Perfume Reviews

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Tiffany for Men by Tiffany

I was bouncing around in this while my friends were suave(ing) the young ones with Fahrenheit. My playground was with the older ones. Dried down to a nice Sandalwood, a Fine powder, a plus Memories.
28th November, 2015

Fruits of the Musk by Montale

Montale Fruits of the Musk is neither a good creation nor a disaster di per se (there is indeed nothing off-putting or particularly synthetic in its perception, especially in its central and final phase of development). This scent lacks nonetheless overall a yet minimum level of personality and originality, being in substance a further example of the proverbial Montale's olfactory redundancy. I don't bash it mainly for its level of "synthetic implementation" since I don't find its aroma overbearing on this sphere (in comparison with all the olfactive "material" waving all around the market), my humble complaint is prevalently focused on its useless (act of) retracing yet crossed olfactory territories without providing a new remarkable "added value". Basically this soapy-diaphane (more than vaguely lipstick/cosmetical in effects) "white" scent is a simplification of many classic powdery/soapy/aldehydic floral-chypres of the past (scents from Grossmith, Cacharel, E. Coudray, Trussardi, Alyssa Ashley, a bunch of Caron's, Ysl's or Chanel's jump indeed partially on mind, each of them for several of their final powdery/spacious/balmy characteristics). I don't find this juice particularly fruity (the notable red berries's implementation is actually well balanced and moderately dosed), this "poudre et ambre'" kind of scent is (under my vulgar nose) all about bergamot, musky rose and jammy white soapy powder (balsams, powdery woods, synth amber, heliotrope etc) imo. Several Farmacia SS Annunziata's have recently retraced this formula with mediocre results as well. Musk is not the standout note while resins and soapy balsams are the main "topic" in here, side by side with this central creamy/waxy/honeyed rose so close to the one we can easily catch in many nourishing drugstore creamy potions for women. Dry down is almost cottony, it seems the aroma of a rose/milk-based moisturizing cream on woman's skin, in this stage the scent is ostensibly organic and quite creamy-poudre. Dry down is the best part of the job but it lacks nuances and articulated structure. It seems to catch even more the note of powdery/talky amber in this stage. A presumptively "niche" fragrance smelling not as a fragrance, finally an expensive experiment, don't you think so?
28th November, 2015

Acqua di Parma Colonia Club by Acqua di Parma

Tested from a sample this morning and again this evening.
Starts of citrusy with a strong, slightly synthetic, mint note. I could feel the mint oil, or essence, or whatever form it is, tingling on my skin, and the mint was strong enough to clear my sinuses. That description doesn't do the fragrance justice though, because at the start, at least, it's an interesting, fresh and very attractive scent, with the promise of something unusual.
Unfortunately the mint and citrus fade very quickly, as they tend to, and what is left is a very generic, fresh, masculine cologne, dominated by lavender. I really don't get the vetiver, a note I love, but maybe I'm desensitised to it. Nothing out of this world, but nonetheless pleasant. The whole experience makes me think of meeting someone for the first time, attractive, looks interesting, there's a flash of interest, a look held almost imperceptibly too long, maybe a flirtation? But no, my mistake, just a pleasant chat talking about work, or the weather or something, and then a friendly smile and have a good day.
A pleasant, daytime, summery fragrance.
November 2015
28th November, 2015
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Baldessarini Ultimate by Baldessarini

It didn’t take much effort to accomplish that, but finally here’s the first decent offering from Baldessarini since their early Baldessarini Eau de Cologne. Ultimate doesn’t really scream quality, but it’s very (thus, surprisingly) nice, surely more than enough for the brand and the market positioning, no snobbery intended. It’s modern, almost slightly “avantgarde”, and could very easily fit in contemporary fashion lines like Comme des Garçons. Actually it smells like something they could have made, and that would have even been better than some of their offerings.

Anyway basically Ultimate is a sharp, quite fresh, intentionally (I guess) heavily synthetic sort of metallic-crisp woody-peppery fragrance with some nondescript yet fairly pleasant “juicy-floral” feel and some peculiar, sharp herbal-metallic nuances. It’s like a mix of Comme des Garçons 2 Man, Rochas Aquaman or Lanvin Oxygene, and any fresh citrus fragrance. It’s a contemporary “ transparent woody-peppery” scent with fresh herbal-citrus and slightly fruity tones. And some sort of watery-aquatic feel – not ozonic, I really mean “watery”. It then evolves on basically the same path, just becoming a bit warmer with amber, olibanum (Iso E Super, basically) and leather (sort of, an unperceivable thin whiff of suede) unfolding their velvet touch over the initial tangy pepper-green head notes. And so remains for some hours, aseptically warm yet breezy and pleasantly classy, quite “youthful” and even sort of hipster-ish despite the marketing claim you read on the box (“Separates the men from the boys” – seriously?).

