Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 135593
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Pleasures Delight by Estée Lauder

The opening blast is an olfactory fruit platter: very berry-like, strawberry, some raspberry, and the slightly acidic undertone - this seems to be all I get from the pomegranates. Not bad, but not exciting.

The next phase is all-out floral, with preponderance of muguet and lily; soft and very restrainedly sweet. Pleasant.

The later stages get richer, with vey agreeable caramel merging with ith a vanilla impression - creme caramel with vanilla ice cream and distinctly in the middle of gourmand territory. Rich, smooth creamy and sweet - but again just avoiding being overly cloying or sticky.

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

An olfactory opera in three sequential acts - fruity, floral and gourmand - this wintery scent is not badly done, but at the same time it feels a bit bog-standard too at times. The reason for this somewhat pedestrian impression lies in the rather generic nature of some of the floral notes, as well the at times overly synthetic character its ingredients. Just between mediocre and good on the whole, the very good performance gets it over the line to a positive score, if only just. 3/5.
25th May, 2017

Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

This is a complex fragrance. The initial blast is slightly alarming, with what feels like an off note, especially compared to what someone might expect from the pink bottle, but as it settles, it's gripping and addictive. The flowers are competing with gamy notes, mostly saffron I gather, and the flowers in this are likely on the gamy side themselves.

It settles into the main accord within a few minutes, and it's strong and intriguing enough to create a mild physiological euphoria.
25th May, 2017

Aube Rubis by Atelier Des Ors

A stout hard to wear fragrance. Atelier Des Ors Aube Rubis starts like a sort of less leathery "praliney" Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman. This is a scent in which (especially in its opening) the connection of suedish iris, smooth patchouli and acid/salty praline give out the illusion of intensive (kind of juicy-fizzy-bitter-woody) leather while patchouli smells initially smooth, luxurious (kind of ostensibly liquorous and glorious on hesperides) and leathery. The not listed leather (a sort of "ideally fruity-fizzy" Classic Aramis-like leather) is like a synthetic ghost lingering all around throughout while I perceive all ovet that disturbing pencil-shavings effect which is not so distant from the ones we got in Montana Graphite, Balmain Carbone or Gucci Pour Homme I (Aube Rubis could indeed sound as a sort of fruity ideal Gucci Pour Homme I's far relative). Patchouli along the way goes fading, I detect hints of saffron while a disturbing salty-pencil shavings woodiness starts relentlessly emerging. Surely vetiver and praline provide intensive fizzy saltiness while I get as well a sort of vegetal fruity/leafy (almost juicy) intensity provided by a sheer connection of violet, grapefruit and praline. Dry down is quite powerful on pencil-woodiness, simil-leather, kind of ostensibly berrish fruitiness (praline) and edgy violet. Honestly dry down smells somewhat boring, sometimes disturbing and kind of monolithic (in a woody-synthetically fruity way). An obsessive fragrance.

P.S: really, really persistent juice on skin. Actually after many hours of journey the powerful woodiness slightly recedes and the "accomplished" aroma conjures me significantly the old "by a red leather 'jacket' bottle wrapped" Habit Rouge Edp (oudhish/leatherish) formula (just being this Atelier Des Or's fragrance more properly woody - in a "pencil" way- and less deliberately and sweetly vanillic/benzoinic/musky). Montale Audh Musk is another fragrance jumping on mind for several of its hallmarks.
24th May, 2017 (last edited: 25th May, 2017)
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kupgup Show all reviews
United States

Style de Paris by Catherine Malandrino

This is a lovely, easily likeable fragrance that meshes very nicely with my tastes. It's one of the very-early sampling experiences that convinced me to start expanding my scent horizons a bit.

Now, that's not to say that it's a challenging or novel or highly sophisticated fragrance. I kind of doubt that, given how quickly and easily I--in my n00bishness and extreme fragrance-skepticism--enjoyed it on my first sampling.

It was part of a pretty darn big step, though. When I first tried it, I'd barely progressed from a lifelong stance of "Most perfume is gross, it's not worth the trouble looking for one I won't hate, ewww I don't want to smell like fake flowers." At that point I was about at "Well, mayyyyybe this one won't suck, since about half the smells they listed are things that aren't flowers."

