Perfume Reviews

Reviews by kingofengland

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Total Reviews: 187

Cuir d'Iris by Atelier Materi

Very nice orris. Predominantly woody but also carrots, earth, violets. Gentle and subtle. Some reviewers have said horses, I'm not too sure about that but there could be a hay filled barn with saddles and bridles. Excellent scent and truly unisex.
25th September, 2020

Le Vainqueur by Rancé

Agree with Colin Maillard's assessment below. Less a perfume than a random mix of aromachemicals. No idea how it survives in the marketplace but maybe people buy it for the bottle and packaging
24th September, 2020

Héroique by Rancé 1795

Less boring and characterless than many of the other Rance offerings, the head note of pineapple can be discerned, but most of the other declared ingredients don't make much sense. My dominant impression is a hot paper-and-printing press odour, very like aldehyde TMH. Whether this material is present I have no idea, but the effect is by no means unpleasant

I agree with Tol58, there is a parallel of Rance with Creed both in the ancient heritage of the brands and the type of weird, nondescript scents which comprise a significant part of the catalogue
24th September, 2020
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Peau d'Ambrette by Atelier Materi

The angelica roots can be distinctly detected, against a musky, sweet and slightly gourmand background. Subtle and gentle scent and one of the stars of this series. Packaging looks attractive and the concrete caps are said to be hand made, everything made exclusively by women. The very high price is difficult to justify, all the same.
22nd September, 2020

Poivre Pomelo by Atelier Materi

My favourite of the Atelier Materi series. Fresh lemony spicy. It made me curious to buy some Timur Pepper, said to be the key ingredient.
22nd September, 2020

Santal Blond by Atelier Materi

Not really typical of sandalwood in my opinion. More in the direction of coconut/fig, with a note making me think of lauryl alcohol or the detergent used for bubble blowing. And especially of a powerful Firmenich speciality called Cedarome. The vintage formula of Cedar Wood for men by Goya also had this smell.
22nd September, 2020

Malt by Akro

I am not a whisky connoisseur, don't like the stuff much, but that smoky-peaty aroma, which aficionados revere and which to me recalls the antiseptic TCP, is faithfully represented here. Distilleries such as Islay make much of their proximity to the sea, and I note the declared ingredients of this fragrance include seaweed. Top marks for authenticity and originality.
29th August, 2020

Haze by Akro

This fragrance really smells like its stated ingredients, which is by no means always the case. You can pick out the artemisia, and the eucalyptus, and I got the rough composition before reading the product info, which again is unusual.

Though the overall effect is pleasing it is not too different from what one associates with aromatherapy blends or even home made mixtures. The marketing stuff about addictions to cannabis I find off-putting and in rather poor taste, and does not convince me to fork out significant money.

I have rated it as thumbs up however because this bold and camphoraceous fragrance is interesting and different.

The brand calligraphy is artfully done.

23rd August, 2020

Awake by Akro

My impression is coffee concentrate of the 'Camp' variety or else stale instant coffee powder. It certainly hasn't got the freshly roasted quality that you get outside a coffee shop, which is so attractive. I think it is probably an acquired taste.
23rd August, 2020

Brittany Breeze by Lubin

It is a pleasant enough perfume with a complex anisic and slightly minty character, but despite the overall image and name, marine notes are not really evident.
16th August, 2020

Oxiana by Profumum

Thoroughly modern but totally nondescript, apart from a vague aura of sticking plaster which is all that is left in some ultra-minimalist apologies for perfumes nowadays after everything interesting has been taken out. You might find it behind a glass case at your local Boots chemist along with other similar products.
23rd July, 2020

Camélia Chinois / Eau de Camélia Chinois by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Passable floral scent with watery green facets of the type commonly found in soaps and air fresheners. Appears unrelated to its declared ingredients. Not really worth reviewing.
23rd July, 2020

Bahiana by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Grapefruit, tropical fruit, floral and woody notes. Closely resembles Minotaure from Pablo Picasso, and to a lesser extent South Bay from The different Company. Both Bahiana and Route du Vetiver share a pleasant sort of bitter freshness.
22nd July, 2020
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Garrigue by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Want to spend a lot of money on a generic Drakkar Noir style mens' scent that's trickled down into half the cut price supermarkets in the country? Here's your chance.
21st July, 2020

