Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JackTwist

Total Reviews: 1478

Passion Pineapple by Forever Florals Hawaii


Being quite familiar with the scent of Pineapple, but having no clue as to the scent of Passion Flower or Passion Fruit, I searched the internet and found this very evocative description:

“The scent is sweet, salty, overwhelmingly erotic, thunderously earthy, a sharp shaft of desire. It is the whole ball of wax.

The scent was, and is still, beyond my powers of description. The experience -- the scent -- imprinted somewhere deep in my physical brain as an utterly distinct and separate-from-time event. An entire gestalt. A universe. Something beyond the boundaries and limits we usually impose upon experience. I was smitten, possessed, swooning.

The numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and, especially, his crucifixion: The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance; the tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ; the ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).

"The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns; the chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail; the three stigmas represent the three nails, and the five anthers below them the five wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).”

"The blue and white colors of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity."

-Elizabeth Boleman-Herring 6-11-2013

Now to the parfum itself, I experience certainly the sweetness of fresh pineapple, but with a new sensation of sweetness added, which is not heavy or cloying, but is definitely balancing the other. I do detect the saltiness described in the above quote, but none of the erotic, earthy, mind-bending qualities also in that description. Soft, pungent, warm, juicy, aromatic.

My husband detects a warm suede effect that he finds most attractive.

My only other experience of a scent named Passion Flower, was that of Lili Bermuda’s, which added mandarin, tuberose, jasmine, mimosa, vanilla and cedar to the mix, so although I loved that particular scent, I couldn’t say I was experiencing the Passion Flower scent as separate from the others.

It is certainly a fruity floral with reference points to Mugler’s Angel and to Lili Bermuda’s South Water. Definitely a happy, summer scent that would be equally wearable by both men and women. Certainly a far less expensive contender to South Water. A lovely tropical fruity floral and a welcome addition to the scent catalogue.

24th August, 2020

Plumeria by Forever Florals Hawaii

PLUMERIA (Forever Florals)

Plumeria is a scent that is not as familiar to most noses as other tropical white florals (tuberose, gardenia, white ginger lily, pikake (jasmine)), although it is a lovely amalgam of all of these. Closest to jasmine in depth, it also has the sweetness and uplifting quality of white ginger, and the roundness of gardenia. There is also a nutty quality in its base.

Forever Florals’ version of this soliflore is (like their pikake) quite excellent. It is not quite as refined or as subtle as the Royal Hawaiian version, but is certainly a success. It is presented in both parfum and cologne concentrations. The parfum comes in a roller-ball vial and is very affordable for a quarter ounce (just a little over $10).

Quite unisex by today’s standards.

It is quite concentrated so a little dab here and there is all one needs to waft deliciously. Recommended for those into tropical white florals, along with their Pikake parfum.

18th August, 2020

Pikake by Forever Florals Hawaii


Forever Florals presently offers five soliflores in both parfum and cologne concentrations.
Their Pikake (Jasmine Sambac) is just what it purports to be, pure jasmine. The word also means “peacock” and is one of the many Islands florals used in the creation of the welcoming necklace, the Hawaiian Lei. It is quite strong, so a little dab (the parfums come in roll-on tube bottles) will do the job, making the low cost (a little over $10 for a quarter ounce) quite an economical purchase.

I have also recently sampled Royal Hawaiian’s Pikake, which seems to me to be a bit more delicate and subtle than the Forever Florals offering, but both are excellent choices for a soliflore parfum. The FF could benefit from a base note to ground it. As such this is quite feminine, whereas the Royal Hawaiian seemed appropriate for both men and women.

For lovers of the jasmine flower.

17th August, 2020
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Plumeria by Royal Hawaiian Perfumes


The sweet, fragrant scent of this tropical flower does bring to mind the luscious aroma of ripe plums, although there is no connection between the two species.

Once again, Royal Hawaiian has delivered a soliflore with a true reproduction of the flower it represents (as with their Gardenia, Tuberose and Pikake).

The plumeria flower is often used as a hair decoration and in the necklace leis used to welcome visitors to Hawaii. Its fruity lusciousness is extremely pleasurable to the nose and RH’s version is light and soft, while at the same time being rich and deep.

