Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 138894

Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

I remember smelling the tester in store, it has a somewhat sweet green grass note on top. Not as ethereal as Apsu, and sometimes I can't perceive it at all.

Back home, it then fell to the very peppery woody heart (black hemlock?). Except that, it has an oily facet. If you've smelled violet leaf essential oil, you'll know what I'm talking about. Sometimes it has a dry-tea leaves scent.

The opening sweetness didn't disappear completely, it's lurking somewhere in the background. In the meantime, the main note is still a bit sour and astringent, as you can imagine from a dry cedar base. It even turns to the slightly bitter side after dry-down.

18th October, 2017

Mitsouko by Guerlain

I read another fragrantica review about Guerlains, which propose an explaination why this truly legendary brand not as popular as it was: they're not those over-the-counter 5-minutes-fame perfumes, they're mean to be take-home and appreciated in a longer time frame. Most people don't have the patience now.

Now that I've experienced mitsouko, I can't agree more with this review.

First time I tried mitsouko at counter, the sales person burst into laugh when they saw the grimace I made: the opening is a bit off-putting. It has a rather medicinal note which appears in a lot of old Guerlains, and I still don't know what caused it. I also get that inky/wet oakmoss tone on top. The rest of it is soft-fresh spice smell, not sweet, not warm, not harsh.

I just let it sit on my arms and went home, planning to scrub it off as soon as I can. By one accident sniff I was captured: it turns into something divine. The only note I can pick out is peach, not in a realistic way——frankly speaking, a lot of realistic peach only make me feel they tried too hard——but rather...lazy and comforting, not unlike a beauty lies blithely on the bed of aforementioned spicy accords, as if she did not know how charming she is.

So Guerlain teachs me a lesson: never judge a perfume by its opening, especially old classics like mitsouko.
18th October, 2017

Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Every time I tried it on I get different ideas. This perfume is a Rubik's cube, my dumb brain can only work out one face at a time.

The most current version I got is: vivid rose blast at opening, accompanied by something strongly reminiscent of oud(incense?), with some sort of spicy animalistic undertone. A panther hide in rose bushes. If I get close enough, there is a soothing aspect of aldehyde.

The rose, thankfully, doesn't have the indolic feel as in Une Rose, possibly due to some fruity softener that I couldn't tell. My skin stays a battlefield between army of red rose and slightly pungent musk. After an hour or so, rose is utterly defeated and the musk decimated, a vast land of patchouli finally reveal itself.

If it really is a portrait of a certain lady, then it's the portrait of Rebecca, the devious and charming mistress of Manderley.
18th October, 2017
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Cèdre by Serge Lutens

This is Serge Lutens does Le Labo, as in the name is not at all indicative of the perfume. What I smell in cedre is syrupy amber, tuberose, spices and generic wood notes, in that order. It begins with a nice promising blast of tuberose that is rich, slightly spicy (clove and cinnamon), but is soon drowned out by a syrupy amber. This amber accord dominates and prevails into the late dry down, where barely discernible sweet woody notes emerge. Sillage and duration are more than adequate.

I'm always ready to look past names (what's in a name?), but Cedre leaves me cold. There are tons of better tuberose fragrances (including one from Serge Lutens...), better amber fragrances (again, including one from Serge Lutens...) and the amber accord here is monotonous. Sure, Cedre smells nice, but is also one of the most boring scents I have encountered, especially beyond the first thirty minutes. All in all, severely underwhelming.

18th October, 2017

Midnight Fleur by Nest

The jasmine hides behind the orchid and wood, for quite some time. I can eventually smell it. The dry down is pleasant enough. A deep whiff reveals patchouli and amber. Overall, it is a milky, floral, oriental. Good, for late winter - early spring.
17th October, 2017

Insulo by Jeroboam

This is lovely. Three simple notes, but balanced and blended so beautifully that no one note shouts over the top of the other. Creamy vanilla, soft jasmine and delicate musk, all playing nicely together. It was quite sweet when it first went on, but that settled after a few minutes, and then I was sitting in a lovely soft cloud of musky, flowery vanilla. Chocolate isn’t listed as a note, but I also got wafts of chocolate. Longevity is pretty damn good – I got a good eight hours out of it. I think a lot of blokes might find this too sweet, but then again, I guess it would depend on the skin chemistry. It’s a super pretty scent, and I have a full bottle winging it's way to me as I type this. Very definite thumbs up!
17th October, 2017

Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens

I cannot warm up to Serge Luten's take on tea and ginger, because of a couple of points - 1) The candied ginger note overpowers others and causes an imbalance in my experience, and 2) It is too sweet for me, considering its style. I would have preferred a stronger focus on tea, which is absent. My overall impression is of a sweet ginger scent. Now, I always associate and love ginger in fresh scents, which is not the case here. I don't particularly get any prominent patchouli, but more of a woody-musky accord that hints at amber and patchouli. Another issue I have with it is that the second half of its lifespan is unreasonably dull compared to what came before. Sillage is low key but persistent, and duration is adequate at about five to six hours.

Yes, it is perhaps one of the nicer abstract gourmands, but Five O'Clock Au Gingembre simply doesn't click personally, and I also rate several other abstract gourmands ahead of it, including Borneo 1834 from Serge Lutens.

17th October, 2017

Luna Rossa Extreme by Prada

Luna Rossa and
Black pepper extremified
With Prada's best schticks.
17th October, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Zahra by Swiss Arabian Perfumery

The opening notes are fruity: mainly a lovely orange, not really very sweet, with undertones of lychee and berries also present at times.

The drydown gradually turns is to floral mix, with muguet and jasmine in the foreground, but the initial fruitiness lingers well into the heart notes. Whiffs of a faint rose aroma come and go.

He base takes on a slightly honeyed character, which over time morphs into a pleasant vanilla impression. Touches of saffron arise, as does a woodsy background that is comparably nonspecific.

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

A pleasant scent for warmer spring or for cooler summer days, it is well-blended of ingredients of very good quality. Not super-creative, but crafted very well. 3.25/5.
17th October, 2017

Illicit by Jimmy Choo

Positive is my response. Along the first stage it seems to detect a sort of soapier and gentler Thierry Mugler Alien with a dominant (but definitely less "electronic") fresh (vaguely balsamic) sambac jasmine, some creamy orange blossoms and a huge dose of resinous/honeyed white woods. Rose (never earthy or leafy) provides a tad of "cosmetical - pink" delicate soapiness. Amber, musk and honey (a la Elie Saab Le Parfum) grow up gradually with all their dose of fairy elegy. Radiand and well appointed minimalist ambery-floral by Jimmy Choo. Dry down, after several hours is warmer and a tad less interesting.
17th October, 2017

Original Vetiver by Creed

Vetiver reduced
With the aid of soapy musks
To freshness itself.
17th October, 2017

Bulgari pour Homme Extreme by Bulgari

Bvlgari pour Homme Extreme is perhaps not brilliant, but it is remarkably good. It is a reasonably long-lasting fresh fragrance composed around a note of green tea. The whole Bvlgari pour Homme range (the original, this Extreme flanker, and the Soir flanker) centres around fresh takes on tea. Bvlgari Extreme has a similar take on tea (green tea) as the original, but is sharper, zestier and more invigorating. I detect fir, subtle herbs and spices that are typical of classic Italian fragrances, and a base of musk and woods. The note of tea is sustained throughout its development, from the initial herbs and citrus to the late drydown.

Bvlgari pour Homme Extreme works extremely well for me, and is a seamless composition, perfect proportions, fairly sophisticated and very elegant. Additionally, compared to the original which is a little muted, the Extreme version has just the right degree of sillage and adequate duration. Bvlgari Extreme is an easy recommendation given a lack of quality and interesting fresh fragrances, and its price makes it an absolute no-brainer.

17th October, 2017

Donna Karan Gold Sparkling by Donna Karan

Wintery. Woody and nutty. Woody, like old furniture in a barn. Nutty, from the combo of black locust, amber, patchouli, jasmine, and carnation. My second-hand bottle has none of the fruit / citrus notes, that are supposed to be present. It isn't a perfume I would wear everyday. However, it is unique.
16th October, 2017
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MGW Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vetiver Indien by Paul Emilien

Felt that this started really well and full of promise, but never quite got there and never quite developed. Top notes were so elating - it's worth a neutral but never got out of 1st year and longevity was approx 2.5hrs.
16th October, 2017

Luna Rossa by Prada

Bitter and citric
Is no way to go through life
Unless you're fragrance.
16th October, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Mukhalat Malaki by Swiss Arabian Perfumery

The opening is rose with saffron and amber. Initially the saffron dominates, but soon the amber pulls equal rank.

