Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JackTwist

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Total Reviews: 1473

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
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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

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

LILI BERMUDA – BERMUDIANA

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

ROYALL – VETIVER (2005)

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

FLORIS – CEFIRO (2001)

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
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Fleur by Floris

FLORIS – FLEUR (2000)

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 – HAVANA (2019)

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

TRUMPER – PAISLEY (2018)

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

TRUMPER – SAN REMO (2016)

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

PAPILLON – TOBACCO ROSE (2014)

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

PAPILLON – SALOME (2015)

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

PAPILLON – BENGALE ROUGE (2019)

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

PAPILLON – ANGELIQUE (2014)

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

PAPILLON – DRYAD (2017)

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

TRUMPER – BAY RUM

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

TRUMPER MILK OF FLOWERS

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 – EAU DE PORTUGAL (1938)

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

Eucris Eau de Parfum by Geo F Trumper

TRUMPER – EUCRIS (1912)

Trumper’s Eucris has the distinction of being the only one of their 21 colognes to be released in both edt and edp versions.

The 51 Basenotes reviews generally refer to it as an oak moss bomb, despite it having seven other ingredients. I first experienced it in 2007 and initially reviewed it here on 12/17/07. At the time I did not like oak moss and rather hated Eucris, giving it a negative review. Seventeen years and 1400+ reviews later, I am experiencing both the edt and the edp.

A good deal has changed in those years, including my growing to like oak moss. That said, I find the edt to be a rather light interplay of oak moss and musk. I do not detect any of the other notes. (The card accompanying the sample lists only tree moss and coumarin as the only fragrance notes.) I definitely recall the raw and harsh cologne original (my nose still stings at the memory) and find the edt to have nothing like the heavy concentration of oils in the cologne (an oddity in and of itself).

The edp is quite different from the edt. I get a very one note impression of freshly turned earth, most probably the tree moss, as opposed to the use of oak moss in the older edt. Again, none of the other notes listed make themselves available. I believe the sample card notes are corrupted and that the tree moss/coumarin content refers only to the 2018 edp, and that the edt sample card ingredients are quite different. My spouse’s reaction to the edp is that of a green vegetal lavender, with cumin and coriander more prominent. Thus, a curried green lavender/moss scent.

Some reviewers quote a similarity to Knize Ten and Quorum, two of my favorites. I find no similarity whatever.

I therefore find this rather a one note composition and although not off-putting like the edc original, I don’t experience any enjoyment. Therefore, I am upgrading my original review from a negative to a neutral. My mind boggles at its ongoing popularity.






19th May, 2020

Eau de Quinine by Geo F Trumper

TRUMPER – EAU DE QUININE (1898)

In 1898 the British Empire was enjoying its peak years. One scourge however, in its tropical locations (India, Hong Kong), was malaria, spread by the sting of the dreaded mosquito. When it was discovered that quinine (first isolated in 1820), made from the bark of the cinchona tree, successfully treated and cured those who contracted the disease, it was only a short step to make that substance available in liquid form. Thus “tonic water” was born.
For the record the properties of the cinchona to relieve malarial symptoms were first discovered in the 1630s, but bark infusions were the only way to extract it before 1820.

The more one imbibed tonic water, the more one’s sweat repelled the mosquito and the healthier the British subject became. Add gin and bitters and one could also employ alcohol as a deterrent.

Marketing a scent that brought quinine onto the skin itself was a clever idea. Crown Perfumery created the first Eau de Quinine in 1890 and Trumper followed in 1898 with the second. The Trumper site lists rosemary, bergamot, herbs and bitters (which also contains cinchona bark in its make-up) as the ingredients of its own Eau de Quinine. Bitters also contain cascarilla, cassia, gentian and orange peel. It was added first to wine, then whiskey and gin.

There are 15 Basenotes reviews to date, which variously describe it as a “baby” powder floral, with citrus and a greenish rose note, also perhaps containing juniper, cedar and iris. One reviewer is reminded of Guerlain’s Habit Rouge.

My impression is of a very dry and pleasantly medicinal note which begins with bergamot and develops as a tart, green rose. On my skin it is very subdued, almost ethereal. My nose does not detect the baby powder floral reaction of a number of reviewers. Perhaps there is juniper here and the dry note could very well be iris.

My spouse detects a soft, powdery rose with bitter herbals (basil, rosemary, pepper?) in the background. His impression is of weak projection and the feeling that one is smelling soap fresh from bathing rather than a splash cologne.

I am left wondering whether this was originally intended as a pleasant smelling mosquito repellant rather than an actual eau de cologne.

To sum up, Eau de Quinine is a most unusual, light, pleasantly dry, slightly rosey scent. The lightest of all the Trumper scents created in the 19th century.
17th May, 2020

Lavender Water by Geo F Trumper

TRUMPER – LAVENDER WATER (1898)

Sixteen years were to pass between Trumper’s initial six scent releases (1876-1882) and the release of Lavender Water in 1898.

