Latest Fragrance Reviews, Updated Daily

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    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vert d'Eau by Chabaud Maison de Parfum

    Vert d'Eau opens with a mild watery citrus infused aromatic grassy green fig accord before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the citrus-laced grassy green fig deepens, adding mild herbs to the well-blended mix. As time passes the aromatic fig gives way to the now starring green fir-like fig leaf with a very prominent dry amber undertone that grows into co-star as time passes. During the late dry-down the dry amber turns mildly powdery as the fig leaf hangs around, now supporting it. Projection is below average but longevity is superb at between 14-15 hours on skin.

    Vert d'Eau started off promising as true to its "Green Water" name it smelled like watery grassy greens. The citrus early-on worked extremely well with the herbal aromatic green nature of the fig, adding near-transparent support giving the composition its watery texture. Then things began to fall apart as the near-coniferous smelling fig leaf and dry amber entered the picture. The combination is not only monotonous, but additionally irritating. It seems like the dry amber will never go away as the composition turn extremely linear from hereon in, only softening briefly at the very end of its life cycle, allowing the wearer to finally enjoy its slightly powdery remnants. The bottom line is Vert d'Eau starts off pleasant but the overwhelming dry amber and fir-like fig leaf prove too much and wear one down as time passes, earning this disappointing overall composition a "below average" 2 to 2.5 star out of 5 rating and a mild avoid recommendation.

    28th January, 2015

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lait de Vanille by Chabaud Maison de Parfum

    Lait de Vanille opens with a super-sugary, syrupy vanilla with a slightly alcoholic benzoin undertone. As the composition moves to its heart accord the sugary sweetness remains, now fortified by amazingly sweet, slightly creamy caramel. The composition remains extremely linear through the finish with no further development to speak of. Projection is average and longevity below average at about 4-5 hours on skin.

    Lait de Vanille is the sweetest vanilla composition I have encountered to date... Heck, it may be the sweetest composition of *any* kind I have encountered as of this write-up... The composition couldn't be much more simplistic and linear; it is sugary sweet syrupy vanilla and equally sweet caramel all the way. I am sure I am the wrong person to review this as I can't stand super-sweet compositions generally and dislike the inclusion of caramel in them specifically. As such, it should come as no surprise that I find Lait de Vanille an appallingly bad mix of my least favorite fragrance composition attributes, and quite frankly I don't think this works in any case, personal preferences aside. Lait de Vanille is a definite scrubber in the opinion of this reviewer. The bottom line is you have to *love* overt sweetness in general and super-sweet gourmands in particular to attempt to enjoy Lait de Vanille and I dislike both, awarding it a "poor" 1.5 stars out of 5 rating and a huge avoid recommendation for all except the most ardent sweet gourmand fans. Even to those, Lait de Vanille's overly simplistic nature may tire.

    28th January, 2015

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lait de Biscuit by Chabaud Maison de Parfum

    Lait de Biscuit opens with a slight caramel tinged sugary sweet syrupy vanilla. As the composition moves to its early heart the caramel deepens to a degree as the hyper-sweet vanilla continues to dominate, adding a speculoos sugary cookie-like accord to the mix. During the late dry-down the incredible sweetness finally fades leaving behind a slight powdery sheen from the remaining vanilla in the base with traces of a mild buttery accord left in support. Projection is below average and longevity average at 8-9 hours on skin.

    Oh boy, yet another super-sugary vanilla gourmand concoction by Chaboud! I don't think there has been a fragrance line I have come across with so many variations of the same theme and most of them not very good, this one included. In the specific case of Lait de Biscuit, the ridiculously sweet sugary vanilla open is paired with the supporting aroma of speculoos biscuits (kind of a slightly buttery shortbread cookie). I really enjoy the aroma of speculoos when done right, and L'Anichambre released a composition that perfectly captures the best part of their aroma, tying with one other as my favorite gourmand... The simplistic and highly linear Lait de Biscuit unfortunately focuses far too much on the sweet side of things and less on the buttery shortbread goodness featured in the best speculoos biscuits and the composition accordingly fails. The bottom line is Lait de Biscuit is yet *another* sugary vanilla composition from Chaboud that should have been left in the tweaking stages for much needed improvement, earning a "below average" 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and an avoid recommendation. My advice to speculoos lovers is to seek out the near-perfect Speculoos by L'Antichambre instead of this inferior pretender.

