Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

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

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 almost immediately. 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
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

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

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
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

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

Fate Man by Amouage

Woods, resins, deeply dry spices, frankincense, absinth, and cistus… this is serious stuff – about a serious as I’ve experienced in years. I’m rather intellectually awed by the opening, but as interesting as it is, it’s also a bit intimidating, I find that the saffron makes the undertone a tad too grungy for my tastes – but, unlike some of the other reviewers, it isn’t the cumin that I dislike – it’s the saffron… I still appreciate the depth, spiciness, and resins, but I’d enjoy the excellent Absinth note even more without the saffron.
The middle accord cleans up things for me. Again the accord is resinous, but this is the smoother resin. The aggression of the opening has ameliorated in the presence of everlasting flower, frankincense, lavandin, and copahu which come through cleanly, clearly, and richly. The accord is more intimidating that loveable, but it keeps drawing me back into its miasma.
The base presents more variety and depth and less resin than that which preceded. First there is a controlled sweetness that arrives by means of tonka bean and licorice, providing just enough sweet to broaden the diminishing resin. Then the excellent labdanum, cedarwood, sandalwood, and musk join in to complete the basenotes. The drydown is extremely long lasting and one of the best accord I’ve smelled in ages. I love the concept of this scent… but I’m not so sure about wearing it. I feel it might be too intimidating.
28th August, 2015

Curve Kicks for Men by Liz Claiborne

When I saw the note pyramid which included almost everything but the kitchen sink, I expected a synthetic bomb and I cringed before I applied it to my skin. I didn’t need to cringe – it’s not that bad… in fact, it comes across as a more or less pleasant scent. It’s synthetic but the synthetics are tolerable.
In spite of the seventeen ingredients mentioned in the pyramid, Curve Kicks seems a bit thin to me. If all those notes are there, you can’t prove it by me. The top accord depends on aquatics, mint, and ginger with a tiny help from some citrus synthetic. It’s not bad… but I can tell immediately that there is not enough substance in the accord to keep it going very long – in fact, “lack of substance” is the main problem or the entire fragrance.

The middle accord hands itself over primarily to the cedar note – and, oh yes, there’s a little labdanum synthetic underscoring the cedar. Very little amber there – it’s not too sweet, and I applaud that, what sweetness appears, seems to come from a light, pleasant musk. Again, the main problem with this accord is its lack of solid olfactory substance.

The base peters out way too quickly. What I can catch of it is a neutral wood base sweetened by a mild musk. It’s okay, but very generic, quite synthetic, and a bit too short-lived. I would think that this should probably be more than a skin scent. I noticed what sentimus said about Iceberg Twice, so I got out my bottle of that… He’s right on all accounts – Curve Kicks is similar to Iceberg Twice; it is less complex, with poorer sillage, and less lasting power than Iceberg Twice; and Iceberg Twice does not have the synthetic aura that Curve Kicks has. Still Curve Kicks is not terrible – but there are many, many better ones out there.
28th August, 2015

Ocean Rain for Men by Mario Valentino

To say the least, Ocean Rain is very interesting scent. It is green, citrus, lavender, artemisia, and three-day-old sweat. I’m not sure how I respond to it except to say I am a tiny bit disgusted and a lot intrigued. After a couple minutes, when I pick up the marine notes of the middle accord, it’s fairly clear that the sweat comes from some combination of those marine notes in conjunction with the thyme, cyclamen, and artemisia. It’s not pretty… but I am still intrigued.

The marine notes grow to prominence for a while in the middle accord but relatively soon backs off to a spice / floral accord. Here’s another built-in conflict: the thyme and to a lesser extent, the recently introduced fir seem to contradict the tone-value of the florals – rose and cyclamen. The conflict is very real when sniffed on the skin but the sillage reacts differently… it carries a shifting pattern of florals and dry spice with the marine notes faded a bit into a cool background – it’s actually an impressive experience.

Ocean Rain’s drydown is a light amber / leather /moss affair that eventually becomes a slightly resinous skin scent: rather rich, rather masculine with moderate sillage and moderate longevity.
28th August, 2015

Clean Skin by Demeter Fragrance Library

Yes, it does smell like clean skin – clean skin that hasn’t been rinsed completely after a bath or shower – there’s still a trace of soap there – not that I mind the soap. I smell mainly a combination of orange and white rose, and it is remarkable how it smells like skin. The scent is very light and lasts for about forty-five minutes or an hour. I enjoy this one. (Using the perfume oil version.)
28th August, 2015

Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

The first thing I smell is a combination of cumin and cinnamon – a rather unusual combination that I would have a difficult time getting used to if it remained for very long, but no problem there. Then the Artemisia enters in along with the patchouli and the accord becomes downright enjoyable: and this turns out to be primary accord.

