Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 150262

Manakara by Indult

Giga-sweet, jammy fruit. A hint of something metallic. It quickly turns into an airy, dryer-sheet scent. Then, it's dry roses, old roses, light roses, etc.

Fruit and rose, I think, are fairly balanced eventually. I get a hint of either dark vanilla or Tonka somewhere in this frag.

Pleasant enough - kind of linear. Too expensive for what it is, IMO.

After awhile it smells like cotton candy (floss).
21st February, 2019

Aura by Thierry Mugler

Sweet & green at the same time, the first moments of application. There is a sugary green note, not of rhubarb - Maybe that's the tiger liana? I'm not familiar with it. I don't get any bitterness yet, from rhubarb leaf (other times I wear, this I do straight away).

This frag remains fairly sweet. A boozy vanilla adds some depth later. I have no idea what wolfwood is [either].

This seems to develop a leafier green later, an almost Atlas cedar accord, too. Is this the wolfwood? Who knows. Anyway, the sweetness subsides more and more as this wears on. Aura is an odd one. I like it better some days, more than others.
21st February, 2019

Vanille d'Iris by Ormonde Jayne

Thick, dried, crumbly cake icing. Vanilla cake underneath. Almost pure, buttery iris. The vanilla isn't overly strong. Its scent changes to a perfume, less gourmand, rather quickly. Iris-y accord begins to pale, change over to a floral note of a different feel. A tinge of earthiness underneath.

Very linear. Pretty much a soliflore. Easy, breezy, summer delight.
21st February, 2019
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Desire for a Man by Dunhill

Not a very sophisticated scent. Apple vanilla patchouli musk. Smells kinda late 90s. Wear this while listening to Barbie Girl and Smashmouth.
21st February, 2019

Bulgari Man in Black by Bulgari

It first gave me an impression of bubble gummy playfulness. This lingers, but it is better than that. There is something balsalmic in the formula that slightly alters the flavor.
Take the cardamom, leather, and tonka from Code Profumo, add in the booze from Fahrenheit EDP, a dash of MFKs medicinal fake oud, and a touch of iris. You have Man in Black.
I'm going neutral here. It is okay, but I feel like other fragrances do what it is trying to do better. Also, my grade takes into account that the others that I mentioned perform better in all facets. It is a good fragrance for the price, for sure, as all the others are more expensive.
21st February, 2019

Liqueur Charnelle by Huitième Art

opens with promise...aromatic tobacco with a fresh spicy fruity touch...goes downhill after that...a mellow aromatic fresh tobacco accented with a fruit essence of peppery raspberry...feels somewhat a nice and pleasant fragrance...the pepper gives it a zingy mint feeling at times...a better alternative to this is PDM Herod...bottom line - a basic slightly sweet - slightly spicy - slightly woody tobacco...the icing on the cake is that this has horrendous projection and longevity...move along...get something else...nothing to see here...
21st February, 2019

Cuir de R'Eve by David Jourquin

One of the best modern takes on "vintage" leather/patchouli out there, a fragrance in which soapy/powdery elements, resins, berries and suede are accessorial to a final neo chypre olfactory orchestra. In a very first stage you get a super resinous berrish take on leather (in this phase modern and exotic). The berrish presence is indeed quite spicy, sultry and sticky, especially in the Cuir De R'Eve's top phase. Iris and leather unfold a well known stout combo (kind of smooth and rubbery) while spicy resins and flowers express for a while a kind of tropical (vaguely almondy, due to eliotrope) twist, namely the David Jourquin's "far lands kind" of exotic landmark, more evident and central in Cuir Caraibes and Cuir Solaire. Along the way an apparently shy element (in the first stage) starts sitting on the higher horse while hanging finally out as an absolute (retro aura inducing) protagonist under my vulgar nose (namely king patchouli, a key element finally shining in all its neo vintage/chypre, woody/earthy and suedish splendor). This final part is excellent and incredibly well crafted, a sleight of hand of magistral high neo-vintage perfumery. A initially modern exotic aura turns finally out in to a classic vintage atmosphere.
Scents a la Histoires de Parfums Noir Patchouli (patch, leather, berries,spices) or Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman (patch, iris, woods, suede) come vaguely on mind for their masterful vintage chypre ambience's rendition. A pity for the poor longevity (on my skin). One of the very best pieces of this quite interesting maison.
20th February, 2019

