Perfume Reviews

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Enygma by Onyrico

Enygma goes on with a blast of saffron, with almost cinnamon-like nutmeg spice support. Moving to the early heart the saffron and nutmeg spice hang around in support, joining faint unidentifiable florals, as the composition adds dry tobacco and synthetic, slightly rubbery woods to take on the role of co-stars. During the late dry-down the spice and tobacco vacate, leaving stark sandalwood paired with slightly smoky vetiver through the finish. Projection is below average and longevity very good at between 11-12 hours on skin.

Enygma is probably the worst of the initial four Onyrico samples I have tried to date. The saffron and nutmeg open starts things off quite nicely, but all positive momentum is lost when the synthetic woods and ill-conceived tobacco arrive shortly thereafter. The dry tobacco and woods mesh quite poorly, and at this point, many will call it a day and scrub the thing off. Fortunately, the late dry-down saves things to a large degree, as the troublesome tobacco and synthetic woods give way to a fine vetiver and more natural smelling dry sandalwood starring tandem. Enygma obviously has some appeal, and on the whole I would have to call it largely successful, but the crucial heart disappoints to a degree that one has to wonder if it is worth waiting for the pretty decent finish. The bottom line is the 160 Euros per 100ml bottle Enygma is just that with its puzzling mid-section that spoils an otherwise relatively impressive start and finish, earning it an “above average” 2.5 to 3 star out of 5 rating and a neutral recommendation with a slight positive bias.
30th August, 2015

Blomma Cult by Room 1015

Vanilla, powdery floral or floral powder. To me it smells by turn of old fashioned make up (like my Nana used to wear), face powder, lipstick and baby talcum powder. All mixed up. It gets sweeter and more powdery as time goes on. Due to those associations for me it's not really unisex. I think it's an odd scent for a man. It's not unpleasant, but for me also totally devoid of any physicality and not sexy at all. I'd almost go as far to say that it's kind of child like or even childish. It's a nice smell, but I feel a bit ridiculous wearing it. What does it bring to mind? Many years ago my Mam took me and my little brother shopping with her. We were in a haberdashery and she was occupied choosing fabric. My brother must have been about 3 years old. In his curiosity he'd emptied the contents of Mam's handbag on the floor and proceeded to paint himself with red lipstick. He looked so funny everyone in the shop was laughing.
That's it for me, odd as it is. I'm happy as always to be told I'm wrong. Sillage and longevity moderate. It's OK but I wouldn't buy it.
August 2015
30th August, 2015

Sauvage by Christian Dior

This new Dior, Sauvage, fits right into the mainstream fragrance scene of 2015, and reminds me a little of Burberry Brit Rhythm for Men. Having worn it, no interest was sparked in wearing it again or buying any, but I am curious to smell it around on others to see what kind of impression it makes from that angle.

Overall, my disappointment is pronounced; neutral leaning thumbs down; and I need a getaway with Fahrenheit and Dior Homme Intense to recover warm fuzzy feelings for Dior.
30th August, 2015
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Coal by Andrea Maack

Perfectly consistent within Andrea Maack range, Coal is an entirely-artificial, minimalistic exploration of an imaginary thick “grey” concrete-like matter, pretty much as its name suggest. It evokes in fact something smooth and threatening at once, dark and “organic” with a sheer, balmy lab-like vibe, smelling basically as a really tight and aseptic blend of musk, synthetic woods (Iso E Super), nose-tingling pepper, with a hint of something slightly sweet, Gucci Rush-like, which I guess is due to some, again, artificial note of cashmere wood or sandalwood. Basically a sneaky yet apparently successful rebranding of any Azzaro Visit and similar cheap plastic woody-pepper stuff (something also other “post-modern” niche brands seem good at doing, like MiN New York). I find it exceedingly boring and itchingly pretentious, as I see zero true innovation or creative research, but I admit they seem skilled in turning cheapness into avantgarde - if you’re a fan of that, then help yourself.

