Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 155670

Unequal by Filigree Parfums

A powerful floral blend. Piercing sweetness at times. A green streak which reminds me of pickled olives and pimentos or a freshly diced green, bell pepper. There is something here slightly indolic. There is a natural-smelling gardenia. It's a big, bad garden in full bloom.

This settles into a dark floral. Slight tinges of branches, stalks, and leaves, combine with the floral aromas. It reminds me of an older, Guerlain-style perfume. Something from the 1950's perhaps.

Has some earthy, root-like aspects as well. sophisticated and mature. Nothing girly here.

A slight more woody later on.
10th December, 2019

Vanilia by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Vintage sample...

Perfectly blended. As it settles, the individual notes rise and fall, displaying their own characteristics. This, may have been ahead of its time, when it was released. L'AP is a house I only discovered in the past few years. If I had known of them, I probably would have obtained a bottle of this vanilla perfume. It's quite good.

Not overly sweet vanilla - lovely amber accord... More vanilla hours later. Thumbs up!
10th December, 2019

Fleurs des Comores by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Smells "old school" to begin with. Fruit is pale. Jasmine is somewhat indolic, starchy. Vanilla begins to overtake the jasmine. There are whiffs of orange, as well.

Some indolic aspects that remain throughout. The base is light, vaguely earthy. Not an overly strong perfume for me. Seems somewhat linear throughout.
10th December, 2019
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Allure Sensuelle by Chanel

Fruit and floral opening. Not too fruity - just enough. There is some bitterness for awhile, also.

Becomes all flowers for some time, in the middle. There is vetiver in the background. For me though, I don't find anything exceptional with this scent, in the top or middle.

The florals merge into the base which has a mellow, oriental feel. It's more of a woody-oriental. Overall, this doesn't blow my mind. It's just, safe.
10th December, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Gardénia Passion by Annick Goutal

This is a floral floral floral creation. After a beginning of orange blossom with other white florals - and this is the closest to gardenia I am getting here - a tuberose arises that remains the core feature of this creation. It is not a heavy, waxy or resinous tuberose; it is a bit in the bright side, rich, soft and uplifting.

The drydown adds a green jasmine and the base a restrained and somewhat anaemic vanilla, but the tuberose rules until the end.

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

A lovely spring scent for evenings especially, this floral mix is constituted of ingredients of high quality and expresses a nice tuberose. 3.25/5

10th December, 2019

Eau de Lanvin by Lanvin

JackTwist is certainly correct that Eau de Lanvin was the name Lanvin gave to a concentration; but, per the images below, it was also a fragrance. It was advertised separately during the early to mid 20th century, and Lanvin’s official website has a picture of a bottle accompanied by this text: “In 1933, true to her pioneering spirit, Jeanne Lanvin launched the very first ‘eau mixte’: ‘L’eau de Lanvin.’” This suggests that it was a fragrance first, with the concentration then applied to other fragrances.
10th December, 2019

Oud Minérale by Tom Ford

I'm just not liking the seaweed mixed the the tom-ford-linade. I simply don't think this smells good. Almost seems like a fragrance that is unwilling to commit. It is aquatic without being too aquatic, woody without being too woody. I feel like if they would have made the oud more medicinal and astringent this would have worked better. It feels like a tweaked Sel Marin. It performed really well, so it has that going for it. It also does a good job of stating what it is. If you read that this is one of those salty version aquatics with a pinch of fake blond wood it will get you there. Wearing it a couple of times, I liked it more than my initial dislike, but I'm not sure it rises all the way to neutral. It is a low neutral to me, but I'm knocking back to down based on the fact that I expect better from a fragrance that is expensive. Cost. Thumbs down.
10th December, 2019

Blessed Baraka by Initio

Big, loud opening with a sweet apple pie scent with vanilla heart, spices, booze (rum?) and I detect a slightly dirty/earthy rose-oud-saffron in it, although it's not listed. This is a seductive, winter, nighttime fragrance.

Seeing comparisons to PDM Layton, which is much sweeter, and also Carlisle which is sweeter and fresher/lighter. Might actually be closer to Layton Exclusif with the spices and earthiness. It stayed about the same from beginning to end on me.

