Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 140039

Legend Night by Montblanc

Slightly disappointed, I was in my imagination expecting something more original and frankly conceptually closer to a better appointed new Azzaro Intense Parfum or further. The previous reviewers quite hit the spot since I get amberish/slightly gourmandish overtones on the regular "fizzier" Legend-base (still dominant in its main accord of citrus, greens, fruits, patchouli and tonka). The spicy side is not exclusively represented by cardamom since I detect cloves or nutmeg as well. I quite agree on that Legend Night conjures more than vaguely scents a la Nina Ricci Mamoire d'Homme with lot of elements in common with well known further scents a la Baldessarini Ambre', Amouage Reflection Men, Gaultier Le Beau Male, Ysl Body Kouros, La Nuit de L'Homme, Polo Black and funther. The juice combines the fizzy fruity (somewhat sporty) elements of the "regular Legend" (vaguely floral and tart) with a sweeter side represented by sweet ambroxan, spices and vanilla. Cardamom still provides a scratchy peppery fluidier undertone. Lovely bottle.
13th December, 2017

JHL by Aramis

I'm sampling what I think is vintage Aramis JHL, and enjoying it tremendously, which is typical for me sampling Aramis fragrances. I don't know if it's something I would wear often if I had a bottle - maybe - but it's a delicious, mouthwatering sampling experience. Old-school goodness, warm and spicy, masculine floral. I don't see moss listed, but it smells mossy to me, with its luscious texture.

Not to detract from how fantastic this is, but to remind myself what it smells like, somewhat: the best-smelling mens' deodorants from the 1980s smelled like rip offs of this, or tributes to it - the Speed Stick by Mennen with the brown cap, the spicy one, comes to mind.

What seemingly makes this perfume so great is some animalic component, I think musk. As much as I like this, I would want to get a great deal on the original version to buy a bottle - I don't think it's something I would wear often. I get more joy from the opening and early stages than the base.
13th December, 2017

No. 5 by Chanel

I really wanted to like this. I tried it several times and to no avail. It just doesn't smell good on me. Unfortunately instead of getting the florals in the heart notes or the woods, amber, vanilla etc in the base, I just get a big ole dose of Civet that shines through and trust me, it is not a pleasant scent. I wanted to like and wear it because it reminded me of my mother, but it doesn't smell on me the way it did on her. I am going to have to give this away to someone and hope it smells good on them.
13th December, 2017
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Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

I had this in the 1990's. Nice for the time but it just didn't do it for me. I don't believe it smells dated just not my cup of tea. It's strong from the start and the fuel smell is a non starter for me. I do like the woody dry down but the opening is just a terrible experience for me. Overall neutral.
13th December, 2017

Escada pour Homme Light Silver Edition by Escada

This is nice enough after a very promising beginning.
I get exactly the same opening as above. Grapefruit apple mint. Refreshing not overpowering. Then in the blink of an eye the freshness recedes last thing to go being the apple to be replaced by violet and patchouli hence slightly cloying. Not for me but would make a safe work fragrance and perhaps be nicer with different skin chemistry.
Its not cheap!

Fragrance: 3/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 2/5
13th December, 2017

Amour Amour by Jean Patou

Amour Amour was created as part of a trilogy of perfumes dedicated to the progress of love, as everyone knows, but even when taken on its own, Amour Amour tells a complicated story, one that I feel I am just beginning to understand. I have the parfum, probably dating to the 1960-70’s. Amour Amour was discontinued in 1974 and briefly reissued in 1984, but I have not tested that later version.

Amour Amour’s note list is a veritable cornucopia, but lists cannot convey the true personality of a perfume, and Amour Amour is a luxurious and romantic bouquet. I do not perceive any hesperidic sourness, herbs, or leafiness as Amour Amour unfolds on the skin, just plush, dewy flowers, with ylang ylang, violet, and rose most evident to me, along with some good orris. I’ve compared Amour Amour side by side to other vintage floral compositions, all in parfum formulations, and I was surprised to see how closely Amour Amour resembled Francois Coty’s Paris (1923), launched two years earlier. It's also very clear that Almeras reused certain floral materials from Amour Amour when he constructed Joy for Patou five years later. The resplendent rose is the same, but Joy parfum is a much more formal and focused composition than Amour Amour, with a potent animalic base that Amour Amour lacks, although there is a subtle warm muskiness in Amour Amour that supports the floral notes and adds depth. Heliotrope or violets, along with a delicious touch of sweetness but not, thank heavens, a realistic strawberry note, make Amour Amour feel more youthful and, it must be said, more joyful than Joy. Wearing Amour Amour feels like a simple pleasure, but this is a carefully calibrated, masterful composition.
13th December, 2017

