Perfume Reviews

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Heritage Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

The 90's Vintage EDP. Now you're talking. Think holding closer to the skin, intimate, a halo around the whole of you. Golden oil, slightly darker, vaguely dusty.
Like them all, bigtime, however the 90's Vintage EDP and EDT are so very Full Fat
Scrumptuous.
19th September, 2017

Theorema by Fendi

I swore to myself that I was not gonna get on the Theorema train, damn it--the reviews, the prices, the hype, the discontinued status, and all the wailing and lamentation that comes with discovering a classic that's no longer made--that marvelous but devastating feeling of discovery and loss.

And then, like Pandora with the box, I sometimes poked around online at the minis for resale and wondered. Meh, it's a serious oriental, I figured. It'll be another Shalimar--no doubt something beautiful, but not exactly for me. I decanted my mini into a sprayer, gave it a couple of tries, and figured I was right from the beginning--a big, clanging opening, a tangy and fresh and very novel kind of citrus, caroling huzzahs of spices, and hinting at an even grander second movement with Ozmanthian statues lurching out of the sand, trains of camels and dancing girls, and a last act reclining on a dream of vanilla. If that had happened, I wouldn't be writing about Theorema right now.

Instead, Theorema does something that few perfumes constructed in this (relatively recent era) do: it downshifts into another gear entirely--and then *kicks it*. That richness that could support an upright spoon swirls away, and what's left is a sheer, gauzy, psychedelic golden space fever dream--that lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts. And I think that's what everyone moons about. Yes, it's exotic, and it smells like spice, and I vastly prefer it in cooler weather, but it never becomes a costume drama. It's just opaque enough to feel like perfume, while it remains translucent enough that it also somehow melds together with the wearer. This effect holds true in all formulations, and that may be the genie in the bottle--that a mutually transformative power between perfume and self , that I think that all perfume lovers--even the most jaded of us--never stop searching for.

I could try to describe exactly what it smells like, but the truth is that Theorema is constructed of familiar materials and smells--honestly, we all know what amber smells like; and if you're not familiar with osmanthus, you can find any number of people (present scribe likely included) singing its praises online. That part is all there in the pyramid. What's great about Theorema is the construction, the way that bits and pieces of fade and return and recombine into striking new combinations, and the way it does it all in such a lovely mezzo voce, never demanding, just hanging in there with you. Those key changes, those subtle switches of mood, from almost sweet to almost dry, and the way it hangs in there and dances between them tirelessly (and the way that, hours later, it slowly, slowly, spins to a stop and finally comes creeping down beside you on little cat feet)--that's why I think Theorema is great.

Buy the ticket and take the ride: those little minis are a steal, and they will not be there forever. But don't say you weren't warned.

19th September, 2017

Missoni Parfum pour Homme by Missoni

Missoni Parfum Pour Homme starts as a revival (in a contemporary key) of scents a la Byblos Uomo original or Versus Pour Homme by Gianni Versace (glorious modern juices sice the moment of their inception) in order to gradually assume an its own darkly musky sporty evolution based on lemony patchouli, aromatic herbs and synth musk. Ginger, green lemon and lavender provide the sporty/fresh darkly-aromatic twist a la Badedas Noir. Some drier/soapier soothing amberish woodiness a la L'Erbolario Corteccia (probably because of the oak-note) emeges gradually but this scent is all about musky/herbal patchouli and green lime. A pleasant dynamic masculine modern fragrance but nothing more.
P.S: the "deep drydown" is eminently woody (kind of pencil shavings in vibe) and along this stage the scent losts almost entirely the interest on me.
19th September, 2017
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United States

Bentley for Men Absolute by Bentley

Bentley for Men Absolute is the closest I have found to my beloved Gucci Pour Homme I--in fact, I like it even better! The woods and pink pepper and papyrus all point to the Gucci, but the addition of oud and ambergris in the Bentley actually improves this. Warm, rich woody incense notes prevail with less sweetness than the Gucci offering. This is very masculine, very sophisticated and very in line with the Bentley brand promise: Luxury and performance are complementary, not irreconcilable opposites. An irresistible combination.

