Perfume Reviews

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Kalemat by Arabian Oud

Kalemat represents (after the fully enjoyed Gentleman Secret) my second olfactory approach with this "taking the world by storm" new "orientalish" brand (with the european main seat in London) named Arabian Oud. Kalemat is a spicy oriental honeyed amber/oudh combo with rubbery-leatherish exotic facets, a stout cashmere woods' presence and hints of leather-tobacco. It is absolutely not a new experience for me since I catch in its delicious (sugary-honeyed) recipe many olfactive stereotypes yet encountered around in my humble experience (for instance in several compositions appointed for Sonoma Scent Studio, Lutens, Neela Vermeire, Lubin, Puredistance, Slumberhouse, Nasomatto or By Kilian). Scents a la Nasomatto Pardon, Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea, Winter Woods and Amber Noir, Lutens Ambre Sultan, Roya Dove Fetish Pour Homme, Majda Bekkali Fusion Sacree For Him, Clive Christian C For Men, Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum, Tom Ford Youth Dew Amber Nude jump vaguely on mind (initially in here in a sweeter disguise) for several of their characteristics. There is anyway a secret which bewitches me under this nowadays mainstream (for the niche universe) sugary orientalism and it is a stunning old school chypre hidden substance jumping out at distance as sophisticated mossy/woody-salty/waxy classic spark (something a la Estee Lauder, La Perla, Ungaro, classics Fendi/Versace/Armani, feminine Hermes or V&A), a sort of neo-classic twist recently re-introduced in scents a la Tom Ford Arabian Wood or in several Bertrand Duchaufour/Montale/Francis Kurkdjian's musky-resinous new experiments (a chic classic rosey-musky feel to be intended as a long term edge with old masterpieces a la Fendi classic or Gianni Versace, an old chypre accord of sandalwood, ambergris, oakmoss, fur and honey). This immensely sophisticated western twist (hidden under a more simplistic spicy-honeyed-resinous orientalism) turns me out as huge worshipper of this mysterious masterperfumer ingeniously performing behind Arabian Oud. A classic massive vibe under a more banally "fluorescent" spicy/honeyed/resinous accord (basically an easily runned amber-tobacco-sweet spices-woody resins combination) providing this new fragrance with vintage preciousness and classic complexity. At the end of the trip the spicy honeyed hyper sweet vibe recedes and an amazing (almost misty-incensey, hyper lush and still mossy/fur-like) spell of classic wisdom starts taking the stage with all its charge of charm and mystery. Kalemat is a tremendous example of neo-classicism in disguise and an oriental master work with a long and satisfactory evolution full of charm, parisian sophistication and high class.
06th October, 2015 (last edited: 07th October, 2015)

Domenico Caraceni 1913 by Domenico Caraceni

This is not a full review but a brief update to remark only on the 2015 re-release of Domenico Caraceni 1913. I performed a focused old versus new two-hand test for a several hours and, as is often the case with reformulations, the exercise sadly became the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of brutal facts. Honestly there is no contest. After a period of time the vintage seems like it has about twice the stuffing and projection. The base of the vintage is far richer and, unlike what you might expect with a vintage/new comparison, the vintage has a subtle but sustained top-note layer featuring a sort of clove-y menthol vibe that the new version completely lacks. This difference in the high notes is just one of the factors that suggests to me that the variances at issue are not merely a function of ingredient concentrations given the relative age of the juice.