This is an earthy lavender without any powdery softness or vanilla and seems to me quite the opposite of Caron’s Pour Un Homme (1934), for many the best lavender ever created. That said, Lavender Water is very fragrant with the initial blast of lavender calming down as it enters its heart phase. A number of well blended base notes anchor it. The patchouli and oak moss give it a green, woodsy support, while the clary sage and peppermint provide a bracing lift. Trumper’s site reveals three other notes not on the Basenotes page (musk, geranium, petitgrain).

My spouse finds the lavender gentle and comforting, but was not happy with the mint, wishing rather a bit of rose instead.

The blending is seamless with the lavender and restrained peppermint dominating the over- all effect. As with all Trumper products the ingredients are of top quality. This has been a hit for 122 years and is certainly worth the attention of anyone interested in lavender.
16th May, 2020

Wild Fern by Geo F Trumper

WILD FERN COLOGNE (1877)

Perfume lore has it that the first “fougere” or “fern” creation was the work of perfumer Paul Parquet, Fougere Royale, created for Houbigant in 1882. Wrong! The defunct house of Maubert can claim that honor with the first use of the fougere term in two creations from 1870, Fougere Doree and Fougere Ambree. Parquet created his Fougere Royale in 1875 for the house of Rimmel and later re-created it in 1882 for Houbigant.

In between we have Trumper’s Wild Fern Cologne, which can now claim to be the oldest surviving example of the genre, released in 1877. Perhaps someone at Trumper experienced the 1875 Rimmel version and was impressed enough to create a version all its own.

In any case, we have a classic fougere with Wild Fern. Notes of basil, lavender, oak moss, patchouli, musk and ambergris frolic with coumarin and aroma-chemicals suggesting lemon, orange, rose, geranium, spices and herbs. I also detect in the heart and dry down a dominant tarragon/anise note, which blends so well with the lavender and basil, that the match seems made in heaven.

Wild Fern is fresh and green, not at all sharp. There is a perfect blending of the basil and lavender notes with a slight hint of rosy leather in the background. It is warm and comforting and a perfect way to start the spring or summer day. I imagine Hercule Poirot would find this perfection itself in its balance, taste and subtlety.

In the 23 Basenotes reviews to date, many compare Wild Fern to Penhaligon’s English Fern (1911). Just as Penhaligon copied Trumper’s Wellington for its Blenheim Bouquet, so it copies Wild Fern in its English Fern. I have compared the two and much prefer the Trumper. It is not as heavy-handed as the Penhaligon.

To sum up, this is a lovely very green, fresh celebration of aromatic herbs. A blending of lavender, basil, tarragon/anise with a warm base of patchouli, musk and oak moss. Very highly recommended for all lovers of the fougere genre.

12th May, 2020

Wellington Cologne by Geo F Trumper

WELLINGTON COLOGNE (1876)

It would seem that up until Geo F. Trumper opened its doors in 1875, the concept of “composed” scents for men didn’t exist. Men had to content themselves with single note fragrances (verbena, lavender, lime, rose) in cologne or “waters” concentrations. Two of England’s oldest scent houses, Floris and Penhaligon, both dating from the 18th century, concentrated almost solely on scents for women, with a small handful of men’s scents in their repertoire. Perhaps the most popular splash for men was the Jean Marie Farina eau de cologne, a simple combination of citrus notes, rosemary, neroli and petit grain.

Trumper’s initial scent for men, Wellington, changed all that and Trumper would lead the way in this new concept, creating composed scents for men, and placing them center stage.

Wellington is named in honor of Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), First Duke of Wellington, a member of the House of Lords, twice appointed Prime Minister, and most famous as the man who stopped Napoleon’s advance at Waterloo (1815).

In addition to the notes officially mentioned (musk, rosemary, neroli), there are a number of aroma-chemicals lurking about, including Coumarin, which give an array of scent impressions, such as: Hay, Vanilla, Rose, Geranium, Lemon, Orange, mixed spices (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon), and herbs (basil, bay leaf).

It is a most sophisticated scent, which begins with a slightly sour lemon note, very fresh and very citrusy. The sour note lasts but a minute. A dry note, possibly the geranium, hay impression, comes forward. It becomes quite bracing and the dry down is faintly herbal. The over-all impression is that of a very dry citrus/herbal combination. My spouse detects a gentle leather-like base, over which the lemon and neroli frolic. Restraint is the key impression for him: restrained herbs, restrained rose, restrained green note of geranium. A complex scent with so many notes present, but none dominant. Masterful blending. Quiet and complex.

Other reviewers on Basenotes (there are 20 for Wellington at the point of this writing) compare it to Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet (1902), which seems to have been a copy of Wellington. Blenheim is similar to my nose, but cold and icy, compared to Wellington’s warmth and sophistication. Some reviewers also mention pine and mint notes, but my nose does not detect them.

To sum up, Wellington impresses as a dry citrus/herbal scent, very sophisticated and very bracing. Highly recommended.




12th May, 2020