Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 140667

French Lover / Bois d'Orage by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I can't find the complex mix of animalic notes that Rogalal notices, nor the poisonous aspect that Gimmegreen describes. I'm not saying they are wrong, better noses than mine have reached similar conclusions, notably Katie Puckrik in the States and Luca Turin in the UK.

However most of us seem to be agreed that it's in no way a French Lover, the name Bois d'Orage or Stormwood suits it much better.

It's a nice angelica roots note, very like Angeliques sous la Pluie. (If you don't know what angelica roots oil smells like, you do now). But perhaps with more emphasis on a woody backing rather than the musk of J C Ellena's creation.

There may well be nutmeg present like Kain says as well as the pimento quoted, only Pierre Bourdon knows for certain.
20th January, 2018

Sycomore Eau de Toilette by Chanel

So then the kid says
"Mom! She smells like a story!"
Damn kid spotted her.
20th January, 2018

Silver by Al Rehab

It's not that bad but I did sell mine not long after buying. I'm not a huge fan of SMW either but I wanted to try it out since it was so cheap and has lots of hype as an excellent clone.

It is similar to SMW but very strong on the synthetic metallic note. Not as inky as SMW or natural. Does have the florals but again more synthetic.

Performance is excellent. Strong projection and lasts all day.
20th January, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Oxford by Ruth Mastenbroek

A really "comfortable" mix of floral and oud, deep, earthy vetiver. Its a really well blended fragrance, that has a freshness to it while also giving really being deep and resounding. I am not sure what floral notes here are similar to iris, but I pick up a good deal of it prior to it settling into its base. Normally, I am not a fan of that note, but it really works well here. I look forward to trying other Mastenbroek fragrances based- upon this fine offering.

20th January, 2018

Dark Woman by Police

A floral that ends up powdery and slightly gourmand. Violet, black current, iris, and jasmine really stand out here. Then, the vanilla takes over. It is predominate for quite some time. It is a dark vanilla; seemingly from notes of sandalwood, cedar, and resin. Hours later this settles into a make-up, powdery skin scent. If this perfume were a color, it would be lavender-shaded. Overall, it is a lovely perfume for its inexpensive price.
20th January, 2018

Perry Ellis m by Perry Ellis

This is an absolutely fabulous aromatic creation. Perfect for winter. Definitely appropriate for women, as well. This stuff sings, on my skin. I can actually smell every note here, except the vetiver. It begins as a spicy fragrance. It mellows into a calming, woody blanket. Sillage is good. Longevity is good. I paid like, nothing, for a tester. So very worth the money, for it is well done. I ought to dig through my perfume storage boxes more often because, I forgot I had this.
20th January, 2018

Aqua Velva Ice Blue by Williams

Note: Review is of the current version.

To the best of my knowledge, Aqua Velva Ice Blue comes only in the form of an aftershave, commonly found in drugstores in North America. It's mass market, more so than Pinauds, perhaps matched by Gillette. Aqua Velva Ice Blue is fresh, minty, sporty and has a musky dry down. While not unpleasant, it smells very run of the mill for its market segment; the scent is also weaker than Gillette, which could be a positive as many don't want their aftershaves to linger on. It stings less than Pinaud or Gillette, but also seems to be of somewhat inferior quality to the aforementioned brands.

It's okay to have it, but one can get better aftershaves (either in terms of scent, astringency, or moisturising properties) from Pinaud, Gillette or Nivea.

20th January, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

First Love by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is an unashamedly floral composition.

Jasmine and rose are in the forefront, with honeysuckle-sweetness providing added depth. Initially gives a touch of freshness by a citric backgound, I can detect whiffs of oleander and lotus in the later stages. Towards the end a faint woodsy-greenish impression arises, as if from the stems and leaves of the flowers.

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

Whilst this spring scent is not exceptionally original and the performance is not spectacular either, the ingredients as quite nice and the blending is very well executed. 3/5.
20th January, 2018

Graduate 1954 by Roads

A perfectly pleasant beachy floral. It's mostly creamy ylang ylang, backed up with a touch of tuberose for projection and orange blossom for sweet depth. It's fairly coconutty and quite rich. It's got a salty beach air smell hiding in plain sight, while a creamy, soapy mix of vanilla and white musk makes the whole thing soft and smooth, and eventually becomes the drydown.

