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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Yup, summer, summer, summer. Orange/lemon with Bigarade-type butter tartness but a touch softened. Very lean. Very refreshing. Very convincing. This phase lasts an hour.

The drydown exudes a dried grass aroma with woodsy undertones. Less exciting.

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

A typical Cologne. Less intense but tarter than Creed's Version. 3.25/5.
26th July, 2017

The Vintage Cities: New York 1955 by 4160 Tuesdays

It doesn't really smell especially vintage-y to me, or natural, whereas I expect a dose of nature in 1950s vintage, but it's interesting. It's supposed to smell like raspberry and cotton candy (aka cotton floss). From the little I've sampled this house (Raw Silk and Red Roses, which impressed me, and Doe in the Snow, which was more of an interest than love at first smell), I think this may have some familiarity as a housemate (or my memory could be playing tricks on me, and it's reminding me of something else).

This is striking me as interesting, impressively ambitious, and edgy, but not a shoo-in for stealing my heart. But almost.

I like the ambition, and it has intrigue, and a whimsical, artistic flair. Also, the base notes have some gravitas. These are deep dark, florals, and the musk must by synthetic, but it's tastefully selected. I do smell a raspberry note. Although cotton candy is a listed note, it's not too sweet.
26th July, 2017

Earthtone #5 : Tropical Lagoon by Neil Morris Fragrances

This smells like an air freshener, perhaps one of the plug-in models, not a bad one, but it's a such a typical, mass-marketed smell, it's hard to be excited about it.

After some of the marked air-freshener likeness has died down, there are some nice elements, mostly a nice dryer sheet smell, but also a hint of some fruity, summery smells, and I can smell how having "Lagoon" in the name fits. It's sweet and fruity with a hint of salt water.
25th July, 2017
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No. 19 by Chanel

Stardate 20170725:
Another great floral from Chanel.
Starts green and while it has the dreaded galbanum, I enjoy it. Very well blended.
The green gives way to florals - soft and beautiful.
I think unless one is a frag head one does not realize how rare and beautiful this soft ethereal floral accord is. Not many can do it.
I think this is better than the big brother No. 5
A big thumbs up.
25th July, 2017

Hermessence Iris Ukiyoé by Hermès

Stardate 20170725:

A typical Ellena fragrance. Starts with a promise - iris and florals. Has old school floral vibe which is a good thing.But as we enter middle of heart phase a plastic note emerges which destroys the fragrance.
A neutral to mild thumbs down.
25th July, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

The star here is the rose that greets me right from the word "go!" A rich rose, not bright and a bit in the sombre side. This rose is not very smooth, it is on the crisp side of the rose spectrum. It is not really sweet on me, and whatever sweetness I get is more from the geranium that is developing in the background.

Later, further into the drydown, it turns greener and harsher. Added in is an earthy undertone that derives from the vetiver, and a patchouli-induced spiciness is growing stronger in the base. There is a touch of black Perigord truffle indeed evident towards the end, with the spiciness having a touch of a civet character not dissimilar to the spiciness in Creed's Orange Spice.

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

A wintery scent with a nice rose, but the later makers are a bit too intrusively synthetic. Another rose-spice version, with a good rose though. Unfortunately, the other notes remain on the mediocre level only. Overall 2.75/5.
25th July, 2017

Eau de Cologne by Chanel

The girly cologne
The boys must all have is proof:
Coco's style remains.
25th July, 2017

Tuscan Soul Bianco di Carrara by Salvatore Ferragamo

There are no listed notes in common, but this reminds me of Dolce and Gabbana The One for Men (2008). I think they may share an unlisted aroma chemical, and it's one I like, maybe. I say maybe because I gave away my bottle of The One, and I'm giving this a neutral. In both cases, I think there is an ingredient with potential, and something more could be done with it. The problem, and perhaps it's fatal, is that it smells nice initially, and loses appeal fairly quickly, but it's worth exploring, I think, to see if a structure can be built around it that's more complementary.
24th July, 2017

Eau des Minimes by Le Couvent des Minimes

Just a point of clarification: I believe the review by "Buysblind" is meant to refer to Eau des Missions (purple label) by Le Couvent des Minnimes, which actually does have an entry here in the directory.

The bottle referenced here is named "Eau des Minimes" (white label) and is a citrus cologne, not a vanilla. And I am still looking for reviews of it. (My thumb direction is meaningless, as I haven't sniffed it, but couldn't submit this note without a rating.)

24th July, 2017

Oil Fiction by Juliette Has a Gun

Stardate 20170724:

JHAGOF makes me very happy. It has the elements of old school full-on floral. Like First or Joy but modernized.
It also has that development. Again not as good as vintages or 4160 but given what is being done this is amazing.
I do not wear florals much and Mrs. E is not into this style. Our bottle of Joy EDP, K, First, Eau de Gucci sits there collecting dust.
I try to sniff once them whenever I can but it is not the same as her wearing it.
I would recommend this. One thing I do not like here is a sour lactonic note. Stays throughout. I wish it was not present at all.


