Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Encre Noire Sport by Lalique


I really enjoy the original Encre Noire so I made a blind purchase of this Sport version, and I did not make a mistake. I wasn’t planning to, but I actually prefer this sport version: it has a tamer ink note; also, the potent resinousness of the vetivers has been reduced. These reductions make Encre Noire Sport much more subtle in performance. It is more versatile than the original version.

Encre Noire Sport is easy to recommend: If you liked the original, you will likely enjoy Sport. If you disliked the original, you will probably not enjoy this. Oh, and in this case, the name “sport” really means “reduced strength.” I will not use this as a sport fragrance…
07th February, 2016

Versace pour Femme Oud Oriental by Versace


Freesia and heliotrope and violet, oh my! I wonder why they included “oud” in the name of this oriental. All I get is huge floral triad that lasts for a couple of hours. I don’t smell the saffron that might have toned down the flower trio; I don’t even smell the roses. This floral accord linearly hangs on from the opening through the middle, losing some potency, but being hardly affected when in the base it is touched by a diminutive patchouli and a modicum of leather. With the development of the base, the leather turns out to be hit and run, while the sandalwood and oud are missing in action as far as my nose is concerned.

Versace por Femme Oud Oriental is a disappointing fragrance in total. The masculine version of Versace Oud is a decent fragrance, but this one is just superfluous.
07th February, 2016

eo01 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke


Totally, delectably woody-gourmand (but not foody) opening. a complex spicy-fruity accord hovering over a woody platform. The fruit are primarily citrus but with a strong mitigating, screech-lowering coconut which seems more coconut husk than pulp or milk. This is one of the first coconut notes that I’ve enjoyed in fragrances… The spices – cardamom and a restrained nutmeg are quite neutral and provide heft and substance rather than typical spice-drama. Also aiding the spices in neutralizing and maturing the sweet top level platform is that discreet platform of wood wafting in from the mid and base levels.

Neutrality and texture continue dominating the middle level of a tamed-rosewood / floral. Again, like the spices of the opening, the florals exude texture rather than drama. I guess “neutrality” is the word for this level – it has lost the gourmand reference of the opening and even that hint of vanilla that had been suggested. As undramatic as it is, I keep being drawn to sniffing and enjoying it. It is enjoyable even with a large part of the middle’s “neutrality” includes its reduced sillage. It doesn’t broadcast as well as the opening.

Speaking of not broadcasting – the base is quite recessive, too. And too bad; it is an excellent complex wood base. I don’t get any sweet in the base. Besides the wood setting of sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, and patchouli, about the only identifiable note I get is a sparkly but not sweet cinnamon. The base is rich and sophisticated, but it could definitely use greater projection.

I love nearly everything about eo01 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke, but its extreme discreetness gives me pause in completely surrendering to it… I see it as having a place as both a sophisticated office scent and a warm sensual body fragrance for either gender. Its beauty is almost silent.
07th February, 2016
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Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur by Pierre Cardin

This was the signature of my best friend in the early 70's. It smelled absolutely stunning on him. It seemed to me a gentler Aramis. At the time I was stuck on my Eau Sauvage and the Cardin was not my style. It was inexpensive and worthy fragrance then due to the relative abundance of quality Sandalwood.I have not tasted the later production, so will refrain from comment until I have a nip.. The Vintage was very good.
07th February, 2016

Uomo by Lorenzo Villoresi

This is so beautifully balanced, musically harmonious, aromatically calming, that all I can say is,un vero gentiluomo.

10 outa 10 for this un.
07th February, 2016

Lapidus pour Homme by Ted Lapidus

This is something that I own. I wear it only once in a while. It is so f$%&ing brutal, tenacious and ugly in the first 8 hours, even with one spray. It's almost cartoon.
After 8 hours it has a perfume, so utterly beautiful,it takes my breath away. Blissfully Masculine. Little dabble dooya.
07th February, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Néroli Doré by Hermès

A heavy neroli of medium brightness dominates this creation for beginning to end, with the saffron providing a background and some counterweight.

