Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 142646

JB by Jack Black

This scent kept grabbing my attention whenever I'd do my sampling rounds at the local Nordstrom. It's been displayed separately from all other fragrances, which is a remarkable way to draw curious people like me in. :^)

JB resonates with a pleasant aromatic pepper, eucalyptus and papyrus consstruction, accented very subtly by the other exotic (but hard to directly pinpoint) notes throughout the triangle. Sillage is just above skin scent, lest it is sprayed heavily all at once or in delayed layers (my personal preference).

Seems better suited for semi-formal occasions, given its elegant, intimate formulation. Not sure if the price is totally warranted, though it is an EdP. But IMO, I prefer JB compared to Jack Black's "Signature Blue Mark," which I have had a difficult time connecting with. YOU be the judge and give it an in-person sample.
17th March, 2018

Mambo for Men by Liz Claiborne

Mambo seemed to be released at a time when everything Liz Claiborne made for men smelled like Curve (1996), regardless of whether or not it was a Curve flanker. Lucky You for Men (2000) was a licensee scent that was effectively "greener Curve" (and thus better), and Mambo was "spicier Curve", which is a really crass summation of the stuff, but so close to the truth it hurts. The itchy facet of Curve which bothered me so much was also present here, and exacerbated worse by the synthetics and spices on display, making this a big "no-can-do" for me. The problem with Mambo is it obstinately tries to maintain that "90's clean" but head into a full-bodied, more complex direction that orientals or gourmands were starting to take by the early 2000's, and it's a compromise that maybe could have worked (Burberry for Men did it pretty well in 1996), but was gone about in all the wrong fashions by nose Carlos Benaim; certainly not his best work. Laurent Hainaut appears to havd made no other fragrances bottle designs according to basenotes information, and it has me wondering why, because Mambo does get served up in a cool bottle, which was the reason 20-year-old me picked up the thing. Ultimately this went to a best friend who ended up falling in love with this, Curve, and the follow-up Bora Bora (2002), which I was loathe to try after striking out so much with Claiborne.

Mambo has the usual 90's/early 2000's hyperbole exotica notes so I won't list them, as some sound like attempts to put lace on a pig (such as saying lavandin in place of lavender), but what you get here is a very barbershop Curve-like opening that doesn't need describing a second time here. The middle notes are where the spices live, with clove, cinnamon, and cumin joined by geranium, rose, orange blossom and muguet. The cumin here is the only ingredient with a sense of purpose, adding that tell-tale sweatiness that denotes this as "sexier" than it's Curve patriarch, but it's too buried in business anyway. The base is all synthetic sandalwood, patchouli, musk, and fir basalm, the latter of which is too green and throws all the other floral/spicy/vanillic ingredients off course. This was almost a good scent if you took away the itchy chemical top and confused heart/base notes. Remove the florals, remove the green, and bam; this could have been a decent oriental cheapie. As it stands, it's the Toys "R" Us kid of oriental hybrid fougères (ironic that Toys "R" Us goes defunct as I write this), meaning it doesn't want to grow up into a solid masculine, but rather keep meandering with musings, inspirations, and ideas, but never commit to a direction. It's not a very good mambo dancer with two left feet.

This might be okay for the guy that wants to color just barely outside the fresh fougère lines, or the kind of person who just occasionally bumps up from the mild salsa to the medium for a rare bit of pleasure outside the comfort zone, but I've never been that guy to be honest. Even if this thing didn't cause a rapid-fire sneeze fit that lasts all day, I still don't know if I'd be able to handle it's confused and mediocre blending of synthetics and mid-tier elements rebranded as luxury ingredients. This is the fully-loaded entry-level Hyundai of oriental/fougère hybrids. It's certainly no Boucheron Pour Homme (1991) or Dior Fahrenheit (1988), and isn't even on the level of an Avon in terms of risque note interplay. It's blending bites in all the ways it shouldn't, and fails to impress in all the ways it needed to for it to be anything more than a "spicy Curve". I remember seeing this on the clearance counter at the perfume section of Sears (which says a lot), next to other Claiborne men's staples, and it was the only product placement with not a single box touched. I really don't think I need to say any more than that.
17th March, 2018

Fath Pour l'Homme by Jacques Fath

The best cheapie ever... Enough said.
16th March, 2018
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Rose of No Man's Land by Byredo

Stardate 20180316:

I suppose if you are an injured soldier stuck in battlefield, nothing would smell as sweet as a red cross nurse.
Byredo, tried to create that smell and I think did a good job of it. Rose, soft white florals (no indoles), musk and sweet candy(amber?). I have small complains (too sweet, not dirty enough, little development) but on the whole a nice fragrance. Leans feminine.

