Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 132695

Cambodi 10-yr Aged Oud by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

Not a fragrance but a product of pure distillation. Another dark-smoky potion from this specialized "Middle Eastern perfumery brand" as product of pure distillations of woody resins formed as a result of natural infections affecting several species of Aquilaria (agarwood) evergreen trees. Along the time these infections naturally cause the trees to produce a really viscous resin as a by-product due to attack this infection. Oudh is the "outcome" of this "ancient" woody resins' distillation-process. Even in this case this arcane potion is mouldy as a dark cave studded inside by extinguished bonfires, mossy moulds, stale humidity and burnt odorous woody-rubbery resins. Just for the straightforward lovers of this "hard extreme" genre. A "fumidus" hyper dry woody potion (yet vaguely petroleous) a la Montale Dark Aoud (being the latter on the contrary anyway synthetic) but natural, far more realistic, stark and liturgically ritual. A stinky bitter-licoricey supremely woody "odor". A medieval kind of ghostly "miasma" heralding images of fortified citadels, steel swords, steamy castles, battlefields, warriors barbarians, bronze armatures and knights-errant.
16th January, 2017

Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue by Versace

Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue is a spicy/woody/aquatic based on a central accord of piquant spices, citrus, violet, sharp salty woods and mineral ozonics. The first blast is like a photocopy of the "sadly departed" Byblos Uomo (this is the good news, many notes in common indeed: musk, bergamot, lavender, ambrox, violet, spices, patchouli, aromatic herbs, mineral-ozonic notes, sharp woods etc. I see in this phase also a tad of Chopard Heaven, Paco Rabanne Invictus, Bond N. 9 I Love NY for Him and Chanel Bleu) but after five minutes the mainstream stark salty-gassy woodiness (which is taking the world by storm by now) starts screaming out peppery-dusty (even more salty and gassy, like a crazy schizophrenic oceanic kind of Bvlgari Man Extreme ideally joined to a whichever "crunchy" Givenchy Gentlemen Only or Dior Sauvage) with my huge bored disappointment. Nothing more to add. Not for me.
16th January, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vanille Tonka by Nicolaï

This vanilla-tonka dyad is the golden thread and core of this composition, enriched ny undertones if mandarine and orange flower that balance out the vanilla sweetness. Interestingly, whilst clearly sweet, this one in never sticky or cloying on my skin; it is endowed with a touch of slimness and elegance.

This opening mix sheds the citrus is the drydown, in order to replace it with a smooth and gentle frankincense, with a veil of a mildly honeyed cinnamon veil draped over it. With time the tonka - admixed with whiffs of the incense - wins out and becomes more dominant until the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection is excellent and the longevity is a stupendous thirteen hours on my skin.

This scent for warmer winter days is smooth and comforting whilst never being heavy. During the first half is remains a bit too restrained and too thin, but with times it becomes more intensive. Whilst not ultra-creative, it is solidly made, some ingredients are of high quality, and the overall impression is on the positive side - but with a wafer-thin margin. 3.25/5.
16th January, 2017
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Rock Crystal by Olivier Durbano

A hersperidic undertone is combined with layers of cumin, coriander, cardamom, cistus and cumin - the result is crisp, mineralic composition, with an peppery incense, not too ceremonial and with a touch of smokiness, but overall a bright, tart and acrylic mix. Creative and convincing.

The drydown, however, only brings out small and nuanced developments, like floral tones, touches of pencil shavings and, later on, a slant of the incense towards the less peppery and towards a myrrh impression.

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

This scent for warmer autumn days is original and well crafted. Whilst being somewhat underwhelming and a tad too synthetic in the later stages, and being a touch linear in spite of its formidable complexity, this creation incorporates original touches and ideas. 3.25/5.
15th January, 2017

Memento Mori by Aftelier

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’re probably aware that I favor the weird and the challenging. While this isn’t the place to justify my rationale, I will say that I’m not into weird for weird’s sake; I come at perfume from two angles: the functional and the experiential. While the former is the norm (a scent you wear in a traditional manner), the latter (a scent you study and explore as a discrete aesthetic) is usually where I turn for innovation or drama. Innovation, by nature, should be discomforting in some way as it’s about change, but innovation must also be coherent and make sense. Aftelier’s recent Memento Mori falls squarely into this category and excels at the effect it produces.