Route du Vétiver by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

I smell rhubarb. Not as strident as styrallyl acetate, more like rhubofix (Firmenich) with its woody aspect.
21st July, 2020

Arso by Profumum

The sweet Fir Balsam note is to the fore, it is not a bad fragrance and as noted below there are echoes of Norne by Slumberhouse and Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors. However it is less raw than Norne, smoother and more perfume-y and lacks the interesting wild strawberry facet of Cape Heartache.
In fact it veers towards Cartier Declaration in its general sophistication, which in turn begins to approach Femininite du Bois to an uncomfortable degree - I say uncomfortable since whilst it might have seemed ok when it first appeared, the sweet cloying cedar-ionone-musk accord has invaded everywhere.
As Scent Detective notes below, asking for this product by name in English speaking shops might raise a few eyebrows. I am reminded of when I first went to university and a fellow chemist was telling me about a chemical body related to pyrrole, but with arsenic in place of the nitrogen, whose name was the cause of some amusement.
Leaving such irrelevant matters aside, I prefer Profumum's Olibanum which has a rather similar but slightly lighter odour, and an impeccably respectable name into the bargain.
21st July, 2020

Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi

Teint de Neige, loosely translated as Sprinkling of Snow, (literally, "snowy complexion") is one of Lorenzo Villoresi's best-selling fragrances.

Snow makes me think of Russia rather than of Italy, and sure enough there are echoes here of Red Moscow, the famous Russian perfume by Brocard (1913). That perfume, the original vintage of which I recently had the opportunity to smell, brings to mind the Russia of the Tsars and the opulence of a bygone era.

Teint de Neige is also an ode to the past. It recalls a vanished world of graceful living, where ballets were more lavish than they are today, attended only by the most distinguished, refined and impeccably dressed members of high society. Go behind the scenes and you may catch the scent of the dressing rooms where the starlets are powdering their faces.

Like Red Moscow, the Italian fragrance features rose, ylang and heliotrope. It is a very "powdery" perfume. What does that mean? Perfumers use the term for woody-violet or orris (iris) notes, long lasting and reminiscent of body powder, face powder or talc. In keeping with this, Teint de Neige is available as a body powder. Like a sprinkling of snow, it suggests softness and a caressing quality, plus an overall clean feeling.

Product evaluated: Beauty Soap (box of 3, see my pic). These soaps have an elegant faceted decahedron shape. Set off by their white box, they are the colour of pale sandstone or - yes - face powder. The scent, though not excessively strong, is diffusive enough to perfume your bathroom and even beyond, lending to your house the discreet aura of a classy establishment.
21st July, 2020

Phtaloblue by Tauer

One of the best sea fragrances of recent times, on a par with Zoologist Squid though very different. First impression was aldehydic freshness, a genuine feeling of the coast, nicely paired with a coumarinic undertone.

This is more sea-like than Tauer's Swiss Mountain Air, but sharing something in common. It also recalls Lancome's Aquatonic for men, but fresher.

Regarding declared ingredients, fennel etc, I take these with a pinch of salt - this is a new launch and they are not likely to give away all their trade secrets. Also, beware misinformation; I mean, gourmand? Are you kidding?

In terms of aroma molecules, I first thought of Scentenal (Firmenich). Possibly adoxal, maybe calone. I just wish I had a pocket GCMS.
20th July, 2020 (last edited: 30th July, 2020)

Battito d'Ali by Profumum

Sweet, laundry-fresh, powerful, gourmand, rosy, musky. Unisex. I have come across the scent before, possibly a perfume by Naomi Goodsir, so it's probably not totally original. I can't remember how it was described but I'm sure not in terms of angels' wings, this is over the top even for perfume writing.
Reminds of ?cetonial (Givaudan). And Gaultier's Le Male, to some extent
17th July, 2020 (last edited: 27th July, 2020)

Thundra by Profumum

Patchouli is said by perfumers to include a minty aspect as part of the aroma profile, and this has been accentuated here.

There was a comment in previous reviews about an unmistakable lavender note, and other reviewers have remarked on a mushroomy aspect, which is logical as mushroom is part of the lavender profile, so I would guess lavender is also part of the formula. Or they may have included materials like amyl vinyl carbinol

Although an interesting odour, Thundra is probably not that easy to wear as most people prefer to get away from musty and mushroomy smells. The mustiness hints at old books, a damp wine cellar or even a cheese shop - pleasant, but not necessarily wearable.