Les Elixirs Charnels - Floral Romantique by Guerlain

Charmingly alive,
Flowers, fruits and foliage
Go for a picnic.
13th December, 2017

Pino Silvestre by Silvestre

A lot has been spoken on behalf of this scent, and several Italian friends tell me it's about as ubiquitous in their home country as Old Spice is in the US. That statement alone had me approach Pino Silvestri with some trepidation because anything that widespread is bound to be downmarketed into oblivion, with the personality of a Windex bottle. Luckily, this is not the case at all with Pino, and it's quite the shocker as it does not smell at all like it's name or packaging would have one believe. First thing's first about Pino Silvestri: the current IP holder of the fragrance (Mavive S.p.a)has probably done the most of the aforementioned speaking on behalf of this scent, and the current website/packaging for the scent treats the stuff like it's "Blood from the Golden Child" or something, which is kinda scary and funny at the same time. "The purest tears trickle onto the pine cones releasing the fresh scent of the pine needles intense and balmy fragrance" is but one hyperbolic snippet to be found on the box, and there's plenty more where it came from both there and on the website for the stuff. Let me tell ya, the actual product is nowhere near as mystifying as that, but I'm sure you've already guessed as much.

Pino Silvestri does indeed smell like pine, but not singularly, and not in a manner that reminds you of cleansers such as Pine-Sol, or the stuff you spray on artificial Christmas trees. Granted, pine is pine so you'd better like it if you're even thinking about trying this stuff, but built around that pine heart note is so much more. The stuff is almost built like a fougère but lacks some of the key notes to define it as such, and really makes me think of Penhaligon's Bleheim Bouquet or Avon's Windjammer in that it has a very strong peppery accord. Pino Silvestri does not actually contain any black pepper like those other two, but the combination of sage and geranium around the pine, plus the rather up-front bergamot, and cedarwood down in the base all just swirl into something peppery and bold anyway. The whole thing wears like a lovely alert and fresh scent for the man that needs all the boost he can get beyond his coffee to perk up, and although this completely murders any potential in the romance or evening wear department, it does make Pino Silvestri a very good shaving buddy and work scent. If you live in an area where pine is plentiful, like my Pacific Northwest home, this is almost a shoe-in scent for your collection, especially for the Trader Joe's and R.E.I.-shopping types that drive muddy Subarus and wear sandals in the winter.

Pino won't appeal to the folks who want sophistication, nor will it really be relevant to the fans of sweet or cool scents, as it's neither a club-hopping oriental/gourmand nor a sporty/blue gym scent. It is quite fresh, but a different kind of by-gone outdoorsy freshness that used to be how "bracing" sport scents of the 50's, 60's, and 70's were made, pretty much right up to the advent of the aquatic in the late 80's. Pino Silvestri has a huge line of other products to fill one's bathroom and shower stall, as this stuff is quite the institution in Italy as mentioned before, plus has the prerequisite flankers such a popular commercial scent would need to cast a wider net. It's a really brisk scent for the winter holidays, again due to it's pine construction, and might wear good in all other seasons save maybe the dead heat of summer, where it fails to really cool the senses, disappearing under high humidity instead. If you're a fan of pine and like the idea of a pine-laced day wear scent that won't really impress or offend, then this is a cheap thrill, but otherwise, it's not really much more than the sum of it's fairly simple parts. Oh by the way, you can't reuse the bottle as a Christmas ornament, sorry. Good stuff!
13th December, 2017

Une Ville, un Parfum : London by Guerlain

Why doesn't anyone note the leather here?

It's a jammy rose with rhubarb, but the leather is clear. It's even noted on the colorful map in the box.

Clearly a unisex. The bottle is a bit uninspired: a glass rectangle with a platinum image of Tower Bridge.

Good longevity and very unique. I don't understand the dislike of this. I bought a backup and, sure enough, it disappeared.
13th December, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Linden by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is indeed a credible rendering of the linden fragrance as it is exuded by linden blossoms.

