Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JackTwist

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Total Reviews: 1527

La Fougerie au Crépescule by Coty

COTY – LA FOUGERIE CREPESCULES (1928)

With eleven base notes, as compared with five heart and three tops, this looks on paper to be a very well-balanced composition, a true pyramid. A Coty scent that seems to be totally forgotten today, Fougerie provides a rare glimpse into a perfume world that was about to be transformed by the Great Depression and the resultant changes in taste.

The name roughly translates into “Twilight Fern” and the scent is an extremely rich and deep chypre. The opening has a prominent, rounded, almond note, supported by the spicy carnation heart. That heart is warmed by coumarin (the hay note), and a light lavender. The dry down is intensely dense, although it contains only one animalic (the ambergris). A quartet of soothing, warm notes (vanilla, tobacco, tonka, musk) brings the almond opening forward to the dry down, a brilliant compositional decision in that these four and the almond share similar olfactory qualities, so we feel we are being drawn deeper and deeper into the spell this scent weaves.

In today’s world we could only expect such depth and intensity from Serge Lutens. If I had his almond/vanilla centric scents at hand, it would be fun to do comparisons. It is said this was the last perfume to be personally created by Coty, but since it was released six years before Coty’s death, this seems to be at least questionable. I have also heard that that honor has gone to A’ Suma and to Complice.

I find Fougerie to be a real find from the past, totally at home in today’s serious perfume world, and a chypre to treasure.
17th January, 2021

Violette Pourpre by Coty

Violette Pourpre (Coty - 1906)

I am at first struck by the intensely dark purple of this extremely rare vintage scent from the house of Coty, created during the company’s second year of existence, 1906. Practically all of the dozens of vintage violet scents I have experienced from the late 1890s through the 1920s were comprised of two simple notes, violet flower and violet leaf. A few contained light additions, such as heliotrope, to help “lift” the aroma and bring it forward.

Coty’s Violette is quite unique in my experience. It is not a soliflore, but since the composite notes are not available to peruse, one must guess at its make up. This is not a dark, heavy violet at all. It is very, very light, a bit sweet, supported by a delicious vanilla and a very airy, mysterious note, which I have encountered rarely in perfume, and which does not come readily to mind. It has an almost gourmand quality, reminding me of buttery crumbs from a madeleine, floating above the rising mist of a coffee latte. We’re getting into Proustian territory here.

Various crushed nuts were used in the composition of madeleines, but this mysterious quality is not almonds. It more resembles toasted hazel nuts than anything I can pinpoint directly. As it dries down, the violet remains central, but is still a shy, “shrinking” violet. It wears very close to the skin with little, if any, projection. Elegant and sophisticated.

A most charming violet creation, exactly what we would expect from Coty. I feel honored to have been able to experience it.
15th January, 2021

Tobacco d’Harar by Giviemme

TABACCO D’HARAR

Darvant’s review tells us a great deal about this now defunct line of Italian barbershop aromatics. The notes he detects are as follows:

Citrus notes, Spice notes
Tobacco, Patchouli, Rose, Jasmine, Lavender, Cinnamon, Clove
Oak Moss, Cedar, Woods, Leather

Tobacco with an herbal mix supporting is the first impression out of the bottle. I can detect the faintest whiff of lavender in the mix. This is a dry tobacco and I am reminded of Bourbon French’s 525, yet Tabacco is lighter than that creation. There is also an impression of leather, which intertwines with the tobacco to create a virile statement of masculinity.

My nose is unable to detect any of the spice or resin notes (no clove, cinnamon, cumin, patchouli) that Darvant mentions, although cedar does appear in the dry down.

I am experiencing an eau de cologne version of the scent, so perhaps the majority of ingredients are only detectable with a stronger concentration.

To sum up, this is a very light tobacco/leather scent with a mix of herbs and a touch of lavender.

My spouse found it to be a rich, distinctive, powdery leather/tobacco scent that is warm and soft. He can detect the jasmine which peeps in from time to time. A masculine scent for the mature man, one that reflects a caring, fatherly personality.

