Perfume Reviews

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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
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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

Live Your Dream by Anna Sui

A light, everyday floral. Top has "floral" notes, muguet, water lily; middle reveals jasmine and rose. The base is barely discernable. I only smell a hint of musk. Average offering. Not a thriller.
18th January, 2018

Musgo Real No. 2 Oak Moss by Claus Porto

This is exactly what is says on the bottle. Fresh and oak mossy.
Much nicer than the Classic cologne which is peppery patchouli and not what the equivalent shave cream smells like.
Of the two go for the OakMoss if you are looking for a fresh barber shop scent.
I have the Orange Amber shave cream coming in so lets see what that's like then may try the cologne.

Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 3/5
18th January, 2018

Musgo Real by Claus Porto

This is nothing like the shave cream which is barbershop fresh.
The cologne starts off nice and fresh and masculine but this rapidly fades and you are left with a peppery patchouli which is not what I expected at all. OK if you like that sort of thing but not OK according to what one expects from Musgo Real. My full bottle is going straight on ebay.

As an aside the Oak Moss cologne is much nicer. Stays fresh and Oakmossy, ie exactly what one expects from Musgo Real.

Projection from both is 3/5
Longevity from both is 3/5
18th January, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Earl Grey Tea by Demeter Fragrance Library

There is no tea in this.

There is a hint of an overly synthetic bergamot in it - the other characteristic ingredient of Earl Grey Tea.

The rest is a nonspecific generic slightly sweet impression of a mildly boozy liquid soap with whiffs of artificial fruitiness at times.

The sillage is soft, the projection limited, and the longevity four hours on my skin.

A spring scent for those who want to avoid Earl Grey Tea. 1.75/5.
18th January, 2018
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Guess by Marciano for Men by Guess

The opening is a generic sweet scent mixed with something vegetal. Sorry, that’s the best way I can describe it. I find it to be on the juvenile side. The sweetness in the drydown reminds me of Thalium but do not confuse this with anything that projects. Becomes a skin scent in the first hour. However, it does have surprising longevity. Lasts all workday.
18th January, 2018

Soul by Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

A bit too masculine for me. I liked the top notes of bamboo leaf, green apple, and bergamot. However, the middle and base are too aromatic on my skin. There is something odd about this, that I just can't pull it off, like other masculine fragrances.
17th January, 2018

Spicy by Avon

Avon Spicy after shave lotion began life as a spicy variant of the after shave lotion under the original "Avon for Men" line from the 1950's, but re-released several times when that line was replaced by separate masculine fragrance lines starting with Tribute for Men in 1963. Original Avon for Men was killed off with exception of the after shave lotions, re-dubbed "Original" and "Spicy", each with different bottle designs until eventually the original variety of the after shave was killed off too and the spicy flanker was relaunched in 1970. Going just as "Avon Spicy" in a round brown bottle, this after shave lotion ultimately had a 20+ year run and eventually was pumped out into numerous novelty decanters before finally being given the axe by the start of the 1980's. All variations are the same juice, and there was never a cologne of this, just after shave, talc, soaps, and shave cream. It was obviously and infamously one of two various attempts at emulating Shulton's Old Spice (1937), the other being called "Brisk Spice" and basically being a bit brighter and coming in an actual fragrance format.

Avon Spicy is nothing more and nothing less than an after shave. It's a damned good one though, as it has the mentholated "cooling" effect on skin without the menthol fragrance note of Mennen's Skin Bracer (1931), or at least it's buried beneath spice and not noticeable. The rest of the scent follows pretty closely to vintage Old Spice, with clove, spice, vanilla, amber, but not as much bright florals in the opening. It goes on with a bit of an alcohol smell at first, but once the "spicy" elements kick in, it smooths out and lasts maybe an hour or two at most before disappearing. It layers really well with actual Old Spice, or if you want to stay within Avon from the period you can follow with Avon Leather (1966), even though that had it's own after shave as well. I quite enjoy this when I want the smell of an Old Spice-type product after a wet shave, but don't want to wear Old Spice. Avon Spicy after shave lotion is light, cools and soothes, then imparts a nice warmth of aroma that only sticks around long enough to segway into a more serious day wear scent of choice. It's absolutely perfect for what it is, an uncomplicated masculine after shave, and that's rarer than you might think.

