Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 142646

Le Vetyver by Lubin

There was a point in Basenotes history when this was consistently mentioned as one of the "important" vetivers alongside Guerlain and Sycomore and such, though its star seems to have dimmed a bit over the years. It's a shame, as this is a really nice vetiver that's true enough to the note to deserve its place at the table, while still being unique enough to stand out from the pack in its own way.

Of course, it smells like a proper vetiver, grassy and green and lemony with that signature iodine sharpness played against nutmeggy sweetness. It calls to mind candied lettuce and celery soda, as well as sparkling tonic water. In a way that's hard to describe, it also has a "pretty" undertone that implies flowers without being particularly floral.

In terms of placement, I'd say Le Vetyver lives halfway between Guerlain's Vetiver (astringent purist vetiver chypre) and their Vetiver Pour Elle (flowery sweet candied lettuce), incorporating the best of both while the soda freshness gives it additional character. Definitely worth a sniff for vetiver fans.
15th March, 2018

Brut by Fabergé

So I've been writing these reviews for over ten years now and it's taken me this long to review Brut. I guess it's just that Brut needs more than just a summary of its notes. It's an iconic smell, in the strongest sense of the term, right in there with mom's apple pie or Thanksgiving dinner or the smell of a Christmas tree. It's written into our consciousness and our collective memory in a way that no other perfume is (except for maybe Chanel No 5).

So what does it smell like? A fusion of mint and violet leaf melting into a lavender/tonka fougere, sweet with mace and neroli, balanced with a pinch of fusty bergamot. But really, the notes don't matter because it smells like Brut. It smells like Grandpa visiting for the holidays. It smells like your dad taking your mom out for dinner and bowling. It smells like you putting on a splash of your dad's cologne when you're dressing up for your first homecoming dance. It smells like gross 70's singles bars, and it also smells like family and love.

If you haven't smelled Brut lately, please give it a sniff.
15th March, 2018

Bucoliques de Provence by L'Artisan Parfumeur

A pleasant mix of lavender and tonka, sweetened with pie spices and deepened with iris, with just a hint of funk underneath to reference classic fougeres.

It took me a few wears to really appreciate Bucoliques - it has a chemical effusiveness that seems simultaneously thin and loud which kept me at arm's length for a while. And it's just not insistent, content to be pleasant without loudly claiming its own brilliance, so it's easy to overlook.

But after a while, it caught me on just the right day and the cloud of sweet spices and lavender over the suede-wrapped iris felt absolutely perfect hovering around me in the first warmth of early Spring and it won me over.
15th March, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Replica Jazz Club by Martin Margiela

I agree with manicboy. This starts out okay, almost barbershop with rum, but it becomes a convoluted mess that just smells not good. It turned into a powdery old lady smell on me, and it was nuclear to boot. I washed it off twice and my wife was still complaining that it smelled terrible.
15th March, 2018

Lui by Guerlain

An interesting combination of vanilla and greens. Lui has a lot of the dna of L'Instant Pour Homme, notably the mix of vanilla and vetiver and Guerlain's signature sweet pea note. But then it's also got a lot of ethyl maltol, that candied toasted nut cigar smell, as well as a shot of papery tobacco leaf. The end result is nice, the mix of greens and that roasted smell over the marshmallowy vanilla works better than I'd have expected - this could have been a Pink Sugar nightmare, but the greens go a long way to prevent that and land Lui in specifically Guerlain territory. That being said, I'd still pick L'Instant over this, and I think Cologne du 68 does what Lui (and L'Instant, for that matter) does with much more panache and complexity.
15th March, 2018

Santa Fe for Men by Aladdin Fragrances

I am wearing the vintage by Shulton/Tsumara. It is all about cinnamon, nutmeg and spice. There is no vanilla to be found. It is not like Obsession at all other than being a spicy oriental from the 80s. If you like Fahrenheit, you should like this vintage. I wear Fahrenheit too. This is spicier but also smokey.
15th March, 2018

Dior Homme Parfum by Christian Dior

This starts with the wonderful scent of DHI mixed with candle smoke, like a small church filled with flowers. Then all of it is gone and the smell of boots kicks that beautiful image right off your face. How could they do such a thing?