Today I am wearing the vintage as my SOTD and the intensity and projection from two spays is almost uncomfortably strong for at least the first three to four hours. Perhaps the reformulation, therefore, is somehow easier to wear, but I do worry a bit that it lacks character. In particular, I wonder if it is as distinctive a rose-centered masculine fragrance as other options such as Lyric Man, Egoist, Déclaration d'Un Soir, or others – not that this is a large category. It may well be, however, that the new Caraceni looks puny only when placed next to the giant of the original. Alternative comparisons may well prove more felicitous.
06th October, 2015

Cuir Pleine Fleur / Fine Leather by Heeley

I've fallen hard for this, all the more so because I didn't get it the first time I smelled it, on card. Then I got a sample when I bought Iris de Nuit and it's gorgeous. It starts off with a subtle leather, hay and flowers, never crude or sweet. It's natural enough to wear at home with jeans and sophisticated enough for a conservative office, on a day when you want to remember the world outside. The really clever trick is the soapy note which appears deep into the drydown; not a crude aldehydic soap (and never just soap) but an expensive and beautiful leather one. So the scent gets progressively fresher and cleaner on your arm as the office day wears on. Definitely worth a bottle.
05th October, 2015
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Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

I’ve never been much of a fan of Tom Ford’s masculine offerings, as I find them either nice but overpriced, or fairly dull (Noir, for example). For some reasons I always never cared for this one, maybe unconsciously thinking, given the name, that it was a sort of epitome of all of that, and... bingo, this is instead the first one which works for me. Mostly because it’s finally something solid, with a fair price (well, sort of). Maybe a bit boring, surely too discreet for the needs of the average “bros” building pools to bath in their Private Blends, and however miles away from being ground-breaking: just solid and mature, unpretentious and versatile, with a remarkably decent quality and overall, extremely pleasant to wear. The composition smells simple and clear, and notes seem all built with really decent materials: the spiced, gingerish orange-citrus notes are sparkling, tangy and juicy; the floral-infused musky-ambery base smells compellingly warm, slightly creamy and slightly salty too, the whole woody-herbal accord is a bit aseptic and nondescript (I only get some faint, weakly mossy vetiver), but working fine within the composition, providing an office-safe “boisé” feel which will get some more credit on the drydown, and the suede-ish tobacco smells, well, like most other tobacco notes on the market - which means “nothing like real tobacco” for me, but nice anyway; smooth, sweet, “brownish” and affably, youthfully distinguished.

Like for some other reviewers, two fragrances came to my mind while wearing this the first time: Hugo Boss Baldessarini and to a much lesser extent, yet worthy a mention, a sort of spicier and watered-down version of L’Instant pour Homme by Guerlain. Maybe Carolina Herrera for Men too, just for the tobacco accord (an “orange-amber” flanker of that would be close to this Ford’s, I guess), and Kenzo pour Homme Boisée just for a similar citrus-scented light woody accord. Above all I’d mention Baldessarini though, and I would say Tom Ford for Men smells quite a bit better than that – more crisp, more appealing, definitely more quality too. So, anyway: a zesty, classy, politely self-confident fragrance with just the right hint of musky tackiness and a pleasant spicy-woody drydown with a warm whiff of amber. Surely a mild, maybe pedantic, kind of “generic” office-safe fragrance based on a really conventional and mainstream concept of “tart-spicy Oriental cologne” with pretty much the sole scope of making you smell nice in the most mannered, discreet and crowd-pleasing meaning possible... but hell, it does it impeccably good (sadly with a short persistence, but it does).

05th October, 2015

Acqua di Parma Colonia Club by Acqua di Parma

As a long time fan of the AdP range (Colonia was my first 'niche' fragrance that really pushed me into this hobby) I have been pretty disappointed with the AdP offering of late. In 2010, I was stunned by the freshness and neroli-hit of Colonia Essenza. But by the time Oud and Ambra were launched (the mid-term Leather launch wasn't too bad) I thought AdP had hit rock bottom. Along comes Club and I now think they've started to dig.

Club is aptly named for a sporty cologne that's as loud as a teenager that's overdosed on sugar in the middle of the local library's "quiet zone". It explodes right from the start; the notes bare no progression from the start, although the neroli, lavender and bergamot are quite obvious. The powdery fougere that this settles into is just too common for anyone that knows all too well what a drug store cologne is. I am no snob that likes perfume to cost six figures or requires a personal assistant to go and pick up a bottle. I equally like my Colonia Essenza as I do my Boucheron or Chanel. But this scent is really a turning point for AdP, as others have mentioned - a turning point downwards...