The neroli is as chemical as it gets, intrusive and at times of a nauseatingly synthetic quality. This is miles from being a good, convincing neroli. In this case clever chemical substitutes backfire and create a parody of a good neroli. This is a shame, as Hermès has, of course, produced sublime scents over the years, and Ellena's drive to replace nature with petrochemical molecular minimalism had produced some convincingly noteworthy successes in the past.

The performance is good, with strong sillage, excellent projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

This fragrance induced nausea and a headache in a person sitting next to me that usually has no problems with scents, so people sensitive to fragrances might try a very small sample initially. 1.5/5.
07th February, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate by Hermès

This is rhubarb all right, from he beginning to the end. A heavy, synthetic and at times distortedly shrill rhubarb that is not really very nuanced in any way.

The performance on my skin in good, with strong sillage, excellent projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

Worth a try in soring if you love petrochemical rhubarb. I will now enjoy some real stuff. The stuff that grows in nature.
07th February, 2016

Bottega Veneta Pour Homme by Bottega Veneta

When this came out, it was a SA must have. They all seemed to have a bottle glued to their hand, a twitch in their forefinger and a crazed look in their eyes. Tried it once, one to the chest, one to the wrist. Never got it.
Had to stay away from the Perfume Counters for a while.
Read Deadidol's review. It's spot on.
07th February, 2016

Italian Cypress by Tom Ford

Take Polo, turn down the volume to 1/3, add that dollop of shaving cream mentioned in another review, add a smidge of cinnamon and basil and make it last a good long time. Voila, good scent but much too expensive for what it is and compared to other conifers. My decant's at least 5 years old.
07th February, 2016

Bandit by Robert Piguet

Outstanding unisex, slightly animalic, floral leather, the circa 2000 parfum version.

The floral and the leather are the same smell, as if a zealous tanner made a dark, heavy leather jacket floral and shiny. A thick leather, but soft.

The base isn't a million miles away from the effect in Antaeus, I think they may have a similar patchouli.
06th February, 2016 (last edited: 07th February, 2016)

Fico d'India by Ortigia

Excellent Suspended's description. The Fichi d'India (Opuntia Ficus Indica) are averagely common plants in south Italy, especially in Calabria and Sicilia. This quite stout plant (Barbary Fig), growing up in arid/semi-arid areas, is a species of cactus, possibly native to Mexico, which has been able to adapt its "status" to really hard (waterless) conditions. The fruit, which is enjoyed "frozen" by many (I actually don't crave for it), has a taste similar to sweet watermelon. Ortigia has (also in this case) once again been able to extrapolate the hidden essence of an indigenous peculiar friut finally appointing a quite pleasant fragrance which, despite the lack of complex structure, is able to stand out for gracefulness and delicacy. Fico d'India is figgy, soapy, floral, ethereal and musky. There is a connection (thin red edge) with scents a la Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio, Ferragamo Pour Homme and Diptyque Philosykos but this fragrance possesses an its own "southern" (hard to describe) fleshy particularity. It is indeed at same time balmy-ethereal and fleshy-juicy (kind of simil berrish/orangy/mellony/plummy), powdery and musky. There is an intense (juicy-acid) black/red cherry-like fruitiness jumping as well out and it is quite irresistible end erotic. This fruity vibe is anyway basically figgy like a classic fig-vibe enriched by berry/melony fruitiness. Fruitiness is anyway finally dry and powdery (after the initial tart-vibe's recession). Powdery woods close the round of this really original creation. This creation is not surely creative but ends to smell peculiar and temperamental. Another Ortigia's evocative performance for us.
06th February, 2016

Precious Woods by April Aromatics

If like me you enjoy woody scents, you may be forgiven for asking the next question on the list: "which woods do you like?". A hard to answer question as there are so many out there - patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver (or is that a grass?) and the more well-known cedar and sandalwood.

