Perfume Reviews

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Cool Water Wave by Davidoff

The risk is to die of boredom. This juice is tart as a blade and effective as an Axe-deodorant. Cool Water Wave is a typical straightforward (super peppery) ozonic-marine with a vibrant, tart-metallic and fizzy-spicy temperament. Opening is fresh, powerfully dry and super spicy with a central "ozonic/marine" performance provided by grapefruit, citrus, sweet spices (mostly nutmeg under my profane nose), pepper, ozonics and mineral-"frozen" aroma chemicals. Supremely "ordinary" dynamic-refreshing-salty-synthetic (citronellol, helonial, Iso E Super) accord of fizzy-floral (violet, jasmine??) grapefruit, citrus, pepper, patchouli, marine notes, woodsy musky elements, cedarwood and minty laurel. Sporty, grapefruit-centered, synthetic, fizzy, conventional. Tons of easy-going marine "waters" jump on mind, waving from Paco Rabanne Invictus to Bond I Love New York for Fathers, passing through Nautica Voyage, Azzaro Chrome and Lanvin Pour Homme. We are far from the classic "ambergris-like" (and woody-herbal) original Cool Water's distinguished dry down. The base smells really overly synthetic (and really really pungent/peppery, pungent deodorant like, gasseous and fizzy-tart- vaguely cedary) under my gothic nose of the hills. Frankly boring as a summer camp at lakes with puritan parents.
21st August, 2017 (last edited: 22nd August, 2017)

Siberian Musk by Areej le Doré

I am a little intimidated writing a review for a fragrance which has a tribe of such enthusiastically vocal and raging fans. See: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/439956-Areej-le-Doré-The-Official-Discussion-Thread, and Claire's review at: http://takeonethingoff.com/blog/2017/05/13/areej-le-dore-translating-attar-perfumery-into-extrait-form/. Much has been written on this fragrance as well as the other Areej le Dore perfumes and heaps of praise have been laid at the doorstep of this artisanal perfumer. Rightly so! I am a fan, a big fan, however; I write these words cautiously because I am sure I will offend others who are even bigger supporters of Russian Adam and Areej le Dore and there are opinions that vary on his work which is as it should be for any bold artistic statement.

The perfumer who is Areej le Dore's creator goes under the artist working name, Russian Adam, and he has an extensive history in distilling oud oils under the brand name Feel Oud, and for other brands as well located in various southeast asian oud of origin countries and also uses unique techniques and home assembled formulas for making hydrosols or infusions and distillations from natural perfumery products to use in the final blending and creation of his perfumes. Due to this individualistic process there is much variability and the perfumes have a very high artisanal value and batch variations are a fact of the process. So, a bottle of Siberian Musk obtained before or after mine, might be more, or less floral, stronger or not so in deer musk, or heavier in amber base note or some combination of these variables. My review is based upon the bottles I have purchased directly from the maker and from reading other reviews I am sure that there may be variations from bottle to bottle.

Siberian Musk appears to be assembled from separate blends of hydrosol infusions to which the primary ingredients are immersed. The top notes are a delicate but very high pitched citrus lime and mandarin juicy sweet but tart elevated green notes which have a noticeable pinene background. This very high pitched, light citrus descends through a multicolored swirl of florals that display flourishes of color and are identifiable as the mercurial dancing floral aroma of deer musk infused with orange blossom. This is a floral crescendo of exotic deer musk aroma that moves from crisp limes and mandarin tartness through orange blossom, anchored by earthy green pine resins, galbanum and vetiver. There is a green tone to the floral character of this musk fragrance but the blending is subtle and sublime and the musk is quite light. The base has a very soft use of amber and other wood notes for grounding but is hardly noticeable as woods or anything other than a point of punctuation. The overall aroma of Siberian Musk is incredibly light but very active floral musk with green notes that reach upward through flourishes of orange blossom and deer musk creating paisley patterns of aromatic presence. There is an exuberance and intensity but it is held neatly within resinous boundaries with very little powder which is unusual for a musk scent. The presence of deer musk is very slight in the bottle I received. I have been the owner of a precious bottle of deer musk raw extraction - in years past - almost nuclear in potency musk, and I realize that the amount of musk used in this preparation is very judiciously applied, but also delicately appropriate for this scent.