30th August, 2015

Fougère Bengale by Parfum d'Empire

An unlikely set of complimentary notes set this one off, and, for the most part, they stick around the whole time it’s on the skin. Fougere Bengal hits you with a ringing bell of what smells like musky hay, camphorous licorice, and maple syrup-immortelle. The camphor is really there to spike both hay and syrup as the volume’s turned up on both of those notes. With that said. the blending is seamless, and the effect is a warmth that sidesteps the saccharine. As with a number of Parfum d’Empire scents, the musk is raunchy but muzzled deep within the mix. After a while, a sketchy synth-moss rolls up and yells “copout,” but the scent manages to keep its cool all the same. It does smell like a fougere, but one that breaks the rules in a smart way. Nicely done.
30th August, 2015

Equistrius by Parfum d'Empire

With plenty of lipstick iris and supple suede, Equistrius is an over-inflated balloon of a scent that walks the line between cosmetics and leather. The iris is perfectly recognizable as iris yet doesn’t aim for photorealism; instead, it taps into the suede for a profile that signifies as a kind of glowing cyan blue. However, both the iris and the leather are coddled by a prominent yet anonymous “perfume” — a somewhat redundant scaffold that smells both sweetly oriental and vaguely musky. The result is a scent that's perhaps a bit too bloated with both the iris and the suede drowning in too many pillowy layers. As with others in this line, Equistrius is fairly linear (with a gradual slouch from iris to tonka) but it’s neatly blended with no spikes. It’s a little too distended and “perfume” for my liking, but for a boomy oriental iris, it’s a solid choice.
30th August, 2015

Cigarillo by Rémy Latour

Found this review online for the rare "Cigarillo"....I have heard this one is over the top sweet and it seems that may be the case based on this description. I will stick with the OG "Cigar."

Cigarillo Cologne

Cigarillo by Remy Latour Cologne. Wear a scent with exhilarating and unique masculine appeal as your personal stamp of impeccable style. Introduced in 1996, Cigarillo for men is the creation of famed French fragrance brand Remy Latour. Indulge in its sensuous formula that features a heady blend of citrus and sweet fruit notes. Essences of Amalfi lemon, bergamot, plum, pear and pineapple round out Cigarillo's intoxicating aromatic profile. Exude suave sophistication when you sport the seductive Remy Latour Cigarillo for men.
30th August, 2015

Cuba Red by Cuba Paris

If you enjoy tobacco frags then "Cuba Red" should be part of your collection if for nothing else the value price and awesome cigar shaped bottle with a mug shot of Ben Franklin on the label.

Tobacco and cedar, very linear, lasts for about 90 minutes, available year round at TJ Maxx and Ross....ciao
30th August, 2015

La Collection Croisiere : Mojito Chypre by Pierre Guillaume

I’ll go out on a limb and say that this is the most adventurous of the five releases from PG’s new “teal” line, but I’ll also add that it’s the one that turned my stomach the fastest. It smells like a strawberry-tinged air freshener — harsh and enormously unpleasant. Camphorous pine provides a “just bleached bathroom” effect, and the strawberry is more tart and leafy than sweet and jammy. The result is medicinal and chilling, and it made me feel sick within minutes of application. There’s nothing chypre about this; it’s an astringent fruity aromatic, and if you’ve smelled 2013’s Cape Heartache, you’ll recognize it immediately. Horrifying.
29th August, 2015 (last edited: 30th August, 2015)