A bit flatter than the originals, this is a fairly restrained floral blossom aroma, of discrete sweetness and not at all heavy. On the contrary, this Demeter is more on the airy and elegant side.

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

Although rather linear in its development, this is a pleasant tree blossom creation. 3.25/5.
13th December, 2017

Just Rock! pour Lui by Zadig & Voltaire

Turbulent, dusty/incensey and peppery-intoxicating woody-oriental with a woody-ambery-incensey warm sweetish ending, a sort of V&R Spicebomb's far parent with a trendy-chic inebriating development a la One Million, Roccobarocco Extraordinary Man, Ted Lapidus Black Soul or stuffs like those. Sultry. Nuclear performances. Overly sweetish at the end on my skin.
13th December, 2017

Black Velvet Café by 4160 Tuesdays

Well done - very well done. Definitely a woody, leather and tobacco accord. Reminds me of the pubs before they banned smoking inside - the pubs with all the dark and old wooden benches, tables, and corner seating with the leather backs and seating.

Opens with a slight band-aid tinge but quickly settles down. I did not detect any coffee notes at all on me, but heavy on the leather.

While not my usual cup of tea, I can appreciate it for what it is. Great longevity, a little went a very long way.
12th December, 2017

Verdon by L'Occitane

You cannot fool moi,
Acqua di Giò, despite your
Excellent disguise!
12th December, 2017
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Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

An average greeny woody male fragrance.
Not that nice but also inoffensive. Perhaps may have a result with the right skin chemistry.
The patchouli and geranium wafting around in the background undoes it for me.

Fragrance: 3/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
12th December, 2017

Zegna Intenso by Ermenegildo Zegna

Average citrus opening slightly effeminate mixed with pepper which then becomes the main note. Pepper , pepper, more pepper, gets up your nose pepper.
Zegna think they can sell this like this and justify it with the moniker 'Intense?' Why not just sell essence of chilli or garlic? The idea is to create a fragrance. Not just reproduce one acrid ingredient.

Fragrance: 1/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
12th December, 2017

Erolfa by Creed

This is a peppery yet effeminate aquatic. A confused transgender as such it could still justify itself on quality alone depending on taste but it's not even a particularly nice smell.
For me who is looking for masculine or worst a great unisex that has good skin chemistry with me this is a complete waste of time and money.
Far superior to this in every way is Heeley's Sel Marine which is nice enough although its Yuzu is even better. The ultimate is Profumum Aqua Di Sale if you want this sort of thing.

Fragrance: 2/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 3/5 -wish it were less.

12th December, 2017

Epic Man by Amouage

Stardate 20171212:
Vintage Version:

Lies somewhere between Lyric and Jubilation.
Best of both world.
The pepper note up top goes well with frankincense and cardamom. Settles down to a nice musky leather and incense.
Not as sweet as Lyric and not as baroque as XXV.
FBW
12th December, 2017

Lyric Man by Amouage

Stardate 20171212:

Vintage version:
Starts a bit sour. Lime is listed in topnotes so maybe that is it. Smells more like Yogurt sour. This is not my favourite part.
In an hour the rose and nutmeg rise through the sourness and make this very pleasant. Musk and Vanilla round out the pine /lavendar.
I like this one except for that sour note up top.
Has the signature incense base.
12th December, 2017

A*Men Kryptomint by Thierry Mugler

A minty version of the original IMO. Nice longevity and projection. Would work well in most settings and seasons. Overall a thumbs up but enough with the flankers already lol.
12th December, 2017

Rose of Kali by Neil Morris Fragrances

A fragrance that could have been created in the 1900's - the 10's or 20's. An old-fashioned style rose perfume. The rose is musty, dusty, and dry. It was odd that the chocolate appeared with the top notes, when it is supposedly a base note. I don't care. I enjoyed that. What makes this so musty is probably the other players. Labdanum, incense, myrrh, patchouli. How ever perfume is made, is still a mystery to me. Mr. Morris nailed this one. I wear this and get a false memory: Somewhere in the distant past, in a room with magenta-colored walls. Dimly lit with ornate brass, gaslight fixtures, lascivious acts - this room is in a brothel. This is probably a scene from a movie I've viewed. This Rose of Kali, a turn of the century impersonator, now a modern reverie.
12th December, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Fig Leaf by Demeter Fragrance Library

The opening presents what is a decent attempt at fig leaves, but there is also the aroma of the fruit - more the dried fruit than the fresh, green version on my skin. The greenness of the leaves comes out nicely initially, but it gets lost a bit in the later stages of the development of this composition. This all is blended quite nicely.