Overall, Siberian Musk is a work of precise balance with an
outgoing extrovert personality but maintains a nearly weightless floral musk heart. This fragrance is not a heavy musk perfume and there are no dirty tones at all as the fragrance seems to always maintain a lighter than air attitude. Although it is unisex I can see where Siberian Musk might appeal to women more, although any man can pull this off if he is prepared to be a part of an artistic statement. Think brightly colored paisley, and pure joy!
21st August, 2017

Neroli Ad Astra by Parfumerie Generale

Genre: Citrus

I don’t have a lot to say about this one, as I found it disappointing coming from Pierre Guillaume, a nose whose work I often enjoy. To me Neroli ad Astra seems to be a one-dimensional soapy neroli composition, without the finesse that marks the best of this breed – say Czech & Speake Neroli. For all I know, some fine materials may have gone into this, but the neroli note is so harsh as to smell chemical, and it is not helped by a detergent-like white musk drydown. If you like your neroli unadorned and smelling strongly of soap, this may be for you. Otherwise, I’d say stay away.

As a footnote, this bears no discernable resemblance to the indolic white floral Louanges Profanes, with which it inexplicably shares a series number.
21st August, 2017
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Oud Zen by Areej le Doré

Oud Zen is a smokey woods fragrance that is raw and resinous at opening and very spicy with a sandpaper textured saffron attar that takes complete control of the woods aroma and is aggressive in its boldness. As the fragrance evolves, subtleties of sandalwood and slight hints of agarwood emerge softening and carving down the hard edges of the dangerous smoked wild side of this resinous wood. Castoreum more than Civet (don't smell civet) adds a salty dryness to the base and so the woods receive a sueded leathery surface, but still it is all wood here. After hours on skin the resins of the woods loose their pinene character and become more a soft easy Indian oudh still with strong mixed wood and light sandalwood character. When I think of Zen I envision a gentle surrendered, "no mind" or zen mind quality, peaceful gardens; but I really don't see those qualities in this perfume so I object to the name a bit. Oud Zen reminds me more of an out of control jaunt careening down a wild mountain forest pathway threatening disaster at every turn but slowly leveling out onto a dry dusty plane. The zen outcome of this rough ride signals good fortune awaiting the wearer of Oud Zen.
21st August, 2017

Siberian Musk by Areej le Doré

Gratitude.

I can't remember the last time a fragrance made me feel grateful but that's exactly how I feel every time I catch a whiff of Siberian Musk. Grateful that I managed to snag a bottle for the privilege to wear it a little less sparringly. Grateful to fellow perfume-lovers Starblind and ClaireV for bringing it to my attention. Grateful to Russian Adam for pulling all the stops to bring us this scintillating gem.

Siberian Musk opens somewhat conventionally with a limey cocktail of juicy citruses cut by a shot of smoky pine. The musk arrives shortly with its entourage and as it takes centrestage, no doubt remains as to who the superstar of the show really is.

It seems Russian Adam have taken a lighthanded approach in crafting Siberian Musk. The featured deer musk is surprisingly nowhere near as animalic as I initially expected; it smells more like the fur of a ragdoll basking in the sun after a bath. If you're big into skanky or fiercely animalic musks this could potentially be a major source of disappointment. But not for me, thankfully, though it is hard to adequately describe a scent that moves me on such a visceral level.

If I may borrow an analogy, think of the finest green chypre you have ever known and layer it over the plushest most comforting natural musk you can imagine. That is the essence of Siberian Musk. Wearing 4-5 full sprays provides an unforgettable experience akin to luxuriating in the warm embrace of the softest most magnificent sable cloaks still redolent of a classic chypre worn the day before (at the Tsar's coronation, I might add).

Some lucky owners claim they get insane longevity with Siberian Musk but on my skin and in this humidity I only get 6-8 hours on average, the musk weaving in and out leaving traces of foliage and orange blossoms for the first 3-4 hours before petering out to a faintly mossy-herbal chypre-like drydown. But you won't hear me complaining. Get some on my clothes and I stay in business for a good 24.

For me Siberian Musk is one of those rare fragrances that illustrate why great fragrances are worn rather than simply applied on. This is the fragrance Roja Dove would probably kill to have in his line up, priced upwards of $5,000 and of course, exclusive to Harrod's. Sorry, Monsieur Roja, all 100 bottles were already sold out. And the queue for version 2.0 seems to be getting longer by the day.