    28th January, 2015

    drseid's avatar

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    Lait Concentré by Chabaud Maison de Parfum

    Lait Concentre opens with hints of sweet buttery toffee before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the toffee recedes to a just noticeable level, as the real star of the composition is revealed -- very natural smelling melted sweet creamery butter. The composition at this stage remains linear through the late dry-down as the butter remains constant and any traces of the early toffee disappear, leaving the butter alone. Projection is minimal with the composition a bit more than a skin scent and longevity average at 7-8 hours on skin.

    After my quite recent highly negative experience with Lait de Vanille, it was with great dread that I saw the similar title of Lait Concentre on the next sample I picked randomly out of the Chaboud set. I had to really steel myself as I expected more of the same sugary sweet vanilla and caramel previously experienced as the sample descriptor read "The scent of sweet milk and caramel shards of sugary candy.", but Lait Concentre thankfully smells nothing like that and is a pleasant surprise indeed. So what does the composition smell like? It smells like a life-like rendition of sweet creamery butter slowly melting on the stove, nothing more, and nothing less. The aroma is quite believable, and I dare say I could not distinguish it from the real thing in a blind smell test. One will have to decide if smelling like melted sweet butter is a message one wants to send to others, but there is no denying if one loves that aroma you will not find a more realistic rendition. The bottom line is Lait Concentre is an extremely linear minimalist sweet gourmand that has limited versatility, but as one who loves the smell of melted butter this reviewer approves, awarding the composition a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating. Lait Concentre is recommended specifically to melted sweet cream butter gourmand fans that don't mind its relative simplicity.

    28th January, 2015

    drseid's avatar

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    Fleur de Figuier by Chabaud Maison de Parfum

    Fleur de Figuier opens with a moderately sweet lush fruity fig with an almond-like aroma. As the composition transitions to its early heart the relatively sweet aromatic fruity fig remains, adding a very slight dirty peach undertone to the mix. In the latter mid-section things remain quite linear but the sweetness level wanes and the composition gradually incorporates a green tinge to the fruity fig. During the late dry-down the fig gives way to a stark cedar woody finish. Projection is average and longevity excellent at about 12 hours on skin.

    Fleur de Figuier is a pretty easy composition to like. It is pleasant smelling, easy to wear and showcases some very smooth transitions. No, you are not going to find any innovation to speak of as the composition is pretty classically structured and relatively safe, but there is just enough of a slightly dirty undertone resembling aromatic peach to keep things interesting. What can I say...? I like it. The bottom line is Fleur de Figuier while a tad safe and linear is a fine easy to wear presentation of fruity fig, earning a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating. Recommended.

    28th January, 2015

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Night by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    The Night opens with a heavy barrage of real Indian Oud that comes on extremely strong right out of the gate. The Oud can best be described as having a moderate barnyard aspect with an additional sterilized gauze-like quality. Excellent quality rose is also present at the open, but it is almost unnoticeable due to the Oud being so strong it gobbles up anything and everything in its path. As the composition very slowly moves to its heart about 45 minutes to an hour later, the Oud starts to gradually calm down, allowing the rose to begin to shine through, though never gaining complete parity... During the late dry-down a bit of a subtle, high quality Amber accord is mixed into the Oud and rose tandem to smooth out the composition through the finish. Projection is off the charts outstanding, while longevity is excellent at about 12 hours on skin.