So, that’s it. A totally decent, even interestingly multifaceted modern designer with a “niche-avantgarde” feel (so again, basically something à la Comme des Garçons). Which is a very positive sign from Baldessarini – they could have kept going on with that Del Mar and Private Affairs cheap garbage, while they decided to do this. It isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s still on a whole different level if compared to any other offering by this brand, except as I said, the first Baldessarini cologne. It has some sense, it has a definite personality, and the quality seems very respectable. Nothing you can’t skip safely, but it’s very fine. Surely worthy a sniff for me.

28th November, 2015

Eternity Now for Men by Calvin Klein

The card defines this a “juicy oriental fougère” balanced with “exotic woods”. Pretending I didn’t read the “fougère” part in order to keep my lunch in my stomach, what I get out of Eternity Now is basically only the “juicy” and the “exotic” parts, both in the tritest and cheapest way you can imagine - as juicy and exotic as a tin can of sweetish synthetic drugstore tropical soda. Juvenile, shabby and – ok, you get it.

28th November, 2015

Bruce Willis Personal Edition by Bruce Willis

A pleasant surprise, really. Bruce Willis Personal Edition opens quite classically with a typical aromatic/herbal chypre (floral) accord kind of reminiscence of virile classics a la Borsalino by Borsalino or Basile Uomo (Henry Cottons, Trussardi Action etc). I get citrus, herbal woodsy "refreshment" and melancholic sharp floral shades (jasmine, cyclamine, geranium?). Sharp spices are included in the mix and black pepper in particular provides a sharply shadowy atmosphere a la Gucci by Gucci Homme. Gradually, along the way, tobacco and leather jump up, the first of two quite mild (moderately), rounding and flavoured, the second quite mastering and characterizing the real substance of the aroma. Dry down is indeed really leathery and with woody-floral-herbal nuances. I can surely say that Personal Edition's neo-classic dry down is not so distant from Ungaro III's final trail (just more properly nuanced by leather, less spicy and "kind of diluted" at same time). It seems to detect shades of lavender, musks and fern in the background, something still conjuring the superior (and more articulate) Borsalino, a scent from which Personal Edition could ideally (or effectively) have been inspired (being Borsalino, less leathery, more floral, more angular, ambery, herbal/aromatic and in general more nuanced). Honestly I don't get oud at all. The final wake is leathery, hyper masculine, slightly ambery, musky/cedary and "seasoned" by a warm tobacco's presence. An honest take on a classic leather (aromatic/chypre/fougere) theme, a fragrance potentially attractive for all kinds of women looking for a protective figure of man.
28th November, 2015

Nirvana Black by Elizabeth and James

Nirvana Black smells incomplete to me, but maybe I am just looking for too much. The violet is very much in the vein of Eau de Cartier Concentree and keeps the whole thing from smelling trite and foody. The sandalwood constitutes most of the fragrance,which is fine, but the overall quality of materials leaves me wanting.

This kind of product isn't likely to please anyone with a collection like mine but for the easy-to-please, the younger crowd, or those who honestly enjoy the unfussy and simple design of scents by Victoria's Secret, there may be something in this interpretation of Nirvana.
28th November, 2015

Les Exceptions : Cuir Impertinent by Thierry Mugler

Cuir Impertinent belongs in the collection of any diehard fragrance collector, but with a caveat. The presentation (black box and silvertoned bottle) are luxe and a joy to behold. Some vendors even offered engraving.

The scent, sadly, is not what one would assume from the makers of Angel as an exclusive offering.

I have several bottle of the Angel Cuir (I love it!) and it was only offered in the 30 ml bottle to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Angel, so I stocked up when it was released to discounters.

Cuir Impertinent is a warm, spiced leather with amber and tobacco. On me, it does not have the sillage or longevity of the Angel Cuir, so sampling is a must as mileage may vary.
28th November, 2015

Etienne Aigner by Etienne Aigner

This is the scent of my Ivory DB9, if I had one.

