Perfume Reviews

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Notes by Robert Piguet

Despite its evident lack of originality this fragrance is surely daring and well appointed, perfect for a charming "clothed in white-linen suit" south-american business man, constantly rolling around for restaurants, meeting places, Grand Hotels and lounge bars. Robert Piguet Notes is a minty and balmy-floral chypre which, re-interpreting a quite successful aromatic formula, actually sounds as an indeal olfactory encounter between scents a la Faconnable by Faconnable, Ted Lapidus Black Soul, Krizia Spazio Uomo and Jacques Bogart Silver Scent (partially Bogart Pour Homme as well). Synthetic soapiness is quite under control (finally kind of talky, woody powdery and minty violet-veined), sweetness is at fair level (actually balanced by a kind of organic and simil-leathery "saltiness") and the spiciness is velvety, finally somewhat piquant and well calibrated. "Stuffs" like mint, musks, coriander, clary sage and lavender represent an aromatic and slightly (classically) barber-shop introduction ready to merge its fresh substance with a more soapy, floral, musky and exotic ambery (ambroxan)-tonkinian backbone. Bergamot/lavender and geranium provide an immediately classic (classically fougere) angular approach which turns out by soon in a minty-balmy intoxicating way characterized by neroli, exotic spices, "colonial" vetiver and balmy tonka. Vetiver is extremely classy, "minty-tropical" and alluring. The note of mint is daring, fascinating and "spacious" with all its own aromatic and intriguing spiciness conjuring me Krizia Spazio (and vaguely the classic Carlo Corinto and Carlo Corinto Silver) especially before that a soapy-tonkinian dry down starts embracing the elements in to a comforting musky embrace. Frankly I love the way in which Notes preserves its average sharpness despite its intriguing light balminess (substantially in a middle way between talkiness, powder and soapiness). A medium rating just for its lack of uniqueness despite on my skin this fragrance is the best interpretation of the aforementioned yet classic formula.
02nd August, 2015
yarn Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Intense Pepper by Montale

Starts off with a realistic pepper hit and then quickly turns into Greyland by the same house

Only other minor difference is that there is a fraction more citrus running through this but other than that, it is Greyland
01st August, 2015

Calling All Angels by April Aromatics

I just received this in the mail, and although I've been sweating like a whore in church today, I decided to test it.

It is decidedly a fall/winter scent, as it is rich, luxurious, and enveloping. I feel as though I should be wearing a favorite cashmere sweater, sitting by a fire, with a hot Toddy in hand or mulled wine.

The Labdanum is powerful and delicious - and I know the scent well, as I have a 1/2 oz of the stuff (all brown and sticky) from Eden Botanicals and it is yummy! The frankincense is prettier than I had expected...lighter. The richness of the honey, amber, and opopanax is spiced with the incense in such a way that they never overwhelm. They simply dance with each other, and each comes forth to the front from time to time without causing much of a scene.

While I'm not quite sure which "precious woods" the accord imbibes, I feel as though I should now don a winter coat and scarf, and travel with my beloved on a moonlit walk through piney woods.

This bottle was purchased blindly, and I am so very happy I took the chance. Fall cannot arrive soon enough!
31st July, 2015
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Vanille Intense by Nicolaï

I was ready for a (likely boring) blast of pure vanilla, but Nicolai’s Vanille Intense does contain way more than simple vanilla. Actually, if it wasn’t for the name, I would not have called this a “vanilla” scent at all. This seems to me more a sort of really pleasant, albeit sadly slightly cheap sort of neroli-bergamot-musky fragrance with some pepper-cumin, a whiff of herbal aniseed and quite a bold presence of orange-fruity notes, with also a really graceful smell of orange flowers. Not overly sweet overall – actually, barely sweet. There’s some sweetness but it is dry, austere, dusty, elegantly floral. Vanilla is there just to soften and sweeten the base notes, and it even almost disappears after a while. The drydown seems in fact mostly peppery-ambery still with a balsamic whiff of orange and herbs (with a persistent nuance of aniseed for me, which may be an aldehyde though). Kind of similar to the same concept of Fendi Theorema for women, just a bit louder and cheaper here, less heavy on cinnamon and heavier on both pepper, amber and orange-herbal notes.