2017 may not be over yet but a few of us already know what the best fragrance find of the year is going to be.
21st August, 2017

Ottoman Empire by Areej le Doré

There are lots of notes listed and Ottoman Empire is different almost every time I wear it so there is an unsettling feel about it for me. But I I think it is important to faithfully describe what I smell to give some guidance for others who may be considering purchasing a sample or bottle. As with most artisanal perfumes there are batch variations so I advise sampling before buying.

Ottoman Empire comes down to three basic movements or essential activities that interplay within the scent in a separate but equal way. These are: (1) Rose essence, (2) Saffron attar, (3) Amber/Oud/Myrrh. I combine amber, oud and myrrh because the amber base described as "Crude Amber Resin" to my nose gathers all of the similar qualities of oud, myrrh and dark amber notes unto itself into a thicket of chunky, densely compact amber woods. This Amber base is such a prominent part of the scent that it becomes the essential character of Ottoman Empire, at least to me. I smell the rose at the opening but to smell it after that you must pull back some distance because the rose is so light and ethereal, even though quite beautiful, it is separated from the central theme of the scent like a auric cloud resting gently above the physicality of Ottoman Empire which does battle on firm ground below. Perhaps the rose needs more of a bridge to the saffron attar or amber? The myrrh infused amber has a slight but noticeable oud component and as I described above feels like a thicket of dense brown amber/myrrh/oud.

Then there is the saffron attar. Shooting through the brown thicket of amber darkness are shocks of bright saffron attar. The saffron as an attar is already assembled tightly and strongly bound to other attar ingredients of sandalwood, patchouli, some florals - jasmine, etc.? and stays within its saffron attar identity. This is a good thing as it makes a bold statement and I really like saffron attar. The saffron does not blend with the rose into a rose/saffron like so many saffron rose perfumes accomplish, and while that is a nice note combination, the saffron here retains a saffron attar sharpness and shoots through the density of the amber body of the fragrance with distinct saffron attar precision. It is almost as if thee perfume is an emulsion of parts rather than a blend of notes.

In short this is a 3 part fragrance of (1) amber/myrrh/oud dense resinous mass, along with (2) golden shocks of saffron evenly dispersed throughout, (3) covered in a halo of radiating rose which after the opening does get lost in the outer orbital layer. The three elements keep their separateness allowing the wearer to occasionally find bits of each but maintain their unity through a quantum attraction of sorts. I like Ottoman Empire, but there is something in the fragrance that is awaiting resolution and this keeps me from giving it top marks. It is in the 7 of 10 star category by my taste. I greatly enjoy rose essence, and saffron attar is a favorite, but the amber base is too dense for my taste. The parts do not merge or bridge very well to each other. Overall the perfume is quite an accomplishment and I do like it but it feels like a work in progress to me.
21st August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Dolce Floral Drops by Dolce & Gabbana

This opening blast is just delicious: white florals galore, mainly daffodil, water lily, whiffs of oleander and a good lashing of neroli- the latter supplying added brightness.

The drydown remains floral and bright, amaryllis and more wather lily. Unfortunately, that second have sees a drop in intensity and quality, with nonspecific and overly synthetic musky and woodsy notes dominating - surely D & G can do better than that!

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

The beautiful first part lets it cross the line to a positive score. The rest is disappointing silence. 3.25/5.
21st August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Australian Sandalwood by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

The sandal impression is there from beginning to end, very natural and at later stages varies by the addition of a mildly peppery-spicy restrained undertone. Unlike many other sandalwood scents, this one has no significant cedar component on my skin.

The sillage is moderate, the projection limited and the longevity is five hours.

Whilst possibly lacking the subtle refinement of some of the classic sandalwood creations, this lovely spring scent can surely stand its own. Very natural and pure and well made - after Le Labo others are resorting to the Australian stuff with good success. Linear in concept, it is sufficiently nuanced to impress even though it has only one major ingredient; the latter being, however, of high quality. 3.25/5.
21st August, 2017

Rose Gold by Ormonde Jayne

Genre: Floral Oriental

Rose Gold opens on a lovely, juicy bergamot top note, which is soon painted over with a rich, expensive-smelling taifi rose of impressive depth and complexity. Moderately indolic jasmine, labdanum, and a touch of medicinal oudh support the rose in a deep, jammy, winey accord that my nose finds highly appealing. The entire composition is rounded off by a very smooth, plush sandalwood note. If all of this sounds potentially dense and weighty, it’s not. While Rose Gold is undeniably potent, it’s also surprisingly transparent, given its concentration (parfum) and its content.

