Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 144555
Ratfink Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Aura by Thierry Mugler

Like wearing a nice pudding. Pleasant, but not exactly challenging. Bring back Womanity, at least that was interesting.
25th June, 2018

HOS N.001 by House of Sillage

This is a fabulous masculine that works on my femme skin. Candied wood. Bakery sweet. Spicy. Boozy vanilla. Smoked wood. Aromatic. Has depth.

The ingredients seem to show themselves one at a time, one after another. After settling, it is one big orchestra of oriental flavor. Overall it is very strong. A little goes a long way. Too expensive for my bank but, I'll continue to enjoy my sample until it's gone. Two thumbs up!
24th June, 2018

Parfum d'Habit by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

I've tried a couple different samples of this now. I feel like there could be iris in this. Something, at least, maybe the leather, is giving me an impression of iris (orris root).

If I understand correctly, the oldest bottles are red with an argyle pattern (pictured above), the second version (of the bottles at least - I'm not sure about the fragrance in this case) is red with no argyle pattern, and the current version is clear glass. I see that they offer samples from their website, so I might try to get the current version to compare to the samples I have. On eBay, the second version bottles are available for about the cost of the current version.

At the moment, I feel like this is my co-favorite fragrance from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier along with Eau Des Iles. I need to give both of them multiple wearings to see how my impressions develop over time, and there are a bunch of other fragrances from this house worth sampling and/or further sampling.

I'd like a more convincingly definitive notes list for this. The one from above is Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, and Leather. The one on their web site at the moment is Petitgrain, Bergamot, Blackcurrant buds; Patchouli, Geranium, Encens; and Leather, Sandalwood, Vanilla, and Ambergris. Why do I think I might be smelling orris root? And maybe lavender?

I definitely like this, and a bottle is going on my wish list, although I'm not sure which version.
24th June, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Lancetti Homme by Lancetti

Lancetti Lui (Homme) is a refined spicy/green/aromatic fragrance for men, founded on a well calibrated accord of citrus, artemisia, spicy geranium, resins, cedarwood and vetiver. The juice is classic in execution but quite modern and wearable. Aromatic herbs exalt the mediterranean nature of the juice. A minimal addition of soothing vanilla and tulu balsam (well combined with mild spices, resins, lemon and greens) soothens the elements providing a fantastically smooth refined final trail (spicy, citrusy, delicately floral, slightly balmy-resinous and vetiver-laced). Patchouli emerges gradually, well connected to subtle frankincense, vetiver and spices. Classy-virile-restrained-woody (a la Battistoni Marte, just spicier and brighter), fresh and vaguely exotic-resinous (a la Montana Parfum d'Homme). A great fragrance for office-wear but also for a "southern unforgetable spring time mediterranean holiday".
24th June, 2018

Civet by Zoologist Perfumes

Starts out modern. Finishes in a retro style. Begins with fruity, spicy, lively notes. Moves into somewhat smoky florals. Drifts away into a familiar base of aromatic, oriental notes. Resinous, a slight of animal. The base reminds me of perfumes made in the middle of the last century.
24th June, 2018

Bentley for Men Intense by Bentley

A nice, classic oriental, similar in style to Opium Pour Homme and Fragonard Siecle, and to a lesser extent, Chanel Coromandel and Chanel Egoiste.

The base of Opium Pour Homme turns ugly on me, and Fragonard Siecle is a little off / misses the mark, but I love this style, and Bentley for Men Intense seems well done to me.

It's just the right amount of sweet for the style (maybe just barely too sweet as it develops). It smells like an upgrade on Opium Pour Homme edp.
24th June, 2018

Derring-Do for Men by Ineke

Derring Do is a well put together marine fougere, combining traditional Grey Flannel-esque fougere elements (lavender and tonka with violet leaf) with bright lemon and mint on top, backed up with 90's melon-ish marine elements.

Anything in this genre will inevitably draw comparisons to Creed - in this case, the uplifting lemon and mint make Derring Do significantly happier and less dank than Green Irish Tweed, landing it closer to Millessime Imperiale, but without the Creed richness in the base. The combination of lemon and faux melon also calls to mind CK One, while there are shades of L'Eau d'Issey as well in the abstract melon background.