Quite pleasant overall: a tart, refined, really aromatic fragrance, and for once it’s aromatic in a slightly unusual way – not many fragrances use orange notes this way. Vanille Intense kind of explores orange in some of its nuances – you get the leaves, the blossoms, the fruit. The rest – spices, amber, vanilla, some musk – just acts as a background enhancing the main notes. Sadly the quality doesn’t seem that high as regards of the materials (thus affecting the richness and the vibrancy of the notes), and despite you get a nice evolution and some really nice nuances, overall I find Vanille Intense a bit cheap – in the “flat/synthetic” meaning. You feel it could be way more sparkling and charming than this. I wished they had a bit more budget for it, as Vanille Intense had all the potential to be a really good fragrance. Anyway as-is it is still undoubtedly pleasant, warm, comforting and easy to wear, also with excellent projection and persistence... just a little overpriced for the quality for me.

30th July, 2015

Diorella by Christian Dior

I suppose Diorella is considered one of the paramount achievements of modern perfumery, from what I read. Although not uncommon, here in Asia it proved difficult to find, so I got a bottle when I traveled to Europe.

I like the current edition. A floral chypre, yes, with citrus and somewhat fruity. But much more than this of course. It is long lasting and changes course throughout its development.

It includes a kind of stale odour which can even be described as body odour (BO), and I have pondered that this might be due to an indolic jasmine, but I don't know of course. Thus the fragrance has an interesting combination of 'freshness' and 'staleness'. I actually prefer the current edition since I have also tried the vintage, but found it to be too 'stale'.

In my opinion it is completely unisex, it doesn't smell much feminine to me.
30th July, 2015

1 Million by Paco Rabanne

It's a little too strong. But I enjoy the ambery sweetness and to me almost like bubblegum and cinnamon, which some people would hate but I really like. I love cinnamon in fragrances and it does stand out here a little bit. I can't wear too much of it because it can be overpowering. Two sprays, that's it. Yes there is a 'synthetic' quality but for me, the warmth and sweetness are appealing.

I understand why so many people dislike it - but I just like how it smells. *shrugs* no big whoop. I received it as a gift, otherwise I probably wouldn't own it.
30th July, 2015

Good Life Woman by Davidoff

I got this when it was new and used to love its uniqueness at the time. I thought of it as androgynous. Now, it's just too sweet to wear. Very nineties, I guess.
30th July, 2015

Honour Man by Amouage

After long and intensive testing of the whole 'Man' (14 pieces) line from this brand Honour is the one that I prefer the most. Most of the offerings are from the dark incensy and woody kind...nothing groundbreaking, nothing new and certainly not worth the price. To me there are four that are different: Dia man, Ciel Man, Reflection Man and my final choice Honour Man, a perfect and unique smelling symbiosis (and surely not a copy) of the scents mentioned by Alfarom: Encre Noire, CDG2Man, Sel De Vetiver, Sycomore and especially Ormonde Man. To me Amouage Honour Man is what Ormonde Man should have been...almost a masterpiece...!

30th July, 2015

Casamorati 1888 Regio by Xerjoff

moderate sillage and good duration.. a very expensive and generic cologne...
30th July, 2015

Indonesian Oud by Ermenegildo Zegna

oud and rose with heavy duty sillage and beast mode duration!
30th July, 2015

Back to Black by By Kilian

A bit sweet in the beginning but an excellent opening nonetheless. One of my favorite dry downs as the tobacco becomes almost salty-sweet (in a very good way) on my skin. It is a fairly linear scent as others have mentioned. Longevity and sillage are excellent. A definite 4.5 out of 5 in my book.
30th July, 2015
KLRich Show all reviews
United States