Avon Spicy is not going to impress a person looking for original long-lost vintage masculine fragrance. It was Avon's first plagarism of a popular trope that fortunately wasn't marketed as a new and unique idea like so many of their later copycat scents, and wasn't even technically marketed as a fragrance in it's own right, but a practical-use product with a popular smell enjoyed by many guys of the day. In that regard, it's no different than any other more-recent barbershop homage shaving toiletries, it just has 60 years on the current competition and sadly is long-discontinued. Luckily, it's active ingredients don't really spoil and it will still cool and sooth skin after a shave, arguably better than anything newer I've tried save maybe a balm-type (which I find too heavy to be honest). So much was sold for so long and in so many different formats that it will be years yet before it's completely extinct, so with a bit of online hunting, you too can shave like the husband of an Avon lady from the 1950's/60's! Finding a non-decorative bottle may be difficult, but even an empty one if located can be refilled with product from X or Y decanter, so that shouldn't be an issue.
17th January, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Caribbean Sea by Demeter Fragrance Library

It starts out with the expected marine-saltwater impression, but it is a fairly standard approach, a bit on the generic side.

Unfortunately this sea-aroma evaporates quite soon, and a nonspecific fresh drydown is all that remains.

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

This summery marine scent is quite flat and anaemic compared with the good representatives of this species of fragrance- think Gianfranco Ferré’s Bergamotto Marino or Creed’s Erolfa, for instance. A mediocre composition at best. 2.25/5.
17th January, 2018

V for Men by Clive Christian

Not too shabby...wish it projected just a little more...if you like incense this is at least worth trying a sample...incense/frankincense does vary in flavor ...sometimes its kind of lemony...other times it has other aspects...the incense in V gives me a sweetish turpentine like flavor...with that in mind , what this fragrance smells like to me is like someone sprayed on a light coating of Amouage Honour Man and then layered Cardinal on top...the incense note in Cardinal smells just like the incense note in V to it moves along I suddenly got a major whiff of cedar...unless you already have a lot of incense in your wardrobe , this would be a nice addition...drawback of being rediculously expensive, but sometimes good deals can be found on testers...bottom line - spicy/peppery/woody flavored incense...
17th January, 2018

Reflection Man by Amouage

I can see why so many people love this scent. Reflection is an aromatic scent built from old fashioned fragrance combinations that are often found in toiletries, fine milled soaps and barbershops around the world. The opening is bitter orange leaf, pepper, rosemary and neroli that turns a bit powdery over a layer of orris that smoothes out the mid notes. The base is a classic masculine sharp edged cedar, sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli perfect finish. This same combination can be found in many other popular stalwart colognes such as: Villoresi Uomo, Aqua di Parma Essenza, Stetson Cologne and MFK Pluriel. This is a classic but soapy aroma that is done on a slightly more refined level to reflect the Amouage standard level of quality. Reflection risks making no enemies and is a steady and pleasantly upbeat friendly clean cut fragrance.
17th January, 2018

11 by Le Cherche Midi

Light, airy and as fleetingly refreshing as a cream soda popsicle on a sweltering day, 11 seems to me like a lighter, less robust take on Xerjoff’s original 1861 with its ozonic undercurrent running through a more conventional pairing of minty-citrusy top notes and a faintly creamy tonka base. It lasted a little longer than the popsicle but I loved every second of it.
17th January, 2018

Larmes du Désert by Atelier Des Ors

What a mesmerizing woody-resinous composition my Lords!!! I agree with the always excellent Buzzlepuff since I notice a great game of proportions and balancements, despite "handling" resins in perfumery is never particularly easy. Resins and spices are in here sapiently calibrated while the dominant woods smell dry, smoky, peppery, seasoned, secular. This misty and moody Atelier Des Or's woody/incensey fragrance (especially if taken in its top and central stages than in its starker dry down, more than Sahara Noir or L' Air di Desert Marocain) conjures me up the medieval Etro Messe de Minuit first formulation with its sacramental secular rituality, with its atmosphere of damp-moldy secret basements, burning torches, tight alleys of the medieval town and religious ceremonies. While Messe the Minuit appears more properly resinous, spicy and "burning" with its holy liturgical cremation of resins (frankincense and opoponax), Larmes du Desert is (initially more balsamic, than finally) more woody, arid, smoky and subtle (basically more austere and balanced with its silent perfect secular burnt abstraction). One of the woodiest scents I've tested on skin in which the straighforward woodiness smells finally almost (ostensibly) salty. This French House is one of the most experienced and qualified Maison in the woods/resins-appointments out there. Another eccellent fragrance from Atelier Des Ors.
16th January, 2018

Perry Ellis for Men (new) by Perry Ellis

By their fruits know them
Even if you cannot tell
Exactly which fruit.
16th January, 2018

Tobacco Oud Intense by Tom Ford

Sweet, smokey opening and then it just turns into a campfire. I'm not sure what occasion smelling like a wood-burning oven is best for, but this scent will do that job.