Stylistically, Rose Gold bears comparison to woody rose fragrances like Amouage’s Lyric Man and Lyric Woman, Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, and Grès’s defunct Cabaret. At times it is even distantly reminiscent of Guerlain’s classic Nehéma, though Rose Gold seems to me sweeter and fruitier than any of the aforementioned. Besides being quite potent, Rose Gold is durable and tenacious, with an appealingly plush drydown of sandalwood and musk (ambrette?) that lingers for hours on the skin. All in all, a very pleasing addition to Geza Shoen’s growing portfolio for Ormonde Jayne.
20th August, 2017

Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir

Genre: Green Floral

Ostensibly a tuberose, though I doubt admirers of Fracas, Carnal Flower, or even Tubereuse Criminelle are going to know what to make of Nuit de Bakelite. This is one profoundly strange perfume. It opens on a harsh accord of galbanum, angelica (a bit like celery stem), and violet leaf, underpinned by something that smells to me like the musty funk of fenugreek, though no such thing is listed in the pyramid. This challenging green opening accord is softened only slightly as Nuit de Bakelite’s floral notes emerge. The tuberose, when it arrives, has been stripped of all its sweet, indolic character, and instead radiates a kind of venomous, narcotic aura. It is accompanied by a rooty iris and potent karo karounde, a note familiar from L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Timbuktu. Indeed, the karo karounde note is conspicuous enough to conjure Timbuktu for a moment, even though Nuit de Bakelite travels in a very different direction. The overall impression is powerfully bitter, green, and exotic, more incense-like to me than conventionally floral. In character the closest relative that comes to mind, besides the aforementioned Timbuktu, is Pierre Guillaume’s Papyrus de Ciane, which while quite distinctly softer grained, is similarly green and bitter in its general style. In its refusal to yield an ounce of sweetness, Nuit de Bakelite is also reminiscent of Frédéric Malle's French Lover/Bois d'Orage, though the two do not smell particularly alike.

Performance-wise, Nuit de Bakelite is fiendishly potent and tenacious. The drawer in which I kept my sample still smells of Nuit de Bakelite weeks after I’ve removed it. My 19 year-old daughter walked into the house while I was wearing a dabbed-on sample for evaluation, pulled an expression of disgust, such as only a teenager can, and demanded to know “What is that smell?” I asked what it was she was smelling, and she replied “Vegetables. Rotting vegetables.” Needless to say, not everybody is going to like Nuit de Bakelite. I’m not sure that I do. I’m going to have to lump it with Timbuktu and Bertrand Duchaufour’s Sienne l’Hiver among fragrances I can admire for their quality more than I can like. I give this a reluctant thumbs up, for unlike, say, Sécrétions Magnifiques, it’s weird, but it’s not disgusting.
20th August, 2017

Satine by Lalique

This is a sweet powdery floral scent feeling velvet and warm on skin. It serves as an ideal perfume for all-year-around. Reminds me of Amour by Kenzo ...a sweet floriental fragrance.
20th August, 2017
JBS1 Show all reviews
United States

Ottoman Empire by Areej le Doré

The house of Feel Oud and Areej le Dore is so exciting . We have someone who goes to remote locations for resourcing material , who has his own distilling process , who has wonderful communication with the fragrance community, and has a profound understanding in bringing what frag heads have desired for some time, excellence in all categories when it comes to perfumery. I honestly believe that the best is yet to come when it comes to AreeJ le Dore and Feel Oud.
I only have a 10 ml of Ottoman Empire, but I hope to acquire a full bottle soon.
I simple love it.
20th August, 2017

Qatar by Roja Dove

Genre: Floral Oriental

Qatar opens on a very sweet orange rind top note that is soon flanked by a syrupy peach and berry accord that will persist through much of the scent’s development. Jasmine, intensely sweet, powdery amber, and rose emerge alongside the fruit syrup to form the spine of Qatar’s fruity gourmand floral oriental structure. As I wear this scent, there emerges a nagging sense of familiarity about its loud, somewhat crass, syrupy sweet gourmand texture. Roja Dove has been called a derivative house, and at best its fragrances are classicizing in their style. If derivative, Qatar seems vaguely derivative of the loud, sweet berries and candyfloss part of Angel, without the dissonant woody patchouli accord that lends Angel its androgynous sense of humor and most of its interest.