14th January, 2021
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Ambre Antique by Coty

COTY – AMBRE ANTIQUE

The perfume collector of 2021 is perhaps more familiar with the classic Lalique bottle for Coty’s Ambre Antique than of the scent itself. The release date is listed on Basenotes as 1910, but another site states 1905.

The Lalique bottle, pictured above is tall, stoppered, and decorated with the images of Greek maidens encircling the face. The bottle was recreated for a limited re-release in 1995 and it is the scent in that bottle that I am reviewing.

My nose most prominently registers ambergris, but not in the intense concentration found in such ambergris classics as Creed’s Ambre Canelle. It is a much softer and restrained ambergris. I also detect the modern amber scent, created in the laboratory. They are both supported by a lovely vanilla.

Unfortunately, my nose can detect none of the other notes. This is not a tragedy, as what I can detect is enough to place it as a superb ambergris/vanilla, singular in approach, soft and eminently wearable. Anyone loving the ambergris note will be pleased with this creation.

My spouse does detect the floral combo of rose and jasmine in the heart. He finds that the frankincense/olibanum/labdanum trio provides a slightly smoky grounding for the scent as a whole and that the orris and violet lend an aristocratic dryness, that greatly adds to the beauty. The civet is very restrained. Great projection to begin with, but it dries down to a skin scent. Eminently wearable by both men and women for all occasions. A soft perfume for a strong woman or man.

13th January, 2021

Complice by Coty

COTY – COMPLICE (1934) “Accomplice”

With its complex, eighteen note structure, Complice promised to be a kaleidoscope of scent. Instead it is so balanced that the overall impression seems relatively simple. I am reminded very much of Coty’s 1927 L’Aimant at first, but Complice is much drier and spare than that other classic.

Peach and Lilac float atop a heart of light florals, but it is the orris and muguet that give the structure and depth. The seven base notes provide a mossy, woody dry down with the civet providing just a hint of animalic quality.

This was the last scent Coty created himself, after his A’Suma (1934), but he died before it could go into production. For some reason it took 39 years for the Coty firm to produce it for its 1973 release. It is quite subtle, dry and of a potpourri-like floral mélange, elegant and sophisticated.

This is a high quality floral bouquet that can be worn for almost any occasion. Highly recommended.


08th December, 2020

Cherry Blossom by Bourbon French Parfums

CHERRY BLOSSOM (Bourbon French)

Wikipedia tells us that only a very few varieties of the cherry tree blossom actually have scent, described as very faint combinations of lilac, rose, vanilla and almond. Unfortunately, the distilled oil of the cherry blossom is scentless, so the “effect” has to be manufactured in the perfume laboratory, using ingredients such as linalool (an aroma of rose and citrus), and terpineol, derived from pine resin or petitgrain (lilac). I must confess that I have never smelled cherry blossoms, so my impressions can’t be gauged by the memory of direct experience.

Bourbon French’s Cherry Blossom is a very soft, light scent, almost evanescent, which manages to capture a rose/vanilla accord that is most pleasing to my nose. I am grateful there seems to be no almond present, which can be so strong in and of itself, that it takes over anything it is added to. Cherry Blossom lays close to the skin with very little projection.

I consider this unisex and a perfect scent for warm weather, giving a bright floral aurora, without being heavy or cloying. As such, it fits into the current world preference for perfumes and colognes that merely suggest scent in passing.

Recommended for the modern audience who prefer impressions of scent to the actual scent itself.

04th December, 2020

Honeysuckle by Bourbon French Parfums

HONEYSUCKLE (Bourbon French)

There are currently 43 scents in the Basenotes library with the name Honeysuckle. My only exposure to the scent was on the landscape of a former country home, where a pink honeysuckle bush bloomed every year. The intoxicating sweetness of the scent came to be depended on as part of Spring’s annual evocation.

Bourbon French’s Honeysuckle soliflore is quite sweet and heady and to the best of my memory, true to the original. There is a slightly green undercurrent, similar to what one experiences with Lily of the Valley (Muguet), which helps to cut and balance the sugary evanescence. It is certainly feminine and definitely not unisex.

It’s difficult to know when to wear this in the modern world. Perhaps it would be best suited for a very young woman and best to apply sparingly, as it is quite pungent with excellent projection, so would be out of place as a day scent or in the work place. Although not olaceous, it has the similar strength of such powerhouse scents as tuberose, gardenia, jasmine and orange blossom.