In fact this is the scent of my Ivory DB9 after years of wearing Vintage Bel Ami within and I am dead and gone.

It is a smoothed out, gentrified 60's Avon Leather, Musky thing.

It doesn't light up, it glows a warm caramel.

And yes, I'll take that Ivory one over there. The one with the Caramel leather and unglossed Mahogany dash.
27th November, 2015 (last edited: 28th November, 2015)

Theorema Uomo by Fendi

Fendi Theorema Uomo is a sadly discontinued italian glory "leaking" straight from a luxurious still in activity brand yet responsible of real olfactive pieces of tradition a la Fendi by Fendi classic (the house's masterpiece), Asja, Fendi Uomo, Life Essence etc. Theorema Uomo opens somewhat conventionally (eau de Rochas, several 4711, Lancome Trophee or Mugler Cologne jump partially on mind among many others waving from Roger&Gallet to Meo Fusciuni across Paul Smith) with a fizzy-zesty and evidently peppery citric accord more than vaguely classical, quite sparkling, lemony-balsamic but immediately kind of grassy-salty (lemon, vetiver, geranium in a sort of tart/lemony/salty odorous valzer). Geranium, especially as joined to lemon and greens, provides a dose of green astringent-salty leafiness (it seems almost to detect genuine earthiness for a while). Overall the olfactory experience is permeated by this green/leafy lemony (vaguely salty) tartness really virile, dry, spacious and hyper balanced. Probably cardamom affords a sort of fluidy spicy refreshing (almost minty) consistency while a touch of petitgrain (connected to spices) enhances the typical lingering green fizziness. It seems to detect traces of basil and mint as well in moderate amount. Synth ambergris (well connected to pepper) imprints a final reassuring and confidential sense of warmth, while the "bottom" woodiness is mostly cedary (astringent cedarwood) since vetiver is prevalently catchable in the top. Frankly I hardly detect labdanum while may be nutmeg provides "mild balance" to the otherwise overly tart/salty main accord. Airy, dynamic, essential, a typical kind of sporty/gentlemanly and casual-hyper versatile fragrance usually prefered by rampant offsprings, lovers of outdoors activities, golf clubs habitué and white clothed young managers.
27th November, 2015 (last edited: 28th November, 2015)

Moon Bloom by Hiram Green

A mildly camphoraceous jasmine came out flying like a bat out of hell. As minutes passed, I understood why the jasmine was so eager to leave the party. What got left behind was a boring, mildly sweet floral that smelled somewhat greasy, like a coconut oil-based tanning lotion.

And then it hit me. MOON BLOOM describes a scene on a crowded tropical beach where rows after rows of exposed butt cheeks can be seen baking in the sun, gleaming with tanning oil.
27th November, 2015

Bois d'Iris by Van Cleef & Arpels

I must admit it: I’ve a penchant for iris fragrances. As long as they’re even just decent, I always like them a lot. It amazes me how versatile this material can be, and how many nuances it offers. It can smell warm and luscious, dusty and cold, “grey” and “red”, plushy and earthy, and always so refined and mysterious. Anyway, Bois d’Iris is surely a remarkable must for any fan of this material, probably even more than other more praised ones in my opinion. It explores the colder-dustier and more balsamic side of iris, pairing it with dry resins, warm amber, a very peculiar sort of “greyish”, massively incense-driven crisp woody note, and a sort of rarefied foggy pine-forest feel. So imagine a breezy, balsamic, woody and above all, dusty-powdery incense scent, completely unisex and actually quite dark somehow, or better say “cold”, peaceful yet somehow aloof. Almost “lunar”, I’d say. And extremely refined: the dustiness has some very fascinating sort of sparkling texture – “silver powder”, so to speak. Dior named a scent “Bois d’Argent”, but that name would be so better for Bois d’Iris actually. By the way the two scents are indeed quite similar, but I prefer Bois d’Iris, for a couple of very simple features: less pretentious, more substantial.