There are many, many beachy coconutty ylang florals out there, so I have to ask "what is Graduate 1954 doing to stand out" and I think my answer is "nothing", but in a good way. A lot of perfumes of this style can come off as cheap novelties, relying on sweaty body notes or shampoo cheapness, while others use questionable plasticky aldehydes or go wild with the loud flowers. What Graduate 1954 brings to the table is a confident, well thought out maturity and attention to detail that's often missing from the genre.
20th January, 2018

Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Voleur de Roses.

Floral woods.

Rose and patchouli have gone hand in hand in perfumery since many decades ago. Voleur de Roses is a rose-patchouli, but unique in an overcrowded niche. There is a haunting melancholic quality to it, helped with a rose that's fresh, moist, dark and plummy - paired with an earthy, damp patchouli. Part of it hints at soil, but it is rather abstract. This is a perfume that tells a story. Someone came and took away the roses in bloom, just after the summer showers. All that's left are a few petals in the ground. Voleur de Roses - what a perfect name.

Like several other L'Artisans, I find Voleur de Roses to be a subdued fragrance. It has average duration on skin of about five hours, but sillage is rather muted after the first thirty minutes or so. Still, I'm still willing to ignore this in consideration of how charming and memorable Voleur de Roses is. Among other rose-patchoulis, Voleur de Roses smells vaguely similar to Czech & Speake's No 88, though the latter is more brooding, gothic and opulent. Voleur de Roses is elusive, and therein lies part of its attraction. Once the roses leave after about an hour, the dry down is a sublime floral-woods, faint and delicate.

Voleur de Roses is lovely to wear on rainy summer days. Unfortunately it might leave you before you'd want it to, but you'd long for it and want to go back to it. There are gazillions of rose-patchoulis on the market, but Voleur de Roses remains a rare specimen.

20th January, 2018

Stetson by Stetson

Sly vetiver adds
Yosemite macho to
This cowgirl Tabu.

20th January, 2018

Muschio Bianco / White Moss by L'Erbolario

A white, lactonic, kind of waxy-nectarinic musk with a bright angular hesperidic opening and a soapy dry down. Smooth and pleasant, with a subtle floral wave. An easy-going body lotion for young sensual high school teenagers.
20th January, 2018

Inisfree by Fragrances of Ireland

This is a green floral. One of my mother's favorites, I currently have her bottle she bought in the 90's. It has a strong lily of the valley vibe throughout its life on the skin. Also, lemon and lavender on top. It has a hint of rose and jasmine in the middle. The base has a woody end of sandalwood, cedar, with muguet still present.
19th January, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Eternity Purple Orchid by Calvin Klein

This is wearable but not particularly memorable. The top is predictable. The middle is somewhat muddled. Only the base, has any redeeming quality. It's powdery, floral, and mildly musky. Barely a hint of orchid in here. Should have been named Eternity Pastel Purple - it is that light and pale.
19th January, 2018

Silver Scent by Jacques Bogart

Not bad. Opening definitely has the grape soda feel but then it dries down to a loud fume cloud of synthetic fruit and dainty florals. The lavender keeps this masculine but it's almost feminine. That lavender is probably also the reason why I feel like this has an old-school feel to it.

Very good if not excellent projection and longevity.
19th January, 2018

Reaction Women by Kenneth Cole

Very light concoction. I smell only melon, orange, apple, muguet, and a hint of musk. If I had smelled the watermelon note I might have enjoyed this more. Mild, somewhat breezy, but too bland for me. Good scent for spraying on sheets.
19th January, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cucumber by Demeter Fragrance Library

There is a lovely cucumber that dominates the opening phase, but after the first twenty minutes a fruity, nigh-melon-y sweetness develops. It reminds me of the sweetness I remember from some pickled Polish Ogorkis. There is, however, neither acidity nor vinegar here, just the gentle and somewhat generic sweetness.