Five notes – cumin, artemisia, rose, cinnamon, and patchouli – dominate an accord that holds elements of each in an excellent balance. To me one of the sides of the aromatic pentagon is lesser that the other four – I find the rose side lacking in intensity, it is hit and miss in performance on my skin. The other four form a shimmering interplay that unfortunately doesn’t last very long.

The projection of the middle accord is a little shallow and the fragrance has longevity problems: Lumiere Noire PH simply doesn’t last very long before it’s a skin scent which lasts a couple of hours. It is an intriguing accord… translucent, warm, sensual, and a bit mysterious. It is the thumbs-up kind of aroma I would be able to enjoy over an extended period… too bad its longevity is so it's a neutral for me.
28th August, 2015

Lucky Number 6 by Lucky Brand

I like several of these inexpensive fragrances – but this isn’t one of them. I think it’s the combination pineapple / watery note in the opening that turns me off – just too plastic for my taste. And then there’s the gingerlily… I never did get along with them. These synthetic ambiances hang around for the total run of the fragrance, so I pretty much have to sign this one off on Lucky Number 6. I guess “6” isn’t my lucky number. One thing about it: it smells much better on my clothes than on my skin.
28th August, 2015

La Collection Croisiere : Paris Seychelles by Pierre Guillaume

I've always considered the "yet classic" Kenzo Pour Homme a quite original take on the woodsy-ozonic theme and I still outline it, anyway...this Pierre Guillaume's Paris Seycelles seems to be (at least along its "front side", just before to deflect towards a ridiculously tropical-synthetic grassy/coconutty/syrupy-floral stuff) the closest "thing" to Kenzo Pour Homme I've ever smelled (despite this fragrance is still far to be considered such a Kenzo Pour Homme's twin or clone). A top blast of galbanum/labdanum, salty notes, fruity notes, floral notes (lily of the valley, tuberose and jasmine in particular), fir balsam, spices and a Kenzo Pour Homme's flashback activates my olfactive synapses. The effect is anyway fleeting since while Kenzo settles on a sort of aromatic-woodsy dimension surrounded by a "salt-seaweeds driven aura", Paris Seycelles morphs down in to a sort of aromachemical-based warm/plastic fruitiness longly kind of lactonic/xerox toner-like and more than vaguely acid and grassy. It takes a while before a more tamed sort of soapy-floral dimension starts performing its balmy-greenish overly-synthetic effect. It seems to detect a sort of ylang-ylang's presence all around. Unfortunately I tend to dislike all these sort of sultry-soapy experiments, even more if fruitiness (kind of peachy in this case) is intrusive and the floral presence is kind of "saccharinic" (as in this case). The floral dry down smells like a syrupy sort of tuberose/jasmine/musk/orange dominant accord (with ylang-ylang's traces) vaguely (but in a far worse way) a la Bruno Acampora Blu. Not for me despite I appreciate generally Pierre Guillaume, especially in its earlier performances for Parfumerie Generale (Intrigant Patchouli, Coze 02, Aomassai 10, Harmatan Noir, L'Ombre Fauve).
28th August, 2015

Villa Ocre by Pascal Morabito

Given the name and the slightly outdated packaging echoing (probably unvoluntarily) Haschisch Men by Veejaga, I was expecting some mild and uninteresting sort of herbal/pine fresh fougère. Well, Villa Ocre is a whole another story on the contrary. It opens as a surprisingly pleasant kind of carbon-copy of many “cold”, sharp incense-cedar fragrances like Comme des Garçons Kyoto, or Christian Lacroix Tumulte – and like for the Lacroix, the packaging has quite nothing to do with the fragrance. Albeit a bit derivative, Villa Ocre is quite much enjoyable; slightly warmer than the two (and similar) abovementioned fragrances, extremely smooth and nice to smell on yourself, unobtrusively simple and refined in its crisp incense-wood structure. But there’s something more going on, which makes it slightly more peculiar than it seems at first – it’s not just about a couple of smooth woody aromachemicals. There is a warm, spicy, mildly sweet vibe coming from an orange-infused accord of cardamom and I think some mild resins too, which as the evolution progresses, takes a bit more prominence slowly turning Villa Ocre into a mellow, and quite interesting blend of a Kyoto-style “contemporary” balsamic incense with something spicier and warmer like Cartier’s Declaration - finally to the point it ends on a drydown which is basically a more transparent, balsamic and incense-y version of Declaration tinted with orange and cheap vetiver. Nothing groundbreaking, but informally elegant and pleasantly compelling to say the least.

28th August, 2015