Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 140032

Iris Poudre by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Sharply pretty: nothing romantic or touching about it but tough, modern and likeable. It mellows a little in the far drydown. Nice to wear and a salutary shake-up after lots of vintage.
29th November, 2017

Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

This is truly awful although perhaps I am biased as it reminds me disconcertingly so of how the elderly cleaning lady smelt who used to swirl around the house noisily with the vacuum cleaner when I was a child.
Cheap perfume and bleach. Phew. She herself was a kind cheerful soul so its not by negative association. This is just dreadful but look at the ingredients. Patchouli and mugwort or whatever the spices added to the Rose...And to think you pay a premium for this.
Cheap 80s perfume and bleach. Enough said.

1/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 4/5
29th November, 2017

Note de Yuzu by Heeley

This is a delightful Yuzu fragrance and is better than my past favourite Yuzu: Loewe 7 Natural but of course it is more expensive. It is fresher and more pure and for the first hour gives you the impression you are smelling the zest. Truly refreshing. There is an overlap with Sel Marine but this is more fruity. Obviously. I could never really warm to Sel Marine. It is nice but does nothing exceptionally well. It projects well and lasts 3-4 hours. A pleasant fragranced tissue wipe smell from a 5 star spa. Due to its purity and freshness this is head and shoulders above Sel Marine. But. Its still citrus and I have a problem with primarily citrus scents unless there is some clever mid and base manning it up because these fragrances even if they are marketed as masculine are really unisex (here they directly market it as unisex) and in our age of political correctness would more justifiably be worn by the fairer sex. Fragrance houses may view it as justifiable economics to appeal to the increasing number of Bottega Veneta purses but this ruins it for the traditionalists who just like being uncomplicated males (and who have difficulty finding new masculine colognes as a result) and tradition is the backbone of any society and institution.

4.5/5 as a Yuzu fragrance. Fresh , zesty yet subtle. The best Heeley cologne I have smelt. Projection 3.5/5 Longevity 3/5
29th November, 2017
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Coach for Men (original) by Coach

Dry woody citrus
Somehow hints at fine leather
Awaiting its touch.
29th November, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cinnamon Bun by Demeter Fragrance Library

Cinnamon bun it is, although mainly cinnamon for the first half. A cinnamon that is cinnamon, but a rather synthetic and generic version, linear and quite basic. It lacks a lot of the nuances of the whole bun, the aroma, the dough and the smell of the whole fresh and warm bun. A bit too basic.

The second half sees an easing off of the cinnamon and a generic spiciness developing.

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

An autumnal scent that is not bad, but that has been constructed a bit too plainly and too generically. 2.75.
29th November, 2017

Vetiver by Guerlain

Vetiver is a very common note in men's fragrance, and it's no surprise that it eventually got it's own mostly single-note dedicated creation. Guerlain was not the first to bring a Vetiver cologne or EDT to market, but they already had the years of expertise with selling vetiver extracts long before they composed a scent featuring the note that theirs is often considered the reference vetiver scent. The story goes that Jean-Paul Guerlain was tasked with making the scent as the company's first exclusively male scent since Mouchoir de Monsieur way back in 1902, since the Belle Epoch was long gone and men with Victorian sensibilities weren't really walking the earth. The modern mid-century man had a desire for fragrance that he hadn't possessed back then, and it wasn't just dandies or dignitaries wearing this stuff, so something unmistakably masculine was in order. It's really no surprise then that this scent was based on Jean-Paul's impression of a gardener kept by a family friend, fusing vetiver with tobacco in the base to make something rich and earthly, very salt-of-the-earth.

Vetiver in any vintage ends in roughly the same dry-down, but older versions do take a rounder more tree-bark route to the destination than newer formulations, which mostly place that smoky and grassy vetiver note front and center for much longer before reaching the tobacco at the bottom. Spend your money where you like I say, as all different vintages will get you besides a different bottle is a different path from top to bottom, with the oldest incarnations before 1988 actually being lighter since they were originally made at eau de cologne strength. Ultimately, you have to like grass and tobacco to dig this, there is literally no way around the vetiver, which itself is more smoky than green, and provides that quality in any number of scents containing it that you have already smelled. Guerlain sought to isolate that herbal smokiness and build a scent up around it, epitomizing the working man's smell in the process with tilled earth, verdant freshness, and the lingering ash of ground-in dirt.
The secret to making pleasant what must all sound unappealing by description was the use of citrus and spices to lift and zest up the hard-edged core notes.