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

A spring scent with a nice opening but with a generic sweet undertone that prevails over time. It is never cloying though, just anaemic and a bit thin. Not a fresh cucumber after the opening stage. Not right for a cucumber sandwich. 2.5/5.
19th January, 2018

Delicious Chocolate by Gale Hayman

This is pretty good, for an inexpensive scent. Getting harder to find though. It is a pleasant blend of plum, peach, Mexican chocolate, vanilla, amber, and musk. The chocolate is predominate. Plum and peach are barely noticeable. The vanilla, amber, and musk compliment this very well. A great, daytime, winter perfume.
19th January, 2018

McGraw Southern Blend by Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw's "McGraw Southern Blend" was an accident, but a happy one, and I'd say both for me, the person who's name adorns the bottle, and the corporate backer Coty Inc. Anyone with knowledge of perfume who gets this as a gift will expect little, and rightly so, while anyone without such knowledge who is blindsided by this in their stocking will probably have an epiphany about fragrance itself upon discovery. It certainly isn't some prince in pauper's clothing, but neither is it demographic-driven swill that will sell at face value, like so many celebrity-branded scents that have come and gone over the course of the past 30 or so years they've existed. McGraw evidently has some modicum of artistic input on the stuff bearing his name, and I can say he has simple, if not elegant taste. However, within the small spectrum that is his fragrance brand, not all things are created equal and this is a creation he's lucky to be the herald of, since something of it's design could easily be upped in concentration and marketed as a niche product for much more money. The whole idea behind the initial two fragrances was something plain-spoken and masculine, so it's no surprise that ambery barbershop and bay rum vibes run throughout them both, but while the eponymous fragrance was almost entirely an amber scent with some woods and lavender on top, this one shows a bit more artistry and sophistication, almost bringing a gourmand-like quality with the spice and grapefruit that mixes with the barbershop foundation which carries over from the debut scent. It's most appropriately McGraw 2.0, and rather nice for what it is. I'm not usually one to indulge in mass market stuff unless it's vintage (sorry Coty, Avon has my heart in that regard), but this one could easily not be if it was just a tad deeper.

As it stands, McGraw Southern Blend is a sweet and rounded scent that opens with grapefruit, bergamot, and anise. It really has a lovely way of reminding me of Avon Leather (1966) in that anise, but this is no leather chypre and it soons takes us down through a boozy whiskey note that burns off to leave behind some lavender before finally settling in on that barbershop base, which really brings out the niche character in the way the tobacco and vetiver play with that amber. It's a rare "man's man" accord that could easily go toe to toe with barbershop revivals like Penhaligon's Sartorial that would come out a year after this (2010) and hold infinitely more respect than this if only because it's from Penhaligon's, has 3 times the notes and blending, plus will last longer than 4 hours on skin. It compares most to Hervé Léger Homme (2010) by Avon, but is less woods-oriented than that one. Bluntly, this is the same tailored gentleman vibe channeled through US southern gentry culture, so it's simpler, a little more shameless about it's own indiscretions, but will show the same degree of honor and grit if challenged as any proper English gentleman across the pond, if not more. It doesn't need fanciness and a textbook worth of scruples to make it's point, but what it's sorely lacking is concentration, which supposedly states EdT on the bottle, but methinks is really EdC, which I reflect in my score. As an ambery barbershop with both a boozy and smokey attitude, it perfectly fits the singer who's brand it represents, but I kind of wish something like this had been conjured up by Caswell-Massey instead, if only because it would get more serious perfume fans to actually try it, as anyone who's spoken highly of this as myself does so with apparent surprise in their tone. The average Joe this is lobbed towards would just come back with "it smells good" in their review or Facebook post, if they even bothered that much, which is what hurts this the most.