And here is the excerpt from the original poem ('s_Land) :

It's the one red rose the soldier knows,
It's the work of the Master's hand;
Mid the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross Nurse,
She's the rose of No Man's Land.
16th March, 2018

Santal 33 by Le Labo

Out of curiosity, I stopped by the Le Labo counter at Nordstrom to pick up a sample of this. To me, it's definitely more on the feminine side. The initial burst is very nice and refreshing, but the drydown ends up being more floral than leather.
16th March, 2018

Oud 27 by Le Labo

To me, this is similar to CDG Palisander. Not sure if it's worth the huge difference in price though. Still, a high quality oud worthy of consideration.
16th March, 2018

Orca by House of Matriarch

Composed of honey and ambergris, House of Matriarch Orca seems to aspire to embody amber in all of its greatness, and in that respect, I find that it succeeds, showing the creamy and sweet sides of amber as well as the dull animalic side of it that makes the accord so alluring.

Orca is certainly slightly saltier at the opening, but quickly dries down into the rich amber / honey combination that constitutes the listed notes of the fragrance according to the HOM website. Comparing to other fragrances that feature amber/resins, it's not as woody as Le Labo Benzoin 19 nor is it really that animalic along the lines of Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe nor as dark AND animalic as Profumum Ambra Aurea.

Like most amber-centric fragrances, it's functionally unisex and cold-weather leaning, despite having a bit more versatility due to its more modest projection than say, the heartily animalic Ambra Aurea or sweetly boastful Tom Ford Amber Absolute. Orca is nevertheless bold and long-lasting but not loud in terms of projection a sign of a high concentration of natural ingredients.

As seemingly with a lot of other House of Matriach fragrances, Orca does not come cheap, at $330 for 50ml / $120 for 15ml per the house's website.

It's a tough sell per volume but the fragrance is a wonderful expression of amber, and I'm happy to have a decant of it, if nothing else. A recommended try for amber lovers.

8 out of 10
16th March, 2018

N°15 Extrait de Parfum by Auphorie

Auphorie marks its 15th creation with an abstract perfume of finesse and aerodynamism. It’s just as well they’ve chosen a mouthwash blue-green for the colour of this liquid as the feel of this perfume is of wide open (scented) air merging constantly into springwater arising from a source ringed by soft fantasy florals and greens – and then turning back to air. The intention may have been to showcase orris butter but the wearer may be forgiven for coming away with a completely different perception. If there’s one predominant note to this composition it is a cool, almost minty violet leaf, bittersweet and fluffed out by soft florals and the abiding airiness of No 15.
Accents of clovey spice, woodshavings and musky ambrette that lurk close to the skin are the only deviations from the clean blue-green theme in the first half. But this is an aero-aquatic with a difference – it doesn’t pelt you with faux cucumbers and melons, there is no recognizable calone drone, nothing vaguely industrial, and it doesn’t get headachey. It’s floating and persistent, and whatever the synthetics used, the result is olfactory harmony.
Later on, the perfume condenses somewhat and undergoes a by-degrees character change with a more earthbound leather and resinous woody aspect coming into view without affecting the overall lightness of touch.

16th March, 2018

Une Amourette Roland Mouret by Etat Libre d'Orange

A perfume of glamourous evasion, leading one on with promises, reminding one that anticipation is pleasurable in itself. From its fizzing start, like the fine stream of champagne bubbles in a tulip, to its lovely dough-and-blonde-leather iris segue, to the breezy not-quite neroli, rather something cool and vaguely orangey but also floral, to the sprinkle of pepperiness that seems to have a pale green flush (apparently the denatured patchouli that is the Givaudan discovery Akigalawood), this is a perfume that shifts constantly, but keeps a smooth, sophisticated veneer throughout. Its ‘not quites’ seem to be ripe with possibilities, all contained.
It isn’t a loud perfume when it begins and when it finally settles around a vaporwave fantasy neroli it does get really quiet – if this is a crush as the name suggests, it is a bashful one.
16th March, 2018