What fascinates me about this scent is how it creates a shimmering, rarefied sort of “silver incense” vibe played on iris powder and resinous-balsamic woody notes, without using directly incense. I mean, this fragrance smells quite incensey to me, but in a peculiar way, “incensey and not-incensey at once”. Maybe more than incense I should say “a whiff of cold, azure-grey smoky breeze scented with iris and luxury resins”, as it feels weightless and airy yet surprisingly substantial, balsamic, enveloping. Truly one of a kind, extremely enjoyable and fascinating. Shortly – if it wasn’t clear already – I really like this scent: it feels quality, it’s extremely sophisticated, it’s delicate but not light or too close to skin – just elegantly discreet. I own other iris based scents, and this has definitely its own personality which makes it worth owning even if you think you’ve “smelled them all” when it comes to iris. Maybe a tad too expensive, but a true class act!

27th November, 2015

Picadilly Circus by Hugh Parsons

I’ve yet to “get” this brand – British name, all made in Italy, zero information about the alleged “heritage”, terrible promotion... and surprisingly nice fragrances (so far for me, at least). Piccadilly Circus is in fact quite good, quite more than I assumed. Basically it is fairly similar to Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta or similar floral-citrus variations on classic “gentleman’s eau de cologne” structure, just a bit greener, edgier, drier and warmer at the same time, with some more salty-musky ambergris on the base. That is the family: a refined, cozy, surprisingly “natural” and rich citrus-floral cologne with some more weight and thickness than usual, and a remarkable quality, also with a very pleasant evolution towards a woody-green drydown tinted with citrus-powdery notes. Quite close to Colonia Assoluta as I said, but not redundant if you own both (as I do): Piccadilly has more citrus, it smells sharper and also a bit bolder, slightly echoing dry green fougères like Grès pour Homme. It’s quite good anyway, it smells very solid, elegant and extremely versatile without smelling dull. A bit synthetic perhaps, especially for the price, but it works fine. The theme would seem a bit trite, but it smells actually very compelling – perhaps for the touch of musky ambergris, or for the way citrus-green notes interact. It smells, say, raw and clean at once, breezy and natural (except for some synthetic musky-soapy feel) but nothing too hippie or “artisanal”. It’s rather distinguished and mature on the contrary. Nothing breathtaking, but very nice with a touch of distinction. Plus it lasts long and projects very well. Not sure if it’s worthy the retail price but it’s very nice.

27th November, 2015
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Panama 1924 : Fefè (Dandy Napoletano) by Boellis

This new offering by Boellis is also probably their most creative one so far. The color of the packaging (bright bold orange) and the Neapolitan reference misled me at first, I thought this would have been some bright, lively fresh zesty scent, but the notes intrigued me as it seemed actually darker and rounder. And in fact it is, this is by far the darker and also quite more complex scent by this brand. But at the same time, probably the one I enjoy the less.

Basically Fefé is a patchouli-musk bomb with a massive dusty-powdery-woody feel, truly warm and aromatic (even “culinary” thanks to saffron), barely enlightened by some very subtle whiff of citrus greenness. Patchouli, musk and a dusty woody-ambergris accord sit at the core of this scent like big, bold, humid Stonehenge stones: imagine the smell of some antique, kind of musty Belle Epoque closet, with its earthy-powdery and woody nuances, and that nondescript smell of damp dust and old abandoned garments. Refined and melancholic at once, and I surely get the reference to a Neapolitan dandy – a quite evocative and quality portrait of the Italian heritage of laid-back dapper gents of the early Nineteenth century. Or well, of any gentleman of that era, and this is the smell you still can get in some very old boutiques (dusty barbershop boutiques, again... you can’t really say Boellis hasn’t a very clear “fil rouge” throughout their offerings).

The scent is quite complex for me, as the way the notes interact smells quite new to me, but at the same time it doesn’t evolve that much, so that’s pretty much it – patchouli, musk, amber, earthy-powdery nuances, a dusty sort of “damp stones” feel mixed with a soapy vibe. It smells good, but well... quite a bit cloying after a while, honestly. Not sure if that’s intended, but it does seem a bit static, and given the boldness of the notes and their dusty-damp feel, you would probably prefer it to evolve a bit, to “open” somehow, to lose some weight and strength as it feels quite thick and almost haunting after a while. Or just a bit boring. Nonetheless the smell per se is very good, so if you like it or if you’re looking for an unusual patchouli-powdery scent, then it’s a deal. I do like it, but it’s really not an “everyday scent” or something I’d want to reach often.