Very Irresistible for Men Fresh Attitude by Givenchy

Minty-angular plastic Givenchy's "stardust allure". Fresh Attitude is an hyper glamour/synthetic Givenchy's "experiment" on the cedarwood's theme based on the game of juxtapositions (minty-citric patterns, ozonic molecules, coffee-hazelnut). It is a flanker of the classic Very Irresistible For Men which is a semi-gourmand more properly sensual-warm, still minty-gourmandish but devoid of ozonic/exotic (kind of mohito-conjuring) elements. Fresh Attitude smells really close to Guerlain Homme Eau Extreme (being furthermore conceptually close to Mugler A* Men Summer Flash) and follows the trend of freshly sensual semi-gourmand laundry/angular aromatic scents which combine fresh/mentholated sparkling-angular notes with synthetically warm and sensual "tasty-toffee like" patterns. The opening is super mentholated (yet by coffee beans influenced) and mellifluous-chic with the by soon heady contrast between hesperidic mint (lavender, mint, basil, coriander and citric aromachemicals) and "nutty/suede veined coffee beans" vaguely oozing several L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme's sparks (despite the latter is far more refined and kind of luxurious in style). Along the way metallic-marine vibes and a more properly cedary (musk-ambroxan oriented) feel take the stage orienting the aroma towards something more conventionally woody-salty (kind of cedary-ozonic) and far less gourmandish (though still aromatic-nutty and kind of waxy-lipstick-like). Fresh Attitude follows the Very Irresistible For Men's glamour-chic (deliberately) hyper/synthetic theme and exactly over this category it should be assessed and properly located (laundry-sugary suede, kind of suede-like waxiness, menthol-chic soapiness, game of contrasts, juxtapositions between angular-fresh and silky-gourmandish synthetic notes). A classic example of Givenchy's style (Very Irresistible, PI Neo, Dahlia Collection, Ange ou Demon). A typical post-modern clubbing solution which could not surely allure the straight forward lovers of tradition.
29th August, 2015

Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein

Very nice. Spicy cinnamon, with a citrus freshness at the start that wears off after half an hour or so. The cinnamon stays the whole way through, with vanilla coming through later. Yes it's dated, but it's a good scent. I have Chanel Égoïste too, which is better (Chanel usually is) if you like cinnamon, but I still bought a bottle of Obsession and I can't imagine not owning it now. It's not "great" but it's very pleasant and one of those scents you end up wearing a lot, without really intending to. I'd wear this as a safe evening scent for any civilised social occasion. I can imagine an evening foursome, two smart forty or fifty somethings for drinks in a classy bar then a nice meal and warm, genuine conversation. If you spray it on at 7pm before you leave home, it'll still be going strong at 11 when you leave the restaurant and say your goodbyes to your friends. Not really warm-sexy for me like Égoïste is, but warm-friendly, and what's wrong with that? Nothing, that's why I bought it.
August 2015
29th August, 2015

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

This is all Jackboots and Swastika's to me!

I really admire Tauer's polish in other offerings.

However, I'll shine my Cordovan's with the likes of

Knize or Chanel, Thank-you.
29th August, 2015

Royal Mayfair by Creed

This one’s surprisingly budget smelling for the line that bangs on about status and wealth and being one of the elite and all that. It’s a sort of fresh, sporty kind of affair — high-end locker room aquatic, I guess. It make me think of the kind of mini-shampoos you might find in a hotel that have script fonts all over the place; a superficial, slapped-on kind of royalty. The scent sits closer to the GIT style but with more of a crystalline fizzy herbal accord — aldehydes and various green molecules, I presume, cut with the slight sharpness of camphor. There’s a mild soapy-clean effect, but not quite as soap-in-the-mouth as these sporty scents can get. The base is a functional clean, woody balsamic thing with a touch of musk — a tad stemmy, but more crisp than metallic. Overall, it's an ultra-safe easy to wear scent in that it negates contemplation; your standard locker-room fresh effect with a touch more polish than you’d get from an off-the-shelf deodorant body spray. Very nice for what it is, but it would be better priced at around the mid-level department store range as that’s clearly the audience it's targeting.
28th August, 2015
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Ryder by Ex Idolo

I wasn’t into the first Ex Idolo release, but I saw the appeal as the scent was a reasonably well crafted drunken rose. This one is a step down in that the construction and the effect are both mediocre. It’s basically Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute merged with Dior’s Fève Délicieuse. Fold a creamy coumeric note in with a debilitated Amber Absolute and add a touch of dried fruit-like tobacco and that’s about it. Sweet, cloying, and forgettable; it’s your standard, predictable “modern masculine” sugar-cakes scent. Pure, unadulterated bro-nip.
28th August, 2015