Anyway. This fragrance is sweet, fruity, and floral. All things I tend to be prejudiced about--things I might easily consider boring or cloying or childish. Yet, that's balanced out by the warm spicy woody patchouli. That hits my nose quickly and decisively enough to avoid setting off that "eww, gross, flowery perfume" reflex. That was a pretty neat trick, definitely not easy to do at the time I first smelled this.

I wear it to work pretty often, since I feel it's grown-up and competent, yet amiable and not uptight. Those are generally good things to be at work, IMHO. They're characteristics I'm okay with for most situations, really, so I think it's a pretty flexible scent as far as mood and occasion.

. . . Also, it gives me an impression of peach cobbler. That amused me greatly, and was probably the biggest reason I sampled it a second time. This happens despite it not really being peachy, or having vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg. If I think about it, the components I'm peg as "peach cobbler" are just pears, patchouli, and a hint of citrus. Funny how things come together sometimes!
24th May, 2017

Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style - Love by Gwen Stefani

Finally! A perfume with just enough pear that it doesn't make me want to hurl. Combined with violet, nectarine, mango, and lotus, this is a nice little fragrance. More suited for a girl in her twenties. A light fragrance. Suitable for a work environment.
24th May, 2017

Granville by Christian Dior

This initially seem s like like a supercharged cologne - lemony, green, dry, herby, and has some woody depth. But it's more than that. I love the feeling of pine woods it evokes. I think it may be close to my imprinted dream of French citrussy freshness and herbiness (with zero 'marine' stuff). I find it puts me in mind of soda water fizzing on rock at the beach - something almost limestony if such a thing could be smelled.

I wore it today on a hot sunny day locked up at work with stress and nonsense and it made the day brighter. It has very good staying power for something so citrussy, plenty of herbs (thyme) and spice (pepper) and it never goes into that oversweet verbena territory that many initially promising fresh scents often do.

I really like this - it's just complex enough and magically cooling. It is utterly, utterly French and is supposed to evoke the wind and pine of the Manche coast around Granville. As a child I used to stay very near Granville in the summers, but this doesn't really remind me of that coast in wind and seaside terms - maybe my standards for windswept coastlines are too high (as I was brought up near the dramatic and truly windswept Atlantic coast of the west of Ireland). However the pine and Frenchness of it are spot on.
24th May, 2017

H2O by Tous

I had high hopes for H2o. The Amalfi lemon, jasmine, Virginia cedar, and sandalwood are all I get. These notes vacillate in the first hour or so. It is like these ingredients were thrown together and were never told to get to know each other. A bad fragrance, blind date? More thought was put into the design of the bottle, than the actual contents, I'm afraid.

Good scent for spraying linens, at least.
24th May, 2017

Agua de Colonia Concentrada by Alvarez Gomez

Endless days of sunshine. Cloudless skies. Hot, dry winds peppered with tiny bits of sand. Stucco and terra cotta tiled roofs.

A perfect balance of lemon, geranium, bergamot, and lavender. Geranium can seem obnoxious to my nose but here, it is perfection.

A scent to take with you on vacation. You don't have to think about it -- just spray!
24th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

Review of the original Eau de Parfum:

A peachy-peary fruity start is given a spiciness as if boiled in a spice soup for several hours. A cautious but definite addition of aldehydic undertones add some sparks such as to prevent is from being all too dark.

In the head notes sweetness arisies, a mix of a rich and scrumptious cinnamon that is never too thick or cloying. This is nicely combined with a rich ylang-ylang, and this dyadic partners work together exceedingly well. Jasmine - with a touch of verdant vibrations - is present too.

A pleasant tanginess leads into the base, and it turns out to be derived from clove with a well-placed component of some ambery orris. This turns into a gently crisp spiciness owing to an underlying layer of darkish patchouli. The ylang-ylang sweetness, however, stands its ground and is now fortified by a dense but not too heavy tonka impression.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb twelve hours of longevity on my skin.

A rich oriental and wintery creation, less heavy than Opium and never too overwhelming. This is well-blended out of ingredients of a very respectable quality. The aldehydic notes as well and the spicy-tangy aromas are incorporated in a very balanced fashion. At times it lacks vibrancy and can be a bit dull though. Overall 3.5/5.
24th May, 2017

Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

I am really on the fence with this one. One day I like it, the next, I don't hate it.

