Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 145133

Karagoz by Nishane

When edge and adventure turns medicinal. With Karagoz the intention was probably to deliver a super-concentrated fruity and then subvert it with a volley of herbal accents and a vetiver-woody backing. But this particular pudding proves somewhat challenging to my digestion. The fruity notes are bright and yellow but their intensity is warping, throwing up fermented and soda pop qualities. When they begin to fade back a bit, a rather pungent neroli comes through wearing its ill-fitting jacket of herbs and smoky peppery wood. The final hours are pure apothecary’s kettle – presumably Nishane’s oud construct mingling with the herbs. There’s a certain strain of niche that majors on throwing together bold, saturated notes at the expense of compositional chops and Karagoz seems to belong to it. Interesting elements but this particular jigsaw still needs piecing together.
15th July, 2018

Jardin de Kérylos 16 by Parfumerie Generale

Leafy fig in a Sade ‘Smooth Operator’ style, too milky and dreamy by half, and in dire need of a kick from something sharp. There’s a floral hum in the background, as a nod I suppose to the garden inspiration, but it has the curious effect to a certain extent of denaturing and shrink-wrapping the fig.
15th July, 2018

Iris Oriental / Iris Taïzo 14 by Parfumerie Generale

Leave it to Pierre Guillaume to invest a resins-focused oriental with a cool, aerodynamism. Iris Oriental zips out the sprayer, sleek and ready to go – and the myrrh-like core of it (with overtones of dark woods) instead of radiating warmth has a more temperate pulse. Even the dabs of honey don’t slow this thing down. But eventually, there is only so much masking of the nature of this beast, and its footfall begins to get a bit heavier, the wood notes become a bit more evident, and the mercury begins to rise. There seems to be a large dose of cardamom providing the sole spice note and very little by way of iris.
I find the promise made by Iris Oriental’s opening act isn’t kept when it turns into a more familiar resinous-woody occupying this family’s middle ground.
15th July, 2018
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Fatih Sultan Mehmed by Fort and Manlé

Un-oomphed oriental. This close to the skin scent would be fascinating if it projected a bit more. A mixture of sweet rosy notes partnered with ambery vanilla emerging through a veil of ambergris-iris interpreted in the unguent manner, it is just delicious to sniff. But that would necessitate walking about with my nose stuck under the neckline of my t-shirt.
15th July, 2018

Classic Mimosa by von Eusersdorff

More like Classic Violet, as the pale but persistent violet note definitely keeps wanting to jump the fluffy mimosa. Nevertheless, it’s a sympathetic coupling, and the perfume that results is light as a feather and comforting, like a cloud of baby powder. There’s a delicate greenness to it which enlivens the scent profile and gives it a sense of motion. This floral haze has no distracting complexity, just soft downy repose, which can be quite inviting on stressful or hot days.
15th July, 2018

Vince Camuto Oud by Vince Camuto

Very woody, dusty, smoked cedar and sandalwood. The oud is pretty accessible and should be enjoyed by those of us who don't always appreciate the "best" oud scents.

Comes out of the gate swinging with plenty of projection but dies down quickly. Other than losing some of the bite from the opening, it stays linear from start to finish.

Longevity is good, lasts all workday but doesn't project a huge cloud after the opening dies down.

Although this is fairly clean and not heavy, feels best for casual wear in cooler temps.
15th July, 2018

Opus 1144 by Unum

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? by Paul Gauguin
15th July, 2018

Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren

My best way to describe Polo Blue (2002) to the old heads is an "aquatic made like a chypre", and to younger fragrance fans as "a sweaty aquatic", because it is both of those. Truth be told, Polo Blue exists as Carlos Benaim's return to the series he started in 1978 with the original Polo, reinterpreting that mossy gentlemanly scent themed after a sport only one percenters play, but for the Y2K crowd obssessed with freshness and dynamic. Polo Blue subsequently renewed interest in the aquatic genre that was starting to cool it's heels after "radioactive grapefruit" ozonics rose to plague shelves with their feckless attention grab for the emerging affluent "sons of the establishment"; the Donald Trump Jr's of the world that wanted to smell loud and decorated in opulence they didn't earn but not in the gentrified way their parents did. All that stuff eventually fell downmarket anyway and was forgotten as it became discontinued, while Polo Blue gave the more-populist aquatic an upper-class shot in the arm which renewed interest not only in the Polo fragrance line for younger people, but in the aquatic genre itself. I actually encountered Polo Blue at Walmart, however ironic as that sounds, because they attempted for a while to sell high-end new releases (when they weren't stolen) to show their fragrance aisle was a more than a place to buy Calgon and Axe sprays. The "made like a chypre" factor comes from it's use of dry mossy textures and sharp, slightly virile tones, while the "sweaty aquatic" comes from the prominent but bleached-out bay note floating in the drydown. It's not the average blue juice.