Royal Hawaiian is a real find for lovers of tropical floral aromas. They have been around since the close of WWII and currently have eight scents available, with a further nine or so discontinued over the years. Their scents come in parfum and cologne concentrations and both are highly affordable.

16th August, 2020

Hélène by Rancé 1795

HELENE – Rance (2010)

There is something initially captivating about the combination of neroli, jasmine, orange flower and cardamom that immediately reaches out as being decidedly different in the world of fruity florals.

This is sweet, warm and spicy all at once. The dusty cardamom holds the orange notes from flying too high. As the scent warms, the soft combo of cinnamon, rose, ylang and tonka provides a vanilla/banana pudding-like heart. It’s as if you had dusted your banana vanilla pudding with the cardamom and spritzed the top with orange water. This is sounding like a real edible dessert that would be easy enough to create in the kitchen.

The base notes of musk, iris, sandalwood, benzoin and heliotrope don’t arrive until well into the dry down, emanating a soft warm base that the orange spice vanilla concoction floats down onto. It eventually fades into one’s body musks and gives the impression of the wearer as having been in a fabulous kitchen all day.

For lovers of fruity florals, this is a must-try. Its sophistication, dryness and restraint are admirable in a genre that can get pretty “ripe.” The soap that accompanies the scent boasts only of cinnamon, ylang, orange flower, benzoin and musk, so it may differ somewhat from the liquid scent.

Very nice indeed.
15th August, 2020

Pikake by Royal Hawaiian Perfumes

PIKAKE – Royal Hawaii

There are approximately 200 species of Jasmine in the world. The Jasmine Sambac or Arabian Jasmine is the species known in Hawaii as Pikake. It is one of the most olaceous, heady scents in the floral world, taking its place beside tuberose and gardenia as a prominent tropical white floral.

Royal Hawaii’s Pikake is very true to the flower itself. It is rich, deep, sweet, buttery, warm and intensely romantic. It is grounded by what seems like a bit of anise and musk, which are very unobtrusive and only obvious when inhaled at close range.

The Royal Hawaii line of soliflore perfumes are very affordable with scents also being available in cologne concentrations as well. A mere dab of the parfum will last quite a while.
Its projection and sillage are penetrating, although sophisticatedly restrained.

Like the other RH scents I’ve tried (Gardenia, Tuberose), their Pikake is wonderful and highly recommended.
15th August, 2020

Tuberose by Royal Hawaiian Perfumes

TUBEROSE – Royal Hawaiian Perfumes

This is a true evocation of the tuberose flower, but unlike so many other tuberose scents on the market, it is not heavy or cloying. It is quite light and sweetly creamy. I even detect what could be some ylang ylang lurking in the background, offering its banana-like frutiness to the mix.

Royal Hawaiian has been around since 1949 and obviously knows what it is doing, since it limits itself to soliflores taken from tropical blooms. Currently it has eight scents in its repertoire. There are at least 8 more that have been discontinued over the years, and which wind up on Ebay now and then.

This is truly unisex and can comfortably be worn by both men and women.

I love the tuberose in Piguet’s Fracas, but that is an intense presentation. Royal Hawaiian’s presentation is as light as a breeze, but is in no way weak or watered down.

It is presented in both parfum and cologne concentrations. Both are extremely affordable. Recommended for those who love tropical florals.

14th August, 2020

Bambu by Lili Bermuda

BAMBU – Lili Bermuda

Bambu is one of a handful of masculine scents created by the House of Lili Bermuda. Along with its Cedarwood, it is one of the very best scents released by the house. Although I can find no date of release, it was not in their 1965 catalogue, but was in their 1991 catalogue, so it dates from somewhere between those years.

It is a very simple composition. I can only detect four notes. It begins with warm Cedarwood, resembling their first men’s scent, which dates from 1932. It is joined by vetiver, cumin and finally, a rich oak moss. While the cumin remains central in the dry down, the vetiver, moss and cedar twirl and twist around it like a helix.

Both Cedarwood and Bambu are released as “shaving lotions,” but the concentration and staying power more resembles a modern edp. These are far more than simple edcs or edts.