24th July, 2017

Figment Man by Amouage

I have completed three full wearings of Figment Man and have been very pleased with the performance so far. The scent opens with a very rich earthy vibe that, if you are familiar with Zoologist Bat, will have you thinking Bat, less the bananas and ripe tropical fruits. An hour into a wearing, and with repeated wearing, the similarity subsides. The earthy vibe remains but it is not cave like, nor is it constructed like Bat. It is the scent of a damp rich deciduous forest floor, early on a cool morning, or after a summer shower. It reminds me of breaking camp, in a wilderness forest, at first light. After the first hour the earthy vibe fades but remains at the core. One moment a smooth sandalwood emerges, the next it is replaced by a note of meadow grasses, then back to earth. Sitting outdoors in a gentle breeze and Figment entertains as it seems to be ever changing, as if imaginary. Ten hours in and the earth has become woody and animalic. Longevity is more than 12 hours. At no time dirty to my nose although my spouse reported a slight fecal note on opening and more animalics throughout the wearings. She opined that the scent is strong (2 sprays) and projects well. Figment is presented in a typical Amouage box with truly exceptional artwork. The bottle has a metallic coating that reflects green and blue depending on ambient lighting and is nearly translucent. Like the contents, the bottle and packaging need to be experienced in person to appreciate. 9/10 for contents, 10/10 for presentation.
24th July, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Dans Tes Bras by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

The opening is an unusual floral mix, based on a foundation of a herbal violet with jasmine in the background; this is perked up by touches of bergamot.

The drydown is sporting a synthetic sandalwood, which is a convincing as a synthetic sandalwood can be - and that is not very convincing at all. Attempts to at a rather dull spiciness cannot be said to be successful on my skin. Whatever the base adds in white musks does not raise my eyebrows either.

I get moderate sillage, fairly adequate projection and nine hours of longevity.

As fora daytime spring scent the opening is passable, although it is a bit in the weak side. The subsequent development remains thin and synthetic; the latter characteristic is not particularly unpleasant but that is all. Most of its ingredients are quite generic. 2.5/5.
24th July, 2017

Tuscan Soul Viola Essenziale by Salvatore Ferragamo

This is a nice, wearable fragrance. It has a nice iris (orris root) note. In a world with Dior Homme, this is more unisex than feminine. It smells modern and made from typical off-the-shelf ingredients circa 2013, but not cloying.

24th July, 2017
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Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

Stardate 20170723:

Indian spice rack in benzoin shop.
Starts with a burst of spices - whiff you get when you walk in a spice shop.
As the time goes by the amber starts shining through and takes over spices. This is the best phase of this fragrance. The top is a bit to dry and spicy for me. I wish they had more amber up top.
This probably should have been called Amber Bengale and the other Fougere Russe.
24th July, 2017

Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Stardate 20170723:

Indian spice rack with powdery amber background.
I have no idea why this is called animalic. Cumin is not animalic. It is a spice. Stinky perhaps to some. Maybe it is because sweat and BO of cumin eater smells like cumin.
Longevity is nice and there some development. Not something I can see myself wearing and not FBW.
Interesting and therefore neutral
24th July, 2017

Le Vetiver by Carven

I hardly get any vetiver in this. It primarily comes across as a fresh-green masculine, soapy and a somewhat synthetic vibe. The synthetic element disappears completely at around three hours, which is the same time when the cash runs out. Stylistically it is somewhere between Creed's Original Vetiver and Lubin's Itasca.

Mugler Cologne, Guerlain Vetiver and Lubin's Itasca would be much more compelling alternatives.

23rd July, 2017

Aqua pour Homme Atlantique by Bulgari

If you thought Aqua Amara was underwhelming, try this ....

Atlantique has very little of the Bvlgari Aqva DNA, and instead is yet another vile chemical disaster. It is not an aquatic, rather yet another fresh woody amber, and is a complete abomination when compared to the original, which was innovative. It's only been seven months in 2017, but this is a strong contender for being the worst release of the year.

Stick to the original or the Marine flanker.

23rd July, 2017

Versace pour Homme by Versace

Versace pour Homme would be an abomination compared to other notable mainstream releases of its time, including Dior Homme, Grey Vetiver and Infusion d'Homme. Curiously enough, now it is above average in a mainstream store crowded with Sauvage, Invictus, Dylan Blue, Aqua Atlantique and the likes - it will almost smell like a sophisticated Italian cologne for all of two minutes. Reconciling the two drastic experiences would reveal that this eschews meritocracy and idiocracy, and firmly embraces mediocracy. It is a run of the mill concoction on the overplayed fresh woody-amber theme, marginally inferior to and substantially cheaper than Chanel's Allure Homme Sport, which is itself a banal offering. Acqua di Gio Profumo, while somewhat different, would be recommended as a more respectable and competent offering that can be worn as an alternative.