The best way to describe this to somebody needing a comparison to another scent would be an aldehydic leather fragrance made without leather, or a tobacco scent like Tabac without any oriental sweetness or amber; vetiver is pleasant, verdant, fresh, but not light, airy, or soft like most green scents that toss in flowers or fruit somewhere for an approachable feel. Vetiver is a proper man's scent for the man that doesn't want to smell like he's going to a high society function, but still wants to be pleasant company, even if he's turning a wrench instead of the dial on his dress watch. Vetiver is the ultimate work scent as nobody would ever find it offensive, but neither is it in the least bit suggestive, unless somebody finds rugged no-nonsense masculinity attractive. It doesn't overbear or flash a ton of sex-driven animalic notes your way, as it doesn't have any, nor does it try to be gentle like the lavender-based fougeres or the lemony chypres making the rounds in the day of it's release. Pure vetiver is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of vibe, but if you want to smell it dressed up just a tad, this really is the fragrance for you that should come before any others bearing the name.
28th November, 2017 (last edited: 12th December, 2017)

Phoenix Fougere by The Rising Phoenix Perfumery

A jasmine/neroli-centered cologney twist in a semi-oriental spicy/resinous heavier vest. A mesmerizing initially zesty neo-classic cologney jasmine's rendition re-interpreting in a contemporary "resinous" key a traditional fresher classic/naif hesperidic-floral formula a la Guerlain Aqua Allegorias, Acqua di Biella n.1, Guerlain Eau de Cologne Imperiale or 4711 (the classic one and Aqua Colonia Mandarin&Cardamom). Lavender, petitgrain, bergamot, rosemay and verbena are reputedly present in the mix. Incredibly close for a while (on my skin) to Askett&English Absolute (which is a lighter kind of cologne) with its enchanting neo-classic accord of jasmine, ylang-ylang, cardamom and orange blossoms, just Phoenix Fougere being denser with its heavier central presence of tonka bean, sticky davana, resins and patchouli. Davana, may be myrrh and tonka provide in particular nutty final substance, darkness and density. I get as well a sort of amberish/resinous vetiver's presence a la Eau Sauvage Parfum, being the latter quite close to the final PF's dry down. I detect a lingering touch of soapiness throughout. A fragrance rich of nuances, classic and contemporary all at once, quite good for office-wear or for a refined (vaguely decadet) gala event in aristocratic locations.
28th November, 2017

Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

Epitome of the classic Eau de Cologne, the excellence in its genre, hesperidic, aristocratic, exotic, art-deco. No more to add.
28th November, 2017

Incense Rosé by Tauer

My first time with a Tauer fragrance. I am very impressed! I will definitely have to try more of Andy's creations.

What a lovely incense-rose scent this is! The top notes of clementine, bergamot, cardamom, and rose are, for lack of a better word - awesome! I get a faint aroma of cola from somewhere, briefly, then it is gone. Maybe from the middle notes?

The base of this, is what really makes me swoon. I mean, they are fairly "common" basenotes: patchouli, cedar, vetiver, incense, resins, myrrh. Somehow they smell more ethereal. More perfect.

The whole thing reminds of the Victorian era. A scent that would be worn by an upper class Lady...
28th November, 2017

Viking by Creed

This is a real missed opportunity by Creed unfortunately an indication of their arrogance. The reasons are : This could be one the best ever fresh masculine scents. Citrus does not really make something fresh. Who wants to go around smelling of oranges (albeit rotten with Hermes) or lemons or even the latest fad Yuzu (btw if you like Yuzu then Loewe 7 Natural is one of the best and cheapest). In hot weather citrus just does not cut it, is not imaginative and makes it obvious what you are trying to do. Most citrus scents are really unisex even they are sold as masculine. No mistaking Creed Viking as unisex that's for sure. It is not citrus despite the ingredient list. But it is challenging. When you first spray it on it is fresh but at the same time very discordant. I am not sure what it is. Perhaps the lemon and pink pepper? Nobody who has smelt this on me likes it at all. This does fade over time but still remains there. After half an hour if you don't get too close you can minimise the discord and just enjoy this wonderful masculine freshness maybe due to the vetiver peppermint and pepper which everyone loves on me. Why on earth Creed could not have done the obvious and just produced this wonderful smell. Why do they think we need to suffer for their art? Are we not the customers? This is the olfactory equivalent of Chris Bangle who ruined BMW with those awful challenging shapes unfortunately neutering excellent cars.