27th November, 2015

Panama 1924 : Millésimé by Boellis

I surely agree with the reviews comparing Panama 1924 Millesimé with Cartier’s Déclaration, as the opening is very similar and plays more or less the same chords – spicy cardamom, elegant crisp musky woods, a whiff of masculine flowers (jasmine and carnation for me, or something similar to it, maybe rose too), saffron and some very light tangy citrus. But the similarity doesn’t really last long, though: from the very beginning in fact, Millesimé does have some more richness, smelling at once more refined and more natural than the Cartier’s. And a bit warmer too, thanks to musk and ambergris – the same, quite good dusty-salty musky ambergris base you get in nearly any scent produced by Profumitalia (Boellis and Hugh Parsons, just to name two brands they manage – just compare two random scents for each, you’ll smell the same base notes).

During its evolution, and this is a quality product with some elegant and shimmering evolution, the initial spicy notes – except maybe saffron, which lasts longer – tone down progressively, leaving the stage to an exceedingly pleasant, classy and soothing floral-vetiver core accord still with some subtle pungent spicy edges, musk and some nondescript sort of “juicy” feel which I guess it’s that “tea” note – more a sort of a greenish rose for me, actually. Vetiver gets an increasingly prominent role, and it’s basically the star of the drydown, tinged with some floral nuances and a dusty musky-ambery base accord, which soon becomes a bit leathery too (I think it’s a side nuance of saffron).

So, basically another winner from Boellis in my book. As for the others from this brand, this is really nothing overly creative, and surely it does try to “emulate” a certain type of established crowdpleasers: but it does it with great class, great understatement and great quality. It feels just very mature, distinguished, yet informal and totally affable. To the point it, say, “exceeds” its masters and becomes actually better than them – so yes, for me this is quite better than Déclaration or similar scents. Same tones, same chords, better class and better quality. It has that same soapy “barbershop” vibe of other Boellis fragrances, that effortless Italian class, a shade of musky-amber refined melancholy well paired with some more luminous spicy-green nuances, and it’s just more fascinating, richer and more sophisticated than the Cartier’s in my opinion – also getting rid of that “sanitized” sort of artificial designer feel. The name is a bit pretentious perhaps as I don’t get the “millesimé” factor, but it’s surely recommended nonetheless.

27th November, 2015

Santal 33 by Le Labo

What makes a fragrance intriguing is when it evokes a specific time, a certain place or a particular material while remaining elusively vague.

SANTAL 33 has successfully achieved this feat with its seemingly amorphous quality. Neither woody nor floral, far from leathery or spicy, I can't exactly describe it as musky either. Yet somehow it smells distinctive and chic. Like a cross between the scent of a freshly printed lifestyle magazine and the interiors of a luxury leather goods shop.

With superior performance to boot, this is another winning hand from the house of Le Labo. Well played!
27th November, 2015

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Since I got into the whole fragrance hoo-hah, I learned from early on not to judge a fragrance by the marketing hype surrounding it - is it masculine or feminine.

The iconic scent of Kouros by the once big house of Yves saint Laurent, just simply does not let me think about this otherwise. It IS the most masculine scent out there. It carries quite a punch and never fails to get noticed. Bergamot, cloves, luscious woods, all underpinned by superbly balanced soapy-clean base make this scent irresistible.

If this had been sold in a clear glass bottle and named after a number or a colour, perhaps it wouldn't get noticed as much, but its the whole package - bottle, packaging, name and scent overall that give this scent a niche feel to it.

My only complaint? I only recently discovered it. One spritz and this stuff lasts past the evening shower. I can still detect it on clothes after they've been washed.

Definitely a 'try before you buy' scent as I don't think it will appeal to everyone, but a magnificent aromatic fougere that's not to be missed if you are a fragrance enthusiast.
27th November, 2015

Acqua di Parma Colonia Club by Acqua di Parma

The marketing blurb describes it as 'a refined and elegant olfactory interpretation of classic Italian colognes'. That's a nice spin on 'misinterpretation' as there's nothing remotely Italian about this scent.

COLONIA CLUB really isn't that bad. It's cool and breezy with minty green tops over a lightly earthy-musky coumarin-like base. Kinda reminds me of a tamer Herba Fresca from Guerlain Acqua Allegoria line but with a lot less herbs. I do get a short-lived cool sensation post-application which suggests a certain mentholated component. Others however may be more inclined to dismiss it as 'rubbing alcohol'.