Precious Woods takes all of them together and presents them to you in one go. The first puff of this scent is woods overload. Dark and balsamic at first, you could easily judge this one as a scrubber. But good things come to those that wait, so the more patient frag-heads will appreciate what happens next.

The deliciously woody and hazelnutty (is that a word?) dry down is pine, cedar and santal. Creamy yet not sweet, smooth and refined. The 'hazelnut' aspect comes out quite prominently, but it isn't immediately obvious which ingredient(s) is/are causing that effect.

This well-blended scent is hard to find as the brand is not very well known and the 30ml bottle is a disappointment. Also the 'new age' feel of the brand with its associations to yoga and glass "pearls" in the bottle (you read that correctly) does not warrant full marks from me (it's a perfume - juice in a bottle - and nothing else!). But it still performes well as the blend is well-crafted.

There are definitely many other superb woody scents out there from many niche brands, but this is certainly one to spritz before you buy.

Overall 4/5
05th February, 2016
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Leather by Franck Boclet

I recall I tried this once a couple of years ago and was more pleasantly surprised than I would have liked to admit – it’s niche, it’s quite overpriced, for a die-hard “anti-niche” like I was (and partially still am) it’s sometimes hard to admit that something smells nice. Now I got the chance to smell this again and yes, it smells definitely good. By “good” I mean here my favourite interpretation of the term, applied to perfumes: “solid and creative”. This is in fact something quite different and finally, quite more unusual than the majority of today’s niche leathers (which smell either like bitter rubber or whatever other ill, unwearable idea of leather, or just like Tuscan Leather clones). It opens with a sort of medicinal-nutty accord of amber, mild patchouli and some quite good saffron, mixed with a delicate sort of salty, salicylic-musky “polished” leather with a hint of rubbery oud, topped with a crisp, very mild yet perceivable “fresh” balsamic whifff of woody-floral notes. Quite unusual, as I said: it blends some clean, musky-modern leather as in Lang’s Cuiron with M7’s “nutty-medicinal amber” (actually, the resemblance to M7 is quite bold here for many aspects, and that just hits a soft spot for me), perfectly blending them under a sheer floral-balsamic light. The result is extremely pleasant, compelling, flawless and totally nice to wear. It feels nutty and woody (or better say mostly “cedary patchouli”), quite spicy but in a smooth crisp way, at the same time also feeling “musky” clean with a hint of salt. Overall it does convey a sense of modern, clean, freshly-polished “leather” without involving the usual clichés of these types of scents (and without basing the concept on a load of uncooked rubbery aromachemicals). I’d also mention Cuir d’Ange as a distant reference for the musky-powdery leather part, although Boclet’s Leather goes on a totally different path – nutty, ambery and medicinal as I said. But in a way, it also has this “breezy” powdery side which definitely echoes Ellena’s masterpiece, too.

Just to be clear, I dropped some really big names here – Cuiron, M7 and Cuir d’Ange. It’s not that Boclet’s Leather can be compared to them, as it definitely can not: it’s just that the inspirations seem to me recalling these works, whether that’s intentional or not, and that’s really a plus since the majority of leathers today seem often pointing towards other, vastly more trite directions. This one instead tries at least to think leather out of the box and do some - at least, partially - creative work on it, with just the right touch of 2000s nostalgia. And the materials work fine too, it smells very nice, rich enough yet totally smooth and discreet as a proper “modern refined leather” should. Partially synthetic too, sure, but it fits the concept and there’s some work around it. Still a bit overpriced and with a slightly disappointing longevity, but a more than worthy addition to any leather fan’s wardrobe.

7,5-8/10
05th February, 2016

Dior Homme Intense by Christian Dior

For many people, the smell of hot cocoa and vanilla is a cosy winter warmer - I imagine a soft comfy rug in front of an open wood fire with a steaming hot mug of cocoa and Christmas carols going on in the background. I just can't for the life of me understand why, but this fragrance just remidns me of Christmas! Could it be my childhood or too many winter films? I have no idea...