Once upon a time I was addicted to these little tins of candies. Sometimes I bought Cavendish & Harvey's. Other days it was La Vie Les Citrons. Piercing, screaming, little drops of sour lemon. This frag is the liquid version, incarnate.

24th May, 2017

Perfume Calligraphy Saffron by Aramis

Spiced floral-infused cookies without excessive sweetness. A recipe a wood nymph would hold secret. Indian summer in a bottle. An uncommon amalgamation of ingredients. I tend to seek out odd combinations, for my collection of scents. I chose wisely, here.

Oriental. Spicy. Comforting.

24th May, 2017

Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

I have never liked summers. Who wants to suffer soul-crushing heat and deathly brightness? In my defence - I have endured such torments in Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay and Phoenix. Let me be blunt and honest: I detest summers. Give me the lovely Chicago winter - any day.

There is a new wave of perfume wearers who demand that summers be defined by fresh perfumes that last through the day. There is a new wave of fresh perfumes on the market to quench the thirst. Most are neither fresh nor long lasting. Some are as bad as the Phoenix (insert city of choice) summers. Some go on well, before getting increasingly grating by the hour. A rare few are interesting - and, beautiful.

Then, what about the eau de colognes?

EdC Imperiale is one such eau de cologne. It is a simple love affair of limes, lemons, verbena, oranges and faint sweet woods - in that order. There is nothing to understand here, and it is meant to be loved. It is delightful and exquisitely refreshing, but as approachable as a traditional lemonade in the summer heat. Rather than a daily indulgence, one embraces it as an hourly ritual. The faint dry down lasts the best part of two hours, before one starts longing for it again.

Imperiale will clearly not move anyone pining for duration. But, does that matter? It smells natural, fresh, and is one of those little joys in the world of perfumes. Sometimes, short is sweet. Sometimes one is moved more by a wonderful short story than a gargantuan novel.

Imperiale, together with Cologne Sologne, is one of the best eau de colognes on the market.

4.5/5

(Notes:

1. Yes, I understand that Eau de Guerlain is just as good and lasts longer, but Imperiale is also very commonly found at half the price of Eau de Guerlain if one shops around a bit.

2. Recommendation - keep it the fridge in summers and enjoy!)
24th May, 2017

Jubilation 25 by Amouage

This one reminds me of Fidji by Guy Laroche. It's woody with a touch of citrus, on me. I detect tarragon, lemon, ylang, labdanum, frankincense, and vetiver. There is something else, different, I am not familiar with. Perhaps it is the davana note? My nose could not pick out any amber or musk. Everything blends nicely enough for my taste.
24th May, 2017
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White Sandalwood by Nest

A basic winter scent, for me. Sandalwood with overtones of almond. Musk appears hours later. It smells a bit artificial but for some reason, I really enjoy this. It's like a fireplace in an old cabin. You know, the one nobody ever remembers to clean out every once in awhile?
24th May, 2017

Shalimar by Guerlain

One of the greatest scents in modern history. I've always owned this and always shall. My nose memory cannot tell the difference between vintage and modern. Nor, does it care. Not a scent for the timid. Deep, rich, velvety, and assertive...
23rd May, 2017

L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque

This is a spicy citrus scent I can live with! Most citrus perfumes almost burn my nose. I get a nice balance of orange, grapefruit, saffron, incense, and ginger. The cedar and a touch of rose, keep it from being too acrid. It takes my imagination to warm, far away places, at sunset.
23rd May, 2017

Silences by Jacomo

This smells bitter green, on me. It is very pungent for the first hour revealing very little floral nuances. I owned this scent in the late 80's I do not remember it being this sharp! After wearing a few hours I finally detect some rose and cedar, and it does mellow out quite a bit. In six hours time, a faint dance of jasmine and musk join the foray. I can see why this is discontinued. In comparison to today's fragrances this lacks character.
23rd May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

Review of the Parfum:

The opening notes are a blend of bergamot, other citrus notes, a white floral components - mainly hyacinth and jasmine - and a green-grassy philodendron. The overall is an unusual and intriguingly verdant white floral mêlange that is very pleasant on my skin.

In the drydown the jasmine and the floral side gain in strength, and the lovely purity of these notes becomes increasingly clear. In a manner somewhat unusual for this house, considerable restraint is exercised in the application of aldehydes, and there is very little that is tantamount to annoyingly synthetic emanations. Soft but elegantly intensive, and very well executed.