I have bought a much larger decant trying to see if I can get used to it but I have found my current favourite of fresh masculine fragrances: Frederick Malle French Lover. A terrible name for a truely outstanding fragrance. Masculine and fresh. And unique. Done.

Projection is moderate
Longevity is moderate to good.

3/5. Could have been a masterpiece. True greatness O Creed Nose starts from humility with self awareness of how good you are and a desire to serve your customers not to mold your customers to your whims.
28th November, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Clean Skin by Demeter Fragrance Library

Indeed, this smells like clean skin, with its opening based on a gently peachy note, with white rose and touches of an orangey undertone. Whiffs of vanilla at the end. No significant powderiness.
Fresh, gentle and very unobtrusive.

I get soft sillage, quite weak projection and four hours of longevity on my skin.

On the one hand, this spring scent fulfills well the expectations raised by its name. On the other hand, in all its inoffensiveness it is quite bland and fairly generic-synthetic as a whole. On skin, a smell that smells like skin completely seems like a pointless exercise. Still, it is an acceptable materialisation of the concept of clean skin. 2.75/5.
28th November, 2017

Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

Mugler Cologne is nearly the perfect cologne for me. It's got neroli, but is not overloaded with the stuff. It's a classic recipe, but is very modern and has none of the stiff conservatism found in some other traditional colognes. It has bergamot and petitgrain, but everything is blended together to arrive at an accord that is pure pleasure - reminiscent of soap, and is fresh, refined and incredibly clean. Mugler Cologne does have a base, which is a very careful dose of clean, fresh white musk. It has just enough of the musk so that it lasts much more than traditional colognes, but never becomes grating. The projection is calibrated immaculately so it sits close to skin, but emanates a lovely waft every now and then. The sillage is just how it should be. Duration is more than adequate at around five to six hours.

Mugler Cologne is living proof that there can be a light fresh perfume that is distinctive, beautifully androgynous and bottleful of fun. Hats off to Mugler and Alberto Morillas for this. Bravo!

4.5/5
27th November, 2017 (last edited: 12th December, 2017)

Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

Penhaligon's of London is a beloved and time-honored name in the UK, yet in the world abroad, is little more than a niche perfumer with a rich backstory. It's to be expected, as they never grew into a multinational cosmetics conglomerate like America's Avon or France's Coty, and instead focused on serving their local clientele, among which included members of British royalty, earning them royal warrants that they still possess. This is all relevant to Blenheim Bouquet because it is with these warrants that the scent was created, originally as a bespoke fragrance commissioned by the Duke of Marlborough in 1902, it's official date of release. At some point, Winston Churchill himself began to wear it too, lending me to believe that it's sale became relaxed enough that royal affiliates could acquire it at very least until it was made publicly available. The same sort of bespoke-to-market story also follows a large portion of Creed scents, but they left the UK behind for Napoleon's courts long before Penhaligon's emerged with warrants, and maintained much more focus on a portfolio of elite clients than serving the public outright, so for them it's a more common tale to tell.

The 1900's also saw shift away from florals-for-everything, since Jicky set new standards for abstract perfumery, which directly translates to more diversity through experimentation. Bay rum was popular in the Americas and the staple "barbershop" style of fougere was also coming about in France, but this is really nothing like those. There's no tonka here, no moss, no ambergris of any kind in the base, with only six notes overall and no detectable heart notes. Blenheim Bouquet must have been a really specific and targeted creation based on what the Duke of Marlborough liked, because there really isn't anything else quite like it from any decade, outside of stuff perhaps drawing inspiration from it or trying to ape it's reputation. The scent almost starts like a classic unisex eau de cologne, but with both lemon and lime singing together alongside a blast of dry English lavender. From there, it's just pine, musk for a fixative, and a strong pepper note in the base. That's literally it, making Blenheim Bouquet seem like Lemon Pepper: The Fragrance, but really the beauty here is in the ratios of ingredients and blending.

