Latest Reviews

Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A blogger well defines this perfume, just knowing how to read!

The superhero, the celebrities, the famous person are not famous just because they are called Batman or Captain Paris.The difference is their social position, that is, the comparison between mine and their position, between ours and theirs. This is real life. We can consider this diversity as a recent conquest of modern sociology: a social group is rich or poor, or disadvantaged only in relation to another group, and the same is for every man...
In this case the world of comic could become an unprecedented scope for this theory to show that even a costume or a myth is nothing if we are not willing to recognize them as such. Then, here is a superhero as Captain Paris who is compared to O'driù! O'driù is not the measure but the disproportion the imbalance! And the blogger has the absolute advantage of being unnecessarily banal and complacent!
Just read this post while you're carefree, just relaxing! It is a kind of “soda”, nothing more.

Absolutely, you might consider this perfume a good fragrance, but the detail of the diversity, the difference between luxury and art, make this fragrance tiny!
The scent, including synthetic ingredients and little brave notes, could be considered the final Epic Fall of the Niche.

by your amazing "interesting man in conflict"

This reviewer may have conflicts of interest

30th June, 2015
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Rochas by Rochas

There's something about this wonderful scent that makes me want to wear a floaty, diaphanous dress and sit by a pool sipping a cocktail. It perks me up and relaxes me at the same time with its beautiful blend of lime, grapefruit, lemon, carnation, coriander a smidgen of patchouli, oakmoss, musk and sandalwood.

I really can't imagine a more suitable concoction to spritz on when the heat is on and the days are long.
As it melds with my skin it becomes very sensuous and could easily be unisex in the way the Eau Sauvage became in the 70's.

French chic at its very best!
30th June, 2015

Euphoria Gold by Calvin Klein

The citrus and honey combo in the top remind me of a discontinued L'Occitane honey EDT, though that one was really just those two notes throughout, and they're only the beginning here - Euphoria Gold really blooms on skin.

Honey is up there with vanilla as something people like, so apart from the comments I've seen that it can go cat pee on some, I don't understand why the honey note hasn't been featured all that much in recent years. For Lord knows there have been enough sweet and gourmand fragrances released that MIGHT have featured it!

There are florals here, but I get them sort of subconsciously. On me, Euphoria Gold is primarily apricot, honey, patchouli, and musk for the long haul. Sweet, but with the Calvin Klein urban polish, which keeps it from veering completely into the super heavy hippie incense kind of scent that it could have been with its combination of notes. I think I'd like a heavier version, actually. While I adore Euphoria Gold and don't have anything bad to say about it, I will admit that I harbor a desire for a Tom Ford execution of the same pyramid. I think it would be a better Velvet Orchid-like thing!

30th June, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Eau de Quinine by Crown Perfumery

Besides the Crown Perfumery’s Eau de Quinine (EdQ), two other "modern" fragrances bear this name: Geo F Trumper's and Pinaud’s. I have not tried Pinaud’s so I will compare the Trumper and the Crown Perfumery renditions here. Both have the quintessential quinine note: bitter aromatic, not citrus but perhaps a satisfying alternative to those craving tartness. The GFT rendition is tempered by a powdery accord. The Crown rendition doesn't have this nearly so much, so the bitterness is more pronounced, albeit mingled with floral notes that are stronger in the Crown rendition.

EdQs have a barbershop feel of a former age. Still they are interesting fragrance and worthy of trying. I prefer the GFT EdQ, but this is quite wearable, albeit discontinued some time ago.
30th June, 2015

Hyle by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

A loop, I mean that same old record (Profumum Roma Acqua di Sale, il Profumo Pioggia Salata, L'Erbolario Fiore di Loto, Reminiscence Rem/Sea Rem, Laboratorio Olfattivo Salina, Chieffo Acquasala and God knows what else). Farmacia SS Annunziata Hyle is really close to almost all the previously outlined juices (overall connected by a common soapy-ozonic musky edge), I mean a plethora of particular (mainstream nowadays) ozonic juices which stand out (especially all around the trendy summer southern seaside venues) for their sort of silky soapy-salty trail, the aromatic-anisic muskiness (myrtle, lavender, anise etc.) a touch of fruitiness and the great projection. The aroma is utterly synthetic, sort of weidly balmy-candied and salty aromatic. Hyle is anyway discreet and balanced. A sort of assumedly "posh" kind of recipe. Do you want to have a similar feeling but in a far far better way (and without the chemical ozone)? Ok try to find Must the Cartier Pour Homme Vert Anis, you will get in Paradise.
29th June, 2015

Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

When I tried Anubis, I was admittedly bummed. I'd read so many good things about it and I loved the tropes that it was engaging, but ultimately, I didn’t feel that the composition had the structural sophistication to carry the scent. I ended my review by noting that even though I wasn’t quite on board with Anubis, I was looking forward to see what perfumer Liz Moores would do next. I’m glad I did.

The perfectly named Salome is a monster. It’s like a deeper, more dramatic Muscs Koublai Khan that folds in aspect of Musc Tonkin, Fleur Poudrée de Musc, and Anubis and manages to pull it off perfectly. Given the references I just laid out, I’m sure you can already guess that this is animalic scent. It’s essentially a floral chypre with a salacious, lurid musk attached that knows the limits of decency and just how far it can push up against those limits. Expect grandiose, weighty floral notes suspended over a full, woody-chypre base. The musk splits the difference between MKK’s cozy civet and Musc Tonkin’s metallic-goat shimmer. Some of the more aggressive textures of Anubis — specifically the gasoline jasmine and the leathery motor oil — make cameo appearances, but they’re part of a larger, more cohesive whole. Salome hits some of the same melodramatic chords of the line’s other releases, but the form is more refined without coming off as overly coiffed. There's some textural action going on (meaning that it’s not a perfectly smooth blend — so prepare yourselves, purists), yet overall Salome is far more tucked in than that of Moores' past releases. Over time, the musks turns a bit scratchy-powder akin to Les Nereides’ Fleur Poudrée de Musc, but the carnality holds strong and the scent persists for long time. At points, it reminds me a little of Neil Morris’ Gotham. It’s less-rose driven than that one but Gotham’s excellent moodiness is all there. Adding this to her line was a smart move, and, although there are plenty of musky florals already buzzing around, there’s always room for something with this much sex and drama involved — and this has both in spades. A castoreum, gasoline, resinous, civety, lurid floral musk with the right amount of imperfection in all the right places. It’s dark, risky, and supremely moody — it’s fantastic.
29th June, 2015

Givenchy pour Homme by Givenchy

With all the individual character of an airport terminal, Givenchy pour Homme runs the scintillating gamut from Ho to Hum. I acquired this one in a lot that contained what I was truly interested in - another bottle of vintage Gentlemen. A test of the orphan bottle of Givenchy PH revealed it to be unobjectionably fresh and mannered yet insubstantial, somewhat in the style of Creeds of the light and very frail-structured variety.
29th June, 2015

Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna

Like many other masculine classic fragrances from those years, the first scent by Zegna tries to blend some classic “powerhouse” notes from the 1980’s (leather, cloves, oak moss, carnation) with a “younger”, more refined powdery Oriental vein of amber, spices and something floral-musky. A “gentler” powerhouse, maybe broadly comparable to Guerlain Heritage, just way less sophisticated than that, more herbaceous, sharp, still more leathery and “virile”. Say, more than a similarity, I think they could share some similar inspiration – to “brighten up” the rather gloomy realm of masculine fougères of the preceding decade with something spicier and more powdery. And that’s it, you can easily imagine how it smells and sadly for me, with all respects, it falls within the “boring” side – I mean that it is a perfectly decent and elegantly masculine fragrance with no particular quality or creativity or “added values” to make it a “gem to re-discover” (unless you’re really obsessed with Italian fougères).

29th June, 2015

273 Rodeo Drive for Men by Fred Hayman

Brut at half volume!

Disliked Brut in the 60's.

Stayed away in the 70's.

Thought it had disappeared in the 90's.

Now to 273.

Once you get past the Bergamot, Lavender

blast. Things get better.

In the drydown, I find quite a pleasant touch of

Oakmoss. Mmm.

This seems much simpler in composition to the Brut..

I kind of like it.

