Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 134824
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Romance by Ralph Lauren

A sweetish and fruity concoction, mainly lychee and a mild ginder accent, which in the drydown shifts to become mainly a floral composition.

The floral impressions in the heart notes are mainly freesia, lotus and violet, the latter being dominant on my skin and the most convincing detail in this mix

The base is a soft patchouli mixed with a woodsy undertone; all this is topped off by white musks. The middle phase and the base are very lackluster and thin on my skin.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and an excellent eight hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent that is very synthetic most if the time, and, apart form the violet contribution, overly generic. It performs quite well though, but overall is really not even mediocre. 1.75/5.
24th April, 2017

Moschino Friends Men by Moschino

Generic fresh, fruity fragrance with some citrus notes of orange and an implied melon effect. Dries down to a synthetic woods base. It isn't sweet in particular, and has a hint of a sourness which is mercifully very restrained. It is very generic overall, and similar to many including Burberry Weekend for Men and CK One. However, it's an upgrade on the Burberry which comes across as harsher and screechier, but is less fun than the CK as it lacks One's androgynous appeal.

The mid phase does have a very vague metallic aspect.

Quite forgettable, but perhaps not the worst of its kind. Contrary to its target audience, I imagine this would work better on young girls.

24th April, 2017

Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

My second fragrance from the house of MFK, first was Satin Oud, and now this. I love the house. This is smooth and just a little soft on me, i prefer more of a loud scent. Please advise what should be my third from MFK? I have explored Amouge and love it, but have moved on to MFK which i feel has more of a refinement
23rd April, 2017
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Nightingale by Zoologist Perfumes

Nightingale by Zoologist is a light coral hued perfume that smells somewhat like a Japanese tea garden which must be an intended tone from perfumer Tomoo Inaba. The combination of sharp saffron spiced incense violet woods and plum wine floral notes layered over oud wood, patchouli, sandalwood, frankincense and labdanum base gives an aroma of fine dry Japanese style incense imbued paper. This is a spectacular incense floral scent that maintains a purity and lightness of being that is uplifting to be around. I expect to see kimonos, hot tea and gently bubbling waters in the garden when wearing this one. The name Nightengale and the imagery on the bottle does not give a hint at the wondrous mystical dry floral incensed woods that follow after slight application. This is a beautiful fragrance that even though is lightly floral I consider it perfectly unisex.
23rd April, 2017

Oscar Red Orchid by Oscar de la Renta

A lovely floral, fruity fragrance. Sweet, simple, summery, and flirty. A casual scent to accompany a halter dress and sandals. Big floppy hat, optional.
23rd April, 2017

Cabotine Rosalie by Grès

A summery, floral delight! Powdery, girly-girl, and fun. Just a hint of darkness as it dries down. Light, delicate, feminine.
23rd April, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Black Label by Mayfair

A Review of the Original Vintage Version made by Yardley:

An opening blast of awesome quality: bergamot, lots of beautiful, orange, a touch of lemon, and some verbena in the background: a paradigmatic chypre opening if there ever was one; crisp and refreshing a Cologne this one truly is!

The drydown develops a gorgeous lavender note, as if freshly picked in the garden, intense, very - typical. This lavender is very close in quality to my benchmark lavender, which is Old English Lavender from the same house. Clary sage, geranium and a woodsy-herbal undertone follow the traditional route in a thoroughly convincing manner.

The base adds a - slightly earthy - vetiver, and, besides a gently crisp patchouli, also employs a lovely oakmoss; but it does that very sparingly. Whilst many oakmoss-based fragrances derive their allure from the full-throttle release of its mossy-spicy sharpness in an unfettered manner, here the oakmoss is applied in a nigh-homeopathic dose like seasoning in an already rich and tasty dish.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection, and a stupendous longevity on twelve hours on my skin - an utterly incredible performance that is unbelievable for a humbly labeled "Cologne."

This spring cent for warmer days is a seminal chypre, less harsh than many contemporaries due judiciously sparing application of the oakmoss and the comparative smoothness of the patchouli. I personally and subjectively would have preferred a bit more prominence of the oakmoss, but its sparing use in this composition results in an objectively convincing result nonetheless.