The scent is very fresh, invigorating and masculine, while not being at all heavy or strong.

You can still find bottles on the internet. Highly recommended.
13th August, 2020 (last edited: 21st August, 2020)

Gardenia by Royal Hawaiian Perfumes

GARDENIA – Royal Hawaiian

Royal Hawaiian Perfumes established itself in 1949 as the South Pacific Islands continued to recover from WWII and a new phenomenon had come into being, tourism. Americans would begin their love of travel, both in and outside of the country, spurred on by the Cinerama films (Cinerama Holiday, South Seas Adventure, Windjammer) and the Todd-Ao production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.

The exotic flowers of the tropics became the focus of Royal Hawaiian’s initial solifore creations. Currently, the company produces eight of these, with at least a further eight discontinued over the years. The company’s long lasting success is a tribute to its being able to meet public demand for exotic scents.

Since gardenia oil is scentless, the impression of gardenia must be created by combining other florals, in most cases having tuberose and jasmine at the heart.

Over the years hundreds of gardenia scents have come into being, a trend beginning in the 1920s with a profusion of them throughout the 1930s. Many great houses from Chanel to Coty to Lubin have produced Gardenia scents with varying degrees of success in evoking the heady aroma emanating from the soft white petals, as they emerge from the dark green, shiny foliage.

Royal Hawaiian Gardenia is a light, slightly complex creation which successfully evokes the true scent of gardenia, supporting it with touches of musk, anise and peach (my husband also detects a black pepper-like note). The pure parfum is amazingly inexpensive (around $8 for .22 ounces – 6.5 ml.). It is also produced in a cologne concentration.

Recommended for lovers of exotic floral scents.

Note: Tiare is the tropical name for Gardenia.
13th August, 2020

Calypso by Lili Bermuda

CALYPSO (2013)

Lili Bermuda’s first phase of existence, extending from 1928 through 1998, consisted mainly of soliflores for women. However, they did create a handful of edc and “after shave” concoctions for men, among them, Cedar Wood, Navy Lime, Bambu, Bravo!, Bay Rum, and
Moon Man.

The new management, opening its doors in 2004, resurrected two of those, renaming Cedar Wood as simply Cedar, and Navy Lime as simply, Navy. They have also been adding to their men’s line with such fragrances as: 32 North (oceanic), 64 West (woods), Somers (oriental), Mary Celestia (orange woods), Nautilus (yet to be experienced by me), and Calypso (green oceanic).

Calypso opens with an orange citrus blast (neroli, orange), supported by an herbal petitgrain and basil. The peach/apricot like fruit notes of loquat are at its heart and its base is provided by the dry warmth of geranium, cedar and musk.

The impression is that of an aromatic green fragrance with sweet citrus, a fruity heart and an overall acquatic vibe. It is most refreshing and provides a kaleidoscope of fragrance, quite appropriate to the name given it.

A welcome addition to their men’s line.

21st July, 2020

MAAI by Bogue Profumo

BOGUE – MAAI (2014)

A blast of luxuriant resins greets the nose upon initial application. They are a bit sharp at first, but quickly warm. I sense cedar wood as well, though it is not listed in the note tree. (The note tree itself is rather secretive, announcing “resins,” “spices,” “incense infusions,” and “animalics,” without revealing any by name.)

Soon the florals begin to enter, slowly and quietly, with tuberose and ylang leading the procession. I can’t detect the rose or jasmine listed. Cinnamon and cardamom (ala Laurent’s Opium) appear alongside. The animalics arrive with civet, musk and castoreum prominent. It all settles down to a deep, warm, masculine aroma, reminding me of a carpentry emporium: the aroma of freshly sawed wood, combining with shellac, lemon oil and honeyed turpentine.
I am unable to detect any sandalwood or oak moss, although other Basenoters do.

As with MEM, Bogue’s blending and use of obviously quality oils is stellar. This is one I would be hard pressed to label as unisex, as it is to my nose overwhelmingly masculine, just as MEM is unabashedly feminine by nature.

Recommended for those into the “woods” genre.

18th July, 2020

MEM by Bogue Profumo

BOGUE – MEM (2017)

With its 23 notes, MEM looks daunting on the page and one expects a jumble of olfactory sensations. The reality is quite different.

