Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 133368

Vanille Insensée by Atelier Cologne

If you want to smell like singed, buttered tonka this stuff will knock you out. The quieter dimensions at work (especially the moss) keep things in check as best they can, but it's a tough sell to make a truly interesting vanilla-centered fragrance. Not at all a bad scent, overall. Fans of VI looking for a little more dimension may have some fun looking for old samples of Scott McClintock.
19th February, 2017

Crystal Noir by Versace

Enchanting fragrance -- clunky bottle.
18th February, 2017

Javanese Patchouli by Ermenegildo Zegna

This fragrance really got me the first time I smelled it. I first tested Javanese Patchouli where I used to buy all my fragrances, at the duty free shop in the airport wasting time before I catch a flight. Wandering around and just smelling the usual suspects they have at these shops I found this in a bit out of the way corner of the store and of everything I smelled, this really stood out.

I remember first smelling the scent of patchouli wafting around the sidewalks in Haight Ashbury San Fransisco where the bohemian culture thrives, this reminds me of those scents and I like that.

J.P. is clean, with very clear woody patchouli notes throughout, I detect slight citrus and pepper in the opening with the woods emerging a bit in the dry down.

In the day of safe gourmand metrosexual scents J.P. is a great change of pace for my nose.

I have quite a few patchouli dominated scents and this is my favorite, I can wear it with a suit to change things up as it’s not a sillage beast, my only small complaint is the longevity for me as it last about 3 hours on my skin and it’s a bit expensive.

I will buy another backup bottle as I’m not sure this is a popular scent right now and I will always want this in my collection, it’s quite unique.

17th February, 2017
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Rose Opulente by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Stardate 20170217:

I have no idea who would buy this. Liquid hand soaps use better rose than this.
Synthetic, plastic rose

Avoid
17th February, 2017

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Stardate 20170217:

A refreshing twist on the current oud-rose trend. The sweetness of rose is contrasted with earthy and dirty vetiver and "truffle accord".

Well-blended and easily wearable. Recommended
17th February, 2017

Aqua pour Homme Atlantique by Bulgari

Thankfully I don't detect even the slightest hint of anything remotely fishy in this. But then again, I have never detected anything fishy in any of Bvlgari's Aqva line (where other people clearly have). I also don't sense much resemblance to Dior's Sauvage (which I happen to like). In my opinion this is much more similar to Bvlgari's Aqva Tonique & Aqva Marine Tonique. It's a bit sweet and a bit salty.

While it's undeniably an 'aquatic' style of fragrance, there is a sweetness to this (like the definite and clear pear top note in Tonique) that the note pyramid listed doesn't seem to support. A combination of sandalwood and benzoin could possibly produce the sweetness, but these are listed as base notes and I'm detecting the sweetness from the very top notes.

If the note pyramid is correct, then it's an odd mix of notes that unsurprisingly comes across as a bit of an oddity on my skin. Combining earthy notes like patchouli and vetiver, with creamy sandalwood and benzoin, then unspecified 'water' and 'sea' notes just doesn't seem like it would work. Yet to some degree I think Bvlgari and Mr Cavallier have pulled it off. I like it well enough, but I don't think I'll grow to love it, like I do the original Aqva or some of the other Aqva flankers.

I don't find this to be particularly synthetic or cheap smelling (compared to other similar fragrances in market). While it performs well enough, it doesn't match the longevity of the original Aqva or even the more recent Amara (which is a powerhouse on my skin).

As this was a gift and didn't cost me anything, I can live with my mediocre feelings towards it and I'll definitely get some fair use out of this bottle. I'd give it a solid 3 out of 5.
17th February, 2017

Mélodie de L'Amour by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

Old school indolic white floral.
Reminds me of old feminine by Patou. Maybe 1000.
Also similar to one of the Amouges I tried at Bergdorf: Gold or 25.