Whatever the case, the scent is the most absurd mix of notes! Spicy lavender (although short lived), iris (those who don't know the note refer to it often as the 'lipstick note'), gorgeous woods and delicate sweetness (i.e. vanilla). Somehow, when François Demachy waved his magic fragrane wand over this mix, arguably one of the most gorgeous scents in the world came about. Don't ask me why - a cacophony in music sometimes can be made to sound pleasant - maybe the same can be said for Dior Homme Intense?

I don't actually detect a cocoa note per se, but I think the effect the ambrette seed, iris and sweet/delicate woods mixed together make a cocoa-like effect. It's almost delicious enough to eat.

Foodies and those with a sweet tooth beware: Demachy will have you addicted to this scent in just a few sniffs. Please, make mine with two marshmallows.
05th February, 2016

Sauvage by Christian Dior


Marketing and fragrance are practically two words that sit together comfortably. No one seems to notice either. Yet, along comes a product such as Sauvage, controversial with its recycled name (Eau Sauvage anyone?), but marketed by none other than Capt'n Jack Sparrow and the bottles sell like hot cakes.
Sauvage has been very smartly put together by François Demachy to represent the sun (fresh bergamot opening), earth (patchouli and lavender dry-down) and "blue open spaces" (somehow represented by black pepper and ambroxan). The fresh yet peppery mix of the opening certainly meets Demachy's objective of the citrus fresh opening. Perfect for a scorching hot day. After a while, the scent gradually progresses - this is a slow progression for an Eau de Toilette. It takes quite a while to morph into the pepper/amber base. The freshness is all but gone but a fern-like sweetness remains, leaving a trail resembling a slightly sweetened familiarity of masculinity. Lavender is definitely there too in vast quantities dare I say.
The opening is indeed quite a contrast to the dry down, yet the pepper works really well in the transition process. It's hard to pinpoint the note at times but it is well put together and works well with the lavender. As for the dry down, if you can be bothered to wait for it, it is not designed to be sniffed up close. This one is best experienced from a distance.
All in all, definitely a 'try before you buy' scent. Some may find the opening a bit harsh or synthetic, others may not see the dry down as anything special. To me, this is a definite Caron Pour un Homme variation with a slightly sweeter base and much more lavender!
05th February, 2016

Jolie Fleur Rose by Tory Burch

Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose was ever-present when I was young, and to this day, the scent of tea roses gives me the tingly feelings of being a teenage girl. That said, the last time I bought a bottle of Tea Rose and tried wearing it again, I really enjoyed it, but DID draw attention to myself because it is SO strong. I was actually responsible for sending a few thrilled Russian and Persian women to the drugstore to buy it - not having grown up in the U.S., they smelled me coming and assumed I was wearing a Montale or something! My way of passing through the world is a little more stealth than Tea Rose allows, so a straight-ahead tea rose scent that's more modulated is something that's been on my wishlist for a while.

Jolie Fleur Rose may be it.

Its rose/tea rose accord is gorgeous - the green sap is there, and it's not sweet, but neither is it shrill (Chloe!) either. So I had a really hard time not just running back to Sephora to buy a big bottle five minutes after spraying it on my arm. But I really do know better when musk and Cashmeran are involved - can be love or hate for me - and I'm not sure yet what's going on with the longevity. I wasn't giving it my full focus as it developed, but either it wore like an EDT on me, or I'm a little anosmic to the drydown, because after a couple of hours, all I could detect was a faint old-fashioned soap smell. I love old-fashioned soap smells, but I don't have to spend $90 to get there, you know?