Sampleworthy. Yes! Bottleworthy. No!
29th June, 2015

Usmar Venezia by Cerchi nell'Acqua

A fragrance for poets and travellers. Usmar Venezia is (in my humble opinion) the Enrico Buccella's masterwork (on the side of Emilie and Atelier Marrakech), a superior resinous rose/patchouli costruction and one of the very rare artistic creations I've tested on skin in the last two years. The lecherous exhalations appear by soon immensely aristocratic, classically "conceived", resinously rosey, vegetal and decadent and it seems to catch for a while on your skin the history of the glorious Repubblica di Venezia, a story of travels, explorations, cultural loftiness, noble buildings and supreme art. A fragrance for the Dames at Court, a mystic and elusive potion waving as a ghost for secret rooms of the venetian buildings. This amazing fragrance could immedialtely be elevated on a status of classic, imo. Rose, patchouli, resins/balsams (frankincense, amber , benzoin, opoponax and more) and spices appoint a magical olfactory atmosphere, a valzer of velvets, a whirlpool of aristocratic and exotic nuances grounding in the past their essence. In the same league with scents as Tiziana Terenzi Gold Rose Oudh and Malle Portrait of a Lady (the more incensey La Via del Profumo Mecca Balsam jumps on mind just in part for its resinous waxy golden aura) anyway in here the aroma seems to go further towards a more complex, "flamboyant" (warm salty castoreum and velvety resins) and nuanced pièce of baroque art. This aroma is rosey-waxy, vaguely incensey, spicy, hesperidic and vegetal. A woodsy-animalic basic accord is on the line of the classic floral feminine mossy-waxy (vaguely honeyed) chypre of the french/italian tradition while vegetal patterns provide throughout a touch of lymphatic-camphoraceous grassiness connected with the spiciness of patchouli and rooty dry spices. An exotic accord of spices and ylang-ylang enhances the general silky-soapy mysticism of this languid elixir. Usmar Venezia is a "palatin" fragrance, something with a story to tell, an extremely refined and "mannered" construction rich of articulation and "dodgy eroticism". Recommended.
28th June, 2015

Sycomore (new) by Chanel

I think I'm becoming a bit of a vetiver addict. I've also tried Encre Noir (like many) recently, also Guerlain Vetiver. Of course there are strong similarities. For me this hasn't the clean, honest, freshness of Guerlain, and it hasn't the dark, sinister drama of the Lalique. But this is mellow, subtle, refined, tentative, fleeting, delicate. Beautiful, in fact. I get the soft spiciness at the start and of course full-on lovely vertiver throughout. For me rather soft sillage (although I was wearing Polo yesterday, so I might revise that comment later!) and soft to moderate longevity. Someone else I read said "otherworldly" - I agree, and in fact the scent of vetiver is always like that for me. But whereas Encre Noir, for me, is a malevolent, cold and dramatic spirit, Sycomore is an intelligent, refined and absolutely benevolent alien being. Someone I read said that the character from the film Avatar would wear this. Yes, bravo, perfect! I so wish I'd thought of that image, but it's completely right. A benevolent, intelligent, otherworldly, beautiful, forest dweller.
I've just noticed it's listed as a feminine fragrance too. Yes! (lightbulb moment....) of course it would be lovely on a woman, but I'm also claiming it too. In fact this scent is not about sex at all for me.
No doubt at some point in the future I will be surrounded by far too many bottles on the theme of vetiver. Heaven! Of course Sycomore is on my "want" list. I'd wear this when I felt I needed support and kindness not of this world. Lovely.

27th June, 2015

Eau des Baux by L'Occitane

This has a coniferous-vanilla/amber accord that works. Doesn’t feel especially complex or high end, but would you expect that for the price? It has good longevity. I own a bottle. Not a wardrobe favorite of mine, but every now and then I like wearing it. Reasonably priced.
27th June, 2015

Armani Eau de Nuit by Giorgio Armani

Halfway Paul Smith Man and Dior Homme, a sort of spicy-dusty “grey” iris-tonka fragrance loaded with synthetic amber nuances, a ton of cheap soapy musk (you’ll get it all on the drydown) and a hint of smoke. Clearly similar to Dior Homme – the kind of “similar” connecting a counterfeit PU leather replica of a Hermès Birkin bag to the original one. A strong will to be content with very little, a bit of imagination and really low pretenses can make the purchase worthy. The same here; Eau de Nuit smells heavily and almost annoyingly cheap and not exactly “inspired” from the point of view of the creativity... but well, it works somehow, especially since the prices seem quite low. It’s warm, slightly sweet, dark but gentle, a resemblance with the drydown of Body Kouros pops out on the drydown. *Indifferent shrug*.

