Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 130822

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

I'm trying the original version of Kouros, and it's an interesting fragrance with an exciting, animalic opening. The urinous note is not so different from vintage Boss No. 1, which I enjoy. Some moments in the early development are reminiscent of an overused urinal, with an air freshener trying to offset the smell, but as it develops, it's nicer, and smells like an ambitious animalic floral. Into the base, it's an interesting woody fragrance, with a hint of animalic in the background. Overall, a marginal thumbs up, with my preference for something in this vein being vintage Boss.
20th October, 2016
RHM Show all reviews
United States

Central Park West by Bond No. 9

One of the few big white floral fragrances I wear & actually enjoy. My skin turns FRACAS into a demure (not a typo) floral. So it is great to find a great white flora that stays "big" on me.

I get many, many compliments when I wear this. That doesn't happen often, so it's pleasant when it does.
20th October, 2016
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Tobacco Absolute by Molton Brown

A truly beautiful tobacco accord achieved by simply mixing the tobacco note with leather and woods while maintaining a sort of transparency -- it never feels heavy. The top notes are so fleeting, I can't describe them especially any hints of grapefruit.

The fragrance performs well for me in all aspects and all for under £40. I would rather have 4 bottles of this than 75ml of Tabarome and most other niche 'tobacco' fragrances actually.
20th October, 2016
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Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cédrat Enivrant by Atelier Cologne

One of the most wonderful citric openings ever -- a lime and bergamot accord to die for.

It is an out-and-out 'citrus' fragrance imo with just small nods to herbs and woods later on. I don't get any spicy aspects.

Great sillage and longevity. There is no downside.
20th October, 2016
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Prada L'Homme by Prada

Well, Prada seem to have run out of ideas and are chasing a winning formula only.

This is Dior Homme minus the 'lipsticky' element.

Just reinforces the idea that these Designer Houses have of male fragrance buyers, i.e. that we are all mindless sheep.

This deserves to 'tank'
20th October, 2016

Ambre Doré by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

This is lovely. When it first went on, it smelt quite green and herby, but after a couple of minutes, I got a lot of the myrrh and the sandalwood. Combined with the clary sage and the agarwood (which I like ALOT) it’s a lovely combination – all of these notes play so beautifully together. After around four hours wear, it had softened into a cosy, warm, almost creamy amber scent. I don’t believe in allocating perfumes to a particular season or time (I firmly believe that if you like it, and it smells good on you, then you should enjoy it and wear it whenever and wherever you like) but I could see this being a lovely autumn or winter scent – this is so warm and soft, it brings to mind cool, crisp breezes and soft snuggly jumpers. A winner.
20th October, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Fleur Narcotique by Ex Nihilo

A bergamot opening embedded in a white floral blend - I get peony and hints of of lily-of-the-valley above all. This is given a nice twist with an infusion of a fresh-peachy aroma that balances out the floral side very pleasantly.

In the drydown the white florals move into the foreground, with a subtle jasmine, orange blossoms and a creamy foundation underneath, but less intensive than the top notes. The base continues the same theme, with nonspecific woodsy and light musky aromas added to it.

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

A not very original but otherwise impeccable floral-fruity opening, delicate but smooth and slightly creamy, especially later in the drydown. Unfortunately, the later development on my skin is flatter, more colourless, and the base is disappointing. Overall I struggle to get this into the positive realm. 2.75/5.
20th October, 2016

Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

Stardate 20161019:

A nice Amber fragrance with some vanilla in it. A bit dirtier than most Ambers.

A reference masculine Amber. Enough said.

FB Worthy
19th October, 2016

Braggi by Long Lost Perfume

Braggi is a dark, warm, powdery fragrance. It has a substantial feel, as if oak moss and patchouli are part of the formula, and the description of leathery tobacco matches the smooth warmth of the fragrance. For what I have in my collection, this reminds me most of Bel Ami, although this is more powdery, and I also get a hint of the Paco Rabanne Pour Homme soapiness.
19th October, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Oud Vendôme by Ex Nihilo

Ginger and saffron galore indeed - a smooth and slightly fuzzy saffron, not the more intense version of Comptoir Pacifique's Sultan Safran.

The ginger has a crisp edge that has synthetic-sharpish characteristics and is a bit more of the usual ilk - not the richer juicier ginger that is present in Creed's Tabarôme Millesimé - but it is not badly done, and works quite well with the saffron here.

Gradually the gingery note morphs by adding the oud, which gradually grows stronger and blends in with the he ginger, to revolve into the main component by the time the base notes unfold. This is a far cry from the hyperaggresive-superchemical oud attacks on is exposed to so frequently these days.