Along with Bentley for Men Intense, this is one of my favorite recent releases, affordable luxury that delivers on all fronts.
19th September, 2017

Ma Bête by Eris Parfums

I love this strange little beauty! There is something about Ma Bete's vintage-y plushness that makes me want to wrap myself in it over and over like a warm and silky fur coat. The indolic jasmine combined with spicy woodiness make this scent deeply seductive and surprisingly chic, while its animalic essence adds a honeyed, slightly 'skanky' attitude that I adore. I swear I smell costus and civet in here--two notes that I love--and these combined create a naughty furriness that gives this fragrance its signature 'beastly' bearing.
19th September, 2017

Musk Rose by The Rising Phoenix Perfumery

At first sniff it is probably easy to write this off as just another oriental built around a typical rose-oud axis. But like any good tale it unfolds itself at its own languid pace with enough twists in the plot to keep even the most jaded of noses enraptured.

The star of the show is without a doubt the rose. It is front and center, an opulent red ruby of a gem with facets that shift from citric tartness to boozy-velvety musk. Teasingly faint nuances covering a range from earthy-woody to buttery-creamy to herbal-spicy suggest a possible inclusion of aged oud, sandalwood, even henna. But having experienced genuine deer musk I don't quite get the sense that there is any in here although it does get musky as the rose retires with the passing hours.

Musk Rose is a remarkable scent, one that seems to unfold in slightly different ways with each wearing. The quality of ingredients is top-notch. Given the limited volume of sample at hand I can't help but feel like King Shahryar at the approach of dawn, held spellbound by Scheherazade's final tale and deeply sorrowful as 1001 nights came to an end.
19th September, 2017

Diaghilev by Roja Dove

I have had a sample of this in a cabinet for years. Just tried it tonight. It is opulent & beautiful.
19th September, 2017

Polo Red by Ralph Lauren

One venti decaf
Red Berry Cool White Powder
Polo latte please.
19th September, 2017

Essence No. 7 : Neroli by Elie Saab

A FK study of Neroli. If you love Neroli you will love this perfume. Honeyed Orange Blossom with nuances of Cardamon and Ginger and the "Metallic" that comes off more like Chalk Wall to me.
Neroli has a natural counterpoint within it's note.
Used as a counterpoint in complex perfumes I see it as tremendously important.
Singular and as nuanced study falls flat for me.
19th September, 2017

Naja by Vero Profumo

I greatly admire this perfumer/house in the same way that I admire Bogue. Their scents are always vastly original and striking, if not always entirely wearable. I think Onda in its original extrait form was one of the true greats. I wouldn't rank Naja up there with Onda, in terms of unique and vivid oddness, but it is quite a bit more approachable, and for many wearers, this will be a plus. I love its opening: the deep punch of tobacco, but am slightly less enamored of its segue into melon and osmanthus. This is merely personal taste, and if you are a lover of these two notes, you will be a fan. For me, this scent is a bit too powdery-sweet and I miss the strength and depth of the animalics that can usually be found in her fragrances and that keep me sniffing all day in anticipation of yet another layer of the uncommon.

*Okay, that's what I get for writing a review after only sampling for a short bit. After two day's wear, I have done a pretty thorough (and slightly embarrassing) turn-around on Naja, and now genuinely love it from its tobacco-y beginning, straight down to its almost Tabac Blond-like ending. What on first sniff seemed powdery, now smells deeply and unctuously leathery and totally luscious (and surprisingly vintage-like) in its depth. After trying a larger amount and spreading it on more copiously, I am a complete convert. Full bottle, here I come!
18th September, 2017 (last edited: 19th September, 2017)

Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

Not my favorite musk by an stretch, but an excellent one for those whose ultimate musk scent includes flowers and a only pinch of something animalic in the base. This is a 'dirty' musk at its least offensive and could be worn by anyone, anywhere, and anytime. There is something here that smells a bit synthetic or sharp (that I think others might call 'clean'). This note bothers me no matter how many times I try to wear this, but I'm pretty sure this is a personal problem that won't disturb anyone other than me. I've heard that many famous folks wear this: Julianne Moore, for one, and each of them, in turn, describes this musk as attractive and enticing, and yes, clean.
18th September, 2017

Trussardi Uomo (original) by Trussardi

Stardate 20170918:
Vintage Version.

A leathery incensey floral Chuck Norris.
One of those fragrances that wear you.
Sillage and longevity is great.