27th June, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Original Santal by Creed

Trying not to be judgemental here, but Original Santal by Creed is really a depressing fragrance given the price and the pretenses it has. I can accept the fact there is no (I mean: no!) sandalwood here, and obviously no “original” sandalwood therefore, but even putting that aside, it smells really, clearly and desperately mediocre. Don’t expect any luxury out of this, it is basically a really generic herbal juniper-lavender blend with a lot of spices on the smooth-sweet side, mostly cinnamon and tonka, and that’s it. Pleasantly outdated if you want, but that’s a really miserable cold comfort to pay that money to feel like a wealthy distinguished connoisseur while actually smelling like a lower-class accountant from the early 1990s. Not saying Original Santal stinks; it is decent, in the least enthusiastic meaning ever, something which I would consider acceptable for a 15/20 EUR fragrance. “Drugstore/chainstore-decent” as any Montblanc and similar fragrances would be. Sadly I am given to understand Creed fans are most of the time so devotedly stubborn that my review will just appear as some snobbish grumpy opposer bashing the brand for the sake of it... well I am not. I admit this would be fine with a way lower price, so I do see some margin of acceptability with this fragrance, but as-is (over 2 EUR/ml?) it’s objectively preposterous - this being in the same broad price range of, say, Hermès Cuir d’Ange? Insulting.

27th June, 2015
CoL Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Uomo Essenza di Capri by Pal Zileri

I got this for a silly price but the reviews made me take the little chance. At first spray I thought to myself 'yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. This has only been done 2500 times before' yet 10 mins later it dries down to a very lovely aquatic! A surprisingly lovely aquatic given the price. Subtle, gentle aquatic with a fruity edge. No one could find this offensive so suitable for the office too. A surprise blind buy, glad I got it in the sale now!
27th June, 2015

Bugatti (original) by Etorre Bugatti

Bugatti Original is one of the highest examples of elevated italian disappeared perfumery. This fragrance has an its own twin, namely the equally great and seriously similar Moschino Pour Homme despite I partially detect many elements in common with further italian great creations of the past as the Classic Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli and Versace Versus (for several of their spicy-animalic and citrusy/resinous characteristics). As well as the excellent Colin Maillard has written before (thanks for his amazing thread to Andre' Moreau as well), this gem is epitome of a left back fulgent era in which creating perfumes was a real art and used to mean top of the top quality (of raw materials, no IFRA, no idiotic rules, no "plastic luxury"). Yes, no plastic luxury ("Colin Maillard"), no " 212 sexy Men", now sugary medicinal powder "in the middle of the teeth". There is a powdery-spicy "backbone" (in Ettore Bugatti and in the finally more leathery and less lemony/animalic/resinous Moschino Pour Homme as well) which is really penetrating and immensely luxurious (leatherwears/furs kind of luxury) than finally leathery, inebriant, exotic and visceral. The previously highlighted hallmarks are the main treat of this resinous semi-oriental fragrance (with chypre/fougere classic hallmarks) together with a sparkling hesperidic/aldehydic but immedialtely powdery-resinous opening (it seems to effectively detect a touch of the immensely beautiful Guerlain's "lemon/vanilla" powdery accord - Habit Rouge, Jicky, L'Heure Bleue, Shalimar). I'm smitten by the sandalwood's qualify and due to an incredibly modern vibe exuded by the final development, something far beyond many celebrated niche contemporary concoctions (several Roja Dove's jump on mind as well as Marc de la Morandiere Genghis Khan. The great Zino Davidoff and partially Montecristo Masque jump too on mind as well for several of their characteristics, as well as Valentino Vendetta etc). Ettore Bugatti is a perfect mélange of aldehydic hesperides, aromatic herbs (lavender in particular), powdery-lemony vanilla, resins, spiciness (rootiness) and leather/castoreum. There is a stout lemon/orange (bergamot/neroli) presence throughout which is "second by second" surrounded by this powdery-resinous amber/vanilla/benzoin accord, by a lot of woodiness (spicy, rooty, rounded, seasoned...more and more), warm castoreum (salty and carnal) and a final leather (soft in the middle of the sweet resins). There is anyway a powerhouse nature throughout (spicy, rooty, aromatic) which is at same time herbal, floral and animalic a la V&A Tsar (but in this case less properly barber-shop/herbal and more resinous, white-leathery and luxurious) or Shiseido Basala (which is equally resinous, more spicy/exotic, tobacco/tonka-veined but less luxurious, classy and urban). Rose/rosewood, orris root, patchouli and well modulated leather enhance the general luxury all around. In conclusion this amazing creation is like a modern hero, namely a sensible father, a loyal husband, an elegant professional fellow always impeccable, cut/charming eyes and warm virile aroma, a man which seems to glimmer of lifed life, painful past and wisdom.
26th June, 2015 (last edited: 27th June, 2015)

