Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 149399

Ricci Club by Nina Ricci

Stardate 20190118:

Very similar to vintage Baldessarini. But better.
Orange amber in the later phase
18th January, 2019

Les Heures de Parfum - XII L'Heure Mystérieuse by Cartier

Almost sugary, a resinous sweet opening. Jasmine seems drowned out, as I usually notice her with no delay... More resin, femme incense, a balsamic feel. This one is hypnotic. I get a distant flower. I smell a honey accord. Mysterieuse begins to feel powdery for me after awhile. Alas, I am hooked. It's a beautiful oriental!

It becomes slightly earthy, less sugary, a bit more jasmine unfolds later. This isn't a long-timer. It fades from my skin in about 4 hours.
18th January, 2019

Truth or Dare by Madonna

Gigantic piercing white flower bouquet. The scents of these flowers bounce back and forth. They all get "air time". The top notes are long-lasting and merge into, and with, the middle notes.

The jasmine is somewhat indolic. Spiced, slightly charred benzoin. Dancing, happy lily... Honeyed spice appears. Vanilla, amber, musk, are all a favorite base combo for me. I have to say I rather enjoy T.O.D. It's a pleasant, kind of raunchy white floral perfume.
18th January, 2019
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Amo Ferragamo by Salvatore Ferragamo

The opening is fruity and boozy- redcurrant with whiffs of a very diluted Campari-rich Negroni, a bit bitter but a tad nonspecific in character. Sweeter than expected but not cloying.

The drydown combines an acceptable rendition of rhubarb with jasmine that is all right but nothing exciting. The base is the most mundane part, with its ordinary vanilla base and a somewhat bland woodsiness. The sweetness persists throughout, at times assuming a creamy character.

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

A scent for warmer autumn days, and the sweet and soft side and rather synthetic. 2.75/5.
18th January, 2019

Santal Blanc by Serge Lutens

One of those perfumes that uses a sheen of metallic lavender to knock out your nose and make itself hard to smell. I remain baffled why perfumers do this.

I can tell there's a decent perfume hiding somewhere behind the mask of confusing molecules. The top is a clever mix of Lutens dried fruit and the plummy topnotes from Feminite du Bois, mixing with iris and buttery sandalwood, drying down to fruity amber, but it's indirect and hidden and ultimately too frustrating to be worth the effort. A pity. This had promise.
18th January, 2019

Tabac Vert by Rogue Perfumery

I've heard other people say that iris-based scents have a "makeup bag" smell. I think what they mean is lipstick because Tabac Vert actually smells exactly like opening up makeup bags that I've smelled, specifically the powdery foundation that gets everywhere. When the final stage of drydown happens 10+ hours later, it smells more like a classic masculine scent from the 60s or 70s.

Not strong projection but it is ever-present and persistent.
18th January, 2019

Hermèssence Paprika Brasil by Hermès

Don't let the name fool you - this is iris and loads of it. Jean Claude Ellena said of it: “A tinctorial wood to colour fabrics red, ‘brasil wood’ gave its name to the country. With its power of suggestion, “bois de braise” sparked my imagination and I chose paprika to illustrate it. By mixing and matching, I recreated its scent, which is more secretive and discreet than its taste.”

The notes are pimento, clove, paprika, iris, green leaves, reseda, ember wood (aka Brazilwood or Pernambuco) and woody notes.

The name is incredibly misleading for most who might even want to give this a sniff. It's really more of an iris focused perfume that it's main variant is the peppercorn or paprika note. The dry down holds those woody notes firms, but they are soft and gentle and not solidly dominate. The iris is not overly powdery and it's ever so soft and satiny.

I found Paprika Brasil to be almost a dark horse among the Hermessences line. I went in not expecting to like it but it has soon become one of my favorites in the line.
18th January, 2019

Fourreau Noir by Serge Lutens

I find this interesting, but ultimately not what I like.