I’ve never had the opportunity to try any of Mandy Aftel’s perfumes mainly due to availability and cost, but I was able to get my nose on a fellow perfume writer’s sample. A tiny dab to the back of my hand kept me engrossed for hours, and while sniffing other scents throughout the night, I kept returning to the spot where I applied it — the mark of an intriguing composition. Be warned: this is a difficult scent, but it’s also quite heartrending. It opens with visceral ripe cheese note, breaking away about twenty minutes later into a fleshy mix of clean sweat, salty butter, and semi-sweet decomposition. Throughout, there’s a steady cardboard-like impression that sometimes stems from iris as well as an incidental floral note to keep things from going too dark. The scent’s as mesmerizing as it is disturbing. It’s not just carnal; it’s animalic but in an atavistic, primitive manner. While it pushes the envelope in ways you can’t really prepare yourself for, every aspect of it feels calculated, intentional, and curiously comforting. It’s long lasting and hums with low sillage, but scents like this really aren’t about traditional metrics. Memento Mori is compulsory for anyone interested in what scents can accomplish beyond the realm of perfume niceties. A great introduction to a line I’ve been curious to check out for some time, and this is one I’ll be seeking out in some capacity or another to smell again as I can’t get it out of my mind.
15th January, 2017

Black Pepper by Comme des Garçons

I smell the black pepper immediately and this rolls into a very dark woods merging of perpper/woods that reminds me of the smell of wenge wood or some other dark hardwood that has an oily peat moss dark seriousness. There is softness to follow the woods (tonka, musk) but the character of the fragrance is all black pepper and serious darkwood or pepperwood. The fragrance is a little shallow with only a few things to dwell upon in its development so to get more out of the experience I tried an extra spray or two and it works very well. Smells great! Black Pepper by Comme des Garcons is as fine a fragrance to fill the edgeless ovoidal CDG bottle design since Wonderwood.
14th January, 2017 (last edited: 15th January, 2017)

Lord Molyneux by Molyneux

Stardate 20170113:

A great fragrance from the house of Molyneux. It reminds me of Aramis 900. There is no rose but I still get the rose accord - perhaps the mixture of cardamom and peach are playing a trick and reminding me of lactonic rose.
I don't find it vile of offensive like the other reviewers. Perhaps it went through a bad reformulation like the Captain.
I think one should try the vintage version.
14th January, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Barbara Bui by Barbara Bui

The warm ambery incense with the woodsy cedary undertone define the core character of this creation.

This develops in quite a gourmand-style fragrance. Down the track a soft white musk is added, and from then on the character changes very little, until it peters out gradually towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

A soft, warm and comforting wintery scent, which is very pleasing but a touch overly synthetic. Additionally, it is a bit too generic and predictable. Not bad, though. 2.75/5.
14th January, 2017

Whatever It Takes George Clooney by Whatever it Takes

For the price point and quality this is an EASY blind buy for sure. Well blended from start to finish with decent longevity and average projection. Nice peppery nutmeg start and skin scent dry down of woods and some sweetness. For less than 25 dollars for a 100 ml I can't see why this wouldn't be a clear winner. Enjoy!
13th January, 2017

Bulgari Man in Black by Bulgari

One of my favorite Leather, rum, & guaiac woods to date. Mature and intense, Niche quality
13th January, 2017

The Dreamer by Versace

Reminds me of smelling tobacco leaves as they dry. Used to live in a town that had a tobacco company and every year around the same time, there would be this smell wafting through the area where the company would be drying out the tobacco leaves. So it's not a pipe tobacco, cigarette or smoke smell, it's more green and leafy mixed with a warm-tonka/vanilla sweetness. Very unique. I get excellent projection and longevity from The Dreamer.
13th January, 2017

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

Just a stunning incense, especially in cold weather. I finished up my sample today, and this is at the top of the wishlist.
13th January, 2017

Cologne Intense Collection : Saffron by Jo Malone

Stardate 20170113:

A boring saffron and wood. Why did Jo even bother. It has got nothing going for it. Aramis Calligraphy is better and cheaper.
Or you can go for Odin Lacha in similar price range- great longevity and projection and scent is 100 times better,
13th January, 2017
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Chypre 21 by Heeley

Dear Oak Moss,

Without you, I feel like an impostor. You're sorely missed.

