Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 147368

Vetyver by Jo Malone

A great aromatic, woody, spicy and citrus fragrance, celebrating this ubiquitous perfumery note in a laid back manner.

Orange, nutmeg, tarragon and vetiver proper are the ingredients of Jo Malone's Vetyver scent. The orange adds an interesting, slight citrus sharpness that highlights the fresh aromatic aspect of the multifaceted vetiver note. Tarragon, with its anise-like touch, accents the tiny bit of inherent wood and spice trait of vetiver; nutmeg achieves this as well.

Very basic, straight ahead and uncomplicated green vetiver experience. In the fragrance arena, there are SO MANY vetiver scents vying for one's attention from so many houses; some portray vetiver in a wet green manner, others drier, still others focusing on the chocolaty-earthy mossiness, others on a strict green grasslike way.

Jo Malone's is a fresh, aromatic moderate vetiver experience, begging to be mixed with other fragrances. On its own, it is good enough to be worn as daily casual wear by either gender. A nice scent maybe worth having as a small full bottle in my collection.
10th October, 2018

Verbena of Provence by Jo Malone

I've enjoyed verbena scents for many years now, and Jo Malone's Verbena of Provence is a well-made rendition!

Fragrance notes: Top=Amalfi lemon, lemon of Verbena; Heart=rose, juniper berries, cypress; Base=Oakmoss, sandalwood.

Linear, solid verbena scent with a slight perceived sweetness, and not much else. It gives me a therapeutic lift, with its bright, fresh citrus lemon quality.

Not a longevity beast, and sillage is average. I think that this one can be worn by men or women, without any obviously alienating element being present.
10th October, 2018

Vanilla & Anise by Jo Malone

Fragrance triangle for Vanilla & Anise:
Top = Sicilian bergamot, Tunisian neroli, wild fennel, star anise;
Heart = tuberose, violet, vanilla, orchid, jasmine, frangipani, cloves;
Base = ambergris, vetiver, Bourbon vanilla absolute, tonka.

Jo Malone's Vanilla & Anise definitely has dominant star anise and vanilla notes in this very busy formulation. Fresh fennel is also present, giving its toasty spicy-sweet touch. Tuberose, with its creamy fleshy quality, does cut through the mix to soften things up. Tonka accents thing with its inherent vanilla-like flavor.

Sillage is decent. Longevity, ok. A great scent for either gender, with the fennel being the polarizing element, IMO, on whether one likes V&A or not.
10th October, 2018
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Tea Collection : Sweet Milk by Jo Malone

I can't quite pin down what "tea" this one actually represents. My impression from the product description is that "Sweet Milk" is being marketed as if it was another tea "flavor", but really it is a potential layering fragrance above all.

Jo Malone's Sweet Milk smells just like Carnation milk right out of the can. There's even a metal-like touch to it present in the scent! This is the type of scent that I would love in Cuban Coffee, Chai Tea, and Yerba Mate Green Tea: Thick, lush, creamy and sweet, and nothing more.

Would I want to SMELL like this? That's where I imagine looking for another fragrance to mix with this. Alone, I feel like I'd stood an hour by a milk frothing station at a local cafe: Not unpleasant, but not wearable.
10th October, 2018

Tea Collection : Sweet Lemon by Jo Malone

This one is discontinued. I tried a spritz from a friends bottle, being curious about its delicious name.

Fragrance notes:
Top = sparkling lemon, bergamot, rhubarb;
Heart = pineapple, freesia, peach;
Base = cypress, cedar, musk.

Pineapple and lemon are the most dominant notes in Jo Malone's "Sweet Lemon." Even with edible rhubarb and peach notes, the sum of this fragrance smells more like a lemon heavy nominal scent versus a gourmand tea formulation. Pineapple stands out rather strongly, a strange sensation that tips this scent in a more tropical direction. Ends up smelling like herbs and woods with a tiny bit of citrus.

