Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 140031
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
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Verdon by L'Occitane

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

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.
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
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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 barnyard or I find with all of SP attars , constantly changing and evolving....many fragrances in one...sweetens up 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/ 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

Mon Exclusif by Guerlain

Something about those
Cherry sugar mothballs on
Hello Kitty's tree.
11th December, 2017

New York for Gentlemen by Brooks Brothers

New York for Gentlemen is an aromatic citrus fragrance, firmly conceived in the classical style. The initial opening is mostly a burst of bergamot; thereafter it moves towards a green aromatic heart and base with mostly vetiver and light mossy woods. It bears a modern touch by significantly toning down the woods, and without having any rough edge. While it is quite generic among traditional classic citrus fragrances, it is also fairly well executed. Reminiscent of Eau Sauvage and sometimes Grey Vetiver, it is smooth, rounded and exhibits rather discreet sillage and average tenacity on skin.

New York for Gentlemen would perhaps not top any list of recommendations, but it is certainly commendable, and presents a good proposition for anyone after a classic aromatic citrus; it is worth seeking out if one is particularly into the style. New York or not, it is certainly gentlemanly.

I am not sure why Brooks Brothers pulled New York for Gentlemen out of the market - I believe it has been discontinued. It surely has become harder to find, and prices appear to have increased threefold. One can approach the venerable Eau Sauvage for a superior replacement, or something from the Acqua di Parma line if potency is a concern.

11th December, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vitória Régia : Flor da Noite by L'Occitane

The is in essence a floral composition. Whilst touches of water lily are are present at times - the name is thus not completely misleading - on my skin this is a white floral mix, with muguet, oleander and peony in the forefront. Occasionally the insertion of a lemony note adds some freshness in the early stages.

Later in the drydown a fruity note developers and mixes with the florals. It is a rather nonspecific fruitiness, but whiffs of lychee are detectable at times. The base adds a white musk that is nothing special but quite well constructed.

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

A pleasant spring creation with a tropical undertone and some original touches. 3/5.
11th December, 2017

Y by Yves Saint Laurent

1978 Extrait?

This goes on oily and has the skin glisten.

This is a BIG, Feminine Chypre. A plethora of Floral notes.
A blast of Galbanum and Fine Quality Citrus pumps into a dramatic Aldehydic Cloud opening. A powerful Bouquet is sweetened by Honey and countered with the slight acidity of Peach.
Support is provided by an extraordinary composition of Amber,Patch and Civet folded into Golden Benzoin.
Oakmoss creams it with a slight savoury and billow which dimensionalizes this into the dramatic. Powdery goodness in the end.
I am sure that Armani looked back at this while developing his first Feminine.
In Y's brush strokes I can see Yves Saint Laurent signature in the later 1971 Rive Gauche.
Recommended in Vintage, surely.
11th December, 2017

Citrus & Wood by Yardley

Yes, similar to Terre d'Hermes. But much lighter, more a cologne/aftershave than perfume. A shame really, because the citrus is both natural and clean. It just doesn't last long and requires multiple sprays to detect beyond a skin scent. And though the price is quite low and the quality of the scent itself quite high, I just can't in good conscience recommend it for the anemic performance. If you're fine with that, and multiple sprayings then go ahead and purchase. But for me, quite disappointing.
11th December, 2017

Derby by Guerlain

Never quite in style
Derby evades fate, falling
Never out of style

Derby's existence
Not truly violating
Perfume's second law

The first being that
Truth is conserved, the second
That beauty must fade

Seen more beautif'lly
Through Coco's eye: Style remains
While fashion passes

Never truly loved
By the masses, its motion
Never up nor down

Hiding short dinosaur days
From long scrutiny

By some solar cell
Hidden from the accountants
Midst our fragrant love

A toast to Derby
One day to depart from us
Always remembered

In some better place
Truth and beauty both conserved
By rules above ours.
10th December, 2017

Asea by Neil Morris Fragrances

My nose smells grapefruit, lemon, perhaps Neroli, and a bitter orange. In the middle I detect a lily of the valley vibe, with a clean watery, almost cotton note. The base, much later, has a slight wood odor, like driftwood or something. Overall, this is one of the nicer citrus perfumes I've tried - and I'm pretty picky with citrus fragrances.
10th December, 2017

Noir Exquis by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Yes, definitely a holiday, Christmas-y vibe. A wonderful smoky, sweet, nutty gourmand. A winter delight. I adore the chestnut, coffee, maple, and ebony mixture. There is nothing Not to like, about this one!
10th December, 2017

Oriental Lumpur by Les Néréides

Yet another fragrance of the aromatic style, that I am smitten with. The nutmeg, saffron, and vanilla particularly intrigue me here. Fresh warm spice. Balsamic woodiness and patchouli-loaded. Alluring and mysterious. I could live, with only this perfume, if I had to.
10th December, 2017