Vanhera by Laboratorio Olfattivo

A curious confluence – a creamy vanilla, smooth in the manner of plug-in room fresheners, grafted on to peppery woods that recall certain synthetic ouds. This one also brings a prickle to the back of the throat courtesy of something chilli-like – possibly the Sichuan pepper mentioned in the notes. I think the intention here was to give us a deep, dark, spicy vanilla without sacrificing a buffed ‘sophisticated’ feel to the whole. Unfortunately the elements here seem not quite ready to be united in the opening phases, and Vanhera fares little better when it settles, with an indigestible level of spiciness overwhelming the composition.
16th March, 2018

Vetiver by Lorenzo Villoresi

Thrillingly butch to begin – humid, inky and quinine bitter woody tones pierced by the sharp saltiness of celery and dry cumin. It’s an enlivening mix, where the assertive main players are wrapped in a halo of freshness – the latter in part deriving from aspects of the sweet and dusky vetiver itself, but there are also lifting elements like lavender, herbal notes and citruses all unobtrusively incorporated. The perfume seems to be straining between suave slickness and a kind of pants-popping vigour, a tension that is rather fun to be part of.
Once it has settled into the drydown some hours in, it becomes much more centred on vetiver – but fortunately it’s a broad spectrum incarnation with the dank, earthy side of the root getting as much play as the barbershop one. Lovely, if a bit modest in terms of its trail.
16th March, 2018

Vocalise by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Syrupy floral that is all granny spectacles and talcum powder. There are hints of cassis and foliage but they are tucked away under the petticoat of sickly primness that is the main mode of expression here. Such a sugar-laden floral needs to be over the top and doing high-kicks in blood-red satin in order to work. Instead this is a demure and somewhat hygienic affair (in an old-school cake of soap kind of way) with modest projection.
16th March, 2018

Shiny Amber by Anna Zworykina Perfumes

Shiny amber is a quite pretty spicy/watery amber-based fragrance introducing itself with a sort of neo-victorian (hesperides, poudree amber and jasmine) "aplomb" which is immediately kind of soapy-hesperidic and vaguely anisic at same time. Resins are counteracted by citrus and light/airy watery spices, overall in a quite light and versatile sort of fluidy combination. The citric presence smells classic, structured and more than vaguely "cologney" (conjuring in part a sort of "Guerlain Aqua Allegoria's royal atmosphere"). Ginger provides the initial kind of airy/aromatic/minty/anisic twist. I detect cardamom enhancing the fluidy light spiciness while a benzoinic ambery base is a perfect kind of talky shelter for a dominant jasmine's presence. Dry down, though never groundbreaking, smells more than dignified, drier, mossier and delicately refined. A vibrant, light and versatile amber's implementation which (though always organic and warm) smells kind of neo-classic but at same time cleaner, simpler, vaguely rubbery, delicately powdery and essential. The overall effect smells as a kind of synthesis and re-interpretation of two traditional olfactory dimensions (cologney/hesperidic/naïf and powdery/talky chypre).
16th March, 2018
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Boss Bottled Intense by Hugo Boss

Sweet, synthetic apple plus vanilla opening. Drydown becomes quite powdery but the woody notes reign it back towards a masculine scent. Very pleasant and the sweetness goes all the way through the life of the scent. A good mix of 1 Million and the original Boss Bottled.

I'd say the projection is close to the original in strength, which is to say it projects above average. Longevity is definitely improved over the original. It lasts all day and into the next.
16th March, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Barbados Cherry by Demeter Fragrance Library

Starting sweet with a strong and artificial sweetness, with time an aroma akin to a somewhat candied cherry struggles to emerge. For a while it succeeds, then the sweetness suffocates it to a large extent.

Towards the end the cherry is more evident again, this time with a caramelised undertone.