Performance is very good with big projection and 8-10 hours longevity with only a couple sprays.
10th December, 2019

Valentino Uomo by Valentino

Valentino has had similar luck to Gucci with its perfume efforts, in that everything they released up until the 2010's was a false start that eventually saw discontinuation as the license for the perfume division of Valentino kept shifting hands. Past masculines for the house ran the gamut between leathery to sweet tobacco in the 1990's and early 2000's, eventually landing on a typical "freshy woody amber" as the 2000's drew to a close, with each scent signalling the discontinuation of the preceeding one which caused a fear-of-missing-out frenzy among fans; just look at the aftermarket prices for anything released prior to Valentino Uomo (2014) to see what I mean. This house-rebooting masculine pillar seems to have found success the others missed, as it has spawned numerous flankers in the years since, and has given some serious competition to houses like Chanel or Dior in the segment. The reason for this is simple: Valentino Uomo is a continuation of the concept perfumer Olivier Polge put forth in Dior Homme (2005) nearly a decade earlier, and he works with the same ionona-based iris compound he created for Givaudan when he made Dior Homme. From the very onset, it's clear Olivier Polge is continuing his work with Dior through Valentino, especially in light of François Demachay becoming house perfumer for Dior, tinkering with and reformulating all past Dior creations still in production to his liking in the process, although Valentiono Uomo shouldn't be considered a clone of the Dior either.

The opening of Valention Uomo separates itself from Olivier's past work with Dior by being a great deal more gourmand in nature and blended differently. The top notes of bergamot and myrtle are joined by the obvious iris note that this shares with Dior, and a bit of that cocoa is also present as this moves quickly into the heart, but Valentino Uomo is decidedly more Italian in personality by also including a gianduja or "Nutella" note as people outside Italy might recognize it. This chocolate hazelnut vibe is where Valentino Uomo differs the most from Dior Homme, although some may stretch that to say it rests somewhere between the original and intense variants of the latter. For me, it's "different enough to be different" if that makes sense, and the base certainly is not the same display of leathery dryness as Dior Homme. Make no mistake, there is a leather accord in Valentino Uomo considering their stock and trade as an Italian couture house, but cedar mixes with amber, labdanum, and vanilla to round this out far more completely, even if I wouldn't exactly call Valentino Uomo sweet. Wear time is over 8 hours and sillage is appreciable, although projection is thankfully not monstrous. If you enjoy iris masculines, you already know that they can flirt between the office and after-hours arenas fluently enough, and the same holds true with Valentino Uomo, I just wouldn't wear this in the heat. There may also be some unisex potential here for fans of the venerable Guerlain Shalimar (1925), as all these oriental-type exercises in iris inexorably draw comparisons to that fragrance.

Maybe this is revenge for François Demachay messing with (and flanking to death) Olivier Polge's original Dior masterpiece, or maybe this is just second thoughts in perfume form for the former Givaudan perfumer who now works in his father's stead exclusively as house perfumer for Chanel? Either way, this is the last hurrah for the style under Polge's hands outside the Chanel stable, and a nice little period on the whole movement that has since spawned several competing Prada and Amouage masculines as well. If you're an absolute fiend for iris in a masculine perfume, and wouldn't at all see this as redundant in a wardrobe alongside Dior Homme, give it a try. Or, if you found the Dior too harsh but don't want to go in a soapy direction like other masculine interpretations of iris, this might be a great alternative. Valentino Uomo is remarkably classic in vibe and classier than anything the house has released for men previously, so I may not mind so much the fact that the rest of the male lineup lives in unicorn-land so long as I can enjoy this one. I also need to add that in 2015 a black collector's bottle was released that is no different than the 2014 or 2016 and onward bottles, although some may argue with me on that as they do with various limited editions of the original Calvin Klein cK One (1994) released over the years. If you really hate iris, checkout Valentino Uomo Noir Absolu (2017) instead, which a defanged version of this one. Thumbs up.
09th December, 2019 (last edited: 10th December, 2019)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

Yes, the opening blast is a fresh bergamot, whiffs of lemon and a good load of mint - brightness galore? Yes initially, but soon a gentle black pepper and a woodsy note add a touch of spice.

The drydown adds an iris as the floral contribution, but a ginger tone together with touches of a cistus impression continues the line of brightness. There are a lot of green moments, mainly sage and a touch of a grassy undertone.