The Roja Dove press material for Qatar goes on at some length about ambergris, but if there’s an ambergris reconstruction lurking somewhere in Qatar, it’s buried deeply under the tide of sweet fruit syrup. By this (sweet) point (sweet sweet) you may be (sweet sweet) detecting a (sweet) theme (sweet sweet) to this (sweet sweet sweet) review. Qatar is a rather one dimensionally sweet fragrance for most of its development, and while I suspect that some fine materials went into its production, this style of fragrance can’t help but smell somewhat banal and cheap. And who, I ask, is going to pay $330 US per once to smell cheap?

On the bright side, those who demand performance will certainly be satisfied with Qatar. Its power is fully in line with its extrait concentration, and projection is far-flung. Qatar is tenacious and persists for hour upon hour, pumping out fluorescent pink fruity-floral amber in great, heaving waves around the wearer. When Qatar eventually reaches its drydown, things actually get more interesting, with the emergence of some dark woody notes, labdanum, and birch tar, but by that point I admit that I’ve lost interest. I suppose if you’re a fan of the sort of fruity florals marketed to teenage girls, but can’t find anything strong or lasting enough to satisfy your fancy, Qatar may be for you. Otherwise, I’m not sure I understand the point.
20th August, 2017
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Oumma by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777

A deep dark rose and incense oud fragrance. The darkness and mystery of Oumma is a palpable presence - smokey and intimidating with its darkness. The notes listed elsewhere are more accurate than those listed here: Egyptian jasmine, Moroccan rose, Peruvian balsam, balsam tolu, ashes of cade, Burmese oud, nagarmotha. The cade and nagarmotha really ground the powerful rose/oud of this fragrance. Excellent!
20th August, 2017

L'Homme Accompli by Divine

Genre: Leather

I have to hand it to Divine: this outfit has taken great care with their line. They’ve introduced something like a dozen fragrances over roughly three decades, and there’s been little if any dross among those offerings. L’Homme Accompli extends the tradition of L’Homme Sage and L’Homme de Coeur in presenting a comparatively sophisticated, understated, yet complex fragrance, apparently aimed at the man with discerning tastes and a nose for quality. While L’Homme Sage is a spicy woody oriental and L’Homme de Coeur is a masculine iris that makes Dior Homme look positively crass by comparison, L’Homme Accompli is a clean, suave leather scent that can stand without shame alongside Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather and Helmut Lang’s Cuiron.

After the briefest citrus flourish of an opening, L’Homme Accompli moves directly into its central leather accord, which is relatively dry, crisp, and transparent. This is not the plush leather of Chanel’s Cuir de Russie, the animalic leather of Montale’s Aoud Cuir d’Arabie, or the dense, fruity leather of Knize Ten. Nor is it the kind of smoky, tarry leather Andy Tauer gives us in Lonestar Memories. I come back to Lang’s Cuiron and Byredo’s recent La Botte, with their clear, clean leather accords, as analogs. L’Homme Accompli’s leather shows signs of birch tar, but also some violet leaf, vetiver, and cedar. The overall transparency and the use of violet leaf and vetiver draw a distant parallel to Heeley’s delightful Cuir Pleine Fleur, but L’Homme Accompli is much more of a conventional, straightforward leather composition, modern not in its novelty of structure but in its lightness and clarity of texture. L’Homme Accompli is largely linear in its development, with moderate power and projection over a period of several hours. Those seeking a leather powerhouse will have to look elsewhere, but L’Homme Accompli is perfectly balanced for daily wear. The drydown, when it arrives, consists largely of cedar and vetiver, and feels smooth and natural. All told, an attractive, eminently wearable scent that ought to make plenty of friends among those who enjoy leather fragrances.
19th August, 2017 (last edited: 20th August, 2017)

Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

This uses the same saffron as L'Agent Provocateur, which can be fun. They're similar enough to be confusing during moments when the saffron is strongest, but the general feeling of the opening of L'Agent Provocateur is better for me, with its rose notes. I don't think there's much oud in this, but what there is doesn't work as well with the saffron.