Aoud Leather by Montale

A new leather belt soaked in a bath of steeped spices. Sweet, but in a perfumed way. Saffron note becomes strong. Sweetness recedes. Dry, almost dusty feel then. Leather remains strong and rich. Woody note later isn't too boisterous. One of the nicer leather-centric 'fumes I've sampled. 3.5 to 4 stars.
20th February, 2019

Romantina by Juliette Has a Gun

A lovely, almost 1980's-like opening. Retro style. A big floral where the flowers on top are fairly well mixed. The heart has a rose that is small, like unopened buds. It is made powdery with iris. You've got some lovely osmanthus here - just enough. Rose becomes deeper. Iris disappears. Base is boozy. Not real strong. Mild patchouli. Muted vetiver. Romantina started out promising. It lost its luster the longer I wore it. It's an "okay" floral.
20th February, 2019

Carbon [6C] by Nu_Be

Airy sugar on top. It's almost like a cloud of powdered sugar but a little darker in its character. This may be from the pepper and cardamom. This isn't truly spicy per se - just a little dark bits of spice. As the sugar haze subsides the baked-goods accord moves in. The heart remains sweet with only a hint of herb - still a little spice.

Base is sweet too, with its blend of resins and musk. Whole thing is a fairly linear sweet, not overly remarkable fragrance.
20th February, 2019

Mad Madame by Juliette Has a Gun

Ambroxan takes the lead. Freesia moves in, followed by the black current. Yet another interesting group of top notes, I've recently experienced. (I'm glad there are some left out there.) The top here, is intriguing.

A kind of aquatic floral mix emerges in the heart. So far, the tuberose is subdued. The peony isn't overly "green" like it sometimes can be. This is a good fragrance heart here. Probably one of the more "niche-smelling" of other JHAG scents I've tried... The tuberose behaves itself. It doesn't act like it MUST be the center of attention. Over time, a little animal skank reveals itself in an under-layer.

This develops a balsamic flavor with an addition of gentle musk chiming in. No vanilla do I smell here. Overall this is pretty nice. If someone gave me a full bottle I wouldn't refuse it. Thumb's up.
20th February, 2019

Blanche Immortelle by Atelier Cologne

Interesting top notes. I don't recall this combo before. The citrus starts off bold, then the mimosa tames all that juiciness; adds some dry fluff.

The top notes drift off. Then you've got gentle, flowers. Well-blended. Little honey note underneath. The notes are crumbly sweet, like bits of baked goods. Nothing over-powering here. It borders on dainty. One of the flowers becomes a little stronger. Can't tell which it is but, it doesn't seem to be rose. And still, that honey accord remains...

Incense-y patchouli moves in. A solid vetiver and line of sandalwood follow. Slight sweetness prevails here. It is a kind of cooked caramel accord. Immortelle begins to shine more. Still, more of a mainstream fragrance for me; it is nice.
20th February, 2019

Cedre Atlas by Atelier Cologne

Woody fruit - seriously. The top is dominated by cedar, clearly skewed cedar, in a matter of seconds. It reminds me of one of the Burberry perfumes I own; either Body or Brit Rhythm. A longer fruit flavor here, would have been welcome to break up so much cedar. Maybe.

The cedar here is convoluted to my nose. It's mixed with jasmine, amber, papyrus, and vetiver so much so, that it is just plain odd-smelling. Maybe, I just don't care for the Atlas cedar here. It is too "sweet" or, something... Maybe I just prefer good old Virginia cedar more.
20th February, 2019
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Just Free by Luciano Soprani

The house of Luciano Soprani barely registers a blip outside of Italy where his brand was often endorsed by local soccer hero Roberto Baggio throughout the late 90's and early 2000's. In fact, Luciano Soprano Just Free (2004) features the soccer player himself on the box art, arms thrown back in relaxation, with a Cheshire cat grin on his face. Luciano Soprani himself worked for Max Mara and Gucci before setting up his house, entering perfume in the mid 1980's with the debut Luciano Soprani (1987) and Soprani Uomo (1988), but never lived to see this creation reach market, having tragically passed away from throat cancer in 1999, five years before this perfume was ever conceived and released. By the time Just Free had rolled around, Soprani's friend Dilio Ortigoza passed the company into the hands of Alessandro Turci, who then sold the perfume line to Satinine. Under Satinine, Luciano Soprani perfumes modernized and bottle designs or nameplates were re-used for a unified feel. In many ways, this house feels like Jacques Bogart to me, just with a feminine counterpart line since Bogart is exclusively for men, but the same campy packaging with a focus on fragrance performance for your dollar runs through Soprani's veins. The basic theme of Just Free is to be a merging of the aquatic and the traditional eau de cologne style, but with more attention paid to the floral heart and green aromatics found in a classic cologne over the usual sweet soapy or fruity ones found in the average aquatic of the 90's or mid 2000's; I'd say this is a rather novel idea and the execution is quite well done, with nothing really following in this vein until John Varvatos Artisan Blu (2016) came along over a decade later. Just Free won't blow anyone away, but few will suspect something this nice coming from its goofy-looking bottle.

