Perfume Reviews

Reviews by rbaker

Advertisement
Total Reviews: 2853
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Clubman Reserve : Gents Gin by Pinaud

Gin is in - the opening blast; a straight London dry Gin in style with a good lashing of juniper aroma - I don’t get any aged gin here. A twist of lime is added in, which makes a nice combination.

Later on a touch of cedar emerges in the background and adds further depth, but the wood very much remains in the background.

I get moderate sillage, and good projection initially, but the longevity is a short two hours - then this is only sold as an after shave, so the limited performance is acceptable.

A typical no-nonsense Clubman After Shave; nothing exciting but nicely done and doing the job well. 3/5
20th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Frangipani Flower by Jo Malone London

The frangipani and the ylang-ylang dominate the opening blast on me. The frangipani develops a restrained spice with a smooth texture, whilst the ylang-ylang is characterised by its lean character; it is neither rich nor creamy, but rather bright and elegant. This might be enhanced by the lemony background that develops quite slowly on me and not straight up at the beginning.

The middle phase adds a jasmine impression that never manages to outflank the previous notes, and at times I get whiffs of green lavender-ish impression.

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

A pleasant spring scent that delivers a niche rendering of the me frangipani, bit that is a bit too bland otherwise. 2.75/5

19th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Golden Needle Tea by Jo Malone

The opening is characterised by the prominence of a gently spicy note. This is a smooth spice mix, neither sharp nor hot, and without any ceremonious of medicinal feel. The Yunnan tea buds arrive a bit later, very discreet, mild, neither smoky nor tannic, and more an accompanying feature - the buds are not that intense.

The is a leather coming in at a later stage, an light and smooth suede that blends in nicely. A touch of wood - sandal - that is very much in the backgound - rounds off the whole mix. Just a touch of styrax - again very gentle - comes and goes too. Whiffs of candlewax make a transient appearance.

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

A mild tea and a more convincing gentle spice are the major player in the scent for warmer autumn days. It is a bit linear and pale at times, but overall it has an original touch and is crafted solidly. Good for work. 3/5
18th September, 2020
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Tuberose Angelica by Jo Malone

This starts out with a tuberose, and this really the main thrust of this creation. Quite a bright tuberose, neither thick or heavy but with a touch of levity and trim. At here is a restrainedly indolic undertone with just a light waxiness.

The angelica it weak in me and somewhat on the perfunctory side, as is the amber that appear just before the end.

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

This is a nice tuberose for warmer spring days, unusually light-hearted and bright, but the rest is a disappointment. 2.75/5.
17th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Magnolia Folie Extrait de Cologne by Roger & Gallet

The magnolia is in the foreground indeed. Pleasant, bright and representing a good rendering of this soulful flower.

A nice jasmine arises soon, a jasmine with a m green undertone and no powdery characteristic. Hint of orange blossom and just a whiff of muguet add to the white floral basket.

Woods and patchouli toward the end. Cedar, a whiff of oak, and a soft and light patchouli that blends in well with the other notes.

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

For spring a scent, definitely, a bit traditional but skinned down to become a lean and modern floral. A bit bland at stages though. 3/5.
16th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Honey & Crocus by Jo Malone London

There is some honey in the opening indeed; not a rich and dark honey, but a lighter version. The honey is combined with a pleasant almond milk form the start, and these two constitute the top Niue’s on me.

Very soon the crocus arises; it is very restrained and hiding behind the notes that developed previously. Not a spring field in England, but more a shy small bunch of the flower.

Virtually concurrently with the crocus a lavender arises. A lovely lavender, with a green undertone and not sweet at all. This lavender moves into the foreground closer to the end.

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

This spring scent is nicely done and not without an original twist, but the crocus is too pale and the honey a bit too diluted to entince. The notes that are not in the name are the most intense and convincing ones. Still, a - just - positive score. 3/5.
15th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Sweet Lemon by Jo Malone

The name is fitting: it starts with a clear sweet lemon; not that bright but quite intense. A good sweet lemon.

Very swiftly a nine of fruit is added. A pleasant pineapple arises, very balanced and not too sweet. Ripe peaches are also present, and a lovely impression of ripened Williams pears appear transiently too.

Toward the end a woodsy undertone is detectable - cypress and whiffs of pine - the latter very faint though.

