Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 133420

Palimpsest by Aftelier

This is potent floral, with what smells like some animalic - maybe from the Ambergris, or perhaps some especially spunky flowers. The listed notes of peach, ylang ylang, and vanilla sound believable. This is a beautiful, challenging perfume. I would guess it might appeal to women more than men, at least outside of Basenotes. I love the beautiful, complex smell up close.
22nd February, 2017

Lolita Lempicka L'Eau Jolie by Lolita Lempicka

I must agree with others, as this is disappointing, coming from this house. All I smell is Neroli, even after the dry down. I'm glad I only purchased the one ounce size. As with other fragrances I find I don't care for, this will be blended with another to make it wearable.
22nd February, 2017

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

BLUF: Different from all other vetivers I've tried.

I know we all have our own take on what "powdery" means, but I perceived this as a powdery, white floral, clean take on vetiver. It doesn't smell at all like Dior's Privée Vétiver, but I feel like they are painted on similarly dry vetiver canvases.

The vetiver starts off in the background and seems to be of the grassy/green sort, and is joined by soft florals and sweetness (smells more like vanilla, but tonka is listed) and some hesperidic top notes. Some hours later, it takes on the more smoky/crunchy aspects that I associate with Java vetiver (the kind listed in the notes here), and at this point most of the "powder" and florals have died down considerably and it's primarily a woody/vetiver scent with a touch of dry aromatic herbs of which I cannot pinpoint.

Nice overall, not your typical take on the namesake note, but not compelled to pursue any further than my sample. Worth sampling for any vetiver fan, as I know of no analogs.
22nd February, 2017
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Anabasis by Apoteker Tepe

BLUF: A style of fragrance that is usually a snooze-fest for me, but this I found exciting. A super clean, grassy, green, minty, clean, clean, clean woody offering, with a very, very light touch of something smoky/resinous (birch? incense?).

Expectations were not high here, but at first sniff I was hooked. In a handful of ways it is similar to another fragrance I also love - Tindrer (Baruti), but this is much more transparent and less compact, if that makes any sense. Anabasis is also much more natural smelling. The perfumer/proprietor of Apoteker Tepe, Holladay Saltz, purportedly makes a point of using some naturals in all her work and having smelled them all, I believe that. For me personally, having both Anabasis and Tindrer might be redundant, but I’m tempted to prove myself wrong. The initial sniff caught me off-guard, because the photo of the bottle on Basenotes has brownish/amber colored liquid (Pavlovian response) and incense and cedar are listed in the notes...but it smells completely bright and green. Turns out that's because it is the wrong photo (instead The Holy Mountain is pictured at the time of this review).

Certainly not a groundbreaking fragrance, but seems to be to be made with quality materials and by someone with a clear vision and skilled hand. Longevity in a vacuum is on the low side, but relative to this genre, pretty on par – about 4 to 5 hours before becoming a skin scent. I admit that the top notes are by far the most compelling part, but I think it’s a solid structure from start to finish, the base losing some of that hyper-fresh minty feel and taking on a more familiar woody/musky one.

Recommended sampling if you are bored with the same old fresh fare like I am. Fairly priced at $110/50ml. Thumbs up.
22nd February, 2017

Eaux Arborantes : Saltus by Les Liquides Imaginaires

Like many of Liquides Imagainares scents Saltus is wrapped around a resinous incense note, Somalian Incense is here which has an earthy deep mystical presence. The eucalyptus adds a salty menthol contrast in the opening moments and castoreum leaves a dry leather feel to the woody depths of this scent. I like the feel and rounded aroma of this almost perfect woody, incense leather - one of the best offerings from this house. I find similarities to Heely Eau Sacree, Profumum Olibanum, and DS Durga Freetrapper, but I like Saltus more. A fine scent for earthy incense enthusiasts.
22nd February, 2017

Eaux Arborantes : Succus by Les Liquides Imaginaires

Succus opens with tart slightly sweet citrus that has an airy feel as if it will stay aloft and never be affected by gravity, drifting further into the upper layers of ozone air mixed with sunshine. This melon - grapefruit scent has an odd compatibility with the dry synthetic violet aroma that makes a base note counterpart. The fragrance moves through different harmonies of these three elements of grapefruit tartness, sunny melon and scratchy dry violet - interesting combination that is not offensive. I don't really smell anything extraordinary in this scent. There is nothing inspiring for me. I initially rated this thumbs down, but after giving it time to come together into a harmony, the elements do create an atmosphere that is nice, it works, and results could definitely be worse, but I wonder why would someone choose to put this on skin, and wear it day after day as an everyday favorite? Not me. It might be a nice cleansing break from the norm fragrance - sort of a palette cleanser between other more worthy main course fragrances?? Succus is indeed like a single note citrusy melony sherbet citrus ice palette cleanser that you need between courses to punctuate a pause. Possibly . . . but, after an hour or so, Succus dries down into a slightly more rounded sunny citrus scent that smells like melon with grapefruit, still very radiant but there is nothing magical in this hyper dry tart but sunny aroma. It is not really even very bold or projecting. This is a passable scent but I am having trouble buying into the story of this Liquides Imagainares creation. Rate it: 2.5 of 5 stars.
22nd February, 2017