The high natural quality of the ingredients is beyond doubt, as is the perfect blending. Direct, unfussy, upright and supremely crafted in the traditional way - a very fine example of British Perfumery. 4.25/5.
23rd April, 2017

Whisky Black by Evaflor

One of the first perfumes I ever purchased - almost a decade back. At that point of time, I had tried Armani Code and liked it a lot. However, being a student - I couldn't afford it. Whisky Black smelled good enough to my then-untrained nose, and for some reason it was to be a substitute for Code.

This started off with some generic fresh citrus notes including orange, before a rather faint and generic woody-patchouli kicked in after 30 minutes or so. The cash would always run out by the end of two hours.

The price was modest enough that I'd overlook all such shortcomings - then and today.

23rd April, 2017

Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

A random array of synthetic smelling 'fresh notes' desired to create an aftershave effect, but in reality ends up smelling like zombie juice. There is an initial burst of nondescript freshness before a luminous and chemical patchouli-incense takes over that's nearly nauseous. In fact, this is one of the very few perfumes I had to scrub off.

Sillage and duration are fair, but that rather adds to the misery. I imagine a more natural version of this (perhaps a little more diluted and airy to yield a crisp EdC effect) could be worthwhile. Just an astonishing abomination in its current self.

The bottle is cool.

23rd April, 2017

Voyage d'Hermes Parfum by Hermès

Juniper, Cardamom, some of my favourite things.
I was hoping for an improvement from the Naff thing that was EDT. All I can say is. Go Chanel,
for a Voyage to remember.
23rd April, 2017

Hummingbird by Zoologist Perfumes

No more words to fully express my genuine appreciation for this canadian house. This semi-oriental "flori-fragrance" is really spectacular guys (especially after many hours, in its long mysterious dry down). Another artist or indipendent perfumer cooperating with the Zoologist's inspired Art Director (and brand-owner) Victor Wong in order to develop the perfume-house's aesthetic message. Shelley Waddington (Zoologist Civet as well) is the perfumer behind the variegate line En Voyage Perfumes which is created, bottled and packaged at Shelley Waddington’s "workshop". This artist transfers temporarily at the Zoologist's "labos" all her experience and specific knowledge about the classic floral-chypre's universe of the glorious past. Hummingbird is another ostensibly vegetal (fruity-floral-botanic) creation of the line and it sounds by soon as a refined fruity-floral work of green-honeyed balance. Rosey abstraction, honey, pollen, leafy humid silvan greenness, nectarinic fruitiness, medicinal soapiness and powdered muskiness wave constantly in the air. I just can say this is a fragrance to die for, a sort of honeyed-green synthetic multinuanced masterpiece. Hyper refinened as an ideally new generation florals-inspired green Chanel N. 19. A green atmosphere represents the ostensibly vegetal background of this powerfully floral olfactory orchestra. Honey (a rosey waxy/aldehydic neo-victorian resinous honey more than vaguely conjuring the great Ysl Kouros as ideally encoutering Mademoisele Coco in to a minty/starry patchouli-veined embrace) is the second element of this honeyed-green "backstage", a sort of waxy-plummy and evidently pears-smelling vibe which is the "dandy" core of this immensely beautiful evocative (arcane memories of a disappeared childhood) juice. Hummingbird is a lofty blend of several of the most transparent and ethereal florals in nature like lilac, peony, mimosa, rose, violet, muguet, honeysuckle and tulip, overall rooted on a sort of honeyed-green "basement" enriched by rooty, spicy, earthy, woody and musky accents. Sandalwood provides a sort of musky-salty honeyed take of intense refinement (soapy, soapy, soapy) while ylang-ylang (joined to medicinal soapiness and misty ambery-milky-honeyed powder) imprints a wave of translucent exoticism straight from the recesses of the misty childhood. I detect in the air a sort of super-modern synth "kind of aldehydic-lacteous-damp", abstract and I'd say "hyperbaric/translucent/suspended in the air/diaphanous" background a la Andrea Maack's Craft or Silk. The illusion about nectars and floral pollens is intense. It seems to detect as well something kind of dry-woody (hay) or "cyber xerox-toner-like" (a la Cdg Odeur 71) as well. An amazing "chiaroscuro" of vaguely medicinal, naphthalenic, earthy, plastic and soapy-cosmetical tones enriches the general harmony. The juice settles finally down on a velvety milky-ambery-musky basic accord (exuding rosey-honeyed-soapy accents in typical english style) nuanced by typically chypre (old-school in perception) honeyed-animalistic-mossy accents. The final outcome is extremely opulent and really hard to describe (lacteous, "nectarinic", vaguely leathery, aromatic, resinous, medicinal, ambery, peppery, liquorous, honeyed, fruity, unique), something re-interpreting in a modern and genial key a conglomeration of classic themes ("earthy/vegetal/boise", "honeyed-chypre/soapy/rosey/victorian" and more modernly dry-floral - vaguely cyber/abstract at the very end). Unisex (not strictly feminine, especially along dry down) imo. Excellent.
22nd April, 2017 (last edited: 24th April, 2017)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Idole d'Armani by Giorgio Armani