It's essentially a fougere with lots of skanky coumarin and lavender, given more edge with bleach and smoothed with pie spices. I find this interesting in theory because most perfumes with a lot of coumarin tend to play up the hay/papyrus aspects, while burying its darkly sharp petrol ammonia funk element in musks or vanilla. Instead, Serge highlights and lifts up the extreme elements, making them even more searing with that bleach note and extremely jagged ginger and nutmeg. He also uses a very metallic lavender, which further adds to the jagged nature of this perfume. Meanwhile, Serge's signature recipe of maple, pie spices, and honey does a masterful job providing a warm, inviting pillow for the jagged elements to sit on. Indeed, the deep drydown, once the metal, bleach, and petrol are gone, is magical, a stunning honeyed brown sugar gingerbread and caramel pecan cinnamon roll smell that's probably the best gourmand smell I've experienced in ages. Unfortunately, you have to sit through a bunch of nostril-searing bleachy nonsense to get to it.

This owes a big debt to Bulgari's Blu, another bleachy pie spice fougere, which in turn owes a debt to Serge's own 5 O'Clock au Gingembre. The metallic lavender also reminds me of Polo, while the bleachy nutmeg has distinct similarities to Kenneth Cole Black.

Anyway, the delicious base lifts this from a thumbs-down to a neutral, but the bleachy fougere genre as a whole just doesn't appeal to me.

18th January, 2019

Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan

This is for the latest scent, a terrible mistake on me.

At first it was all toilet bowl cleaner, fake hot chocolate, with old clearance-sale unknown brand, drugstore musk and vanilla. Fake is my overwhelming impression. I don't even get the faux amber or wood anywhere in this at all, no warmth, just chem -- cheap.

After about an hour it's sickening musk, vanilla and green soap. Like an old vanilla wafer (which some great wit had already noted in a review) which fell on the floor in a parochial school washroom and soaked up that horrid green soap. All that musk is just a redundancy. But yay me for giving it a chance.

I am going to go wash it off now. Wish me luck.

17th January, 2019
Shycat Show all reviews
United States

Pyromancy by Sixteen92

The listed notes don't prepare me for Pyromancy, which fact I find annoying.

Pryomancy strikes me as a rich, honey, gourmand leaning thing. The "embers" will be warm spices--cinnamon I'd say, is in there with the brightness of cardamom. The tea/tobacco accord blends to a sense of dark warmth.

Oud is an overstatement, and smoke is an overstatement. My impression is some softness suggesting amber, an indistinct wood, perhaps a touch of patchouli, and ambroxan.

I feel better about it all after I visit her site in a bit of pique to find her describe it as

"A warm and spicy cold weather atmospheric with gourmand nuances."
17th January, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Signorina by Salvatore Ferragamo

A fruity top note - a bit like a blackcurrant with a leafy component - mixes with a very light touch of pepper in the initial moments.

The drydown turns completely floral, with jasmine and a white floral core - think muguet and peony - with a rather nondescript rose impression. The whole mix is soft and sweet.

The base is an even sweeter experience, with a creamy panacotta with a touch of almond/coconut and a good lashing of white musks towards the end.

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

A spring scent that has original touches, but lacks the level of quality of the ingredients to really raise it above the average. 2.75/5.
17th January, 2019

Chrome Legend by Azzaro

This is complete garbage, and I would add that it wasn't always like this. Years ago it did smell like a fresh fruity aquatic, albeit synthetic; something in the territory of Nautica Voyage. Now this reeks of harsh metallic aromachemicals, with unbalanced blending. Now it's in the same camp as Ferragamo's Incanto Blue, though the latter is worse.

For what its worth, Nautica Voyage is a much superior alternative based on current versions. Seriously, even Aqua Velva Ice Blue smells much nicer for a fraction of the cost. Yes, it's in the same general category as Acqua di Gio, but the difference in quality is about the same as the difference in price.

17th January, 2019

Douce Amère by Serge Lutens

Lutens' favorite fruits (that dried orange/apricot/cherry mix) on top of some nondescript hazy flowers. The base is that Lutens signature brown sugar gingerbread, but weak enough to not contribute much.

It's interesting to smell a Serge without the challenging notes (no cumin or burnt scallions or any of his other love-them-or-hate-them notes), but I dare say that leaving them out makes Douce Amère a bit boring. It's not bad, but it's just a better-than-average fruity floral.

It doesn't help that this uses Serge's signature metallic lavender, which knocks out my nose, leaving everything a bit weak and indirect. Meh.
17th January, 2019
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XJ 1861 Zefiro by Xerjoff

Incense smokey, sweet and spicy. Reminds me of Halston Man Amber or Liquid Night from A Lab on Fire which both predate this scent.

Definitely a dressed-up, cold weather scent.