Comparisons to earlier and seemingly superior Acqua di Parma fragrances, while inevitable, are somewhat misplaced as every fragrance should be judged on its own merit.

Yes, it does smell familiar, the way a favorite shower gel does, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Some people say it smells cheap. But take a good sniff up close and your nose will probably tell you this scent has the better construction, though not necessarily better materials.

As I load the golf cart and head back to the club, I figured COLONIA CLUB makes for a one heckuva sports fragrance.
27th November, 2015

Phoenicia by Heeley

Love this. More for a man than a woman I think - I've passed my samples to my husband and it's terrific on him. Boozy fruits, incense, smoke and cedar.
26th November, 2015

Jimmy by Bruno Fazzolari

For me,and my tastes, this is the only shining star of this Group of Eight Samples. I find it far away from being carefree.

As Darvant relates to Montsarrat.

"Rarely I've tested on skin such an indolic initial approach, it gave me immediately the flashback of my childhood's afternoons when I used to "whisper" to bees while running free for flowery fields and green gardens, with the fresh nature flowing down the lungs."

I am then drawn, as the bee, to the Indolic of a single flower, a tickle to the nose, that sneeze of pollen,that prize of angels wings.

As Darvant also relates a whisper to the sinister.
Yes I agree. This is the Life and the Death. The story of the Black Widow.
As Turing to the Sunflower and Pinecone, I am awed and shuddered.
It speaks to the lure,indeed intoxication of the Feminine. Frighteningly potent.

The others strike me as dated "Reservoir Dogs" Parlor Games or plays to that which is current fab, Narcisse and Iris. All of which hints to me,
Slick style, little substance. All designed to sell Pseudo-Art to the masses.

That being said, I am likely, because of "Jimmy" be drawn to visit Fazzolari's other work, and most surely to that thing of substance, that is Schuyler.

26th November, 2015

Armani Eau pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

A soapy Eau de Cologne type smell. I have a mini of what I believe is considered vintage. This rivals Chanel Eau de Cologne on shelves today, or Frederic Malle Cologne Indelible, but then adds moss to the base to give an added dimension, a luxurious velvet backdrop to the Eau de Cologne.
26th November, 2015

Voyage by Hiram Green

I purchased my first bottle blind - the write-up on Twisted Lily just made me salivate. I took a chance and was very well rewarded.
The entire experience from start to finish is one of the most beautiful sensory experiences I have had since initially smelling House of Matriarch's Blackbird (now known as Black No. 1).

There is an elegance to this scent, something rather hard to explain. I have attempted to type a more technical review, but each time I realized it did nothing to truly explain this tour of scent. I'm at a loss to be more descriptive, and I fail readers by just typing out my emotional response. Truly, I am sorry. Since there are only 250 bottles made, and I now own two, it might not be so important to offer much more detail. I'd like to think this scent will be offered more readily in the future, however I could not in good reason resist a back-up. If there really are only 248 bottles remaining, my best advice would be "buy it now".
26th November, 2015

Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra by Acqua di Parma

Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra basically re-interprets in a specifically amberish (synthetic salty ambergris) way the main Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud Concentree's mossy-resinous-leathery formula, finally performing a more succeeding and balanced recipe imo. The juice is indeed smart, sleek, urban, modern and darkly classy but most of all is more discreet and balanced than its predecessor in its final velvety ambery performance. Let's go gradually, first of all let's say that the juice lacks genuine originality since I can detect in here a nowadays almost mainstream typical accord of saffron/rose/oud a la Dueto City Oud and stuffs like that (Y by Avery, Ducalis by Angela Ciampagna, Xerjoff 40 Knots etc, etc). Second, Colonia Ambra shares a common foundation of bergamot, wet-citric/grassy/aromatic "hydrated" musk, spicy rose, patchouli, resins and synthetic woodiness with its older cousin Colonia Oud Concentree but while the latter is firmly set on a main leatherish/oudish/mossy (more kind of gassy-woody and bombastic) accord Amber morphs finally towards a more specifically salty ambery and delicately musky (vaguely classic/chypre) accord quite comforting and musky modern. While the Oud Concentree's base notes morph down basically leathery and mossy/resinous (with a more marked woody-gassy-saffrony synth oppression) the Colonia Ambra's final trail is less properly woody and more delicately musky-vanillic and spicy-ambery (with secret salty marine nuances? I don't think so, probably saltiness is prevalently musky/leathery and sandalwood-"infused"). Frankly I prefer Ambra over Oud Concentree and could not easily stop smelling my wrist (despite I smell everything but a terrific potion). Dry down is warm and ambery but I still catch in the background that plaguing synth saffrony/rosey cedary woodiness that represents a mediocre "taking the world by storm" accord nowadays (in this case tamed and "embellished" by a warm salty/spicy/musky synth ambergris). I get a ghostly (and saffrony) floral presence in the final wake but the aroma is all about amber, musk and "little" vanilla. In conclusion, do you wanna really standing out by wearing a synthetic urban/chic amber? I toss out just one name mastering over so many: Costume National Scent Intense, this is my night out pop/rock amber oh guys.
25th November, 2015