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

Synthetic and generic with only a few redeeming features. 2/5.
16th March, 2018

Ho Hang Club by Balenciaga

Cristobal Balenciaga was once called "The Master of Us All" by Christian Dior, who alongside the late Hubert de Givenchy, had great esteem for the pioneering designer. His daring designs redefined a woman's silhouette in the mid 20th century, for better or worse, but his perfume gets very little attention, especially with the way the house kept stopping and starting over the years, with the masculines even less recognized. Cristobal himself closed Balenciaga's doors in 1968 due to clashes with Chambre syndicale de la haute couture parisienne, but a year before his death, the house was re-booted by the company Marbert as a ready-to-wear label only, heralded by the first masculine scent Ho Hang (1971), before the clothing side went dormant again. 1986 would see another house reboot with the Bogart Group being the new stewards, and with their expertise in male perfumery, Balenciaga would release several very distinct but sadly unnoticed masculines alongside their feminine lines, starting with a new Ho Hang in 1987. This "Ho Hang Club" would feel less like a flanker and more like a rebirth, as all indicators point to it smelling nothing at all like the original from which it borrows both name and form factor. First of all, the amount of notes in this is ridiculous to the point of it being impossible for me to separate them, so I won't try. It's a dark, semi-sweet honeyed floral chypre that was a real rarity even in 1987. It has the strength of a powerhouse, but a darker style like Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987) or Jacomo de Jacomo (1980), just minus the smoke.

Ho Hang Club is definitely late 70's/early 80's super-macho "kitchen sink" construction, but in 1987 when this virile style was starting to get edged out by brighter, spicier, and often fruit-topped powerhouses that had moss in the base for a sauve attitude rather than an aggressive one, with the similarly domineering Lapidus Pour Homme of the same year being an exception of late-showing chauvinism as well. Ho Hang Club definitely is not on the level of One Man Show (1980), Antaeus (1981), or Kouros (1981) like Lapidus was, but it does have a similar "piss-take" opening and a dry base, with a styrax/amber/musk trifecta being the most powerful elements in dry down. The top is bergamot, lemon, basil, and coriander; it's pretty standard-fare 80's but it gets honeyed by the styrax (which is a source of benzoin), in a similar way to Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men (1984), but without the patchouli growl. Instead, a bouquet of florals similar to Révillion's French Line (1984) or Azzaro Acteur (1989) come into play, but the rose presence in Ho Hang Club is way muted by comparison. Some call this a leather scent, but to me the leather is even less present than it is in the oft-compared Maxim’s Pour Homme (1988), which itself barely qualifies for that title. Ho Hang Club is just a true abstract in a class by itself. Sillage is not on a typical 80's powerhouse level, but this faithfully wafts off collars and skin all day long, so it's certainly a performer where it really matters most. I'd go so far as to say this is a great all-day scent but whether or not one wishes to smell something this heady all day is up for debate.

Fans of the "Noir/Gothic" style will likely love Ho Hang Club regardless of age, as it has that honey-sweet opening, muted flowers in the middle, and murky base full of unearthly darkness and understated sexual tension. It's in a vein similar to the aforementioned Salvador Dali Pour Homme, Jacomo de Jacomo (1980), and to an extent the ancient Eucris by Geo F Trumper (1912). Ho Hang Club trades in it's pipe and loafers for a pair of wing tips and a brandy cordial, making it rest between Dali and Révillion's underdog French Line. It's unmistakably masculine but it won't rip off it's shirt to prove it like it's classmate Lapidus, and like all surviving Balenciaga masculines, nobody will have any idea what you're wearing. Sadly Coty purged all male perfumes from Balenciaga when Kering handed them the perfume license after buying Balenciaga from Bogart (who were idiots for selling it), but Ho Hang Club seems the least-sought of all the old male lines because it is indeed so dark. It's a Guillermo del Toro movie in a bottle: Esoteric, gorgeous, but a little bit unsettling. Suggested use is formal romantic wear, evening use, or just personal time in spring or fall. This one isn't casual enough for work or day wear, but might be nice for a night at an opera, play, concert, or movie. Fans of Ho Hang's understated grace might find this less of a dream and more of a nightmare, but for the fans of melancholy and romance with a kick-in-the-crotch bite, this is a winner.
15th March, 2018 (last edited: 23rd March, 2018)