I really dislike leathers, so it just does not work for me. I really wish it would, for that glorious opening.
14th March, 2018

Spanish Cedar by Czech & Speake

Expecting to like this for a number of reasons, I've had to contrive circumstances to do so. On its first trial, it seemed rather too birch tar-laden. So much so, that there seemed little to do with cedar about it. Could you call it Spanish Birch? Perhaps, if you wanted it to sound like a form of medieval corporal punishment.

Being careful on second application to reduce the number of sprays, this worked much better. Rather than the austerity of the birch and somewhat exaggerated fruitiness of the plum, it settled down much more quickly to a nicely smoky, woody, and ever so slightly spicy scent. Perhaps this is the secret, as it's the only variable that was changed between the two tests. Certainly among the best of the dry woods that I've tried recently, but not yet a contender for my money until further testing shows it to be more consistent.
14th March, 2018

Pino Silvestre by Silvestre

I get merely just a base of lemon and amber to build that sharp and resinous/sticky body.Tweaks of dry herbs give it a green side while the lemon draws out more clarity.It's a pretty good take on a pine-cone I'll give it that to Pino Silvestre.Despite it's almost skin scent projection and 2-3 hour longevity that bitter/resinous sap smell(amber and herbs) can get to you at times in warm weather because amber is also sweet...comes off kind of odd and hard to wear.

I love the bottle though!
14th March, 2018

Rêve d'Or by Piver

This is a very beautiful scent; while it's name means "Golden Dream" it evokes for me rich sumptuous shades of red and rose-pink. On my skin it's a simple scent; a spicy carnation warmed with tea rose, supposedly orange blossom, with a touch of something dry, green and vaguely incense-like (vetiver, geranium and sandalwood) all at once encased within a soap bubble or mound of fluffy shaving cream.

Despite the soap/powder/aldehydes, it's not a cool carnation. Nor is it terribly sweet, dodging holiday-themed room freshener, grandma's potpourri or a gourmand spice-cookie fate dolled out to other vintage women's perfumes. Totally unisex, and very reminiscent of actual true garden carnations (pinks) out in the sun.

My first try I wasn't entirely sold on it as carnation can be a hard flower to wear, but it has since won me over and I find it a very comforting and cozy scent that can be applied quite liberally. Beautiful packaging and bottle. Metal seal is tricky to deal with. Dirt cheap to smell this good and quite unlike anyone else you probably run into daily. If you have hair long enough, splash a bit into it when it's damp from a shower to scent your hair for the rest of the day, gives a wonderful effect.
14th March, 2018

Cacao Aztèque Extrait de Parfum by Perris Monte Carlo

Cacao Azteque is a fine cozy comfort fragrance with peppery spice and cardamom opening a soft dark chocolate + tuberose and leathery musk soft finish. With cacao in the name you expect a chocolate flavor, however chocolate is not a stand alone note in the world of scent and this cocoa is comfortably absorbed into a melange of pepper, cardamom, rum, chocolate, tuberose, sandalwood, and leather. The leather provides a dry soft finish but the character of the scent is cozy and warm fuzzies all around. A camphorous and mentholated tuberose floral adds depth to the spiced chocolate before the finish turns dry and slightly prickly before the sandalwood, leather and soft musk base. The blending is so complimentary that it is difficult to pick out any one note as dominant but they all take turns getting noticed while cocoa lays underneath. The long lasting base is a warm darkly spiced Mexican cocoa drink of ancient origins. Cocoa Azteque puts a smile on the face and is one of Perris Monte Carlo's best fragrances - maybe the best one.
14th March, 2018

Demeter Naturals - Patchouli by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is a good, pure, soft patchouli. If you don't hate patchouli, you will love it.
14th March, 2018

New York Intense by Nicolaï

Parfums de Nicolai New York Intense is another great interpretation of the fougere genre. I've not tried the original, but surely the Intense packs a punch and delivers a fresh spicy formula that is on-target as a year-round signature for men.