There is not one specific specific moment when the rose suddenly appears, but is grows very slowly to become an aroma that is, like a gossamer web, covering the whole in a very thin layer, more like a backgound atmosphere than a fully present independent note in the mix.

In the drydown the oud develops; a gentle out, rather soft with the harsh edge reduced to a faint minimum. This oud does not stand out like in so many other products, it is here a well integrated team player. In the base the oud is paired with cedar and small touches of sandalwood, whilst he amber penetrates it all until the end.

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

A nice, smooth autumnal scent composed of high quality ingredients that are well blended, and, in spite of being not particularly creative, being a nice creation with excellent performance. 3.25/5.
16th October, 2017

Santos Concentrée by Cartier

Santos rose from our
Table of perfumes and wine.
"Stay fragrant, my friends."
16th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Vanille Insensée by Atelier Cologne

Ahhh... it makes a lot of sense to know Ralf Schwieger created this one. The style reminds me of Fils de Dieu or the Merveilles line. "Insane Vanilla" is a vanilla-dominant cologne (as in eau de) with a contrasting orange peel note and some supporting jasmine, moss, and woods. The jasmine blends well and whispers softly, never once attempting to overthrow the vanilla. It is a cold vanilla, based on the pod, not the extractor any baked goods featuring it. In the sense of coldness and darkness, it resembles Eau Duelle EDT by Diptyque, though not in the actual notes (other than the pod-based vanilla). This is one of my favorite ever vanillas, which I've learned after a two-year long vanilla quest. Very intelligently composed and modern.
16th October, 2017

Acqua di Parma Colonia Club by Acqua di Parma

This, to me, is Acqua di Parma Colonia meets a jarring synthetic mint note and a bunch of other fresh aromachemicals, thus rendering the composition loud and even obnoxious (as many other screechy mall fragrances), which is surprising given it's by Acqua di Parma. Then again, that might be an indication of the change of the times. I don't think this is inoffensive, as I am, at times, offended by the harshness. It smells closer to any sub-par designer release, or perhaps even like poorly reformulated drugstore scents that any discerning individual avoids.

More vulgar than dull. Best if avoided.

16th October, 2017

Black Afgano by Nasomatto

Amazing intensity, quality and my favorite from Nasomatto with Duro a close second.
Landshark described it perfectly, I don't have much to add.
Probably not the most versatile fragrance out there and definitely not work safe unless you work in a coffee shop in Amsterdam or undercover at a Phish concert.

One of my guilty pleasure scents.
15th October, 2017

Gentlemen Only Intense by Givenchy

I'd not define it a total scrubber but Only Intense is a somewhat mediocre synth scent combining the angular-metallic-calonic regular Only's vibe with an overdose of sweet spicy tonka, hints of leather and chemical resins. Pepper and incense are overly dosed and too sweet for my pleasure. Pass by.
15th October, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Al Ta'if Rose Blend by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

From the first fragrant moment to the last whisper in the final dying moment: the is a rose composition. A truly mono-floral creation.

Being mono-floral does not mean boring; on the contrary there is development in this rose enough to enthuse.

On me this is a bright rose most of the time. After the initial phase it develops a green undertone, like the aroma of the juice of the freshly cut bundle of rose stems. The smell of rose leaves is mixed is also.

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

This rose marvel is a gorgeous spring creation. It may not win the trophy for creativity and complexity, but is its pure intensity, uplifting richness, and in the astounding quality of the natural ingredients it reaches sublime heights of olfactory bliss.

Positive, intense, this rose is of great beauty. 4.25/5.

A rose is a rose is a rose.
15th October, 2017

Monsieur / Monsieur Bouquet by Henry Jacques

Everything that Francop says. I'll add that the hint of Cinnamon offers a nod to the spice of the Masculine body.
The first rate ingredients and composition
push this into a glimpse of the Art of scent.
15th October, 2017