Massive Patchouli by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

Tries so hard to live up to it's name...starts with a blast of heavy patch that knocks me in the nose, then very quickly dies down...robust with a heavy woody/earthy quality...dark dusty vanilla flavor...decent enough, but i've smelled a lot of patch better than this...for myself, I find this to be more of a layering agent to add a touch of patch to another fragrance...seems like the closest thing I've smelled that reminds me of your typical hippie/head shop patch smell...
15th March, 2018

Patch Flash by Tauerville

I admit that Patch Flash is not an entry I expected to enjoy much. While I regularly enjoy patchouli as a heart and base note, as a component of a larger collection, I generally do not gravitate toward patchouli when wielded in dominating fashion by a perfumer. So in Patch Flash, as of now the latest entry in Andy Tauer's more affordable Tauerville series, there is a mix of elements that renders the fragrance quite agreeable.

It's some amalgam of fresh, green, spicy, woody, and even leather/animalic. As with the entire Tauerville series, a note breakdown is not provided so I can only speculate but it's a pleasant expression of patchouli that is dense but not too dense nor too focused on patchouli.

Performance is solid and the price point is reasonable, $63 for 30ml EDP. Patch Flash leans slightly masculine but is still quite unisex. Worth a try for anyone. I can't imagine most would dislike it but clearly the feedback is a bit mixed overall.

7 out of 10
15th March, 2018

Trésor in Love by Lancôme

A light bitter floral. Moderate sillage and projection. Quite useless.
15th March, 2018

Ylanga by Coryse Salome


The banana-like scent of Ylang Ylang is center stage here, supported by a very light vanilla. The Jasmine and Tuberose do not overwhelm, which reveals a mastery of the blending art.

I find no spices to speak of and it would seem the citruses have worn off with time. No matter. It is a lovely sweet, fruity concoction, which seems to be quite unique for its time. I have not as yet come across another fruit oriented scent from this era of perfumery.

Top notes: Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon, Orange Blossom
Heart notes: Ylang, Jasmine, Tuberose, Muguet
Base notes: Spices, Clove, Oak Moss, Patchouli, Vanilla

It is hard to think of an occasion to wear this. It strikes me as more of a fun, personal scent, to be worn about the house. Lovely and unique.
15th March, 2018

Organdi by Coryse Salome


Perfumista and collector, Alexandra Star, tells us that “Salomé was established in 1909 by Marius Cartier and sold perfumes, cosmetics and toiletries at his shop at 8 place de l'Opera, Paris. Salome was affiliated with Cartier.

“Coryse was established in 1919 by Maurice Blanchetat, also in Paris and also sold perfumes, toiletries and cosmetics. He purchased the perfumery Salomé in 1929 and the two companies merged into Coryse Salomé.

“Gauze,” “tissue,” and “organdy” are all terms, which may be applied to organza-like fabrics. This is the image that Organdi perfume sums up – a sheer beautiful light feminine silk fabric!”

Top notes: Bergamot, Neroli
Heart notes: Orange Blossom, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang
Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Vanilla, Civet

This is an unusual scent, with an autumnal feel to it. Florals deeply saturated, yet light, and floating over a solid, unctuous slightly bitter base. The impression is that of a crisp autumn day walking in the woods, boots moving through fallen leaves.

It has the feel of a floral chypre. The musk and civet really hold the florals down, so they don’t float away. These two are masterfully blended.

It is a scent for nostalgia, for wistful remembrance. Quite stunning and quite rare.
15th March, 2018

Cuir de Russie by Vonna


Perfumista and Collector, Alexandra Star, tells us that “little is known about the perfume house called Vonna, as they faded into obscurity after WWII.”

The Perfume Encyclopedia lists seven scents for the house. In addition to Cuir de Russie, there are: Frisco, Neu, Neu d’ Iles, Chypre, No. 11, and Vonna, all launched in the 1930s to early 1940s.

Ms. Star goes on to say: “On a label affixed to a Vonna Cuir de Russie bottle was a badge that reads 'Produits de Scientifique de Beaute de Vonna, Cachet de Garantie'. History tells us that in 1926 the very similarly named Academie Scientifique de Beaute was born in Paris. The company, which is still family owned to this day, was founded by the French pharmacist, Georges Gay, and they claim to have opened the first scientific beauty academy to train aestheticians in 1928.”