Polo by Ralph Lauren

To start with this brings back one vivid memory from my childhood. Opening the small, empty, wooden barrel-shaped container that my Grandad used to keep his pipe tobacco in. Gets me every time. For me it's a powerful, green, fresh and very masculine scent. And unmistakeable fresh tobacco from start to finish. To be honest i thought I got cinnamon too at the start, but I think that must be a mistake as I don't think it's listed as an ingredient. My boss years ago used to wear it, and this, combined with my childhood memory, is what this scent conjures up for me: a very masculine, authoritative, older man, a man's man who speaks directly and is what he is. I would wear this if I thought I'd be in a group of men, especially in a competitive environment. And in this situation I would forget subtlety - spray liberally, you're either wearing it or you're not. Make your mind up! Great longevity and silage too. Great. :)
June 2015
26th June, 2015
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Minotaure by Paloma Picasso

A smooth melange of leather, vanilla and sort-of-sandalwood. It's not too sweet but otherwise I would not call it dated in the least, despite its 1990s origin. It reminds me a bit of Jil Sander Man. Longevity is excellent as a smexy skin scent but projection is non-existent. An ideal scent for the smart superhero about town, but owing to its less than super performance, perhaps more suited to Robin than Batman. 3/5
26th June, 2015

Paco Energy by Paco Rabanne

More than decent classic accord of aromatic citrus and fresh woodiness (a plain powdery vetiver and "pencil shaving" cedarwood). Strong on grapefruit, Paco Energy is cool and kind of ostensibly incensey (a freshly dusty effect provided by juniper berries and woods with a dodgy hint of smokiness). Sharp floral notes come out at distance (it seems to detect geranium on the side of intenser romantic cyclamen). Projection is more than temperamental on my skin. Not bad.
26th June, 2015

Balmain Homme by Pierre Balmain

The very first two thoughts I had when I tried this: it’s pretty much exactly how you can imagine it by reading the notes, and it definitely “smells Interparfums”. They must really use the same materials over and over, because I get here the exact same notes I get in many other scents made by this company – e.g. some St. Dupont’s, or Paul Smith’s. But well, it isn’t really an issue for me as long as they smell fine, and most of them did or do for me. There’s something “dusty”, smooth, smoky- powdery in most of their textures, which I quite like. Balmain Homme also strongly reminds me of a mainstream fragrance I can’t identify at the moment; I sprayed 1 Million on my other arm just to see if it may have been that since it has been named somewhere as a close comparison to Balmain Homme, but it’s not that – it does not really have much to do with Balmain’s in fact. Nearly nothing (phew!). I am quite sure it may be Versace Eros on the contrary, as I get here the same sort of “soapy spicy sweetness” due to tonka, cedar and musk. But that’s the only similarity, as Balmain Homme smells different for the rest. Another reference that I thought of is – fun enough – discontinued Balman by Balmain; it was sweeter, more “creatively” synthetic and less smoky, but I see a clear connection. Anyway as I said the notes are quite faithful: the opening is really nice, fresh and almost tea-like, I get mostly violet (synthetic sharp-soapy violet), tonka, cedar, musk, some other smooth spices (nutmeg for sure), something almost fruity, and just some really mannered, almost unperceivable and smooth polished leather as in most of recent “trendy leathers”.