The base continues these themes, but has little to add apart from somewhat nonspecific woodsy undertones. The floral notes are still present, and gradually this potpourri fades out very slowly, with the echoes of floral beauty on my skin the only remainders towards the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity is an excellent ten hours on my skin, with the last couple of hours being very close to my skin.

This spring creation - a scent nice in the evening as well during daytime - is interesting in concept, the ingredients are mostly of good quality and the smooth blending is superb. The first half combines carefully primed originality with high levels of craftsmanship, whilst the base drops in creativity but is still of very acceptable quality. The base is the least inspiring part.

Overall not extraordinary brilliant but very nice, quite original and rather convincing in design and implementation. 3.5/5.
23rd May, 2017

Drôle de Rose by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is an agreeable, powdery, floral perfume. The opening reminds me of a clean baby, fresh from the bath with warm skin projecting baby bath products. As it develops, the powder fades, and it becomes a more mature floral with the listed notes of rose, iris, and violet seeming plausible, especially violet, giving it a sweet, floral complexity. I've also seen almond and honey listed, which could be adding the edible-smelling aspect. Almond is tricky to pull off, and can go badly. Here, it could be the almond making this a little edgy in the development.
22nd May, 2017

Le Petit Grain by Miller Harris

A dry citrus-woody fragrance centred around the orange tree. I smell a crisp and natural scent of orange and petitgrain, with a touch of herbs, that evolves quickly to a dry, sheer accord of woods laced with a bit of moss. Very natural, high quality, and refreshing - however, definitely does not wear like an eau de parfum but more like a traditional EdC. Sillage is almost non-existent, and duration is around 3 hours on skin from a liberal application.

Alternatives would be other EdCs that are similar (Eau d'Orange Vert, Concentre d'Orange Vert) or different (EdCs from Guerlain, Hermes) or perhaps Terre d'Hermes which can be imagined to be an EdT reconstruction of the basic theme presented here.

2.5/5

(rating 3.5/5 if one ignores the price/concentration issues)
22nd May, 2017

Corsica Furiosa by Parfum d'Empire

I bought Corsica Furiosa a couple of years ago in LA, when I was staying down the road from Scent Bar. After an extended session of looking for the perfect bottle, I got this. I was looking for something cold, or flinty, or green. Well, I got cool and green. I've since decided that my fantasy of a 'flinty' scent will probably remain in the realms of dreams.

CF has a green which is sharp and somehow wild or weedy. I've read a lot of reviews talking of tomato leaf but that's not exactly what I get - we had tomato plants in a sunny room when I was a child and I love and would recognise the smell anywhere. What I smell here is more like a waft of weeds or gorse (green not flowers) on a hot dry day carried by the wind. There's also a citrus note that I love - sharp but not sweet. It's listed as lime, and it's absolutely lovely to see it done justice and not appearing with coconut!

It's definitely and uncompromisingly green, and all day I've been getting hits of sharp dusty shrub.
22nd May, 2017

Essential by Lacoste

This is an extremely "zesty" juice to my nose that works perfectly in the spring and summer. Geared towards a younger demo IMO. Would be good as a weekend or casual scent. Nothing overbearing to my nose and will last about 3 or 4 hours on the skin. For the price it's ok to blind buy but if you are looking for something a little longer lasting try Frapin Passion Boisee. The Frapin in more expensive but overall better done.
22nd May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Sensuous Nude by Estée Lauder

A fruity opening - sweetish - with a slightly orangey undertone dominates the top notes.

The drydown some adds two main streams of development: (1) a floral side, with muguet being quite strong, combined with a bit of jasmine and a somewhat bland rose impression. (2) A concurrently developing coconut aroma, that gradually gains in exposure and lasts deep into the later phases. Both work quite well together.

The base adds - what a surprise! - vanilla again, which is not really a stroke of originality, combined with slightly honeyed woodsy accompaniments that fade out towards the end.

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

The major creative achievement of the spring scent is the unusual use of the coconut. The major drawback is the regrettably generic nature of the rather synthetic ingredients.