An excellent soliflore creation for the young and the young at heart.
03rd December, 2020

Cameo Rose by Bourbon French Parfums

CAMEO ROSE (Bourbon French)

Part of Bourbon French’s Lagniappe Oaks line, their Cameo Rose is said to contain rose, vanilla and unnamed spices. Upon first application all I can detect is the rose, their excellent soliflore scent. I await the arrival of the other notes, but alas, none appear to my nose, except a dry, peppery, cardamom-like note, which gives the rose a slight “edge.” For some, this may be enough to push it from a feminine rose to a unisex rose.

My spouse finds this to be soft, powdery, simple, and gentle. He also finds that it has good projection and gets richer as it warms. He agrees that the peppery note gives it a masculine tinge.

All four BF Rose scents (Rose, Tea Rose, Oriental Rose, Cameo Rose) are most enjoyable and all can be recommended without reservation.
02nd December, 2020

Oriental Rose by Bourbon French Parfums

ORIENTAL ROSE (Bourbon French)

This is a delightful combination of rose, sandalwood, and amber. There is also a hint of menthol in the supporting notes. The aroma wafts upwards in succeeding clouds, which seem to be released in stages, as if proceeding from a scent diffuser, an effect unique in my experience.

Oriental Rose is a very dry scent, quietly complex and subtle. As it dries down, it wears close to the skin without significant projection. It develops a slight pepperiness that is pleasant and not at all pungent.

This is a rose that a man can easily wear, the sandalwood providing a warmth and sense of security. Thus, it is certainly unisex and can most probably be worn throughout the day and evening. Fine for office wear as well.

A nice addition to BF’s original Rose and Tea Rose soliflores.

29th November, 2020

Tea Rose by Bourbon French Parfums

TEA ROSE (Bourbon French)

There are currently 15 scents on Basenotes pages named Tea Rose, three from The Perfumer’s Workshop, where I first encountered the fragrance many years ago. It was also at the time the most affordable of the options and may still be. I recall that it was quite strong and true.

Bourbon French’s Tea Rose is also a true evocation, though less sharp, less pungent than the Perfumer’s Workshop version. There is also an earthy under-scent that provides a subtle green presence. I have a number of tea roses in my garden and although I have never likened their aroma to tea leaves, I do find it to be a soft and gentle alternative to the full-blown red rose (Bourbon, Damask, Bulgarian, Turkish).

There is in the tea rose a certain sharpness that is inescapable, a tart, attention-getting lift, that can be off-putting, but Bourbon French’s version maintains a demure presence, toning down that sharpness to an acceptable olfactory volume. It may best be enjoyed on someone else, rather than on one’s own skin.

Quite nice, true to its name, and recommended.
27th November, 2020

Rose by Bourbon French Parfums

ROSE (Bourbon French)

Bourbon French currently produces four rose-centric scents and I’ll be reviewing them over the next few days.

Their soliflore Rose is quite strong and true. I can detect both Bourbon and Damask oils here. There is a decided green supporting note, which truly evokes rose leaves as well as expanding the initial sensory experience of the petals themselves. As it dries down, a lovely peppery under-scent emerges. I can then experience what reminds me of attar of Turkish rose, rich, warm and full. Very soft and lovely.

This is a sumptuous rose experience and is so concentrated that a little spray or dab will last for many hours. One of their very best soliflores and one that can be heartily recommended.
26th November, 2020

Vanille Jardin by Bourbon French Parfums

VANILLE JARDIN (Bourbon French)

Vanille Jardin is a combination of the indolic notes of tuberose, narcissus (paper whites), and gardenia, contrasted with the somewhat sharp sweetness of muguet, and finally warmed by musk and vanilla.

It is rich, opulent, and at the same time, dry and restrained. This is a floral mélange that seems perfect for day and office wear. It never draws attention to itself, stays close to the skin, but is a delight for anyone passing by or in close proximity to the wearer.

It is for me one of Bourbon French’s outstanding successes. Although quite feminine, a man could pull this off, though for him, it would be out of place in the office or out and about, so would be best considered for romantic evening wear.

