Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons

Total Reviews: 48
I absolutely LOVE this. Reminds me of a mechanic working on his truck out in the country on a moonless dark night at 2:30 a.m., with all the smells of electronics and auto parts surrounding him, listening to the a.m. radio. I suppose there could be an alien spaceship lurking nearby. Yes, electronics, electrical tape, burning metal, etc. A very unique fragrance and weird fragrance--exactly WHY I LOVE IT!!! FYI, if you like Odeur 53 but want something VERY similar with a more gentle floral note, you might try Truth for Women by Calvin Klein. I think they share many of the same elements. What do you think?
26th July, 2017 (last edited: 21st December, 2017)
I so wanted to like this, as a huge CdG/Rei fan. I even own some of their clothes... I know, I am crazy but I found what I have on good sale prices and the few items I have are very "me" so had to have them sort of thing... Fragrance is another passion of mine and I really want to be able to experience CdG for cheaper - as in fragrance.

I loved the vision of these "anti-perfumes". I get the idea, and I could get behind it too... As a person into unusual/weird/novel things, I had high hopes from "oxygen, flash of metal, fire energy, washing drying in the wind, mineral carbon, sand dunes, nail polish, cellulose, pure air of the high mountains, ultimate fusion, burnt rubber, flaming rock..." Alas, on me it smells like dryer sheet and migraine. That's it. I got a very strong "start of migraine" note from this and none of those cool imagery/ingredients. Sad but this just was very unpleasant for me.

(Overall did not like/got migraine-threat notes of different sorts from: CdG, CdG 2, 3, White and 71... I loved/purchased CdG 2 Man, and some of the incense, red, and synthetic series)

I love CdG's aesthetics and was interested in their perfumes as well so I tried a lot of their offerings 2-3 at a time in 2006-2009 when I lived in London and went to Dover Street Market frequently. I got samples of some, full bottles of others. This review is from my notes back then so may not be what I think now, or take into account reformulations etc.
05th July, 2017
The juice in the bottle that I bought recently is very similar to Odeur 71. I smell here a large dose of cheap hairspray right after applying and a cellulosic musky drydown. The smell is quite pleasant and wearable.
It was a blind buy, as usually. I'm not disappointed, used to love all the strange concoctions from CdG, I just wish there were a bigger difference between 53 and 71's modern versions. As was mentioned before, should be sprayed on clothes only.
09th June, 2015 (last edited: 18th June, 2015)
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Smells like my cat after coming inside, from being out in the snow.
03rd July, 2014
Synthetic, minimal, linear, "white", basically the theoretical absence of a perfume. But still, one of the most evocative scents I have ever tried. The first minutes made me feel like sitting in a 24h/24 automatic laundry, a delicate, synthetic, freezing and floral white blend of steel and soap. Then it progressively "humanizes" as it penetrates skin, fading into an ozonic, invigorating, really (really!) light and almost unperceivable but incredibly persistent iodine note of clean skin drying after a bath in Mediterranean sea (apologies for the cliché). I would not wear it - and in fact I don't - but it's still interesting to smell from times to times.