Initially I detect a beautiful tuberose, though it is not listed as a note. This is perhaps an overdose of Ylang. This is quickly followed in succession by lavender, peppermint and vanilla. So far fresh and uplifting, with that rich creamy ylang/tuberose hovering over all.

Five minutes in the civet appears, a quiet restrained civet, along with the musk and castoreum, thus providing a new, warm, animalic base for the creamy florals and crisp lavender/peppermint to dance upon.

The blending is stellar. One gets the impression of a Guerlain from the 1930s or 1940s. It’s that well done.

Into the dry down we are in Jicky territory – lavender and vanilla, but the brightness of the peppermint is still present in the background.

MEM is a true surprise in this modern perfume world of chemical and synthetic ingredients. It all smells “real” and it smells well thought out, both rarities nowadays. Highly recommended for those into vintage scents. The price tag is daunting, but this is one of the very few highly priced items that may just be worth the investment.
16th July, 2020

Mary Celestia by Lili Bermuda

Mary Celestia (2014)

This limited edition scent by Lili Bermuda has been well received by most reviewers and those I know who have purchased bottles. It however really seems to be a matter of personal taste as to whether it is embraced or shunned and the refusal of the Lili Bermuda company to offer sample vials does seem a “shoot yourself in your own foot” sort of marketing, as who nowadays is going to spend more than $200 on a scent as a blind buy. I hear it is now reduced to about half that amount.

What does it smell of? At first you get a citrus blast of grapefruit, bergamot, orange blossom and neroli, so you are getting an orange dominated opening. The neroli is strong enough to last well into the dry down.

A simple combo of rosewood, ambergris and musk provides the support and thus we have in the middle the effects of an orange-dominated “woods” category of scent. It is very nice, not very unisex, far more feminine to my way of thinking.

It is not special in any way, but one does have the assurance that the company does not use chemicals or synthetics, so you are getting the real deal here.

Worth a try, but do try to find someone who can provide you with a sniff first. The only alternative is to spend $25 for an “atomizer refill.”

15th July, 2020
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Easter Lily by Lili Bermuda

Lili Bermuda – Easter Lily (1928/2015)

Lili Bermuda came into being in 1928, when original owner, Madeline Scott, decided to convert fields of natural white lilies (Lilium Longiforum), commonly known as the Easter Lily, into a perfume. This became so popular that the company added more and more fragrances, numbering between 16 and 20, as I can re-construct, until the firm closed its doors in the late 1990s. The new owner, Isabelle Ramsay – Brackstone, opened the doors once again in 2004, with a new incarnation of the Easter Lily scent (2015).

I have experienced both the vintage Easter Lily and the new reincarnation. To my nose the original was pure and simple, indolic Lilium Longiforum, a soliflore, deep and rich, as you would expect a pure jasmine or tuberose soliflore to be. Lilies, according to my garden, provide the most voluptuous of floral scents, sometimes over-powering in the late afternoon when the sun has drawn forth the bees to activate the nectar production.

The new incarnation adds a few notes to make it less intense to modern noses, (Black Currant, Galbanum, Lilac, Vanilla and Musk), so it is a bit more “toned down” than the original. Both vintage and new are stellar in their own rights. The vintage proliferates on the internet, so you can easily compare the two.

With either vintage of modern, you have a winner here. Very feminine, very sexual/sensual, and very exotic, and a little bit goes a long way. Ladies, take note. Gentlemen, take notes.

09th July, 2020

Bermudiana by Lili Bermuda


Bermudiana is a lovely feminine floral, originally launched in 1962, during the first phase of the company’s existence (1928-1998), and recently (2015) returned to the production line.

There is a champagne-like “fizz” to Bermudiana, which is quite uplifting. Its very green notes of basil, cucumber and galbanum combine to provide its heart with magnolia, sandalwood and musk rounding out the note tree.

It is “old-fashioned” in the very best sense of the word, a floral mélange created when femininity meant “flowers” and is a welcome addition to the Lili Bermuda roster.

07th July, 2020

Royall Vetiver by Royall Lyme of Bermuda


Initially, I get a very green pure vetiver root that is earthy and fresh. After a few minutes, cardamom and cinnamon emerge, enveloped by a tart lemon.