This Demeter has thus more than one layer to it, and with time they both vary in the ratio of which they contribute to the whole.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and seven hours of longevity on me.

A prima facie agreeable impression of fig leaves, but it is marred by being overly synthetic, and at times unpleasantly so. Still, overall not bad. No fig leaf needed to hide this one. 2.75/5.
12th December, 2017

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

Givenchy Gentleman is for exactly who's it's labelled: gentlemen. It's the uptown middle-manager to Guerlain Vetiver's front-line salesman, the sophisticated alternative to the wrung-hands Vetiver accords that were popular a decade or so before it's creation. It actually marries this vetiver accord with patchouli in it's heart, but the patchouli just slightly bumps it out of the way in terms of presence, making many consider this primarily a patchouli scent. It was the second great masculine Givenchy created after releasing Monsieur Givenchy at the tail-end of the 50's. Male chypres were all the rage in higher circles throughout the mid century, but were replaced by fougères as the mainstay of designer men's fragrance by the end of the 60's, undoubtedly as the mass-market cosmetic corps started taking bigger bites of the market once controlled by designers; Givenchy Gentleman however, was no chypre, nor was it a fougère. Just like the aforementioned Guerlain Vetiver, Givenchy Gentleman was built like a leather fragrance, and unlike Vetiver, actually contains a Russian leather note in the base, but to call this a leather scent is a huge injustice as in this context it's merely a dry-smelling fixative for what floats on top.

Givenchy Gentleman also contains civet, much like the chypres Givenchy was leaving behind with this truly abstract and unclassifiable scent. Tarragon and cinnamon open this up to your nose, and when it all falls into place like a finished puzzle, what you get is a warm semi-sweet opening that leads you into a green and smoky heart, then leaves you in a masculine base that's both virile and civilized, promising everything that a name like "Givenchy Gentleman" makes. It's a very European mindset of gentleman, not the 3-piece suit and luxury sedan mindset, but a more discreet chauffeured-via-saloon and dressed in his normal clothes kind of a gentleman, with a flower in the lapel. This scent sort of straddles the fence between timeless and period fragrance, because the loudly green middle and civet base definitely scream 1970's fashion, as everything at that time was super musky or mossy, but the vetiver and leather are just such treasured notes in the history of men's fragrance that they do battle with the rest of the scent to keep it relevant as a classic. Ultimately, how you feel about this will come down to your level of interest in fragrance as a hobby or most likely your age, since this is a very mature scent with not even a peep of sweetness or chemical oomph to push it over the sweaty din of a night club.

The name "Gentleman" would be reused by Givenchy in 2017 by itself for a fragrance, but they took care to place it before their name instead of after, to help people tell the two apart, and it is a completely different creature with a black label (as opposed to a silver one) that I won't discuss in depth here. It's not a flanker or a substitute to my knowledge, but it's not the first time Givenchy has recycled the name either, so beware. This one should directly read "Givenchy Gentleman" in that order on the box or it is not the same fragrance. This one also gets compared to Giorgio for Men quite a bit, and often unfairly because they both feature patchouli accords at their core, but Giorgio is much louder, sweeter, and more vulgar with it's typical 1980's chemical blast. Replace the vetiver with benzoin, add a bunch of honey on top, and turn a green garcon in a blazer into the Incredible Hulk in a leisure suit. Giorgio would definitely beat Givenchy in a drag race, but the Gentleman would certainly lose Giorgio in the twisty turns of European country roads in a full-on grand prix. Years ago this might have been romantic, but nowadays it's best for casual use or formal engagements.
12th December, 2017

Karl Lagerfeld pour Homme by Lagerfeld

Queen Applepatra
Borne by a thousand captives
Is peak #Karlism.
12th December, 2017

Incense Royale by Sultan Pasha

Opens with a tingly varnished wood sort of oud note...slight feel of a fur type animalic touch...resin and incense notes slowly unfold and drift around...smells deep and multi-layered...oriental woody incense...polite smooth oud...no barnyard or cheese...like I find with all of SP attars , constantly changing and evolving....many fragrances in one...sweetens up nicely...one could keep going on and on , but I think you get the drift...
12th December, 2017