It shares its DNA with VCA Pour Homme as well as Leonard PH. Similarities with Smalto, Montana and others noted in other reviews are apt.

One Million of the 80s, though 1000 times better. The development is great. Dries down to spicy powdery tobaccoy sweetness.

Nothing to dislike. Just get it.



18th September, 2017
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

Mahon Leather by Floris

Mahon Leather is firmly lodged in Floris's masculine camp but the iris and jasmine give this more than a little feeling of leather feminines of the past like Cabochard and Bandit. There is definitely leather here, but it shares the limelight with a beautiful vetiver note, all underscored by a realistic saffron. Like most Floris offerings, this is well-behaved and gentlemanly. The quality of the ingredients is evident from the start and results in solid performance. Mahon Leather is a great scent for men wanting a classic, traditional scent with a slight floral/spicy twist. Women who love traditional leather scents and vetivers like Sycomore and the Guerlain vetivers will find this well worth looking into.
18th September, 2017
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United States

Dry Wood by Ramon Monegal

Ramon Monegal's Dry Wood is a dry scent, but the wood it references is in fact quite green, wood not long from feeling the axe and saw. The green wood is accompanied by pepper and a slightly bitter herbal note (Oregano? Marjoram? Marijuana?) that gives it a savory food note not unlike the celery note in Yatagan. Perhaps it is the Bay note that gives it the savory gourmand note. Finally, the green moss note furthers the green feeling to this scent, giving it the slightly retro feel of bracing green herbals from the past like Alliage, Private Collection and Yatagan. The Norlimbanol, however, which is so widely used in modern masculines, keeps this firmly in the present. Like Yatagan, there is a complete lack of floral notes, which makes this masculine-leaning, but in line with the green goddesses of the past.
18th September, 2017

Mulholland by Keiko Mecheri

As I slowly make my way through testing (& happily buying) some of Keiko Mecheri's collection, it has become clear that there is something very special about this house. Aside from the obvious beautiful presentation in crystal-like clear & dark glass bottles, each and every fragrance I have tested has been carefully thought out, constructed, and is a joy to wear and experience. Mulholland is no different and I truly relish the experience when I wear it.

While Mecheri describes Mulholland as an olfactive immersion into the era of psychedelia and the hipness of Hollywood, I really struggle get that association. It's primarily a fresh citrus opening with only the very vaguest hint of patchouli, then a lovely sandalwood/amber style drydown. To me, Mulholland is very much in the same style as Armani Prive's Vetiver Babylone/D'Hiver. That is to say that although they don't smell very similar they do evoke the same sort of feeling. A bright, natural and lovely citrus followed by a slightly spicy, dry and warm base. Mulholland is not as dry as the Armani and has a noticeable sweetness. Truthfully I would have preferred a bit more patchouli to give Mulholland a touch more earthiness, but this is still very nice as it is.

I agree with others that this is truly unisex and probably very nearly appropriate for most occasions. I get good longevity at about 6 - 7 hours maximum, but sillage is quiet. At retail prices, this may be a bit expensive, but if you can get it on sale like I did, it's worth every cent.
18th September, 2017

Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens

I consider Muscs Koublaï Khan to be a well done basic musk, that is versatile and engaging. It is rather straightforward to me - musk and florals. The musk is fresh but sensuous, with a touch of civet and castoreum that lend an animalic touch - clean but slightly edgy. I perceive a subdued note of rose that effortlessly blends in with the musk, and even complements it. I do not detect any spices or woods or leather - MKK has a solid focus on the musk with minimal distraction. I find sillage to be close but persistent, and duration to be over six hours on skin based on a generous application.

MKK is one of those simple fragrances done right with quality materials, and a few notches above the standard fare in terms of execution. For anyone familiar with Kiehl's Musk, which is fresh and summery, MKK can be imagined to be a slightly heavier autumnal version of Kiehl's. While overpriced for what it is, MKK is a must try for anyone looking for a robust musk fragrance for everyday use that is interesting, and becomes a second skin to the wearer.