Galbanum is added at the begin of the heart notes, as is a soft, gentle and refreshingly unobtrusive incense impression that never pushes into the limelight - a glowing, intense but restrainedly low-key incense endowed with touches of elegance. No aggressive peppers, no ceremonial pomp, no exotic market aromas, and no medicinal undertones - this is a pared-down and convincingly focused velvety incense that blends in beautifully with the rest.

Initially accompanied by a gentle musky undertone, this delightfully wood-infused incense forms the core notes in the base phase on my skin.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a supreme fourteen hours of longevity on my skin.

This wintery oud-incense creation is unusually balanced and well executed; and whilst it is creative only for part of its development, it is overall surprisingly well made. 3.5/5.
19th October, 2016

Woto by Deviline

A nice, powdery, creamy oak moss fragrance with a light sweetness, and maybe a dash of musk, a little like Chanel No. 19, but with a darker powder smell, more masculine and complex.
18th October, 2016

Pasha by Cartier

Stardate 20161018:

A good affordable classic masculine aromatic fougere.

This is one of the few cases where reformulation is well done and you should be fine with any version. The vintage is smoother but new one projects more. They both last a workday. The spicy note is more prominent in the current version whereas the base in vintage shines through more as spices take a back stage. So if that cumin BO note bothers you, vintage might work better for you.

The structure is that of an aromatic fougere and if you have tried Safari, Tsar, Jazz you should know what to expect.

Can be had for under $30/100ml - a no brainer.

18th October, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Bois d’Hiver by Ex Nihilo

Cardamom, cyclamen and heliotropes - and that with a dash of light pepper - resulting in a pleasant dish of top notes. Quite original and well balanced, with the pepper being quite restrained and more a condiment than in the foreground. This is not a heavily spicy opening.

The drydown and floral undertones, a soft patchouli above all, and is followed by mixed woods that lead into - and later on dominate - the base. They are mainly cedar, a light cedar without any heavy pencil shavings.

This base lingers on, pleasantly woody and fades gradually.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and eleven hours of longevity on my skin.

An agreeable autumn creation, well blended, a touch creative in the opening and well balanced, with the synthetic notes not overtly chemical. 3.25/5.
18th October, 2016
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Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

Patou Pour Homme (new) by Jean Patou

The dictionary tells us that a sacred cow is an idiom that represents an idea, custom, or institution held, especially unreasonably, to be above criticism (with reference to the Hindus' respect for the cow as a sacred animal). Jean Kerleo’s 1980 Patou Pour Homme is a sacred cow if ever there was one.

Interestingly, when Patou Pour Homme was first released, it was not a big hit and, like the writer John Kennedy O’Toole, only received acclaim and adoration after its death. Patou made an attempt at product placement, positioning it as Don Johnson’s signature scent in Miami Vice, but it never took off, despite its brilliance. Discontinued, it became the Holy Grail of vintage perfume collectors, demanding prices commensurate with its demand.

Fast forward to 2014 when the House of Patou, under its new owners Shaneel Enterprises, reissued this mythical fragrance as part of their Collection Heritage under the direction of house perfumer Thomas Fontaine. This was huge news and eagerly awaited by the perfume community who sharpened their knives and were prepared to use them, should the reformulation fall short of expectations. The only other relaunch as keenly scrutinized has been the relaunch of another sacred cow, Helmut Lang’s Cuiron.

The relaunched scent is currently available and is very good—very good, indeed. Is it as good as Kerleo’s masterpiece? Far be it from me to say….

What I can say is that the new scent, in an IFRA-dominated word, has lost its oakmoss and Mysore sandalwood—well, that is no surprise—and gained a floral heart with lavender, jasmine, rose and violet joining the lineup, edging out the original vetiver, cedar patchouli and clary sage. These floral notes are more commonly used in feminine perfumes and the rose/jasmine accord is almost a house note for Patou, whose landmark perfume, Joy, is based on it.

Has Patou Pour Homme been emasculated, or just brought into the current age? The new scent is completely wearable now and while it may not have the richness and complexity of the original—or its resolutely masculine edge—it is beautiful, rich and expensive smelling. The spicy top notes of pepper are freshened by citrus and galbanum. A floral heart emerges that might once have seemed too feminine but now feels comfortably masculine. The base of leather and patchouli, while it does not compare to the woods and moss in the original, provides a warm, lingering drydown.

The reformulated Patou Pour Homme may no longer walk on water but it is still a very good scent—no longer a sacred cow, but just a quality, distinctive men’s scent. This could easily find a following in the market the way that the original never did; it has come out from under a bell jar and into our time. Seekers of perfection will continue their quest for vintage juice, but if you have not tried the original, try this—it is very good.