All in all, no points for originality, but I like the balance between light and dark in Derring Do - all the elements fit together perfectly.
24th June, 2018

Civet by Zoologist Perfumes

Another stunner from Zoologist!
Opens similar to Jazmin Sarai's Solar 1.
I suppose it's the Oakmoss and Civet which pushes up a great Fruity,Spicy, Musky cloud.
Black Pepper and Carnation Camphour set back the Tuberose to allow a full bloom of Frangipane to create some tropical come hither.
Labdanum weaves it's Leathery feel throughout.
Heliotrope with the Ylang Ylang and Vanilla give it some Gourmandy flavour.
Altogether a really nice blend of a large number of notes, into a smooth symphony.
I get rather long sillage and a perfumed skin hum.
It settles to Resins and trails off into incense.
23rd June, 2018 (last edited: 24th June, 2018)

Dragonfly by Zoologist Perfumes

I knew this was going to be good before I tried it, having read Darvant's review. Damn, I wish could write like that!
This scent is so very poetically Feminine, brilliantly watercoloured and orchestrated to a sweet powdery thing.
Just when I feel it will become saturated and border cloying dry sweetness, a dab of Aquatic, Watermelon, Calonic draws it back to some moisture.
This Calonic is something that few noses can handle with finesse. ex. O'Driu Ta
While it is an enjoyable ride on my skin, it seems a little too pretty for my Masculine daily wear.
Gosh though, on a woman, with it's lack of Ambroxinized bluster, what a gorgeous thing!
23rd June, 2018 (last edited: 24th June, 2018)

Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme by Gucci

Borderline thumbs down. This isn't something I'd be excited to wear again, or to smell on someone else. There's something interesting about it that keeps it from a thumbs down, but I didn't find it pleasant. It smells like something that would be marketed as oud.
23rd June, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Jean-Christophe Herault by IFF

Not exactly sure
Why great booze is postmodern
But I'll sniff to that.
23rd June, 2018

Dior Homme Cologne (2013) by Christian Dior

Dior Homme with more citrus and no iris. Smells a lot like Dior Homme Sport to me. Smells nice but isn’t my favorite in the Dior Homme line and doesn’t excite me in any way as I feel there are better warm weather options.

Projection is average but longevity is good, lasts all workday.
23rd June, 2018

Chemical Bonding by Ineke

My favorite of the Ineke line, Chemical Bonding is a nicely complex tea smell. The tea illusion comes from a mix of sage and citrus, balanced with fruity coriander and given significant depth by bay rum elements. Meanwhile, there's a gingerbread undertone, while I suspect a lavender fougere may be hiding in plain sight as well.

But the real fireworks come from the vetiver. The inky, iodine elements of the vetiver counteract with the flowery herbal tea to surround everything in a thin veil of artsy weirdness that really elevates Chemical Bonding.

I'd highly recommend Chemical Bonding to vetiver fans looking for something clever, as well as tea fans. It could also appeal to people who enjoy a Commes Des Garcons vibe, or even scents like L'Artisan's Tea For Two.
23rd June, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Balmy Days & Sundays by Ineke

A rather dated green aquatic floral that lives halfway between L'Eau d'Issey and a 1998 Bath & Body Works cucumber/melon soap. Here and now, this honestly smells like Purell hand sanitizer more than a proper artistic perfume, but if you really like 90's-style hyper-clean marine scents, this could be a fit. But sadly, it's not for me.
23rd June, 2018

Royal Oud by Creed

My search for a more gentle masculine Frederick Malle French Lover relative took me to Creed's Spice and Wood and from that to this. Note there is a feminine version of this so this should be safely masculine. Never assume.
The Spice and Wood is indeed warmer and slightly spicier and more gentle than the superb FM FL which is dare I say it a bit too austere for cold days. However the Royal Oud goes down another path. Innate in the name really. Think Sheikhs and flowing multicoloured silk thobes and you've got it. Less subtle, more flowery or shall we say effeminate. Starts off fine and fresh but quickly becomes cloying, gets up your nose and stays that way.
Not for me but there will be plenty of people who swear by this thinking that they are making the elegant decision in lieu of all the dreadful cheaper blast to the senses designer fragrances . A masterpiece of product placement by Creed, but a bit too obvious in its intention and disappointingly lacking in adventure and innovation. No Arabian nights here.
That said there may be some more mature women which this suits down to the ground depending on skin chemistry.

Fragrance: 2.75/5
Projection: 3.5/5
Longevity: 4/5
22nd June, 2018 (last edited: 24th June, 2018)

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Anne Flipo by IFF

Chypwrecked on Ifra,
We hid our oakmoss in the
Heart of patchouli.

The movie ended
Standing at the crossroads of
Possibility.

The beauty of the
Olfactory steel I-beam
Lies in its future.
22nd June, 2018

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

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

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
Advertisement