Wearing Blenheim Bouquet is surprisingly easy even well over a century after it's creation, which is in stark contrast to The Hammam Bouquet and it's quite literal "Victorian Ponce in a Bottle" vibe. It's either a nod to the Duke's good taste or the skill of Penhaligon's, maybe a bit of both, that makes this so timeless. Yeah, it's a very dry composition that will make it hard to relate for trend-seeking fragrance users, since it doesn't have that chemical burn or roundness modern male scents possess, but it's so fresh and peppery that it's almost impossible to not like. The only thing that really compares to this is maybe Avon's Windjammer (1968) or Iceberg's Effusion for Him (2001) but I think that's just due to the black pepper in each. This a very green scent as well, the pine is very much in full effect alongside that much-sung pepper, so between the two, one almost gets a feel like this might have been a very early precursor to something like Pino Silvestri or Guerlain's Vetiver but more youthful than those (ironically). This makes a very good morning splash and after-shave fragrance, and I'm not sure why Mr. Churchill favored it, but for anyone today thinking of giving this centenarian a go, all they need know is that this stuff is quite literally a distillation of vigor in a bottle. Very pleasant and unique
27th November, 2017 (last edited: 12th December, 2017)
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Legend Night by Montblanc

Who remembers Memoire d’homme by Nina Ricci launched 15 years ago and now discontinued? Well, this is the twin fragrance...

Nice to have found you again...

Good Longevity.

Thumbs up!
27th November, 2017 (last edited: 28th November, 2017)

Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare by Creed

Pretty good stuff. Antiqued citrus. Strong tea. Vintage-smelling rose. Soft ambergris. Though certainly not magnificent enough to warrant the high price.
27th November, 2017

Elements of Man : Passion by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is exactly what it says on the tin.
Rum, Cognac and incense is what comes across with a very boozy opening. Incense becomes more prominent in the mix as time goes on becoming slightly smoky.
If you like this kind of thing then this really is an excellent version.
Powerful opening becoming more subtle and restrained yet keeping all the important elements as well as maturing.
Incidentally I don't. Anything concentrating on booze and incense is a bit too two dimensional for me. Perhaps add in some citrus such as grapefruit to make it more usable. I have been looking for a citrusy incense but all the good ones only open as such leaving an increasingly heavy ecclesiastic incense in the air which is what I want to avoid by combining with citrus. So still looking.

4.5/5
Sillage and longevity excellent.
27th November, 2017

Elements of Man : Strength by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is not for me. It smells of vanilla and amber but with a note of discord thrown in. Zegna may be trying to take a leaf out the Ancient Greek architects who believed that slightly asymmetry made things more interesting to the eye but to me that discord is essence of toilet cleaner.
It is some achievement as vanilla and amber are not listed in the ingredients but that's what I smelt. I can see the relation to Oud and Tobacco though. If you like Amber then Roja Amber is outstanding. I don't, its not clean and masculine enough for me.
It lasted overnight so I could smell it every time I wiped my brow during my early morning gym session.

2/5
27th November, 2017

Elements of Man : Integrity by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is not bad at all but it does come across as a slightly dated powerhouse at least it would be but its just been reined back in slightly to to avoid that label.
This is spicy smoky from the start, so much so that I coughed when I first sprayed it on. The impression of the smell is also faithful to the ingredients unlike other members of the Elements of Man. Within minutes things settled down quickly into a much tamer version of the opening but still with the pepper 'pop'.
I like this a lot but I would not wear it as I don't like to be challenged by what I wear. A smell has to be pleasing and draw you in, not pleasing but tiring of your olfactory senses on continued exposure.
Probably a good boardroom smell for ageing power brokers. Certainly if I smelt it on a junior I would wonder who they thought they were. So careful with this one.
This projects well but after an hour it had faded leaving smoky wisps of bitter pepper rearing its head every so often making me wince.