Inverno Russo by Areej le Doré

Russian Adam thrilled and astonished me when he came out with Siberian Musk and Ottoman Empire, both of which are simply stunning fragrances that I am proud to own and love. Of his four brand new Areej le Dore scents, Inverno Russo is my favorite, although I find it surprisingly more challenging to wear than any of his earlier releases. The oud and the musk and the civet render this fragrance decidedly animalic--not stinky or skanky, per se--but in a dark, chewy, chocolate-mixed-with-oud sort of way. And there is even a tiny, almost naphthalene-like note that adds to its indolic character. This rich noir-ishness reminds me of the plush, velvety texture of certain vintage scents by Lanvin and Patou that I adore and miss, although I find Inverno Russo a bit less balanced than these older frags. Here, the darker aspects seem to override the florals--something that is especially noticeable when sprayed on clothing. I have a feeling that the oud Adam used here is partly (or primarily) responsible for this scent's unusual darkness and depth, but there are also some notes here I am unfamiliar with (e.g., Indonesian gaharu boya and betel leaf) that may be contributing, as well. While the beautiful florals combined with the clove and cardamom and sandalwood, recall Adam's own Ottoman Empire, Inverno Russo's far deeper base takes this scent into decidedly different territory. I think many will find IR's oudy and animalic nature compelling, while I find it just a bit too 'bottom heavy' to enjoy as a daily wear.
14th October, 2017 (last edited: 16th October, 2017)

Atlantic Ambergris by Areej le Doré

If you liked House of Matriarch's Blackbird, you should try Atlantic Ambergris. I mention these two in connection primarily as a reference point, since AA is so unusual that it is hard to pin down, label, or define. The two scents are not dopplegangers by any stretch of the imagination, but they share a overall profile that feels somewhat similar. The airy, slightly marine top notes, combined with a highly outdoorsy pine, and a darker oudy, incensed base makes me think of the denser, more urban-smelling HoM scent. AA is definitely lighter in tone and more floral, while Blackbird contains some darker tar-like notes that the Areej le Dore does not. I think this scent would smell incredible on a man, although an iconoclastic female could easily pull it off as well.

Very natural smelling and quite intriguing.
14th October, 2017 (last edited: 15th October, 2017)

Green Irish Tweed by Creed

Herb Citrus took a
Fancy ride with Amber Gris
And Violet Leaf.
14th October, 2017

Himalaya by Creed

Great stuff. It reminds me of a slightly subdued and soapy version of Silver Mountain Water (which I love).
14th October, 2017

Y by Yves Saint Laurent

Y by Yves Saint Laurent does smell fresh, clean, ready for anything. Saturday morning fresh and carefree. I like this smell but I have smelled this before haven't I? Would it be in the late 1980's with Clairborne for Men or is it CK One, Curve, Curve Chill, Bora Bora Men, Lacoste 12.12 Yellow and Y is oozing into Acqua di Gio territory with that melony freshness. Some of these are better than others and Y is as good as most and possibly just a bit more freshness, less citrus; but why would YSL come out with such a well used and tired scent profile? I am sure that there is some new melony musk aroma chemical that adds special sparkle and is slightly different - but I swear it smells just like Clairborne for Men which can be gotten for around $10 and has long retired from sales. It does smell good, though not very original, generic, but I give it a neutral rating because if you want this type of freshie, this is as good as any of the others like this - just more costly.
14th October, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Dahn Al Aoud Anteeque by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

This is oud, oud, oud form the beginning to the end. Starting with a touch fruity smokiness initially, it gradually smoothens to become a classic, natural oud but without much sharpness.

That does not mean it is boring: like the colours of a rainbow change with us moving, this oud is scintillating in various nuances and shades as times progresses.

This is not a heavy oud on me, but well balanced.

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

This autumnal oud is really nothing much but a beautiful oud. And this is maybe a bit monoclonal, but is makes a beautiful scent ou(d) of supreme natural raw material. 3.75/5.

An oud is an oud is an oud.
14th October, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Hindi Pure Indian Oud Oil by Arabian Oud

This is a smooth start, a lovely oud thatis the core note of this composition. It is a bit unusual in several aspects:

This oud is not heavy - especially with sparing application- and more in the elegant than on the heavy and cloying side.

This oud is smooth and rounded, at least initially, and lacks the scratchy and harsh character that many synthetic oud notes overemphasise. After the first few hours a little bit of oud harshness comes across, especially after more generous application, but on me this is more a subtle crispness than brutal harshness.

This oud has not much of a animalistic undertone.

That said, I only get limited development, but what I get is lovely indeed.

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

An oud scent for cooler autumn days, comforting, not heavy, smooth, and made of very fine natural ingredients, including some of the real McCoy. 3.75/5.
14th October, 2017