A darker and again spicier base combines labdanum - quite weak though - with a sweetish anise background.

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

This agreeable scent for cooler summer days stars in a nice and fresh manner, but the later stages are characterised by a lack of vividness and a certain generic nature of some of the ingredients. Pleasant it is but not much more, with a somewhat disappointing performance. Overall 2.75/5.
09th December, 2019

Blend 30 by Dunhill

Perfumer Ron Winnegrad is the nose behind Dunhill's long-gone Blend 30 (1978), and his unique talents shine through the composition. Winnegrad is a teacher for most of his time, with a far smaller number of compositions under his belt compared to other perfumes of similar age, and that's because he chooses to pass his craft along rather than utilize it solely himself. Ron has synesthesia, which makes his perfumes that much more interesting because smells ultimately relate to colors for him, which he in turn relates to places or experiences. Such a condition he bends to his will when perfuming, and it earned him recognition early on with Love's Baby Soft (1974), which in turn led him to land commissions for both this and Lagerfeld Cologne/Classic (1978). With Blend 30, he sought to capture the melancholy of the British countryside in autumn, with overcast skies and dank, dense forestry. I'd say he succeeded with that task, and Blend 30 stands tall as both a precursor to Patou Pour Homme (1980) and Pascal Morabito Or Black (1982), but also a template for the legendary Gucci Nobile (1988). Odd that most of these perfumes have also "snuffed it" like Blend 30 has, due to a combination of shifting styles, ingredient unavailability, and IFRA regulations. It would simply be too expensive for the middle-tier designer perfume operation Dunhill runs to reformulate this properly to bear any resemblance to its original form, and as a result Blend 30 has become quite the "unicorn" in the eyes of vintage enthusiasts. Whether or not you feel the scent is worth the veneration really depends on your experiences with it and your tastes overall, but it is a true scarcity due to how long it has been discontinued, so there's no getting around the price unless you're extremely lucky. Blend 30 is somewhere between a leather chypre and an aromatic fougère, relying on oakmoss, tobacco, spice, labdanum, and a tannery leather note to get the point across, sitting somewhere in a nexus of styles. Taken on its own Blend 30 is a master example of 70's green perfumery, but in light of other releases of the day like Ralph Lauren Polo (1978), Azzaro Pour Homme (1978), Caron Yatagan (1976), or Halston Z-14 (1976), it's easy to see how this might have been overlooked much like Ted Lapidus pour Homme (1978) also was.


The opening of Dunhill Blend 30 is a huge blast of galbanum, pine needles, anise, clary sage, and a peppery lavender, softened only a tad by lemon and neroli. Make no mistake, this is not a sweet fragrance, but it has a rounded smoothness thanks to the balancing of sweet elements that keep it from being too bracing on the nose like Acqua di Selva (1949) or Pino Silvestri (1955). The heart of geranium, carnation, sandalwood, and clove is all but impossible in the modern world of IFRA regulations, as geraniol and eugenol are limited and sandalwood of this lucidity is cost-forbidden due to the over-harvesting of Mysore. I'm not saying this smell niche, just "impossible" in the modern world without some really clever aromachemical tinkering, although they managed to bring Pascal Morabito Or Black back from the dead in 2014 and it smells very close to vintage, so anything's possible with enough time and cash. The base here is where things get a bit hard to place and very blended. The isobutyl quinoline leather note familiar to fans of vintage Hermès Bel Ami (1986) is here, but it is blended in with tonka, oakmoss, and musk to make a near-fougère dry down that compares mostly to the aforementioned Pascal Morabito. The very present oakmoss and sandalwood call forth parallels to the future Patou pour Homme, while all the green aromatic goodness strikes a close accord to the final skin feel of Gucci Nobile once you get past Nobile's initial soapy blast. Tobacco is the wild card here that separates Blend 30 from all the 80's masculines it seems to presage, and since Dunhill was still very much in a "leather and tobacco" mode because those were their primary products sold until they got into perfume, it's almost a given that they would appear here. This is no powerhouse, and much like Dior Jules (1980), is considered somewhat on the reserved side for the period. Sillage is not monstrous, and indeed wear time is shorter than you might suspect for an older "men's cologne" perfume, but Blend 30 does sublimely glow off skin for a good 7 hours before becoming a faint whisper. This feels like a fall-through-spring kind of wear to me, and being such a period-specific example of perfumery, might be too "dated" to the trend-conscious to find suitable context, but you can pull it off in cold weather casual situations without much disturbance if you really wanted.