    I fear the relatively few folks that will be lucky enough to sample the limited distribution release, The Night, are going to be in for quite the shocker if they are not used to real Indian Oud in all its glory. Malle promoted the composition as having an unprecedented amount of the good stuff in the bottle, and having now worn the composition a few times I have no doubt that he was being entirely candid. The Oud one experiences at the open is all encompassing. Oh yes, there is some high quality rose in there too, but it goes almost unnoticed as the Oud is just so potent nothing can distract attention away from it. This is not the easy to digest synthetic Oud many folks used to Western perfumery have experienced all too frequently nowadays... No, this is the real stuff, which in this case means barnyard animalics and sterile gauze-like qualities. If one hasn't encountered it before, it will most likely take some getting used to. Speaking personally, the experience was a bit much to digest the first time I wore it, and the open stays this way for nearly a full hour before finally letting the Oud die down enough to allow the fine rose to sing and at least play co-star (albeit, a distant one). It is at this point that the composition really reveals its charms, as when the rose (not so unlike the quality stuff used in Ropion's own Portrait of a Lady) starts to mesh with the Oud, the result is absolutely outstanding and smells quite different than any Rose/Oud composition I have experienced to date. The amber used in the late dry-down is near transparent, but it adds just another facet to the minimalist development, smoothing out the Oud a bit further through the finish. It should be mentioned that the composition really is not an symphonic amalgamation of multitudes of ingredients like most Ropion works, quite the polar opposite. In the end, whether one loves or hates The Night is near-certainly going to depend on their acceptance of the heavy dose of real Oud early-on. Let's face it; we frequently deride western perfumes and the houses releasing them at faux premium prices for their creative marketing that promises Oud nowhere to be found, or in extremely small doses... In the case of The Night, Ropion and Malle go to the complete polar opposite of the spectrum in going "all-in" with the good stuff. The old adage, "Be careful what you wish for..." may apply for some, but this reviewer thinks Ropion has another winner on his hands, especially after 45 minutes to an hour in when the rose gets to shine too. The bottom line is the $755 per 50ml bottle The Night is insanely expensive in relative terms, but Ropion delivers the goods with both ingredient quality and composition structure, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5. This is one that absolutely merits a sample, but prepare yourself for the unexpected if you haven't tried real Oud by itself before...

    As an aside, I tried a fun experiment in layering Portrait of a Lady (original formula) with The Night to see if the combination would bring out the rose earlier in its development, but just as with The Night by itself, the Oud gobbled up the rose of PoaL at the open too. It became quite obvious that it wasn't a lack of rose absolute in The Night that was the cause of the Oud coming on so strong in relative terms without any countering presence early, but rather there is such a large quantity of the good stuff in The Night that even a large dose of rose absolute can't compete with it. Later on, just as the rose and to a lesser degree Amber came out in The Night worn by itself, the Portrait of a Lady rose, patch and incense showed up too. It just appears that the Oud needs time to calm down a bit before the composition can let other facets show.

    28th January, 2015

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Dior Homme Cologne (2013) by Christian Dior

    "Soapy-cardamomish", sultry, salty-lemony, synthetically musky, a new sort of Heaven Chopard hardly aiming to be the Must de Cartier Pour Homme of the new generation.

    27th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Etra by Etro

    Etra Etro is a graceful, bright, sweet floral-fruity-woody scent played with delicate “white” notes mainly revolving around rose, sandalwood, and an accord which somehow resembles to tea for me, although the note is not listed. You know that “shabby chic” thing (both in fashion and house furniture)? That is what I thought about smelling Etra Etro. It smells natural, lively and somehow “countryside-ish”, but a civilized, posh, affected, slightly pretentious and somehow coquettish kind of countryside. Not sure why but that “world” came to my mind when wearing this Etro’s, but well, here we are. Well anyway, that tea smell I mentioned earlier – and which honestly is quite prominent to me – plus the “white” flowers reminded me a bit of Parfum d’Empire’s Osmanthus Interdite, which to me is somehow similar to Etra Etro, at least to some extent. That feeling of something “juicy” and tea-like is probably due to some fruity notes, a really simple, fresh, “watery” rose and the floral-woody-sweet notes of sandalwood, carnation and pimiento (which you can easily spot here). Vanilla, cedar and a subtle musk note compose the base notes. Nothing groundbreaking but a really graceful, pleasant, fresh scent, more substantial than it seems. Understate radiance. Good!

    7/10

    27th January, 2015

    Manscents2's avatar

    United States United States

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    The One for Men by Dolce & Gabbana

    I so wanted to fall in love with The One for Men by D&G, but, alas, it was not to be. Fragrance-wise, it’s wonderful, beautiful, I can’t say enough good about it! Actually probably one of my favorite scents, which is the reason for the Thumbs Up. I don’t have the refined nose of many here so I’m not great at always deciphering all the notes, but at first spray I just got a sweet, spicy vibe (never specifically smelled grapefruit). It did evolve frequently over the course of the drydown, and the end result on me is a soft, beautiful sweet amber and tobacco that I could sniff all day.

    The problem for me is that it’s too soft for my personal taste. If you’re the type man who only wants some special girl or guy to smell you when their head is on your chest or snuggled into your neck, then this would work out exceptionally well. I, however, like fragrances with a little more projection. I don’t need to fill the room, but if you’re standing a few feet away in conversation I want you to at least pick up a good whiff, and that doesn’t happen for me with The One. I tend toward drier skin so always use lots of moisturizer, and hoped that would help with the staying power of this but it didn’t seem to. This scent would work very well as a professional office scent since I doubt it would offend anyone and it sits fairly close to the skin on me. I think this could be worn year-round, and might possibly even work as unisex for some women.

