Perfume Reviews

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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Zombie for Her by Demeter Fragrance Library

The opening hits the mushrooms with the surrounding rotting leaves very well. The mildew is well characterised too.

In the drydown little changes, apart from generic whiffs of dried flowers appearing here and there.

With time the mushrooms are rotting away, leaving leaves on wet earth only.

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

This very autumnal scent is quite well crafted. I am not sure about the Zombie though, as I never smelt one. Maybe its demise occurred on the dark ground of the forest, and on walking away allnitnlefts were the mushrooms, the soil, the shades....
23rd November, 2017

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

This is one of the perfumes that got me inspired to start collecting, again. I nearly fell on the floor, back then, when I smelled this for the first time. It still makes me swoon. I think it is genius. Chocolate, tuberose, patchouli, orchid, vanilla, gardenia, amber, musk, jasmine, and some fruit as well. Sultry. Sophisticated. There must be another word to describe this, for me, for my love of it. My mind goes blank when I don this. I think it takes some confidence to wear. It isn't for the timid.

Anyway, I believe as long as Ford keeps making this available, I'll always have a bottle.
23rd November, 2017

Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

Dirty, Dirty Pour Monsieur. This scents vaguely of, day old scalp, underneath a bouquet of Citrus brightness anchored in an Oakmoss Savon.
Pour Monsieur is for the Formal. This is for the licentious after Party.
23rd November, 2017
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Givenchy Gentleman (new) by Givenchy

This is on my testlist. Gentlemen I wore in the 70's and it was simply awesome. If you go here

entry 130.

A respected Reviewer offers hilarious review
how it compares.

On my never try list.
23rd November, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Feu Secret by Bruno Fazzolari

At first blush, it's a lot of Eucalyptus-- so much that my hand tingles where I have sprayed it.

But wait...

A few minutes in and it's the day after Christmas in my dad's log cabin, with the warm smells of last night's cooking, and the brisk breeze of the Illinois winter blowing in through the screen door he has left open to air the place out from last night's log fire. Cool and crisp and woody all at once. I can almost feel the breeze off the river.
23rd November, 2017

1000 by Jean Patou

85 Vintage
This is a perfume of real beauty. A big puff of Civet to warm the nostrils. A slap of something of heat maybe Eucalyptus and the Geranium. A burst of Florals, Rose and Jasmine,Galbanum somehow seem etched and measured with unusual precision. While this bouquet is dancing, notice the puff of Sandol, not predominent, however it is clearly High Quality. A whisper of Violet delights my senses. Orris folds into the package, never obtrusive, just there. You'll feel a nod to present day CDR leather in the drydown. Very much about the Blending and Paint Strokes which are to be seen in Pour Homme and Pour Homme Prive.
Isn't Oakmoss wonderful, particularly when used by a master. Beautiful how it scents luxurious to the end and then some.
Probably a little ornate for daily wear, however, like the Masculines this needs to be considered.
I am a guy, I'd wear it, because it is so very, perfectly presented.
23rd November, 2017

Vanisia by Creed

For all the times I have said I am frustrated with Creed - especially their feminine line - Vanisia redeems the line.

I have a bottle of the older Vanisia, so I have no idea how it compares to the newer juice, but my hope is that they do not vary by much. This is such a nice representation of the Oriental genre.

I get a very clear amber-y feel from this, though it's not the kind you get from scents such as Amber Absolute or Ambre 114. This is more "rose dusted" amber and it may even be actual ambergris. There is a roundness to this in the dry down that makes me think with it being a vintage bottle, it may have real Mysore as well as real ambergris - the subtlety is so fine that if this was done with aroma-chemicals, it was done with a rather masterful hand!

I am giving it 4 stars for now, but it could move to 5...I need to wear it more and in more climates to see how it works. So far, though, it is different enough from Lyric and Duetto to keep in my collection.
22nd November, 2017

Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

It starts out sweet, warm spicy. In the middle I get a whiff of something different; perhaps it is the karo karounde. Towards the end I smell the patch, benzoin, and myrhh. "Beyond the basenotes", when it has really dried down, it is a slightly wood, powder-like scent.