Peau de Bête by Les Liquides Imaginaires

The opening of Peau de Bete is dry as an incense that has all the charm of freshly cast concrete pavement. This dry and cold character is given life by a warm organic spice that keeps the tone low and husky before a very dry leather emerges. All this has a strong indolic undertone that is very animalic and is very alluring and intriguing at opening and through the mid notes but falls apart toward the base of the scent. The base notes take the scent into a synthetic plastic aroma that is a less pleasant side to the synthetic skatole listed in the notes list. This is an unusual scent for sure and I think many people will like it, but I really did not enjoy the very ending of the scent when the various notes just didn't hang together well. Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars.
22nd February, 2017

Love Potion by Oriflame

Reminds me of Crystal Noir upon first application. The lily is prominent to me. The dry down is subtle. Lovely fragrance, for the price.
21st February, 2017

Laudano Nero by Tiziana Terenzi

WOW! Just WOW! Headache inducing... YES! Strong scent that is overwhelming to say the least. It's like walking into a home store just slammed with incense and candles. Smells very similar to Ralph Lauren Supreme Oud to my nose... just kicked up about 100% in strength. One spray will do you for sure... if you are into this type of scent. This leans towards the feminine side IMO. The scent itself starts with a powdery tobacco and oud combination with hints rose, smoke and lots of incense. It does have a good amount of sweetness in it as well which gives it a "candy" vibe. This is just too much for me to take. The scent just comes at you from all sides and doesn't stop. IMO try before you buy.... Or better yet AVOID! WOW!
21st February, 2017

Fougère Royale by Houbigant

Thumbs up for this clean, classic-smelling fragrance. It's light on me, and doesn't feel too far off from the feel of an Eau de Cologne. This has a nice soapy or shaving cream smell. From the listed notes, heliotrope jumped out at me, and now I'm smelling the connection with the 2016 Chanel release Boy.
21st February, 2017

Oud Saphir by Atelier Cologne

Suede, pepper, and the olfactory illusion of spruce needles - If I didn't know better I'd swear this was a nod at the original Burberrys for Men. Linear stuff but you know what you're buying right away, and you know it's good.
21st February, 2017

Rose Anonyme by Atelier Cologne

Rose Anonyme pulls off what I have only thus far experienced in the now woefully rare Arena di Roma - A quiet Oud. The blend of rose, bergamot, and soft spices makes the whole smell more than a little like potpourri, but in a pleasant manner the likes of which I would normally associate with Histoires or Strange Invisible Perfumes (Lyric Rain in particular). Compared to the usually straightforward and simplistic scents being churned out by Atelier this comes across more like a proper designer fragrance. It is soft but warmly radiant, it doesn't change much during its lifespan, the ultimate drydown is a bit banal, but the overall experience is one of fleeting pleasure and exuberance, and I like that plenty. Anyone who has enjoyed smoking blue lotus should give this one a wear.
21st February, 2017
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Patou pour Homme (original) by Jean Patou

Having had the chance to wear this product a number of times since its release, it is high time to review it.

Herbal green and fresh green - that is the first impression I get when then opening blast hits me. The fresh side introduced by a fairly restrained petit grain, which permeates the greenery very discretely. Draped over this like a gossamer veil is a whiff of oregano that rounds off the unique impression theses top notes make.

The middle notes introduces a lovely jasmine, which links the top and the heart notes, and soon it adds floral notes: firstly a very beautiful geranium that, in all its distinct presence, is mixing in extremely well with the other notes. A similarly impressive carnation completes the floral dyad beautifully. Both florals are of a discreetly natural beauty.

There is still more to that phase in the development: a delightful woodsy aroma of pine needles that, however, remains more in the background after its original appearance.

The base sees a gentle tonka arise that is not particularly sweet, accompanied by a slightly mossy castoreum they gives the final moment a bit of a - nonetheless quite gentle - bite. This touch of sharpness counteracts the tonka well.

On me this is not a development that never comes in sequences of clearly discrete stepwise developing phases, but the stages merge into one another in a very fluid manner.