Not quite the typical lemony eau de cologne type scent, but a slightly layered, citrus-spicy-woody creation that, to me, barely reminds me of a tea I'd drink (unless it's an herbal, semi-sweet lemon one!). Still, it's decent, though it doesn't blow me away like Sweet Lime & Cedar (also by Jo Malone).
10th October, 2018

Sweet Lime and Cedar by Jo Malone

A very thoughtfully constructed, enjoyable scent from Jo Malone!

I realize that, especially with fragrances that are LOADED with many notes, that individual expectations and experiences will vary greatly. So from my POV...

Moderately strong lime splash that gets very subtle accents from the flurry of other notes swimming around (e.g. sweet, spicy, fruity touches). Cedar - hands down one of my most favorite fragrance notes of all time - gets a very solid feature role here. Even that note gets accentuations from unusual notes like tamarind, which has a very tart, earthy effect that clings to the cedar well.

Decent sillage, better longevity. A scent I would really consider buying full bottle!
10th October, 2018

Tea Collection : Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone

Was a bit letdown by what, in itself, is an okay fresh citrus-green scent from Jo Malone.

Notes in this formulation include: Top=apple, bergamot, jasmine, aquatic notes; heart=cucumber, angelica, davana; base=vanilla, bees wax, cedar, musk.

The makers of this scent ended up creating an experience which is slightly Earl Grey for a moment, with an unconvincing cucumber note next to it. Those morph into a cup of coffee, sugar and cream that mess with my expectations greatly. :-/

I am an avid fan of Earl Grey, and I did detect the signature bergamot note nestled in this scent. But overall, Earl Grey & Cucumber feels different than what I would have liked, and I disagree respectfully with the ingredients used to create this one.
10th October, 2018

Thé Noir 29 by Le Labo

I haven't been too keen on Le Labo overall, as I find their "sciency-wiency" gimmick and naming things one way but having them smell another to not be so cute as they'd hope it to be, but I rather like Thé Noir 29 (2015). Those not brushed up on French might see this as "The Black 29" but it actually means "Black Tea 29". Yeah, we have another case of not smelling like what it's called, but in this instance, I forgive Le Labo for their quirky misleading single-note titles because what it -does- smell like is pretty damned good. Thé Noir does contain elements of black tea, but the elephant in the room which makes this not what it seems is a fig and rose pair of Siamese twins. You get a big ol' fat dry fig and rose compound note conjoined at the hips which is the true focus of this composition, whether real or just a happy coincidence from the mix of black tea and it's surrounding support columns, but for anyone who has smelled Cartier Déclaration d'Un Soir (2012), Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Homme (1999) or Mancera So Blue (2015), it's a darker take on the same aura. As a whole, Thé Noir is a dark, brooding, dry, "Gothic Romance" fragrance in the atmospheric (but not necessarily olfactory) vein of Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987) or Portrait of a Lady (2010), just with black tea, hay, fig and tobacco as the canvas for it's rose instead of animalics or ambery synthetics, respectively. This is so far the one Le Labo I'd buy, and the most accessible of the range's most popular creations by far, since Santal 33 (2011) and Rose 31 (2009) are pretty "out there" in comparison to Thé Noir 29. I'm not saying being "out there" is a bad thing, just not a great quality to possess for easing newcomers into a brand, since folks regularly test these at Nordstrom counters where they're most-commonly found.