    When I first put this on, I got a slight projection but after about 4 hours it has dwindled into just a nice skin scent, and I really have to shove my nose into my wrist or tuck my face into my shirt to smell it (I did 2 sprays on chest, 1 on each wrist, and 1 at base of neck). If this had more strength I’d buy a bottle and wear it regularly because I absolutely love how it smells. But, I think I’m going to take a pass on this “One” and hope to find something that may excite my nose as much as this does but with more oomph!

    As always, your results may vary!

    27th January, 2015

    Ghost_Goat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rêve d'Ossian (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

    Simply an absolutely gorgeous scent, but never an assuming one. For as beautiful as this scent is, it also carries with it a humility and grace that makes it so easy to enjoy. Unlike the related Relique d'Amour, Reve d'Ossian doesn't devolve into the austere. It's a casual scent that references hallowed moments past, but trades in the sense of grandeur and awe at the pomp and circumstance, allowing for a more literal and personal exploration of scent memories past. Both put incense and the according religious associations into sharp focus, but only Reve d'Ossian does it in a completely relatable and unassuming way.

    Having served in the catholic right of mass as an altar server as a child, this fragrance appeals to me directly but never quite like the assertive, impersonal, and haughty (but, still lovely in it's own right) Relique D'Amour goes about it.

    27th January, 2015

    Francop's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Drôle de Rose by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    What a Beautiful Green Rose Fragrance!

    It makes me feel like born again; it is that good!

    If You find it, Get it!

    Good Longevity.

    Thumbs up!

    26th January, 2015 (Last Edited: 28th January, 2015)

    nwhite14's avatar

    United States United States

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    Old Spice by Procter & Gamble

    What else can be said about the grand daddy of men's perfumery? Probably the most successfully marketed fragrance of all time and still smells great even straight out of the plastic bottle. Although, I never agreed with P&G changing to plastic so I just refill my vintage glass bottles with the new stuff. Keep the splash alive, wear your Old Spice proudly and give your son someone to look up to even more. Thumbs up for Dad's everywhere!

    26th January, 2015

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Rudis by Nobile 1942

    Half an hour into Rudis by Antonio Alessandria for Nobile 1942 and I’m willing to sell my soul for it. I can’t remember the last time I was so bowled over by an opening of a perfume. It smells like expensive whiskey at first, its sheer booziness giving Lubin’s Idole a run for its money, followed by luscious red berries, dark wine, leather, incense, and smoky woods. The first time I wore it, I couldn’t stop muttering “wow!” to myself like a mad woman. I was quite literally intoxicated.

    Rudis brought to mind a very specific memory from my past – from when I used to babysit for the extremely affluent guests of a famous hotel in the village where I grew up. The owner of the hotel had married a wine heiress from France and the hotel cellars were stocked with the best and richest wines that France could offer. Just before bedtime, I would take the children down to the bar, dressed charmingly in their nightgowns, so that their tipsy parents could give them a kiss goodnight. Rudis smells like this memory: the smell of expensive whiskey on Father’s breath, the glasses of ruby red wine set out in front of the flushed women, plush leather banquettes and cigar smoke. It smells like money.

    Yes, so rich and brilliant is the first half hour of Rudis that I was afraid one of my legs was beginning to develop gout.

    What a pity then – what a shame! – that Rudis unravels so quickly. The whiskey is the first to leave the building. One minute you smell it, the next you don’t. Within an hour of its turbo-charged start, the luscious ruby-red fruit and wine notes have also lost most of their power and depth. The red fruit smell that was so wine-like and intoxicating at first becomes thinner and somehow also more syrupy so that I am reminded of nothing so much as Ribena, a cordial drink made with blackcurrants. Then, towards the base (which arrives far quicker than it ought), the incense or the leather develops a distinct whiff of rubber. This rubber, joined with the Ribena accord, creates the unhappy effect of berry-scented rubber or gummy bears. It is far from unpleasant, and to be honest, I really like the smell of gummy bears – but I am pretty sure that this effect was not the one intended.