Cabochard by Grès

I suppose since this was a blind buy and I am a noob at perfume I didn't do too bad. It is okay (for me) and I will probably use it all up but I won't look for any more (bought on ebay).
What it taught me is that I don't care for 'green' scents all that much...
30th July, 2015
dreese Show all reviews
United States

Mediterráneo by Antonio Banderas

This starts out as a pleasant citrus, albeit with an ambiguous tartness inside. This heart is peppery and slightly reminiscent of fig, turning the blend with the citrus into an odd, green-olive-tinged summer scent.
Perhaps this was intended, but I'm not a fan of it.
30th July, 2015
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Chloé (new) by Chloé

This perfume is the love of my life. It's always there for me and I keep going back! Tried and true. I do switch it up a bit and love niche/artisan perfumes, but Chloe is my all time go-to scent. It's very clean and classic smelling. I am constantly asked what I am wearing.
29th July, 2015

Paradis Perdu by Frapin

Frapin Paradise Perdu strikes me immedialtely for its initially elicited flashback evocative about the vintage Guerlain Vetiver. The extraordinary note of vetiver appears indeed by soon (but just for a few minutes) heady, spicy, "kind of tobacco veined", smooth and exotic before that a really rural-citric-cedary-agrestic (but still spicy-fluidy) power a la Terre d'Hermes takes the stage with its baggage of tartness, leafiness and earthiness. Vetiver is still central but appearing now richer, more musky-floral, woody and green. The greenness is extremely aromatic and clearly influenced by a remarkably temperamental basil's presence. Basil is in here central as citrus and vetiver. Hay reinforces the cedary feel while I suppose the presence of spinaches "nails down" the general earthiness (dark and mossy). I find this stage simply amazing and full of effectively realistic nuances of a sort of ideal georgic (almost fairy-silvan) hidden universe full of ancient trees, immaculate fresh streams, dark caves, musks and green meadows. The stroke of genius is represented by the note of vine which enhances the natural viney-metallic feel of vetiver. The aroma insists aromatic, vetiver-centered, sour (central mandarine and lime) and progressively more oily-resinous and spicy. If you are in the woodsy-agrestic-boise aromas you can't miss this little gem. Despite its rural nature this fragrance is really dignified and structured, somewhat elegant and sober. One of the wildest (earthy, virile, almost organic) but at same time finally (paradoxically) civilized (musky-mossy) vetivers around. A quite virile and distinguished fragrance really daring and perfect for all the seasons. Pure olfactory nostalgia for a disappeared natural dimension. Excellent masterwork by Amelie Bourgeois for Frapin.
29th July, 2015

Vétyver by Roger & Gallet

They are all ready to go now and whoosh they're away with a spurt of hard dry bergamot with a woody undertone, and sour lemon quickly followed by brown spice. Brown spice soon overtakes lemon and a dry woody note. Harsh synthetics and sharp note take up the pace in a dash for freshness at the first fence.

Steady as they go into the bend, with crystalline lemon sugar in the lead, that's crystalline sugar, sour lemon and bergamot close behind, with brown spice and... I think that may be angelica bringing up the rear, with vetyver a distant last and benjoin is nowhere to be seen.

It's a sharp thing now with sour lemon and crystalline sugar in front as brown spice hides behind vetyver who is cutting up rough at the back, and bergamot is there or thereabouts, along with dry wood. Dry wood making a surge now...

The field enters a smooth passage as they fall into their stride. Sharp note seems to have lost some ground as brown spice and ionones recede, and the field approaches the far straight...

That's hard lemon in yellow, and I can see the flash of terpenes, bitter vetyver with a greenish coat, yes - and sharp note is still there...

Rosemary lavender is anonymous in the pack alongside also-rans neroli orange and amber fir, and benjoin seems to have stumbled at the back...

It's between hard lemon and green vetyver as they take the second fence with spiky note pressing hard, followed by brown spice and dry wood.

Lemon has lost its zest now as the pace slackens off. Vetyver looks grimly determined, keeping a hard countenance. Brown spice doesn't seem to be in contention anymore, the going isn't really suited to spices here, and dry wood at the back, but... benjoin is making a late showing now, in the far distance that looks like benjoin...