Whether or not I end up deciding it's undying love for me as a composition, it did provide more confirmation that I really like the roses Lauder uses. I already knew that I'm mad for the (very different) Evening Rose from the Aerin line, and Tom Ford's Noir de Noir.
05th February, 2016

Ambra del Nepal by I Profumi di Firenze

I Profumi di Firenze Ambra del Nepal opens "kind of heliotropically" with this almost white musky/poudre/vanillic whiteness quite exotic (sugary-spicy, a la Pane degli Angeli yeast, for those loving the Italian Pasticceria), visceral and gourmandish at same time. A wonderful opening, equally structured (in a traditional chypre way) and "gluttonous" ; I get indeed such like coexisting a classically structured woody-hesperidic backbone (sandalwood, aromatics and hesperides are surely present) with this sweetly edible "resinous coconuttiness" conjuring me more than vaguely scents a la Farmacia SS Annunziata Cara and Chia. Amber (synthetic ambergris and amber) is the key element, kind of carnal-animalic, powdery and salty at same time. Saltiness is granted by a combination of spices (really peppery) and resins (a touch of frankincense, on the side of earthy notes and piquant spices, partake the general longly durable dustiness). The spicy-salty molecular synth ambergris (piquant and carnal) is not so distant from the (synth) one we get in Gabriella Chieffo Hystera. The salty-ambery touch on skin is warm, barely powdery and sensual (virile, pungent and warm). Frankincense enhances its embrace slowly and gradually (neither liturgic nor smoky but surely salty and elusive). I get more properly piquant spiciness (and spicy synth anbergris) than classic ambery powder and anyway the latter is kind of delicately organic (little babies aroma-conjuring), milky, almondy and dusty sugary (powdered sugar). The juice is not supremely articulated or longly (and complicately) evolving but the final outcome is one of the most sensual stuffs I've tested on skins for years. I've slept one night with this devilish stuff on chest (under a cotton t-shirt) and it was like an heavenly warm erotic juice to share with your beloved (likewise with an occasional "mistress"). Dry down is darker, barely mossy and vaguely woodsy but the resinous piquancy is still salty-sugary (rooty) and regnant.
04th February, 2016

Heat Kissed by Beyonce

I rarely happen to try “celebrity” fragrances and am absolutely unbiased towards them – it’s just fragrances, just as legitimate as any other. And in fact, this new scent bearing Beyonce’s name is nothing that different from the majority of contemporary designer “fruitchoulis” aimed at teenagers and young women – whether they actually are, or tragically just feel as such. There’s obviously nothing of what the card claims, Moroccan Rose and whatever other standard cliché. But still it’s a nearly tolerable fruity-woody scent with a thick musky vanilla texture giving it that popular, kind of cheap, still better-than-nothing sort of fruity soap-shampoo substance. Sweetish, clean, conventionally “exotic” yet quite “urban” with its mediocre metallic vibe. It reminds me of so many forgettable designer scents or cheapos for women, that I can’t name any. It’s just beyond generic and artificial with no creative features or qualities whatsoever, but I can’t say it’s that bad for the expectations one may reasonable have. I mean, it’s a trendy celebrity scent and it’s part of its nature to be nothing more than some fashionable cheap garbage. To this extent, not that anyone should care but I oddly respect this way more than pretentious fancy “luxury” stuff pretending to be what it will never be able to be.

5,5/10
04th February, 2016

Lapidus pour Homme by Ted Lapidus

Good economical stuff, this is. I've got a stable of what I call 'my blue-collar cudgels' that smell great, last a good long time, make me feel good, are quite masculine, and are a great value at around $5/oz. This is one of those.

Linear fruity/boozy is what I get - pineapple, honey, floral, and patchouli? Sure. I don't overthinking these things.

Sashka Black is pretty much a ringer and Vermeil for Men is similar yet with more of a tobacco feel.

Good, but not in the same class as Kouros, BpH, Ungaro I, etc.