Nude? Certainly bare of any natural goodness. 2.5/5.
22nd May, 2017

Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu by Bulgari

If someone were to ask me to describe Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu, I would tell them that it is a starched iris and orange blossom with a heavy hit of spices and tea. The first opening of Bleu is hard-hitting and even abrasive, but to me, it is one of the most gorgeous orange blossom compositions I have ever sniffed. The juxtaposition of the suntan lotion with intense chai spices is intriguing. Typically, spiced tea accords are paired with sweet, creamy vanilla, so the aforementioned combination is rather unexpected. The base of the fragrance is similar to the clean, starched iris found in Infusion d’Iris by Prada, but the effect is almost hot and dry instead of cold and metallic. Overall, I am impressed by the Bulgari Eau Parfumée line and would recommend it as an outstanding example of tea-based fragrances; although, I would wear Bleu while in the mood for iris or orange blossom, not tea. Note: there is definitely a lavender accord kicking around, but I typically have a tough time picking out lavender—it appears and disappears, darting in and out of the cloud of iris and white musk.

4/5
21st May, 2017

Joy by Jean Patou

The Patou fragrances I've tried, Pour Homme, Pour Homme Prive, Eau de Patou, 1000, and Joy, have been fantastic. Joy is a big floral with plenty of character. I think it comes from a combination of the flower concentrates and a dash of animalics. I'm sampling from a pre-2000 version, I believe.

Looking at the listed notes, peach, jasmine, tuberose, musk, and civet sound right to me.
21st May, 2017

Guerlain Homme Intense by Guerlain

So, EDP you say? Guerlain you say? Such a weak and generic fragrance. Sure it has this echo of Guerlain elegance, but not enough to meet the price and the expectations that bottle gives.

Woody and just slightly boozy, basement sort of damp and dark.

Shame. It could have been an amazing fragrance if not a masterpiece.

Originality: 5/10
Scent: 4/10
Longevity: 6/10
Projection: 4/10
_________________
19/40 = 47,5%
21st May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Modern Muse Le Rouge by Estée Lauder

A loud, artificial candy-raspberry-cum-blackberry lolly impression greets me, and it is not of the very pleasant type. Very generic, very unimpressive.

The drydown, not unexpectedly, shifts to the floral range, and after expecting another onslaught of laboratory fumes I was pleasantly disappointed: whilst the rose I am getting is rather pale and anaemic, there is a triad of jasmine and magnolia, with whiffs of oleander on its tail, which are, whilst still somewhat generic, synthetic and pedestrian, much more convincing and lack the unbalanced features of the top notes.

The base develops a slightly spicy undertone with an ambery side - this time there are ultra-generic notes - and a vanilla aroma that is agreeable but rather trite indeed.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a impressive nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent that alters between bluntly biochemical laboratory fakeness and phases of unexciting pleasantness. Be-muse-ingly unamusing but just acceptable. 2.25/5.
21st May, 2017

The One for Men Eau de Parfum by Dolce & Gabbana

I find something in the formula of Dolce and Gabbana The One for Men, edt and edp, especially interesting, mostly in the top, but the bases are duds.

The edt may have more promise in the top, but more disappointment in the base. The edp seemed quieter in the top, but stayed interesting longer into the development. Overall, I think the edp improves on the edt. Something in the base of the edt seemed more objectionable.
20th May, 2017

Polo Blue Eau de Parfum by Ralph Lauren

To me, Polo Blue edt and now Polo Blue edp smell like what I think of as hedione, an interesting synthetic ingredient that can grow tiresome, and I was tired of it before I tested Polo Blue edp. It has come across of harsh and unpleasant, and difficult to wash off.
20th May, 2017

Full Incense by Montale

Full spectrum incense with plenty of terpenic lift evoking the great piny outdoors in the opening stages. Curiously this benefits from overdosing – wear a spray too many and you are immersed in its sacramental cloud, be stingy with it and it seems thin, whiny and synthetic. The balance of citrusy treble notes (the elemi) with powdery, dusty woody sonorities rounds out the resinous and lightly smoky incense at its centre. If its churchy appeal makes me feel like sashaying in brocaded robes and chanting for the first hour or two, I must admit it becomes much of a muchness beyond that and I’m inclined to cover it up with something a bit more varied.
Needless to say, only go there if a single-minded incense perfume is what you are after. All other expectations will be dashed.
20th May, 2017
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