Aramis by Aramis

I remember this the first time from about 1978, when I was 11. I went on a school trip to London and went into the perfumery in Harrods or possibly Selfridges. I remember thinking "pepper" (black pepper). To be honest I wouldn't have recognised it today without seeing the bottle.
It's soapy (I think I mean oakmoss when I say that), spicy, masculine, very dated. Reminds me oddly of Aramis 900 at the start in it's old fashioned soapiness. But also brings to mind Kouros or better Polo Green with fresh tobacco and it's unapologetic strength. It's like smelling an old-fashioned cologne off a leather jacket. It's powerful and lasts for hours.
I love this. I love it because it takes me back in time to a decade (1970s) that I experienced first hand as a child, and the fragrance now allows me to imagine it as an adult.
Oddly enough it reminded me too that in those days the smell of cigarette smoke was everywhere. Nowadays like most people I've learned to find the smell of cigarette smoke disgusting, but somehow I miss it when I wear this fragrance.
I see a man in his early 30s, in a smart leather jacket and open necked shirt, in a night club, handlebar moustache , sideburns, gold chain, hairy chest, a pack of Benson and Hedges. His Ford Capri is parked outside and he'll drive home later quite drunk, along with most of the other guys in the joint. It's 1975. He's still oozing confidence and chatting up the ladies. In a few years the music and fashions of the next decade will be weird and alien to him, as will the new materialism to come. He'll lose his hair and gain a belly. He won't get to buy a Golf Gti cabriolet because by then he needs a practical family car. But his children will remember "that aftershave" well into the next century.
A true classic. August 2015
28th August, 2015

Black by Puredistance

Puredistance Black - I’m not sure I know what I’m smelling but it’s nothing that I connect with… It’s not concrete. It’s definitely not abstract. And it’s not abstract-concrete like CdG’s Odeurs 53 or 71. Elements of the scent seem vaguely familiar, but not familiar enough to identify them. Lucky Scents’ blurb suggests that P-D black is presenting the smells of childhood… but I don’t feel it tickling anything in my deepest memory banks… Puredistance Black is warm, but I don’t really get leather, booze, aminalics… yet I certainly wouldn’t argue about those…

Now, about 45 minutes into it, I get a growingly disgusting element that hits me very much like heavy leather or birch tar does… Yes, that is definitely there filling up the background and precluding this from all possibilities of my purchasing it… yup, birch tar is there, so this will be quickly coming off my skin.

I wish I could say that this was a noble experiment – but I’m feeling neither success nor frustration – this fragrance is simply too non-intriguing for me to bother thinking about any more.

I don’t find Black at all unique or intriguing. It is simply a somewhat linear, conglomerate accord… very much in structure like the ‘90s Calvin Kline’s best sellers, except that this one is not synthetic smelling nor screechy.
28th August, 2015

Carbon [6C] by Nu_Be

What a surprise! The last Nu_be fragrance I tested – Nu_be Mercury – made me nauseous. This one, Nu_be Carbon, is not only tolerable, it’s quite desirable. It opens spicy and bright – ginger, cardamom, chili pepper, iris and resins. They are all there in an effervescent, wearable accord. It is a seriously spicy-resinous accord, and yet it is not over-the-top… and it is beautifully refined. This first accord lasts about an hour with ebbing sillage, and then continues on as a heart and base with an iris / sandalwood texture backgrounded by a soft ginger / cardamom. This subtle, elegant textured aspect lasts for another two or three hours on the skin (longer on clothing). It eventually tapers to a dry sandalwood / maybe-floral conclusion – I love the smell. I’ve smelled the heart / drydown before – it was a local product – it was my favorite body wash when I lived in Taiwan – it was called… “Carbon.”
28th August, 2015

Paul Smith Man by Paul Smith

The citruses of the opening are about the only interesting element of the fragrance. The yuzo and bergamot, nicely helped by the star anise are rather dusty (very good description, Darvant) and unclear, thanks to the combination of violet, incense, and patchouli notes already encroaching on and dominating the opening citruses. The accord is noticeably synthetic, particularly suffering from a lack of better quality material. The violet continues on into its middle level, becoming the dominant element in the remainder of the fragrance to my nose. Not at all original and boring … don’t like it at all.
28th August, 2015

Heir by Paris Hilton

Bergamot and a synthetic leather in the opening… Hard to say what else… maybe lavender and fir… very, very hard to diagnose. I can’t readily identify individual notes in Heir… it is one big blob of confusing smell. The fragrance is not very strong and it doesn’t go anywhere or do anything except get weaker and weaker in its hurried descent to a a quick death… not at all a tragedy. Anyway, it is not a disagreeable scent. Its major ailments are an incurable case of boring and an short life span.
28th August, 2015

Baladin by Nicolaï

Aromatic herbal opening – very nice accord of mint, grapefruit, tarragon and thyme, citrus and three herbs I wouldn’t have thought would work together –. It’s remarkable how fresh it is and yet warm remains warm. I guess the warmth comes from both the tarragon and leather notes. The accord is enjoyable, nondramatic, grounding.