McGraw Southern Blend's mass-appeal market position coupled with it's celebrity tie-in notoriety ironically makes it unsung with the people who could really give it the credit the scent deserves, as it's declared a failure sight unseen. Granted, I wouldn't have purchased this myself not knowing how it smells, and likely will not replace it when gone, but that's more to do with it's discontinuation and Tim McGraw fans eventually driving it's price up as a musical memorabilia collectable, which compounds with any perfume collectors interested in buying it to wear. It's still reasonable to get at the time of this review but in 2, 4, 6 years down the road, I'd be even less likely to pay $100+ an ounce prices for this than I already would for vintage designer or niche scents, which is another indication of how the marketing and presentation ultimately hurt this. In short, it's a boozy, smokey barbershop scent that straddles fougere, oriental, and gourmand lines, making it a simple, perfectly abstract, and memorable masculine for the guy that wants to smell rustic but still civilized. It's attachment to Tim McGraw is both a blessing and a curse as without him, it probably wouldn't have been made, but because of him, it won't stand the test of time. It's also a cheap thrill (for the moment) if you like tobacco-oriented scents and aren't ready to toss Tom Ford your money, but for only a bit more, you could just as easily buy any number of similar scents that were also coming into vogue at this time. Gold records and marriage to Faith Hill sold separately.
19th January, 2018

Lights by Roads

I've quite enjoyed getting to know Lights. It seems to ask an interesting question: If you take a classic clove floral like Nuit de Noel or Chanel No 5 and subtract out the aldehydes and powder, what do you get? The result is quite interesting. The feel is considerably more modern and "niche", but still clearly evokes a classic feel.

So what does it smell like? It kicks off floral, with a mix of jasmine, rose, and clovey carnation that will be familiar to fans of classics, but laid much more bare than its inspirations, mildly soapy and cut with doughy violets instead of exploding with the powdery aldehydes with which this mix is usually paired. Given time, as the florals fade, it lands on a nice Mitsouko-esque doughy, mossy suede, but animalic with musk and held together with soap and a sharpness from coumarin.

All told, I quite like this. Clovey florals are a favorite element of mine, and I like the successful modernization of classic themes, and any perfume that smells like the flowers from Joy over the base of Mitsouko HAS to be a thumbs-up. That being said, when in the mood for this sort of vibe, I'd personally wear Joy or No 5 or one of many Carons before I'd reach for this, but I appreciate its artistry and also that it may make for a much more office-friendly perfume than the powder-bomb perfumes that clearly influenced it.
19th January, 2018

I Dare You by Liaison de Parfum

Probably the best of the Liaison de Parfum line, though that's not saying much.

At its core, I Dare You is built on a fusion of sawdusty sandalwood and immortelle, the mysterious flower that smells like something halfway between rum, maple syrup, and curry. The first blast is a chaotic explosion of smoky, peaty whiskey, sour greens imitating absinthe, and sweet candied orange peel. It's clever in a boozy way, but once you add in the curry and woody elements, it's honestly a bit of a mess.

Given time, the boozy chaos fades, leaving the mix of sandalwood and immortelle to hum along on its own for a while. Hours in, the immortelle fades to maple, making way for a pleasant old-school butterscotchy amber and pie spices to cleverly back up the lingering sandalwood. This cinnamon/maple syrup/wood/amber combination is quite well done and the reason for my thumbs up review, though I could have done without the messy topnotes on the way there.
19th January, 2018

Coromandel Eau de Parfum by Chanel

I like Bavard's "This is the best Coromandel EDT knockoff ever" LOL!!
Honestly, I have to agree.

Coromandel as a scent, I think, will prove to be a Chanel Classic.
As JTD says, it hits most of the spots to be a "Crowdpleaser"
19th January, 2018

Coromandel Eau de Parfum by Chanel

Of course this is a thumbs up, the question is how good is it compared to the legendary edt?

It's probably not quite as good as the edt.

I didn't think the edt was perfect, and I never went beyond a large decant, but it did have magical moments: a base that went on forever, seemingly getting even better 12 hours later.

The edp is a slightly tamed version. It's probably 90% of the fragrance the edt was. I can't see too much lamenting about the change in formulation. This is the best Coromandel edt knockoff ever.

I think the edp is slightly less complex, more simply sweet.
19th January, 2018

Resist Me by Liaison de Parfum

The first couple of Liason de Parfum samples I tried were dumb shampoo candy perfumes which, along with the general flirty "vibe" of the brand, had me ready to write them off. Thankfully, Resist Me is here to claw back some respect.

It's a fairly linear wood smell, largely sawdusty sandalwood, a pinch buttery and with notes of dusty oak for depth and cedar for lift. There's a lingering fruity undertone, a sort of non-specific fruity sweetness that calls to mind Lutens's dried fruit note.