    All in all, the descent from brilliance to nothing is shockingly short – a mere matter of three or so hours. I’ll be the first to admit that I know very little about how a perfume is constructed. But even I can tell that all the good stuff is jammed into the first half hour of Rudis, leaving what comes next a thin shadow of its former self. For such an expensive perfume, the longevity is quite poor. However, the shock of pleasure I get from the opening notes remains, and I keep spraying myself with my sample to relive the glorious start.

    26th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Rosamunda by Laboratorio Olfattivo

    Here’s another winner from this fairly underrated and totally respectable brand. Nothing groundbreaking, but a solid, rich, unpretentious yet absolutely well-made rose-patchouli-oud scent. Rosamunda smells of genuine, simple, lively and dense rose with initially a bright frame rich in alluring, warm nuances: patchouli, woods, something spicy (cumin, I think), perhaps carnation and something ambery-resinous providing a super cozy and utterly pleasant feel of warmth. As minutes pass it becomes then darker as the oud note emerges; it’s a synthetic a uninteresting kind of oud, but it works here, as it seems basically meant to provide just a dry-smoky shade on the base. So, basically an Oriental ambery rose-patchouli-oud scent; dark yet warm and “friendly”, also thanks to the sweet touch of sandalwood. That’s it: it may sound generic, but it isn’t. It’s simple but so nicely blended that it ends up it being quite distinctive, terribly pleasant to wear, much elegant, as much unpretentious as memorable. And well made to any extent in my opinion. Given the fair price, can’t go wrong with this. The only flaw may be the persistence, which isn’t great, but apart from that, another solid offering from this solid Italian brand (far more solid than most of others here, if you ask me).

    7,5/10

    26th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Via Verri by Etro

    Intergalactically distant from the good old “golden era” of Etro colognes, to which I am used of being a massive fan of their offerings from the Eighties to early Nineties... this new Via Verri (I am reviewing the new, current one, not the “Vintage Edition”) is, well, a nothing-more-than-dull “fresh and clean” masculine cologne, offering you a bouquet of notes halfway tart-zesty citrus, mellow-bright woods (like cashmeran) and soapy flowers – or better say “floral soap”. Sharp and clean like a freshly-ironed shirt on a freshly-washed skin. There’s something spicy-resinous and a drop of powder, but all smells to me plain and kind of “plastic”, just like any cheap liquid soap. Basically a spicier and more floral little brother of, say, any Acqua di Parma “colonia” scent, not to mention dozens of others. Not to say all of this is “bad”, just the epitome of “meh” for me.

    6/10

    26th January, 2015

    Manscents2's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

    I love leather scents and Tom Ford Tuscan Leather (sample from TPC - theperfumedcourt.com) does not disappoint! Thyme was very present at first, but I only caught a whiff of raspberry up top then more developed later. I detected leather on opening, the heart and at the base. A very rich, expensive leather with a hint of smokiness to it and a background of suede at drydown.

    I wore this to work (big mistake!), and it was a bit much for the office. In future, I’d wear this in more casual settings or a night out. The projection and sillage are incredible (which I adore) so a little over the top to my nose for a professional setting. I would step out of my office and return 15-20 minutes later and still smell “me” in the room. I put this on before work in the morning and it was almost as strong when I got home at night 10 hours later! I also used 4 sprays (chest, neck, wrists), and next time I’d probably just do 1 good spray to the chest. I had forgotten before putting this on it was an EDP.

    IMO this is really a very masculine scent and I’m not convinced it is unisex. Unless you REALLY love being enveloped in the scent of leather all day this should be avoided, and the scent is enhanced beautifully when outside in the cold weather - Yum!! I’d recommend only 1 – 2 good sprays. I love this, and will probably procure a small 5ml vial from TPC since you can buy small quantity juice there, just to have some on hand for special occasions when I want a sophisticated leather fragrance in the winter months.

    As always, your results may vary!

    26th January, 2015

    Francop's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Tola Pure Oil: Harrods Oud by Bond No. 9

    What a Fantastic Representation of the original fragrance!

    Half a drop of this oil will keep you perfumed all day.

    Great for men after shaving as will not sting your neck skin.

    Lovely bottle and velvet pouch with swarovski on top.

    Thumbs up!