Masterful blending of the notes, all of which can be strong and dominant on their own. A very definite thumbs up for this lovely floral.

13th November, 2020

Lady Evangeline by Bourbon French Parfums

LADY EVANGELINE (Bourbon French)

Lady Evangeline is named after the heroine of an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, published in 1847. It details a young woman’s search for her love, after being separated during the Acadian Expulsion by the British, stemming from the French and Indian War in the 1750s. When conquered by the British, the Acadians chose to remain neutral in the war, something the British would not allow. They burned their villages and forced the inhabitants to repatriate throughout the wilderness west of what would be the future initial states of the USA, as far as Mississippi and Louisiana, where the poem ends.

The scent is a blend of true vanilla and both sweet and bitter almond. It is very warm and inviting, true to the character of the loyal, loving heroine it is named after. There is a lovely nuttiness here as well, perhaps hazelnut. This is a true gourmand scent, but has none of the cloying “vanilla candle” quality of BF’s single scent, Vanille. It speaks of the kitchen of colonial days, homey and down to earth.

I find it to be very agreeable and oddly unisex. While not a fan of gourmand scents in general, I can find no fault with this happy, congenial scent. It is even something one could gift one’s mother or even grandmother with.

BF’s site mentions a blend of vanilla, musk and spices, though I cannot detect single spices to identify. A fitting tribute to its namesake.

12th November, 2020
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Vanille by Bourbon French Parfums

VANILLE (Bourbon French)

Perhaps the original “gourmand” scent, vanilla permeates the world of baking and perfumery and is one of those “comfort” aromas that always reminds one of home and the holidays. It evokes happiness, peace and contentment.

Bourbon French uses the vanilla note in a number of their creations, the first being the single scent, Vanille. This is not the scent of the pure vanilla bean, nor of vanilla extract. Upon first application, there is an underlying odor of naphthalene, as if one were lifting the scent out of its moth ball storage. This quickly fades, leaving another lingering aroma that seems to be present in all fruity florals available today, the ubiquitous strawberry/peach accord. This fruity floral base remains with vanilla floating over and under it, removing Vanille from the category of soliflore. It is the scent of vanilla scented candles at holiday time.

For those who love Mugler’s Angel, Vanille is a less complex, but still compelling, version. This is a scent that will win some noses, but repel others. It is merely a matter of taste. I find it enjoyable, but do advise to sample first.
11th November, 2020

Clubman Reserve : Whiskey Woods by Pinaud

Pinaud – Clubman Reserve Whiskey Woods

Intrigued by R Baker’s review and the low cost of Whiskey Woods, I decided to give it a whirl. It is quite subtle and soft and wears close to the skin. The opening is to my nose a quality sandalwood, brightened by bergamot, and rounded out and sweetened by the dry tobacco leaf. I fail to detect the bourbon note, which removes half of the equation.

It is not what I expected. It is not a bomb, considering it is a masculine scent. It is gentle and refined with a touch of smoke. It is not complex, just basic and good. A perfect choice for the young man, just starting out in the world of scent, but equally fine for a man of any age. It is certainly acceptable for a woman as well. It is best considered for use during cold weather.

Whiskey Woods projects quiet confidence. Worth an investment of $8-$10 for the six ounce bottle.

30th October, 2020

Patchouli by Bourbon French Parfums

PATCHOULI (Bourbon French)

Patchouli is one of those scents that is indelibly impressed into the olfactory experience of anyone coming of age in the 1960s. Young men and women of the era were not into wearing scent, with the one exception of patchouli oil, which seemed to be the universal aroma of head shops, and Asian import emporiums, which supplied the incense sticks, scarves, bracelets and other jewelry worn by the Hippie generation.

Bourbon French’s Patchouli opens very green and raw, but quickly quiets down to a scent reminiscent of cedar/pencil shavings and turpentine. The unctuousness of the patchouli oil I am used to is not present here. Although the rawness evolves into a warm, quiet scent, it is very much a singular base note and not enriched with any supporting or expansive fellow notes, such as sandalwood or vanilla, often found in combination with patchouli to soften and round it out.