3/5. A missed opportunity. Too liberal with the pepper in so much as it lasts.
27th November, 2017

Patchouly Bohème by LM Parfums

I am a big patchouli fan and it all started with this perfume. It's quite something if you look how resinous is. The name could be misleading because someone would expect tons of patchouli, but I get resins, balms, herbal patchouli and dark interpretation of musk. It's gorgeous, bohemic, dandy-ish fragrance with monstruous sillage. Very mineral and herbal. Very special perfume that I wouldn't buy on blind because you need to like it.
27th November, 2017

La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto by Guerlain

I really love this perfume. Cherry is a very dominant note which combines well with the strong leather an licorice. This combination brings luxury. Almond and rose give it a soft and creamy dimension. Love it 💛
27th November, 2017

Marfa by Memo

At the first time or first smell,I didn't like it... but after 15-20min something happened on my skin...the fragrance melts into the skin and gives of a soft,sweet,blossoming scent. Very luxurious scent.
27th November, 2017

Floresencia by Ramon Monegal

This beautiful fragrance collects the most beautiful feminine flowers... jasmine,sweet roses,peonies,gardenia,magnolia... Just perfect for a romantic meeting :))
27th November, 2017

Cotton Musk by Ramon Monegal

Beautiful fragrance contains notes of rose Wardia,gardenia,incense,vetiver, Madagascar vanilla and white musk. This perfume took my breath away! The sillage is medium,but the longevity is pretty good. I recommend this one to try it :)))
27th November, 2017

Blood Oranges by Shay & Blue

Very fresh fragrance. I have it in my collection. I love to use it on sunny days...
27th November, 2017

Aqua Vitae by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I love to wear this perfume ,most at the morning when I need something fresh for the morning. The lasting is very good :)
27th November, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Between the Sheets by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is not a good effort in presenting this cocktail. A terribly synthetic and generic fruity sweetness, reminding me of GHB in our high school chemistry lab. A change of bartender is urgently needed.

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

A spring event to run away from. 1.75/5.
27th November, 2017
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Old Spice Bearglove by Procter & Gamble

Better than expected. Fresh and clean melon scent, good longevity and sillage. Costs pennies and gets compliments all round. It could pass as cologne as it is stronger/lasts longer than aftershave. Suitable for everyday wear. A real bargain.
27th November, 2017

Labdanum 18 / Ciste 18 by Le Labo

Hardly anything to do with labdanum.

Basically a musk with woody-sweet touches, vanilla and the minutest traces of some animalic notes. At times it smells like baby powder to me.

In fact, I find this to be almost identical what would be a 40% concentration of Musc Ravageur.

Also, extremely weak. Impossible to believe that it's an oriental.

Next please.

2/5
27th November, 2017

Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

An orange eau de cologne formula with increased concentration. There's a slight earthy edge to it, that actually makes the composition rugged and interesting. It is very fresh, uplifting, and calms down to dry woods in a couple of hours.

Bigarade Concentree is effectively a more concentrated version of Malle's Cologne Bigarade, and is relatively better value, especially if one is after something with more than one hour of duration. However, it's also in the same family as some other colognes (Eau d'Orange Verte, Concentre d'Orange Verte) and perfumes (Declaration, Declaration Essence). The former two colognes can sometimes have a pissy aspect which Bigarade Concentree doesn't have. The latter two are more opulent studies on orange-cumin-woods, and I find those more engaging.

Among other concentrated colognes, Bigarade Concentree smells much more natural than Cologne Indelebile and Neroli Portofino, but lasts much less than either of those two.

Nice, but what's the point of dropping $$$ on a cologne?

3/5
27th November, 2017

Miyako by Auphorie

I experience Miyako in two phases. First the fruits, oily notes of peach and apricot that I am indifferent to. The second half is a leathery osmanthus with tea, a beautiful affair. But it's rather quiet on my skin around this time, and once it develops further and arrives at a dry down of woods and musk, I have to dig my nose into my arms to perceive it. While I understand it's natural and oil based, I would love it to have had a lot more sillage. Otherwise it's charming, and longevity on fabric is tremendous. Lovely, but sadly not functional enough for this user.

3/5
27th November, 2017
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