31st January, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)
This smells very synthetic but very very fresh. I don't smell all the nasty shizzle that is mentioned in the notes, like burnt rubber and such. For me this is super original and very wearable at the same time. Also the first fragrance that has given me so many compliments from the female sex.Has been my summer leisure fragrance for the past two summer's and will remain so for a couple more.
01st April, 2013
Nasty melted plastic and water...there is a bit of something...ozone...Not very creative
26th January, 2013
This is a very interesting and pleasant fragrance, certainly unconventional but still a lot less challenging than some of the later releases from this house (like Tea, the Guerillas, the Synthetic Series or even the 2011 Eau de Parfum). The opening is quite fresh and features a very enjoyable vegetal-green peppery note that strikes me vaguely as anise, fennel, licorice, or something like that (I can't say exactly what it is...) and which remains the main theme beneath all the airy framework throughout its later stages. There is nothing jarring or difficult about Odeur 53 and it is really quite softspoken and entirely unisex.
In many ways it reminds me of some of Jean-Claude Ellena's more recent experiments with fresh citrus-free colognes at Hermès (Eau de Gentiane Blanche, Brin de Réglisse) although Odeur 53 has a much more industrial/mechanical feel and relies far less on identifiable "classical" ingredients. It is more conceptually abstract and much less an attempt to reinterpret classical genres. The way I see it, its unconventionality lies primarily in its brilliant use of the ozonic notes so extremely prevalent in late 1990s fragrances to achieve a peculiar and very unique "electrical freshness." Odeur 53 has an abstract, almost reposeful, quality to it that still feels entirely modern, urban, and new. And it is a rare successful example of how a fragrance can be very different and undeniably modern without being either loud or simply disagreeable to most people.
Odeur 53 is very well conceived and executed, extremely versatile and very easy to wear - not to mention excellent value for money in that huge 200ml bottle.
27th November, 2012
Hey, do you want a free sample of this? Well look no further.The sample is the air you breathe aka it smells like nothing...literally.
10th June, 2012
I find it quite pleasant but every now and then I get an egg-like smell which turns me off.
17th September, 2010
This actually does not smell like nothing. It has a slight floral and very atmospheric vibe to it. It actually has a floral accord similar to Black Cashmere, but without the spicy funkiness. That being said, it leans towards feminine. Overall, Odeur 53 is non-committal, barely making a statement beyond minimalism, however perfect for a burst of freshness, and leaves a lot open to interpretation as seen from all these creative reviews. Ultimately for me, it's just too passive. If I want to be subtle and leaning towards ambiguity, I found my rare gem - Six Scents 4 Gareth Pugh: Diagonal - another barely-there scent that's uplifting but more comforting to me.
05th March, 2010
After the initial mélange of various ozonic/electrical scents, all that I can smell is nail polish, and it lasts forever. Do you want to smell like a TV screen smeared with nail polish...for a looong time? I don't. Frankly, this seems like the fragrance equivalent of living near high-tension power lines. Does that mean that Odeur 53 is carcinogenic? Well, maybe...?

Alright, I'm being facetious (I guess), but I really cannot fathom why anyone would want to subject themselves to this. Similarly, I cannot imagine that anyone would want to smell someone who emits this "odeur."

Oh, but it's an "anti-perfume." It's "art." Sheesh. What's next? A frag that smells like a Ziploc bag filled with the world's tiniest sea shells (not real ones, but space-age synthetic ones!) placed on the surface of the Moon? Fragrance notes like "Exploding Star," "Spent Fuel Rod," or "Frozen Glue"?

I am inclined to agree that this is avante garde, but that would be too complimentary. I would rather just say that it's pretentious and eerily misanthropic - and leave it at that.
09th April, 2009
lex Show all reviews
United States
i get that after a violent thunderstormlike feel. i like it and it has like a more of a natural smell than a perfumey presence
22nd February, 2009 (last edited: 15th March, 2009)
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If ever there was a "clean" scent executed as performance art, this would be IT. A strange/atmospheric/fresh/green anti-perfume. This is Comme des Garcons' pioneering calling card. Don't be deceived by the sillage. It can be quite strong, at least on me, mostly because at first it smells like nothing at all. This is a beautiful/artificial/futuristic/green/fresh scent that is not, mind you, for everyone. Still, this is worth a try simply because it is unique.
22nd September, 2008 (last edited: 14th June, 2011)
Modern, avantgarde and discrete.