For me, it starts out rather ordinary. As it wears on, then it becomes interesting and quite lovely. I can see why it is so popular, now that I have finally tried it.
22nd November, 2017

Crimes of Passion: Raw Silk and Red Roses by 4160 Tuesdays

I give this one 3 and a half stars. It's a lovely rose representation. I get no fruit at all. That's all right. I get enough fruit in my diet.

This screams patchouli, musk, geranium, and rose in an utterly feminine way. I'm happy to finally getting around to trying a couple of these 4160 Tuesday perfumes. I am on a rose kick lately. This one hits the mark. I like how it ends up "dainty" on my skin after a few hours. Lightly powdery sweet.
22nd November, 2017

Valcan by Kanebo

Muskier Mandom.
Not all mandom is Mandom.
Some mandom is MOAR.
22nd November, 2017

Oud Zen by Areej le Doré

This arcane smoky/balsamic sandalwood's rendition (finally slightly civilized and rouded by soft balsams and stout leather) represents my first approach with the infamous Areej le Dore's "rocky" siberian alchemies. A first greasy Oud Zen's fist on my decrepit skin from the southern provinces and I'm immediately connected with the most obscure and extreme Abdul Samad Al Qurashi-oudhs straight outta dark caves, with the Calice Becker By Kilian Pure Oud's boot polish-like cypriol oil/cistus labdanum/smoky woods/saffron/tolu balsams/myrrh-founded animalic connections and definitely with my appalling bottle of pure castoreum-oil from Abdes Salam Attar Profumo. Castoreum (supported by acid civet) is indeed aggressive along this first stage and the animalic strength is in addition "extremized" by hints of (mezcal like) worm-rotted/mould, by secular dust, bonfire woodiness a la Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods or Fireside Intense, boisterous smoked leather a la Omer Ipekci Pekji Cuir6 and by (civet-nuanced) medicinal syrup. I substantially disagree with the excellent and super qualified ClaireV since I don't see any credible wearability in this straightforward combination of agarwood-pure oils, rancid resins, smoked woods and animalics (neither in the final barely tamed phase). I detect saffron which is a perfect dry companion for the authoritarian licoricey/salty/leathery/woody starkness but I catch as well a richer musky/green balsamic vibe (at same time vegetal and animalic a la ASAQ Royal Oud Gazelle or Deer Musk) from the ancient woods of the siberian mountain. A feral potion? Oh yes baby, at least (for three/quarter of its run) on my skin of moonshiny "suburban" pseudo-perfumista and till when a barely perceptible touch of softer balmy presence gets soothing the general "burnt sense of stale prehistoric antiquity". Exotic facets from Papuan Oud? Naaa. A faint floral presence? Probably, in a subtle final way perceptible as spark (minimal) of amberish/floral sophistication. Complexity is not proper to these types of musky/mouldy alchemic experiments to me and frankly (sorry again dear Claire) vintage Habanita (seriously powdery) or Onda Voile d'Extrait (eminently hesperidic) are completely different stuffs imo. The general structure turns out to be lacking. The final wake is lighter but still smokey, mouldy and leathery, an arcane feel which could by no means be introduced as "luxurious".The Oud Zen'wearer is definitely a saturnine fellow out of this standardized time and with a poetic sense of life. I appreciate in any case the hard "opera" of general balancing appointed by the artist creator. A status of mind (projected back to ancient centuries) more than a fully accomplished fragrance imo. 7,5/10.
P. S: the great surprise is that along the final stage, nearly 10 hours over the "application" on skin, the note of civet (a synthetic amberish/musky civet a la Zoologist Civet) unveils all its "suggestions" providing due to its "organic acidity" (and on a certain extent) the illusion of an old school animalic classic massive chypree a la Tabù Dana (or neo classic a la Zoologist Civet) under the vest of a still dominant (but reduced in intensity) musty smokiness and overall represents a great work of civilization appointed by perfumer imo.
22nd November, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Strawberry Ice by Demeter Fragrance Library

This smells indeed like strawberry, or, to be more precise, like strawberry ice cream. Or like a strawberry sundae.