An orange-fruity opening, which is soon given a touch of very restrained spiciness by a saffron impression, dominates the first part in this product's development.

The drydown heads into the floral realm, with a mildly dark rose impression most evident on my skin. The base loses the fruitiness as well as the floral bent, and is mainly constituted by a soft, slightly sweet patchouli, which is given additional depth by a minimally earthy vetiver.

I get soft sillage, adequate projection, and six hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring composition is quite nice in some aspects. Unfortunately, it is rather generic and synthetic, and its dull, at times insipid, genericness is the more disappointing feature of the two.

On the other hand, it is well blended and at times the notes compliment each other fairly well. Like blood-orange, I am on the fence with this Armani creation too, and if there was a green-orange option in the dropdown menu I would choose that. In the absence of such a choice, the somewhat disappointing performance on my skin puts it into the neutral category, strongly veering towards the positive though. 2.75/5.
22nd April, 2017

Galloway by Parfums de Marly

I'll give this one a neutral because it's in the family of GIT,Chez Bond but smells like a better blend of Coolwater. This takes the place of GIT/Coolwater mentions of similarities.

22nd April, 2017
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Armani by Giorgio Armani

Bergamot-aldehydic freshness with a fruity-green undertone, and combined with galbanum - the recipe for the traditional opening of a chypre - and very well executed. Never really spritely fresh though and always a touch of mellowness draped over the top notes, like a shade over a sunny meadow.

The drydown brings out the floral side, with tuberose and other white florals present. Soon, after a phase where an orris accord develops, the main player on the second half boldly arises: an almighty oakmoss of astounding natural beauty, with touches of skankiness courtesy of a musk sidekick, and, towards the end, with a hint of vanilla-based sweetness. In all this, the oakmoss is the solist accompanied by the olfactory orchestra constituted by the other notes.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection, and a stupendous longevity of an amazing fourteen hours on my skin.

A wonderful autumnal beauty for warmer days, this classic chypre creation is characterised by the top quality of its natural ingredients. Whilst a bit attenuated and maybe a tad dull-ish at times - this is a vintage after all - it is blended masterfully and convincingly. 4/5
21st April, 2017

Rose de Petra by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777

A superfluous and sub par rose offering - there is a dark, oriental aspect that is quickly lost. One can discern a hint of lychee, but it is not fully explored. Then comes forward a deep rose note that is supported by some spices, with cardamom being prominent. However, things soon come apart as the fragrance suddenly loses most of its body and presence to become a thin veil of a peppered rose.

The basic problem with these types of fragrances is a singular lack of complexity. There is not much abstraction, yet it isn't a soliflore. Lack of development is okay, but linearity has to be rewarded either by an accord that's either engaging or substantial - if not both. Else it becomes what it is here - front-loaded - a phenomenon all too commonplace and endemic in modern perfumery.