A fresh-sweet-smoky Oriental fragrance for “urban” young fellas; it smells clean, quite synthetic (not an issue for me), decidedly mainstream, but undoubtedly decent and elegantly versatile. It’s actually quite nice to be honest, it has an enjoyable feel of bright spicy cleanliness which I quite like, blending quite nicely fresh notes and smokier ones; and if you make the effort of putting aside prejudices against “generic mainstreams”, you’ll also think of some niche scents if that’s a plus for you (a couple of Parfums de Marly came to my mind, and several “weightless” violet-leather scents). Nothing extremely sophisticated or particularly “masculine” in a more mature meaning, and surely nothing particularly interesting for perfume collectors and enthusiasts (unlike the other couple of Balmain fragrances for men), except if you’re looking for some “easy” alternatives in your more fulfilling connoisseur’s rotation; rather something generically “cool”, pleasant, safe, pedantically conforming to mainstream current trends, and really easy to wear. No contraindications, no unpleasant side-effects. Which is what designer fragrances are mostly designed for, so there’s little to blame here. It’s quite powerful too, the projection is remarkable and so is the persistence. So shortly nothing memorable but a decent, unpretentious, slightly overpriced candidate for a “signature scent” for 20-25 something guys (or handsome, Dorian Gray-esque young-looking 30-something’s as myself).

26th June, 2015

Lea by Lea St Barth

Powdery vanilla, both feminine and tranquilizing. Not for myself, but I would like this on a lady.
26th June, 2015

Note Vanille by Martine Micallef

A boozy, dirty, complex vanilla that is both sexy and interesting. If you are looking for a mischievous vanilla, this one is worth considering.
26th June, 2015

Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès

You get a blast of grapefruit when you first try this on. For me it's a bright, pleasant, uncomplicated scent. Reminds me of eating breakfast before work on a sunny, summer, early morning. Unfortunately it only lasts about as long as it takes to eat breakfast, not even that long, and then it's gone. So short-lived, it's untrue. I wouldn't buy it again, for that reason, but apparently there is a concentré version, which I might try.
I bought a bottle of this blind at Schiphol airport, but I had to use so much of this to even get it to last half an hour on me, I decided to give it away to someone who I know loves very subtle citrusy scents.
June 2015
25th June, 2015

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

My all-time favourite scent. Loved it since the eighties and never been beaten. Herbs, violets, a fresh, cool, damp, woody smell. Cool rain on skin. An Northern woodland clearing, on the cusp of Autumn, cool, green everywhere, the rain suddenly stops, the sun shines through the leaves, highlighting delicate purple flowers, the leafy tree branches still dripping with bright raindrops.
If I could only have one, this would be it.
I met Grey Flannel when I was 16. I'd never really thought about fragrance before, but had grown up with them as my mother wears them (then Poison, opium, rive gauche). This literally stopped me in my tracks, my heart missed a beat and a thousand childhood memories flashed before my eyes. I'll never forget it. I know it's not the original formula now, and I know it's dated now, and I know, increasingly, people don't like it. For me you can never replace your first love. It's me. I hope they drench the place with it at my funeral one day. If BaseNotes created a "golden thumb" that members could only ever use once and never again, I would use it on Grey Flannel without hesitation. :)
June 2015
25th June, 2015

Fahrenheit Parfum by Christian Dior

I recently bought this mistakenly interpreting the "parfum" label to mean it is simply a stronger concentration version of the original.... I have a lot to learn clearly. I still like this though. I wore the original first time round, but haven't smelled it for a long time. When I first sprayed the parfum, I certainly recognised it as Fahrenheit but it definitely doesn't have the initial "shock" of the original. I guess this must be the lack of the petrol smell - I quite liked this in the original. I also think this is more feminine, but that hasn't stopped me liking it. It lasts forever, well over 12 hours on my skin, the final remnants I detect being a sweet orangey smell that reminds me of orange chocolate (I guess this must be the mandarin). Overall for me: warm, sexy, lasts for ages. And I did get a compliment when I wore it at the office. Normally when I smell a scent I get a "scene" in my mind - this hasn't happened yet with this one. I think I need a few more weeks to develop a better sense of it. For me it doesn't beat the original, and that's what I should have bought, so a "neutral" thumb from me this time. June 2015
25th June, 2015