The floral heart notes (orange blossom, jasmine, gardenia) never appear to my nose. However, this does not spoil the experience for me, as it was and is the vetiver that I’m after and Royall’s version does not disappoint.

This is labelled a “lotion,” the former designation for what we now call an eau de toilette, so longevity and sillage are not great, and indeed this has more the shorter life of an eau de cologne. It dries down to a very dry, green, dusty root vetiver that is quite pleasant. It is closer to Etro’s Vetiver than to the refined vetivers of Guerlain and Givenchy.

Royall opened its doors in Hamilton, Bermuda in 1957. I first encountered this on the island of St. Croix in 1997, a full eight years before the release date of 2005 stated on the Basenotes page.

It has just recently been discontinued and replaced by a “Vetiver Noir,” so half price bottles proliferate on line just now. I was able to secure mine for a mere $17, quite below the original $70 asking price.

Well worth picking up a bottle (before they’re gone) for vetiver fans, who just want the occasional short-lived splash, rather than a day’s scent commitment.

26th June, 2020

No. 89 by Floris

FLORIS – No. 89 (1951)

Floris’ No. 89 begins very much like its classic No. 127 with bursts of neroli and petitgrain. This is not surprising, since they share eight notes in the top and heart with nutmeg being the only addition in 89. The base notes in 127 are only two: musk and patchouli, wherein 89’s base notes are more complexly woody.

The nutmeg pretty well takes over from the citrus blast, which fades quickly. This turns 89 into a dry, dusty, quiet scent. As it settles into the base, we are basically left with the cedar and sandalwood supporting the nutmeg. I get no oak moss or vetiver impressions and the rose and ylang are indecipherable to my nose.

Overall then, this is a dry and quiet scent, dusty and woody and rather unremarkable.
25th June, 2020

Cefiro by Floris


Cefiro attempts to be a little bit of everything, beginning in a land of citrus notes, descending to a vaguely floral heart, and eventually settling on a woods and musk base.

It would seem that this has been reformulated, but that Floris has never bothered to re-print their sample cards to reflect the change of notes. The list on Basenotes is closer to the olfactory experience than those on the card. The addition of grapefruit and neroli and the elimination of jasmine, cardamom and nutmeg in the note tree would certainly affect the end product. With the two spices removed, the citrus notes have nowhere to go, nothing to descend upon and grace as they fade, they just fade.

The tea and musk notes are all we’re left with after about ten minutes, as the memory of the citrus notes hovers above.

There is an overall synthetic plastic note that plunges the experience into modern generic aquatic territory, ultimately arriving at a mediocre rating from me. It’s not awful, it’s just not very good.

24th June, 2020

Fleur by Floris


Fleur is a synthetic fruity floral that smells remarkably like every other synthetic fruity floral that has flooded the market during the past twenty five years. This is the sort of scent you expect to find in low-end department stores at suitably low prices, usually with a celebrity name attached (an eminently forgettable new pop star or actress).

It smells cheap and cloying. It boggles my mind how a prestigious house such as Floris could produce something so mediocre, not to mention the fact that it has been around for twenty years and is still in production as of this writing. There’s no understanding modern olfactory tastes.

This is one to avoid. Of less than even passing interest.

23rd June, 2020

Havana Cologne by Geo F Trumper


Trumper itself describes its newest scent (released in December, 2019) as “exquisitely strong, modern and vibrant.” Well, it is certainly all that with a sharp, strong peppery pine note right off. This is sweetened somewhat by the cinnamon and mariposa lily as the heart opens. Finally, the pungent paprika and vetiver form the simple base.

Like another reviewer elsewhere on line, I get a subtle vanilla/cocoa overall impression that is quite pleasant. This is certainly a subtle scent, layered and laid back. A new take on the chypre genre, using unusual combinations of ingredients to “suggest” a light and modern interpretation.

As their Paisley a year earlier reinterpreted fougere, Havana has taken on chypre quite successfully.

As Havana seems to be aimed at the new young crowd, it is light and subtle enough to intrigue that marketing group. Recommended along with Paisley for those young or at least young at heart.

