Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 138319

Eau Fraîche by Monsillage

Eau Fraiche by Monsillage is a very conventional citrus fragrance dominated by lemon-verbena, and on a vetiver base with a hint of sheer musk. There is only a bare hint of herbs that renders only the slightest abstraction. I detect absolutely zero lavender in this. In the first minute there is a disconcerting synthetic element that soon settles down and brings to fore the citrus. Thereafter it is nice but unremarkable, and fades away in about four to five hours (which is fair for a citrus). Sillage is initially lively, but soon close to skin.

While Eau Fraiche is nothing bad, it is too simplistic, too bare-bone and lacks the balance and abstraction of other traditional citrus such as Eau Sauvage, Blenheim Bouquet or Concentre d'Orange Verte. Too trivial and too forgettable. The negative rating is influenced by the initial jarring element, especially considering the price and the market segment it is aimed at.

2/5
24th September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Halloween in Los Angeles by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Burning grass with sage

The opening combines a herbal grassy note with a well-executed overarching burning expression. The smoky burning note is beautifully done.

Overtime the herbal side moves gradually into the foreground, mainly sage with hints of basil.

The sillage is moderate, the projection good and the longevity is seven hours on my skin.

Very nice and quite unique; maybe al allusion to wildfires? 3.5/5
23rd September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Halloween in San Francisco by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Salt and rain-soaked leaves

A fresh herbal notes combining celery and grass impression with a salty undertone, but without any clear citrus component: still a fresh opening.

Later on the salty parts recedes, and the whole becomes smoother with woodsy noted in the background.

I get moderate sillage, limited projection and five hours of longevity 3/5
23rd September, 2017
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Cedrat Boise by Mancera

A quite fruity (kind of apparently berrish and surely lemony) sophisticated creamy sandalwood. There is a quite present lemony/grassy aura (the cedrat vibe) which is musky and floral (definitely classic in effect - some old school or classically appointed sandalwood/jasmine-implementations from Estee Lauder or Mark Buxton jump vaguely on mind). The "sandalwood/jasmine/black currant connection" is surely central. I detect the "Cedrat Boise-effect" but the note of sandalwood (a floral sophisticated musky sandalwood) is equally dominant. Feminine.
23rd September, 2017

Vanilla Flash by Tauerville

Vanilla Flash is centred around a linear accord of vanilla and spices, laced with a touch of rose and patchouli. It's dry, non-sweet and even an abstract vanilla, as the spices dominate. In fact, vanilla is rather in the background of this accord, and doesn't stand out. The fragrance approximates the smell of root beer in the first hour or so, before the vanilla becoming just a bit more prominent and softening the spicy edge. Nonetheless, there is not much contrast and hardly any interplay of notes.

Vanilla Flash possesses moderate longevity but sits close on the skin, emanating a very soft sillage. While it isn't below par, Vanilla Flash is insubstantial and lacks any sort of depth or complexity. One would suggest Eau des Baux, Volutes and Eau Duelle as more compelling alternatives.

2.5/5
23rd September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Lierre by Diptyque

Green, green, green - that is the core of the the top notes here. The ivy leaves blend with a - somewhat less impressive- geranium, but it is the cyclamen that really puts its defining stamp on this mixture. Crisp, a touch fresh, like sitting is an ivy-clad garden in early spring. Very well made.

Unfortunately, like so often, after a commercially advisable attention-grabbing initial phase that is meant to prompt the sampling customer in the shop towards an impulse-purchase of the product, from the drydown onwards it is much less impressive. Whilst the touch of mild green pepper in the heart notes is not bad, the base with its ordinary woodsy white musks is rather unoriginal and dull.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and seven hours on longevity on my skin.

This spring creation deserves a lot of credit for the lovely top notes, with the rest developing from acceptable to boring and completely generic towards the end. Overall in the positive realm, but by a narrow margin only. 3.25/5.
23rd September, 2017

Black Gold by Ormonde Jayne

I was captivated when smelling the opening notes of this fragrance; it seemed sophisticated, unusual and obviously constructed with the very best materials. In fact, I was utterly fascinated by Black Gold's top notes which smell of exotic wood, oudy lacquer, nutmeg(?), and some type of fruit, combined with juniper and sage and sparkling hints of citrus. This beginning was so enticing that I shocked to discover that the dry down--while apparently filled with amber and genuine sandalwood--was decidedly less fascinating. In fact, if I'm honest, I'd say it was horrifying. There is something in this scent's latter progression that reminds me of the woody dryness of a CdG scent combined with a dreaded note so sharp and piercing and (I'm sorry!) synthetic smelling that I was forced to take a bath after 2 hours of wearing this. There is elegance and real artistry at Black Gold's onset, but the latter stage (which goes on forever) reminds me of certain strident and highly artificial 'masculine' scents from the '90s. I'd give this a thumbs up for the opening and a thumbs down for the dry down.
22nd September, 2017 (last edited: 23rd September, 2017)