Coming into the home straight its bland woody and spiky note making the running now, with old lemon, and vetyver...

Old lemon on the inside next to bland woody and spiky note, with bland woody and vetyver bunching on the rails...
they've squeezed every last drop from old lemon now...
spiky note still attacking on the inside...

Bland woody neck and neck with old lemon...
and as they cross the line its poor persistence who's been gaining ground and who wins the 5000 Seconds Roger & Gallet Spritz event by a nose.
29th July, 2015

So Blue by Mancera

Starts off with a citrus and slightly fruity vibe. A touch of musk prevents this from being too sweet. The vanilla is a nice touch with this one. Projection and Longevity are above average. Not bad at all. 7/10
29th July, 2015

Fleur de Portofino by Tom Ford

As I am writing this review, I am also testing this juice for the first time: Yes, this was a complete blind buy based solely on the notes, and my enjoyment of this collection.

Here are my impressions thus far:
I initially feel taken back to a distinct memory of many summer nights spent with friends (and the occasional arm candy) at Durham, NC's Duke Gardens. I grew up about 15 minutes from this amazing botanical delight, and while not a Duke fan, I greatly appreciate the beauty and splendor of such a space.

While the note nor accord is mentioned, my initial response was "this smells sorta like Wisteria on a hot summer's night with a slight breeze". This is a rare accomplishment, and no matter if anyone else smells it, I do, and I am grateful!

The citrus seems to play a fleetingly sheer role in the structure, but somehow find its way to wind around the senses. It's nice, and pleasing.

Now, a word on the! This is quite remarkable! I rarely smell a honey accord that reaches this level of true honey perfection! And what I LOVE, is it is not screaming SUGAR! I sense the raw, thick, but not overly sweet composition of honey still on the comb. The honey is like a fine organza laying over a beautiful silk - it plays across in a shimmery and watery way.

Right now, it has been 2 hours since application. It is a light scent, and fits within this series seamlessly. I expect this to behave as a skin-scent on myself and perhaps others.

Light and peaceful are two words that spring to mind easily. I do like this quite a bit.

Adding the thoughts on longevity: WOW! It's 12+ hours later, and while it is most definitely a skin-scent, it remains!
29th July, 2015

Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

To be perfectly honest, Tobarome for me is like one of those friends or lovers that while terribly flaw is still very enjoyable. I find it works very nicely in the heat of the Louisiana summer, being refreshing and different, with associations to the citrus/ginger and the non-cloying tobacco dry down. The citrus top notes are wonderful but too short-lived and a little old-fashioned. The ginger is very refreshing but for most of the middle of the fragrance just a tad too strong. The dry down is fairly close to the skin (a small plus in my opinion when the morning starts at 90 degrees) and is a great tobacco/ cedar/ sandalwood reminiscent of my father's cigar boxes from my childhood. It's comfortable and not cloying like so many tobacco fragrances these days (Tobacco Vanille). It is not perfect and yet I enjoy it everytime I put it on. The flaws don't quite justify the cost. Despite those flaws I look forward to wearing it. Tobarome and a seersucker suit and I feel ready for a summer day.
29th July, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Santal Royal by Guerlain

The problem with Oud is that like Immortelle, when used in any appreciable amount it tends to dominate the whole fragrance. I was hoping that Guerlain would create a sandalwood to die for, matching the now long gone 'Sandalwood' by Floris. That fragrance used Mysore when it was relatively cheap and not subject to restrictions so I can't blame Guerlain entirely for this rendition. Marrying it with oud wasn't going to work for pure sandalwood lovers though.
'Oud Royal' would have been a better less misleading name imo.
The fragrance itself is lovely though -rich, resinous, fruity, long lasting and gloriously smooth.
Love the Black Bee bottle.
29th July, 2015

Costa Mediterranea by I Profumi di Firenze

Costa Mediterranea is a burst of citrus, especially bergamot. I can also smell orange, geranium and a little bit of rosemary in the dry down. This is definitely a summer fragrance which is perfect for the South Florida climate. I enjoy wearing this fragrance and I get many compliments when I do.

