Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Costes by Hôtel Costes

Total Reviews: 30
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Costes opens with a soft rose and mild lavender floral laced "red hots candy" cinnamon accord. As the scent enters the heart phase the cinnamon spice becomes more prominent but turns dry as the early florals recede though do not completely disappear yet. Cutting through the spice and its underlying floral undertone is an ever-growing non-animalic musk spiked woody incense accord rising from the base that mixes with the spice in the later heart phase, then gradually replaces the supporting florals in total during the final part of the dry-down as the cinnamon also sharply dissipates late. Projection is deceptively strong and longevity is below average at 4-6 hours on skin.

Costes was a blind buy for me that I initially thought went awry. I sprayed a piece of paper with the fragrance initially, and the "red hots candy" and musky incense aspects went wild (it seemed all too apropos that the bottle resembled the color of red hots candy). The accord was powerful and almost cloyingly synthetic-smelling on paper, coming off as more of a high-end room freshener than a fragrance one would wish to wear. Luckily, on skin the effect is quite different. The rose and lavender floral aspects are much more noticeable on skin, softening the cinnamon and incense quite effectively by adding an almost watery floral undertone, making the scent work. Leave it to a brilliant nose like Giacobetti to skillfully make this kind of a composition work so well on skin when it seemingly fails on paper. All in all, Costes is a success and is also a rather good value at its $80 for 50ml or $135 for 100ml retail price. I am not quite sure that if I had sampled it first I would still have made the purchase (especially as it does not last as long as I would like on skin), but I surely don't regret it either and award Costes a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating outright.
16th March, 2013
Smells like Christmas. They should have named it Christmas. Startling quality. Beautiful, lucid notes. Spicey. Luxury Diesel Plus Zero. Though the Diesel may be more wearable; this will satisfy hardened fume heads better.
23rd January, 2013
For a fleeting moment in the opening, this smells surprisingly green & floral to me, before the wood & spices come in. The most prominent spice is clove, transitioning to a peppered, dark rose with a layer of sandalwood beneath. The rose slowly recedes over the next four-five hours, leaving a smooth, sweetish & clean sandalwood base. The incense note is very subtle here, but the projection is big. Very nice!
04th January, 2013
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Starts of very nice and interesting, with a musky, dusty, incensed rose scent. After about a half hour, it dries down to a cloying old-lady smell.
27th August, 2012
Wearing it right now and here is what I think of Costes. First of all, the rose in this scent has made me less wary of rose going forward. Given that I am usually baulk at the mere mention of rose and denounce it as feminine and not for my tastes. Perhaps they refined the rose note and surrounded it with lavander and incense to make it more wearable and less flowery. The result is puzzling as it is at once lithe, fresh and confident while still holding an air of affluent modern decadence. I imagine chic trendy hotel corridors with successful assertive hipsters of all ages as the clientele. As for the fragrance, sleek and urbane and what Nicole Kidman and her hubby might share. Do I like it ?..... not for everyday but it has a place in my collection. i am surprised the cinnamon resemblence has not turned me off as of yet. More of a fragrance of novelty value rather than something that will reach for when the need for a safe scent choice arises.

I have to downgrade my previous rating of Costes to neutral based on wearability issues in the long run. Somebody else remarked of its value as more of a home fragrance . Now I agree.
04th November, 2011 (last edited: 02nd December, 2011)
I love the smooth and delicate wood/incense background of this scent. However, I do not like rose scents. This smells like rose potpourri. Once I smell that, the fragrance becomes rose, rose, rose, and I cannot get past it...Also, for me rose is not a masculine scent and if I wore this in public, I would be looking over my shoulder all the time to see is anybody was staring at me - "what's with that guy and the roses?" Silly but true. Too bad, it is a nice scent, thumbs up for women and guys less insecure than me.
10th October, 2011
Very good but if you asked me, this is a feminine fragrance. still very nice though
13th April, 2011
DULLAH Show all reviews
United States
My 2nd favorite rose scent behind Windsor.

This is somewhat of a combination betwwen some of the fresher spicy/peppery scents like Opus 1870, and some of the better Rose scents like No. 88. It's about as masculine as 88, but not as masculine as Windsor.

The Rose here is the main star, and it is of higher quality and richness of tone than some other highly touted Rose scents here on BN, such as Amouage Lyric and Caraceni 1913 (I like neither), and the spices (mainly pepper) are the most prevalent note following. The woods/resins are light in the base and provide the masculinity, enough so, that the Jasmine and Lavender notes don't make it too overtly feminine for a man to wear.