Could be ok for elderly academics who spend their time in libraries.
13th July, 2020 (last edited: 17th July, 2020)

Acqua di Sale by Profumum

It has a a definite marine aspect, though not as strongly marine as squid by Zoologist. It doesn't stir me with memories of the seaside or anything like than so in view of the excessive price, I am neutral on it.
01st July, 2020 (last edited: 17th July, 2020)

Victrix by Profumum

Fresh, dry, herbal, resinous, green. Pine. Masculine. Good first impression but could be a bit acrid if applied generously

My first impression was angelica, against a fresh clean and rather green background. ?some calone.

The final drydown is a pleasant white pepper odour, which will form the sillage of the regular user.

The fragrance possibly has something common with Clive Christian 1872, not least the extortionate price. And also with Frederick Malle's Angeliques sous la Pluie and French Lover, all these perfumes share a dry herbal muskiness and a high price.

Finally there could possibly be an association with Italian restaurants, and some of the herbs which go into pizza.

An interesting and attractive composition.
30th June, 2020 (last edited: 30th July, 2020)

Fumidus by Profumum

It smells like plain Haitian vetiver to me, not convinced about either the birch bark or the scotch. The price is excessive for a solution of vetiver oil, even if of good quality, but I have given it a thumbs up as I like vetiver.
Update: As an experiment I compared it side by side with a sample of Vetiver Haiti supplied to me 35 years ago by Firmenich, so nicely aged. The two were difficult to tell apart but I had a slight preference for the Fumidus, which was just a shade fuller and richer. A minor difference, but worth it to some people no doubt.
30th June, 2020 (last edited: 17th July, 2020)

Acqua Viva by Profumum

Sharp fresh lemon, very similar if not totally identical to Jo Malone's classic, Verbenas of Provence.
25th June, 2020

Single Malt by By Kilian

Sweet, rich woody fragrance without much connection with malt whisky in my opinion. Smelled blind, I doubt you would identify a connection with that drink. Like Femininity du Bois and all these similar woody oriental compositions, it doesn't do much for me.
25th June, 2020

Nobile by Gucci

Smells more like Drakkar Noir than Drakkar Noir. OK if you want to smell like a thousand other functional products for men, since this scent has become so generic.
25th June, 2020

Clash : Celluloid Galbanum by Comme des Garçons

It is an ok, pleasant enough greenish fragrance but nothing exceptional. If galbanum was involved at all, a bottle of it may have been waved in the air at the time of manufacture. The celluloid may just be to stimulate your curiosity to try yet another run of the mill scent. Disingenuous stuff from C de G and no credit at all to the ideals of the brand.
25th June, 2020

Or Black by Pascal Morabito

I was moved to buy a miniature of this by Luca Turin's assessment quoted above. Having said that I dislike almost all the fragrances he extols the virtues of, so my reaction to this is probably going to be neutral or worse.

The particular sample I tested paired a smoky violet aspect alongside a very familiar earthy odour I couldn't place at first, but then I got it. Verdoracine. No doubt about it, once smelled that earthy rootiness is not forgotten.

With that realisation, some of the intriguing fascination of the perfume was dispelled, so I probably won't bother searching for a big bottle.

23rd June, 2020

Fath's Essentials : Lilas Exquis by Jacques Fath

Excellent, very fresh and natural lilac composition, my favourite of the new Fath lineup. It is a good mens fragrance, reminding me of the classic palmolive lather shaving cream, in the days before they updated it to a more mentholated composition.

The only downside is that the final drydown develops a gourmand, cherry-pie or almond like quality found in a number of other modern compositions, which is less attractive in my view. It is probably due to heliotropin or similar. This only appears after several days but is important because it determines the residual odour which lingers on the regular user.

Nevertheless, this did not stop me buying a bottle.
20th June, 2020 (last edited: 04th July, 2020)

Fath's Essentials : Vers Le Sud by Jacques Fath

Generally I don't like fig leaf as it can be harsh and coconutty but it comes over well here, blended in with other notes. The fragrance has something in common with Fath's excellent Lilas Exquis, perhaps due to the 'violet' accord shared in common, though the fragrances are attributed to different perfumers.
20th June, 2020