This is, for me, a bi-polar scent. There are the flowery notes underneath the dominant smell of photocopier and static electricity from tv-monitors. Somehow these notes do not fit, but then again, that is exactly the point. Provocative in a discrete and quite pleasing way. I love it!
29th August, 2008
loomi Show all reviews
United States
After reading about Odeur 53 perfume on its introduction the list with the note of ozone especially attracted me because who would not enjoy ozone after a lightening shower?
In comparison, Bulgari Black perfume has a burnt note that is in common with Odeur 53. Black does not have electrified head notes as Odeur 53 has, and, unlike Odeur 53, Black has a leather and musk base.
When I picked up Odeur 53, I enjoyed it at home and slowly absorbed the new concept of Comme des Garcons, often smelling samples at my bottle of it. The packaging of Odeur 53 was a revelation as the mylar envelope with the list of the notes was worth the cost of getting this perfume. When I wore Odeur 53 in public, one of the typical ladies of my neighborhood responded with a frown.
I wish that I knew a lady who wore Odeur 53 all of the time because I am sure that I would listen to her ideas. I can not carry the note of finger nail polish though I appreciate the idea of it. After a few years of wearing perfumes since picking up Odeur 53, I think that it might best compliment, in public, the haute couture clothing of Comme des Garcons or a pristine white t-shirt of a toned body. Odeur 53 reminds me of my dream house in the city that is high up in the sky and full of light, metal, glass and air, and I suspect that I would enjoy visiting my dream house better than I would enjoy living in it. I always want Odeur 53 in my wardrobe because of the sense of discovery that it engendered.
31st July, 2008
Aiona Show all reviews
United States
To me, this smelled like honeysuckle oh so briefly, then that was gone in seconds, to be replaced by pond algae mixed with milk. That lasted for about an hour and a half, and then became a light herbal green drydown that was actually quite nice and lasted all day. Not a lot of sillage on me. Strange stuff.
26th July, 2008
ori Show all reviews
United States
Yum- I love the crisp, futuristic, thunderstorm aspects of this scent. There's a good clean sort of metallic facet to it, so its "freshness" is more, well, refreshing than the term might suggest. On my skin it develops a somewhat sweet cast to it once it's worn in a little.
17th July, 2008
Yes it smells like nothing at first. I believe one has to let this sit for a few hours to get all "53" notes in this. Comes off as fresh and clean... definitely synthetic but not abrasive. As a perfume, I'd never wear this unless I was attending some modern art exhibition.
11th July, 2008
Here's my original review, that I found to be quite pretentious but actually not that bad:

"A comfort scent of sitting in a garden of pixelized leaves and sunshine that's right next to a pool of soapy water that is filled with sentient robotic fish while being blown on the face by gusts of sweet refrigerated air."

WARNING: Initially, it smells like nothing, but try over-spraying or over-applying and you might find yourself running to the sink with a headache to wash it off. Even when applied lightly, the sillage and longevity is surprisingly monstrous for such a clean scent. There is a sharp synthetic note in Odeur 53 that I believe to tell the wearer's brain that "Hey! There's something that smells chemically dangerous around you! Here, have a nice headache. This should make you take care of the smell!" However, after a while, your brain gets used to it -- then you can start spraying that 200ml bottle of yours like there's no tomorrow.

I have sampled both 53 and 71 and I at first have found both to be pretty underwhelming. Initially, I thought that 71 was more interesting/challenging and that 53 was too overly subtle. (note: boring oblivious nothingness) However, a few days ago, I sprayed some GPHII on my body and applied a very little bit of 53 on my hands from my sample vial then went outside. It was very windy that day. I walked around then suddenly I wondered what smelled so nice. I knew that it wasn't the GPHII. Then I realized it was the 53! The combination of the evening breeze with Odeur 53 was in my opinion, strangely amazing.

I was also surprised at the sillage that was given off. When sniffed up close, it's nothing much to get excited about -- pleasant, but nothing too exciting. Kinda like "my skin but better." When I smell 53, I think of "refrigerated chlorophyll, cellulose, and air." For me, it's a very "green" and transparent frag. A good frag for a windy day. Overall, it's pretty unique and easy to wear.