Its note listing is formulaic but brilliantly reliable: lemon, bergamot, and petitgrain present a citrus-dominant opening that gives way to a spicier, sharp heart of lavender and pink/black pepper, settling into a base of patchouli, leather, cedar, and vanilla, though admittedly I don't detect much vanilla, even with hours of wearing.

It comfortably fits into the classic men's category is a worthy member of the group that features some big names. It's closer in style to the spicy Chanel Pour Monsieur EDP and Grey Matters Parfums Uno than the more barbershop-like YSL Rive Gauche or citrus-intensive Dior Eau Sauvage. Still, it's in this continuum and deservedly so.

It performs quite well with very good projection and longevity given its EDP concentration. I quite like the way it works with my skin even with a dabber, so I can imagine via atomizer it's an even better experience, especially at the opening.

The price points aren't great, retailing at $175 for 100ml and $62 for 30ml on Luckyscent, so I'd be reluctant to add this to the list with such great aforementioned entries already well established, but at the right price, I'd be happy to have New York Intense as another option.

8 out of 10
14th March, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Aromatics in Black by Clinique

A beautiful floriental, winterish fragrance! Smooth plum tree and bergamot on top. Jasmine, osmanthus, and neroli middle that's well-blended. Realistically floral. Smoky, smoldering base of myrrh and Tonka bean. A hint of vetiver there, that peeks out now and then. Blurry sweet; slightly balsamic.
14th March, 2018

Maxim's pour Homme by Maxims

Maxim's Pour Homme comes from quite the unexpected place: The most famous French restaurant in the world. Whether or not you ever plan to go, or even care about such things, the initial pair of fragrances spawned by a joint venture between Maxim's and American Cyanamid (onetime parent of Shulton and Pierre Cardin fragrances) are both quite remarkable. The feminine has seemed to survive, while the much less popular male counterpart sadly has passed into obscurity, but it's of a quality surprising to the nose, considering it's corporate parentage. The 1980's was a time for corporate exploration of fragrance branding, and everyone from Hollywood celebrities to auto makers were making deals with perfumers, with most of the results quite forgettable as expected. Maxim's seems to go against this grain, and commissioned prodigious perfumer Dominique Ropion (most known for her work with Lancome) to create something befitting of the time period in which the restaurant originates. Indeed Maxim's Pour Homme evokes images of the Art Nouveau style and La Belle Époque in France, with it's finely decorated bottle and smooth leathery finish. Granted, this is still a mostly modern fragrance (late 70's/early 80's definition of modern anyway) and doesn't have the raw bite of some older, less compromising leather scents, but in the greater scheme of things, one could almost not be told this is a leather fragrance and believe it, since there is so much else going on in the well-blended base. If there is any reason this wasn't more popular, it's probably because it was named after a restaurant, which is something I don't really see resonating with the general public as a place of inspiration for fragrance. Quite sad really, as this little floral mossy chypre is very nice, just born at the wrong place and wrong time, by the wrong parents.

Maxim's opens with a typical bergamot and lavender top found in powerhouses from this period, but with a rather awkward fruit note disturbing the classic introduction, even if it doesn't really ruin things. It's just a few minutes if even that before what I can discern as fig or tamarind fades from view and lets the bergamot and lavender do it's work into the floral heart. I honestly haven't seen such a floral heart outside of maybe Zino Davidoff (1986), or any number of Victorian fragrances it was based off of, so Maxim's makes another rare use of the "male floral bouquet" trope that wasn't cool since the last time men wore pocket watches, so that's pretty neat. Muguet, jasmine, and carnation are greeted by some fairly austere woods that add dryness, and a slight leafy tobacco note in the middle segment, but things don't really stay "dandy" for long as the rich base takes over once the heat of skin reacts to the wear. Amber, musk, pathcouli, oakmoss -almost a litany of barbershop classics- seem to litter the beautifully warm base, with leather only making an appearance at the very end, almost like an encore rather than a part of the main performance. Would I still call this a leather scent? Well yes. Avon Black Suede (1980), in all of it's makeup compact creaminess, is still called a leather scent because suede is the main note of it. Therefore, why not a rich floral chypre that contains leather but flirts with the avant-garde be considered one? This was modeled after one of the most classically artistic periods in history, so it's only appropriate to be complex. I find Maxim's Pour Homme to a bit out of step with the late 80's, as most of the really high-quality aromatic powerhouses had come out by then. The closest thing I can compare it to is Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme from 1978, and that's still not quite doing it justice, as that scent has a great deal more going on for it in the herbal department than this, which is really devoid of herbs outside the patchouli in the base.