    26th January, 2015

    Ghost_Goat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Set Sail South Seas for Men by Tommy Bahama

    I enjoy all of the Tommy Bahama scents I've tried, with the exception of this one. I have grown to hate the bitter citrus note that so many of the citrus scents seem to utilize now. It smells to me like a rotting lemon congealed to the side of a garbage disposal, hung just out of the reach of the blades that would easily shred it to bits if they could. While that's a pretty specific description, it's wholly what I smell with that note; From the rot, to the "dank" quality of air in that environment, to the acrid note of metal shaving against metal. Some people love this bitter citrus note, but it's a supremely foul thing to me. And it's the exact thing that destroys my opinion of fragrances like Bois 1920 Agrumi Amaria di Sicilia, Acqua di Parma's Fico di Amalfi from the Blu Mediterraneo line, and, yes, Tommy Bahama's Set Sail South Seas.

    (Btw, I have nearly-full bottles of all three of the aforementioned fragrances and I'm ready to dispactch them on the cheap. Message me if you're interested.)

    26th January, 2015

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    CH Eau De Parfum Sublime by Carolina Herrera

    Simply a successful formula, temperamental and sexy. The combination of passion fruit, dark patchouli and orchid elicits a sort of ostensible violet-blackberries type of accord. A touch of opening bergamot provides complexity and articulation, for the rest I detect a huge galaxolide combined with synthetic amber and creamy cedarwood. Along the way the amber starts to "retire itself" (I mean to work in a more restrained way) and a touch of leather comes up as flanked by a "berrish type" of resinous oakmoss conjuring me conceptually the The Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest's type of fruity-boise atmosphere (actually I detect the "leather-like" aroma since the beginning as associated to this fruity-floral musky accord). Cute bottle (strategic part of the project) violet coloured as (ideally) its boise berrish-like aroma.

    25th January, 2015 (Last Edited: 27th January, 2015)

    Ghost_Goat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Knize Ten by Knize

    An opening like a urinal cake in a well-used and unventilated public restroom. It's an easily-recognized scent, heretofore thought to be unique only to those circumstances. It's not the kind of familiar smell I'd ever call appealing in any way, nor one I'd ever planned on encountering in perfumery. And once you smell it in Knize Ten, you can't unsmell it.

    True, the public restroom aroma fades slightly over the course of Ten's evolution on skin, but it remains omnipresent even in it's reduced state. I scrubbed this one the first two times. It took a third chance on it (on an out-of-the-way patch of skin) to feel like I'd actually let the scent develop to it's end. I finally catch a few whiffs of some classically sophisticated and genuinely gentlemanly stuff there, but never without the company of industrial restroom fresheners. And now my sample goes bye bye.

    25th January, 2015

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Metropolis by Estée Lauder

    Metropolis opens with an aromatic blast of lavender with supporting green peppermint before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the peppermint becomes more prominent, taking center stage as the lavender swaps into a supporting role joined by hints of carnation, lemony rose-like geranium and slightly sweet amber rising from the base. During the late dry-down the aromatic mint and lavender vacate the composition revealing relatively clean musk joining the remaining slightly sweet amber as co-star, with hints of a rough leathery undertone through the finish. Projection is above average, as is longevity at over 10 hours on skin.

    Metropolis is a composition reviving wonderful memories of its late 80s release. I remember flipping though a magazine back then, uncovering one of those perfume strip samples to try the composition out with it ultimately leaving an indelible positive mark on my memory. Alas, I was only a teenager back then with a typical teenager's money problems so I passed on purchasing a bottle with the feeling I would one day regret it. I guess I wasn't the only one to pass, as despite the composition's complete worthiness, it has long since sadly been discontinued, never being the sales magnet Estee Lauder hoped and expected. Only now, over 25 years later did that long-since buried memory emerge compelling me to seek out one of the rare bottles on the aftermarket. Was time playing tricks on me, making me believe I loved what I sniffed all those years ago more than I really did? Now having bought the bottle and spraying the composition on skin for the first time in a quarter century the answer is it lives up to the memory near-completely. I suppose expecting perfection is completely unreasonable, and the composition indeed isn't perfect. For one, it is sweeter than I remember it, but the amber-derived sweetness never gets to be too much, and the ambery sweetness comes out much more strongly on paper than on skin. A positive revelation was the natural smelling peppermint, a facet I didn't remember, instead discovered anew. The pairing of the aromatic lavender and green peppermint really is quite impressive and I am hesitant to think of another composition that does it so well (with few trying it at all). When the florals are added into the mix during the composition's middle, the whole thing comes together brilliantly. Ah memories of the wonderful 80s, where just about every release was a winner and Metropolis yet another to add to the list. Nowadays we have twenty times the amount of new releases yearly and only a tenth as many good ones... The bottom line is the sadly discontinued and extremely difficult to find on the aftermarket Metropolis is just another great example of how a composition should smell, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation if one can get their hands on a bottle or sample.