29th July, 2015

White Fire by Tiziana Terenzi

On my skin the ozonic-fresh opening has a herbal undertone, which makes for an interestingly refreshing mix of top notes. Then the piece de resistance in the scent makes an appearance: a nice, pleasant jasmine; not a pretty one but a heavier, woody and soapy variety that is different from many of those soft-light varieties.

The base notes, I must say, drop down in creativity considerable, with the standard troika of woodsy, ambery and musky notes is customary regularity; they are if less impressive quality and quite thin on me.

As far as longevity goes, I get soft sillage, less than impressive projection; it is close to my skin but the longevity is a very good seven hours. The bottle design is lovely.

It is always exciting to see a small, outsider niche house taking on the biochemical mass-laboratory-based profit-obsessed mega-corporations by being novel, different and exciting, but overall this creation does not hit the top mark. Very promising, though.
29th July, 2015

Eau de Mandarine Ambrée by Hermès

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
(Michael Jackson)

I just can smile when wearing or testing or smelling this cologne.
You can relax with it.
" Jean-Claude Ellena" create a very comfortable cologne to wear.
He knows how to play with perfume notes as well as "Beethoven" knows how to play with music notes.

This is a very nice instance of cologne that based on amber.
You know that amber has not natural essence. and it made from tonka bean and some other notes. so we have many kind of amber.
In this case, You smell a sharp and resinous kind of amber.
one of the best of them.
Select mandarin along with Amber, is a smart choice.

But there is a problem in this artwork.
It is EDC (eau de cologne).
The longevity and sillage are so hopeless.
29th July, 2015

Voyage d'Hermès by Hermès

Voyage d'Hermes is an ethereal fragrance with an iridescent aura of clean crisp citrus, vetiver, bright cardamom, medicinal artemsia and light woods which create an ozonic cleansing air that exists far out at sea, when voyaging away from the density of civilization. This fragrance is the lightest option in a long line of fragrances by J.C. Ellena that all have a similar characteristic clean vetiver and cedar, birch or papyrus wood scents with a touch of bitters following clean tart citrus in the opening - fragrances such as Declaration, Declaration Essence, Terre d' Hermes, TdH Eau Fraiche, etc. Voyage d'Hermes is the lightest of these Ellena family of scents and many may not appreciate the light touch but it offers a definite presence that is a supporting, background role. I like a fragrance that doesn't scream and take over your space. This is the fragrance that you want to quietly hold you aloft by invisible wings that will let you take center stage with quiet support. Voyage d'Hermes is a great all purpose clean oceanic spritz of fresh air.
29th July, 2015

Poivre 23 by Le Labo

One of the nicest Le Labo fragrances I have ever tried. And basically the first pepper fragrance I’ve ever liked. Rich but simple, realistic, straightforward, clean but dark, bold and unique despite featuring some really common notes ( “the devil is in the details”...).Basically, as the name suggests, it is a peppery fragrance, but an extremely clever, balanced and pleasant one. Pepper is quite tricky in fragrances; some tend to be really loud (Villoresi’s Piper Nigrum), some cheap or screechy, some are just boringly, artificially “woody-peppery”, or sometimes they’re just a monotone pepper litany. Well, Poivre 23 isn’t any of that. It brilliantly manages to keep pepper as the central note, yet with some really pleasant and enjoyable nuances that give some colour, some evolution and some vibrancy to the scent – both “bright” and “dark” nuances (or better say, warm-sweet and cold-balsamic). The palette of “colours” of Poivre 23 is quite nondescript actually, it’s just a really vibrant and shimmering fragrance which doesn’t smell like pretty much anything else. I get a lot of “curry” smell, especially initially; some subtle vanillic amber, maybe even something greenish-floral and slightly resinous.

