli and the clearly dominant vanilla - a valid approach. The rather perfunctory tobacco sidekick, however, is nothing to write home about.

The performance is impressive, with moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb fourteen hours of longevity on my skin.

A well-balanced but rich wintery vanilla delight, maybe a tad linear and not particularly nuanced, but made of high-quality ingredients and well blended. 3.25/5.
28th April, 2016

Cuir 28 by Le Labo

Cuir 28 is a fine enough fragrance, and it’s, without a doubt, a leather-forward scent. But, at the price point Le Labo’s playing in, “fine enough” doesn’t cut it.

I don’t find this one to be all that refined. The birch tar/smoke aspect overwhelms at the opening, and it seems at odds with the rest of the composition throughout. On paper, they make sense together, but, in practice, they seem to maintain a tense relationship with each other, never quite settling into any sense of cohesion.

The effect doesn’t ruin the fragrance, by any means, and in some ways it seems quite fitting for a Le Labo scent to behave in this way. It’s something that simultaneously amps up a sense of more-than-adequate sillage, and it hearkens back to Le Labo’s all-natural bent and individual approach to order fulfillment.

Still, while it may function as something of a calling card for the house of Le Labo, it does so at substantial cost to overall smoothness and sense of refinement. And that’s not something I’m willing to spend $290 on.

But, the most shocking thing about Cuir 28, especially after experiencing that almost assaultive opening that seems to suggest this scent will last on you for a week, is it’s awful longevity.

I applied a good amount of C28 just about 3 hours ago, and all that remains is a slight/powdery skin scent. So, while this beast might snarl when first approached, it also whimpers away with its tail between its legs far too soon. I feel like a broken record here, but I find that unacceptable at this price point.

If Cuir 28 cost a fraction of it’s going rate, I would consider giving it a neutral rating. But, I expect near-perfection at this price point, and Cuir 28 is resoundingly imperfect, earning it a thumbs down.
28th April, 2016

Venenum Kiss by Ex Nihilo

Don't be scared guys since this beastly kiss is anything but a shy caress up there over the frothy clouds of dreamy heaven. Ex Nihilo Venenum Kiss is basically a "by now" conventional rose/saffron/woods based accord but while this "mainstrean" chord tends recently (in many contemporary releases) to be "around" mastered by massively synth agarwood's resins (sometimes supported by frankincense or animalics) in here it projects its daintiness in a softer and drier way. Many recent "rose/oudh/saffron experiments" from Dueto (City Oud), Onyrico (Enygma), Avery (Y), Tiziana Terenzi (Gold Rose Oudh), Xerjoff etc jump in my "crooked" mind but Venenum Kiss (despite its misleading kind of vampiric name) seems a softer, romantic and kind of less visceral experiment. There is an almost semi-gourmand (or better balmy-smooth with nutty-honeyed shades) suaveness all around while structure and evolution are frankly poor in performance. There is finally a spicy orangy/vanillic, rosey, fruity (apricot-nuanced) and creamy-woody (creamy sandalwood) smooth "olfactory basement" which seems anyway averagely dry, simil-chocolately and with hints of aromatic freshness (honestly my nose is unable to pick up any artemisia). A beautiful cloudy scent finally vanillic, mildly resinous (styrax) and almost creamy. Not my genre but a nice piece of soapy aromatic delicacy.
27th April, 2016 (last edited: 28th April, 2016)

Paul Smith for Men by Paul Smith

I have had a bottle of this scent for over 12 years and find it to be a great spring / summer scent. Not to strong but I do find it does last five to six hours on me in the summer. Fresh, clean citrus with some brisk vetiver in the dry down. Considering the price online this is a complete winner. Enjoy!
27th April, 2016

Polo Red Intense by Ralph Lauren

A solid thumbs up. I find it similar to Boss Bottled in the sweetness/gourmand vibe. The scent is well constructed. Gives a solid four hours of projection and lasts close to six hours on me with two sprays. It isn't the end all be all but it is good. Worthy of adding it to your collection if you don't mind some sweetness. Enjoy!
27th April, 2016

Skulls & Roses for Him by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]

This is definitely in the same genre of fragrance as Fierce but I am not willing to write it off as a "me too" scent. Skulls and Roses for Men has a slight island breeze pina collada vibe but this dies out quickly in favor of a generic dry, light fresh musk scent. The cardamom and moss adds an exotic dry tone that differentiates this from Fierce or Bleu but also keeps it as more of a background or context scent. The base is dry light musk - no powder. This scent is great for a hardly noticeable background fresh and shiny glow that will not grab attention or be offensive. This would be okay for an outdoor working scent or a workout fragrance - it is light, clean enough to pull that off. Yes it does lack some individuality but it is a great, hate to use the word but "fresh" scent that works fine as a cheap body spray or deodorant alternative. Ed Hardy offer this in a deodorant style dry body spray version at the grocery and it us good in that purpose.
27th April, 2016

Loewe Pour Homme Sport by Loewe

Starts with sharp citrus and a healthy dose of pepper on my skin, soon followed by a dry cedar note that is quite nicely done. After about a half hour, the spiciness is substituted by aquatic accord while the citrus remains present. The watery notes are accompanied in the background by aromatic herbs and the cedarwood. The projection starts moderate and is dropping to skin level within 2 hours. After 5 hours all that remains is a soft aromatic skin scent that doesn't say much. The overall feel is pleasant, especially the first hours; it's the kind that will not offend anyone but will not wake any excitement either as it is pretty safe, generic and synthetic mostly in the drydown, the traditional "sport" cologne.
27th April, 2016

Kenzo Homme Night by Kenzo

I fell in love with this fragrance as soon as I sprayed it on a blotter ! And fell even more in love with it when I put it on my skin. As a woman, I like to wear masculine fragrance (even though I don't believe in gender in fragrance) and this one is the best masculine perfume I discovered last year. I really like Kenzo perfumes, for men and women, and this one is my fav on the brand so far :)And the sillage is pretty good.
27th April, 2016

An Air of Despair by Imaginary Authors

This is a comfort smell for me, in the short time I have experienced it. I am in the UK and obtained a sample and managed to find a retailer over here selling it, and ordered a 30ml bottle within the day.