Dunhill Blend 30 is a good collector's piece for the affluent vintage collector that would rather drop hundreds on survivor bottles of Chaps Ralph Lauren (1979) than on bottles of anything Roja Dove or Areej le Dore puts out, and also represents a bit of a glimpse into the progression from the soapy green masculines of Paco Rabanne pour Homme (1973) at the early end of the decade, to the leathery, musky, jockstrap-in-a-bottle of the early 1980's. Blend 30 falls just shy of being truly animalic because it has everything but castoreum or civet to give it that push from assertive into outright aggressive, so it comes right up to the line of being surly without ever actually losing poise and crossing it, showing Ron Winnegrad was capable of giving Dunhill their feeling of classic British restraint in spite of the heady cocktail itself. I can't really recommend one fragrance that comes closest to what Blend 30 shows off, but if you pick up a bottle of Or Black and layered it with Avon Leather (1966), you'd get really close and not put yourself out too much money. If soaring prices don't feel beyond your means, and dwindling sales listings do not seem daunting to you, this may be worth the hunt, as it represents something you otherwise won't be able to get outside of other similar discontinued gems that also carry stiff premiums. Simply put, this is a well-crafted and very lively aromatic representing an extinct style with extinct ingredients, and real museum-grade stuff that falls just short of being beautiful due to the fact that it isn't terribly unique in the greater scheme of what was goin' round in the time it was being made. Blend 30 is a vivaciously green and aromatic scent capable of painting a picture in your mind thanks to its unique perfumer, and for that I can respect the fervor of its die-hard fans. I may not be in the market to sacrifice my firstborn to finding a bottle, but among vintage "unicorns", Dunhill Blend 30 stands mightily tall. Thumbs up.
09th December, 2019

Bliss Me by Urban Scents

A fantastic musky-floral modern creation in a revisited vintage 80's style. Galbanum is definitely the real backbone of this quite floral Urban Scents-appointment providing a dark mossy basis on which dips its roots an intense floral concert (dry, woody and fizzy). Bergamot, cedar, galbanum and green elements provide a classic (bitter-dry) mossy/hesperidic vibe a la Chanel N.19 while the floral impact is acid, "relentless", redolent and dark. Rose and jasmine are the listed floral notes but I bet further floral patterns could have been included in the Bliss me-blend (lily of the valley, lotus flower, iris, cyclamen?). It seems to detect water-floral elements along the way (super dry and watery-leafy). Dry down is extremely feminine, sensual and mysterious, it conjures me intensely a classic floral-green fragrance to me familiar in the early 90's but frankly I'm not able to "close" the connection at moment (may bè some Cacharel or God knows what else).
08th December, 2019

Bel Respiro Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Kind of starts out like window cleaner mixed with a car, air freshener accord. Then, it begins to smell pleasant, with herbs galore. Nice, green stuff.

It turns into a fresh, spring garden thing, very aromatic and more natural-smelling. Slight medicinal smell occurs. Floral roots, as well. Herbal tea.

Florals and herbs mellow out later. A hint of leather moves in... Grassy, green, unisex. Not bad. Not quite my style but, it is quite good overall.
08th December, 2019
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Akowa by Micallef

Too much bitter bergamot in the opening. In a little while, it does calm down.

Bergamot flows into the middle notes. I get some fig leaf here and there. No cocoa at all - bummer. Vetiver moves up, from the base notes.

Vetiver continues, as patchouli and musk merge into the blend... This fragrance gets better with time. The top is bitter but, worth the wait for the middle and base notes to settle in.
08th December, 2019

Beige Eau de Parfum by Chanel

Honeyed flowers. Just enough hawthorn to make it interesting, with bits of freshly broken branches. The freesia is tamed here, with frangipani keeping it calm and soothing. I find freesia can be quite rude in some scents. Here, I enjoy it.

This frag remains rather linear, stays the same, for quite awhile.