For purists, this is one-note, but still more reminiscent to my nose of cedar than of patchouli. As such, it is perfectly decent for those who like the scent, but not remarkable in any way.
18th October, 2020

Le Golliwogg by Vigny

LE GOLLIWOGG (Vigny, 1918/1924)

Top notes Bergamot, Clove
Heart notes: Muguet, Ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Violet
Base notes: Vetiver, Vanilla, Civet, Styrax, Tonka, Sandalwood, Oak Moss, Musk, Patchouli, Ambergris

The Golliwogg is currently suffering from an undeserved rap, due to the modern repugnance with anything remotely connected to racism. It began life in the late 19th century as a doll, which appeared in a number of children’s books by Florence Upton. The doll is represented by black skin, eyes rimmed in white, with red lips and frizzy black hair (an Afro, if you will).
Golliwoggs were loved by children of all races, along with the ubiquitous teddy bear, up until the 1970s and were collected in the Caribbean.

Golliwogg’s Cake Walk is the final piece in Debussy’s Children’s Corner Suite. They appeared as toy dolls and as motifs for Robertson’s jams.

In 1924 Vigny created a scent, Le Golliwogg, which appeared in a round clear bottle with a Golliwogg head as the stopper. Representations of this bottle are now forbidden on the internet, with Ebay and Etsy banning them, either with or without contents. At least Vigny provided an alternate bottle shape, so that the scent at least can be offered for sale. I am surprised to see the original bottle represented on the Basenotes page.

I am experiencing an unopened bottle of pure parfum. The half ounce has evaporated to less than 1/8 ounce, so it is very concentrated. As you can see from the note tree, it is quite base heavy with ten building blocks.

This is a floral chypre that is warm, dark, and rich, redolent of vanilla, musk and ambergris, deepened by the vetiver, civet and styrax. There is an impression in this mix of the scent of a rich, deep, flavored, brewed coffee, as if one was experiencing the aroma from a distance. Remember those Rolo candies with caramel and coffee flavors wrapped in chocolate? The florals appear late in the opening, managing to claw their way to the top of the base notes. One can finally get whiffs of the rose, jasmine and violet as time goes on. That hidden clove and muguet provide a prominent edge, a slight tingle that gives it an olfactory lift.

It is certainly unisex by today’s standards and wearable throughout the day and evening, though perhaps more suited to an evening out. It is quiet, subtle, stays close to the body with little projection. It smells absolutely delicious, deepening the longer you wear it and always changing ever so slightly as hidden depths rise to the surface.

Ever so rare, but thankfully still available from on-line sellers. One to seek out for sure!


16th October, 2020

Freesia by Bourbon French Parfums

FREESIA (Bourbon French)

In pure jasmine oil, there is a green under note that supports the floral sweetness and gives it both contrast and support.

This is true of Bourbon French’s Freesia soliflore as well. The heady sweetness of the freesia flower itself is presented here with green support and a tiny hint of woods.

There are currently 42 scents in the Basenotes pages, denoting Freesia in their names. This is worthy to be counted among them.
13th October, 2020

French Lavender by Bourbon French Parfums

ENGLISH AND FRENCH LAVENDER (Bourbon French)

Bourbon French organizes their two lavender scents by gender, relegating the English Lavender to women, and the French Lavender to men. I will be comparing them here and publishing the results on both Basenotes pages.

I applied the English Lavender to one wrist and forearm, the French to the other, and went back and forth as they both dried down.

Somehow I expected the English Lavender to be soft and powdery and the French to be strong and sharp. The assigned gender bias would then make sense. What my nose experiences is the opposite effect. The English is strong, vegetal and pungent, green and slightly harsh; the French is so smooth and soft, it is barely detectable in comparison. My spouse, experimenting with me, agrees, so I know my nose is not misbehaving.

Both lavenders are strong, neither whispers nor insinuates. So, in a sense, both are economical, requiring small doses for maximum effect. A most interesting experiment for me. I can recommend both, but in opposite classifications than intended by the house.




08th October, 2020

English Lavender by Bourbon French Parfums

ENGLISH AND FRENCH LAVENDER (Bourbon French)

Bourbon French organizes their two lavender scents by gender, relegating the English Lavender to women, and the French Lavender to men. I will be comparing them here and publishing the results on both Basenotes pages.