The only thing that Club can provide a prospective buyer on the high street is a relief from all that yellow packaging. The green coloured Club is quite well suited to the nature of this scent, although it provides little else in terms of scent. Perhaps the prospective buyer should ocntinue to walk past the AdP counter...
05th October, 2015
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Bally Masculin by Bally of Switzerland

Bally Masculin opens with aromatic, slightly powdery lavender and underlying anise. Moving to the early heart, the composition stays relatively linear as the lavender and anise remain the focus, with soft patchouli and a supporting soapy, leathery accord joining the fold. As the composition moves further through its middle, the lavender largely vacates, leaving the remnants of the now supporting anise to join the remaining rough leather and newly arrived green, slightly powdery oakmoss rising from the base. During the late dry-down the composition turns to a woody vetiver focus with hints of the oakmoss remaining in subtle support joined by slightly sweet soft amber through the finish. Projection is average, as is longevity at about 8-9 hours on skin.

Bally Masculin is a composition that took quite a while to completely win me over, but win me over it has. The aromatic lavender smelled quite pleasant from the get-go, but the anise was keeping me from completely embracing the composition despite liking it immediately. It is rare that my opinion changes to a large degree on any composition, positive or negative, but with Bally Masculin every time I would wear it new elements that I initially missed behind the lavender and anise fougere front emerged. Over time, the leather that was hiding under the aromatics reveled itself, and later the oakmoss that I completely missed the first few wears is now unmistakable. I could go on and on, but what appeared on first sniff to be a classic fougere that was competent and likable, but relatively unremarkable is actually *quite* remarkable. In short, I stand corrected. The bottom line is the long-since discontinued Bally Masculin is difficult to find nowadays and will most likely cost about $100 for a 100ml bottle on the aftermarket, but it has a lot more going on than what is smelled initially, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 and a solid recommendation to classic fougere lovers.
05th October, 2015

Horizon (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Impressive sometimes how much two fragrances can be so mutually resemblant. When I spray on skin Oriza L. Legrand Horizon (New) I get for more than ten minutes the olfactive photocopy of Il Profvmo Patchouli Noir, namely a fresh-humid (hesperidic) accord of dark patchouli, amber, faint frankincense, floral notes, green aromatic (somewhat mentholated elements), cedarwood and hints of soft suede. Another juice jumping more than vaguely on mind is surely Nobile 1942 Patchouli Nobile because of its structural accord of patchouli, resins, dusty spices, aromatic greens and hesperides. The well rounded (darkly chocolatey) patchouli's vibe conjures me as well Lutens Borneo 1834 which I basically find less resinous, less balmy-vanillic and more musky. I get in here a luxurious noir twist created by honey and seasoned (tobacco nuanced) booziness which I catch (in a less prominent way) also in the Il Profvmo's "noir patchouli prominent" concoction. As well as happening in Il Profvmo Patchouli Noir the ambery-vanillic presence is in here featuring and central, providing a sort of powdery decadent/cyprian "elixir vibe" of "Nobiltà Decaduta", a "debauched" feel enhanced in here by frankincense, calibrated cocoa (with its "greedy/gluttonous" touch), smoke (peat) and an aromatic/cedary faint booziness (a touch of cognac close to peaty scotch and a twist of seasoned spicy tobacco). The overall effect is quite saturnine and neo-baroque, an atmosphere of old british castles, steaming waxiness (aromatic candles), precious tapestries, chapiters and bas-reliefs. Sandalwood jumps finally up imprinting a deeper woody-salty feel which is even supported by a wet spicy earthiness coming from humid tobacco and roots, roasted nuts, by leather and by a quite virile/organic "push" somewhat ambery/animalic (synthetic ambergris, honey, may be castoreum). I detect surely floral notes but I'm hardly able to isolate rose. Dry down is darker and more rounded (cocoa/tobacco/vanilla). Frankly I hardly get neither a collapse towards a sort of salty-leather linearity (the juice is finally indeed still earthy, luxurious, floral, sandalwood rounded with a touch of saltiness and averagely articulated) nor an aromachemical-oriented particularly infesting presence. The final outcome is gorgeous, exotic, piquant, salty, sexy, a great oriental fougere mainly based on patchouli, bitter cocoa, leatherish sandalwood and tobacco. A beautiful aristocratic noir patchouli ideally smelling for old aristocracies as an olfactory tribute to the end of their era.
04th October, 2015 (last edited: 05th October, 2015)