I'm 50+, for reference, and own or have owned bottles of all the scents mentioned above.
04th February, 2016

Café V by Olympic Orchids

This is one of those scents, that for me, is reminiscent of something way, way, back in time. It carries a wood base that seems a trademark Covey.
It's colour is of brown crackling Leather pair of Chaps. The Cardamon adds a dry, dusty, spicy almost paperlike smoke that parches slightly.
It carries a tone similar to Heeley's Phoenicia.
Unisex? I would say it is the kind of thing us boys like.
.
04th February, 2016

Café Rose by Tom Ford

My only gripe with Cafe Rose is that it doesn't stick around long enough. The opening, a fuchsia-toned rose blend with a bare hint of spice is accented beautifully by a synthetic but warm coffee and wood base as seen previously in Polo's underappreciated Double Black. It is a showcase for rose (not the bright English variety, but the more dark, smooth, and less cheery Bulgarian or Damask)and an easy wear for men and women, and as of late one of my favorite releases from the Tom Ford line. This is not a scent for casual samplers, but a nod to the real rose fans sampling niche scents. There are countless fragrances out there which straddle the lines of commercial and gender acceptability but this is not one of them. If you do not enjoy the smell of roses, do not enter here. If you are a rose fan, welcome home.
04th February, 2016

Sotto La Luna Tuberose by Tauer

The only online reviews of SlLT I could find were so negative, I wasn't in any rush to seek it out for myself. However, when I saw a partial bottle for sale on eBay, I took a leap of faith. I'm so happy I did, because I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

Some reviewers have compared this new Sotto la Luna to the first one, Gardenia, claiming they're too much alike to bother owning both. I concede they share a commonality (in addition to Andy's legendary 'Tauerade'), but they're certainly not interchangeable. SlLG has a noticeable candied gardenia in it. SlLT does not.

I can't say that I smell tuberose in SlLT. I have worn many different kinds of perfumery tuberoses (Fracas, Tubereuse Criminelle, Caron's Tuberose, Poison, etc.), but none of their familiar notes are discernible here. Perhaps I need to smell a real tuberose blossom before my brain 'clicks' to this aspect in SlLT? In any case, I don't care, because SlLT simply smells wonderful (and nostalgic) to me!

None of SlLT's listed notes stand out to me: they are so harmoniously blended. It simply smells like a particular memory: a hazy vision of being a child standing in the vestry of the local church our family once attended, St Mark's Church of England in Leopold, Aust (built in the 1860s). Being a non-Catholic church, there would not have been incense (it wasn't until my adulthood interest in perfumery that I discovered 'incense' accords - which I adore - but cannot associate with churches, or even smoke!).

So, to me, SlLT is the smell of the interior of an old, but regularly used, Anglican bluestone church, and whatever was inside it a century after it was built.
04th February, 2016

Coromandel by Chanel

This big 200ml Coromandel bottle stands, no towers beside my 30ml draw of Dior Ambre Nuit. My girl likes to wear both interchangable, as do I. My view says the Dior is leaning Masculine and the Coromandel Feminine. Both are Unisex, both are equally luxurious.
Astaire's body dances, partner to the music.
Streisand's voice dances, partner to the music.
04th February, 2016

John Varvatos by John Varvatos

smellwise, this is a pretty good fragrance...I had a small decant that I've enjoyed wearing around the house...reason being I'm in the group that seems to get minimal projection and longevity from JV fragrances in general, this one being no exception ...I get maybe 2 good hours tops - and then it's almost like I never put anything on...so it would not work for me for when I need an all day scent...the fragrance itself smells pretty good...I get a nice ripe/sweet/juicy/rich/syrupy fruit accord sitting on a thin layer of wood which then leads into a nice sweet/ambery/leathery vanilla....and then....poof!!!...gone...
nice while it lasts and I do enjoy the smell for the time it hangs around for me...
FBW...if you can get a good discount...because chances are you will have to reapply
Sweet Fruity Woody Leather
04th February, 2016
drseid Show all reviews
United States

French Line by Révillon

French Line goes on with an aromatic mix of mild, slightly powdery rose, carnation and jasmine with hints of subdued coconut and more substantial sanitized patchouli support, before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the now supporting rose, carnation and jasmine floral melange gains slightly more powder as it pairs with powdery amber from the base, now joining a significant co-starring moderately rough leather and patchouli tandem that takes the fore. During the late dry-down the amber-laced florals take a back seat, as remnants of the sanitized patchouli and subdued coconut join slightly animalic musk through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity very good at around 10 hours on skin.