Projection and longevity are borderline nuclear.
16th January, 2018

Killer Rose by 4160 Tuesdays

Stardate 20180116:

Start is screechy but moves on to Tocade+Spices very soon. Then the tocade-ness goes down and the fragrance settles in to a greenish smoky rose. Smoke is perhaps from cloves and or incense.
A nice rose.
16th January, 2018

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

stardate 20170314:
I love this Silky and Red Rose.It has retro vibe+new creed base. Works well. FB worthy for sure. Rose+Musk+Amergris - synthetics well done
16th January, 2018

Carven pour Homme (original) by Carven

More often than not, if a scent is from the 90s (or early 2000s) and discontinued, chances are it was a gem. Carven Homme is very much a classy woody masculine with some spices. It's not the most original. It takes inspiration from Egoiste and Gucci Envy for Men, but it is unique enough to stand out in such distinguished company, and good enough to hold its own.

The brilliance of Carven Homme is in the incredibly smooth blending. The backbone is formed by a cedar-sandalwood accord, while cinnamon, lavender, vanilla and nutmeg add flesh and nuanced beauty to the composition. The blending is sheer ingenuity. The elments are so finely interwoven that they create a marvellous aura, yet they are masterfully accented so that rather than being blurry the effect is multi-layered.

The craftsmanship is also highlighted by the way Carven Homme wears on skin. It is rich, deep, with adequate sillage initially, but always gentlemanly. It becomes a bit muted after a couple of hours but has excellent longevity and can easily be worn for a day - an excellent 'eau de toilette' by construction. Carven Homme is refined, articulate, intelligent, and yet highly approachable and possessing that comforting sense of everydayness.

16th January, 2018

Incense Rosé by Tauer

I expected to at least like Incense Rose, since I love rose and incense. I find Incense Rose to be a pretty linear and well composed accord of rose, woods and incense. It's engaging and has a good presence; however, there's also something extremely sharp, shrill and abrasive in this that persists throughout. I could be wrong, but it smells like something that comes from the woods or the incense (rather than the rose). It's shrill, sharp attribute is also present, albeit to a much lesser degree, in Thirty-Three, a composition I enjoy. It's too amplified in Incense Rose, and overbears everything else. Additionally, Incense Rose smells not dissimilar to certain varieties of paan and paan masala from the subcontinent. I think Incense Rose has good sillage and duration, but I could have been distracted because of my experience.

Incense Rose is perhaps best suited for those looking for rose with sharp woods and incense. It's dark and hyper dry. More of a beast than a beauty, but then, beauty lies in the nose of the beerholder. Definitely sample first.

16th January, 2018

Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

Spicy woods.

Egoiste is all about light, subtle woods, primarily an accord of sandalwood tempered finely with spices and florals. Rose is there, an abstract presence that brightens up the composition, while cinnamon and coriander accentuate the sandalwood. There's a delightful touch of dry vanilla in the base.

Egoiste, for all its charm and beauty, is somewhat fleeting on my skin, and sits close to skin throughout its lifespan. Sillage is close, but lovely. I find the current version to have a vague musky aspect (perhaps ambrette seed), while another version I'm familiar with (from the early 2000s) is brighter, more sparkling and has a greater emphasis on the woods. The earlier version isn't richer or deeper, but does last a tad longer.

Egoiste, especially if one looks past potential issues with sillage and duration, is one of the most charming perfumes out on the market. It is also often a reference for sandalwood. However, one might find Tam Dao EdP, Samsara EdP (preferably an earlier bottle), or even Bois des Iles to be more useful if specifically seeking a sandalwood. Tam Dao and Bois des Iles are more focussed, while Samsara is more opulent.

It's notable that Carven Homme (1999) and Gucci's Envy for Men (1998) are quite related to Egoiste in terms of composition. While Envy for Men (with a terrific ginger note) is more exotic and oriental, Carven Homme successfully bridges the two styles and is mandatory sampling for anyone interested in Egoiste.

It's best to approach Egoiste (or any perfume, for that matter) with an open mind. Just don't expect a big perfume, but maybe you can expect something beautiful.

16th January, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Christmas In NYC by Demeter Fragrance Library

The opening is characterised by the usual wintery Christmas feel of spices, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla and the likes. Somewhat predictable but pleasant.

Later in the drydown this mix turns less pleasant, and this is mainly due the increasing presence of strong synthetic characteristics. Additionally, the sweet spiciness becomes increasingly generic.

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

A warming and comforting winter scent, initially conveying traditional, albeit not particularly original, winter Christmas feelings, but eventually turning out to be somewhat too generic and disagreeably synthetic overall to convince unequivocally. 2.75/5.

16th January, 2018

No Matter What by Liaison de Parfum

A rather cheap strawberry shampoo smell given a soda sparkle with aldehydes. As the aldehydes fade, it makes room for that overused peach and a pinch of mint. This all eventually gives way to a mix of raspberry candy and violets. Everything here always kind of smells like hot hair being shampooed, and the drydown is a weird salty hair smell.

I just don't like perfumes like this. Shampoo perfumes are gross and cheap candy perfumes are saccharine and childish at best. Put together, they're worse than the sum of their parts. Thumbs down...
16th January, 2018