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

A nice scent for cooler summer days, with a Good rendering of the sweet lemons. Fruity, a bit linear and lacking depth, but crafted well. 3/5.
14th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Violet & Amber Absolu by Jo Malone London

The opening is dominated by two components.

Firstly a violet that is nice, not really dark, and quite well done; I also get a bit of violet leaf here.

Secondly, a patchouli that is a bit shadowy, with a bit of crispness, and that takes on characteristics of some of the predictable and egregiously synthetic oud notes that are pullulating the fragrance shelves of many department stores these days. Both notes work together quite well, but one wonders whether less ‘oud’ and more violet would have been preferable. Still, the oud is less shrill or intrusive than many of its contemporary specimens.

The amber is a bit tardy in making an appearance, and when it arrives it does not take over, but blends in with the others. Touches of labdanum and whiffs of nutmeg round it off.

The later parts of the development of this olfactory journey sees the addition of white musks, which add sone discreet sweetness but are a bit nondescript otherwise.

I get moderate sillage good projection and an excellent ten hours of longevity on my skin.

A passable scent for autumn, which is a tad too generic and too predictable; additionally, some notes could do with a bit more vibrancy. The performance is excellent for a Jo Malone. 2.75/5
13th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Oolong Tea by Jo Malone

A light note of tea and minimally bitter hot cocoa develops slowly at the beginning. The tea is actually more in the background, is spite of the name of this product; it is a weak milky and rather nondescript tea.

Fairly soon after the start a vanilla develops, mixed with some tonka. Faintly herbal undertone appears transiently. A very restrained smooth and slightly sweet pipe tobacco is added at a later stage.

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

Not bad as a scent for warmer autumn days, but the notes have an unfortunate tendency towards being a bit anaemic and lacking vibrancy. Furthermore, I cannot get any convincing Oolong in here. Where is my Bulgari Black?
2.5/5.
12th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Yuja by Jo Malone London

The Yuzu - or Korean Yuja is present in the opening, but the usual citrus freshness is attenuated by a herbal note that casts a shadow over it - mainly sage with whiffs of parsley and dried grass. This is never a crisp and bright fruit.

Fairly soon I get a balsamic impression. It is medium-dark, rich but not heavy, and indeed has a fair fir touch, with but a bit of pine also present at times.

Later on a cedar note arises, but it is a bit weak, serving more as a backdrop to the others that as a main player in its own right.

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

A nice scent for cooler summer or warmer autumn days, crafted quite well and with an unusual combination of notes 3/5.
11th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Leather & Artemisia by Jo Malone London

When I applied the opening blast I got orris woods straight from the start. There was some artemisia is present too, adding a touch of spirit.

The next things I got was nagarmotha, here with characteristics of a bright and slightly tangy patchouli, and a restrained frankincense impression that is smooth but does not have much of a ceremonious feeling to it - unlike, for instance, Etro’s Messe à Minuit.

Whatever absinthe I got was very weak and perfunctory only, but the leather, a late developer on me, evolved after a couple of hours eventually. Smooth, new Nappa leather, without any harshness or gasoline character - like an antithesis to Knize Ten.

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

This is a good scent for warmer autumn days. A bit linear at times, and with some disappointing notes, but overall not without an original touch and delivering a very good performance. 3.25/5.
10th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Ginger Biscuit by Jo Malone

What strikes me first is the caramel, the cinnamon and the hazelnut. A pleasant trio, with the hazelnut being dominant on me; a hazelnut that is crafted well indeed.

In the drydown I find the ginger, which is discreet and more in the background and more of an accompaniment than playing the solo fiddle. Whiffs of a faint oak note come and go.
There is a good tonka impression developing too, especially in the later stages, some vanilla also, and a restrained spiciness due to a nutmeg impression that adds additional depth to the whole.

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

Quite a bright autumn scent for warmer days with a gourmand feeling towards the end. The ginger is maybe a bit too bland in me, and sone ingredients are not particularly vivid, but overall this a respectable composition. 3/5.
09th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Myrrh & Tonka by Jo Malone London

The lavender in the opening is a fairly traditional version, except that it is lighter and brighter than expected. Still, it is rich enough to satisfy.

The drydown brings in the myrrh, Omumbiri myrrh apparently, and it dark-ishly herbal smooth with gently spicy underdone. A bit later on, I get some nice fresh sweet almonds in the background, together with the tonka that is a bit tardy in making its appearance as promised by the name of this creation.