The base is the scratchy synthetic ambery woods I dislike, and it will not wash off.
19th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Oyédo by Diptyque

An orangey opening mixed with a touch of lemon, a bit sweetened and not very bright, more like a lemon curd, is at the beginning of the top notes.

Son this darkens a bit, with a herbal tone, mainly thyme, appearing in the middle phase. Then a crisp aroma of a metallic fizziness is added in, which is quite an unusual note that gives this composition a rather unique touch.

This is followed by a woodsy development that makes an attempt at a sandalwood impression - the latter is not particularly successful.

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

A spring scent with quite an original touch, wearable also on cooler summer days, which is marred by heart and base notes that are overly synthetic and at times too forced. Overall not bad due to an original approach, but short of being truly convincing. 2.75/5.
19th August, 2017

Mélodie de L'Amour by Parfums Dusita

Big, in-your-face sweet white floral bomb, which slowly morphs into…petrol, with an underlying faint plastic note, followed by a very heavy, almost rotting fruit sort of smell (sweet and sour and dank) with a soft hint of the jasmine and a smidge of something metallic. There’s quite a lot going on with this actually. But the petrol note just seemed to take over on me, and that’s where it stayed, and while I actually don’t mind the smell of petrol, I don’t want to wear it as a perfume. Longevity, on me at least, is poor – this had pretty much vanished after two hours. I would love to see what this is like on someone else though – the notes are so lovely, but on me, it just doesn’t work. I'm giving it a neutral though, because it has been an interesting ride seeing how it has evolved.
19th August, 2017

Jicky by Guerlain

This makes me think of Heritage, which I absolutely adore, except in this I find the lavender much more pronounced. It’s also quite herby. I totally get the sophisticated, dapper old man vibe – complete with natty waistcoat, discreet but interesting bow tie, and immaculately coiffed hair. There’s something deliciously cool about this – I could just imagine spritzing this in the heat of summer, after a refreshing dip in the pool or a nice cool shower. I asked my husband to have a sniff of this, and he said that it makes him think of Morocco, because of the spices. I like this, a lot, but not as much as Shalimar.
19th August, 2017

Reflection Man by Amouage

A nice floral musky fragrance for a formal occasion IMO. It is high quality and it is long lasting and projects well for up to 4 hours with my experience. For the price I would give it one less star. So 4 out of 5. It's just missing that little something to push it into 5 star range. Overall a winner but try before you buy. Enjoy!
18th August, 2017

Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Not terrible, fine even, but on the boring side, fresh and summery. The listed note of musky woods sounds right, something to hang the citrus on, but uninspiring, maybe even slightly cloying.
18th August, 2017

Genghis Khan by Marc de la Morandiere

Stardate 20170818:

Reformulated EDP version in the old style bottle:

I do not know how different this is from the vintage but AFAIK the EDP in old style bottle is pretty close to original.

I sought this one out cause it is liked by many and is hyped. I must say this is one of the bigger disappointments I have had in this hobby.
Starts out with spices but then a discordant sour note emerges and destroys it. After a while the sourness subsides giving way to spices,patch and some sweet amber.
All in all a pretty average fragrance. Definitely not worth the price.
Neutral to Thumbs down.
18th August, 2017

R by Révillon

Stardate 20170818:

A good cheapie. It has everything - citrus, leather, oriental, powder. Not easy to pull off but R does it. It knows how to balance them all.
Colin Maillard review is how I feel about it.
18th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren

The freshish, slightly ozonic opening soon takes on a slightly green undertone; the latter being undelined by a slightly juniper-berry boozy characteristic.

The drydown turns a bit sweetish-spicy with cardamom and a nonspecific woodsy tilt, and at a later stage a very soft patchouli develops that lasts right until the end.