Polo Blue opens with a kerfuffle of juicy fruitiness and cucumber. Carlos Benaim wasn't messing around with his core audience for this and went right for the throat with bouncy melon and tangerine. This isn't quite ozonic territory but it definitely feels like the average aquatic opening but with a prescription of Vivance fed to it, with a side of trendy cucumber water. The middle comes from basil, clary sage, and geranium, which is pretty crisp and green standard-issue fare for masculines going back 50+ years, and likely Benaim's nod to tradition that helps anchor this down so the older crowd, more likely to buy Ralph Lauren suits than scents at that point, might see it as adequate. There's quite a lot of fantasy notes here which I'm trying to ignore, the kind of thing Calvin Klein is known for and not Ralph Lauren, so the base regardless of what's listed has a slight dry moss and patchouli, with Iso E Super, amber, a musk molecule, and bay leaf. These were the days just before norlimbanol or ambroxan, so none of that is here, but the stuff is totally aswim with dihydromyrcenol (a.k.a. the "Cool Water" smell), a bit of calone for the melon accords, and the aforementioned Iso E Super in the nose-tinge woody base, so in strictest terms, Polo Blue is a chemical scent that super-hardline indie niche or vintage purists will hate. I'm sure those folks are not even remotely considered by the perfumer or house anyway, but it bears mentioning. The end result of a Polo Blue wear is an aura of fruity notes with their sweetness squashed by the herbs and burned to a crisp by the dry aromachemicals, having the slight moss only acting as a rounding agent alongside the scant musk. The bay note adds the "sweaty guy" vibe that makes Polo Blue come across as a buttoned up Perry Ellis 360 Degrees for Men (1992), which has my vote as best "gym bag" fragrance, and that's not a bad comparison.

Polo Blue served a niche that I don't think anyone knew existed initially: a crowd of young professionals looking for a slightly formal and forthright masculine but in aquatic form. All the 90's aquatics were casual, sporty, slightly androgynous and laundry-clean affairs that were fine for day-running in summer or inoffensive fragrance bubbles within one's own office cubicle, but didn't serve the suit and tie upper management guy. If you're forced into a 3-piece suit 365 days a year and are a guy who normally wears stuff like Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) or Terre de Hermès (2006) but want something fresher for days commuting in high heat without losing the formality, this scent is a serious option for you. Polo Blue has enough manly dryness to recall the starched collars of mid-century masculinity, hence my link to the chypres of that era, but the sweat factor also plays into usability at the gym too, since it won't stand out a ton but will deodorize nonetheless, making it a great office to gym then home or out kind of smell. The success of Polo Blue spawned Nautica Blue (2005), Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme (2005), Versace Pour Homme (2008), and even distantly Bleu de Chanel (2010), which itself ushered in the Ambroxan craze. Polo Blue is arguably the most popular Polo creation in the 21st century, dwarfing the original in use for the 35 and under crowd, and it's easy to see why. Folks who hate the use of any post 1990 aromachemicals or aquatics will hate this too, so there's nothing to see here for them, but for a person who just sorta likes (but doesn't love) the aquatic genre, this is certainly one of the better entries and presents the aquatic in a dressed-up and classy form, worthy of at least sampling. 2016 saw the introduction of this in parfum form, which like with the Bleu de Chanel line, adds increased sillage, warmth, and heft, but loses some of the freshness this genre is all about. A solid blue juice and one of my faves in the genre. Well done Polo!
14th July, 2018 (last edited: 20th July, 2018)

Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills

I have vintage sample. I remember when this came out. Everyone, I mean everyone wore it. Too much of it, too.

My sample is vibrant but more mellow than I remember from years past. The florals of tuberose, gardenia, ylang ylang, jasmine, orange blossom, and rose are all intact. Very bold. I get a hint of green which may be the chamomile or oakmoss. The amber and musk are enhanced by vanilla. The patchouli is sweetened by something - I can't put my finger on it. It may be fruit.

Overall I am glad I found a vintage sample. Honestly, I never owned a full bottle of this back in the day. I only had a sample. I gave it away because I couldn't stomach wearing something that every other woman was drowning in.
14th July, 2018

Yatagan by Caron

Forest wood spirits!
Arise to this nose and teach
Your joyous life song.
14th July, 2018

Dune by Christian Dior

This is probably my favourite perfume of all time, and that says a lot if you've seen how much time I spend testing (and retesting, then buying, then selling, then rebuying, etc.)