I personally wouldn't wear it, but it's a very very good scent. I especially appreciate the incredible opening.
15th August, 2010
A gorgeous scent I just recently discovered. I was sitting next to a guy at a party and loved the warm and spicy yet clean and soapy scent he was giving off. I didn't know the whole Hotel Costes marketing machine even did scent, but apparently they have a knack for design on a variety of fronts. Very recommendable as a pleasant unisex/masculine.
13th March, 2010
BayKAT Show all reviews
United States
This is a scent I can imagine dancers putting on before they go out and do the paso doble. It is fun, festive, spicy and electrifying. It's just too bad the festivities only last for a couple hours, at best. This is one of the best woody spices I've sampled, but I can't justify the price tag for something that is so fleeting. Note to industry: Please give Giacobetti a bigger budget, her intuition is impeccable but the quality and staying power of the final result is not doing her justice
27th February, 2010
I like it. I find it to be an herbal and light myrrh type of scent. The first phase has excellent, dry green notes of laurel and herbal lavender. This give an intriguing, slightly medicinal quality (and I love that sort of scent). I wish this phase lasted longer. The spices kick in, and they are peppery and clove-y. This is not a big, heavy scent; but it is assertive. I think it sits close to the skin. The third phase is the development of the myrrh. Here we see a typical chord of myrrh that is slightly sweet, perfumed, and soapy. This gains a bit in weight as the light wood and musk notes contribute. In some ways, with the pepper and incense; this could be termed a kinder, gentler Piper Nigrum.
23rd October, 2009
For years I wanted this fragrance. I wonder why it took me so long to get a bottle. I REMEMBER! It is dang so expensive. Thank goodness for eBay for the acquirement of a barely used bottle for less than half the retail price.

Costes is a subtle, sharp, but woody fragrance. The balance of this fragrance is impeccable. Therapeutic and makes you feel sophisticated all at the same time. It has a soapy kind of smell to it due to the rose, but it is perfectly tempered by the bay, pepper and coriander.

This is the perfect scent to start you off in the exploration of incense based and niche scents.
03rd August, 2009
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
I largely agree with shifts here, and I'll add that the original CdG fragrance is like the concentrated version of this, in that it has a "thick" quality whereas this is more "transparent." The original CdG also has a strong honey note, which this doesn't. Both have a scented candle/soapy quality. I don't get much incense from Costes (or it may be that it's blended with other notes and gets masked somewhat) and the lavender blends nicely here, unlike so many fragrances where it slaps you in the face. This is not a "beginner's" fragrance. For the novice, I suggest getting a sample and coming back to this every month or so, assuming you are doing some sampling in between. After several months, you will then know if this is for you or not. This is the kind of fragrance a "newbie" buys, hates and swaps off, then smells again months later and is angry with himself or herself for letting it go. Sillage is moderate, while longevity is very good.
13th April, 2009
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

At first it smelled like sweat. I thought there was cumin in this but that didn't seem right then it hit me: cloves! Smells like my mother's spice drawer. Interesting scent for an entire hotel to smell like a kitchen. Maybe it's to "feel at home" or something. I wouldn't mind this being sprayed in the air but to wear as a perfume, for me, it's a bit too far out there. Too herbal and edgy, like being brow-beaten.
13th February, 2009
Spicy cloves, bay, cinnamon, and lavender that reveals a rose laid upon sandalwood that is lightly touched by incense.

Very nice, soapy, and medicinal -- stays close to the skin.
14th December, 2008
After hearing wonderful reviews about what a lovely spicy woods fragrance this is, I was so optimistic that I would love it. However, on smelling it, I get overwhelming rose, and not much else. I have encountered a few other people on other boards who agree with this assessment, so I am reassured that I am not completely alone, but hmmmm... still no idea why the rose in Costes is so incredibly prominent to my nose. If I liked rose scents, I would probably like this one, but I'm just not a fan in general - preferring rose to be a minor note, when present. AND, I'm hesitant to recommend this scent to people who are looking for a rose scent since so many other people seem to not smell the boatload of rose here that I smell. It's definitely not one to buy unsniffed - especially if youre sort of ho-hum on rose.
10th December, 2008
Took me a few days to come to terms with this stuff.
Unisex? Sure.
Girly? Not even.
This spicy, herbaceous cologne has a most complex personality; the kind that you don't know if you can get along with until you get to know it better, like some long lost crazy uncle.
Accords are conspicuous and it has impressive lasting power for an e.d.c.
Split personality cologne.
04th November, 2008
I loved this when I sniffed the bottle at Aedes. When I finally got around to purchasing some, I find I'm not nuts about it. It's a well-crafted scent and probably lovely on the right person. On me, it smells rather like Neutrogena bar soap, which is not a bad smell but not worth the price of a bottle of Costes. Kind of clean and mediciney. Not awful but not something I'll buy again.
27th August, 2008
I was surprised at how much I did not care for the signature perfume from Hotel Costes. I admire and own decants of Diptyque's Tam Dao and 10 Corso Como, the two fragrances with which Costes is most typically compared and thought Costes would be a slam dunk. However, I don't find many similarities. To to my nose, Costes smells like a big bundle of cinnamon bark, with a bit of cheapish sandalwood/musk thrown into the middle notes. I had to wash it off before the base notes appeared as I was about to gag. Sorry 'bout that! (bad reviewer, bad reviewer!) I have heard that Hotel Costes liberally scents their entire hotel with this perfume and if that is the case, I think I'll be staying somewhere else next time my travel plans call for Paris.