3.5/5
17th September, 2017

Eye, Hatshepsut by Charenton Macerations

Genre: Floral Oriental

To describe Eye, Hatshepsut as a floral oriental is accurate, but not adequate. It smells more like a floral and an oriental lain side by side, without necessarily blending into the conventionally seamless whole of an Ysatis or Byzance. To put it another way, Eye, Hatshepsut juxtaposes a buttery, indolic white flower accord and an incense-laden, spicy, woody oriental accord like layers in one of those fancily poured cocktails, without ever stirring the glass. My nose distinguishes indolic white flowers - particularly jasmine, animalic musk, cypriol, cinnamon, iris, frankincense, labdanum, and something oddly fatty or waxy smelling – perhaps the listed “tallow” note.

The construct sounds like something that could be obnoxiously loud, but in this case it isn’t. Eye, Hatshepsut’s olfactory volume is very carefully modulated. It projects well off the skin and leaves distinct sillage, but it’s never blaring in the manner of, say, Fracas, Poison, Giorgio, or Boucheron. More “come hither” than “get out of the way”, if you will. Eye, Hatshepsut is intended to evoke the ancient Egyptian khyphi incense, but as I have no idea what khyphi is supposed to smell like, I can’t say how well it succeeds. It does manage to smell exotic and rather compelling by turns, with smoky and animalic undertones that distinguish it from more traditional floral oriental offerings. While offered as a unisex fragrance, the conspicuous white flower accord at Eye, Hatshepsut’s heart may put some men off – and that’s coming from a guy who wears Carnal Flower and Tubéreuse Criminelle in public. An appealing oddball scent, but sample first.
17th September, 2017

Elite by Floris

Genre: Fougère

Floris Elite seems to me a rather staid, conventional aromatic fougère composition. All of the pieces are duly assembled and in the right place. Lavender? Check. Coumarin? Check. Bergamot? Check. Geranium? Check. Dash of spice? Check. Maybe even a touch of oakmoss. The result? A very traditional “barbershop” style masculine that, while perfectly serviceable, competes in very crowded territory.

Bigger, more ambitious alternatives like Jules, Equipage, Lauder for Men, or Arquiste’s new Él offer greater complexity and character. Brighter, sprightlier competitors like Aramis Tuscany per Uomo offer more grace and humor. All stand on the broad shoulders of Azzaro pour Homme, granddaddy of the genre, which still smells richer and deeper than the Floris at a fraction of the price.

Nice enough, in the end, but liable to get lost in the shuffle.
17th September, 2017

Jubilation 25 by Amouage

Jubilation 25 is like the mash-up of two of my favorite scents: Mitsouko and Diorella (both in vintage form). But, it contains a rather heft dollop of cumin that makes the whole thing sing in a slightly different, more animalic register than the other two. How this scent's genuine elegance is maintained while also referencing a rather sweaty human is a mystery, perhaps aided by leavening effect of frankincense and tarragon and lemon. This is my favorite Amouage, by far, thanks to its competing, but contrapuntal elements of lightness and dark, sophistication and sweat, chypre-likeness and orientalism. The extrait is my preferred poison. It is slightly deeper and more rich than the EDP, and it lasts a bit longer, too. Gorgeous stuff!
17th September, 2017

Brooklyn by Bond No. 9

Citrus-oiled new wood
Smells like possibility
Clear but not empty.
17th September, 2017

Brit Rhythm for Her by Burberry

Feminine. A wearable, pink macaroon. Wispy. Breezy. Sparkling. A fun concoction. It puts a smile on my face whenever I wear it. There's just enough of an aldehydic burst to balance it out.
17th September, 2017

In Black by J del Pozo

Musky. Soft wood. Muted, gourmand-like, musty floral. Smoldering. Modern oriental.
17th September, 2017

H.O.T. Always by Bond No. 9

H.O.T. Always is a perfume of three parts, which aren't exactly three phases. These are some warm spices and aromatics that lend a 'hot' touch and approximate the spiciness of chili peppers, a subdued touch of florals, mainly rose, and a patchouli-driven leather accord. The initial spicy aspect is quite well-done, rugged, and suggestive of a barbershop style. The patchouli lurks in the background as the floral accord becomes prominent; soon the patchouli is front and centre, with the leathery aspects coming to the fore. At this stage it is quite reminiscent of Givenchy Gentleman. It maintains this structure till after a few hours there is a vetiver that joins the leathery dry down, while other floral or spicy aspects are greatly diminished. H.O.T. Always has a close, discreet sillage and an appreciable duration of about six hours on skin.