For folks who love vintage indolic white flower frags this is great. I am not a big fan of that style.
17th February, 2017

La Douceur de Siam by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

A very nice rose.Much like the current rose-oud ones . Ex-Idolo , Tiziana Rose, Montale.
Sure it may have no oud but the heft and complexity is made up by SW,Amber and spices.
I like this one
Idolo 33>this>Terenzi
17th February, 2017

Issara by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

Starts piney and sweet and then Ambergris and musk take over. I like this heart phase. It then changes and becomes soapy and fougerey.

Base is reminiscent of Creed's Aventus/Spice wood
17th February, 2017

Le Sillage Blanc by Parfums Dusita

Stardate 20170216:

An old school green fragrance nicely done.
I am not a fan of galbanum and so this gets a neutral from me.
If you like vintage Weil de Weil and Vert you will like this
17th February, 2017
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United States

Eternity by Calvin Klein

I recall smelling this everywhere when I was a teen, people bathed it in. Back then as much as I loved it, I'd never have bought it because everyone else was wearing it.

I recently bought a bottle after rediscovering a sample and still love this scent. Fresh, green floral, a hint of citrus and spice, a bit aquatic and ethereal.

I can't comment on any of the flankers, but the original is beautiful.
16th February, 2017

Judith Leiber Night by Leiber

This is delightful! A burst of brightness upon first spray. It settles down into an enchanting evening or cold weather scent.
16th February, 2017

CH Grand Tour for Men by Carolina Herrera

Agree with Buysblind on everything he said about this gem. This is still quite similar to the regular CH Men but made better in many key areas such as the added spices, the suede is a little more prominent, and performance is better. The violet and grass are toned down, and the sugar sweetness is more of a Tonka bean sweetness, and skews the overall scent into a much more oriental-styled fragrance. This is undoubtedly a grown-up version of the original and I love this one even more!
16th February, 2017
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Él by Arquiste

EL is a dry soft green leafy fougere, that upon opening draws you into its verdant garden aroma similar to the green in Patrick Cologne or Villoresi Pour Homme which both come to mind. But El takes a definite fougere turn with a warm, not sweet honey + coumarin fougere base accord. This is what the really old fashioned "fern" fragrances were meant to smell like! At this point in development I'm thinking it's a re do of the original English Fern, but no - there is more. Providing solid ground for this soft green fern is dried slightly suede leather, that along with the green opening has a very traditional masculine and old world quality. The base is provided by patchouli, oak moss, castoreum and civet for a warm low purring softness that if not for the green fougere opening would make something else altogether. EL is a sueded warm deep green fougere that has great signature scent potential for the self assured woman or man. Rating is: 8 of 10.
16th February, 2017

Arpège by Lanvin

I found some vintage Arpege extrait, and I would describe it as a softer, rounder, less concentrated version of Ubar. Ubar contains modern components that allow its individual notes to really pop and sparkle and be more articulated than those in an aged vintage fragrance, yet the scent profiles of these two are very, very similar - dominant sandalwood; civet; similar mixed floral heart with discernible lily of the valley. The top notes and aldehydes in my bottle of Arpege have long dissipated, so all I can know of it is a bit of its heart and a lot of its base, which doesn't have the mossiness of a chypre, nor the sweetness of an oriental, and is an elegant animalic woody thing at this point. It's unisex and smells quite of its time in much the way that Vol de Nuit does.

I've always found Ubar to be stunning in both senses of the word. I've kept a leaky sample in a drawer because it makes my office smell nice, but the fact that one drop left in a five-year old carded sample contained in a closed drawer scents my whole office, well...that's a more potent fragrance than I can wear on my person. That said, I've come to have a whole new context and excitement for it through getting to know vintage Arpege, because I can better see what Amouage were trying to do, and they really nailed the classic style in a way that doesn't smell dated, just timeless.
16th February, 2017

Alien Aqua Chic Eau de Toilette Legere by Thierry Mugler

Just like original Alien but, slightly "lighter". The amber and woody notes really stand out.
16th February, 2017