I applied the English Lavender to one wrist and forearm, the French to the other, and went back and forth as they both dried down.

Somehow I expected the English Lavender to be soft and powdery and the French to be strong and sharp. The assigned gender bias would then make sense. What my nose experiences is the opposite effect. The English is strong, vegetal and pungent, green and slightly harsh; the French is so smooth and soft, it is barely detectable in comparison. My spouse, experimenting with me, agrees, so I know my nose is not misbehaving.

Both lavenders are strong, neither whispers nor insinuates. So, in a sense, both are economical, requiring small doses for maximum effect. A most interesting experiment for me. I can recommend both, but in opposite classifications than intended by the house.




08th October, 2020

Victorian Lace by Bourbon French Parfums

VICTORIAN LACE (Bourbon French)

Bourbon French’s Victorian Lace (part of the Lagniappe Oaks line) is an old-fashioned floral medley. The notes are all ajumble, but that is not a bad thing. Part of the fun involved is trying to pick out the individual notes. BF describes the blend as a “crisp, tailored floral.”

Rose and jasmine are certainly present in the center with the pungent green notes of muguet setting them off. I am detecting whiffs of vanilla and perhaps some cardamom as well. BF further describes the scent as “a demure, floral blend, reminiscent of an English garden on a dewy morning.” I wouldn’t describe the scent as demure, but I do find it “crisp” in its attention-getting muguet/rose combination.

I am most reminded of the scent of a dried potpourri after sitting in sunlight and then stirred. It is quite feminine, sweet and heady. Certainly old-fashioned, centered, and calm. This is a scent for the mature woman, to be worn in winter, as the heat of summer may make it cloying. A scent for all occasions: work, dinner, theater, party.

A delight and recommended.
07th October, 2020

Mignonette by Bourbon French Parfums

MIGNONETTE (Bourbon French)

Perfume Intelligence lists 22 scents bearing the name Mignonette. These stretch from the 1800s through 1940 (Lucien Lelong) with just one produced after that date, and rather recently, by Voluspa (2007). Wikipedia notes it was used as a sedative and a treatment for bruises in Roman times, and was grown in our own age for its “sweet, ambrosial scent,” profusely used in flower arrangements, potpourris and perfumes. Like so many other “old-fashioned” floral oils (wisteria, lilac, etc.), it has lost its popularity in modern times and is rarely experienced. Bourbon French’s offering fills the gap.

Bourbon French’s Mignonette is part of their Lagniappe Oaks series. It is sweet, but with a green, herbal undertone, which keeps it from becoming too sweet. It is quiet, dusty, warm, a trifle sharp in a good way, and wears close to the skin. The overall impression is more herbal than floral. It is quite nice in a subdued sense.

The French term, Mignonette, was originally named for a sachet of peppercorns, cloves and spices. There is also a Mignonette sauce of shallots, pepper and vinegar, used as a cocktail sauce for oysters. From these two we get the common ingredient of pepper and this is most probably the cause of the herbal impression I am getting from the parfum.

A very decent, dry scent, elusive with quiet demeanor.
02nd October, 2020

Dark Garden by Bourbon French Parfums

DARK GARDEN (Bourbon French)

An appropriate name for this combination of damask rose and five base notes (amber, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla). It is somber, dark, reserved and undemanding. The impression I get is that this is most appropriately worn at funerals, where the usual choice would be to wear nothing at all, so as not to stand out or bring anything disturbing to the overall pall of grief.

This is not to say anything against the scent itself. What most stands out are the rose and the patchouli, rounded by the amber and vanilla. It is certainly dry, quiet, is really a skin scent as it does not project, and is perfectly respectable. It is promoted as a unisex scent and I can agree with that. It would be appropriate for either sex to wear.

I can’t get excited over Dark Garden, but it certainly has its place in societal use. For use on somber, serious occasions.


01st October, 2020

Lilac by Bourbon French Parfums

LILAC (Bourbon French)

This is the same scent you will find listed under Bourbon French’s soliflore scents as simply, Lilac, so no need to sample both. I’ll place this review in both of the corresponding Basenotes pages for cross reference.