French Line is a real find. On first glance, one sees a relatively unimpressive looking bottle that doesn't inspire confidence in its contents, but looks can be deceiving and indeed in this case they are. As soon as one applies the composition on skin you get a quick whiff of wormwood before the sublime rose and carnation florals take over. When the jasmine, patchouli and leather join the fold, the composition smells absolutely heavenly and probably is at the best part of its universally great development. The powder, shortly thereafter, gains some steam, firing a warning shot that it might go too far, but the perfumer skillfully stays just under the "danger line" for the powder averse like this writer to enjoy the composition while providing enough of the stuff for powder fans too. The late dry-down is probably the least interesting aspect of the composition's development, not because it smells anything less than exceptional, but rather because it is rather subdued, as the aromatics largely vacate to shift to a slightly animalic musk driven finish with patchouli and coconut support adding subtle depth. Speaking of the coconut, while it never is a huge player in the composition's overall fragrance profile it deserves special mention. When one envisions coconut they probably are thinking tropical drinks and climate, but the stuff used in French Line is much more subdued and skillfully used than that. There is no "tropical island" vibe in French Line at all, with the coconut used more as a softener to the aromatics and later to the musk. At the end of the day, French Line proves that one should not let a fancy bottle (or in this case the opposite) drive whether one should or shouldn't try a composition, as if you skip sampling French Line due to its unimpressive housing you are missing yet another one of the 80s wonderful smelling greats. The bottom line is the long since discontinued French Line is very difficult to find and will most likely cost one dearly to acquire on the aftermarket, but with its extremely polished mix of florals, leather, patchouli and even coconut, this "excellent" to "outstanding" 4 to 4.5 star rated rare gem is absolutely worth the effort and cost to acquire. Superb!
04th February, 2016 (last edited: 03rd February, 2016)

Versace l'Homme by Versace

I have a bottle dated to 2005 and a few bottles of the 'thin-script' earlier iteration, which I prefer, although the '05 is very good as well.

'Thin-Script' - I get a predominant lemon/citrus that lasts surprisingly the duration, which itself is quite surprising. There's a mossy, soapy, powdery freshness to it that works well with carnation in the heart along with a bit of pesto-type spice. A mossy, dry cedar base and that's about it. I don't get much leather.

In urban mid-west america, this scent was in the air back in the late 80s and 90s. Didn't know what it was then... now I do, thanks to this hobby and BN!

I'm in my 50s, for reference, and an old-school wetshavin' fool for the mossy leather chypre. Quality 'thin-script' can still be had off eBay for around $20/oz and I consider that A Bargain, [one of] The Best I Ever Had. 5/5
02nd February, 2016

Voyage by Hiram Green

Voyage has an opening that is both strange and familiar to me. It features a sour (but also candied) citrus note dusted so thickly with the powder of a saffron-like spice that it doesn’t register as fresh or sharp the way hesperidic notes normally do. The effect is of a golden sun shining through a dust cloud of vanilla and spice, with something bright lurking underneath.

Sometimes I spray this on and I get a hint of the tannic peach skin, moss, and spices from Shangri La, and it’s like unwrapping a tiny sliver of chypre hidden in the folds of a dusty, oriental brocade. Sometimes I get no fruit, but a rubbery suede. It is murky and intimate, like the smell of a moist wrist directly under a rubber watch.

Very beautiful and very familiar. Where do I know this scent from?

Immediately, I race off through the library of smells in my brain to see if I can place it, but it remains frustratingly out of reach. I don’t think it is a perfume that I’m remembering so much as a chord in a larger orchestra of smell. Or maybe it’s the whole orchestra of a smell funneled through one chord, I don’t know.