McQueen by Alexander McQueen

Basically a sophisticated and chic nocturnal sambac jasmine. Supremely feminine and glamour a la Thierry Mugler Alien, carnal a la Tom Ford Black Orchid (the jasmine-tuberose "nectarinic" final accord gives out a sort of musky orchid-illusion). Mqueen runs the way of super glamour-chic radiant florals. The juice starts almost dry and fruity (yes vaguely a la Dior J'adore - grapefruit, citrus, neroli etc). You can immediately notice the huge fluidy-peppery-aromatic-vegetal (vaguely - or better- ostensibly salty-ozonic) presence a la Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius (initially almost aqueous, minty and extremely "streamy") and the sheer floral radiancy (you could almost swear to detect a sort of lily/lotus/white peony-dominant musky diaphanous presence a la Estee Lauder Modern Muse or Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc) before to assist to a masterful jasmine/tuberose's starring spring-time blooming up. Ylang-ylang is another absolutely dominant note, providing that super chic synth-cosmetical-balmy/soapy/neutral exotic spark. Surely synth vetiver exalts the piquant saltiness counteracting a floral "juiciness". Along the way jasmine enhances its whispering nocturnal caress bestowing this delicate nocturnal vibe upon the olfactory fatigue. Dry down is mostly a musky soapy accord of ylang-yland, milky jasmine and balmy-vanillic tuberose. Effectively I detect a remarkable resemblance to Madonna Truth or Dare which is finally cramier. I detect as well a tad of the Bvlgari Jasmine Noir's silent darkness and romance. The final "twist" is surely elegant and sensual (well appointed in its complex) though definitely not unique.
15th February, 2017

Chevalier d'Orsay by D'Orsay

I never tried the vintage version of this scent, but the current one I just received today smells nothing short of dreadful. It's truly the nightmare of a toilet janitor - or the wet dream of a pervy one. Both the citrus-neroli accord, the spicy pine-herbal accord and the musty, lavender-ish woody accord smell all like three different cleaning sanitizers mixed together. Aseptic, sharp, acrid, flat and artificial to the bone, with no evolution whatsoever except for a sligthly more prominent presence of the cheap musky-woody foundation on the drydown. You'll smell clean, that is for sure, just like a bathroom which has just been cleaned and sanitized with three or four differently-scented products.

Poor d'Orsay...

3/10
15th February, 2017

Daisy Dream Forever by Marc Jacobs

Unexpected delight. The Wisteria seems to come and go, as the day wears on.
15th February, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Petit Guerlain (original) by Guerlain

The opening is lovely: fresh notes, gentle citrus aspects, a soft lavender with hints of garden green in a rain - not a bright green, more the dark green green of a shadowy spot under a tree in a moist garden.

A flowery bouquet sets in, not for very long on my skin though, with minosa and a somewhat perfunctory rose under the surface. The end is a vanilla that is a touch dull and equally unimpressive.

I get moderate sillage with excellent projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant spring creation, well blended and quite subdued a touch at times. This is nothing special but not without nice touches. 3/5 - Just!
15th February, 2017

Baume Tolu by Esteban

Well since there's no reviews, I guess my two cents may serve some future readers. Baume Tolu is an uncomplicated, surprisingly nice sort of mellow and smooth Oriental blend of zesty, piquant and fruity tea-ish notes - this including mandarin as well - laced with an accord of marigold (sort of a juicy, syrupy-floral-resinous smell) and a balmy base of nondescript clean woods and vanilla. It may sound sweeter and thicker than it actually is: on the contrary Baume Tolu is rather elegant, almost transparent and definitely discreet (nothing like Lutens, if you were thinking that). This is more a sort of a fresh, lively, sweet fruity tea scent tinted with resinous flowers and infused with some light spices and vanilla. It is very bracing and classy, totally unisex and delightfully friendly and easy to wear. The quality does not seem "top-notch", basically it smells like a sort of higher-end version of L'Erbolario or L'Occitane stuff, but still is quite better than them.