Honey notes linger on, as well as the gentle floral smell.
08th December, 2019

Ambra Nera by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

Dusty. Musty. Brings on distant memories. Ground-up dried, green things. It's like a poultice of healing herbs. A salve of scent. Less a perfume - more a remedy for malaise.

Mellow, soft powdery sweetness with vanilla and patchouli being a calming factor or attribute. Bits of greenish vetiver come forth at times. It reminds me of a dry spell in summer months. I think the amber accord is well-controlled. It isn't powerful, to me.

Dry, peppery, both floral and herbal at the same time. Safe. Clean. Gentle. Wearable for anyone.

A woody, almond-heliotrope type accord much later.
08th December, 2019
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Blu Mediterraneo : Chinotto di Liguria by Acqua di Parma

This is a beautiful, intriguing scent. The citrus chinotto top note is glorious and then some herbs and spices appear to round it out.
It has a musky drydown and overall reminds me of the original Eau Sauvage.
Lasting power and sillage are both excellent on my skin. Highly recommended.
08th December, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Grand Amour by Annick Goutal

This starts with an ultra-floral opening blast: honeysuckle, honeysuckle, hyacinth, more hyacinth, and a good lashing of jasmine after a while. A gorgeous and intense bouquet, which is bright and positive.

In the drydown I get a lily impression very soon afterwards, and then the Turkish rose develops, but on me the rose is more of an accompaniment of the other floral players. A few moments of a muguet is detectable too at a later stage, as is a hint of a gentle spiciness, a myrrh mainly that has a gently musky characteristic, but is has a green side to it too.

There is always the bunch of flowers that is at the heart of this creation; is remains present until just before the end. In the later stages a very discreet ambery vanilla in the background.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and a very respectable overall longevity of eleven hours on my skin.

This is an intense floral scent ideal for spring evening events. It exudes rich and mature elegance with an aura of brightness, vividness and youthful quality - the ingredients are of a very high quality indeed. The performance is impressive in its balance and the blending is exquisite. 3.75/5
08th December, 2019
drseid Show all reviews
United States

Accenti by Gucci

**This is a review of the EDT version of Accenti**

Accenti opens with a splash of clean, slightly aldehydic mandarin orange with hints of peach before moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the moderately sweet peach takes the fore, joined by a co-starring floral trio of almost plum-like honeyed jasmine, soft, airy rose and clean lily-of-the-valley, with the fading mandarin staying just detectable in support, pairing with slightly powdery vanilla and moderately sweet sandalwood rising from the base. During the late dry-down, the slightly sweet sandalwood and gentle dusty vanilla take the fore, with remnants of the peach remaining in support through the finish as the florals vacate. Projection is average and longevity above average at around 10 hours on skin.

Let's cut to the chase... Ropion has created a masterwork with Accenti. I am not a peach fan in compositions at all, but it is impossible not to be intoxicated with its masterful use in Accenti; coupled perfectly with the complex honeyed Dior Poison-like jasmine, airy rose and relatively clean, slightly indolic lily-of-the-valley floral trio. The sandalwood and vanilla are also used deftly, adding moderately sweet grounding to the peach-laced florals, then providing a well-integrated soft landing through the finish as they gradually take the fore. The composition from top-to-bottom smells absolutely incredible, with no note or accord seeming out of place, all melding together perfectly. The bottom line is the sadly discontinued $200+ per 100ml bottle on the aftermarket Accenti is some of Dominique Ropion's finest work and well worth seeking out even at its current lofty aftermarket price point earning an "outstanding" 4.5 stars out of 5 and a super-strong recommendation.
07th December, 2019

Every Storm a Serenade by Imaginary Authors

"Baltic sea mist" lol.
Its a light salty aquatic with an underpinning of pine and smoky vetiver. Pretty airy. I may be anosmic to some of it, or i just prefer a little more junk in the trunk. Neutral.
07th December, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal

After a brief aldehydic whiff the first main player enters the stage: Florentine iris. A gorgeous smooth iris; green with a characteristic aroma, and after the first hours exuding a pleasant powderiness. This is a powderiness with a touch gravitas and mature confidence, but is lacks any stuffiness on me.

The second main player arises soon after: a Turkish rose, quite bright, soft and never heavy, but is lacks the soul and character that is evident in the iris; this rose is a touch less deep and shows less texture.