First Edit: Now that I have lived with Havana for a month, I find my over all impression can be described as "green, smoky woods." There is a central combo of sweet cedar (not in note tree) and vetiver that makes up the warm, pungent heart with a dab of oud in the dry down.

My first impression came from a few dabs on the wrist, but now that I have splashed Havana about the neck and arms, that impression has obviously morphed.

Anyone into the genre of "woods" should certainly give this a try.

04th June, 2020 (last edited: 04th July, 2020)

Paisley Cologne by Geo F Trumper


Paisley is an ornamental Persian design using teardrops. It is named after a town in west Scotland, known for textile manufacturing, from which its popularization originated.

Reviews on Fragrantica variously describe it as a soft, warm, green, spicy, woody scent.

There are nine notes: Orange, Lemon, Spearmint; Pepper, Geranium, Cardamom, Anise; Vetiver, Patchouli

Trumper’s Paisley fits neatly into the fougere family, despite its lack of lavender, oak moss and coumarin, the basic components of the classic fougere. Paisley gives the impression of a very green lavender, arising from the spearmint and geranium perhaps. I get also the impression of galbanum in the very greenness of it.

It is quite gentle, not at all sharp or harsh. Its vetiver and patchouli base does not intrude on the general impression of soft greenness.

As a fougere this a fine gentleman’s scent, though it is certainly unisex as well. This harkens back to Trumper’s second scent, Wild Fern (1877), its only true fougere in its fragrance catalogue.

My spouse also liked it, finding it gentle, refined, dry, warm and above all, subtle. For him the pepper, geranium and cardamom are a lovely dusty and dry spice combination that is truly a new olfactory find. Most intriguing.

Paisley is a welcome and clever addition to the fougere family, clever in its ability to give a distinct impression of a genre without using any of the usual notes associated with that genre. A very uplifting and comforting scent, surprisingly successful.

03rd June, 2020

San Remo by Geo F Trumper


San Remo (the City of Flowers) is an Italian city in Liguria (north western Italy), bordering on the Mediterranean, although Italy spells it as one word, not two.

Trumper gives us no note tree, but mentions the effect it wants of flowers wafted on a breeze from the Alps. Although it mentions palm, cactus and begonia, none of these have a scent that I am aware of. We are left with rose and carnation.

There are but two reviews to date, both of them neutral.

The opening is very dry and herbal to my nose. It is also very synthetic, more chemical than natural. It smells unlike anything created to date from the house of Trumper and seems to be aiming for a modern oceanic impression. There is a powdery vanilla wafting throughout. No distinct floral impression emerges and with two such powerhouses as carnation and rose mentioned in their description, one would think one or the other or both would prevail.

My spouse found it a weak, dry, overly sweet blend of florals with no sillage or projection. He also imagined it was created to entice the younger generation with its lack of commitment.

It is certainly a very light cologne and is gone almost before it arrives. There is nothing here to excite or impress. I am left with no real reaction, good or bad, and so can only give it another neutral review.
02nd June, 2020

Tobacco Rose by Papillon Artisan Perfumes


My nose is immediately assaulted with a dry, bitter agar/oud note that turns me right off. The green rose fights to rise above it and eventually does, but when it gets there, it’s not much to write home about.

The perfumer is said to have decided to create her own tobacco note, and not that of the dry tobacco we are used to, but the fresh, sappy note of green tobacco. We have to take her word for it as few of us has experienced tobacco in this incarnation.

It is for me not a successful blend of geranium, hay, oak moss and musk. The overall effect is more off-putting than attractive. The combination of Bulgarian Rose and May Rose is pleasant, but its setting is not.

Had the familiar cherry note of pipe tobacco been used (as expected from the name), it might have been a glorious combo. However, one cannot review what it isn’t, only what it is.

My spouse had an entirely different reaction. He finds this to be a light, green, faded rose, gentle, soft, and small, a very personal scent, intended for a lady, perfectly decent to wear as a day scent, to lunch or cocktails. So, for him, a thumbs up.

Ultimately, for me, disappointing, and a thumbs down. You decide.
27th May, 2020

Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes


Salome is a floral animalic chypre, which to my nose smells exactly like Lutens’ Muscs Koublai Khan with a light jasmine/rose accord added in to lift it out of its skanky animalic depths.