One of the issues with H.O.T. Always is that it veers dangerously close to Givenchy Gentleman, but lacks the civet of the vintage version of Gentleman. As a result, the overall composition suffers from a hollowness, and a lack of sensuality. While it is more full-bodied than the current version of Gentleman, it is, of course, lacking in dimension next to vintage Gentleman - mainly due to absence of civet, a somewhat inferior blending, and the spicy aspects being less smooth. Nonetheless, it is definitely worth sampling for what it is - one of the better Bond No 9 fragrances, a more potent alternative to current Gentleman, and a near-novel initial spicy accord.

3/5
17th September, 2017

Open by Roger & Gallet

Stardate 20170916:
Vintage Version:

A nice powerhouse of the past. Herbs, Lavendar, Pine, Patchouli. Soapy too.
A sophisticated fragrance for less than $20. Can't beat that.
There are similarities with Quorum, Polo, Revillon PH and I guess others from that era. But this is its own beast.
development is good, drydown great with patchouli bringing in some soothing balmy effect.
Great for hot humid days.
Recommended
17th September, 2017

Epic Man by Amouage

Three areas I found this an interesting perfume.
First is the almost perfect way that Mysore has been replicated by coaxing the creaminess and the nuttiness by a somewhat judicious use of Cedar and Oud.
Second the initial blast shares a shape and accord similar to Moschino Pour Homme.
Third,the use of Castoreum draws the centre of gravity lower
much like "Epics" created in the 80's.
16th September, 2017 (last edited: 17th September, 2017)

Amour Amour by Jean Patou

Stardate 20170916:

The Patou at its best. Or almost.
Rose, Jasmine and some other florals. Sweetness of amber\honey.
Nahema got its rose idea from Amour Amour.
Wish I could add more - a good old school floral.
16th September, 2017

Regent Leather by Thameen

I'll start off by saying my review is based on a sample. - Not at all what I would expect from a leather fragrance. Vanilla and lemon with a hit of patchouli and a soupçcon of leather scent here and there. No sillage at all on me, except when I sprayed the entire sample, not only behind my ears and my wrists, but on my neck, hair/scalp and more on my wrists. Still it's somewhat alluring, even if sillage isn't there - the whole room doesn't always need to join me in my olfactory experience.
16th September, 2017

Hermessence Epice Marine by Hermès

Epice Marine has the blueprint of Declaration written all over it, not to mention that they are by the same perfumer. This could easily pass as a Declaration flanker, albeit cut from slightly finer cloth. The 'epice' part of it is an approximation of the spices in Declaration - cumin and cardamom. The woody aspects of Declaration are toned down, and Ellena shows his imagination by fusing a slug of 'marine' notes, nothing 'aquatic' but ever so salty-briny that lend a strange freshness. The smoked woods aspect comes alive late in the development when the freshness and the spicy aspects have subsided. This is around the four hour mark, when it is also subdued and the presence starts to disappear.

I find Epice Marine to be one of the more interesting Hermessence compositions. Declaration is a personal favourite, and while Epice Marine doesn't charm, it still keeps me interested. Also, it's hard for me to pick Epice Marine when one can get hold of Declaration and its flankers at one-eighth the price. Epice Marine presents a case of perfumery with a curious juxtaposition of notes, but something that is surprisingly concordant and engaging. I am having a hard time imagining for whom this perfume would be an ideal fit. It keeps one guessing, which is always a positive sign.

3/5
16th September, 2017

Liaisons Dangereuses by By Kilian

Opens with red fruit and rose, quite jammy. This is delightful, but the texture soon dries out and becomes a little sour. Remains fruity - theres something juicy and not-quite citrus (reminds me of rambutan), as well as an over-bearing note of peach, although it's rather a dried-up specimen. The cinnamon comes through as spiky to my nose - it's woody, rather than creamy.

As a feminine frag, it would have worked much better if a creamier base had been used, but the drydown really plays to a masculine market. As it stands, both the opening and the drydown are pleasant enough, but together, they seem mismatched and the transition is somewhat jarring as a result.
16th September, 2017

9 IX Rocawear by Rocawear

Fresh dry fruit in a
Brushed metal rectanguloid
Just smells too damn hip.
16th September, 2017
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