23rd July, 2017

Iris Bleu Gris by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

It has the smell of good perfume from the 1980s (or even 1970s), the kind of thing I like, although it could use some civet, and more oak moss (the version I'm trying) to hit the highest heights.
23rd July, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Monsieur. by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

The patchouli is the be all and end all patchouli as for as the latter's dominance in the development is concerned. A patchouli that is terse, spicy but not very sharp - unlike Tom Ford's Purple Patchouli. It is neither a smooth nor a particularly sweet one either.

Fairly linear, moments of booziness alternate with phases of pleasant oriental spiciness with restrained hints of vanilla, without any civety characteristics on me.

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

As a strongly patchouli-centric winter scent, less harsh that the Tom Ford or the Le Labo version, it is a bit overly linear, but a good example of a fairly balanced, albeit an unexciting representative of this species. Great performance. Not bad overall. 3/5.
23rd July, 2017

Tiffany for Men by Tiffany

Blue class, gold in glass
Smells like looks like feels like we've
All been here before.
23rd July, 2017

Al Hajjar Al'Aswad by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

THIS is the rose I've been looking for to layer as well as wear alone. Goodness this is beautiful! So dark and full! It feels like a dark swirl of reds and pinks. Exquisite!
23rd July, 2017

Elixir des Merveilles by Hermès

I think I finally get this - and when I was offered a 30 ml in a swap, I decided to spring for it. It is by far the most bizarre of this entire "line" of scents (at what point does a flanker begin its own line?), and that is what made me come back - if this were labeled under Josh Lobb's Slumberhouse label, I believe it would have more approval - I mean, it is really weird...and wearable sometimes...but then it gets weird again. I like it like that.

Anyway, if you've always wished Josh would make an amber for the masses (he made "A", but that was not for the masses), and wondered what weird stuff you could do to amber, this is it...until Josh decides he wants to expand on "A" (hint hint).
23rd July, 2017

Amber Oudh by Rasasi

There's more going on here than just Amber and Oud. Tinged with a quiet Saffron a small bouquet of Rosy Florals supported by a Light white Musk.
Oud? Well,okay.Tonally yes.
A touch of Oud butter, Australian Sandalwood and polished bottling, Eau de Parfum labeling and it could sell beside the 500USD bottles.
Beautiful, Linear and a fine example of Eastern styling.
A cut above many other reasonably priced oils in the game.
23rd July, 2017

Explosions d’Emotions : Skin On Skin by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Any iris (orris root) in this perfume is playing a minor role. The smell of the opening reminds me of a consignment shop or second hand clothing store. The base is ok, sweeter and more agreeable.
22nd July, 2017 (last edited: 23rd July, 2017)

Un Jardin Après La Mousson by Hermès

Beautiful sadness
As sun dries away water's
Fragrant sun promise.
22nd July, 2017

Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue by Versace

Take Versace pour Homme, add the latest focus-group tested and approved aromachemicals in generous doses, and voilà! We have Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue, a spicy-woody-aquatic featuring the dullest of spices, woods and aquatic elements but somehow managing to smell less dull and more jarring. Firmly belonging to the Sauvage-Invictus chemical factory, its olfactory assault is far less nuclear than those of its more illustrious peers. This favourable news is to be admitted with the perhaps unfavourable feature that Dylan Blue tries more to fit in, be a member of the pack, and be a ubiquitous offering of the post-modern, post-industrial, post-disinfectant world that is in perfect harmony with the concurrent heteronormative social hegemony. There is, indeed, an identity crisis at large.

Fortunately, any reference to Dylan Thomas or Bob Dylan is restricted to matters of nomenclature.

22nd July, 2017

Mon Parfum Chéri, par Camille by Annick Goutal

This does have the feel of an orris root fragrance, with quite a bit more going on. I suppose it's mostly the patchouli. It gives my nose the impression of peppery leather. I think it doesn't quite pass the litmus test of something I would wear from time to time, although the iris opening is promising, and it's an interesting, complex fragrance.
22nd July, 2017

17/17 Irisss by Xerjoff

A big, straightforward orris root fragrance, somewhat similar to Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, with a distinct smell of roots, reminiscent of carrots. Not frilly. Some rose emerges in the base.
22nd July, 2017

London Oud by Fragrance Du Bois

Do you like fragrances that have oud on the label but barely smell of oud? Are you one of the few people who likes the YSL flanker L'Homme Libre, but wish it cost 20x more? If so, this is an exciting day folks - London Oud is here to answer your prayers!

That snarky intro isn't totally fair. There very well may be real Laotian oud in here, with its straight-laced lacquered tone and airy nuances of fruit, but I honestly think this smells 90% identical to L'Homme Libre. I do like L'Homme Libre quite a bit (the only L'Homme I like) therefore I also like London Oud. London Oud smells a bit more polished, softer, and rounder. Overall, it is more interesting.

For details of what London Oud smells like, check out reviews for the YSL, or get a sample from LuckyScent like I did (worth a sniff for $6). The pyramid for London Oud here is considerably different than that of the Fragrance du Bois website, which shares more notes with Libre, patchouli being the most important.

100ml of L'Homme Libre can be had for ~$45
100ml of London Oud can be had for ~$860

The latter smells of quality more so than the former, but I know which I'd pick.
22nd July, 2017