Sugi by Comme des Garçons

Recalls a newly refurbished penthouse apartment with plenty of fine quality timber. The true to life pine note is excellent, a critic might say "turpentine" but that would be too unkind, this is very wearable. Fits in well with C de G creations in the incense series, which are all great fragrances for those who love the aroma of natural wood. I would guess it may owe something to sunstruck pine resin, a material developed by Givaudan at one time, but that is just conjecture. Definitely one I will purchase.
22nd September, 2017

Bahiana by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

This is not my genre. The woods in this do not work for me.
22nd September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme (new) by Dolce & Gabbana

A delightful opening blast that is given a slightly restrained citrusy aroma - mandarin, whiffs of lemon and a good lashing of neroli - with a fruity undertone. The result is not overtly fresh, but more on the calmly refreshing side. In spite of the rather usual selection of components the result of mixing these is surprisingly beautiful.

The drydown develops a pleasant jasmine with an undertone of white florals, whilst the base steers into a sweeter direction, with a very balanced vanilla joining a marshmallow impression to create an olfactory desert that is never too sweet or cloying. This is due to the admixture of woodsy aroma that helps mitigating the sweetness.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a very impressive eleven hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a lovely scent for cooler summer evenings, belended well of ingredients of high quality and combining fresh richness with elegance. The performance is excellent. 3.5/5.
22nd September, 2017

Ferme tes Yeux by JAR

This is an animalic-lover's wet dream (or maybe just mine). Either way, this is the pinnacle of lush, opulent, gorgeous danger--a panther silently stalking through a dense and fuggy jungle of stargazer lilies, jasmine, and yang-ylang. The vegetation is overripe, decadent, and civet-laden thanks to the menagerie of musky mammals hidden in the foliage. Think Rousseau and Gauguin's jungle paintings brought to luxuriant, odiferous life. I adore this scent and will never own it since it is FAR beyond my (or any normal person's) price range. One of the most beautiful and sad realities of my perfumed life.
22nd September, 2017

Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Bianca by Guerlain

This is the first non-vintage Guerlain I've smelled and I must say that I am not impressed. The fact that this sample accompanied a decant of ancient and gorgeous L'Heure Bleue didn't help. Wearing the two Guerlains on opposite wrists was like having a threesome with Daniel Day-Lewis and Huey Lewis. The comparison was, indeed, odious. The AANB is highly citric and smells like neroli and petitgrain and about a hundred other similar fragrances touted as antidotes to the summer heat. If a ubiquitous and feminine citrus fragrance is what you're after, then is probably as good as any, and undoubtedly a bit better than most. After all, it is a Guerlain.
22nd September, 2017

Wall Street by Victor

stardate 20170921:

Leathery, piney old school masculine.
But not too loud. Good for all scenarios and folks including vespa riding, non-fat, vegan, half cal frapuccino drinking , no-sock wearing folks. Sorry Dandydude.

21st September, 2017
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D&G La Force 11 by Dolce & Gabbana

This is an oddball. I like oddball perfumes. It is a spicy food market, located near a head-shop. First I get a blast of cardamom and cinnamon followed by nutmeg. The pimento really stands out for awhile. I barely get any heliotrope or cypress. After a few hours I smell sandalwood, vanilla, and caraway. It's definitely different. It's cheap enough for over-spraying, when it begins to die. IMO it's more masculine than feminine.
21st September, 2017

Racine by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Stardate 20170921:
Red non-argyle bottle:

Starts out leathery chyprish - sorta like Capucci PH vintage. I guess it must be the Moss+Citrus+Musk.
The effect doe snot last long and is replace by Vetiver and candied citrus accord balanced by musk (white I think)
This is the accord that goes all the way to the end. Vetiver gets more prominent as time passes.