The sweet buttery fruity wood vibe is pleasant. I feel like I would have enjoyed it more with some smoke or leathery elements, but as is, it works as a niche wood perfume with sweetness instead of rough edges, which is fairly rare.
19th January, 2018

No. 19 by Chanel

This standard of green
Seven twice from golden mean
Deep beauty unseen

Except in eye's mind
Where perfumes speak to the blind
Their way we might find

We look at it long
Nose hearing so much so wrong
Yet feel its sweet song

Your story to tell
In words you thought you knew well
That somehow you smell

Now ask selves' self why
If off means' mean this should lie
Mean's many should sigh

Lest answer be feared
That perfume's essence be steered
From timelessness weird

By masses of we
From the uniqueness of thee
Where taste and taste see

That formula's pins
Into eternity's spins
Fall to we's wee sins

Take heart in This juice
This Coco secret set loose
This green cash caboose

Approaching some point
Odd and common not disjoint
Prime's primes to anoint

Perspective, my friends
Never begins, stops or ends
But to looker lends

A magic mirror
In which no bottle's queerer
Meaner or dearer

Yet none are the same
By multiplicity's game
Of hide and go frame

So boys take a clue
From what the girls always knew
When looking at you

We dudes are quite green
At beauty properly seen
In mystery's mean

Which spreads out beauty
So it's all rather Cuty
Glitt'rin' da booty

Conversely I say
In a most relative way
Mean's mean has its day

Find gold thus you will
Mountain, plateau, valley, hill
Says this all's none's shill

No place on the chart
Evades both beauty and art
As each plays it part

The Coco you know
Gabrielle through lens of L'Eau
Fine angles will show

Take it to the bank
From some worthless perfumed crank
Whose heart they all sank

It's not just the eye
Where beauty's beauty will lie
If seeing we try

Beauty's fine lever
Is abolishing never
Through vantage clever

Beauty lets you find
You never had to be blind
Sweet poison of mind

Nineteen is the key
Let odd commonality
Set even yours free.
18th January, 2018

Carven pour Homme (new) by Carven

My favorite violet leaf scent behind Fahrenheit. This fills the void between Fahrenheit and Grey Flannel. When I want to be loud, brash or just make a statement I reach for Fahrenheit, but this is the refined and reserved version of a violet leaf scent, without being Grey Flannel. Not that GF is bad but this is just more refined. Also, since it has a small sweetness to it, it's more modern than both, once again filling a void between the two extremes.

The opening is spicy, with some refined, powdery sweetness. In the drydown, the violet leaf is definitely the star but not loud. It actually starts to feel like Green Irish Tweed a little. Projects for 4-5 hours and then it's gone.
18th January, 2018

Ocean Rain for Men by Mario Valentino

Mario Valentino's Ocean Rain for men is rightly an enigmatic fragrance. Not only is it the singular masculine fragrance from the mid-line fashion designer, but it is also only one of three fragrances period that MV made thus far, plus the very last creation by perfumer legend Edmond Roudnitska. To see such a storied perfumer renown for so many innovative classics, including some of the very best masculines on the planet, actually segue into the then-nascent era of modern chemical perfumery to produce something with artistry of yesteryear was pretty unprecedented. It was tantamount to the result that would have occurred if Henri Robert had lived into the 1990's and had created Égoïste instead of Jacques Polge. Roudnitska always was more of a journeyman perfumer however, and skipped between Rochas, Dior, Arden, and Hermès, so it kinda makes sense that he'd end making a fragrance for a relative unknown, as the others had all been unknown in the fragrance realm too or had their first notable fragrances made by him if not. Ocean Rain seemed almost to be made in a way that laughed in the face of evolving convention: it proved that a fragrance could be layered, intricate, unfolding, and still contain the stark freshness that people craved in that time. It wasn't quite Eau Sauvage for the Eternity generation, but I don't think it was meant to surpass any of Edmond's previous work. He might have known his greatest achievements lay behind him at age 84 (when he made this), and the fact he made such a profound creation at that age is incredible in and of itself.