When the leather and vetiver take over, I pretty much begin losing the fragrance. The accord becomes quite reticent to my nose, searching deeply for it, I find the accord pleasant, but I would find the accord more interesting if it came through a little more strongly for me. As a skin scent, I don’t think it’s compelling enough – a soap or moisturizing lotion could accomplish the same thing. Baladin started out well, but ends in a fizzle.
28th August, 2015

Quartz by Molyneux

From the descriptions of Quartz pour Femme in these reviews I would guess that there have been a few reformulations since 1977: the version I am testing is, I believe, the most current version and the notes listed on the package are:

Top: Lemon, Mandarin, Bergamot, Grapefruit. Middle: Iris, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Honeysuckle, and Rose. Base: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Patchouli, and Tyrolean Moss.

My nose is in agreement with the notes listed on my package. I get a light, refreshing citrus opening followed by a floral heart on a rather delicate chypre base. At all three levels of the pyramid, the feeling of the fragrance is 1) a simplicity unusual for a chypre IMO, 2) a freshness that, strangely, smells chypre-ish, and 3) a generic boredom that is very unusual for me to find in a chypre – (I usually love chypres).

Quartz is very nicely structured. It is pleasant. It has easily controlled sillage. It has decent longevity. It is not synthetic or plastic. But it could be much more interesting. It has, as Naed_Nitram says: “long, clean corridors.”
28th August, 2015

Antihéros by Etat Libre d'Orange

Wow! Lavender overload. A high quality lavender explodes out of the bottle. It is a little musky, I think, which contributes nicely to the quality. The lavender tones down, as a normal lavender does, to a point where it acts smoothly in conjunction with the musk and cedar. The new accord is far too normal for Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance – it is also rather generic… excellent quality and very pleasant, but not unique. Later, the woods move further into the accord, and the lavender is pretty much gone.
Antiheros lasts quite well for a lavender fragrance; the initial lavender blast is temporary... it settles down nicely. The remainder of Antiheros is quite discreet and perfect for a pleasant, quality office scent. I enjoy the fact that this fragrance doesn’t add vanilla to the lavender – I dislike that combination. Lavender isn’t my favorite, but this one deserves a thumbs up.
28th August, 2015

Light Blue Pour Homme Living Stromboli by Dolce & Gabbana

Rather attractive opening accord – a sharp, sweet, aquatic, plus a direct lychee note provide for a likable simplicity. I don’t get musk, per se, but there is something sweet augmenting the lychee’s sweetness. The movement to the “floral” middle makes for a bit lowering of the timbre of the opening… the scent has come to operate at a lower sharpness level. I’m not sure I can identify either the iris or the Osmanthus, and the deeper timbre doesn’t do much to lessen the aquatic character of the scent, which by now are getting a bit annoying because the aquatics are even more synthetic that most aquatic notes. The base lowers the vibrations of the fragrance even more, and to the point where I feel the scent has finally settled into a comfortable feeling… the aquatic has finally given up, much to my relief. Light Blue Living Stromboli is pretty much an average aquatic. I don't have very high expectations for aquatics, so I'm going neutral on this one.
28th August, 2015

Tam Dao Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

I own and love the first Tam Dao, and I’m well aware that it is not really a sandalwood fragrance… it is a cedar fragrance. As far as sandalwood goes, this EdP is much, much closer to the real thing. This is a classic Mysore sandalwood and it is superb… Although this is not a SOLO sandalwood, it features a clean, creamy sandalwood note that plays no games. On my skin, the sandalwood rules, assisted by a quite subtle cedar. The other notes – lime coriander, ginger, musk, vanilla, and amber play only minor support roles to the sandalwood – noticeable but non-interfering with the sandalwood. The wood accord has a gentle projection and a rather short longevity. Outside of that understandable and forgivable flaw, this is pure sandalwood enjoyment. I doubt I’ll be wearing the EdT very often anymore.
28th August, 2015