A nice take on vetiver and a good fragrance. If you are looking for a vetiver centric fragrance this is not it. I prefer Guerlain, Carven vetiver. But if you are looking for a different take of traditional cologne go for it.
21st September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Light Blue Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

The citrus opening is not particularly riveting or exciting, but it is a solid yet rather generic set of top
notes of mandarin and of whiffs of lemony/ grapefruit components of medium ripeness; neither very sweet nor very acid-laden.

The core is much more nondescript; a mélange of nonspecific floral and woodsy component with a very synthetic and anaemic rosemary note - not unpleasant but not more than that. The base with its dull and anonymous soup of white musks and the failed laboratory attempts to create a mossy impression smells of what I imagine to be the bouquet of acid rain in a Petri dish.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

In this summery, albeit not very fresh, creation some credit might be due for the opening phase, but the rest is a highly generic and dull petrochemical concoction of questionable merit. Overall - not reaching beyond mediocrity. 2.25/5
21st September, 2017

Himalaya by Creed

White wax lemon snow
Scattered round an old wood shrine
By sharp icy winds.
21st September, 2017

Bazar Femme by Christian Lacroix

A well done fruity floral. The peachy note isn't too obnoxious. The base is rather pale. Overall it's breezy and delightful. The bottle and packaging are fun.
21st September, 2017

Aspiration by Louis Cardin

Super spicy, I finally pick up powdery saffron in particular. A classic fleeting herbal/aromatic dry opening (vaguely a la Paco Rabanne Xs or D&G Pour Homme) finally reached by soapy/musky/rosey resinous balsams with a powdery/chypre (brightly "laundry-detergent/toilette cleaner" and slightly talky) undertone. Dry down conjures me vaguely scents a la Dueto City Oud (but in a less resinous and synthetic way). In conclusion I detect a sort of harsher "hay/papyrus/pencil shavings-like" final twist. Not properly an olfactory "Aspiration" for me.
21st September, 2017
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

Heritage Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

As a longtime fan of Heritage EdT (of which I have plenty of vintage), I was worried about trying the latest version of this; everyone raves about the vintage and I did not want to be disappointed about a EdP version of one of may favorite scents. In the end I got a bottle of the newest version (wood cap) and it is wonderful--richer and warmer than the EdT and I detect a slightly gourmand chocolate/tonka note--nothing like as strong as in L'Instant Pour Homme but present in the EdP where I do not get it in the EdT. The citrus and lavender opening is bright and wonderful and slightly toned down from the EdT. I have often thought that Heritage is the real Shalimar Pour Homme, much more so than Habit Rouge, and in the EdP strength I feel this even more strongly. Now I am on the hunt for a bottle of vintage....
20th September, 2017

Si Lolita Eau de Minuit by Lolita Lempicka

Smells like purple or black. Darker than original Si Lolita, for sure. I really enjoy the sweet pea note. The vanilla isn't over-bearing.
20th September, 2017

The Silk Series : Vanilla Silk by Gallagher Fragrances

Gallagher Fragrances Vanilla Silk is a simple exploration of vanilla and how it can be mixed with woods effectively. As the other reviewer points out, it smells a bit like vanilla mixed with musk and guaiac wood, soft and delicate relative to the vanilla but still providing some grounded woodiness.

Vanilla Silk's non-vanilla elements can be a little difficult to pin down, but they're not really cedar or incense (that would remind me of L'Occitane Eau Des Baux) nor a more complex offering (like Le Labo Vanille 44, which is also exorbitantly expensive).

The guaiac characterization really hits the heart of it---a sweet, soft wood, and it blends very well with the vanilla, which isn't a deep bourbon vanilla but rather a more floral vanilla that pairs with the wood in a year-round-friendly fashion.

The pricing in the Silk series is a little lower than the main catalog of Gallagher perfumes, so at $100 for 100ml, Vanilla Silk is reasonable to acquire.

Performance is very good, better than average a moderately-priced EDP.

This is likely my single favorite offering from the Gallagher house thus far. Very well done.

8 out of 10
20th September, 2017

Cologne Intense Collection : Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone

Basenotes also lists "Kohdo Wood Collection : Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone", so I'm confused about which one I'm actually sampling here. My small atomizer is simply labeled "Dark Amber & Ginger Lily / Jo Malone".
Whichever one this is, I'm addicted.
On my first sampling, I rated "below average" since the opening was overwhelmingly bitter woods. I just hadn't given it enough time.
As it develops over an hour or so, at least on my skin, it becomes lighter, powdery and intoxicating. A night-time, sensual fragrance for evenings at home. And contrary to many reviews here, this scent lasts and lasts on me, improving with each hour.
It's one of the stars of my small collection.
20th September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Blanc by The White Company

Light and airy. A fresh orange-citrus opening that is quite restrained and unlined by a fruity impression.