Most things made for men by designers at the end of the decade were either really sharp and virile like Lapidus Pour Homme (1987) or heading into oriental territory like Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree (1989), plus we were just on the cusp of the aquatic/fresh revolution, with all the experimentalism with florals and fruit that brought, so this wasn't really presaging anything. In the end, it was just a fragrance made on it's own terms, regardless of the times, and perhaps that's what both makes it special, and doomed to obscurity (outside the branding). Ironically, had something like this come forward now, it would be considered niche, and easily have another zero on the price tag, but because it was rich floral leather chypre in 1988 instead of 1888 or 2018, branded after a French restaurant and formulated/sold by a major player at the time, it was relegated to the shopping mall discount perfume kiosks before it ever really had a chance to shine. I wouldn't quite call Maxim's a powerhouse either. It is a pretty aromatic and rich masculine, but it isn't loudness for the sake of it, and will actually give the average 6-8 hours wear time with moderate sillage. It's mossy plonk will definitely make it seem mighty in modern company, but compared to it's competition it's rather mild-mannered outside of the brief funky opening. Fans of mossy scents will love it, but modern tastes raised on candy gourmands or synthetic minimalism will still find it too staunch, so it's definitely for the mature man or fan of the style. It's a good fall and spring office scent, maybe for romance use too if at a classier joint, but definitely no club hopper. Maxim's Pour Homme is like an evening in a 19th century Paris bistro, televised from a 1980's Sony Trinitron TV. Definitely an obscure gem.
14th March, 2018

Old Spice Wolfthorn by Procter & Gamble

Not too shabby Old Spice. Kind of reminds me of Escada Magnetism (dare I say). It's very fruity, but on the darker side, and also has a fizzy vibe, like a soda.

The down side.. there is a cheapness to it that I can't help but notice.. it's there and it's preventing this from being a good fragrance to wear out.
14th March, 2018

Polo Red Intense by Ralph Lauren

Picked up a small half oz bottle, glad I didn't buy anything bigger. Overall a synthetic peppery and tonka bean heavy scent, with some obscure fruit notes. I pick up on mandarin mostly, and perhaps cranberry, or some type of strawberry.. very faint though. Mostly dominated by tonka bean.

Just another mish-mash of everything that is already out, capitalizing on the original Red's success, which was a big hit for Polo. Hopefully the Extreme version will be better than the first 2.
14th March, 2018

Happy for Men by Clinique

Not sure how people say this fragrance doesn't have character... Pretty unique citrusy frag to me. I love this scent. Fresh, upbeat, citrusy, summery. To me its the perfect cologne for summer or anytime the suns out! Anyone who doesn't like this cologne is probably not very happy ;)
14th March, 2018

Red Tobacco by Mancera

Red Tobacco is quite enjoyable. It comes on strong, and stays strong on my skin for over 10 hours...longer on clothing. It does smell like cinnamon and tobacco. As mentioned there is a sweet fruit note in the opening as well. This fragrance is nuclear and should not be oversprayed, or you could choke someone out. I quite enjoy this one...
14th March, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vanilla Cake Batter by Demeter Fragrance Library

A pleasant sweetish vanilla accent is the core of this creation. A bit thin and metallic at times, in has a touch caramel to it at times.

The base has an ambery component attached to it.