Oro 1920 by Bois 1920

In the realm of Tuscan Leather "alike" leathers, this reigns as #1. Incredibly rich and refined. It lacks the smokeyness and rough edges that are present in Tuscan Leather. At one time this fragrance was near $900 and now it is much more affordable in the $175 (discounted sites) and $340 (Barneys) range. If you are a leather addict like I am, this should be in your collection and chances are, it will be your most loved as well.

10/10 in all categories.
04th October, 2015

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

Fresh, green, herby, clean. Very strong oakmoss. An old-fashioned soapy smell. Like walking through a wood on a bright, cool morning after a night of rain. Damp moss, ferns, rain-soaked greenery all around. Sweet earth faintly detectable underneath. It makes me feel really clean and fresh. Love it.
Sillage good only for an hour, then a fresh mossy skin scent that continues for a couple more hours. I'd keep this for weekends or days where it's convenient to refresh every now and again. Then it's perfect.
October 2015
04th October, 2015

L'Homme Idéal Cologne by Guerlain

An offering from Guerlain that leans toward the mainstream. I enjoyed the couple of wearings I had from my sample of this. A bright, citrus opening with a fresh green almond heart, rounded off by musk in the base. Very long lasting considering its labelled a cologne.
03rd October, 2015

Métaboles by YS Uzac

I think Micotti got this one right. Métaboles is a beautiful multifaceted perfume. It starts minty spicy and sweet (I thought a spicy floriental at first) and actually the opening is the least to my taste. But then soon after incense appears that is divine. The dry down is sweet and musky but not at all syrupy; in fact it is transparent and uplifting. Métaboles is my favorite from YS-Uzac so far. Just beautiful with good longevity and silage.
03rd October, 2015

Burning Leaves by CB I Hate Perfume

This makes me want to put on a very old tweed jacket and wander out into the autumn woods at twilight.
Faithful to its description, it's a gentle scent, even when first applied, and has good longevity in a very subtle way, as if you've just strolled in from raking the bonfire. The note doesn't seem to change much in character over the hours, staying true to the first impression.
Like other reviewers, I wondered for a while whether I actually want to smell of burning leaves, but there's something about the way this scent works on my skin that is really beautiful and evocative.
Seriously considering buying a full-size bottle.

(This review is of the water-based version)
03rd October, 2015

Lady Stetson by Stetson

One of the very best bargains in the currently available perfume world.

This, as most reviews emphasize, bears a close resemblance to Chanel's No. 22, but is not as rich and heavy as that classic scent. This is a combination of peach and amber with present but indistinct citrus and floral notes. It is dry and warm at the same time.

Tina Sanchez gives it four stars and terms it an "aldehydic floral," preferring it in the long run to the Chanel. It could certainly pass for a far more expensive scent from a top house if inhaled blindly.

Very highly recommended as an affordable and distinctively fine scent.
03rd October, 2015
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Rose Privée by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I grow roses in my garden and I have once again been looking for an un-fussy rose scent to carry the delights of the summer forward into the coming colder weather. Therefore I recently spent a delightful hour or so in a small scent shop playing with various options, comparing my nose to those of the clerk and a friend who accompanied me.