One positive aspect of Rose de Petra is that it avoids the tired oud and/or patchouli notes, but still briefly yields an oriental touch. However, this style of rose is much better experienced in many other rose fragrances, including Noir de Noir, Amouage Lyric, and Calligraphy Rose. Also, the ones marketed as 'oud's hardly have oud in most cases. Thus, there's no harm in exploring rose-ouds if one looks for a deep, dark rose while looking to avoid oud. If it has to be only about the rose - La Fille de Berlin and Eau de Protection are far more compelling alternatives.

Sillage is good initially before quickly dying down, and duration is around average.

21st April, 2017

Azzaro pour Homme Night Time by Azzaro

Pepper, Vetiver and Cedar. That's the entire scent from start to finish. Not bad but nothing special. Could be used as a nice office scent or in casual settings IMO. Overall for the price I would say it's a safe blind buy. Enjoy!
20th April, 2017

A*Men: Les Parfums de Cuir / Pure Leather by Thierry Mugler

If you are a fan of the original (which I was... but no longer) then this is right up your alley. I find this to be just a slight detour from the original from start to finish. I give it a thumbs up due to the quality of the leather that does offset the off putting tarish quality of AMen to my nose. I got this for a surprising price so I find this to be a winner. Too bad it is no longer fall/winter here in the US or I would rock this today. Try before you buy (You may find this a redundant buy if you already have original AMen). Otherwise.... Enjoy!
20th April, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Armani Code / Black Code by Giorgio Armani

A ghastly chemical syrup camouflaging as a citrus-bergamot mix determines the opening impression. Insipidly sweet, it feels like Armani took some lessons from the bottom level of Victoria's Secret most synthetic creations.

The drydown adds another weird note from the laboratory, but, quite unexpectedly, in the base things started to look up a bit. A woodsy note combined with a pleasant vanilla - the latter not particularly exciting but solidly crafted - work well together, and constitute the hightlights of this composition.

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

The base is the best part of this daytime spring creation, but it does not suffice to save this product from a negative verdict. 1.75/5.

Code Black - not a good thing to happen in a hospital...
20th April, 2017

Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

After having tried all of MFK Ouds barring Velvet Mood, Silk Mood comes across as the most easy to like. While the original Oud was severely underwhelming, the other three are well done and respectable compositions. Cashmere Mood is perhaps the most intriguing and intriguing, while Satin Mood disappointingly subsides into a boring amber-vanilla accord.

Silk Mood is perhaps the most conventional, with it being a straightforward rose-oud offering. The rose is lush, velvety, buttery and the oud is slightly medicinal but also very much on the subtle side. In fact, the oud is largely subdued and plays second fiddle to the rose. The texture of the rose is similar to the one in Noir de Noir, Ambre Nuit, or Lyric Man. There is no smokiness. There is a slightly green, austere nuance to the composition - perhaps from the papyrus and chamomile. There is considerable depth (mostly attributable to the ingredient quality), but not a great deal of complexity. I find it mostly linear on my skin, but there is actually a very slow transition as the rose eventually subsides over several hours. Sillage is moderate but persistent, and duration is excellent at over 7-8 hours.

While a commendable offering, it has a few shortcomings. Anyone looking for an oud or a rose-oud fragrance could be disappointed, as the oud is very underplayed. The non-rose components of this fragrance could have been further explored.

20th April, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Gucci No. 1 by Gucci

The top notes mix bergamot, lime and slightly woodsy heliotropes with florals; mainly carnation and hyacinth, to a very successful match of the fresh with the floral-sweet. Well done!

The drydown loses the fresh characteristics in favour of the intensification of the floral, mainly white floral side, with lily-of-the valley and jasmine and in the foreground; again this is a lovely bouquet.

The base is a quite predictable ambery tonka with a discreet and fairly unobtrusive benzoin underlay.

The sillage is quite soft, the projection adequate, and the longevity is an impressive eleven hours on my skin.