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

So far this scent - very suitable for spring evenings - sound very nice but not really deservings its stellar reputation, but with PPH it is the absolutely sensational quality of its ingredients as well as the astoundingly beautiful blending that raises in into the zenith of iconic fragrances. Although it is often called a floral chypre, this is more of a brighter and beautifully elegant composition. An elegant chypre is a rare thing indeed. The longevity is not optimal but this is the price we sometimes pay for prime natural ingredients. 4.5/5.
20th February, 2017
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Rose Hubris by Ex Nihilo

A watery yet sweetish rose scent over a scrubbed-clean lightly floral-minty patchouli. Airy and transparent, kinda like Ulrich Lang's Nightscape with a dash of rose syrup.

Pleasantly wearable for either gender with adequate but modest performance metrics. In the final analysis, its reticent personality just does not make quite as romantic a statement as MFK's Lumiere Noire pour Homme or Serge Lutens' La Fille de Berlin.
20th February, 2017

Mon Numéro 8 by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Smelling Mon Numéro 8 reminds me of a lovely girl I used to know whose cheeks I kissed as we said our goodbyes so many years ago. They were soft yet cool to the touch, with light barely-there makeup, framed by freshly shampoo-ed hair, tinged with her own unique musk I had somehow grown accustomed to.

I must say Mon Numéro 8 is one elegant, rather sophisticated acquaintance I had the pleasure of making. It felt like Bertrand Duchafour pulled a L'Artisan out of a Chanel Exclusif. It is shaping up to be one of those goodbyes I don't wish to make again.
20th February, 2017

Anthropologie Fictions : Paris, She Met Him In Secret by Anthropologie

While London: She Knew He Was Forever was clearly a pre-internet long distance romance, a snail mail lovingly crafted over a cup of tea, Paris: She Met Him In Secret is where the lovers' pent up longings culminate in a sweaty raunchy reunion.

Violet and iris are natural pairs but violet leaf and iris make for a rather unusual tension-filled coupling. The tension threatens to derail the composition right off the bat if it wasn't held cohesively together by the star of the show: leather.

Here in Paris, the leather snarls at the start of the lustful shirt-tearing encounter but towards the end as the reunited couple fell asleep in each other's embrace, it purrs quietly, its fury expended.

OK, you could tell I'm making this all up. You're right. But when a fragrance gets someone to do that, it is probably something worth checking out.
20th February, 2017

French Line by Révillon

Thumbs up for vintage French Line by Revillon, although it may have some harshness in the opening - did someone roast the patchouli? It steps back from the sternness to be softer, and even slightly sweet, as it develops, and the quality of fragrances from the 1980s makes itself smelt.
20th February, 2017

Anthropologie Fictions : London, She Knew He Was For-ever by Anthropologie

A transparent yet pleasant composition based on (yet another) floral tea, warmed with what could only be a miserly drop of honey.

As far as originality is concerned this is clearly derivative but the name does make a play for the heartstrings:

She knew he was for ever.

What she didn't know was this fragrance doesn't stick around long enough for anyone to fall in love with.
20th February, 2017

Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia by Guerlain

The olfactory impression I had while wearing this was that of a light floral tea flavored with citrus peel shavings and crushed mint leaves. If polite and pleasant company is what you're after, Mentafollia fits the bill. Personally I much prefer her greener, less sedate mint-chewing cousin, Herba Fresca.
20th February, 2017

Vanille Insensée by Atelier Cologne

If you want to smell like singed, buttered tonka this stuff will knock you out. The quieter dimensions at work (especially the moss) keep things in check as best they can, but it's a tough sell to make a truly interesting vanilla-centered fragrance. Not at all a bad scent, overall. Fans of VI looking for a little more dimension may have some fun looking for old samples of Scott McClintock.
19th February, 2017

Crystal Noir by Versace

Enchanting fragrance -- clunky bottle.
18th February, 2017

Javanese Patchouli by Ermenegildo Zegna

This fragrance really got me the first time I smelled it. I first tested Javanese Patchouli where I used to buy all my fragrances, at the duty free shop in the airport wasting time before I catch a flight. Wandering around and just smelling the usual suspects they have at these shops I found this in a bit out of the way corner of the store and of everything I smelled, this really stood out.

I remember first smelling the scent of patchouli wafting around the sidewalks in Haight Ashbury San Fransisco where the bohemian culture thrives, this reminds me of those scents and I like that.

J.P. is clean, with very clear woody patchouli notes throughout, I detect slight citrus and pepper in the opening with the woods emerging a bit in the dry down.

In the day of safe gourmand metrosexual scents J.P. is a great change of pace for my nose.