The opening blurb in the advertisement found on the carded sample speaks of the greatness of simplicity, and while this is ultimately a linear scent meant to convey simplicity, it is really anything but in the actual composition. The unknown perfumer for Just Free clearly wanted the orange blossom of the scent to be the center of attention, alongside a healthy dose of dihydromyrcenol "aquatic" note with a side of fruity melon courtesy of calone 1951. While I'm no chemist and won't try breaking down the other aromachemicals in the scent, since we can all read ingredients lists to see that eugenol represents the clove, geraniol represents the rose, and citral along with limonene and linalool makes that clean masculine citric sheen everyone expects in 90% of mainstream male fragrances, I will say that chemistry does play a huge role in Just Free. Once you make it past that opening aquatic neroli salvo, a little bit of green verbena connects to the heart of lavender, muguet, marigold, prominent jasmine hedione and violet, which all blend very well together in almost a dandyish fashion like the traditional eau de colognes this emulates. I get very little rose but I guess the perfumer thought raw geraniol equals rose accord, so whatever. The base here is an interestingly dry but soft mix of vetiver, mastic, amber, and musk, with a bit of Iso E Super posing as "ebony wood" according to documentation. There is also patchouli listed, but like with the rose, I think some chemical here is meant to imply it. Overall, you get hours and hours of neroli over shimmery aquatics and light blended florals that finish on a a green-tinged amber and musk, which ain't too shabby considering the alternative in the genre. Wear time is barely Eau de Toilette-worthy but sillage is moderately good, and I don't need to really tell you where to use a fresh aquatic fragrance like this.

Just Free is a bit more sophisticated and sexually ambiguous than the average bear, and you're not likely to see an aquatic this floral, nor this well-composed anywhere near this price point on the market, from any designer large or small. Just Free exists in an uncanny valley of niche design with a middle-tier designer execution, especially in the ingredients budget department. I think paying Roberto Baggio to be on the boxes was the largest budgetary expense, and seeing how he is no longer present on the boxes og many newer productions of scents he once modeled for, I can see it didn't pan out well for Luciano Soprani. Just Free goes on like a niche aquatic with buckets of lovely clean neroli and a hint of fruit, then takes us through a floral dandy daydream before the clock strikes twelves and the typical designer base shows up to turn the skin scent from a princely affair into a pumpkin. Even then, Just Free still isn't anything less than enjoyable since the florals come and go the whole time, particularly the jasmine and neroli, making this a cheap thrill for somebody who loves classy fresh floral fragrances but doesn't want to shell out for something like Creed Silver Mountain Water (1995) or Whitehall by Hugh Parsons (2012). Alternatively, this is a good buy for the aquatic lover who also enjoys neroli and hints of green, and wouldn't be redundant in collections already containing the aforementioned Artisan Blu, plus is much more unisex in nature and suitable for any gender. Thumbs up from me, Just Free may be a two-bit back-alley aquatic, but makes up for it by being a really artistic one in a hilariously 90's-looking bottle that was already outdated when the scent dropped in 2004. One finds beauty in the least likely of places!
20th February, 2019

Cedrat Boise by Mancera

It starts with a pungent blast of fruity pebbles as opposed to the pineapple, apple, and bergamot. Aventus birch is traded for an application of cedar, becoming a bit more astringent than smoky. Lasts a bit longer than its competition. To me, this gives the same impression as Aventus. I could see using them interchangeably, in similar situations. But, it is a different scent altogether, and not a clone.
20th February, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Honour Woman by Amouage

The fruity combination of light pepper, cardamom and a general fruitiness - rhubarb with hints of ripe apple - makes for a pleasant opening. Not too fresh, but light and bright.

The drydown turns floral- muguet in the forefront. Seconded by carnation, the main player arises a bit later: a bright tuberose, open, bright and lacking any waxiness. Lovely!

Again another turnaround in the base: some incense, with opoponax and an ambergris-like undertone adding further depth.