I’d tried the current formulation of Penhaligon’s Hamman Bouquet – my old “go to” rose scent of years past. It was not quite what I wanted: too complex, possibly too heavy for my nose now. I compared two different Santa Maria Novella rose-based scents. None quite had the simplicity and purity I was seeking.

Then the clerk suggested Rose Privee, and I was again in love with a rose perfume. My nose does not detect the citrus others mention here, nor does it detect much development. I get a simple, extremely pure, gentle rose. No darkness of the Turkish rose, no over-sweetness of the English rose. Just the pure, clear scent of the Bourbon rose -- Madame Hardy comes to mind -- clear, with a depth of pure, rich rose essence. Light, yes, but true and innocent.

To my nose this is a perfect soliflore. Projection is limited, longevity unbelievably long. Hours later the scent on my skin was as lovely as with the first spray. Recommended.
03rd October, 2015

Sauvage by Christian Dior

Fruit notes and laundry musks.

A surprising, almost shocking release from the house of Dior. A very simple and minimalistic composition in the style of "modern" niche houses like Creed. Most perfumistas will be offended by this, which means that this fragrance is probably way ahead of its time. Sauvage will be rated very differently in 5 years.

Great longevity, projection and mainstream appeal.
03rd October, 2015

Journey Man by Amouage

A nice composition of woods, incense and and spices wrapped around a heart of juniper berries. I'm talking about nuclear juniper berries from outer space. Amouage did not skimp on the ingredients here. If you don't like the smell of juniper, you should stay away from this stuff.

Usual Amouage quality and longevity.
03rd October, 2015

Floral Curiosities : Poet's Jasmine by Ineke

I think Poet's Jasmine is probably the most interesting of Ineke's Floral Curiosities series, largely because it's quite masculine. The rosemary, anise, and spices make for rather traditional macho topnotes, while the wood hovers beneath, paired with something fruity, which I'm assuming is the mix of cardamom and tea.

Given time, the cardamom tea smell becomes the star of the show, still peppery with spice and vaguely woody. To be honest, I don't really smell jasmine or anything floral - This actually smells to me more like a better quality masculine designer release, the kind you'd expect to break out into silly aquatic notes, but mercifully doesn't. So, if you're a fan of the better Guccis and the like, or if you're in search of an interesting but everyday office scent, Poet's Jasmine is worth checking out.
03rd October, 2015

Floral Curiosities : Briar Rose by Ineke

On first sniff, this is just like sticking your nose into one of those huge cabbage roses, all sweet and wet. Of course, it smells like rose, but even more so, it smells like a mix of red berries, especially raspberry, grounded with soap and just a touch of that old fashioned musk that reminds me of rubber doll smell. Given time, it ends up smelling like red fruit candy mixed with soap.

Honestly, I usually hate fruity rose perfumes, but Ineke does a good job keeping this from ever smelling stupid. Ironically, I think it's because she focuses on the berry aspect, putting care into making sure they never smell dumb or too much like Kool-Aid. That being said, Briar Rose doesn't really smell expensive either - it smells mostly like a decent, affordable perfume for berry lovers.
03rd October, 2015

Cedre Atlas by Atelier Cologne

Smells cute and complex like a pineapple icecream,resembles the Light Blue of D&G. Its complex notes with a dominant musk at the beginning, very capitavating, sexy and playfu
. ALso resemble the lovely scent of Anna Sui
03rd October, 2015

Dior Homme Cologne (2013) by Christian Dior

Simplicity meets perfection.