Dune may intend to conjure up sandy mounds and ocean air blowing over a garden of herbs, but in reality it's a transparent oriental with immeasurable radiance.

Starting with a splash of citrus and greenery (stemone), you may feel like an herbal-fougere accord is oncoming with a hint of lavender, but instead, you get a musky (galaxolide), chocolate-floral with the sheen of jasmine (hedione.)

The drydown, which really is what Dune is all about, is peppered with patchouli, sandalwood, and vanilla. If your bottle is old enough, you may even get some of those notes composed with natural materials. What makes all of these notes meld together, though, is a huge slug of orris, which adds a dry, austere feeling and lightens the weight of these heavy materials.

A genius, outstandingly original masterpiece. Dark, pensive, and something I could never live without.

Note - the EDT is my favourite, showcasing more of a diverse note list. The extrait is more dense and focused on the drydown. The alcohol-free summer spray is an unpleasant concoction with only minor nod to the real thing. I've not yet tried the esprrit de parfum. At the time of release, Dune had a ton of promo items like broaches, earrings, bracelets and the lot. You'll come across them at high prices, but I assure you, they are not fine jewelry and shouldn't be purchased as such.
14th July, 2018

Anthracite by Jacomo

A well-composed hyacinth. I happen to hate that sort of thing, so I can't rightfully give it a thumbs-up....but if that's you're cup of tea, it's typically I expensive and worth trying.
14th July, 2018

Armani Privé Ambre Soie by Giorgio Armani

This is basically the perfume version of Glosette Raisins, and is genius because of it. Somehow the perfumer worked a magical trick of using the heaviest of materials, but making them light as a feather.

Not your average amber - more of an intelectual amber from the imagination of someone who thinks outside the box. If you want the tradition amber, MPG and Lutens have you covered. If you want an over-achiever, Ambre Russe is great. Ambre Soie, on the other hand, is more than an amber, it's a transparent, anise-infused oriental with dark chocolate patchouli and fruity resins.

A genius work, and something I willingly paid full price for. No regrets. Sadly discontinued, so grab it when you see it.
14th July, 2018
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L'Art et la Matière : Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain

Yummy vanilla. If you've ever smelled Nielsen-Massey's Vanilla Bean Paste, this is it in a perfume. Not at all over the top sweet, but a rich, as close to true scent as can be.
14th July, 2018

La Petite Robe Noire 2012 by Guerlain

My first exposure to La Petite Robe Noire was a Guerlain miniatures order. The bottle of LPRN broke somehow during the shipment and the box, the wrapping paper - everything - smelled with LPRN. Obviously it had been saturating for a long while.

You know how when exploring your grandma's or parents house and they have this stuff sitting in boxes or away in a corner how it takes on some weird old peppery smell that you can't really identify except that it's something that has been stored and going stale and musty for a while? That is the exact undercurrent the predominates in La Petite Robe Noire as the top notes settle. Combine that with some Victoria's Secret or Bath and Body Works berry body lotion and that is what LPRN smells like. I have no desire to smell like it nor to smell it on others.

In fact, my husband bought me a bottle of this blind after my miniature bottle broke. I wore it once and he realized his mistake and I promptly tried to wash it off. I'll give it points for massive silage and longevity because I still smelled it on myself the next day after a shower. I brought it into work and (surprise surprise) no one wanted it and everyone complained about the 'weird cherry hand soap smell' in the office and it was dutifully banned.

14th July, 2018

Patchouly Indonesiano by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

Chameleon. This one changes flavor every few minutes or so. It can be musty, dusty, woody, earthy. A tad sweet like tobacco at times. It shifts intensity as though it had colors.

It has been many decades since experiencing patchouli like this. I'm glad a friend recommended it.

Basic. Withstands the heat of summer.
14th July, 2018

Wild Collection : Wild Leather by Mancera

I got a Sample of this... Now this is a very masculin leather.
Dry and smokey.
Opens up a bit animalistic, but calms and turns into a frag I find very very appealing.

This is what Clint Eastwood would ware in Good Bad The Ugly.

And after my sample I finally got my hands on this rough diamand... Unfortunately the weather is too warm for this beast.... Roll on the seasonal change.
As I remember it lasted a decent 8+hours.
14th July, 2018

Galop d'Hermès by Hermès

Gorgeous balance of rose and leather. This is one that smells different on the paper than on the skin. Both the rose and leather hug the skin and have a perfect balance of both - one may come out to play more pending the heat and environment, but doesn't overpower at all.