Criminal of Love by By Kilian

I have had an interesting time getting to know this juice. My first impressions were not the best, I'll admit. It comes out very powerful and overwhelming - that would be the "criminal" part, I suppose - I nearly felt as though I had been robbed of all my sensibilities as well as senses!

I placed it carefully in my decant container, and waited...

It has been about three months since I tried this the first time. I am not sure if its the change in the weather, or my opinion, but I'm truly enjoying this. Yes, it still comes out very powerfully - and this is not a short-lived sort of power...but it does eventually mellow out. Thank GOD!

As it lingers, I feel wrapped in a delicious blend of various warm scents, but none stands out more than the very jammy rose. "I need some toast, with this", methinks.

Heading into the drydown, it evokes the impressions of being in a tobacco barn, with the curing and smoke. It's a lot like driving in downtown Durham, NC back in the 80's, which is my hometown, incidentally. Definitely a positive scent!

I'm not sure if I'm up to taking the chance with a purchase overseas (Russia, to be exact), however I am grateful for this decant, and I'll enjoy it while I can.
24th November, 2015

Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf

I don’t have a problem with sweet fragrances, but Spicebomb is just really too much for me. It’s pure, crude, nondescript plastic sweetness which I have a hard time considering a grown man’s fragrance. Or actually a “person’s fragrance”, of any kind. Again, sweetness is not the issue, neither the “generic” factor, which I’m very fine with most of the times. The problem is that Spicebomb smells like if they accidentally switched the nozzles with a barrel of something meant for a candy factory, and bottled that, and sold it. Leather? Saffron? Elegance? This is a juvenile, sticky bubblegum cascade of cinnamon, vanilla, musk, nonsense synthetic gummy bear stuff all wrapped in a bare “masculine” frame of woody musk and spicy amber. All in the worse quality you can imagine – flat, cheap, extremely linear synthetic stuff as in any drugstore shower gel, with no qualities whatsoever except the ability of making you feel in a time machine ready to throw you right into Justin Bieber’s arms in 2005. I’d choose lifetime chastity over any woman complimenting this abomination.

24th November, 2015
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Perfume Calligraphy Rose by Aramis

Calligraphy Rose is a very appealing, slightly sultry scent. Rose takes centre stage but is nicely supported by the saffron and myrrh which give it a mysterious,desert-like feel of the Orient.(I do mean desert, not dessert!)

Longevity is good and sillage average.I would wear this in the cooler months for more formal gatherings.
It doesn't strike me as a "fun" perfume but rather one that has a more serious,measured side.
24th November, 2015