The is an added undertone of vanilla, which becomes a dominant force in the fading base moments, but otherwise this is quite anlinear scent without any surprises.

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

This spring scent for cooler summer days is overly synthetic, but so is strawberry ice cream. After all, the average mass-production ice cream maker works more with flavours than with freshly squeezed fruit juices. Given this fact it is quite a realistic depiction of the ice cream in question. 3/5.
22nd November, 2017

Acqua di Parma Profumo by Acqua di Parma

This is the smoothest most sophisticated Chypre I have in my collection. I really love this Chypre because it is a complex inhale like tasting a complex wine. I get all the stages in layers in each inhale. Love it! Most Chypres like Mitsouko and even Magie Noire smell best after 30 minutes on my skin but Profumo smells fantastic and complex as soon as it hits my skin.
22nd November, 2017
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No.032 Bay Rum by C.O. Bigelow Apothecary

Ye olde tyme Baye Rhum
With tenacious toasty heart
And gonzo sillage.
21st November, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Sunshine by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is essentially a vanilla scent; a vanilla ice cream scent that is.

Initially freshened up by a touch of lemon, it is a rather linear creation, except for touches of a light powderiness being present towards the end.

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

This is a spring creation that it quite synthetic and generic. Not bad, but nothing special. 2.5/5.
21st November, 2017

Sycomore Eau de Parfum by Chanel

I had cut and pasted this from the EDT web page:

15 November 2016

I just received my bottle of Sycomore EDP today. I purchased it on Chanel's website.

Having not tried Sycomore EDT previously, I had no preconceived thoughts about this fragrance, other than having read that the EDT is more smoky and the EDP is more woody.
In other words, this is an unbiased review.

I have been wearing Sycamore for about 7 hours now. I must say, Sycomore smells great!

It is a dark woody fragrance, with fresh green and a warm medium smoky scent. The notes seem to switch back and forth between the vetiver and cypress, with a slightly spiced tobacco and juniper poking out here and there.

Though it is listed as unisex, this is seems to be more of a masculine scent. Due to its refined scent, I would gauge this best for age 25+.

With two sprays, the sillage was about 6 feet (2 meters).
If you feel like wearing this to the office, I would suggest limiting yourself to only one spray, as it is nicely potent.

The scent had a really strong sillage for about four hours, and then mellowed out a bit. It is not as potent now, but is is still detectable from about 3' (1 meter) away.


Note: I read on the Chanel website that all the EDTs from the "Les Exclusifs de Chanel" line have been reformulated into an EDP. The only one that was not reformulated, was Les Exclusifs de Chanel Eau de Cologne.
21st November, 2017

Oud Wood Intense by Tom Ford

Oud Wood Intense is a dark oud wood with subtle spices, tobacco and leafy character and a charcoal dust aroma all within the opening. This melange evolves into a dark dry oudish leather which stays present in one form or another throughout. The oud is subtle and shrouded in birch tar which gives a smoldering leathery backdrop. Because of its namesake - Oud Wood - I am surprised how dark, almost burnt, Oud Wood Intense becomes. Very well blended, the aromas intertwine and appear from within as if from inner depths. This fragrance is unique and different enough from original Oud Wood with its leather, tobacco and dark quality which might have deserved its own name and identity, but naming things is a separate challenge from creating the scent. Tom Ford continues to impress with his relentless exploration of interesting variations in aromatic niche perfume art.
20th November, 2017 (last edited: 22nd November, 2017)