The base continues the tonka, only that there is a gradual mixing in the the vanilla, so that both, as well as the almond, merge into a sweet fest towards the end, truly leading to a gourmand finish.

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

A lovely scent for warmer spring days, rich and soft and standing on it own feet without the need to be layered like so many Jo Malones. The development is a bit linear at times, but the quality of the ingredients is very good, as in their blending. 3.25/5.
08th September, 2020
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Geranium & Verbena by Jo Malone

It opens up with a fresh bergamot/verbena dyad, but despondent a herbal impression takes over, with basil and whiffs of sage moving into the foreground. Interesting and a bit unexpected.

Without further ado the promised geranium eventuates. A simple bit nice geranium, with some vanilla undertone die to a coumarin that adds further depth.

The base expands the vanilla further, with a slightly green note - think summer grass that is given a twist by a patchouli of a limitedly crisp character.

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

A pleasantly fresh scent for cooler summer days with a herbal turn, not without some originality and composed of good-quality ingredients. Nothing overly exciting but crafted well. 3/5
07th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Silk Blossom by Jo Malone

A bright opening of white pepper greets me - simple and plain, a nice and gently spicy dash.

The next development introduces the mimosa, which does a reasonable job in depicting the mimosa fragrance quite well. The base is a bland and synthetic attempt at creating a moss impression.

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

A nice and inoffensive spring scent, good for the office, not bad and with a whiff of an original touch, but a bit anaemic and lacking depth and texture. Like many Jo Malones it might do all right when layered. 2.75/5
05th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Baldessarini Ambré by Baldessarini

The opening expresses citrus fruits, with the red apples finding equal partners in a mandarin and whiffs of tangelos. Bright and fresh.

This fresh start is soon overshadowed by a darker floral notion, mainly a violet that is well done, and is also developing some of the greenness of the violet leaves.

Soon the pièce the résistance of this olfactory composition arises: a whisky impression that is a tad bland, but contributes a boozy foundation to a leather note constitute the centrepiece of the development now. It is a leather that is not very dark, not particularly smoky and without any hints of a gasoline characteristic à la Knize Ten. Still, it is quite a rich leather, like a fairly new leather coat.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

A lovely scent for the warmer transitional spring and autumn days, that is made of high-quality ingredients. It exudes quiet and friendly confidence. 3.5/5.
04th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

English Oak & Redcurrant by Jo Malone London

The opening blast brings in the initial triad: the green mandarin in the foreground sets the fresh and bright tone, which is underlined by the redcurrent, which is unusually bright and airy, adding a slightly acidic nature.

Soon a bright rose blossom arises that is rather bright as well and the whole works very well together.

Additionally, the is a good lashing of white musks, which are again uplifting and pleasant. One word must be said about them: most white musks overdo their inherently synthetic nature and indulge in vacuous laboratory blandness, but here Jo Malone succeeded in making them harmonious and vibrant members of the olfactory team. Whilst not expressing the creative qualities of, for instance, the White Musk series of Tom Ford, here they are above average as far as quality and discreet vibrancy are concerned.

On me the oak arrives in the later stages, and is more a plain version than roasted oak.

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

A nice scent for spring and cooler summer days, which is blended skillfully and with a touch of a creative twist. Not very complex or deep, but fun with some substance. 3/5
03rd September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Lavender & Coriander by Jo Malone

The lavender rules - for the initial moments of the lavender fest emanates around me - English and French it says.T Whatever the provenance of the lavender, it is lovely.

The drydown showcases the coriander nicely, although it is more in the background. A lightly boozy and somewhat generic undertone is is contributing to the complexity of this creation.

Later on a light and boozy and a slightly sweet-ish tonka in the coda.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and an impressive ten hours of longevity

A lovely, night and day scent with a good performance. 3/5
02nd September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Whisky & Cedarwood by Jo Malone London

The whisky in this creation is, frankly speaking, a disappointment; it is not much more than a bland and generic booziness that greets me, and in its own it would be a joke.

- But...

This bland-ed whisky works wonders with the cedarwood. The cedar clearly dominates on me, and it beknds in beautifully with the booze to a nice combination. A fairly light and bright rose note is added in, together with a nice white pepper with pimento adds a touch of spice.