I will say this is either blended better or slightly subdued than the other two because it smells more refined and smoother. The other two are louder, but Man Amber fades first while Zefiro amd Liquid Night have similar longevity.
17th January, 2019

Roadster by Cartier

Cartier Roadster (2008) feels like the forgotten Cartier masculine in the US, and a large part of that is the fact that it's never seen in department stores, if indeed it ever has been, and isn't officially available direct from Cartier in the states but is available online from other retailers all over. The rest of the world sees this as a relatively modern fresh woody aromatic scent, and it has spawned two flankers since its launch in 2008, yet is a veritable ghost in America. What is known about Roadster to most US colognoisseurs is that this was the first masculine pillar composed by Mathilde Laurent for Cartier after her appointment as house perfumer in 2005, making its absence from the US feel all the more puzzling. I feel most of this comes down to style and presentation, since Roadster mimics the fender of a 50's automobile with the packaging, and has an extremely old-school mint/citrus/woods compositional style also popular in the 50's, but done in a way that doesn't make it feel explicitly traditional. Even so, mid-to-late 2000's masculines in America were all about second-wave aquatics and soft, sweet "amberwoods" styles, meaning Roadster's anachronism stuck out like a sore thumb and likely wasn't pushed in that market, even if it was officially released with fanfare globally. Furthermore, Americans probably don't romanticize the style of the "Big 50's" or the "Wild West" in much the same way as outsiders looking in from other parts of the world, who stumble across these aesthetics and fall in love rather than growing up or being bombarded with them (and the associated jingoism) by elders, so there's that to consider as well.

The opening of Cartier Roadster is mint and bergamot, pretty simple and dry at first. The opening collapes into the heart rather quickly, but I think it's supposed to because the mint blends with the other notes to last the duration of the entire wear, forming the primary accord. Folks unsure of mint need to approach this cautiously, as it's an all-or-nothing note here. Fans of Avon Perceive (2000), Yves Saint Laurent Live Jazz (1998), or Swiss Army Classic by Victorinox (1997) already know where this path leads. The heart is vanilla and vetiver, two nearly diametrically-opposed notes that provide green aromatic and sweet oriental depth respectively, and their interplay is important to the personality of Roadster. Finally, this semi-sweet piquant mixture of pepped grassy tones over rounded warmth finishes on classic labdanum, patchouli, and cedar. The base of this couldn't possibly feel more 1950's to me outside the absence of heavy oakmoss, but some Italian classics like Acqua di Selvi (1949) and Pino Silvestre (1955) didn't rely on a lot of moss either, so Roadster compares as a sweeter version of them. Mint replaces black pepper, and vanilla replaces oakmoss in respective roles, but the same "bracing then smooth" dry down is achieved with only a touch of sweetness from the vanilla. I rather like this style myself, and Roadster is a perfectly-casual choice for almost all seasons if you like this style, with the vanilla making it friendlier than most older options in this category. Wear time is about 7 hours of moderate sillage in all climates save maybe the most frigid, and unlike the folks from the decade this emulates, Roadster is no boomer.

All in all, this modern "retro chic barbershop" bracing style will appeal to fans of stuff like Penhaligon's classic Victorian-era scents or "your Dad's aftershave" type of wet-shaving accoutrements found in most niche shaving stores in the 21st century. In fact, this can slide into the slot occupied by the venerable Aqua Velva (1935) for somebody liking a minty opening but wanting more heft for daily wear, assuming they can handle vanilla and woods in place of shoe leather in the base. Roadster is also almost chyrpe-like with the labdanum and bergamot interplay over dry cedar, but without a noticeable oakmoss riff, is only "chypre" in spirit. I feel Roadster may also have been trying to fill a similar role to the later Creed Viking (2017) with being a modern re-styling of a classic feeling for older guys to move beyond their vintage selections into something contemporary. I guess it worked for a while in Europe, where it got two flankers in with Roadster Sport (2009) and Roadster Black (2010) before dropping momentum, the second flanker of which was a limited edition only for 2010. We'll never know how this could've been received in the US without the big push of elsewhere to get it in stores, but judging by contentious opinions online (mostly over the love-or-hate mint), Roadster wouldn't have driven far even with older American men, who long ago moved into mossy/soapy aromatic things in the 70's/80's vein then stayed there, not the dry austerity of the 40's/50's, which is now the realm of the postmodernist hipster. Roadster is no Pasha de Cartier (1992) or Déclaration (1997), but a worthy member of the lineup nonetheless. Thumbs up from me, but sample if possible!
16th January, 2019 (last edited: 18th January, 2019)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Artemisia by Penhaligon's

The opening is a sweet, peachy, fruity blast that is counterbalanced to some extent by a green undertone.