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

A vanilla-centred creation, a bit to bland and thin at times. 2.5/5.
14th March, 2018

Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren

Nothing special about Polo Sport.Half aquatic and half fruity fresh 'sporty' scent.It's clean and's just boring yet expensive.You could probably blend Nautica Classic and any Adidas fragrance with it and make your own little 'mongrel' of a scent that would be more creative.
14th March, 2018

Onda Eau de Parfum by Vero Profumo

A dark sinister aldehydic animalistic citrus opening blast...immediately made me think of Bogue...this smells like it could nestle right in between Cologne Reloaded and MAAI...bitter herbs tempered with a touch of a big fan of animalic blasts from the past, I am thrilled that there are perfumers crafting nostalgic brews such as this....has a slightly piercing minty like nose feel...get an intense flower flavored vetiver...a little spice , a little herb...great mix...there's a hyper-modern industrial edge bringing this classic structure forward...lurking far down in the base I detect something inky/plasticy/asphalty...adds to the edginess and mystique of this somwhat exotic and mysterious brew...definitely also has an aura of the erotic.. but brings to mind something more along the lines of S & M...woody and leathery nuances...little bits and pieces bring all sorts of associations...a liitle bit of Kouros...a slight touch of Macassar...a winner in my book...from time to time the citrus makes a misty appearance...
14th March, 2018

Swiss Army by Swiss Army

My first cologne and I still love it. The scent is very nice and unique. It has good projection but doesn't last very long. Still for the price it's good. I think having a good scent is more important then how long it lasts. I feel like people give it bad reviews because A its cheap therefore they associate it with being bad, even though I've smelt expensive colognes far worse, or B it's very popular and therefor they don't like it. I still think its a great cologne despite not lasting long and even though I may not wear it as much I still enjoy it.
14th March, 2018

Spencer Hart Palm Springs by Floris

I like Palm Springs : fines citrus notes with light touches of spicy and smoked wood. It's sophisticated with aldehydes who give a real vintage charm.
13th March, 2018 (last edited: 16th March, 2018)

Rose Bohème by Providence Perfume Co.

I visited Charna a couple years ago, looking for something new and unique. I took in as many fragrances as I could in one visit--I think I can handle about eight.

We had a long, wonderful talk about perfumery in general. In asking what I like, I said, I am absolutely not a rose woman.

What did I walk out with? Rose Boheme. It's a wonderful change-up from the non-floral scents I usually prefer.

I have Charna's shop on my visit list this summer. I can't wait to try her new fragrances!
13th March, 2018 (last edited: 15th March, 2018)

Angel by Thierry Mugler

I first bought this fragrance in November 1992 and as one reviewer commented, I too had people stopping me to ask what I was wearing. The scent was complex, a little disorienting. It was heady, rich, and with just a tiny hint of something 'rotten' underneath. That extra note hit it out of the park.

The tiny star bottle lasted forEVER, and I replaced it again in, I think, 2000? I don't think it is any different from the 1992 version, others may have better data on that question.

It will be a great disservice to this wonderful fragrance if the formula was changed in order to be novel or less expensive.

Readers need to be aware that the EU has cranked down on the use of many classic perfume ingredients, both natural and man-made, due to concerns that they are allergens. Perfumers don't want to be seen as fighting safety rules, so they conform by re-formulating their fragrances.

I am not young; there are many fragrance notes from older perfumes my mother wore (Norell, Tabu, Chanel #5, Alliage, others) that I smell nowhere anymore, anywhere, ever. My bet is that they are simply banned due to Henny-Penny "the sky is falling down!" concerns about potential contact allergies.

I'm an adult who keeps peanuts from my kid. I'm ok with being responsible for my allergic reactions to fragrance.
13th March, 2018 (last edited: 15th March, 2018)

Design for Men by Paul Sebastian

Opinions tend to get very divided over the male version of Paul Sebastian Design, and rightly so. We were several years into the aquatic/fresh revolution by this point, but there were still a lot of transitional inbetweeners and outliers late coming from previous popular styles, plus a few just completely left-field fragrances that didn't fit anywhere. I feel Design fits in hindsight somewhere between a dry British take on the aromatic chypre, much like Dunhill's mid-eighties Edition (1984), and an early aquatic/ozonic scent like Mario Valentino Ocean Rain (1990) or Aramis New West (1989), which gives it a really strange biting opening to an otherwise balsamic chypre accord. Most people who dislike it are shot down immediately by it's almost sour opening, while people who have stronger constitutions than that are mildly rewarded with an herbal finish. I gave my bottle away after several attempts to really feel my way around the stuff, since I'm a huge fan of original PS from 1979, but I just couldn't hack the awkward transition. This is one masculine that few will miss in discontinuation, which explains the very slow price climb; there just isn't sufficient demand to charge the usual scalper's premium.