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

This scent for warmer autumn days is a nice mix overall and well blended. For a Jo Malone product it is unusually able to stand by itself and works without being layered. Maybe not that convincing in toto, the good performance tips it over the edge into a positive score. 3/5.
01st September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau Claire des Merveilles by Hermès

This is a fresh opening, with a mix of Meyer lemons, tengelos, and a good lashing of aldehydes. Bright as a smile in the sun.

The drydown adds touches of while pepper and white florals, whilst still maintaining the brightness of the beginnings. Now the notes are a bit less good in characterizing specifics of the notes.

The base develops a restrained vanilla with whiffs if coconut in the background. These is a lightly salty woodsiness that I get towards the end, although I would not call it driftwood. I don’t get much of a truly developed marine character here.

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

A bright and pleasant summery scent, nicely done overall in spite of the more generic heart notes. 3/5.
30th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Parfum des Merveilles by Hermès

The opening is a bit bland - smooth, quite bright, a bit sweet of sugar molasses and initially a bit disappointing - but patience is a virtue here. Soon a very soft patchouli takes shape, a patchouli lacking any harshness and sharpness. A benzoinoid impression - the tears of Siam probably - mixes with a smooth amber and things become a bit more interesting.

Later on a soft oakmoss notes adds a bit of contrast, and a slightly balsamic and restrainedly boozy nite develops. Not much of the allegedly included cognac, and more of an artemisia at times. A woodsy end is given some depth by a background imoreeseen and green leaves and minimally earthy note if some roots.

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

A nice scent for warmer spring or autumn days, which expresses some original developments and is blended well. On the other hand, some ingredients lack vividness and are just too generic to convince. Still, a very agreeable creation suitable for the office. 2.75/5
29th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Equipage Géranium by Hermès

The geranium rules - strong, but not bombers rich, more of a brighter and elegant geranium. A nice start.

How does this fit in with the original Equipage? Not very well so far. The drydown adds a bright rise blossom impression, with little wood or stem characteristics. A rather discreet minty undertone is also present. All this remains bright and un-Equipage-like.

Towards the base we are finally reaching home base. A woodsy note - sandalwood mainly is forthcoming, and accompanied by a lovely leather note, which is the component most faithfully kept form the original.

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

This lovely scent for warmer spring or autumn days is quite trimmed and slimmed down when compared with the beautiful original. Compared with many other contemporary flankers form various houses, this olfactory mutation captures a good part of the core of the original - mainly in the later phases of its development - whilst creating an interesting twist towards a warmer weather composition. It is much simpler and less sophisticated with less texture - an Equipage lite so to speak - but not without its merits. 3.5/5.
28th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Y by Yves Saint Laurent

A blast of chemical freshness greets me, with aldehydes and Iso E Super in the foreground. a touch of ginger and a background of citrus - mainly bergamot with a whiff of grapefruit - round off this round.

The drydown veers into the herbal side, with safe, a pinch of thyme and a violet leaf - still a bright mix. Some floral notes, geranium mainly, as also present.

The base is based on white musks mainly, but initially it greets me with a salty inkling,a laboratory attempt at an ambergris that results in a nigh marine-like twist. A woodsy background - mainly cedar with touches of fir - appears towards the end.

I ger moderate sillage, good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant and fresh spring creation that is rather generic most of the time. 2.5/5
27th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Tobacco & Mandarin by Jo Malone London

The has indeed mandarin as swell as tobacco in it; but the tobacco soon gets the upper hand. Is is a soft and slightly sweet pipe tobacco impression, which is not dissimilar to a very diluted tobacco flavour as found in a Kavalan Whisky, especially the Soloist Sherry cask versions.

The drydown adds herbal notes, mainly sage and basil, which merge with the earlier notes rather nicely. With time a pleasant bees wax notes emerges, quite restrained my sweet, which gradually develops.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and a good seven hours in my skin.

An agreeable composition for warmer autumn days, whose main issue is the somewhat weak and pale nature of the ingredients. The performance is good. 2.75/5
26th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Basil & Neroli by Jo Malone

The opening was indeed a mix of Basil and Neroli - Jo Malone is pretty good in keeping the results the names of their products promise. More basil on me though, a basil that had a nigh-indolic chemical undertone initially that, fortunately, resolved with time. The neroli grew stronger; a brighter biut not a very fruity or intense neroli that expresses a touch of bergamot-like characteristics at times.