R by Révillon

A "mass-enjoyable/easy-going/go to down town for a noisy night out of fun" barely more than mediocre scent performed by a skilful perfumer (Maurice Roucel) for an historical respectful brand. A captivating casual, sporty, juvenile and versatile formula evolving from its initial freshly floral fluidy/gymnic (90's mainstream) opening to a final mossy-leathery dry down, passing across a central (to me quite unpleasant) amberish/spicy semi-oriental stage. A remarkably 90's in style woody-floral Revillon's creation with a lily of the valley/violet leaves/jasmine (supposedly) based intense floral presence, a typical fluidy-aqueous-citric (vaguely aquatic?) 90's accord, a fair dose of synthetic soapiness and a final touch of pleasant mossy leather. Oakmoss provides earthiness, a tad of "resinous bitter stickiness" (a la Acqua di Biella Ca' Luna) and complexity, "emancipating" (in its link with leather) the juice from the status of real mediocrity. The main introducing R's accord conjures me initially more than vaguely mainstream floral/aquatic 90's scents a la Joop Nightflight or stuffs like that but Revillon R develops soon a quite evident central spicy (kind of dusty cinnamonic) semi-oriental synth-amber/leather's presence leaning on the side of warmer (aromachemical-infused) scents a la Davidoff Hot Water, Creed Original Santal, Vince Camuto Pour Homme, Gaultier Le Beau Male or Prada Luna Rossa. Honestly, mostly in its central phase, this fragrance is not enough interesting to me, I find it versatile, salty-sugary-spicy, probably appealing to younger crowds but not enough structured or particular to reach a full thumbs up. A lavender/violet/herbal notes/citrus initial elegant twist ends to gradually morph towards an amberish-spicy-leathery boring develop with a salty/sporty/floral undertone quite common and mainstream (finally fortunately "elevated" by something mossy-earthy). In this phase it seems to wear a sort of less salty and spicier (more amberish and leathery) Gaultier Le Beau Male, with a quite similar sporty-floral-herbal main vibe. Honestly I have to say that the more a mossy-leather emerges (and spicy ambroxan recedes) the more I appreciate the juice (but probably is too late or not enough for a full thumbs up). Inhaling deeply my skin in this final phase I get leather flanked (and supported) by a sort of likeable mossy (oakmoss) resinous earthiness which I really appreciate. The worst aspect is anyway that boring spicy-amberish-salty/floral central sultriness that I find fulsome and nowadays redundant. Dry down is slightly powdery (because of the yet operating spicy ambroxan) but endly mossy, comforting, virile and leathery. This stage provides a partial redemption for the whole olfactory "fatigue". Average is anyway my final humble rating.
23rd November, 2015

Noir Patchouli by Histoires de Parfums

This is nonsense. Patchouli? All wrong! Leather? Purchase a bar of Cussons. Florals and Musk? Close your eyes and pick anything off the Feminine shelf at your local Sephora. Price? Are you kidding?

I am not done with this house, as Ambre 114 is a charmer to be sure.
Noir Patch is no match for the likes of Givenchy Gentleman Vintage, Coromandel, Giorgio For Men, Led IV.
23rd November, 2015

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

Meh. Contrary to other flankers of this Colonia line, such as the beautiful Assoluta version and the at-least-wearable Leather one, this Intensa variation is quite disappointing for me. Actually much disappointing, even if my expectations with Acqua di Parma are never that high. It starts off as a sort of cheap dupe of a herbal-citrus fougère played on lemon-musky chords, tinged with a depressingly flat synthetic leather note and a surprisingly bold, and kind of harshly dissonant generic woody note (it takes a talent to make cedar smell this bad). It’s basically a “darker”, here meaning woodier and muskier take on the Colonia, but hasn’t really the quality and the class to succeed for me. It’s just... a shrug in a bottle, almost a scrubber. It’s uninspired, too cheap to be at least elegant and enjoyable, as it smells on the contrary almost tacky for how lousy and mediocre the notes smell. And even if they’re just a few and are all quite “classic”, for some reasons at some points their balance smells almost wrong. Too lemony at first, too harshly woody, too cheaply musky on the drydown. But well, I know “balance” is a rather subjective matter, so I guess someone may like that. Still a less than mediocre scent, whether the balance is fine or not. Anyway once the initial citrus and herbal notes start to vanish off, you realize that was the nicest part, and you basically remain with a simple, bland, immobile, surprisingly cheap soapy musky-cedar accord still tinged with a bold detergent-like debris of citrus and a remarkably irritating long persistence, as charming and pleasant as remaining stuck in a lift with that bald stinky colleague of yours.

23rd November, 2015

Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone by Giorgio Armani

Vetiver? What vetiver? Ah, the power of suggestion. There is probably as much vetiver in here as there is genuine aged oud in your average Montale.

Without a doubt the stars of the show are the scintillating hesperidic topnotes. They elevate the fragrance as much as they lift my spirits. But once they leave the stage within the first hour as citrus notes are wont to do, the extraordinary show becomes painfully ordinary, the melange of pale, lightly earthy base notes swiftly taking the composition from its giddy heights down to a grounded, more mundane existence.

"Houston, we have a problem. This rocket is out of fuel."

But it's not all doom and gloom for Giorgio Armani. There is still an element left behind in the stratosphere - its price tag.
23rd November, 2015