"Without comparing it to anything, the Vonna CdR smells strongly of leather. But a side-by-side comparison of a 1930-40 era Chanel Cuir de Russie reveals the Vonna is a much softer leather scent than the Beaux/Chanel version, making the Vonna seem like an almost suede-like, more modern rendition of leather. This is indeed a softer and surprisingly supple and turn of leather."

The Vintage Perfume Vault reports that: "Vonna's Cuir De Russie opens fittingly with an over-dose of orange blossom. I say fitting because the fleshy orange blossom petals that fall from our orange trees this time of year have a naturally leathery, almost petrolish tone with an almost narcotic, honeysuckle-sweet nectar scent. Along with orange blossom, Vonna's leather seems to have been cured in a vat of violet petals, thanks to a heavy touch of ionones, no doubt. It dries down to an ultra-smooth, almost sweet tonka-suede nougat that maintains its leather character while becoming more and more powdery; you can detect it on paper 24-48 hours and long beyond. All in all, Vonna’s Cuir de Russie is a fantastic leather perfume for the vintage collector, if you can find it."

Top notes: Neroli, Orange Blossom, Violet
Heart notes: Orange, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Juniper
Base notes: Leather, Cedar, Vetiver, Balsam, Labdanum, Musk, Patchouli, Amber, Sandalwood

I have a heretofore unopened half ounce of the perfume with gold string still attached and stopper firmly stuck in the opening. A little hot water and gentle coaxing finally liberated it.
A warm blast of amber and violet greets my nose, supported by a superb musk. The orange notes seem to have faded with time. It is a very gentle, feminine leather chypre with slightly bitter notes of nutmeg, rosemary and juniper. The cedar, vetiver and sandalwood provide the warm, woody base notes, again softened this time by balsam, labdanum and patchouli.

This has neither the pungent birch tar notes of cuirs from the 19th century, nor the polished, somewhat sweet notes of the Chanel version. It almost waffles on the fence between leather and pure chypre, sometimes leaning in one direction, sometimes the other, during its extensive dry down.

Certainly a treasure and worth searching out!

15th March, 2018

Fraicheur de Jade by Payan

Payan – Fraicheur de Jade (1918)

“Since its creation in 1854 by Mr Payan, the Honoré Payan company has produced and sold perfumes, toilet water and essential oils in compliance with the purest tradition of the French perfumery and Grasse. Since 2002 the company has been partnered with Parfums J. Rigaud to perpetuate the craft and family character of their products with the same concern that has emphasized product quality and satisfaction to their customers for over 150 years. The company still operates to this day in Provence.” Quote from Alexandra Star, Perfumista and Collector.

Fraicheur de Jade was launched in 1918. Notes include Violet, Apple, Pear, Rose, Lily, Bergamot, Jasmine, Vanilla, Sandalwood, and Tonka Bean.

It is a very light, spring-like scent with a decided bent towards violet, but with delicate apple and pear notes added to the sweet freshness. The name translates to “Freshness of Jade,” which is an odd name for a perfume, unless Payan was trying to indicate a green, spring impression, which is just what the scent communicates.

The presentation is in a beautiful crystal bottle, which is in and of itself more interesting than the perfume.

15th March, 2018

Fleurs de Tabac by Silka


Silka was established by Maurice Roussel in 1900. It produced refined and sophisticated perfumes and cosmetics with original names. The company was shut down during WWII, but reopened and finally closed in 1950. Silka produced some thirty scents between 1912 and 1920.

Art nouveau jeweler Lucien Gaillard, a friend of Lalique, designed a number of bottles for Silka. Other bottle designers for the firm included Georges Chevalier and Julien Viard.

The first tobacco perfume was Piver’s Tabac in 1900. Roger and Gallet followed in 1910 with their Cigalia. Other important tobacco scented perfumes include Caron’s Tabac Blond (1919) and Cherigan’s Fleurs de Tabac (1929).

Silka’s Fleurs de Tabac premiered in 1946 as one of their very first post-war perfumes. I am experiencing a half ounce bottle of parfum, which still had its original plug. The scent is a very warm chypre-like amalgam of several notes. It begins with a very citrus-oriented top of orange, neroli, lemon and bergamot prominent. The emphasis on orange gives it a lovely sweetness.