In the drydown the core note arises: a vanilla that is not badly executed, but is nothing special either. A bunch of florals gradually grows in strength, spearheaded but a strong muguet impression and a good touch of violet. A fruity side comes and goes, as is a discrete impression of Chinese tea.

With time this composition turns increasingly powdery. This is not a traditional crusty boudoir-dowager powderiness, but a slimmer and more contemporaneous type.

The base attempts to add a woodsy undertone and an attempt at some oakmoss grounding, but not particularly successfully due to their overly generic character.

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

Not without original ideas, this spring scent is lacking sone structure to convince, but its main drawback is the synthetic and often generic nature of its ingredients. 2.75/5.
16th January, 2019

Viper Green by Ex Nihilo

Light, airy and herbal green. My wife was detecting some citrus but it just smelled like green plants and spa soap to me. I'm surprised this isn't classified as unisex as it leans feminine to me, has something of a white floral vibe. Not something I want to wear but it smells fresh and clean, which is always nice.

Projection is okay, especially during the first hour. After that it calms down but is still detectable. Longevity is good and the scent in the late drydown is weak but much better, losing the floral and herbal notes.
16th January, 2019

Treffpunkt 8 Uhr by J.F. Schwarzlose

interesting and pleasant fragrance...there is a slight echo of Timbuktu to this...i get a nice laid back vetiver flavored with ginger/mango and just a slight herby/spicy touch...i have no problem smelling my nose, the projection is rather decent...the initial burst of ginger/mango is very aromatic and rather refreshing...would make a very nice summer evening scent for either gender...ries to a smooth and slightly " wet " vetiver dominated scent...wouldn't mind having a large decant of this...
16th January, 2019

1889 Moulin Rouge by Histoires de Parfums

Cake pan makeup, heavy rouge lipstick, sweat on mousseline de soie and crepe de chine, powder - tons of powder, tinge of cold cream. Well done.
15th January, 2019

Mississippi Medicine by D.S. & Durga

Top notes are a fresh breeze. Red cedar and white spruce are center stage. Violet isn't stomped on by the wood - I can detect it well. The top notes here are just plain Good!

The middle is just as good. Great, in fact. Pine, cypress breeze. Earthy, cool. I'm at a loss for words for this one. This is the "pine-y" scent I have been searching for. It's outdoorsy. One of the better masculine scents I've sampled in awhile.

The base isn't mean, angry, or nasty. The birch tar, incense, and cade are polite. A good core base. M.M. works on me, works, for my psyche. Comforting.

15th January, 2019

Doe in the Snow by 4160 Tuesdays

Cool, crisp fruit on the top actually reminds me sun shining after a nice, deep snowfall; Diamond sparkles reflecting off the powdery top coating of snow. I tried this perfume last year - I didn't appreciate as much as I do now. I love it this time around. I believe all the sampling I've done in the last year as made me more aware of notes, character, and nuances.

I get a damp note, an even colder vibe as this progresses. The rose and jasmine are as one. They are flowery but, restrained. I really don't notice any woods here. I am reminded of a perfume I once tried by Regimes de Fleurs called Dove Grey.

Much later I get a gentle base. A bit mossy with a smidge of tea. A faint note of something resinous. Doe In The Snow goes on my wish list. It's very evocative.
15th January, 2019

La Danza delle Libellule by Nobile 1942

Sweet delights! Bergamot and crisp, autumn apple right from the start. Tart accord moves in, from the bergamot. Cinnamon and vanilla notes follow. These notes begin to resemble a white flower, to me. The cedar rising, may be the culprit, the mystery, creating this floral accord. The apple and vanilla remain strong. A hint of coconut gives this an almost Yankee Candle vibe. Cedar & bergamot remain, close to the skin. This is just a happy fragrance. Nothing notably bad I can say about it.
15th January, 2019

Tihota by Indult

This, is a mighty fine vanilla perfume. It's piercing without being annoyingly artificial as some vanilla fragrances can be. Musk, keeps it in check, keeps it interesting.
15th January, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Equinox Bloom by Penhaligon's

A herbal-floral citrus opening greets me: bitter and acidic lemon, a slightly darker violet and a pleasant orange blossom develop sooner after the first blast.