The second half of the development builds on the initial components, but, after a brief appearance of a darker galbanum develops a sandalwood that is quite light and more in the background, but that contributes sufficient to the whole to be taken seriously. Most interesting is the vanilla that I detect during the last hours: a discrete restrainedly sweet vanilla, that, unlike most of its counterparts in other fragrances these days, is not pushing into the foreground or overwhelming the rest, but is skillfully interwoven with the other notes - this vanilla is the perfect team player and masterfully applied.

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

This beautiful and rich scent for spring evenings demonstrates that one does no need a large amount of notes to create a great fragrance. That is, if the ingredients are if such superb quality as here, and the blending is as skillful as in this creation. Vraiement pour an heure exquise. 3.75/5.
07th December, 2019

Broadway Nite by Bond No. 9

Bombastic beauty
That won't let men go to sleep
Or so he found out

Figuring that the
Lily of the Grand Canyon
Might just raise the dead

ULTRA Violet
That changes its own gender
And changes it back

Aldehydes so strong
They can be picked out and thrown
By the carbonyl

And where do you hide
Some titanic golden Rose
But amongst titans

Some part of The Girl
Living in The Big Apple
Très incognito

Or so they all thought
When they tried to stash her ass
Far from the French mob

Some other New World
Some other Old World that sent
Peace bribes not war brides

So give that lady
An apartment with Maurice
Show her a good time

Some day she's gonna
Have one more address for her
Little collection

But then she stepped out
Leaving behind all of that
Witness protection

Ring up Ernest Beaux!
Tell him The Girl has gone {rogue|rouge}
The Old Boy just laughed

What was that address?
They say the fragrance smells like
Chanel No. 9

Bride of Leafzilla
That's right, that's what he called her
That kid who found her.
07th December, 2019
drseid Show all reviews
United States

Fidelis by Histoires de Parfums

Fidelis opens with a very brief dash of soft raspberry before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the raspberry vacates, being replaced by a starring faux Oud wood accord (most likely cypriol derived), supported by a heavy cardamom, saffron and cumin spice trio that combine to create a sharp wet concrete-like accord in support of the starring Oud with a very subtle underlying integrated coffee note. As the composition moves through its middle, an almost pipe tobacco-like supporting accord joins in with the rest to keep things interesting. During the late dry-down, the composition significantly sweetens, as the Oud gradually recedes revealing the slightly powdery amber driven base, with traces of the saffron spice warming the amber through the finish. Projection is average and longevity excellent at about 12 hours on skin.

After having been extremely impressed with The Moon from Frederic Malle and hearing talk that its predecessor from perfumer Rasquinet, Fidelis, from Histoires de Parfums was the composition it may have been based on I had to get my nose on it to sniff for myself. To give my quick verdict, there is *some* shared DNA between the two, but no, these compositions are very far from twins and not at all interchangeable. Fidelis really is much more about warm spice and faux Oud than the jammy raspberry and real Oud oil, rose/patch focus of The Moon. While those seeking "The Moon on the cheap" may walk away disappointed with Fidelis, when viewed on its own it is successful in its own right. Rasquinet never lets the cypriol get out of control, taming it with the spice and a very clever coffee note that is extremely subtle but just sufficient to work with the spice to blend perfectly with the faux Oud. The late dry-down sneaks up on you, as the composition moves towards its amber-driven finish seemingly at a snail's pace, but the whole thing from top to bottom is quite skillfully done. The only real gripe this writer finds is what best can be described as a wet concrete accord throughout the mid-section of the composition's development. This, distracts to some degree from the Oud to prevent its complete dominance, but one may not quite care for the end result. The bottom line is the $160 per 60ml bottle Fidelis may not be a "The Moon on the cheap" solution to bargain hunters, but it is a "very good" smelling 3.5 stars out of 5 rated composition in its own right that is definitely recommended, regardless.
06th December, 2019

Riflesso Blue Vibe by Trussardi

While I enjoy the original Riflesso more than this flanker, it's nice to wear and does share some similarities.

The opening is where it is most like Riflesso with it's YSL La Nuit-esque, soft, sexy-sweet florals. Quickly into the drydown and it really reminds me of L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme. A very green, fresh note that I presume is the yuzu that is then sweetened by the Riflesso DNA. This sweetened effect also makes the green yuzu feel less harsh than you would find in the Miyake.