Thé Noir opens with dry bergamot, which is almost a prerequisite for this psuedo-Victorian style, but the black tea shows it's face pretty early, holding hands with fig on the left and rose on the right, like the top notes are playing a very intense game of Red Rover. It's all pretty stiff and linear going in, which is the biggest weakness of the opening, as a love-or-shove reaction will be had then and there, but if you get passed it, there is some development. Cedar, hay, and vetiver comprise the middle, tightening and firming with grassy and woody aromatics with just enough hay to give Thé Noir growl without feeling like being down on the farm. These middle notes join the simple musk and slight tobacco base near the end. Yeah, there's some synthetic play here, like Iso E Super, but I don't get much else. The tobacco is very leafy and almost invisible against the rest, and the musk isn't very rich, with most of Thé Noir living in the strong top and aromatic middle, coming across as pale, dimly-lit, and mysterious. Sillage is on the impressive side but this isn't a bomb, and longevity is appropriately sufficient given the niche price point. The kicker here is how much do you like dark, dry, leafy tea, fig, and rose on an aromatic bed, and if that answer is "a lot", then this may be right for you. I'd say Thé Noir is too "Depeche Mode" for the work space, but on a night out at a darkly-lit gastro pub or an art exhibit, this feels particularly right. There's a bit of unisex appeal in Thé Noir as well, but it does swing mostly masculine to my nose.

Thé Noir sits somewhere between modernity and antiquity, as do a lot of things in this perennial genre. Other scents present stronger tea notes, like Bvlgari Black (1998), while still others have a more-prominent rose, like the aforementioned Déclaration d'Un Soir, and if you want to go full-fig, there's Philosykos by Diptyque (1996), so the value in Thé Noir is in it's blending of these themes on an aromatic base. For that reason, Thé Noir is spared from being assessed as an ineffectively expensive option in a crowded samey genre, like so many niche fougères or niche Western ouds, because there isn't much exactly like it, albeit there are many more economical options in the same wheelhouse. Frank Voelkl earned his perfumer stripes making compositions on a much smaller budget for Avon and Kenneth Cole before becoming a Le Labo mainstay, and like his compositions for those houses, Thé Noir displays a certain level of "less is more" efficiency despite being a niche scent, giving it great note separation and a bit of transparency in spite of it's voluminous strength. Niche done like a mainstream cheapie or niche done cheaply? That's for you to decide, but if you're up for the $240+ price tag Le Labo commands for 100ml, this is almost a blind buy for lovers of leafy, floral, dark, aromatic perfumes. For everyone else, I suggest a sample first, lest a steep blind buy make this Gothic romance transform into an Expressionist stage play full of tragedy and long faces. Thumbs up for me!
09th October, 2018

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

This is one of the holy grails of male fragrance.

Initially it’s an almost overwhelmingly acrid, manly stench; the civet is sulphuric, uncompromising.

It gradually calms down to a kingly, smoldering, fiery patchouli concoction that brings to mind body heat and sex.

I hope Givenchy never stops making it.

09th October, 2018

Coach for Men (new) by Coach

A beautiful suedish freshly cardamomish vetiver from Coach NY. Aromatic, greenish, delicately lemony, vaguely tea-veined (and "orientalist") a la Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir (probably the lemon-cardamom's effect), measured. A modern clean urban fragrance.
09th October, 2018

Ombré Leather by Tom Ford

A sombre, super smooth, mild, post-industrial rubbery leather. A fragrance for rebels and darkly metallic warriors of the inhuman "funky" megalopolis. Cardamom provides a wet-piquant undertone for a while. Uncompromising, smoky, gasolinic and monolithic like a darker Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia. Not my genre but it hits the spot.
PS: dry down is far milder, less "rebel" (less smoky) and more "social" (fancy and glamour), with a subtle ambery/floral wake.
09th October, 2018

Une Fleur de Cassie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

If you bashed Rue de Cambon over the head, swiped all her credit cards, and forced her to live on the street for a month, she'd come back to her pied-à-terre dazed and enriched and smelling something like this.

I love this thick, densely florid, armpitty fragrance, but I have to be in my very best, most confident mood to be able to wear it for more than an hour, otherwise I am simply overpowered by UFdC's bombastic personality.

I am often not up to the task, but when I am, this is the only scent that satisfies.
09th October, 2018

Adieu Sagesse (original) by Jean Patou

Adieu Sagesse is the black one in Patou's hair colour trio. It wraps a dark mix of blackcurrant, muguet and vetiver around the creamy aldehydic core the series is based on.