Here are the notes, per The Perfumed Court: lavender, bay-tree, coriander, white pepper, rose, incense, woods and light musk.
19th June, 2008
what can i say. it smells exactly the way a indian spice chest would smell. every household in india has this small chest filled wiht spices from cumin to anise to cardamon to cinnamon to you name smells exactly like one + incense. just amazing how they captured all this smell, this was my first true introduction to niche, where every note is so clear and defined and most importantly, makes you go wow! one needs to be in a mood for this one..its almost medidative lit with scented candles, .lights thru ancient stained glass, heavy carpets from turkey...and freinds performing some kinda.......ritual. Costes is a must have for anyone who appreciates fragrances as a art form. incredible lasting! two thumbs up!!!

06th June, 2008 (last edited: 19th July, 2008)
Wow was my initial reaction. I had just been trying Amouage Jubilation XXV and then tried this. Shall we compare and contrast, kids? Amouage was dense and smokey, full of incense, dark and mysterious, and incredibly complex. It is a liaison in winter under fur in front of a roaring fire with your clandestine lover. Not something I could pull off every day. So the contrast to Costes was shocking to me. Costes is stepping out of the hot Mediterranean sun and into the cool foyer of grand old hotel, the curtains gently billowing in the breeze. On me, it opens with a refreshing burst of citrus, clove and pepper. Shimmering underneath are fresh florals (bay leaf and lavender), it is very clean and smooth at the same time. SMOOOOOOOTH. In the dry down I'm more aware of sandalwood and a subtle animalic muskiness that anchor the fresh crisp topnotes and keep this fragrance on firmly unisex ground.

Classy, sexy, refreshing and smooth. Definitely a summer fragrance. This could be my new daily scent.
16th May, 2008
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Gorgeous lavender/spice opening which quickly settles down to rose. But a beautiful, incensed tinged black rose. Smells similar to the Diptyque rose (Opone, i think), but far superior and easier to wear. A queen in the garden. Stunning!

22nd April, 2008
I'm 'on again off again' with Costes. But the first time I smelled it, dabbed from a sample vial it was P~a~r~a~d~i~s~e! Clean, medicinal and uplifting. After that I recieved a good sized spray decant. After spritzing on my wrist; all I smelled was dryer sheet! Wretched! Now as I write this, I sit here wearing it sprayed from a 50ml Costes bottle and it's nauseatting. I think Costes is really dependent upon time, temperature and temperment. It's nice sometimes, but not today.
18th April, 2008
markc Show all reviews
United States
Very nice. Spice, Clove, a bit of florals. I did walk past the Hotel Costes earlier this year. I should have stepped in to compare.
20th November, 2007
ahsu Show all reviews
United States
The spicy/cinnamon-y/clove-y opening is my least favorite part of this scent, and luckily for me it only lasts 15 minutes or so. As the spice fades, I am left with just the perfect combination of incense, sandalwood, and musk. I prefer this to Tam Dao, which is too dry and too straight sandalwood (not to mention how fleeting it is) for me. I get decent skin scent lasting power with Costes. I like both this and 10 Corso Como, which I find similar. I'd say Costes is the outgoing and approachable younger sister to 10 Corso Como, whose musk can sometimes get very aggressive on my skin.
07th November, 2007
Lavender, bay, pepper, and incense are the notes that, to me, stand out immediately upon application. It’s quite a vigorous combination—spicy and retro. Reminds me of (but is much fuller and richer than) a bay rum scent I wore years ago. To me Costes stays linear because of the continued prominence of the bay and clove—an accord that I find delightful. The incense is the fulfiller of the scent: Lightly and perfectly integrated into its movement, it adds the necessarily richness to the abundant vibrancy of the rest of the accords. The musk and sandalwood in the drydown further increase the scent’s classic richness. On my skin, it has very good longevity. A totally pleasant and energetic fragrance—a definite thumbs up even though I, myself, would rather use it as a room spray than as a personal fragrance.
18th January, 2007
Hotel Costes is vibrant and truly original place in Paris...unfortunately the same can not be said about the scent, that is in spite of its spicy opening (in my nose a little reminiscent of Gucci PH), does not deliver on the next stage and after an hour the scent is too flat to have any mystery or attraction at all left. Something a little interesting to sniff on, but nothing to wear according to me...
09th December, 2006
Opened subtly spicy...(can you say "cardamom"?) herbaceous flowers drifted in and then a curl of censed myrrh. Wafts nicely. Elusive and classy - I forgive it for not lasting very long!
25th September, 2006 (last edited: 22nd June, 2009)
I can't help but compare Costes with the original Comme des Garçons EdP, they sure have the same ultra spicy opening. But when the CdG goes on and on and adds that hay note, Costes take on another route into a more airy and softer drydown. I bet there are some sort of flowers or fruit in there too. Quite lovely I must say and will hopefully become one of this fall's fragrances.
29th August, 2006
vadim Show all reviews
Russian Federation
Quite good overall and literally "smells" of class. Nice fresh top notes, but spoiled somewhat by a too incense-y drydown.
15th August, 2006