The best I can do is say that the opening has an interesting dissonance to it that reminds of the older Guerlains – Jicky perhaps most of all, with its stomach-churning clash of cymbals between the fresh, clean lavender and the rich, civet-soaked vanilla crème. But there is also the dark rye bourbon bitterness of Mitsouko’s cooked peach skin. Voyage is much simpler and more direct than these perfumes, of course, but it shares with them the impression of a ribbon of bright gold slicing through plush velvet darkness.

The dry down only confirms the familiarity (and the appeal) of this style of retro perfumery – it is a warm, luscious vanilla-amber, heavily laced with what seems to me to be a heavy dose of heliotrope and perhaps orange blossom, although these notes are not listed. It has something of the spicy, floral vanilla feel of L’Heure Bleue, albeit less pastry-like in tone and more tending towards the more resinous, cinnamon-inflected Tolu or Peru balsams. I have to admit that I do not pick up on much of the patchouli – to my nose, if it’s there, then it is only there to add shade and earth to the vanillic dry down.

In a way, Voyage reminds me of Ciel de Gum, by Maison Francis Kurkdijan, not for any similarity in the way they smell necessarily, but for the retro manner in which they present the vanilla note - not clean or sweet, but fudgy with spice, civet and indolic flowers. There is a close, intimate feel to vanillas like this that recall human skin to skin contact. Voyage, Ciel de Gum, Opus 1144 (UNUM), and even Musc Ravaguer all hark back to that Guerlain-like clash between a bright, aromatic side (lavender, bergamot, cloves, cinnamon) and a dark, velvety side ( vanilla, musks, indolic flowers, and civet).

It’s this clash what makes Jicky, L’Heure Bleue, and Shalimar such masterpieces even today – at first so repellent and odd that wonder what kind of drugs the perfumer was taking, and then everything suddenly “works” in the perfume and you think it’s great - addicting almost. Hiram Green’s Voyage has that clash down nicely, and this is why it works. I love this perfume because it gives me a taste of what I love about the classics but in a stripped-down, more legible format that doesn't make me feel as if I am wearing an entire history of grand perfume on my back. Which is sometimes what I want.
02nd February, 2016
jacona Show all reviews
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Silk Way by Ted Lapidus

I've seen this described as a floral fruity fragrance on another site, but I do not get that at all. I find it a soft, comforting, elegant scent - milky vanilla, musk and incense are the notes that are most apparent to my nose. If you were ever a fan of Tan Giudicelli's Annam, Silk Way has a very similar personality, enough so that I'd recommend this if you are mourning the loss of Annam.
02nd February, 2016

Les Nombres d'Or : Tubéreuse by Mona di Orio

This is one of the most beautiful takes on the Tuberose I have ever tried. That is quite a feat, as I have tried just about all of them, the good, the bad, and the quite ugly.

This is the answer to Fracas if you have ever worn it and felt self-conscious in a crowd or wondered if a man might approach you and ask "how much?" Not that Fracas is bad, but she is far more daring and "come hither", which does make a woman think twice about if she is NOT looking for male attention. Of course, this beautiful concoction might lead to male attention anyway, as it is suggestive of a quieter sensuality that might suggest a longer term interest...or the old saying "it's the quiet ones you have to look out for".

I definitely get the pepper in the opening, which for some may be bothersome, but I find it a nice balancing feature that illuminates the scent and doesn't last for me as a "pepper", but smooths out and lays gently in the background. The tuberose is bright, green and herbaceous, but somehow still sensual. How did Mona do it? It is a juxtaposition of scents that somehow work. Truly artistic!

As the scent wears on, the creamier facets of the flower start to come forward, and the reward is a gorgeous aspect of Tuberose that embraces the beauty while keeping the notorious skank at bay. There is something else happening here...but I cannot quite speak to it...yet. But I like it. A lot!




02nd February, 2016
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