In the drydown geranium and rose a set of floral heart notes, with touches of neroli present at times.

The base adds white musks and a slightly ambery finish.

The sillage is moderate, projection is adequate and the longevity six hours on my skin.

A nice, light and elegant summery vibe, nothing too exciting but crafted well. 3/5.
20th September, 2017

Iris de Nuit by Heeley

Blue Nude by Pablo Picasso 1902
20th September, 2017

Bulgari Man Extreme by Bulgari

this is quite an appealing fragrance.. not familiar with all the notes but I can say - this is similar to Kenneth cole for man (round gray bottle)... and has a dry down similar to creed Viking.
i have a small bottle from the black, man, extreme set and it is the best one of them all. I think I will purchase a big bottle!
20th September, 2017

J'Adore by Christian Dior

A Snuggle dryer sheet that's been used to wipe down a potted faux rosebush with an anonymous white musk shampoo.

J'Adios.

20th September, 2017

New West for Him by Aramis

Warning !Disgusting! .Worse than toilet freshener.Ozonic? No! Subtle? No! Any depth? No! Sickly sweet and super feminine. I bought some on the strength of reviews .lESSON LEARNED! Had to write this prior to going and scrubbing it off . Macdonnalds toilet smells way better. Very eighties , very heavy, sorry gotta go wash before I LOSE MY LUNCH.
20th September, 2017

Theorema by Fendi

I swore to myself that I was not gonna get on the Theorema train, damn it--the reviews, the prices, the hype, the discontinued status, and all the wailing and lamentation that comes with discovering a classic that's no longer made--that marvelous but devastating feeling of discovery and loss.

And then, like Pandora with the box, I sometimes poked around online at the minis for resale and wondered. Meh, it's a serious oriental, I figured. It'll be another Shalimar--no doubt something beautiful, but not exactly for me. I decanted my mini into a sprayer, gave it a couple of tries, and figured I was right from the beginning--a big, clanging opening, a tangy and fresh and very novel kind of citrus, caroling huzzahs of spices, and hinting at an even grander second movement with Ozmanthian statues lurching out of the sand, trains of camels and dancing girls, and a last act reclining on a dream of vanilla. If that had happened, I wouldn't be writing about Theorema right now.

Instead, Theorema does something that few perfumes constructed in this (relatively recent era) do: it downshifts into another gear entirely--and then *kicks it*. That richness that could support an upright spoon swirls away, and what's left is a sheer, gauzy, psychedelic golden space fever dream--that lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts. And I think that's what everyone moons about. Yes, it's exotic, and it smells like spice, and I vastly prefer it in cooler weather, but it never becomes a costume drama. It's just opaque enough to feel like perfume, while it remains translucent enough that it also somehow melds together with the wearer. This effect holds true in all formulations, and that may be the genie in the bottle--that mutually transformative power between perfume and self that I think that all perfume lovers--even the most jaded of us--never stop searching for.

I could try to describe exactly what it smells like, but the truth is that Theorema is constructed of familiar materials and smells--honestly, we all know what amber smells like; and if you're not familiar with osmanthus, you can find any number of people (present scribe likely included) singing its praises online. That part is all there in the pyramid. What's great about Theorema is the construction, the way that bits and pieces of fade and return and recombine into striking new combinations, and the way it does it all in such a lovely mezzo voce, never demanding, just hanging in there with you. Those key changes, those subtle switches of mood, from almost sweet to almost dry, and the way it hangs in there and dances between them tirelessly (and the way that, hours later, it slowly, slowly, spins to a stop and finally comes creeping down beside you on little cat feet)--that's why I think Theorema is great.

Buy the ticket and take the ride: those little minis are a steal, and they will not be there forever. But don't say you weren't warned.

19th September, 2017 (last edited: 21st September, 2017)

Ciel d'Opale by Ann Gerard

Sweet lemon opening, sparkling green sheer honeysuckle (a little chemical in the opening, but not bad - honeysuckle is difficult!). Quickly sweetens into a soft, sweet lemonade, galbanum, jasmine, vanilla scent. Actually reminds me a lot of the mid-notes of Décou-Vert by Laboratorio Olfattivo, which is on my test list (it's a green, lemony white floral as well). Wearable :)
19th September, 2017
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