Performance is fine, with moderate projection and 6-7 hours longevity.
06th December, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

Petitgrain and lemon start it off, with the lemon being more a lemon ice cream than a juice. Soon I also get a tart orange aroma, establishing the opening as a citrus events, one that is quite bright but not offering a full Cologne-style refreshing blast. Nonetheless, this is a bright and positive start.

Soon the galbanum together with a tomato leaf impression signals a shift into a greener realm, which merges with the notes from the beginning.
A reisinous lentisque is evident for a while, a soft and gentle lentisque that fits in well.

A fig leaf develops now and then, as the next main player, it enters the stage after the first three or four hours. A typical, unobtrusively sweet, nice fig, that is less central in this may than, for instance, in Diptyque’s Philosykos, and that lasts until the end. In the final hours a lemon tree wood is present in the background, but is is of a somewhat nonspecific nature.

I get moderate sillage, limited projection after the first hours, and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A lovely scent for cooler summer days and evenings, composed of good quality ingredients and of interests to lovers of citrus as well as fig-lovers. 3.25/5.
06th December, 2019

Yatagan by Caron

Caron Yatagan (1976) is a perfume with a reputation, a rabid cult following that has admittedly dimished in size over the decades as as the scent ages and falls further out of relevance to the mainstream, and the one bit of legitimately challenging work in the rather docile lineup of masculines the storied house has conjured over the years. The original Pour Un Homme (1934) is a gold-standard exercise in lavender, tonka, vanilla, and musk that set a precedent for simple, clean, and confident no-frills men's fragrance based on preceeding lavender colognes which proved incidentally popular with men, but some 42 years later Caron was less one Ernest Daltroff and in need of a successor to the aging Pour Un Homme. The 1970's was a time of massive green perfumes for both masculine and feminine tastes, with heavy animalic musks just starting to become mainstream into the 1980's, and Yatagan was at the forefront of that movement. This scent is night and day from Pour Un Homme, and indeed every other Caron masculine since, but yet still isn't quite considered the black sheep of the family like the much later L'Anarchiste (2000). I suppose this has more to do with Yatagan fitting better with the trends of the day than L'Anarchiste did when released, even if I personally find Yatagan far stranger in design. I was warned about how polarizing this scent is by people who dislike it, and the infamous "celery note" floating around in its construction. I assumed most negative reactions would be from the inclusion of castoreum and styrax in appreciable quantities, but to my surprise, they're only bit players here when compared to a proper powerhouse like the later One Man Show by Jacques Bogart or Chanel Antaeus (1981).

The opening indeed hits you in the face with castoreum right away, adding wormwood, artemisia, oregano, galbanum, and petitgrain in a bitter herbal charge. Lavender here sweetens the deal and oddly calls back to Caron's past, and the bit of odd sweetness in this opening blast links to perfumer Vincent Marcello's other benchmark Halston Z-14 (1976) released in the same year. The heart adds more indole to soften and musk up the sharp greens of the top, with jasmine, carnation and geranium performing a do-se-do around pine and vetiver to the tune of a lumberjack stooped over a roaring fireplace. There's patchouli warmth to join the castoreum and styrax in the base making this feel just a bit like Givenchy Gentlemen (1974) from a few years before, but unlike that masculine icon, Yatagan lacks smoothness or refinement. It's actually weird to see a Caron perfume without immaculate blending, as it is a hallmark of traditional French design, but here we are with a masculine that has an amalgamated "celery note" comprised of multiple green components just poking you in the eye with a stick, while the animal musks and patchouli just form a sort of bisque that acts as a backdrop to the green assault, never fully merging into a whole. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the sour isobutyl quinoline leather note and oakmoss chypre base underpinning it all, but you really don't feel it until very near the end. Yatagan cuts like the knife it was named after for the duration of the wear, albeit not with the animalics, but rather the sharp food-grade kitchen herbs in the top. One friend joked I smelled like chicken soup when I entered their personal space doused in Yatagan, if that gives you any idea of how this can be perceived. Wear time is about 7 hours and sillage is moderate, but projection is surprisingly low. Again, this is not a true powerhouse, just a precursor to the style.