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

This spring scent’s three phases are contrasting with each other very nicely, making for an entertaining array of olfactory experiences. The main drawback is the egregious use of synthetics. 3.25/5.
20th February, 2019

L'Homme Idéal Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

Similar concept and feeling as the EDT in the opening. But I smell the rose here. The jammy rose takes this to a sweeter, bit more sultry and luxurious area. Reminds me of Dior's Ambre Nuit. It sort of sparkles. I see red strawberries, dripping with water and a glass of champagne. The fake cedarwood from the original is replaced by incense. I couldn't smell any incense until over an hour in, at which point it came through subtly, not overwhelming the rest of the fragrance. Sits closer to the skin, would prefer a bit more push. Prefer the EDT overall.
20th February, 2019

L'Homme Idéal by Guerlain

My first thought when I sprayed this was that it was reminiscent of Valentino Uomo Intense. Sweetness with a bite that I guess comes from the biter almond and citrus. Tonka citrus leather, is the order I'd go here. Something hints at powderyness without fully committing to it. The more I wear it, the more I like it. At first I considered it a bit too sweet, but as the woody base becomes a bit more prominent in the heart it is quite nice. When the citrus burns off it unmasks the cedarish fake wood smell. This adds a bit of a nose twinge to the tonka to round this flavor out a bit more. The vetiver in the base also gives it a bit of a dryness that I enjoy. A bit more casual than the EDP. Sweet and contemporary, with a classy Guerlain drydown. Thumbs up.
20th February, 2019

Join The Club : 40 Knots by Xerjoff

yeah, i suppose this could be an aquatic , but it's one of the most unusual i've run across...i close my eyes and picture cruising on the open seas...walking barefoot on the beach with the breeze blowing the scent of flowers and greenery around...i get spicy wood with a touch of what seems like a boozy caramel...has a little of that metallic/ozony vibe...a little musky too...would easily fit in with Erolfa/Himalaya/SMW...good all-around fragrance for spring and summer...
20th February, 2019

Kapsule Light by Lagerfeld

An intentionally unremarkable commonplace masculine. The combination of nutmeg and bleach reminds me of Kenneth Cole Black, so it's basically your run-of-the-mill office scent. If you enjoy Hugo Boss-style discount men's "woody amber" aquatic scents that can be found dirt-cheap online, this is for you, but don't go in expecting anything new or clever.
20th February, 2019

Kapsule Woody by Lagerfeld

Much more complex than the stunted notes list suggests, Kapsule Woody is, at its core, an ionone perfume, with bright violets over suede. There's a rich, complex blast in the topnotes - a mix of plum, rose, buttery sandalwood, iris, and ozone - that calls to mind a postmodern take on Feminite Du Bois, or possibly what you'd get if Creed did a version of Egoiste, but it gets pushed out of the way within an hour by the violets and suede, at which point Kapsule Woody smells like a traditional Cuir De Russie mixed with a lipstick iris. The drydown is nice, if a bit weak compared to the louder topnotes - a mix of vanilla, cinnamon pie spices, and the abstract woody creaminess of iso e super melting into the lingering suede and iris.

In all, this is quite well done, and is definitely one of the best perfume values out there while you can still find it heavily discounted online. It's extremely difficult to find anything else that smells this good for around $30, so try it while you can...
20th February, 2019

Gentleman Eau De Parfum by Givenchy

Aromatic synth moody iris/patch-combo on the edge of a subliminal claustrophobia. A saturnine urban perfume for lovelorn womanizers. The main floral note is in here at same time freshly prickly and finally warmly smooth (with its darkly vanillic mantle). A winter darkly velvety smouldering vanillic patchouli for fancy suburbian "dark leather fellows". I detect points of "ghostly connections" with the sultrier phantasmagoric By Kilian Black Phantom (which is less urban and more oriented towards occultism and black magic). I perceive a sort of "scented candles - burning resins" secret vibe as well (even balanced by counteracting fresh spices and aromatic lavender). Nice chic scent for a frosty sinister night out there (although the fundamental central dry spicy lavender is there anchoring the aroma to a more balanced daily versatile dimension). A modern alluring take on the "cosmetical" popular theme (Dior Homme Intense, Valentino Uomo Intense and further) with a sort of rock metal post-industrial metropolitan aura.
19th February, 2019 (last edited: 20th February, 2019)

Gucci Intense Oud by Gucci

Leather, oud and a fruity drink in the opening. Later, the sweetness is gone, leaving a dry, spicy, smokey oud that seems to have notes of cumin. It's much better in the air than close up on skin. It gets very bitter the closer you get to it, so probably not a great cuddle scent. Into the 9th or 10th hour (no joke) I start to get some really nice hints of the ambergris in the air, but not on skin.