Lilacs seem to have gone out of favor these days. In the 19th and early 20th century, a bank of them seemed to be a standard of every yard and garden. Their sweet and slightly musty smell is one of the loveliest harbingers of spring, especially when warm winds waft their scent throughout one’s home.

For many years, soliflore lilac scents proliferated in the perfume world, as well as being components of more complex compositions. Perfume Intelligence lists hundreds of scents named Lilac or the French equivalent, Lilas. One of the last I recall devoted to lilac was Caswell Massey’s Daphne.

Bourbon French’s take on the note appears both as a soliflore and within their Lagniappe Oaks Heirloom range as Lilac & Lace. The scent opens with a true whiff of lilac, which is then taken over by a mint note (this happens also with their Mimosa and their Wisteria & Lace), thus compromising the true lilac note. It is unclear to me why Bourbon French does this, which makes all three scents virtually the same – mint with a floral background – but this is not for me to judge.

As such it is a pleasant scent, but being untrue to its origin, must be given a neutral rating from me.

30th September, 2020

Lilac & Lace by Bourbon French Parfums

LILAC & LACE (Bourbon French)

This is the same scent you will find listed under Bourbon French’s soliflore scents as simply, Lilac, so no need to sample both. I’ll place this review in both of the corresponding Basenotes pages for cross reference.

Lilacs seem to have gone out of favor these days. In the 19th and early 20th century, a bank of them seemed to be a standard of every yard and garden. Their sweet and slightly musty smell is one of the loveliest harbingers of spring, especially when warm winds waft their scent throughout one’s home.

For many years, soliflore lilac scents proliferated in the perfume world, as well as being components of more complex compositions. Perfume Intelligence lists hundreds of scents named Lilac or the French equivalent, Lilas. One of the last I recall devoted to lilac was Caswell Massey’s Daphne.

Bourbon French’s take on the note appears both as a soliflore and within their Lagniappe Oaks Heirloom range as Lilac & Lace. The scent opens with a true whiff of lilac, which is then taken over by a mint note (this happens also with their Mimosa and their Wisteria & Lace), thus compromising the true lilac note. It is unclear to me why Bourbon French does this, which makes all three scents virtually the same – mint with a floral background – but this is not for me to judge.

As such, it is a pleasant scent, but being untrue to its name, must be given a neutral rating from me.

30th September, 2020

Wisteria & Lace by Bourbon French Parfums

WISTERIA & LACE (Bourbon French)

The scent of wisteria now belongs to history. The fragrant hanging flowers of this hardy vine used to be staples in nineteenth century and early twentieth century gardens and arbors, but it is a plant that has fallen into disuse and abandonment over the past seventy years. Even more so, the soliflore scent in perfumery. There are but 29 scents named Wisteria in Perfume Intelligence, the earliest dated 1908, with 16 currently in production, dating from 1997, according to Basenotes pages. This indicates a relatively newly rekindled interest in the scent.

BF’s take is an interesting scent, heavy, sweet and minty, reminiscent of BF’s soliflore, Mimosa. I recall the scent of the flower itself to be heavy and musky, in the way that Lilac shares these traits. I don’t recall any mintiness at all, so this must be an added note. BF also mentions oak moss, but I do not detect any.

Wikipedia tells us that certain wisterias are sweet, others musky. There is no mention of mint in any of their scent descriptions for this flower, so what I am experiencing here does seem to be an added note. As such, it does not reflect the soliflore itself, but a blend. If you don’t like mint, you won’t like Wisteria & Lace. I consider this unisex. Difficult to know when and where to wear. An intriguing but odd scent.

I’m giving this a neutral review, since it is not pure wisteria, but it is a fresh, minty scent that is fine on its own without any comparisons.









29th September, 2020

Cameo Noir by Bourbon French Parfums

CAMEO NOIR (Bourbon French)

Although I was unimpressed with Bourbon French’s Sandlewood, I am most impressed with their “Woods” composition for women, Cameo Noir.

Here is a blend of gorgeous sandalwood, cedar and a touch of vetiver. There may be a bit of patchouli in the mix as well. A feast of resins, superbly and subtly blended, and although I have no problem with this being marketed as a scent for women, I would recommend that they also consider marketing it for men, as it is most appropriate for our sex as well.