Credible Noir by Louis Cardin

A first blast of Credible Noir on skin and it seems to deal with a new Creed Aventus-clone with all its citric/smokey/fruity/coniferous "repertorio". I detect a touch of fruitiness, possibly hints of peneapple, huge bergamot and a tad of grapefruit. Probably the Louis Cardin's list of notes is just partial, aiming to veil the larger (in number of elements) perfume-composition. I detect fir-resin, pink berries and a sort of leafy-earthy-rooty presence (patchouli, herbal notes, jasmine-leaves??) as well. A rosey/piney/peppery-twist keeps "swarming" under the nose while (along the way) a less sharp and gradually smoother spark starts jumping up from the "backstage" in a way conjuring me intensely the Mazzolari Nero's final "outlook" (musk, rose, synth ambergris and vanilla, overall smoother than the current Aventus dry down). Hints of leather (a la Aventus/Royal Vintage) come up along the journey but in a pretty minimal way. The juice is surely fresh, "projectful, "modernly classic" and fancy but by no means seriously groundbreaking. A nice virile concoction (finally rosey/lemony, smokey and amberish) which is anyway far to be "credible", original and innovative. Another lost occasion, sorry.
20th November, 2017 (last edited: 21st November, 2017)

Acqua di Parma Colonia Club by Acqua di Parma

Fresh, classic and green.
Good, bad, neutral, addictive.
Welcome to Basenotes.
20th November, 2017

Gold Man by Amouage

Stardate 20171120:

A floral of bygone era. Lots of white flower and indoles. Aldehydes are the right amount here (not crazy like No 5).
A great solid juice.
Not going to be popular with men for sure.
Reminds me a lot of Joy
20th November, 2017

Portraits : The Uncompromising Sohan by Penhaligon's

The Uncompromising Sohan is a brass eagle capped, 2017 arrival to the Penhalgon's Portraits fragrance series. This bottle is another in Penhaligons collection of rose centric fragrances that pair rose with berries, contrasted with saffron, pink pepper, vetiver, and mellowed with amber and oud. The variety of ways to spice up and incense a rose masculine perfume dates back to the original, 1872 Hammam Bouquet Penhaligon's that started the concept. Today Penhaligon's has many male rose beauties that are tuned slightly different from one another, filling the spectrum from soft subtlety to rich bold and savory. The variety goes from Savoy Steam (mild), Something About the Duke (civil spices), Hammam Bouquet (fruity rose oriental), Halfeti (spice trader, woody), As Sawira (mystical) and Uncompromising Sohan - very bold, expressive, uncompromising but pleasant.

Uncompromising Sohan is an Arabic styled accord of opulent jammy rose essence sharpened with saffron and pink pepper, resting on a warm wizened woods base of Laotian Oud, vetiver and sandalwood. This rose combination soars to the brighter side of the Arabic incense rose range but retires to a mellow but crisp assuring base. It is an excellent fagrance that is bold, long lasting and contains a wide range of tonal resonance from soaring formal red rose to sombre good natured mellow rose and woods retirement, from bright start to softer finish. This may not be my most favorite rose saffron oud scent, but it is a very good one.
20th November, 2017

Bentley for Men Absolute by Bentley

By rights, I should have liked this one a lot more than I did. It checks off a lot of boxes for me with its incensey/frankincense-woody-synthetic oud-peppery notes. It's decidedly unsweet with an austere dryness from the papyrus note. And at first blast it does remind one of GPH I. But then it fades much too quickly for my liking, becoming a skin scent. Unlike Bentley Intense, this one will require more initial sprays as well. A shame really, because the basic scent is quite good, if a little flat and subdued. A background player rather than a more prominent fragrance. I'm not a fan of layering but in this instance, it might just be the way to go.
20th November, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Thunderstorm by Demeter Fragrance Library

The atmosphere after rainfall or storm has inspired over the years; Après l’Ondée is maybe the most famous one.

Here the focus is on the earth and a woods after the event: earthy, green and in the shade; the ground afterwards. The atmosphere after the rain is represented by a rather synthetic-ozonic impression. After the first hour a dull chemical aftermath remains.

Of note is the lack of any floral components in this composition. The dark forest ground it is, without and friendly blossoms. This is not a sweet fragrance.

I get moderate sillage, good projection - for the first hour - and a total longevity of four hours.