The evolution gets eventually drier, a bit muskier, earthier, still with a perfectly detectable warm-ambery labdanum note, at the same time slightly more balsamic and green (in a dark, “fougère-like” meaning). And with a really pleasant whiff of crisp laundry musk. It feels like a “pepper soliflore” with distant, light echoes of other fragrances – from Etro Ambra to Le Labo Labdanum to many musk-vanilla scents, to (obviously) pepper fragrances like the abovementioned, and inferior, Piper Nigrum, finally almost reaching some really classic green-floral Chanel or Laroche scents – not sure why but I thought of both vintage Laroche’s Fidji and Chanel’s Cristalle at some point. I am not saying I smell them here, rather that their faint green-musky chypresque ghosts lightly “float” around on the background thanks to some really well-put subtle nuances that seem to recall them. Probably one of the most “dynamic” scents I’ve smelled recently, brilliantly keeping it consistent around pepper and cumin. I can’t explain myself better – it’s just a really catchy, fascinating and refined pepper-resinous-green scent, unique and vibrant, extremely enjoyable to wear. And that’s it. Bravi!

28th July, 2015 (last edited: 29th July, 2015)
bigbz Show all reviews
United States

Dior Homme Cologne (2013) by Christian Dior

I first smelt DHC 2013 on paper in Macy's about a month ago. All I remember is the opening was amazing to my nose, but after getting a bottle and trying it on skin...not sure it's a love me. But we'll see, it's supposed to get in the upper 90's again here in a couple days and that's exactly what I got this for.:)

As it's already been said, this composition does have a "frozen lemonade" smell in the opening despite the citrus in this case being bergamot. So very refreshing! I also completely agree with the person who stated this smells like 2008 Dior Homme Sport without the ginger in the drydown....totally agree! And that's a good thing, because ginger is a hit or miss note for me...and in 2008 DHS it was overbearing and most definitely a miss in that one IMO.

Very well composed, simple citrus based cologne scent here that is well above average in scent and has acceptable/adequate longevity for this type of genre. Definitely worth a look and to sample.
28th July, 2015

Napier 1903 by Murdock

I like it. It is distinctive and well done.
Starts with a green, dusky-dry note. Very good, could last a bit longer. The fig leaf is crisp and not over-done.
Then there is an aromatic note from the dried fruit. This is interesting. Some of the dried fruit might reflect fig. Whatever it is, it works well and has a really unique character. I particularly appreciate that it is largely a dry note, rather than a sugary-rich one. Serge Lutens could learn something from this company.
The dry-down is slightly soapy and has good oakmoss and perhaps a hint of wood.
The scent is dignified, somewhat "sporty" in a good sense and masculine. Wears well.
28th July, 2015
bigbz Show all reviews
United States

Mandarine Glaciale by Atelier Cologne

Mandarine Glaciale is a nice scent that is wonderfully balanced to my nose with the citrus and spices. Not a super unique game changer, but certainly a very well composed and multifaceted citrus spicy that is above your average entry in this genre. Maybe I didn't put enough of the sample on, but longevity seemed pretty low. Will have to do a full wearing.
28th July, 2015
bigbz Show all reviews
United States

Eau Sauvage Parfum by Christian Dior

Whoa, this is a STRONG one!lol I don't think this is really anything special. Don't get me wrong, it's certainly not a bad scent by any stretch of the imagination. It smells good and is a most definitely a quality frag....but to my nose it's mostly a linear sweet myrrh scent and not much more. Hardly the masterpiece some make it out to be IMHO. Longevity and projection as immense!
28th July, 2015

Opoponax / Impérial Opoponax by Les Néréides

I really like this fragrance in the opening it smells of that same vibe Diptyque Eau Lent has. I also line Diptyque Eau Lente as well a favorite. It is a sweeter take with vanilla bean,tonka,benzoin and added spicy note. This Opopponax and Eau Lente are neck and neck. When I want a sweeter version I wear Opopponax when I'm in a less sweet mood I wear Eau Lente. Well done a great composition!
28th July, 2015