- Chypre 21
13th January, 2017

Vetiver Veritas by Heeley

Herbal and minty in the beginning, natural-smelling damp and rooty Haitian vetiver the rest of the way. It's like one of those songs with a promisingly catchy opening hook but falls into a repetitive loop as it moves along. If mentholated vetiver scent is your thing, be sure to check this Heeley out. Personally I found it crude and a little dull.
13th January, 2017

Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

Stardate 20170113:

Vintage Version:
Soapy, elegant masculine powerhouse from the days of yore. If you like AD Plus or Worth PH you will like this for sure.
13th January, 2017

Caribbean Joe for Him by Caribbean Joe

Caribbean Joe For Him (aka Caribbean Joe For Men at Fragrantica)is the closest smelling scent to Green Irish Tweed that I've come across. It is closer to GIT than Aspen, and has more longevity and sillage than Aspen. But it isn't as rich as GIT is.

It did smell a bit like Cool water for the first couple of minutes, which was interesting.
13th January, 2017

Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

If there’s a house style to Ormonde Jayne it is ‘wait for it/wait for it/subtle/subtle’. It’s non-pushy, non-showy, confident in itself. There are exceptions in the line-up of course, but those are the perfumes I find misfire.
Orris Noir is a gauzy mélange of buffed notes. Even though warm spices (pimiento, pepper) and resins form its backbone, they are handled in a manner that is smooth and glossy. The soft, mildly sweet, doughy iris is married happily with a gently shimmering myrrh accent – the whole thing seems to tremble in the air around the wearer, until the iris takes on a more suede-like aspect. The abiding impression is of understated luxury, the finest leather but in a shade somewhere between cream and beige with just the hint of a blush.
Orris Noir puts on weight in the later stages, the projection becomes more full-bodied and the oriental richness more pronounced. This is the territory that Ys Uzac’s later Satin Doll captured much more successfully.
13th January, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

The bergamot and the iris notes blend in with the davana essence to a pleasant, fresh-floral opening with a slightly boozy incense touch topping it off.

The drydown adds more incense with a slight slant towards a whiff of myrrh, and a soft and somewhat dull patchouli arises in the base together with a somewhat bland woodsy undertone; in the Coda of this olfactory symphony the balsamic undercurrent echoes until the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection good and the longevity ten hours.

A pleasant spring composition, with a nice opening with a creative touch that is followed by a less convincing end game. Overall - just - a thumbs-up. 3/5.
13th January, 2017

Rose Oud by By Kilian

Possibly the most boring rose fragrance I have encountered.

I would make more effort with my review but at $570 Australian dollars for 50ml, I feel that it is By Kilian that needs to be trying harder.
13th January, 2017

Chez Bond by Bond No. 9

Like other reviewers have mentioned, a slightly softer version of GIT. Lasts all work day and projects nicely but is behind GIT in both departments. Despite it not being GIT, a great scent nonetheless and something I would wear and enjoy very much.
13th January, 2017

MAAI by Bogue Profumo

I must second the eloquent praise of the esteemed WhySoSerious, which reflects my own sentiments about Maai. It is a fragrance that brings a smile to my face every time, because it is so alive and vibrant, like the olfactory silhouette of an actual human being- a very sexy human being at that. Wearing it is like merging a second skin with your own. The green tuberose note is both elegant and - thanks to the aldehydes -sparkly, the animalics are present, though not in-your-face but rather exuding a gentle but insistent erotic tug - like the hypnotizing skin scent of your beloved. Warm resinous woods and mossiness perfect the experience, which is framed by an Art Deco sense of restraint - nothing here is garish and over the top and in fact Maai is far more wearable than most vintage animalic chypres, which may have olfactory bits and pieces protruding from them shamelessly, that are no longer considered as desireable as they used to be. Maai, then, is not tired retro, but neo-classicism at its best and it truly shines among the many half-baked, sterile, synthetic, lifeless, thin or screechy perfume wraiths that constitute "niche" today, a living, breathing, blooming, glowing beauty.
12th January, 2017 (last edited: 14th January, 2017)

Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

Picture a bunch of Adam Levine fans in a room together. Now picture a Bruce Springsteen fan coming in and wedging himself in the middle of the Levine fans. This is what I see when noticing Fahrenheit among the other colognes at the tester counter at Macy’s.

Fahrenheit is a classic of the old school style, but it’s “classic" nature is timeless and is what makes it so enduring and timeless. It’s like Uncle Jesse or Fonzie. Who wouldn’t think these guys aren’t cool anymore?

Fahrenheit is my signature scent for the fall. I wear it every day from October through November. And I never tire of it. Or get fatigued from it. It’s just that great.
The petroleum smell is there, sure. It’s a gasoline smell of 1988 to be sure, but it transcends that era and fits into the modern age. The gasoline (of whatever combination of notes creates the effect) does not overpower, it makes its grand entrance on center stage – does its solo number under the spot light for about 1 hour, and then dutifully slips back in the chorus with all the other notes. And the other notes? Awesome. Every day I smell something different. Some days I get a whiff of nutmeg (which is why this fits squarely in Fall to my nose) Some days the leather shines throughout. Others, the floral creeps in and takes a solo. It’s as if this was some kind of jazz track, with the petroleum note starting off and each notes taking turns coming in to take a stab at the main melody. And the main melody? The sum of all notes that is Fahrenheit.

I have tried to dissect the notes (as I just tried now) and it always leaves me feeling I didn't do it justice. Fahrenheit is truly the sum of all parts. It’s not a "gasoline" scent. It’s not a "leather" scent. It’s Fahrenheit. You can’t analyze the humor of a good joke and well, sometimes you can’t really take apart the greatness of a master fragrance blend.

So I'll just say that the reason why this is such a great fragrance... is that it smells like Fahrenheit.

Well done!
12th January, 2017 (last edited: 13th January, 2017)

Wonderwood by Comme des Garçons

CdG WW was supposed to be the ultimate wood fragrance. I must admit I’m a bit disappointed by it given all the hype (and price).

I detect 3 basic wood notes: Cashmeran, Cedar (Iso-E Super) & Black Pepper. The first blast of WW yields the blur of Cashmeran. Cashmeran smells like soft powdery wood. I find the Cashmeran dominates throughout the life of WW. I guess I’m not much of fan of the Cashmeran note. I also get Black Pepper (light) and Cedar (moderate) which seems pretty common place in men’s frags. And that’s basically where WW ends for me. Oud? Sandalwood? Vetiver? Incense? Not to my nose. I’m content to get my “Wonderwood” fix with CdG 2 Man.

12th January, 2017

1 Million by Paco Rabanne

Admittedly not an artistic masterpiece, Paco Rabanne's 1 Million is a terribly under-appreciated and unfairly maligned fragrance. It gets compliments and performs great. As for one of the recurring critiques of the fragrance, the "bubblegum sweetness" is exaggerated. It is sweet, but not overly sweet. In fact, it is more spicy than sweet.

Smell 8/10
Longevity 9/10
Projection 10/10

Best for night-time wear, but exercising some trigger control, 1 Million is suitable for all occasions.
12th January, 2017

Deep Night by Ghost

A true gem of the Ghost collection. Rose, wood, and more rose. Perfect drydown.
12th January, 2017

DKNY Be Delicious by Donna Karan

A very happy and nonchalant, inoffensive scent. Not exactly exquisite, but well-rounded and... happy.
12th January, 2017

Patchouli Nobile by Nobile 1942

Patchouli Nobile is my favorite patchouli fragrance. It is very well blended and the patchouli is sweet and earthy at the same time. When it dries down it turns woody and I feel elegant and sophisticated. The patchouli is there throughout the day and it lasts a long time on me. I also get a LOT of compliments when I wear it.
12th January, 2017