In neither the Muscs nor Salome is a musk note mentioned, but they do have three notes in common: patchouli, castoreum and cumin. Muscs added ambergris and civet.

Salome has a deep birch tar note that slowly emerges, giving us the effect of Russian leather without the raw hide being treated. This is a very strong, smoky scent and not for the weak of heart, certainly not to everyone’s taste. The jasmine/rose lightness does make it more endurable than the Muscs, but only just.

I liked the Lutens very much upon sampling and bought a full bottle, which took a while to use up, as I was reluctant to wear it out in public, keeping it only for private home use. It is not a go-to scent by any means, and one bottle was enough for a lifetime.

My spouse is aesthetically opposed to skank effects in perfume, so did not like Salome. He found it “not pretty, dark and murky, overwhelming, and unpleasant, strong.” He could only think of a person wearing it to a night of disco prowling, but only if definitely “on the make.”

I would like to give Salome a thumbs up, but since it is a copy of an already unique scent, I must give it a neutral rating.

26th May, 2020

Bengale Rouge by Papillon Artisan Perfumes


A stunning and gorgeous oriental, the offspring of a union between Shalimar and Opium, Bengale Rouge is dripping with a honeyed myrrh, surrounding a gorgeous combination of Turkish Rose and sandalwood. Orris adds a nice dry touch to the redolent myrrh, while a quintet of warm notes (honey, vanilla, labdanum, benzoin, tonka) provide a base to cradle this welcome modern addition to the oriental genre.

It conjures for me the fur parfums of the 1930s and 1940s, the perfumes of Weil and Lanvin, which is one of the highest compliments I can give a scent.

It is very concentrated, the edp release being of parfum intensity, and is probably best suited to winter wear, as it may be too heavy or cloying for summer’s heat.

My spouse detected an orange peel incense accord and noted that Bengale has big projection and longevity. This is a cloud, not a waft. A rich, thick, sweet, rosy incense, opulent, reminding him of Arabian attars.

This is far from subtle, so wearable probably only at events or at home, for one’s own pleasure.

So far, this is by far the best of the three Papillons I have sampled. A true masterpiece.
25th May, 2020

Angélique by Papillon Artisan Perfumes


A very dry, acrid, bitter orris, underlaid with a peachy apricot sweetness from the osmanthus flower, comes to the nose at once upon application. The bitterness of the orris recedes quite quickly, leaving a soft powdery effect, aided by the vanilla accord in the champaca. I don’t detect the mimosa accord.

The reference to butter cookies in another of the 7 Basenotes reviews to date is quite apt. Actually, this is a warm and inviting scent as it progresses to its heart and seems quite unisex in my opinion. The effect of fig, as mentioned by another reviewer, is quite prominent after about 20 minutes.

Use of the cedar and frankincense in the base is very restrained, just a touch to ground the apricot/orris/vanilla triad.

Unique and rather nice.

My spouse found it very gourmand, more vanilla, butter, sugar cookie than floral. This was not to his taste.

I give it a thumbs up as I do rather like it, though I would not personally wear it.
24th May, 2020

Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes


After reading the other Basenotes reviews, I was expecting a mossy green chypre, but my nose tells me this is a very dry leather, the inside of a well-used leather shoulder bag, with hints of its former contents left behind.

It is so light and so dry I can barely detect it. I had to keep making sure the liquid in my sample was actually coming out of the vial, as I couldn’t detect its feel at all.

It’s very hard for me to rate this one, since it’s so ethereal.

My spouse did not enjoy it, finding it to be harsh – a murky, musky green, giving the impression of trying to cover up rotting vegetation with overly sweet florals.

Two entirely different takes. Going with my dry leather impression, I must give it a neutral as it doesn’t really impress. It’s just odd and different, almost a non-scent.

23rd May, 2020

Bay Rum by Geo F Trumper


Bay Rum originated in the West Indies island of St. Thomas in 1838. It was used as an astringent and cleanser, splashed on face and arms, during hot summer months. It was first marketed in 1890 (The California Company) and 1893 (Kirk Co.), when it made its way into North America and thence to Europe.