Dior Homme Cologne is an exceptionally clean and crisp presentation of grapefruit and bergamot. It opens bright, sharp, and fizzy, and exudes a moderate though persistent sillage for several hours after. The effect of the grapefruit blossom and white musk adds the white floral dimension of neroli, holding everything together on an evenly clean and well-composed keel. The texture and density of DHC reminds me very much of Terre d'Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche, while its smell is most similar to the 2008 version of Dior Homme Sport, however, DHC is snappier and less aquatic than its sporty predecessor. I think this is a great scent, and for me it combines my favorite aspects of several fragrances into one perfume. The clean neroli of Mugler Cologne, sharp citrus of Bergamotto Marino, and the fizzy energetic ginger of DIor Homme Sport all comes together in the latest cologne flanker of what is probably the best men's fragrance line to date. Easily dressed up or down, in my opinion this is a must-have for any enthusiast looking to add to his summer wardrobe. Highly recommended.
03rd October, 2015

White Musk by Illuminum

I rather like this. It has a strong bulgarian rose component and lots of woodsy notes. I don't find it either pointless, bland or synthetic. In my opinion it is a nice scent that would offend no one.
03rd October, 2015

Casbah by Robert Piguet

Casbah is very much in the same family as Avignon (Comme des Garcons), but it is simultaneously - and perhaps paradoxically - richer, more lighthearted and intriguing than the latter, without Avignon's stentorian "churchiness." I am glad to have both, as sometimes I welcome the dusty incense-and-old-wood ambiance of Avignon, and at others I want the insouciance and spicy chatter, the joie-de-vivre, of the marketplace.

Casbah's life on the skin develops in subtle layers: at the 12-hour mark, with all of its notes singing in unison (and still going strong), I'm reminded more of Havana by Aramis than Avignon - even though those two fragrances, by themselves, have little in common. Casbah is a mesmerizing blend of notes, smelling of curry and nutmeg and incense, and it warms my heart.
02nd October, 2015 (last edited: 03rd October, 2015)

Empireo by Onyrico

Onyrico Empireo (appointed by the perfumer Luca Maffei) is a fragrance "hard to remain not inebriated by", especially in its top side before a tad of woody restraint starts draining the general talkiness. This juice is nothing new under the sun but surely is a well made classic resinous-powdery-floral accord arousing (around the wearer) clean talky brightness and resinous organic woodiness (with a tad of chic waxy soapiness). Its bright-lacteous slightly poudre pureness is at same time simple in structure but rich and nuanced. The general feel is talky-rosey and pure with a tad of final woody-salty fruitiness (a sort of mango-driven effect or something similar). An initial connection of resins and bergamot provides soon a classically gorgeous articulated welcome. There is all around an organic talkiness typical of the best amber-oriented concoction but this feel possesses a wet-resinous background extremely deep and "greedy" (just a step before the boudaries of gourmandish territories). The resinous benzoinic/eliotropic accord of frankincense, airy lavender, white rose, sweet spices and opoponax provides indeed an irresistible heavenly extramundane aura just partially "humanized" by a subtle cedary undertone. Lavender is a key element, the main source of rosey freshness and talky cool dryness. Sambac jasmine and musk hang out "at distance" providing a spark of chic subtleness and modernity. I detect a kind of fruity/salty and fleshy/cedary spicy undertone pairing in presence talky resins and floral notes in the general turnover of immaculate nuances. There is something more than vaguely musky-animalic in the mix, something finally sounding salty-wet and fruity-hesperidic. Many juices jump on mind for several of their characteristics (several Farmacia SS. Annunziata, Maria Candida Gentile, a bunch of talky/eliotropic floral ambers a la Boucheron Jaipur Saphir or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux). Dry down is softer (but at same time more enygmatic, darkly misty and opaque), finally remarking this cedary/talky saltiness probably elicited by amberish/incensey animalic undertones, synthetic woods, bergamot and a tad of pepper (hints of vetiver?). This fragrance fits finally really warmly with my skin's natural saltiness. I'm sure Empireo could be a sultry (also in the warm climates) alternative for all those sensualists loving to attract with something organic and erotic.
02nd October, 2015 (last edited: 03rd October, 2015)

Sartorial by Penhaligon's

Clean and beautifully made...