17th October, 2016 (last edited: 19th October, 2016)

Oud Délice by Robert Piguet

Stardate 20161017:

All I get is coconut candy (almond joy) for first few hours and then some synthetic oud. A bad one at that.

A disappointment from a house that typically produces good fragrances.
I guess they wanted to jump onto the gourmand-oud bandwagon.
17th October, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Venenum Kiss by Ex Nihilo

The opening posts a vetiver that is accompanied by saffron and nutmeg, and two of these three are quite generic - only the nutmeg - as bland as it is - shows some individual characteristic that might possibly be convincing.

The next phase of florals, led by a rose note that is of limited interest, launches into and ambroxan-vanilla duo that is again quite generic, although at times the vanilla comes across quite nicely at times; and the vanilla is actually not particularly sweet on my skin.

The main course (or curse) of the base menu consists of this very ambery note, combined with a loud, crisp and penetrating styrax; a nonspecific woodsy undertone is also present. This all together develops into one of these highly intrusive, aggressive and overly synthetic woody-chemico-oud cocktails, straight out of the laboratory and reminding me of certain wood polishes. Now such cocktails are found a lot in contemporary fragrances, but here it tops off what is in general a less-than-convincing creation. This pseudo-oud has nigh toxic vibes - maybe that is where this product's name is derived from.

I get strong sillage, excellent projection and an impressive ten hours of longevity on my skin.

This autumnal scent is not bad, but quite mediocre. 2:5/5.
17th October, 2016

Private Label by Jovoy

As a rule, leather smells good, but some leather has a chemical smell as if something harsh was used instead of traditional processing, and that's the kind of leather smell I get from Jovoy Private Label, off-gassing chemical leather, and this is mixed with woody notes similar to what I smell marketed as oud in 2016. In the base, the best of the composition comes out, a light, woody soapiness.
16th October, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Musc Infini by Ex Nihilo

White musky opening aromas greet me in the opening moments - and they are the core note in the first phase of the development of this creating. Hints and mandarin and grapefruit, and a rather synthetic ambery background make themselves felt in the drydown, as does a light patchouli

In the base a pleasant, sweet but not cloying tonka note develops, with heavy lashings of benzoin draped over it like a smooth veil. A contemporaneous creamy light powderiness is the main accompaniment in the base.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent and the longevity a respectable ten hours on my skin.

A pleasant and smooth autumn scent for colder days, is is a nice scent apart from a certain predictability and at times a nigh-generic synthetic undertone. 2.75/5
16th October, 2016

Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

In the good moments of this fragrance, the earlier stages, I get a creamy astringency, and I feel like I understand the appreciation of it. Other times, and often, I get a harshness of synthetic fixatives.
16th October, 2016

Lavender Palm by Tom Ford

An unexpected scent...

I really had no idea what to think about this scent from the mixed reviews. I've been offered bottles in swaps, but never really felt brave enough to just "go for it". However, a friend I have done many trades with had it, and I figured it was time to test those particular waters.

I have been testing this today, and whereas I previously had assumed this would be either going into my swap or sales pile, I am convinced I will be keeping this particular brew! I am not a fan of "barbershop" scents for myself. I admire other women who can pull it off, but I just can't. But I do love lavender, and have not had any luck with lavender in a scent that doesn't lean dramatically masculine as well as screams "I just had a shave and a haircut!" - but then this strange and unusual combination of elements comes together and all of a sudden, here is a lavender perfectly suited for women!

It can be described as a salty (I know, weird, right?), and yet creamy lavender - yea, I know...doesn't make sense. Here is something to add to the nonsensical description - I am reminded of the beach on a cool day. I know, you think I'm losing my mind. And whereas everyone talks about this being "California" I think about the mid-Atlantic beaches I have loved all of my life. This is (dare I say it?) the aquatic I have been searching for! How can this be??? I do not comprehend how these notes that I can truly pick out, combine to bring me a clear vision of a mid-Atlantic beach on a cool day! How seriously bizarre and wonderful!
16th October, 2016

Jazz Prestige by Yves Saint Laurent

A decent fragrance from YSL. I usually find something I don't like in the YSL base notes, Jazz Prestige included, a missing nuance or refinement, a missing tastiness, but it's a fun fragrance, and would be my pick ahead of Rive Gauche Pour Homme as the house's top barbershop fragrance.
16th October, 2016

Black by Puredistance

I received a sample of this about a year ago, really enjoyed it, and thought "well, that was lovely, but can't afford it".