I mirror what Kotori states about the blotters touching Galop - I sprayed Galop on the blotter and placed it in my handbag along with others and my handbag still smells like Galop two weeks later, although a milder lingering hint of it.
14th July, 2018

Aqua Allegoria Rosa Pop by Guerlain

Dear Guerlain - I'd appreciate it if you'd keep in your collection one of the Aqua Allegoria's that contains peony notes. First you bring Pivoine Magnifica out and then discontinue it, and now Rosa Pop has been discontinued. Rosa Pop filled the void for me that Pivoine Magnifica did - bubbly, bright, crisp and that peony note!

Rosa Pop was an unexpected find that was too late. Get this one if you can.
14th July, 2018

Aqua Allegoria Limon Verde by Guerlain

Very bright and crisp lemon top notes. Unlike other Aqua Allegoria perfumes, this one has decent longevity (3-4 hours give or take) in high heat and humidity. Colder weather it will come across as brash, but perfect for spring/summer and environments that are warm.

Don't douse too much on and you run the the risk of smelling like kitchen/bathroom cleaner.

Bright lemony perfumes are not my cup of tea, but it's a nice change to smell this among all the chocolate/gourmand scents out there - its a clear light in the fog and haze.
14th July, 2018

Feu Secret by Bruno Fazzolari

Artistic. Leans towards masculine. My husband likes it and he is not a frag-head.

Cool, dewy orris and birch beginning. A tiny bit of spice. The eucalyptus is fresh without being medicinal. The base is a powdery wood but does not lean towards the feminine.

This works in summer heat. It is never cloying. Well done!
14th July, 2018

L'Eau by Tauer

The Star by Edgar Degas 1878
14th July, 2018

Oud Save The King by Atkinsons

Smoke, oud, tobacco, tea, suede and iris, combined in a decent way. It's classy and elegant but not to harsh or oppulent.

The dark notes remind me of Laudano Nero but not that much.

A good perfume but the price is to high. Not to mention the bottle is a total kitsch.
14th July, 2018

Bergamote 22 by Le Labo

The Family of Trees by Felix Vallotton 1922
14th July, 2018

Transat by Yves Rocher

A nice aquatic for the summer heat…

You'll get a lot of Rosemary,plus aquatic notes but also that sweet amber after a while. It lacks projection yes, but it's a very non offensive scent.

My personal Rating

7/10 Scent
5/10 Longevity
3/10 Projection

14th July, 2018

Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

I find this to be similar to (and superior to) Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf. It's less cloying and sickly sweet than FB, but I think this is a classic case of "pick your poison." I prefer fruity-gourmand notes to sugary-gourmand notes by a mile, so I'm not automatically turned off by fruitchoulis. Jimmy Choo is a perfectly acceptable fruitchouli with a juicy pear opening that melds nicely with the not-too-sweet toffee/patchouli base. I wouldn't buy a full bottle, but I'll definitely use up my entire sample (which is more than I can say for my 3ml sample of FB).
14th July, 2018

Moonlight in Heaven by By Kilian

A little citrus and pepper in the opening that quickly gives way to a clean, creamy coconut scent as it dries down. This is not a full-on coconut scent but it's definitely there. It's more like the soft, creamy scent you smell in high-end hotels mixed with a little coconut. I’m getting some soft florals but it's not heavily feminine.

Feels like a daytime, casual scent to me.

Projection is light but the scent lasts 8-10 hours.
14th July, 2018

Encre Noire by Lalique

Too much Iso for me. I can see the appeal though.
Sycomore is in another league altogether
14th July, 2018

Aoud Musk by Montale

This Musk is Delightful.

It's kinda cozy in my opinion, never had any compliments when wearing, but i don't think this reaches out from the skin, I think it sits. Closer to the skin. Very nice Musky bubble all around you.

Scent 8.9 - 10
Longevity 7.9 - 10
Sillage 6.5 - 10

This is defo one I ware for me myself and I. Love it
14th July, 2018

Silver Scent Pure by Jacques Bogart

Smells exactly, and I mean exactly, like an iced glass of grape soda or a grape freezie. Like all Bogart fragrances, this costs like $20 and is an absolute BEAST, with ultra-strong projection and longevity with a half-spray. Bogart pour Homme smells like Cherry Coke, and this one smells like grape soda. I'm really enjoying this fragrance house.

14th July, 2018