At the moment, even when I am wearing other fragrances at home, I'll spray some on to the back of my right hand, so that I can sniff it at my leisure, like a freak.

It reminds me of childhood scenarios, one being travelling in the back of a relative's rickity Morris Minor Traveller, through the country lanes of Co.Offaly, Ireland. Another, wooden furniture in junior schools and youth establishments. All circa late seventies, early eighties.

It's simple, but I likes it, soft brown leatherwood, or something. Shame it is a limited edition.

27th April, 2016

Jour d'Hermès by Hermès

This is a brisk, warm-weather daytime scent that will get you out of the house, to the office, or to brunch, or out shopping without much hassle. It combines spiky grapefruit and soft, musky melon, with gardenia and lily eventually blooming to add texture, softening and bolstering the perfume to a gentle but persistent, creamy whole. Green notes freshen up the middle and prevent this composition from becoming overpoweringly sweet--just right for mornings when the senses need a little extra stimulation.

Sillage and projection are fairly minimal in cooler temperatures, but this scent blooms nicely in heat. It smells fresh, and flirts with soapy, but ultimately pulls back from the edge. But the best part of this perfume is its greenness, chilly and unexpected, peeking through its florals and fruit, adding sophistication that isn't apparent on first glance. (Nice bottle, too!)

27th April, 2016

Bois Oriental by Serge Lutens

This is more wood than spice to my nose. The amber and vanilla dominate and tone down the cedar. I don't get any of the fruit or floral notes either.

It comes across as a simplistic wood scent, pleasant but unremarkable. It is very light to the point of almost non-existance. I have found this with the other Bois flankers of this line (Bois et Fruits, Bois et Musc), Lutens using less oil concentration than in other fragrances (I have sampled half of the house's output at this point).

Definitely not worth the price.
27th April, 2016

1996 : Inez & Vinoodh by Byredo

Seemingly one of Byredo's more popular cold-weather-friendly fragrances, 1996 was one that stuck out to me when I visited the house's downtown NYC shop this past fall, and in finally getting around to trying it, I can see this being a unisex winner for many.

the juniper in the opening does announce its presence like spilled gin, but very quickly the heart of iris exposed and as it begins to dry down. In a semi-gourmand sense, the iris is intense enough to remind me of Dior Homme Intense but certainly the amber is the dominant note of the dry down, transitioning scent from powdery sharpness to creamy, powdery sweetness.

The overall experience is, as its taxonomy suggests, mainly a mix of powder (via iris) and amber. Patchouli gives an earthiness to the drydown but only subserviently to the amber. Certainly the entire character of the fragrance is cold-weather-leaning, as I imagine this would be too overpowering and cloying in the summer, nor do any of the notes speak to a warm outdoor experience.

Performance is excellent, strong for both projection and longevity. This one certainly won't let you down in that respect.

1996 only seems to be available in a 50ml EDP, and at $175, is understandably slightly higher than most its Byredo kin, as it does seem to perform better than most.

Overall, it's a little too powdery for my liking but I believe Byredo has achieved something excellent in 1996, which could be a winter staple for men or women alike.

7 out of 10
27th April, 2016

La Nuit Trésor by Lancôme

OMG. I tried on this one yesterday because of the so many reiews around the web and I cannot stop sniffing my wrist, even after a shower and one layer of scented body moisturizer.

Seriously, I want to rip my skin and eat that area where the fragrance was set. But, even though it is so nice and soft and comfy, I already own more than one gourmand and this one is too edible and familiar.

It is mainly praline all the way, pretty linear, but you can still get hints of vanilla and lychee.
27th April, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Coeur de Noir by Beaufort London

The top note is somewhat unexpected: a bit of an old and musty leather seat, dusty whiffs with the aroma of an old and neglected library - more private basement book collection than All Souls Library - and a hint of a slightly boozy tonka in the background.

The drydown states with a slightly greenish-earthy phase, where a mild and unusually restrained ginger appears, but soon a rather rich cedar impression arises and inexorably grows in intensity. A nice cedar, with only a modicum of pencil shavings and quite natural - reminding me a bit of Le Labo's work with this wood note.

The base notes sees a very attenuated birch tar added on, but the cedar remains in the leading role, fading out very slowly, with the dusty leather a bit stronger in my skin towards the end.

The performance is impressive, with moderate sillage, excellent projection and a tremendous thirteen hours in longevity on me - splendid.

Overall, an autumnal creation that is a bit like an toned-down and cedar-infused version of a East India of the same house. The quality of the ingredients is superb and it is well blended, although it lacks a bit of brilliance and excitement. 3.25/5.
27th April, 2016