The fumbling opening begins with grapefruit and some kind of berry mixture. I don't want to be an idiot and say "fruit punch" but it's just a Starburst/Skittles candy type of fake fruit that's hard to peg alongside the acidic grapefruit. There's some sort of balsam fir note in here too, which is where the fruits and citrus get their sourness, but once they fade into dry lavender and sage, things get a bit more bearable. If you haven't scrubbed by this point, the scent dials down further into amber, oakmoss, labdanum, leather and cedar, bringing in that structured chypre dryness but without an animalic like civet or castoreum to make it too old fashioned; after all, this was made in the early 90's. The finish is pleasant enough, but honestly the synthetic and "modern" 90's opening combined with the nightmare sour beef and dumplings dry down make it an unnecessary ordeal to reach this finish. If I wanted to wear balsamic vingarette as a fragrance, I could buy it from the grocery store for under $10. As it stands, the only good thing about Design is the dry down, which if you enjoy it enough, should just inspire you to buy Dunhill Edition instead so you can enjoy the entire journey, since we can't just fast-forward to the end now can we?

I don't hate Design, hence my neutral rating, but I feel it was an abutment of two incompatible ideas: a zesty fresh ozonic, and an herbal leather chypre. Whoever the nose for this was must have been conflicted about what to make when tasked with the objective of appealing to all ages, and it shoes. The marketing team really had to do the legwork to get this one on the shelf, or maybe not, since I don't recall much PS marketing overall when I researched this after getting it. This is the early 90's we're talking about so there was still enough wiggle room that something different could sneak between outgoing powerhouses and incoming aquatics, but different in this case just translates into strange. Fans of challenging fragrance might enjoy this, and I don't mind being a little provocative once in a while, but even then I have to enjoy the emotions being provoked, and the only visible reactions I ever received from this when I had it was looks of confusion and discomfort, which included my own. Paul Sebastian would soon after be absorbed into EA Fragrances, which killed off every male release from the house besides the debut masculine. I'd say in the case of Design for Men, they were secretly doing everyone a favor without realizing. Explore this one with extreme trepidation, and use only in room temperatures to mitigate the transition, if used at all.
13th March, 2018 (last edited: 15th March, 2018)

Adidas Moves by Adidas

Horrible...absolutely horrible.A very transparent fragrance that was clean in a laundry detergent way but highly metallic..I'm claiming grapefruit was in Moves.A light note of leather and pineapple in this cold and metallic garbage.
13th March, 2018

Eternity Summer for Men 2016 by Calvin Klein

I think JohnPal sort of sums up my thoughts by saying, "This won't blow anyone's mind or win originality prizes, but it's a sheer, fresh summer fragrance."

For me, that's right on the money.

I'm not overwhelmed with the artistry of this one, but it's just pretty damn nice and enjoyable in my experience.

I'm glad I have a bottle of it.
13th March, 2018

Tabac Rouge / Turkish Blend by Phaedon

Can't believe I didn't review this the first time I tried it. I find there's a real dearth of properly good tobacco scents, and this is up there in that category.

First of all, this to me is a blonde tobacco. It doesn't really recall pipe or cigar smoke, perhaps a lighter pipe tobacco before it is lit. And certainly not (ahem) plug or shag, or anything heavy. This is at the most civilised end.

It is pleasing that many of the stated notes are present and correct, particularly the honey and cinnamon. In addition there is a very slightly menthol-y, herbal edge in the early stages. But this is all about the tobacco itself, in addition to the benzoin that keeps things going (on my skin) for hours on end with good projection. Something this smooth doesn't really appeal to me in the long term - I'd prefer my tobacco scent to be a bit rougher around the edges, and 'darker' - but the quality is there.
13th March, 2018