Ummagumma by Bruno Fazzolari

This is delicious...munching on a chocolate bar in church sitting in an ancient wooden pew...ambery chocolate incense...dry tobacco...the kind of heady richness found in a lot of Serge Lutens and Slumberhouse...a little smokiness...a gourmandish amber/incense...supported nicely by dry tobacco/wood...to my taste , full bottle worthy...has a nice throw...nice warm/dry feel that would suit winter rotation nicely...If Amouage did a gourmand incense I can picture it being akin to this juice...
12th December, 2017

Theorema by Fendi

"Tesla," he prodded,
"Tell me more about the sun."
Tesla smiled at that.
12th December, 2017

British Sterling by Dana

British Sterling is a staple scent spoken in the same tone as English Leather or Old Spice, but ultimately classier than them due to the pedigree it once carried. It's interesting whisky flask bottle with the chrome-plated plastic collar had remained unchanged for over 50 years, outside of slight alterations in available sizes and the fanciness of the applied brand label. Sadly, it has fallen very far from this once pedigreed position, as it launched initially in jewelry stores where Speidel sold it's watches and watchbands, with slogans like "Make him a legend in his own time" and "so fine a gift, it's sold in jewelry stores" which lent itself to the perception Speidel already had with it's Twist-O-Flex line of metal wristbands and eventually whole watches. It was even possible to get the metal cap engraved with initials in the beginning, which is pretty cool.
Original Speidel-Textron production runs of British Sterling and the later MEM production pretty much has the same formula, and is the basis for this review.

British Sterling opens with citrus, floral, and green notes, unsurprising for a fougère from the sixties, but what is surprising about British Sterling is the shift away from powdery vanillic bases or heaps of lavender in the heart like most other "green" fougères from the period. Instead, British Sterling takes a more aromatic route, and thus sort of unintentionally acts like a precursor to all the aromatic fougères that would take over in the early 70's. It doesn't have the over-saturation of moss or woods that those scents contain, but it's definitely there. The scent quickly develops from this green opening to some uncharacteristic spices in the heart, stuff like nutmeg and cinnamon typically reserved for oriental fragrances or the much much later gourmands, before ending up in a typical dry down of amber, musk, moss, and sandalwood. There's probably a modicum of coumarin in here too, even if a strait-tonka accord is not detected. It's a fairly complex and round scent that really stood head and shoulders above others in it's class.I can easily see why this scent became so popular in it's halcyon days, and how it would eventually become so mass-market in succeeding decades. It's rich, smooth, slightly herbal, and very dapper compared to some contemporaries, and although it's not sensual enough for romantic duty, it's almost a year-round signature scent.

The original Speidel-Textron formula and the subsequent MEM version is somewhat outmoded in the 21st century for lacking any distinct "freshness" that typically defines an all-season day wear scent for men these days, and it particularly fails in hot weather, but otherwise it's truly of superior stock and rather unique for it's time. New British Sterling, as produced by Dana, has an entirely different vibe, despite having much the same opening structure.The new stuff has become quite shrill with the citrus/floral top dominating most of the scent's life. Whatever stands in for the moss and probably the woods too are also very ozonic, with the spicy heart dialed way down to quicken the transition and thin out the smell. This give the new stuff a chemical-burn personality that makes it better as aftershave than a day scent, since you never really get that smoothness, just lots of green with musk to hold it down amidst all the synthetics. It's not bad, but feels more like a new scent inspired by the original rather than a reformulation.
11th December, 2017 (last edited: 12th December, 2017)

Khôl de Bahreïn by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777

Aaaaahhh! Semi-sweet florals. Resinous, ambery goodness. Musky, wet balsamic delight. Enchanting, decadent, and addicting.
11th December, 2017

Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

A lady indeed. I got a musty, smoldering spice of a rose in the beginning. If I inhaled deeply I smelled a teeny tiny bit of raspberry. Settling down, it became a dry tinder pile of incense and patchouli. A musky amber finishes this off with nary a nod to benzoin.
11th December, 2017

Mon Guerlain by Guerlain

Mon Guerlain doesn't smell too bad up close. It's not great, but within the context of modern trends in perfumery, it smells typical. It even reminded me slightly of Guerlain Iris Ganache or perhaps even Dior Homme Intense, in its best moments. The smell it was projecting, however, did not work for me, and it was striking me as a scrubber.
11th December, 2017
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