Pi by Givenchy

Tried this for 3 days now with samples and shop sprays. Here are my (amateur) thoughts:
A sweet, warm, delicious and sexy smell, I liked it. Reminds me of sleepily snuggling up to someone and breathing in the scent of warm skin. The effect is so sensuous I think I'd prefer to smell it on someone else. I detect vanilla and almonds, other things too I can't name yet, but definitely something edible. My partner said I smell like cake :). I think that's good..... I'm having a weird experience with the longevity: after spraying it seems to fade quickly, but then returns! And weirdly the scent that returns is very similar to the start. To my mind it would smell great on men and women. In the end I bought it, still like it very much, but by the time it arrived I realised it wasn't me. Much as I'd like to be, I'm not a sweet, warm and delicious kind of guy. So I've given it away. Therefore a "neutral" thumb for me :)
25th June, 2015

English Fern by Penhaligon's

In about 1990, newly arrived in London (I moved back North again years later), a friend took me into the Penhaligons shop and offered to buy me any fragrance I liked. I didn't try any of them (duh...) but went for this one as I've always been attracted to green, mossy, herby scents (I wore Grey Flannel at the time and still do now). All I can say is that I found this really unpleasant, harsh and bitter. I later read a review once where someone described it as the poisonous, Victorian, rank potion that Dr Jekyll took before he turned into Mr Hyde, and that sums up how I remember it. The memory has lasted 25 years, and not in a good way.

I'm an amateur, so I feel a bit uncomfortable about writing negative reviews, but my opinion on this stands. for me, it was awful. Sorry....

25th June, 2015

Encre Noire by Lalique

Tried this via a 3ml sample - 100ml is now on its way! My (amateur) thoughts:
I absolutely LOVE it, as a serial slave to Grey Flannel, Encre Noir is the most interesting thing I've come across in a long time. The honest truth, my very first reaction: oh no, it reminds me of my lovely old Nan (I guess she must have worn vetiver at some point), but once I was over that, the association hasn't returned. To me it's dark, cold, dank, with a perversely attractive bitterness and harshness. To me there's nothing nice, warm, sexy, wholesome or happy about it, but it's intoxicatingly interesting. An autumn night, a sinister man in a long dark coat walking through a Northern European churchyard. Wearing this I feel like "The Count" himself.
I applied 3 sprays at 7am - at 4pm I was still sitting in its thrall in the office feeling dark, sinister and powerful. Just keep the crucifixes and garlic out of my way until it wears off!
25th June, 2015

Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss

Here's my amateur review from a sample over 2 days: on my skin soapy, powdery, lemony. Not unpleasant, fresh, reminded me of Zest lemon soap from years ago. A bit nondescript at first, but I do really get the cinnamony, tobacco bit later, when it improves it a lot for me. If I wore it I'd want to avoid people for an hour after spraying. It totally improves on the dry down.
BUT also persuaded a male friend to try it at the same time. Totally different! Fresh, apples, no powdery lemon soapy stuff. Lovely. Unfortunately can't comment on the dry down.
Verdict : not for me, so a thumbs down, but can smell totally differently (and much better) on other people.
25th June, 2015

Memoir Man by Amouage

I like this very, very much. Herby at the start, then fragrant smoke, soft woody at the end. For me strongly fresh tobacco from start to finish - this tobacco part reminds me of Ralph Lauren (original green) Polo. I love the way the smokiness comes on. It's like watching someone preparing, and then lighting, a pipe. For me it evokes a person, rather than a place. Many decades ago, an older man, a country squire, old fashioned, smartly dressed, cold, quiet, strong, a bit cruel. Obviously a pipe smoker.
Very satisfying scent, very masculine. I would definitely wear it, if I could justify the eye-watering price tag.
25th June, 2015