The person who really wants to wear Caron Yatagan in the 21st century had better use it in cold weather and like culinary green notes, as that "celery" did indeed prove to be the most challenging aspect of the fragrance. Perhaps I'm so accustomed to animalics after my exploration of ouds and civet that I was tuning out to them and instead picking up the things I wasn't used to, which is why I made sure to take my time before gathering my thoughts. Obviously it needs to be said that older bottles have better ingredients due to no restrictions on oakmoss, eugenol (carnation), and bergamot, plus slightly better blending due to the decades spent macerating in the bottles, but there isn't enough difference between Yatagan with or without some slight rounding of the corners to change my mind on this. I've reached the conclusion that I can respect and appreciate this artistically for being so daringly different (although arguably not so different in 1976 as it must seem to be now), but it isn't something I'd want backups of or would see myself reaching for frequently, since I've tasted better-blended uses of both the castoreum and the balsamic notes on display here, and I just cannot for the life of me get past the "chicken soup" association of the celery note. I may have tomatoes thrown at me from the die-hards for this, but I can barely rate a thumbs up for Yatagan. I don't regret adding this to my small Caron collection within my niche selections, and I do recommend people curious about the missing link between 70's coniferous masculines and 80's musky alpha male fragrances to give this a sample, but I implore you not to rush in if you catch a bit of hype from someone who's been in love with the stuff for years already. My love for ozonic Y2K fragrances is equally unjustifiable and I'd never send someone in blind to grab a bottle of Dior Higher (2001). Thumbs up with caution.
06th December, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Monsieur by Annick Goutal

The opening is a citrus affair; mainly a fresh lemon on me, bright and uplifting.

After about twenty minutes the drydown sets in, staring off with a few floral moments involving geranium mainly. Soon, a very soft but nonetheless spicy and musky immortelle can be traced, but the spice and the musk and very smooth and are neither strong nor harsh on me. A comparatively soft oakmoss rises gradually at that stage, an oakmoss that is neither harsh nor strong on me.

Interestingly, whilst the lemony too toes has disappeared a while ago, after a couple of hours I get citrus again in the background, but this time is it more a mandarin that is dimly glowing in the back and which, most unusual for such a type of note, last until nearly the end.

The base adds mainly a woodsy tone that has characteristics of sandalwood in it, but at times comes across as somewhat nonspecific. A soft amber is also resent, a very soft amber indeed, that blends in well with the glowing mandarin in the background.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin, with the second half being quite close to my skin.

A classic summery lemon-infused scent that displays several qualities that declare it as a combined citrus-chypre creation. The ingredients are mostly of a high quality, and whilst the second half falls off a bit as far and the intensity and the typicality of the notes is concerned, the the development is interesting enough to enthuse throughout. Overall 3.5/5.
05th December, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Rouge Hermès by Hermès

The iris and the rose - a floral duo that opens the foray: a lovely iris that has a green touch as well as a slightly powdery character. A bright rose, like a May rose that is not too heavy but still quite intense.

A bit later there is an ylang-ylang joining in that is a bit creamy and smooth initially, but I also get a soft lipstick notion at that stage. Further into the drydown a raisinous undertone adds a darker and crisp element to the floral side, which is spun out further by the arrival of a wood phase, which mainly consists of cedarwood on me, with touches of sandal coming and going. The discreet sweetness evident so far is enhanced by a vanilla note, but the whole is never intrusive or cloying.

The base completes the descent into the darker zones, as is evidenced by an ambery labdanum that is surprisingly sweetish too, and whose gently spicy character is given added depth by a myrrh impression, which remains, however, a bit thin on me; this myrrh is not very ardente on me.

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

This is a complex scent for cooler spring evenings, that exudes confidence and substance of a traditional style. In its complexity it might not do justice to all the ingredients, especially in the second half of its development, but overall it is a very respectable creation. 3.25/5.
04th December, 2019

Cedrat Boise by Mancera

Creamy, buttery lemon.

Lasts all day, with 2-3 sprays.

And on my clothes in the mornin'.


Great juice, the wife loves it. The only gripe would be that it's fairly linear.
04th December, 2019

No. 04 Bois de Balincourt by Maison Louis Marie

For whatever reason, I am largely anosmic to this entire scent. It's not bad, but on me it just disappears.
03rd December, 2019
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