I have quite a few patchouli dominated scents and this is my favorite, I can wear it with a suit to change things up as it’s not a sillage beast, my only small complaint is the longevity for me as it last about 3 hours on my skin and it’s a bit expensive.

I will buy another backup bottle as I’m not sure this is a popular scent right now and I will always want this in my collection, it’s quite unique.

17th February, 2017

Rose Opulente by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Stardate 20170217:

I have no idea who would buy this. Liquid hand soaps use better rose than this.
Synthetic, plastic rose

Avoid
17th February, 2017

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Stardate 20170217:

A refreshing twist on the current oud-rose trend. The sweetness of rose is contrasted with earthy and dirty vetiver and "truffle accord".

Well-blended and easily wearable. Recommended
17th February, 2017

Aqua pour Homme Atlantique by Bulgari

Thankfully I don't detect even the slightest hint of anything remotely fishy in this. But then again, I have never detected anything fishy in any of Bvlgari's Aqva line (where other people clearly have). I also don't sense much resemblance to Dior's Sauvage (which I happen to like). In my opinion this is much more similar to Bvlgari's Aqva Tonique & Aqva Marine Tonique. It's a bit sweet and a bit salty.

While it's undeniably an 'aquatic' style of fragrance, there is a sweetness to this (like the definite and clear pear top note in Tonique) that the note pyramid listed doesn't seem to support. A combination of sandalwood and benzoin could possibly produce the sweetness, but these are listed as base notes and I'm detecting the sweetness from the very top notes.

If the note pyramid is correct, then it's an odd mix of notes that unsurprisingly comes across as a bit of an oddity on my skin. Combining earthy notes like patchouli and vetiver, with creamy sandalwood and benzoin, then unspecified 'water' and 'sea' notes just doesn't seem like it would work. Yet to some degree I think Bvlgari and Mr Cavallier have pulled it off. I like it well enough, but I don't think I'll grow to love it, like I do the original Aqva or some of the other Aqva flankers.

I don't find this to be particularly synthetic or cheap smelling (compared to other similar fragrances in market). While it performs well enough, it doesn't match the longevity of the original Aqva or even the more recent Amara (which is a powerhouse on my skin).

As this was a gift and didn't cost me anything, I can live with my mediocre feelings towards it and I'll definitely get some fair use out of this bottle. I'd give it a solid 3 out of 5.
17th February, 2017

Mélodie de L'Amour by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

Old school indolic white floral.
Reminds me of old feminine by Patou. Maybe 1000.
Also similar to one of the Amouges I tried at Bergdorf: Gold or 25.

For folks who love vintage indolic white flower frags this is great. I am not a big fan of that style.
17th February, 2017

La Douceur de Siam by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

A very nice rose.Much like the current rose-oud ones . Ex-Idolo , Tiziana Rose, Montale.
Sure it may have no oud but the heft and complexity is made up by SW,Amber and spices.
I like this one
Idolo 33>this>Terenzi
17th February, 2017

Issara by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

Starts piney and sweet and then Ambergris and musk take over. I like this heart phase. It then changes and becomes soapy and fougerey.

Base is reminiscent of Creed's Aventus/Spice wood
17th February, 2017

Le Sillage Blanc by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

An old school green fragrance nicely done.
I am not a fan of galbanum and so this gets a neutral from me.
If you like vintage Weil de Weil and Vert you will like this
17th February, 2017

Él by Arquiste

EL is a soft green leafy fougere, that upon opening draws you into its verdant garden aroma with shaded green plant essences that are similar to the character of Patrick Cologne and also Villoresi Pour Homme. But after the green is established El takes a strong fougere turn with a warm, not too sweet honey + coumarin hay fougere base accord. This is what the really old fashioned "fern" fragrances were meant to smell like! At this point in development I'm thinking it's a re do of original English Fern, but no the story does not end with green and green fern. Providing solid ground for this soft green fougere is a very dried suede leather type base that stays consistent with very traditional masculine, old world perfumes. The base is provided by patchouli, oak moss, castoreum and civet for a warm low purring softness that provides sophistication and pinache for EL and without it this fragrance would be not too much more than a pleasant drug store fougere. The very good fougere fragrances of the past along with their warm herbal hay coumarin character always had the option of a bitter dark oak moss full stop ending that gave these fragrances balance and contrast. With the regulation of oak moss I am impressed to see the bold combination base notes in EL to add that much needed grounding for this type of scent. EL is a deep green fougere with a dusty suede finish that would be a great signature scent for any style confident lady or man. Rating is: 8 of 10.
16th February, 2017 (last edited: 20th February, 2017)
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