This is a fragrance which I have no problem loving. As soon as I smelled it I realised it pleased me. For me it's honey and beeswax and lavender, surrounded by green herbs and mossy woods. A very grown up, very "gentleman" like fragrance.

This one gives me the impression of being clean and groomed, like trying on a brand new suit in a shop, which I guess was the intention, given the brief and description of the fragrance (ie that it should smell like a tailor's workshop). I would happily wear this formally. I find nothing wrong with it whatsoever in terms of style and character. It gives me a good feeling to wear. The feeling it gives is gender neutral. Just a lovely, impressive aroma of brand new fabric and of wearing nice clothes. I do find it would suit a well dressed man perfectly, but a woman could pull this off too.

Some people say the smell is old fashioned. I don't. I think it's quite modern. The use of aromachemicals here is very cleverly done, and by a very talented perfumer (Bertrand Duchaufour). I would recommend this one to gentlemen for formal wear, and for anyone who not only likes to be well dressed, but who would like to smell like that too. Very well made. Impressive.
02nd October, 2015

Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors

On me, Cape Heartache is a complicated evergreen forest smell, earthy and woody with the smell of bark and dirt, but very sweet. Actually, someone had to point out the strawberry note to me, though it was obvious once I knew it was there. On my skin, it's more like a fruity sweetness than the star of the show.

All in all, I like this perfume - I'm a sucker for forest scents and Cape Heartache is a fun take on the genre. It's a definite thumbs-up, though I must admit that I find it interesting as a study or a diversion, but not deeply compelling. When I want a compelling mix of pine and fruit, I personally think Lutens' Fille En Aiguilles is a step up from this, though I still think Cape Heartache is definitely worth a sniff.
02nd October, 2015

Floral Curiosities : Angel's Trumpet by Ineke

On a recent visit, my family stayed at a local bed and breakfast with large angel's trumpet trees in their courtyard. The smell was fantastic, so I had to sample this perfume to compare.

The Angel's Trumpet note is spot-on, a complex white floral smell with a lily-ish melon undertone and just a hint of dirt. Ineke adds in some soapy musk and a little extra lily and melon, just for the sake of adornment, but the angel's trumpet really is the star of the show.

If you like large florals, or fall in love with the smell of Angel's Trumpet, I'd highly suggest that this is worth a sniff.
02nd October, 2015

Encens & Bubblegum by Etat Libre d'Orange

Why? I keep asking myself, Why?

Just because you "can," doesn't mean you "ought."

This inoffensive, sweet, little thing is clever without being good, distinctive without being memorable, and cute without being remarkable.

Olibanum, amber and a sweet candied note, reminiscent of Bazooka bubble gum (probably the raspberry and peach) make up the overall effect of this trifle.

Not awful, but why bother?
02nd October, 2015

Nu Eau de Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

This one was great! Back like 6 years ago they'd have pallet loads of it at outlet malls on clearance. No one wanted it. It's extremely similar to Kingdom-- big opaque all-basenotes incense affair. I suppose it was confusing to people that this Cleopatra barge oriental was marketed as "Nude." I guess Tom Ford enjoyed doing this since his similar Youth-Dew tribute was also called "Nude." I honestly didn't know that it was marketed to women until I saw this--I thought it was another unisex experiment.

I just can't believe how interesting department store fragrances were in the early 00s, right before the IFRA apocalypse. They all failed and were discontinued, of course, but still.
02nd October, 2015

Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

I'm very happy to see Boudoir is still in production. It was weird and ahead of its time-- a toothpaste and makeup oriental. I guess this was sort of spinning off on the popularity of Jean Paul Gaultier's original 90s makeup fragrance. As for the skank, I had an old bottle and never noticed it.
02nd October, 2015

Giò by Giorgio Armani

Has a great David Lynch commercial, but it's in the Crystal Light Nutrasweet fruity floral early 90s style of Eternity, Tresor, Liz Claiborne, and Amarige. There were so many of these.
02nd October, 2015