    25th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Uomo by Valentino

    I smell almost no differences with Dior Homme, except a more prominent gourmand side, and less complexity. Which means this scent smells undoubtedly good, actually much good if you are into that "metrosexual gourmand" type of fragrances, but well... I don't see the point - it's not even cheaper. Get Dior Homme if you like this, it smells better and at least *they* had the idea.

    6/10

    25th January, 2015

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Nino Cerruti by Cerruti

    The parallel bewteen Nino Cerruti and Insensè is quite clear in my opinion. They're both aldehyde-prominent green / aromatic fougeres with a remarkable floral pattern but whereas Insensè communicates via hints, looks and smiles, Cerruti curses and rarely washes his armpits.

    Fantastic.


    25th January, 2015

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Patchouly Bohème by LM Parfums

    If you're up for a straight-forward, head-shop style, classic patchouli, this is not it. Instead, people looking for a super-dark patchouli-infused, balmy fragrance, shouldn't miss the opportunity to give Patchouli Boheme a chance for any reason.

    A massive oriental with deep roots in classic french perfumery. A striking combination of the darkest Tolu balsam, tonka and patchouli with leather/tobacco facets built around a woody-musky bone structure. The fragrance is extremely thick and powerful but everything is kept so masterfully in check that it never results overly sweet or unbalanced. Just like with Ambre Muscadin (the other big winner from LM Parfums), there's a strong classic-french-perfumery vibe going on throughout. It was an animalic musky presence in Ambre Muscadin and it's a bittersweet kind of chyprey vibe in Patchouli Boheme. Soothing and kind of unsettling at the same time but, most of all, obsessively good.

    I think I overlooked this fragrance for way too much - don't make the same mistake. Better than most latest *Amouages*. Hands down.


    25th January, 2015

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    India Hicks Island Living Spider Lily by Crabtree & Evelyn

    a slightly fruity, citrusy, and salty lily note, that is nothing spectacular. It may be cute for summer, but that's about it. A man, woman, or child could wear it.

    24th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Smoke for the Soul by By Kilian

    The opening of Smoke for the Soul is fairly powerful and mostly centered on cedar-incense, balsamic notes, sage, citrus notes (notably something zesty-aromatic like bergamot), a load of spices (pepper), something slightly fruity – like tea – then a not-that-solid tobacco note, which is basically just a sweet-fruity-soft-herbal note as in many mainstream tobacco scents. More than tobacco, say just a herbal accord *with* a whiff of tobacco out of the bag, but actually smelling more of sage (and bay leaf too?). Anyway, nice, one of the nicest Kilian’s perhaps – but I am not a fan of the brand, so this rather means I just don’t consider this completely tragic. It is undoubtedly pleasant to wear, as much elegant as effortless and laid-back, and smells rich, decently satisfying and fairly substantial. The contrasts between tart-zesty-spicy bergamot-citrus notes and woods-tobacco make it a perfect all-year rounder for pretty much any situation, as it’s fresh yet dark, understated but distinctive, smoky but bright (and so on). The problem is that, well... none else mentioned it but I smell a bold similarity with Terre d’Hermès on the drydown. It settles quite on the same woods-herbs-citrus-spices structure in my opinion, and smells fairly similar. Which makes the price even more irrational than it was already... but well, it smells nice, so if you’ve money to waste, it won’t be a wrong choice.

    6,5/10

    24th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Lys 41 by Le Labo

    You know what this smells like? Sleep. And I mean that both because it’s a terrifically boring scent, but also because it is so yawn-inducing it becomes fascinatingly soporific (that cozy, intimate, and obviously terribly pleasant feeling you have just before falling asleep). So in the end, not a completely negative kind of boring. Almost a creative take on it. Anyway, Lys 41 is basically a really simple, graceful and quite plain white floral scent with a woody-amber base and sweet-dusty nuances, with also something that reminded me of suede, but I guess it must be the musky note. Don’t think of anything too powdery or sweet, it’s rather a delicate haiku played on creamy-woody notes, as much pleasant as a bit dull and plastic. The evolution if basically non-existent, but the persistence is good and the projection is unexpectedly quite sharp. On one side, you can smell here the peculiar way of Le Labo of playing around common accords and notes with a sort of “modern” and kind of suspended, ethereal, aseptic treatment: but also, I think they sort of “crossed the line” a bit with this, meaning that the mild, “lunar lab” discreetness becomes just more plain dullness here. Or well, just this close to it. A synthetic candy worthy a try, but nothing more in my opinion. I completely agree with deadidol’s take on this!