The later drydown emohasises the floral component even stronger, with frangipani and jasmine most evident. Combined with this is a slightly smoky impression of black tea, which develop gradually but is strongest in the heart notes

The base is a bit sweeter, but just a bit, and a salty and slightly acerbic note balances out the sugary sweetness well.

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

A very interesting and quite original and complex spring composition that develops very interestingly. Not all ingredients are of great quality, but the result is quite enticing. 3.25/5
15th January, 2019

Sunday Cologne / Fantastic Man by Byredo

When i hear sunday cologne, i think about a cool, relaxing fragrance, that i can wear at a bbq, or to the park, or just bingin on netflix.

Byredo's sunday cologne is none of that. Its a manly aggressive fougere with the incense and patchouli reigning supreme over most of its shine.

Its a good scent. Just not a relaxing sunday cologne. In fact i would wear it on most days except a sunday.

Perhaps its unfair to compare every cologne to adp colonia. But somehow i cant help but feel this pales in comparision.
15th January, 2019

Floris London + Turnbull & Asser 71/72 by Floris

Smells like a luxurious ck1 all beit very faint and short lived.
15th January, 2019

Unforgivable by Sean John

Paid $25 for it at Burlington. The dry down does smell like Creed MI. Like others said, it became a weak fragrance. I tested it out and and it become a skin sent after about 1 hour and pretty much the scent starts to fade away already at the 2 hour mark. The only reason I gave it a neutral is because I love the smell but sadly it doesn't last. Probably still use but it looks like it became a reapply throughout the day fragrance kind. At least it was only $25.
15th January, 2019

St. Kitts for Men by Tommy Bahama

I started my recent re-interest in fragging with a blind buy of a bottle of Tommy Bahama Martinique, and then discovered this site. That particular bottle didn't do much for me, but a little research here revealed this hidden gem. I know that a lot of folks like St. Barts, and I did try that, but it gagged me on the opening. St. Kitts smelled a bit...interesting at first, but I grew to quickly love it. My nose is not as well-trained as many around here, but I do get the initial blast of starfruit (and maybe lime) drying down to marine-ish, wood-ish scents. I bought four bottles of it since it's been on sale at TJX, and wear it most days. It works for me, but then I am always thinking about the next time that I can get back to a beach, so it always lightens my mood. Totally worth $20 at the discounters--and yes, it requires a good dousing for full effect, and it doesn't last long. But while it does, it's fun.
15th January, 2019

Mousse Illuminee by Rogue Perfumery

Strong opening with plenty of modern-sweetened pine. Polo green is what first comes to mind but amped up and modernized. Later into the drydown, the pine fades and lets some of the clean laundry smell come through. It's a good compliment-getting candidate because it's strong and projects, comes off very masculine and also has the ever-popular sweet/clean aspects to it.

I'd guess this is best for everything except high heat, just due to the strong projection. Otherwise, this seems to be very versatile.

Strong projection and good longevity, lasting into the 7-8 hour range.

15th January, 2019

White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor

This was one of the more perfumed Christmases I've had in a while. On one end of the spectrum, my husband's gift of D.S. & Durga's Durga EDP. At the other, a White Diamonds gift set, purchased by an elderly family friend who admits she knows nothing about perfume but knows that I love it and the "lady at Walmart" said this was very pretty. It was a touching gesture, and after doing some reading I was excited to give it a go.

If you can make it through its aldehydic, intensely soapy opening, you'll be rewarded with an oldfashioned medley of sweet florals with just a hint of carnation-ey spice. Which is fun while it lasts, because the soap eventually reappears about an hour later and stays there for the dry down. At this point, White Diamonds smells not so much like something Liz Taylor wannabes would dab along their decolletage as a means of seduction and more like the kind of squeaky-clean-smelling soap that might be handed out by prim headmistresses at an all-girls boarding school.

Two hours later—poof!—it's gone. Maybe that's because it costs about a buck and some pennies to make but, still, it's an interesting relic of pop cultural perfumery and well worth sniffing while it lasts.
15th January, 2019