The original formula consisted of West Indian Bay Leaves (not to be confused with the Bay Laurel Leaf used in cooking), clove, pimento, lime, cinnamon and all distilled in pure islands rum.

There have been bay rum fans for over a century. Many purveyors have kept them supplied. Perfume Intelligence lists but 18, but Basenotes lists 27, the most prominent in many versions being St. John’s, a Caribbean based perfumery.

Trumper’s Bay Rum is a simple combination of Bay Leaves, Clove and Bergamot. No fancy additions of multiple citrus or other spice notes here, just direct and linear. Some of my earliest memories are of the barber shop when as a lad and young adult, a haircut was always finished with a splash of bay rum and a dusting of powder on the neck. The Trumper brings me back to those experiences.

I have sampled about a half dozen bay rums in my life and my favorite is still the Michelsen Bay Rum, which Caswell Massey marketed in the 80s and 90s. This used the original formula cited above in the second paragraph with the addition of orange, richly complex and distinctive.

My spouse found the Trumper to remind him of a Christmas pudding, with soft butter, dark brown sugar, and mixed spice. He also associates this his adolescence since most men who wore scent in those days used Old Spice or a bay rum. For him this is a soft, comforting, gentle, yet manly and bracing scent. Safe to be worn by a confidant businessman.

It is doubtful that any bay rum these days actually contains rum, but that’s beside the point.
The Trumper version is perfectly fragrant and decent, fresh and invigorating. If you love bay rums, you can’t go wrong with their version.

22nd May, 2020

Milk of Flowers by Geo F Trumper


Spicy and earthy at the same time, Trumper’s Milk of Flowers combines clove, carnation and English Stock (all containing similar olfactory qualities) with the softness of vanilla, orange, jasmine, ylang and the pungent lilac.

I don’t find the carnation-like trio overstated as do a number of the nine Basenotes reviewers to date. I find it quite balanced with a green earthiness that makes it seem to my nose closer to the natural aromas of the garden. Some have detected hints of amber, cinnamon and nutmeg, but my nose does not.

My spouse liked it equally well. He found it to be a soft, slightly sweet floral and detected hints of rose, lily and orris. For him, it dries down to a warm, soft powder. He thought it equally fine for a woman to wear, but imaged a refined, confidant gentleman as the ideal wearer.

It is certainly an unusual scent for a man’s cologne in that the spiciness is center-stage, not hovering in the mist behind a fougere or chypre composition, but that’s what sets it apart.

Trumper is unable to locate in its records a release date for Milk of Flowers at this time. If one is forthcoming, it will be added to this Basenotes page. If we knew during what period it was introduced, it might help in forming a better picture of why it was created.

Overall, a decided thumbs up for a creamy, carnation-based floral, supported by creamy floral notes.

21st May, 2020

Eau de Portugal by Geo F Trumper


Trumper’s Eau de Portugal is an edt, rather than the company’s usual concentration of edc. It seems to be the third historically, after Guerlain’s (1828) and Pinot’s (1893), according to Perfume Intelligence.

Although only seven notes are listed (Lemon, Neroli, Bitter Orange, Musk, Orange Blossom, Rose, Bergamot), the 17 Basenotes reviews to date find a number of other possible notes, such as geranium, lime, mint, oregano, basil, lavender, ylang, anise, oak moss, amber, pine, clove, and civet.

I find Eau de Portugal to be fresh and summery with its blending of lemon, bergamot and orange. The latter is intensified by also including neroli and orange blossom. Thus, all extracts of the orange plant are utilized. This could have easily been named Eau de Seville, since one associates Seville with the Orange, but that would reference a different country altogether.

My spouse especially enjoyed the gentle, prominent rose note, which he found a fine blend with the bitter orange. On his skin Portugal faded to a powdery dry down, most probably due to the lack of base notes.

This is really the second citrus scent for Trumper, counting their previous Extract of West Indian Limes (1880). It is quite different from the Farina original eau de cologne and its popular 4711 derivative in having a drier, more refined profile and on my skin it is quite prominent for a number of hours. Highly recommended for lovers of citrus scents.

20th May, 2020