No. 5 Eau Première by Chanel

I recognized this as similar to N° 5 at first sniff – must be the aldehydes… there’s quite of hit of it, but they don’t last long before the opening settles down to a more-modern-than-no. 5-tenor. The floral (rose and jasmine) heart is beautiful… and of the quality I would expect from Chanel. I think what makes the heart so outstanding is the influence of a delicate vetiver from the base upon the balanced, quality rose / jasmine accord. The base is a simple, clean vanilla and vetiver – excellent... might be a little too transparent for my tastes, still I cannot fault it. N° 5 Eau Premiere is simply beautiful and it's a more casual and wearable presentation of the original N° 5: This is how flankers should be made.
28th August, 2015

La Vaniglia by Bois 1920

They do rock! Lively opening… aromatic and strangely rich. The listed top notes – citrus, mint, and pepper – don’t account for the depth of the opening. It must be that the patchouli and incense from the heart accord are showing up upon spraying, giving the opening a wood / resinous platform for the bergamot and mandarin to do their citrus stuff and the amazingly restricted mint to provide just enough contrast to make this rocking top of the pyramid.

Oddly enough, it’s the mint that first backs off of the top accord leaving a citrus, pepper, patchouli and restrained incense to form the dominant accord of La Vaniglia along with a clean vanilla note from the base.

I don’t smell much of the pepper of the opening – I never do. I don’t smell the heart’s listed ginger– I don’t miss it. I don’t get much incense, but I would swear that there’s more than a touch of labdanum or myrrh with amber shadowing the whole fragrance – I haven’t decided which, but it is there!

Such a pleasant, satisfying scent this is. My first thought was that an accord this pleasant, light, and clean can’t possibly last very long, but its longevity is average – more proof of the myrrh.
28th August, 2015

Azzaro Duo Women by Azzaro

Very fruity opening. And the fruity nature sort of continues into the floral heart notes by means of the passion flower and orchid, so it remains sweet and rather yummy. This is pretty much of a pleasant linear scent from the opening to the base where it turns patchouli / cedar woody and generically but pleasantly sweet. Nothing extraordinary about Duo Women except its unusual bottle. Nice fragrance.
28th August, 2015

Animale Temptation Man by Animale Parfums

Temptation begins with an enjoyable citrus / coniferous accord accented by a clean lavender. Nice… but after fifteen minutes, there’s a dry period when not much seems to be happening… I suspect it’s when the musk has moved in (I am anosmic to some musks). The fragrance basically dies for me at that point, only to be picked up again about twenty minutes later when a peppery wood scent takes over the aroma duties. I guess this accord is the “exotic woods” accord – it’s quite nice, but it is extremely reticent. This base accord hangs on for an hour or so as a subtle skin scent.
Temptation would have been a good scent if it had a bit more substance at its core and a little better projection at the end.
28th August, 2015

Opus II by Amouage

A pleasant woody, spicy, amber reinforced by a quality (but recessive) frankincense note in a non-distinctive fougere structure: If you think that’s worth $350, go for it. Me… I’ll pass…
28th August, 2015

Opus I by Amouage

I don’t know… Opus I comes to me as one big glob of miscellaneous fragrance. Yes, it’s rich – might even say “opulent,” but I don’t sense any distinct form or function to its presence – it’s a big glob of a what I have come to feel is a disagreeable aroma. As hard as I’ve tried, I can’t ascribe an identifiable persona to the fragrance. It’s like Opus I is saying “opulence is enough…” I have problems with several notes in fragrances – leathers, birch, violet, and water lily – but there is nothing in the list of ingredients of Opus I that I tend to dislike. I can’t explain my aversion to this particular smell. Opus I is quite sweet; it is not really pleasant smelling; it is strong; but mainly for me it’s 350 dollars worth of “no thank you, I prefer not”…

Now I have to go and wash this off now…
28th August, 2015