Later on a bunch of white musks took over, with sone white florals in the background. A very subtle vetiver comes and goes, a vetiver without any earthiness or any mojo of note, more a perfunctory vetiver as far as it developed on my skin.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and a very decent nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A simple creation for spring days, with ingredients that never really display and excellence or beauty to any significant extent. A nice and well-crafted composition though. 2.75/5
25th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Orange Bitters by Jo Malone

This is an interesting citrus opening with orange and mandarin both present, and the differences between these two citrus notes are represented rather well. They are bitte a both and the sweet but nonetheless fresh side, gently refreshing that are and not a loudly fresh blast.

The drydown adds a bitterer bigarrade-like version of the orange that is not bad, but with times I sharper undertone develops, which reminds me bit of those unpleasantly chemical oud-like emanations that plague some of the olfactory products released over recent years. Thankfully this morphs into an orange bitter impression that is zesty and quite pleasant, and which sees whiffs and angostura attaches to it at times.

The base looses most of the orange and replaces it with an anemic prune note, to then develop an ambery wood note. The latter express faint characteristics of sandal wood on temporarily, but remains tediously nonspecific for most of the time.

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

A lovely play with various citrus notes form the core of this ancient for cooler summer evenings, which looses in quality the further it develops, and the base is quite indistinct and generic; but overall it is - just - a positive score. 3/5.
24th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

English Oak & Hazelnut by Jo Malone London

The opening is a hazelnut blast indeed, but a green hazelnut that is different form the ripe brown hazelnuts. There is a green and bright character to it, with the latter being enhanced with an aldehydic component and some Iso E Super too, adding a woodsy undertone. The wood is mainly the - slightly acidic - oak promised in its name, in combination with some hints of cedarwood too.

Later on there is a subtle incense based on an elemi notes, together with a light and bright vetiver that lacks and earthiness or harshness. A rather perfunctory chemical moss is making an appearance towards the end.

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

A pleasant scent for warmer autumn days, not without an original twist but overall to generic to entice. 2.75/5
22nd August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Boss the Collection: Damask Oud by Hugo Boss

This is an inter amazing opening, starting out with a peppery blast that is mixed with a saffron impression. Whilst the saffron is a bit restrained, the pepper is not too intrusive either, so the two work quite well together.

The drydown develops a wood aroma, which, in one form or other, remains a defining feature of this composition. Here the oud comes to the fore, a distinct and firm out that lacks the brutal chemical harshness or in-your-face intrusiveness that characterises sone contemporary oud products. Here the oud has a somewhat leathery undertone intitially, with characteristics of a touch of petrol, but the latter is very tame and a far cry form a full-on leather/petrol composition à la Knize Ten. The leather softens into a suede accord later on.

A bit of cedar and hints of guaiac and whiffs mahogany are also featured in the background, together with a somewhat bland rose and a slightly herbal papyrus-cum-cardboard like impression.

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

This autumnal scent is not spectacular, but in constitutes an oud-centric opus that is balanced with the oud a team player that allows the wood notes to thrive as equals. Some other notes are a bit generic though. Good overall. 3/5
21st August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Hermèssence Muguet Porcelain by Hermès

The opening is a muguet all right. Bright and light, is bears the characteristics of pointillistic elegance.

Soon an green undertone develops, and over time both merge, Witze a fruity component also present that reminds me of a green honeydew melon.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

A lovely summery scent that is light and airy in its impressionistic depiction of the muguet with some skillful brushstrokes, but gradually becomes more generic and flat in its later development. Overall 2.75/5.
20th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Osmanthus Blossom by Jo Malone

The opening is dominated by a petitgrain of a restrained freshness, with touches of lemon and yuzu in the background.

The drydown begins if the osmanthus, which I would call neither intense nor particularly rich in character. Later in white floral undertones are added - orange blossom above all - with and a peachy sweetness and some orange blossom too.

The base is a white musk affair - with a nonspecific woodsy background - hints of cedar and cashmere wood shine through at times - that is fading gradually until the end arrives.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant oriental composition for warmer spring days, that is too generic to convince, but it is an agreeable blend. 2.75/5

19th August, 2020