    6/10

    24th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Ellenisia by Penhaligon's

    Ellenisia by Penhaligon’s is a rich yet discreet floral scent quite on the white-green-sweet side with a watercolour rose heart, somehow quite conventional but really pleasant and pleasantly “British” as regards of its soapy, slightly nostalgic sense of refinement, as much classy as restrained. Plus, it also feels quite youthful and lively, albeit a bit melancholic – shortly nothing outdated or too formal/mature. Some metallic-camphorous nuances “ruin” a bit the romanticism here, but they’re subtle: what you get is mostly jasmine (quite clean, nothing indolic), sandalwood, something greenish providing a crisp and crunchy “leafy” feel (think it is that “violet leaves” note), resins, and a really quiet but dense tuberose note - don’t expect any headache-inducing note, it is there more just to add an earthy stout vein to the floral accord. The evolution is quick and well, much “evolving”, as it passes through different stages – at some point it almost feels an osmanthus-fruity-tea note emerges, then it all goes back to greenish-white territories, finally drifting towards earthier-camphoraceous nuances. Overall a totally solid and compelling fragrance, really elegant, clean, sharp and to me, perfectly composed and with totally good materials, as far as I can tell. The persistence is good and vibrant, with a subtle “carnal” feel but with a Victorian mood – a pale, restrained, pulsating yet “bourgeois” kind of carnal (shortly, a bit frigid, no offense). Cold and luminous like a London garden in mid-March, with clouds coming and going. Nice!

    7,5-8/10

    24th January, 2015

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    In The Library by CB I Hate Perfume

    In the Library by CB I Hate Perfume opens with a milky, musky-soapy blend stuffed with vanillin and spicy-floral hints (the floral here is on the heliotrope side, quite dusty), with something that reminds me in fact of paper, but nothing romantically “antique”, though: rather plain cellulose you can smell by opening any new book in any bookshop. The clean, industrial, slightly lactonic-sweet smell of plain polished paper. If you like that, then this works; just don’t expect the (quite more fascinating) dusty-vanillic and slightly moldy smell of aged paper. That’s it for a while, I don’t really get any leather or wood out of this (well, perhaps some wood), as it feels decidedly more milky-soapy and “white” sweet on my skin. Then, the drydown: it all slowly morphs into a stinky and quite unrelated broth half-roasted (oh hello leather!) half sweetish, which kind of smells like a cake in the oven. Made of cellulose, perhaps. Out of the library, straight into a class of particularly clumsy aspiring pastry chefs. To each his own, though: I find this pointless, but give it a try.

    5,5/10

    24th January, 2015

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris

    The Fleurs de Sel's initial floral-green-salty sharpness is immediately an olfactory flashback (a deja vu) conjuring me more than vaguely the classic and unfortunately "set apart" Nino Cerruti By Nino Cerruti (an unmatched classic of perfumery full of class, melancholic floral-ambery warmth and romanticism). I'm in a while smitten by a game of intense floral sharpness (probably geranium, orris root and lily of the valley unfold their rooty-lymphatic intensity) and warm ambery muskiness with a touch of swirling ghostly suede. I suppose that probably a well calibrated fir resins implementation has been afforded providing that typical intense dark-green mossiness around. I catch the aromatic patterns (a starring rosemary and thyme in particular) and a stout rootiness provided by patchouli (may be fern) and vetiver. The aroma on its complex is really musky, floral, earthy, astringent, vaguely smokey and with a touch of saltiness (counteracting the floral mildness) provided by the encounter of rosemary, leather, vetiver and (possibly) subtle ozonic molecules. Finally the leather emerges but is always subtle, mossy and floral-salty, never disconnected by a reigning grassy-floral (salty) vegetal aura. Absolutely classy and poetic I recommend this Miller Harris languid juice for a spring time romantic night date.

    23rd January, 2015 (Last Edited: 24th January, 2015)

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