Ocean Rain is both with the times in which it was created, but almost contradictory in the way it's against them as well. It has that stubborn Roudnitska insistence on a dirty virile undercurrent which his other masculines had in varying degrees, most strongly in the technically unisex Eau d'Hermès (1951) and almost invisible in Eau Sauvage (1966). It wasn't urinous civet and sandalwood like Moustache (1949) nor was it the civet and cumin crotch funk of the aforementioned Hermès scent, and it wasn't even the subtle herb-fueled masculine inflection of his most famous Dior-branded male creation, but rather a sweaty man skin smell similar to a gym locker room or workout top. Kouros by Yves Saint laurant (1981) has a very similar man skin smell, and it's amazing that it would dare find it's way into something during the time of the ozonic and aquatic, but such was the way of Roudnitska. He would balance this funk like he always does, using hedionic notes similar to Eau Sauvage and heaps of traditional florals like cyclamen, rose, and lavender, plus herbs like artemisia, thyme, and basil. Unsurprisingly this opens with lemon and aforementioned lavender, with synthetic "green notes" being the only trace of chemical enhancement at the top, and "marine notes" with calone in the mix coming through in the middle. These synthetics feel almost tacked on however, as this is surely no New West (1989) at the end of the day, and they only serve to give that nostril burn because he was probably told it "needed to be there" for this to fit the market Mario Valentino targeted. Edmond "played nice" and gave the world what in the most legalistic sense is an ozonic, but barely as it is leaps and bounds more natural and traditional in construction than anything designer from that time.

This stuff smells directly akin to yanking vintage mid-century Roudnitska and turning it into the cologne equivalent of a cyborg by adding all the synthetic parts on top but keeping the rest, including the base, traditional. If you make it to the dry down, you're left with a VIP list of chypre base notes, including moss, olibdanum, leather, and precious woods, but cedar in place of the usual sandalwood, stirred together in the usual symphonic method Roudnitska uses. People digging Mario Valentino jeans and expecting another Claiborne for Men or Cool Water probably had their heads blown clean off when they caught wiff of the sheer dynamics in the opening. It's enticingly scandalous body sweat and old-school hedionic notes meet head on with crisp clean synthetics and calone before tiring themselves out from fighting to settle into what is otherwise a Frankenstein ozonic with a leather chypre base. If you're anything like me, you might catch whiff of a dry faux peach note which isn't really there from time to time, but once the fun is over, it's mission accomplished and ends as a fresh 90's skin scent. Simply put, Ocean Rain is one odd creature that's old-world-meets-new (for it's time) and if Edmond was trying to pass the torch symbolically by making it this way, he succeeded. Is it his best work? No. Is it essential to one's collection? Probably not. Is it a fascinating piece of perfume history? Absolutely! Roudnitska's swan song is every bit a masterpiece as anything else he ever made, and if nothing else, is a rare example of a challenging masculine in a time when inoffensive beige tones were preferred to vibrant strokes of color.
18th January, 2018

Bracken Man by Amouage

Well this is rather nice... Not overbearing... Nice tart start into Cypress... I get hints of the other top notes but I get Cypress the most. I get cedar as well. It's a green tree type scent. Not off putting to my nose. It's is extremely pleasing. I like this a lot. The base is cypress with cedar and musk. A winner... now for the draw back... WOW is this expensive. Get a sample or two and really give these a good wearing before you drop 200 plus on this juice. Enjoy!

Addt Info

Four hours in and it seems this has the same drydown as Fougère Royale by Houbigant. Very similar to my nose. I do like both of these with the FR by Houbigant being the better deal dollar wise.
18th January, 2018

Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens

I adore this weird, wild scent! It smells like nothing I am familiar with, although it triggers distant memories of a rosy, leathery chypre from the golden, olden days. Thankfully it is far less bombastic than Knowing or L'arte di Gucci and contains none of their unending spikiness, either. This is a wondrously animalic apricot rose wearing expensive leather pants while desultorily placing somewhat wilted roses by their dead mother's crypt.

I must have a bell jar.
18th January, 2018

Every Storm A Serenade by Imaginary Authors

I like how this wears.

It reminds me of Polo Green if you sanded out the roughness and sprinkled in a bit of idiotic-happy dust.

As you can see, I'm not very good at this.
18th January, 2018