Thankfully, I was in a place recently where I could trade another high-end fragrance for it, and as I type this, I am wearing this very beautiful, but hard-to-describe scent.

My impression is of a darkened room, lined with old books, treasures, and other antiquities, and a worn velvet sofa where I sit curled reading a novel, while my beloved sips rum and smokes a pipe. There is a small incense burner, and the unknown substance is smoking gently, wafting seeking residence inside the pages of the old books and the leather that binds them. Roses placed in a tarnished silver vase sit in a corner on top of an old sandalwood box. I wear a touch of amber on my wrists and my husband is wearing a musky oud.

This impression lasts and lasts...I cannot say what others might smell, or what is actually in this tall black bottle, but I really love what my nose and brain receive!
15th October, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Jasmin Fauve by Ex Nihilo

The jasmine only arrived after the - initially dominating - muguet. This white floral is pleasant, very smooth, and endowed with a level of sweetness that is spot-on - sweet, not heavy or cloying, but more an elegant and light-hearted sweetness.

Then the jasmin comes to the fore, again a nice jasmine although not a brilliant or sensation representative of this note. The tuberose - on my skin more accompaniment hay soloist - blends in nicely. It is, again, not a fat or heavy and waxy tuberose, but a lighter and elegant version. There develops, slowly, an underlying clean soapiness than increasingly grows stronger and moves into the foreground by the time the basenote ohasenis reached.

This base is heavily skewed towards a rather unexciting ambroxan core, with a white musky impression woven into it. These are fading gradually, and the clean musky soapiness constitutes this creation's olfactory coda.

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

A very agreeable spring day scent, with only the base being a bit too generic. This hovers just between a neutral and a positive score, but the overall well executed top and heart notes push it across the line into the thumbs-up territory - albeit just so. 3/5.

15th October, 2016

Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

Sweet, powdery, floral, animalic (civet, I gather), I'm a big fan of this style. I'm trying this from a sample. The closest I have to this in my collection is vintage Habit Rouge Eau de Cologne, just from the feel of assured, light sweetness, backed up with an animalic component; I think they both use vanilla. This one has a stronger animalic contribution, the more the merrier to my nose.
14th October, 2016 (last edited: 16th October, 2016)

Vetiver by Etro

A vetiver that opens smoky and with the smell of Indian spices, then fades into a more tame vetiver, a marginal thumbs up.
14th October, 2016 (last edited: 15th October, 2016)

Sunshine Man by Amouage

I tried to like this scent but it is just so overwhelmingly harsh in the open (takes 3 1/2 to 4 hours on my skin to settle). It's synthetic to my nose and all vanilla. The opening, middle and dry down are all vanilla. If you are a fan of Vanilla this is for you. I just can't do it. Avoid.
14th October, 2016

Black by Bulgari

Love this one! So different...kind of edgy, definitely not one that everyone can pull off!
14th October, 2016

Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

Stardate 20161014:

A great modern cologne. One of the few good fragrances from this house.

It lasts a long time (again unlike others from this house) and has great projection.

The basil polishes the traditional cologne accord and makes it a lot more sophisticated.

No need to vintage hunt with this one- current version is very good.
A bit pricey but with this one a spray or 2 will suffice so get a small decant.
14th October, 2016

Bois du Portugal by Creed

Stardate 20161014:

A classic men's cologne - likes of Chanel PM and Tiffany for Men.
Citrus top and powdery vanillic drydown. Some SW too.

None of that modern crappy Creed signature accord, but then I have an older bottle and don't know how the current formulation is.

Also from what I can tell, the nose was not a Creed so maybe that explains why this is so different and good.

Thumbs up.
14th October, 2016

Intense Pepper by Montale

I'm always keen on trying pepper fragrances since it remains an intriguing note that I enjoy much of the time (as in Amouage Honour Man or Le Labo Poivre 23), so this release of Intense Pepper by Montale from almost two years ago remains one I'd wanted to try.

Lemon, pink pepper, and black pepper comprise a pungent opening that is slightly fresh but of course a healthy dose of pepper. It's fresh and clean in the opening while becoming a little more daring in the dry down, where amber, synthetic oakmoss, and white musk round out an earthy, musky, ever slightly so sweet vibe, though the black and pink pepper remain the main players.

Not Montale's most powerful entry but certainly strong enough to merit its cost, even discounted, at $108 for 100ml on Beautyspin. An enjoyable cold weather entry that works better for men, I imagine, but women can enjoy it too, Intense Pepper is an easy-to-wear pepper winner in my opinion, as pepper fragrances can often be a bit overwhelming but this one does the note justice in a considerate way.

8 out of 10
14th October, 2016