A pleasant scent for warmer spring or cooler summer days. The main issue is a certain dullness, a lack of vividness, as if a veil is cast over this creation and and takes away its luster. It is just at the border between neutral, but the good longevity and the decent - albeit not superb - quality of some of its ingredients let it - just - cross the line into positive territory - by the skin if its teeth. 3/5.
19th April, 2017
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Badgley Mischka by Badgley Mischka

If, like me, you like rich, fruity, boozy scents of the Mauboussin variety, then this little number will certainly ring your bell.

Swirling layers of peach,amber,creme de cassis and caramel radiate off my skin and into the realm of compliments. This little diva is all about joyous abandonment and devil-may-care attitude.

Don't be shy with the application or others will fail to notice all of its full-on charms!

Why do they always discontinue little gems like this. Are people blind to their merits or is my taste so far removed from normality that I am on a different plane to the vast majority of the perfume buying public?
19th April, 2017

Ambre Nuit by Christian Dior

Ambre Nuit is a major disappointment, especially considering the standards of the Dior La Collection Privée.

Its best feature is the lushness of the rose, and how it is elegantly paired with labdanum and woods.

However, it also comes across as timid, insubstantial and indistinctive. Additionally, it is very soft (which is okay, but for this style I would prefer something with more presence), and is surprisingly thin and fleeting beyond the first couple of hours.

A rose of this style is much more well explored in Oud Ispahan and Noir de Noir.

19th April, 2017

Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

This is a great musk fragrance.

Clean, fresh, deep white musk - as it should be. Light years away from the nastiness of countless fragrances (cheap and expensive) with clinical laundry white musk bases.

Initially there's some white florals, and then comes a delightful musk-rose accord. The musk is in the foreground, the rose in the background. There's the faintest sweetness coming through courtesy of the tonka. That's more or less it, with little evolution.

Other musk fragrances it reminds me of are Clair de Musc, Musc Intense (Nicolai), and Villoresi Musk. However, for some reason the Kiehl's has a more effortless 'grab-n-go' appeal.

If you're looking for a tamed down version of Muscs Koublai Khan (one of my favourites) - this is it. There is a only the barest animalic hint - but only if one looks for it after a heavy application.

I have no issues with how it wears - close but good sillage, and excellent duration of at least six hours from a generous application.

Very good throughout the year, and simply delightful in the summers.

Very, very nice.

19th April, 2017

Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

A very lacklustre offering from Tom Ford. This is even more surprising considering that unlike the Private Blends, the Signature line is usually well thought out and carefully crafted.

Tom Ford for Men takes all the elements usually present in classic masculine compositions to create a dull fragrance. The main theme is citrus-tobacco-woods-amber with some mild spices, and a barely prominent ginger note. The structure is good, but it's unimaginative and restrained exactly at places where it didn't need to be. It has low key sillage and moderate longevity, but is quickly forgotten.

Off the top of my head, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (earlier versions) would be a much more compelling and worthwhile composition in this genre.

Tom Ford for Men would be the olfactory equivalent of a bland lunch at the new upstart restaurant in town with some random 'professionals' on a Tuesday afternoon.

Stick to Grey Vetiver. At least, I would.

19th April, 2017

Hermèssence Cuir d'Ange by Hermès

A light, subtle floral leather that is unusually cool.

The initial opening is tempered with mild spices and a leather accord that hints at high quality leather handbags. The floral notes bloom pretty soon as the fragrance starts to smell similar to some creams and body lotions. I also pick up a hint of suede. The typical airiness of Ellena's compositions is found here, and it is very Hermes. It is slightly radiant, and wears very lightly on skin. The mid phase is mostly the floral leather accord. It is followed by a similar soft and subtle dry down that is reminiscent of the earlier phases. The composition is linear to a certain extent, and has soft sillage and moderate duration on skin.

While I love the opening, it is thereafter too fleeting and rather unexciting. I prefer to go with Declaration or Eau d'Hermes when looking for a leather scent that is similarly bright, airy and radiant. Bel Ami Vetiver might also work as an alternative for some.

Overall it's quite a good composition. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a light, airy, summery leather fragrance and do not want anything striking. Definitely not a butch leather. Also, definitely would not work for those looking for something a little potent and tenacious.