Eau de Metal by Paco Rabanne

Another hidden disappeared gem for us and one of the most sublime "Odes" to the gorgeous note of ylang-ylang I've stumbled upon in my miserable life of southern solitary perfumista :-). Eau de Metal, yes a classic treasure straight from the "old style" Paco Rabanne's glorious "course", welcomes us dramatically (I'd say "metallically" in a quite angular, edgy, aldehydic-herbal-sharply floral-earthy-leafy-botanic way and just for twenty seconds or few more) before quickly morphing in to one of the most apparently "soapy-neutral-abstract-mossy" (but actually complexly floral) bases I've ever experienced on my "experienced" mediterranean skin. Eau de Metal is basically a musky-floral concoction (smelling finally at same time subtle-floral-chic and warmly organic-musky on skin) and the dry down is almost identical to a familiar aroma for me, namely the one of bath-foam Nidra Latte Palmolive (being Eau de Metal surely more subtle, complex, musky-boise and nuanced). Despite a veritable massive floral presence the floral perception is moderate under the nose (like something substantially restrained) because of a really dominant and catalysing soapy-musky vibe. White musk and oakmoss are complemented by soapy amber, balsams, tonka and by a complex "flori-herbal" bouquet (mastered by rose, hyacinth and ylang-ylang). The first blast is edgy with its lamellar twist of leaves, bitter-green notes, aldehydes, green earthiness (vetiver) and aromatics. A musky aura is by soon evident in its balmy substance supported by a sheer ambery soapy presence with a multicolored floral kaleidoscope of sophisticated nuances (jasmine, iris, ylang-ylang, hyacinth). Ylang-ylang is super chic, radiant and exotic while a musky hyacinth enhances a dominant "neutral" mossy (earthy-humid) atmosphere throughout (kind of vaguely earthy, mouldy, camphoraceous and boise). All the laminal elements gradually tame their "fury" tending to slide towards a more silky musky-soapy-floral atmosphere mastered by musky amber and chic/exotic ylang-ylang. Dry down is warm/musky/soapy on skin, is like a dive in the most heavenly hot foamy bathtub of this universe (spumous, milky, laundry-neutral, dreamy) but is super chic and sophisticatated "at distance" as well. Ylang-ylang and hyacinth are the royal elements of this marvelous soapy bouquet providing a surprisingly modern glamour "unisex" vibe. This juice is disappeared from the shelves but is still incredibly modern and timeless in its attractive intimate aura. A great pity its disappearance.
12th January, 2017

Dirty Velvet by Vilhelm Parfumerie

SANDALWOOD & FIGS. Dirty Velvet is inspired by the Villa d'Estrees hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris where the founder of Vilhelm Parfumerie resided for some time. I don't really smell any connection to old hotel rooms through this scent but maybe you have to be there to get the reference. The fragrance opens with a beautiful woody fig note that has warm green citrus on one side of the fig and dry leaves on the other. The fig stays solid throughout the fragrance but the tobacco leaves start to resemble a sweet sandalwood aroma which is the base note. Green fig and sandalwood is mostly what I smell here and it is a nice caramelized gourmand sandalwood note, which to me is slightly feminine. I don't really warm up to it much but I am not a big fan of sweetness in fragrance and in my opinion the sandalwood essence is fine without the sweet fig. Hmm.

Next time I try Dirty Velvet I spray less in one spot and thinner application and the scent changes to a purely sandalwood fragrance with sweetness provided by a woody fig note. Sandalwood is by itself a very recessive quiet creamy mid toned soft wood smell. Every sandalwood scent I've seen is transformed by addition of a variety of notes to add character. Many sandalwood fragrances have coconut, some have ginger or other spice, and some have rosewood, cedar or other elements to increase the footprint of sandalwood character smell. This one is a very seamless blending of woody green fig and sandalwood. I liked it more the second time I wore it but still can not see a connection to dirty velvet. FIGGY SANDALWOOD!
12th January, 2017