Anyway, once the zesty-fruity top notes tame down and the (light) immortelle note kicks in, Baume Tolu gently evolves towards a very peculiar and very enjoyable sort of silky, round, bright and still inexplicably uplifting woody-resinous blend with a light fruity aftertaste, overall maybe a bit lighter than one may hope and also maybe a bit too flat to keep your attention, but still totally pleasant.

Overall I think it is a bit too light and probably too artificial as well to justify the full retail price; but on the other hand it smells undoubtedly nice and mood-lifting, so if you can get some discount, then grab a bottle for sure!


6,5-7/10
14th February, 2017

Esperanto by Lanier

It would seem Lanier perfumes came and went quickly. Only 7 scents created and those all revealed in 1955. Now you can find them only in nips on Ebay.

Esperanto is a dusty rose underlined by creamy sandalwood, tonka and vanilla. It is very vibrant, yet warm and comforting. Old-fashioned smelling in a good way.

Unlike LA Folie de Minuit, the only other Lanier I have experienced (and which did not impress), this is a definite thumbs up.
14th February, 2017

Wild Fruits by Mancera

Mancera Wild fruits is a very nice fragrance but... just doesn't work and perform well on my skin. I don't feel special wearing this fragrance.. it is oke, sillage is very bad in my honest opinion, longevity i get 2/3 hours top and projection.. is also pretty weak. It is a pleasant scent.. but just not my cup of tea i guess.. which is oke. I personally love Cedrat Boise & Kumkat Wood these two are my favourite from the house. I have tested them almost all.. and as a result i have found the 2 which fits my perfectly.

Do sample first before buying a full bottle.
14th February, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route du Mexique by Guerlain

Now this is first and foremost about Vanilla. A well-composed vanilla, not particular special or exciting but solid.

Two positive points about this vanilla:
- It never is cloying or intrusive unlike many other vanilla creations,

- it is made more entertaining by some development, in the first stages by a freshish vetiver, quite weak and without any earthiness, and later on by a cocoa powder impression, which is not too bad but a tad too generic.

Throughout the while development of this fragrance there is a very pleasant, restrained opoponax in the background, which is less intensive than in an opoponax-centric composition like Gucci Envy for Men, but it blends in cery nicely with the whole, and at times has a mild incense aroma accompanying it.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and ten hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant vanilla scent for autumn with an original touch, but a touch too generic and synthetic at times, and just crossing the line to thumbs-up. 3/5.
14th February, 2017

Les Notes de Lanvin : Oud & Rose by Lanvin

That well known rule of perfumery Luca Turin's Iron Law - which states that in every trio of perfumes one of them shall be naff - has been broken by Les Notes de Lanvin.

The superior quality* of Oud & Rose when compared to the others in the series suggests that a second rule may be at work here; a harder-wrought, more demanding, Platinum Law of Perfumery which states that only one of the trio can be good.

*(I should perhaps qualify this opinion by saying that Vetyver Blanc, while being no two-dimensional lash up, smells chemically pungent and ill conceived and I never wear it; and after an hour's skin test the third placed Orange Amber never even made it home with me - even at the discount price it was offered at...)

It is really false modesty on the part of Interparfums to imply that their Notes de Lanvin collection is just that - a collection of notes - as though they were simple two-tone colognes, just like those of 4711.

The name Oud & Rose, while accurate, doesn't really do justice to the scent; it feels like a fully worked out Eau de Toilette - which is exactly what it is : a rose water nougat, decorated with strawberry and iris-rasperry notes, surrounded by lighter modulations of citrus, orange flower, banana and green notes. And of course there is the usual Western style sticking plaster oud. There are also some screechy synthetics - which the oud cannot totally disguise and which can sometimes get a bit intrusive.

This bitter-sweet and powdery rose oud starts off well enough, but the complexity soon fades and then later the quality. It's like the money (or the time) ran out before work on the second half was finished. Enough effort seemingly went into the project for one good fume, but not a trilogy. The two underperformers should therefore have been dropped and this one worked up into something special. As a fully finished, high quality stand alone it might have still been on the market today.