Cameo Noir is warm, rich, soft, very fragrant, and possesses a certain creaminess that blends beautifully with one’s natural oils, making it a truly impressive skin scent, although projection is quite good as well. I would imagine this can be worn anytime, for any occasion.

I am not usually a fan of blended woods, as most takes on this genre can have a harshness in emphasizing one particular wood over others, but this is a truly masterful blend, a real stunner, and another winner from this impressive house.

28th September, 2020

Magnolia by Bourbon French Parfums

MAGNOLIA (Bourbon French)

The owner of Bourbon French informs me that Les Fleurs Magnolia from the Lagniappe Oaks series is the same as the their own soliflore, Magnolia, so I will be leaving this review on both of the corresponding Basenotes pages.

Wikipedia tells me there are 210 species of Magnolia, some of them full of scent, some of the them scentless. In New England I have not come across any that have a scent, so experiencing Bourbon French’s offering is my first exposure.

It is quite beautiful, reminding me of both jasmine and gardenia at the same time. It has an underlying green quality and a heavy, white floral emanation that is warm and enveloping. The sweet olive (osmanthus) shares a certain similarity in its overall impression. It is dry, dark and musky. It fits neatly into the jasmine/gardenia/tuberose/white ginger lily/plumeria type of floral scent, which we are led to believe are typical of southern gardens, utilizing their heavy unctuousness to draw pollinating insects from plant to plant.

This is certainly a feminine scent. It would be difficult for a man to pull off wearing this in public, but there is nothing to prevent us from enjoying it in private. A lady might enjoy wearing this to a party or dance, but avoid using when going to dinner, as this would certainly interfere with the enjoyment of the viands’ own olfactory outputs.

A heavy, olacious, white floral that is sumptuous, warm and rich. Recommended for lovers of soliflore florals.

27th September, 2020

Les Fleurs Magnolia by Bourbon French Parfums

LES FLEURS MAGNOLIA (Bourbon French)

The owner of Bourbon French informs me that Les Fleurs Magnolia from the Lagniappe Oaks series is the same as the their own soliflore, Magnolia, so I will be leaving this review on both of the corresponding Basenotes pages.

Wikipedia tells me there are 210 species of Magnolia, some of them full of scent, some of the them scentless. In New England I have not come across any that have a scent, so experiencing Bourbon French’s offering is my first exposure.

It is quite beautiful, reminding me of both jasmine and gardenia at the same time. It has an underlying green quality and a heavy, white floral emanation that is warm and enveloping. The sweet olive (osmanthus) shares a certain similarity in its overall impression. It is dry, dark and musky. It fits neatly into the jasmine/gardenia/tuberose/white ginger lily/plumeria type of floral scent, which we are led to believe are typical of southern gardens, utilizing their heavy unctuousness to draw pollinating insects from plant to plant.

This is certainly a feminine scent. It would be difficult for a man to pull off wearing this in public, but there is nothing to prevent us from enjoying it in private. A lady might enjoy wearing this to a party or dance, but avoid using when going to dinner, as this would certainly interfere with the enjoyment of the viands’ own olfactory outputs.

A heavy, olacious, white floral that is sumptuous, warm and rich. Recommended for lovers of soliflore florals.

27th September, 2020

WJL by Bourbon French Parfums

WJL (Bourbon French)

Bourbon French’s website gives us no information as to what the initials stand for, a name one imagines in their historical past, but the scent itself stands alone as a beautiful achievement, regardless of its namesake.

“Warm oriental spices with woodsy undertones” is the only description provided and it is certainly accurate. A guessing game as to what exactly is in this proves difficult. There is an excellent musk at work here, as I imagine the civet I think I am experiencing can no longer legally be an ingredient. A smooth sandalwood/cedar/patchouli base is perhaps in place, with some light cardamom and cinnamon laid over.

It would seem appropriate to me for this to be worn year round on all occasions, but especially in the evening for both formal and intimate occasions.

The blend is warm, subtle, inviting, powdery, yet masculine, and is for me one of their very best men’s scents (right up there with 525 and Eau de Noir).
26th September, 2020