It does resemble Black Afghano, just not as beastly, so give it a try if you enjoy that scent.

Performance is impressive with big, persistent projection with only a few sprays.
19th February, 2019

Explorer by Boadicea the Victorious

i'm a big Boadicea fan and i love this soon as i sampled it i sprung for a full bottle...opens for a split second with a juicy/aromatic/bright/fresh blast of bergamot/orange that suddenly morphs into the total opposite " dark side " citrus...wood note quickly make their appearance...i get a sort of cedar/cypress mix...very dry and very's like a bespoke take on a classic men's cologne made for John Wick...a little dusty ambery resin/leather undertone...a scent that can make you feel like a bad ass...
19th February, 2019

Replica By the Fireplace by Martin Margiela

This isn't bad. The vanilla / chestnut combination is reminiscent of Fat Electrician with the vetiver replaced with a light smoke. Nice for autumn / winter but possibly a little on the feminine side of unisex for me.
19th February, 2019

Patchouli Nosy Be Eau de Parfum by Perris Monte Carlo

Sweet, resinous opening. Gigantic notes of patch and pink pepper grab your attention and hold it. The animal God, labdanum gets a hold on you afterwards. Yes here, it is an animal, a beast. The top lingers a long time. A moderate gob of cocoa joins in.

More patchouli that has joined forces with vanilla. Cocoa is jealous, soon departs. All is warm, all is dark. Wealthy hippie wannabe or die hard forest, moon-dancing modern witch - you decide.

Cedar and sandalwood claim their territory. Vanilla allows cocoa back in to the room. Play nice, you two! - patchouli may scold you and send you packing.

This, is a very good, sturdy patchouli-blend fragrance. Excellent longevity.
19th February, 2019

Les 7 Parfums Capitaux : Chypre by Jovoy

Big peony & rose notes, with a hint of green and a large dollop of dirtiness. The latter probably from the jasmine which butts right in. This is a loud perfume. The honey note has some earthy tones to it. I get some saltiness here, too.

This is certainly a floral chypre. It is heavy on the rose. Lily of the valley crawls its way in eventually. I'd describe the top and heart of this as a rosy-green scent. There lurks a layer of skank underneath, too.

Eventually everything in this proverbial perfumed pot hugs each other to become one, big floral mixture. The base notes combine for a somewhat sour accord - not in a bad way. The patchouli is incense-like, without any sugary or sweet presence. This chypre I'd describe as having a medium thickness. Not old-fashioned at all - a more modern version.

Rose mellows out later, and it lasts.

19th February, 2019

Clear by Neil Morris Fragrances

Juicy, citrus, and floral. Breezy top notes. slight sweet grapefruit. It definitely smells like pink grapefruit. Lime accord, too. The mint quickly moves in. Lively, slightly mentholated with a balsamic overtone. Reminds me of a facial toner.

Grapefruit note stays. This is a sheer, warmer month perfume. A chemical cleanser vibe seems present, every now and then. I think it's the mint, changing its shape & smell. Maybe, its is the cedar causing this.

Overall, I enjoy Clear. It is bright, fresh, and unpretentious. Probably works well on super hot, summer days.
19th February, 2019

Larmes du Désert by Atelier Des Ors

Incense & cypress blend well for an uplifting beginning. Dry. Piercing. My good friend patchouli is here in spades. The woods here are sublime. Well integrated. Smooth. Resinous. Sweetly balsamic. It reminds me of a combo of Sahara Noir and one of the Guerlain Les Desert d'Orient releases.

This is an alluring, calming fragrance. No choppiness at all, in its composition. The incense is not overdone. Expertly mixed. No complaints. Lasts and lasts.
19th February, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Asrar Attar by Amouage

The opening notes of this attar combines a slightly bitter-sweet orange note with white floral undertones. Very soon, a slightly spicy saffron arises and gradually increases in intensity.

In the drydown more spicy additions are merging with the top notes, and a smoky amber impression adds further depth.

The base looses a lot of the previous components, replacing it with light, white musks and a somewhat nonspecific woodsiness. Just a few gentle touches of a somewhat perfunctory oud add further coulour.

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

The oily attar is suitable for spring, and its major hallmark is its lack of heaviness and intrusiveness. This is a comparatively light attar, but nonetheless quite rich and, at least initially, intensive. The base is less impressive, but overall the quality of its ingredients is respectable, and the performance good. 3.25/5.
19th February, 2019