A bit too synthetic overall, the first part is executed well and realistic enough to raise one’s interest. The rest is silence. 2.75/5.
20th November, 2017

Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

Sporty green L'Instant,
Such charms revealed to those who
Spray less and smell more.

20th November, 2017

Cardinal by Heeley

The Incense for us Catholic Lights - i.e. Episcopalians and Anglicans - it's got a "happy" feel to it - we jokingly laugh with our HRC friends that we're just like Catholics - all the fun with half the guilt - and this Incense is a lighter take on heftier predecessors of the same genre, such as Unum Lavs. It is simply gorgeous and I am so glad to finally have it in my husband's wardrobe (though, I might sneak some sprays for myself!).
20th November, 2017

Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

In the early '80s I was a dedicated wearer of YSL's "Y", but one sniff of Rive Gauche and I remember how prominent it was at the perfume counters and on my friends. And this is in that same green citrusy rose family as YSL's "Y", but with a much bigger rose. This is the scent that Don Draper's second wife would have worn, with her French-Bohemian chic and her batwing Pucci dresses.

I'm getting a Parisian-soap sense from this, and finding it captivating, even though I usually dislike soapiness. There's something so retro about this soap lifted by aldehydes, kind of like original Ivoire. This is also making me recall Rabanne's "Calandre", another great favorite of mine in this era, with its soap-and-metal accord. It's interesting that so many reviewers can't detect the rose here; to me it's large, and I sense none of the other florals some describe. There's nothing sweet about the floral aspect, in fact it's rather spiky. I can picture this fitting right in with the Le Smoking era of androgynous Saint Laurent fashions, even though I'd only ever associated "Y" with those images at the time. In fact, this current version would make a great casual office scent for a man today.

What I'm sniffing is a contemporary version, and Turin gives pretty high marks to the 2003 renovation of this scent, which I presume this is, but I'd still like to experience that resinous quality that he says gave the older stuff a darker background. And other accounts note that there was a sizeable plonk of sandalwood in the vintage aluminum can version.

Sadly, the two sprays I applied had almost vanished after 90 minutes. I'm going to reapply just to experience that green citrus/rose again and to see if I can find any oakmoss in the drydown. But I already know I'm going to add this to my vintage hunting list, and I regret not giving this scent more attention in its heyday.
20th November, 2017

Cadavre Exquis by Bruno Fazzolari

I'm the oddball who actually really likes this one. It's outrageous! It started with blood orange and camphor. Then the dark chocolate cloud blasted my nose. That, lasted for quite awhile. When it slipped away I got some kind of dried fruit thing. I thought I smelled some cypress in there somewhere. Star anise, benzoin, vanilla, and a civet thing took over and remained. Bold and brash. Spicy sweet ending.

I doubt I'll seek out finding a full bottle to add to my collection. Too many other scents I love more. I'm glad I had a sample to try.
19th November, 2017

Black by Bulgari

Love that new car smell!
19th November, 2017

Guerlain Homme L'Eau Boisée by Guerlain

Iso V Super
From limes of grass trees shading
Thierry's Savanna.
19th November, 2017

Samsara by Guerlain

I have a weird thing with sandalwood fragrances: when I spray them on a card, I smell no sandalwood at all. This is the reason it took me over a year to try Samsara, because on the tester strip it smelled very unappealing.

However, trying it on skin is a completely different story! It's a gorgeous, creamy, sweet sandalwood; unapologetic, sexy, and bordering on garish, for a Guerlain.

The current EdT gives me the most pencil-shaving-sandalwood, which I love, but the base is too vanillic and plastic-ey. The current day EdP is massive in projection and sillage, almost too much for me. The vintage EdP is the baby bear of Samsaras for me; rounder and slightly more chic, and the sandalwood in this reminds me a bit of Bois des Iles.

The only thing that's missing is the lovely pencil-shaving note from the EdT, so I'm going to experiment with layering this with Diptique's Tam Dao, which has that in spades.

It's the loudest, least subtle fragrance I own, but I absolutely love it.
19th November, 2017