3/5 (neutral)
19th April, 2017

Virgin Island Water by Creed

I approached, tried, tested, and wore Virgin Island Water in two different phases - once in 2015 summer, and once in 2017. In 2015 I had approached it with high expectations. In 2017 I did so with average expectations. The fragrance was underwhelming in 2015, and more so in 2017.

The structure was clear each time around. A beautiful and natural lime opening with just a hint of booziness, that lasts all of 5 minutes, before giving way to a musky coconut dry down. There's no citrus, no florals, no woods, no spices, no booziness - just coconut and musk. Granted, the accord is still occasionally pretty, but it's neither innovative nor compelling. Additionally, it is extremely muted on skin beyond the first 30 minutes or so, and has a disappointing duration of a few hours - that, too, from a very generous application.

Granted, I only tried this in hot weather. However, that's supposedly the season for this coconut-lime fantasy. When the temperature is any lower, why would I even consider this frivolous persuasion - ahead of thousands of more worthwhile offerings including Creed's own Bois du Portugal and Green Irish Tweed?

19th April, 2017

Bang by Marc Jacobs

I don't see the point of this fragrance.

An ethereal burst of pepper followed by dry peppery woods. Extremely muted beyond the first half hour, and average duration. Moreover, this was released in 2010 when the peppery-woods genre was already well explored, and this brings nothing new to the table. One might consider Terre d'Hermes, Poivre Samarcande, Declaration, Honour Man, Comme des Garcons 2 Man, Tam Dao, Lalique White, and Wonderwood as more worthwhile alternatives. For pepper (forgetting the woods) one might consider Piper Nigrum or Noir Epices (and several others).

Gimmicky more than anything else.

19th April, 2017

White Peacock Lily by D.S. & Durga

Wow. I tried a sample of this, and it's really quite beautiful. Six hours later and I can still catch it off my wrist. This fragrance is smooth and natural. No hint of anything chemical or artificial. It is strongly floral with the mix of oleander, lily and violet--I'm not personally familiar with the distinction between those but the result here is a gentle bouquet of notes unified by a creamy texture. I don't catch the grapefruit but a bare hint of the vanilla, yes. And I do believe I can grasp the tint of fog as a slightly cool overtone. But overall, the simplest description is a rich, creamy floral that manages to avoid being too sweet. A great fragrance for Spring into early summer.

It feels more feminine than masculine to me, but I think you'll find it addictive no matter who you are.

18th April, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Gucci by Gucci by Gucci

The sweetish-fruity opening is rather laboratory-chemical in nature, with an aroma of berries, and a faux-pear-peachy undertone. It is so chemical that I can imagine it work well on a laboratory-created customer, a robot for instance.

The drydown remains firmly in the lab kitchen, this time cooking up a sweetish floral soup that quite skillfully avoids smelling like a real flower - I mean the stuff that grows outside in nature.

After the thumbs-down assessment had taken shape in my mind, it is the base that constitutes the main strength of this creation: whilst still clearly and overly synthetic, it is much less intrusively so, and manages to create a passable honeyed, soft patchouli impression; this impression does not really impress me, but it is quite bearable.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity is ten hours on my skin.

A spring composition that is hyper-synthetic, a bit less so in the base though; this is one of those rare cases where the longer one waits, the more tolerable it gets. At the border between thumbs down and neutral; the base pushes it - just - into neutral territory. 2/3.
18th April, 2017

Muschio / Moss by L'Erbolario

While I don't crave for Muschio Bianco (nice but too sweet and "bath-foam kind") I appreciate far more this deeper, soapier and darker take on the forest-theme from L'Erbolario. I quite enjoy this juice on skin, it is so soapy, mossy, woody and mysterious to die for. I detect oakmoss, vetiver, woods, bark and dry leaves. Impenetrable smell from the deep forest (but with gleams of dry/aromatic/balmy radiancy) finally leaning towards a classic-chypre main (vaguely barber-shop) theme. Yes, it's among the oldies at L'Erbolario and is surely a keeper. Moss settles down in to a mossy-earthy aroma tempered by ambery/woody powdery facets.
17th April, 2017