Here's my review today:

Soapy woods with a plastic tinge. Wears lightly. Pass!
05th June, 2008 (last edited: 29th July, 2009)
Personally, I find this stuff weird, and not in a good way. Maybe I need to give it more time to work its magic smell on me, but all I got for the 1.5 hrs it was on my skin was smoldering plastic; pretty much the antithesis of fresh. If my laundry smelled like this after a wash, I'd have to suspect a fried drivebelt in the dryer. When i tried to wash it off though, it changed up into a smell that reminded me of like, instant pina colada mix or something... It's some crazy juice, I'll give it that.
18th July, 2007
my new favorite "fresh" scent
judging from the notes, it may sound crude and harsh but actualyl it is the opposite.
it is light and not "in your face"
the synthetic characteristics, in my opinion, are so overwhelming. and the way the "notes" play create a very natural sweet rubbing alcohol feel
19th April, 2007
I really wanted to like this, after all of the reviews I read. But I ended up getting a headache about 10 minutes after application. I believe it was the 'nail polish' note that did it...

Would not buy - but I was mystified by the smell, I will say.
10th January, 2007
I love this! Amazing bottle to start with, and the juice is even better. Odd in a way for sure, but also oh-so-easy-to-wear. Very pleasant smell, actually.

This is perhaps the most childish scent there is, besides the actual baby/child perfumes. (such as Petit Guerlain)
Evocative, pure and somehow very innocent smelling. Like a breath of a little baby.

Extremely fresh and clean, but also very mysterious. Spacey scent too, and I actually see David Bowman wearing this in A Space Odyssey 2001 as he silently travels in his capsule, towards the birth of a Star Child.
15th October, 2006
I didn´t find it pleasant on me.
At start smell cleanly nice quite like fresh air but wetty, then turn on something pvc-like, not in the way of the fab Soda or Skai, its more like horrid smell of burn rubber plus a smell of polution and dusty dirty stones whased out with bleach or something.
but for my surprise, I find it light transparent and highly clean like pure virgin water, in women skins and non olive skins. CDG antiperfumes in general react quite strongly in dark skins.
I give a thumb up for the idea of the genuine concept and the great smell that capture other´s flesh.
21st September, 2006
vadim Show all reviews
Russian Federation
Quite a mess as perfumes go but then, it's an "anti-perfume". Fun once a month for a change in the way crossword puzzles are fun. Worth having just for the heck of it.
06th September, 2006
A light, cool, fresh, artificial scent. I can't make out any notes, and I guess that's the point. It's a bit like a lighter, more mainstream version of the Synthetic series, a synthetic scent that's not offensive and smells like nothing in particular. I don't really like this kind of "cool and clean" scent, to be honest I'd rather smell "dirty". Too nondescript and fresh men's cologne-y for my taste.
14th August, 2006
I'd love to be able to affirm that Odeur 53 is even near as strange as it presents itself, but the reality is that this is the olfactory equivalent of a Rorschach test – a vaguely defined shape, crucially accompanied by the expectation of all manner of bric-a-brac. It's fresh, lightly soapy, floral in an abstract sort of way, with a bit of mineral saltiness; a gentle, comfortable, and frustratingly familiar smell that recalls fabric softeners and the nice, unassuming handsoaps that your grandmother likes. All in all, fascinating as an experiment in suggestion and perception.
11th August, 2006
This and 71 may be the two most clean smelling fragrances I've ever had the pleasure of owning...what a great purchase. 53 is an IMMEDIATE pick me up. It's incredibly bright and refreshing with something hidden under all of that. VERY VERY nice!
19th June, 2006
Odeur 53 was certainly interesting at first. The first few times I wore it, I had a good time picking out the different “notes”: nail varnish, sand dunes, burnt rubber… But once that was accomplished, the intrigue was gone. It was a fun exercise, but the “odors” that the fragrance presented weren’t enough to continually hold my interest. I suppose Odeur 53 is way too abstract—and subtle—for me. Also, although the notes are unique, they are not what I would call beautiful or enjoyable. I guess I just don’t get it, and I no longer find it interesting... it’s a quick learn.
03rd June, 2006 (last edited: 10th April, 2008)