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

Less impressive than the original Polo, more generic but with a good performance - overall this is not bad but does not make the cut to achieve a positive score. 2.75/5.
18th August, 2017

Vétiver Moloko by Ex Nihilo

A rare gem. The opening is wonderful. The vetiver is present from the beginning. I'm picking up olibanum as well, although it's not in the listed notes. This fragrance is well made and wears very comfortably. Excellent longevity and sillage, but not offensive to those around you. It draws people in. This would be an excellent addition to any wardrobe. I've tried two Ex Nihilo fragrances now, this one and Amber Sky. Both are ridiculously nice, but extremely expensive. At least you're getting a beautiful experience while wearing this, which is the whole point of wearing a fragrance. I want this, but I'll have to pony up some serious dough to get it. Two thumbs up as high as possible!
18th August, 2017

Vivage by Louis Féraud

This must be one of the last undiscovered gems out there. A classic floribunda with a rich chypre base, Vivage approximates an offering from an 80s top-tier design house. It was crafted by Jean-Pierre Bethouart, the perfumer of such iconic fragrances as the Boucheron signature scents for women and men, Ange e Demon (edp and, my favorite, extrait),and Caron's Parfum Sacre. Like its siblings, Vivage is a class act, as are Louis Feraud's other collaborations with Avon in the 80s: Fantasque, Cote d"Azur, & Jour.

My vintage new bottle of Eau de Cologne starts off with a bright woody note. The grapefruit adds an unusual and refreshing twist to the top. The Pink Pepper is nothing like the obnoxious and synthetic feeling PP that abounds in today's fruitchoulis.

The heart surprises with a blast of powdery florals, dominated by cherry blossom & heliotrope contrasted with ripe tart fruit & beeswax.

The woody notes persevere throughout, and this fragrance becomes linear after about 15 minutes. The sillage is big and the longevity absurd- all day, as an Avon fragrance should perform! Vivage touts the classic Avon musk base, but it is carried oh-so-beautifully by an unexpected host of quality ingredients. Well worth the $15 a bottle can be found for.
18th August, 2017

Hawaiian Vanilla by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is my favorite from Demeter. A very fruity vanilla, not sweet, but fresh. I just wish sillage was better. I got a huge bottle and reapply often. It's oily.
18th August, 2017

Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I had been eager to try this one, but I can't say I'm blown away. I found a good deal on a 1 oz. I can't see buying the 50ml or 100ml though I need to give it a few more wears to properly assess it.

I get a Sycomore vibe from the pepper and green sharp vetiver combo (and probably cedar). I found it in Bois d'Ombrie recently as well. Fortunately, this is a vibe I really enjoy. Despite being from 2004, Timbuktu has a dated quality, though I can't pinpoint where this is coming from. Perhaps, the opening fruit.

Overall, this is a pleasant fragrance. It's not an overpowering and longlasting fragrance. The drydown which stays close to the skin is really nice. Although not in the notes breakdown, it seems like there is a bit of goaty labdanum in there. Also, I don't get enough of the smokiness/incense that Duchaufour is known for. I would go elsewhere for that (CdG or Jubilation).
17th August, 2017

Bulgari Man Black Orient by Bulgari

A spicy take on the Bulgari Man series. The spices in the opening are nice and provide a richness and perceived higher-quality smell that the other flankers do not have. Later, it closely resembles the original Man DNA, but still has some spiciness left to differentiate.

Projection is average but better than a skin scent. Also, lasts all work day, so pretty good performance overall.
17th August, 2017

Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

Tsar is an honest, good fougere, the likes of which are disappearing one by one these days. There's the traditional bergamot-lavender-oakmoss structure, but Tsar distinguishes itself with an array of fresh, green notes that are slightly grassy-coniferous than herbal. The bright, vivid opening of bergamot and lavender, tinged with neroli, leads to an aromatic phase that persists over a few hours. It is fresh, delightfully reminiscent of soap, yet retains a surprising crisp dryness. The oakmoss is discernible, though somewhat toned down, and together with patchouli and woods comprise an abstract accord that concludes the final transformation, where the fresh green aspects are still retained. It seems to have very little leathery aspect, if any. Tsar has an appreciable duration of about seven hours and a persistent gentlemanly sillage.

Tsar's neighbours could be Jazz (less green, more abstract and complex), Duc de Vervins (less fresh, more leathery) and Esencia (more woody and coniferous). Tsar could be a classic white shirt fragrance, though personally its charms are best experienced at leisure. I tend to think of Tsar as uplifting, uncomplicated, handsome, authentic, wholesome, more traditional than conservative, and a wardrobe staple for the discerning noses.

4/5
17th August, 2017
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