As the heart unfolds we get the slightly Russian leather effect of birch and a powdery combination of tobacco leaf and tarragon. The base is as much that of a cuir de russie as of a tabac with the round, mellow warmth of myrrh, vanilla and ambergris, made animalic with civet and leather notes.

The blending is superb as no one note stands out. The overall effect is that of a warm, rich, mellow chypre, reminding one at the same time of leather and tobacco. It is remarkably unisex by today’s standards and is a real treasure for connoisseurs of both of these accords.

Top notes: Orange Blossom, Orange, Neroli, Lemon, Bergamot
Heart notes: Tobacco, Tarragon, Birch, Carnation, Orris
Base notes: Frankincense, Myrrh, Ambergris, Patchouli, Civet, Leather, Vanilla

15th March, 2018

Cyclamen by Nissery


Nissery was a Paris house in operation from 1920 to 1929, during which time they produced 17 scents. They later merged with Mury.

Cyclamen is a flower with no discernible scent, yet over 45 perfumes named after it are listed in the Perfume Encyclopedia.

Nissery’s Cyclamen was launched in 1922 and in the words of perfumista and collector, Alexandra Star, “it is now extremely rare and almost impossible to find. While cyclamen essential oil is impossible to extract from the flowers, the odor profile of this lovely scent is created from an aldehyde note replicating the refined, light, clean and mysterious scent of cyclamen flowers.”

Top notes: Rose, Carnation, Lilac, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley
Heart notes: Neroli, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Heliotrope
Base notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk

The initial impression is that of a freshly opened humidor, containing fragrant pipe tobacco. It is very warm and vanillic. The floral medley is so well blended that no particular note stands out.

Osmanthus, also known as tea olive, has a fruity aroma, reminiscent of peach and apricot. I believe it is this that adds the complex tobacco fragrance to the mix. The Nissery Cyclamen is a lovely scent and highly recommended if you’re lucky enough to find a bottle on line.

Now I am intrigued to experience other scents named after the Cyclamen flower.

Note: Upon further applications, this reminds me almost identically of R&G’s Cigalia of 1912, one of the first tobacco scented parfums.

15th March, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Sex On The Beach South Beach by Demeter Fragrance Library

An unspecific fruitiness with a bit of a nonspecific fruitiness: this is the gist of this creation.

A slightly boozy and slightly sweet fruit aroma that bears some reminiscence to ripe melons and berries. The whole mélange is thickly and sticky.

The performance is good: I get moderate sillage, very good projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring scent is very synthetic and generic. Nothing to do with a good cocktail in Miami. 1.75/5.
15th March, 2018

French Line by Révillon

French Line is a lark of 1980's design: it holds itself to the barbaric bergamot opening and heavy moss thump of most 80's powerhouse masculines, but it doesn't roar with civet, castoreum, styrax, or heavy woods. Instead, French Line relies on a dark floral heart and uncommonly forward-thinking blend of citrus and coconut to give it a unique character which stands out without needing to shout. Sadly, Révillon Frères would cease to exist after the venerable fur maker and perfumer was absorbed into the Cora chain of French "hypermarkets" around 1982 (think Walmart in scope), and then spun off into the Cora-Révillon Group just to have a shell company to sell it's products outside of the Cora stores. Some time after the turn of the millennium, this whole venture ceased to exist and Révillon perfumes all poofed from existence outside of unused old stock. This masculine was released two years after this corporate absorption, so we should count ourselves lucky it exists at all. French Line's leathery dry down gets compared to Antaeus (1981) quite a bit, but I don't really see it personally, as the "fruitiness" of French Line never goes away and thus this never gets to play dirty. To be honest, it's almost a dandy scent, much like the later Azzaro Acteur (1989), with a prominent rose note floating throughout the entire wear, but French Line is actually sweeter and even darker than that later Azzaro mystery, with a stronger leather component to boot. French Line is indeed very French, and not afraid to flaunt it with it's historic title, as the SS Normandie, one of the most celebrated cruise lines ever built (Saint-Nazaire 1932), was often just referred to as "The French Line" itself since it was the flag ship, being seized and renamed the USS Lafayette by the US during WWII before it sadly caught fire and capsized at a Hudson River dock in 1942. The bottle's singular red stripe and overall design mimics the motif of the ship, which is really cool.