This basic core is most evident in the perfume for blondes, Amour Amour. It's also the most straightforward of the three, a nice polite soft pink floral with a touch of costus to give it an idea of hair. The other two perfumes in the series are developments of this with added extras bolted on.

Que sais-je? wraps it in a huge brown pelt that makes the brunette the most hair like.

This one, the black version, doesn't have either the simple prettiness of Amour Amour or the animalic power of Quelques sais-je? Its dark earthy-winey add-ons work at cross purposes to the pale creamy core and Adieu Sagesse doesn't quite pull off the air of mystery you would expect from a perfume for the raven haired.

**/*
09th October, 2018
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Que Sais-Je? (original) by Jean Patou

Peaches and cream aldehydic floral with a strawberry note and a lot of costus - which gives it a niff like unwashed hair. Que sais-je? is the brunette in a trio of hair colour perfumes released by Patou in 1925.

Alongside the smell of hair there's an even dirtier brown urge at work here, a bit like civet, woody teak and maybe some clary sage, which layers over the soft pink floral of Amour Amour - the one for blondes, and ramps it up into a wild animalic / floral combo. What's so brilliant about this is the way it operates both as a sweet pink floral and a dirty animalic without any seeming contradiction, or the kind of compromise that the third one in the trio Adieu Sagesse resulted in.

This may start out as a head of brown hair but by the end of the evening it's more like the skin of brown beast.

****/*
09th October, 2018

Lui by Mazzolari

Stardate 20181009:

A great modern animalic. The style is similar to Muscs Koublai Khan - real funky up top but soon the supporting structure takes over and you get a nice sweet ambery people pleaser with a musky kick.
I do prefer MKK to this. Just cause I find MKK to be less funky in drydown.
A must for folks who like musk or animalics

09th October, 2018

Casamorati 1888 Mefisto by Xerjoff

Xerjoff Mefisto has a strong reputation and in trying it today, I can understand why. Its blend and note breakdown are excellently arranged to create a balanced, enjoyable freshie.

First, the opening of mixed citrus (lemon, bergamot, grapefruit) is great, and grapefruit and bergamot in particular vary from one another enough to create a sort of general citrus vibe that's enjoyable while not being overwhelming.

Next, the heart of mixed florals, perhaps the three greatest floral notes, in rose, iris, and lavender. It too is fresh, but also sharp and deep and nuanced.

Finally, the base of amber, sandalwood, cedar, and musk, is soft, warm bed for the fragrance to rest on after drying down, the amber and musk adding some sweetness to contrast the citrus and floral opening and heart, respectively.

This is a near-perfect formula for a winning fresh fragrance: variant citrus and floral notes with just enough woodsy and whim while still being on-target and not too quirky to be universally enjoyable. Still, somehow, though, it feels sophisticated and not so commonplace to be regarded as boring or generic.

Mefisto's main pitfall, at least on my skin, is its performance, which seems to be moderate (at best) in terms of both projection and longevity. Apparently the consensus is somewhat more favorable.

Only with respect to performance, then, is Mefisto a tough sell. Even its discounted pricing ($238 for 100ml on FragranceX) is a tough sell, let alone the retail ($290 for 100ml on Luckyscent), but surely there are deals and decants to be had.

In conclusion, it's a superlative freshie, held back only by its performance on my skin, but hopefully it does better on yours.

8 out of 10

09th October, 2018

Acqua di Parma Colonia Mirra by Acqua di Parma

It's like a slightly better version of YSL M7 Oud. Very sweet and resin-like. In total honestly, buy the YSL one. It's cheaper and so very similar to this one that I just can't recommend the AdP Mirra.
09th October, 2018

Sel Marin by Heeley

I don't like aquatics, but this one is pleasant. Although it’s not my favorite blend, I can see the quality in the composition, doesn't smell synthetic and it's soft, airy and linear. Good for a warm summer day when you'd want something for cooling off.
09th October, 2018

Everest by Avon

Stardate 20181009:

Starts out pine-y and green. Reminds me a bit of Pino. But then it takes classic route and settles to a nice musky powder. A nice classic green fragrance. I would buy it if cheap.
09th October, 2018

Blend 7 by Avon

Stardate 20181009:

Thought it would be 23.3% similar to Blend 30 :).
It is really nice. It is a lot like Open by Roger and Gallet.
Herbal fougere. Has a smoky tobacco and leather accord too. Drydown is floral sweet.
The best of the pass so far with good development.
09th October, 2018

Tribute by Avon

Stardate 20181009:

Starts nice and strong with musk, mint and anise notes. Would make a nice barbershop A/S.
The development is traditional and relatively quick. It ends with sweet tonka.
A decent one but not for me since mint is something I love in my tea and toothpaste but not in my fragrances :)
09th October, 2018

Myrrhe et Délires by Guerlain

The myrrh is accompanied by licorice (a note I don't like) and it has a sweet opening which gets even sweeter and candy like , really too sweet for my taste. The dry down is a linear, not as sweet as the beginning, made of myrrh, tonka and vanilla with a slight incense note.
09th October, 2018

Camel by Zoologist Perfumes

A pretty busy opening with dried fruits, amber and civet hitting my nose first and after a closer inspection the rose, cinnamon and incense are picking out. Half an hour and the fragrance dials down compared to the complex opening being simpler and sweeter; myrrh with a subtle civet note which gets a bit pissy in the late dry down. Just meh for me, complex opening leading to a simple pissy drydown.
09th October, 2018

Mina Harker by Sixteen92

A demure blend of jasmine tea, light plum, a darker violet, and musk. It takes on an almost lipstick accord after settling on my skin hours later. This one is just too delicate or light, for me.
09th October, 2018

chiromancy by Sixteen92

Musty like an old stone cellar. The orris seems to levitate above a leather note. The leather is like new leather, like a pair of new gloves. Later, it becomes a thing I can't really describe. It is earthy, without smelling like true soil. It is ghostly. It verges on being delicate overall. It becomes sweeter as time goes on.
09th October, 2018

Lilylang by Sylvaine Delacourte

Extremely feminine. Short burst of bergamot, then a stampede of mandarin, jasmine, lots of musk, ylang, and rose. Emphasis on musk. Later, this floral perfume actually reminds me of an accord of heliotrope, powdery iris, and violet although none of these notes are actually here. This is a powdered sugar, candied flower event. Very girly girl.
09th October, 2018

Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

Vetiver accord, at first blast. Gone quickly. Chestnut, as a woody note - not as a creamy note. Green olive leaf. I smell some vanilla. I get something like leather. Kind of animalic on the back end (no pun intended). Overall this reminds me of something else in my wardrobe. It's nice. Not mind-numbingly orgasmic in any way, shape, or form - just nice. Vetiver, again reveals itself hours later.
09th October, 2018

Héliotrope Blanc (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Very sweet and slightly green violet leaf over a blanket of almond and rice powder. Through the drydown the powdery aspect is even more pronounced and it's accentuated by the sweet tonka.
09th October, 2018
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Alma by Paula Cahen d’Anvers

A fresh and bright bergamot notes dominates the opening phase, accentuated by a fruity undertone that adds pleasant depth.

Soon a floral side comes into the foreground, sporting a pleasant tuberose impression. Still on the brighter side, not too sweet and not particularly waxy, this is an easy-going tuberose that lacks any heaviness. White floral undertones are present at times.

The base adds a woodsy note, with a vanilla gradually taking over towards the end. Continuing the overall thrust of the development of this composition, this vanilla is on the lighter side, pleasantly sweet and never cloyingly heavy.

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

A pleasant floral with a vanilla coda, this is nice in spring. Not particularly original but crafted well. 3/5.
09th October, 2018

Charlie White by Revlon

I love this! Smells clean, fresh and light, reminds me of a crisp ocean breeze,and a bouquet of lilies and freshly sharpened lead pencils.
09th October, 2018
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