***/*
14th February, 2017

Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

I find this rather brilliant conceptually. It does, for me, capture the whole fat electrician vibe along with that burnt wiring smell.

I'm really somewhat amazed by the cleverness behind this.

Longevity seems good. The projection seems moderate.

At the moment, I don't think this is a fragrance I'd want to wear often. Thus, I don't believe I'd purchase a full bottle.

But, I do definitely appreciate what these folks have accomplished with this as artwork.
14th February, 2017

Vetiver by Guerlain

Current version review

The lemon dominated citrus opening fades over considerable time to its smooth and pleasant vetiver heart. Far toward the background a cedar, tobacco and I think even an undefined spicy note is detectable. All of the ingredients seem to be of noteworthy high quality and there is little synthetic blast to fend off. With this one the quality lemon application blast is quite bracingly stiff. I presume that heavy hit was needed to allow the citrus to be well detected after several hours, which it is. Good potency, projection and longevity.

An outstanding vetiver frag., IMO. A big thumbs up.
13th February, 2017 (last edited: 14th February, 2017)

Balahé by Léonard

Daniel Moliere, who is also responsible for Eau de Givenchy, Fleur D'Interdit, Givenchy Insense, CSP Eau de Naphe, LaRoche's Clandestine, and Jacomo's Paradox is the mastermind behind Balahe.

It has withstood the test of time as it is a softer presentation than the note pyramid suggests. At the time it was not a iconic powerhouse of the day like Poison or Opium which reveled in an overdose of their identifying notes, but a niche like quality that was so well blended with its complexity, it never became vulgar or too much. Balahe was the quiet man-slayer wrapped up in a feminine powdery, vanillic, opulent floral.

The clary sage, coriander, anaise, civet purr and aldehydes open Balahe, it comes off foreign as a good oriental reminds you of far away places never seen but dreamed of in the night. The plums, pineapple and fruits sweeten Balahe counterbalanced by the mandarin and bergamot citrus.

The magic happens when the heart opens up and the flood of orchids, tuberose and rose are supported by a soft richness of ylang, orris and iris to keep this extravagant, plush and soft upon the fruits receding in the background. Balahe finishes in a powdery vanillic sandalwood, sweet opopponax and animalic warm civet, yet the civet doesnt growl...it purrs seductively.Its best with the cooler temperatures but can perform well in the warmer days of spring. A gem of luxury housed in a black mysterious bottle and red silk Japanese cord holds the stopper intact. Masterful composition and blending by Moliere.

Its beautiful. I keep lucking out and getting the huge 6.8oz bottles for next to nothing..Universe is telling me something about this fragrance....
13th February, 2017

Patchouli Impérial by Christian Dior

Dior Patchouli Imperial definitely flies under the radar in the Privee collection as patchouli certainly isn't a trending note in the designer or niche realm, though its use is so commonplace that it's often simply forgotten in mixes of base notes, rather than being featured in the heart or top.

Patchouli Imperial is a strong use of the eponymous note but a judicious use of it in concert with some citrus, coriander, and sandalwood. So it's somewhat smooth, and the herbal aspect of the patchouli isn't so prominent as the dirty side of it., so it's more pleasant than other excursions of patchouli-intense fragrance.

As expected, it's a good performer while not being so cloying as Cuir Cannage or Leather Oud.

Still, it's not quite smooth enough to be truly enjoyable for me, and remains barely a "like" if at all.

For patchouli lovers mostly, I'd say.

6 out of 10
13th February, 2017

Barista by Legendary Fragrances

Now this is coffee! One of the best (if not the best) coffee fragrance I ever smelled. Reminds me of flavored coffee from Dunkin Donuts or Wawa. Has a coffee grind vibe in there. A lot of folks like coffee fragrances with a lot of other notes that seem to take away the coffee effect. That won't happen with this coffee gem. More suited for cooler days and evenings IMO. 8/10
13th February, 2017
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