This one opens with typical 80's bergamot but also some juicy lemon. The rose and coconut are apparent right away even though the former is in the heart and latter in the base, forming an odd ghost note of black cherry schnapps, which immediately makes this striking as no typical 1980's masculine. From there, artemisia, basil, coriander and honey form the rest of the opening. The heart note of that very aggressive rose is joined by an almost equally aggressive carnation, with orris root, jasmine, and caraway softening things up in that classic French floral bouquet way. If you couldn't tell, this one really isn't a "man's man" kind of masculine perfume, and has very fuzzy gender lines, if any. Leather, subtle amber, musk, restrained oakmoss and only a slight patchouli note mingle with that extraordinary coconut in the base, and when the whole thing lays to rest comfortably on skin, one might almost feel delicious. I wouldn't exactly call this a prototype gourmand, but with honey, lemon, and coconut well... you get my point. French Line isn't a go-getter, and it doesn't pound you over the head with sillage, but rather just hums along nicely, being dark, juicy, leathery, and very sensual without the raw lust of it's peers. It's the powerhouse with performance measured in stamina and technique rather than brute force, and is definitely dinner date material rather than night club sex juice. If you're going to take somebody dancing in French Line, it had better be a ballroom or a swing dance. I find the leather is very restrained here, another oddity given it's time of release, and compares very favorably to more suede-like modern leather compositions. There's no nose tinge in the leather note at all, and alongside the immaculate blending of moss, musk, and amber, almost becomes a smaller part of a larger whole, much like Maxim's Pour Homme, coincidentally another ode to French history made in the 1980's, but that's the only way in which they compare. This is much more of a rose-dominated scent otherwise, so fans of the elusive masculine rose genre take note. The coconut is awesome too. Think I mentioned that already. Oh well, it's so strange and beautiful, I'm mentioning it again.

In conclusion, French Line is one weird little chypre. It has gourmand notes, it has floral notes, it has lots of traditional French class and structure, bound into the body of a beating, throbbing 1980's masculine. The commanding bergamot/leather/moss triad are forced to engage in mortal combat with more charismatic honey, lemon, coconut, and rose, with no clear victor in sight. It's 1930's Clark Gable teleported into 1984 France, and forced to trade in Brooks Brothers duds for gaudy 80's Haute Couture. He's still quite keen on keeping his dapper appearance and gentile manner, but he's working with 1980's materials and making the best of a situation for which he's unprepared. That to me is the nature of French Line: a legacy fragrance made with what were modern sensibilities for it's era, giving it uncharacteristic amounts of class and poise compared to it's competition, but also angular dynamics, thrusting it into the kind of obscurity deserving of a cult following, especially now that both it and Révillon itself are just historical anecdotes for collectors to wage fiscal war over on auction sites. This is another one that I say could easily be re-released as a niche scent to widespread acclaim. Definitely for fans of the aforementioned Azzaro Acteur, Paco Rabanne Ténéré (1988), or even something like Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet (1872). Coty would try something like this more than 20 years later when they made Stetson Black (2005), but it's just a pale shadow of this idea. Now if you excuse me, my cruise is about to depart.
15th March, 2018

Santal Wood by Ajmal

This fragrance is certainly not a power bomb considering the fact that it is quite mild. However, it lingers on the skin for hours and can be detected after 8 to 12 hours after spraying it.

This can be worn by both a male or female. I don’t consider a signature scent but it is certainly of niche quality and has a distinctive personality.
15th March, 2018

Obsession Night for Men by Calvin Klein

Light, spicy cardamom opening. No pear or fruit for me. I do get a little of a coconut smell but very faint. Dries down to a skin scent within 1 hour. Some vanilla and a light incense-amber after that, very soft, lasts for 5-6 hours. Does have some resemblance to Black Orchid. I like the way it smells but the performance is too light.
15th March, 2018

Dunhill Icon Elite by Dunhill

An honest to goodness scent from Dunhill, Icon Elite comes across as a green fragrance, with the vetiver, cardamom, and pepper being quite noticeable, with a tasteful touch of smooth woods in the foundation.

Works in cooler weather and in casual occasions.
15th March, 2018