Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Kaern

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Total Reviews: 655
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Silver Birch & Lavender by Jo Malone London

Simple combination of 3 notes, but what a joy to wear it is.

The lavender here is exquisitely blended and feels a very modern interpretation (if that's possible)

I love it to bits
12th March, 2020
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English Oak & Hazelnut by Jo Malone London

Elemi, Vetiver and a nutty aroma.

It works really well for the first hour or two, but then softens out quite a bit and becomes less dramatic. There is a saltiness for me that disappears gradually, which is a shame.

A thumbs up for value for money
12th March, 2020
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FiDi by Bond No. 9

I find the opening very peppery which works well with orange in my experience -- it's very nice.

Lovely drydown of basically woods and spices, but with a fresh feel that lasts for ages.

Bond seem to have got their act together recently.

No H.O.T.Always though -- they might be 'vaulting' like Creed
12th March, 2020
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Kaern Show all reviews
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Lafayette Street by Bond No. 9

Forget about the notes -- they look a bit mundane on paper.

It's woody and fruity and a little generic.

What saves and lifts this fragrance is it's glorious and endless drydown of tonka and ambergris.

Just south of £300, but it's worth a test
12th March, 2020
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L'Eau d'Armoise by Serge Lutens

Edit 5th Sept -- Just a heads up that after a proper wear this fragrance is strikingly similar to Fou D'Absinthe, so both in your collection may not be needed.


I love this and a huge return to form for Lutens imo.

Wormwood or Artemisia gives the fragrance a herbal kick, the bergamot, a freshness and the immortelle a smoky-sweet vein.

A simple formula maybe, but it smells wonderful.

Amazingly, it is simultaneously light but powerful.
02nd September, 2019 (last edited: 05th September, 2019)
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parfums*PARFUMS Series 7 Sweet: Sticky Cake by Comme des Garçons

I have finally got my hands on this little treasure from CdG and it is even more stupendous than I remember it being.

Comme des Garcons doing an 'indulgence' fragrance isn't a common occurrence but unlike, say Lutens' Arabie, Sticky Cake (although full of yummy ingredients), doesn't feel forced at all and the addition of myrrh is just genius imo.

If you find a bottle, I suggest just buying it.
02nd September, 2019 (last edited: 03rd September, 2019)
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Cactus Garden by Louis Vuitton

Beautiful, fresh tea and orange based fragrance that lasts for ever and a day. Really exquisite blending that needs to be tested at least. Another summer hit from this House.
02nd July, 2019
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Turbulences by Louis Vuitton

Looking at the notes, this is a surprisingly unfeminine fragrance to wear imo. Also, how does it manage to be so 'fresh' and not come across as a rather 'heavy' floral.

Beats me, but it does and adding the leather to this flowerbomb the way it does is just inspired.

I had to wait for a 'slot' to be served at Vuitton, but their wonderful range of fragrances almost makes up for the House's faux importance.
02nd July, 2019
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Cap d'Antibes by Eight & Bob

Another fragrance for summer. Marine 'freshies' are probably my least favourite genre and I don't like many of them.

But Cap d'Antibes really rocks and rolls when first sprayed -- a sort of amped up Mugler Cologne - brilliant.

It then takes on a lovely subtle greenness intertwined with a salty aspect laced with herbs -- the brine doesn't dominate at all which is very clever imo.

Maybe a little underpowered for me but still a lovely surprise and the best fragrance Eight and Bob have created imo.
02nd July, 2019
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This is Not a Blue Bottle 1.1 by Histoires de Parfums

I over-sprayed as usual and for me I smashed all the generic aspects out of this by doing so. It's terrific up top, packed full of aldehydes and citrus -- a fizzing freshness that evolves into a pretty sophisticated scent in my opinion of sweetened amber and musks.

A gorgeous, lengthy and relatively cheap wear that suits summer just fine.
02nd July, 2019
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Afternoon Swim by Louis Vuitton

A bracing, fresh, wonderful rendition of three versions of orange that lasts and lasts.

Simply beautiful.
20th May, 2019
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La Religieuse by Serge Lutens

The heavyweight reviewers have given this a right royal bashing here.

I will concede that it doesn't have the aura of a fragrance that costs over £120 but I am wearing it at work now and the 4 main notes are clearly identifiable and the accord smells stunning to me.

Personally, I think if the animalic aspects had been pushed higher in the mix, it would have made the fragrance double sexy.

I'm almost out on a limb here.
10th May, 2019
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Marinis by Santa Eulalia

This has slipped under my radar as I have checked this House's fragrances out some time ago.

Another 'walk along the beach at low tide' fragrance that actually packs a punch unlike Sel de Vetiver which it resembles.

For me, it's all about salt, lemon and a lovely woody note. I can detect some mint but it is pretty low in the mix.

A 'marine' fragrance that isn't a cliche 'aquatic' and all the better for it.
08th May, 2019
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L'Immensité by Louis Vuitton

A sort of raised and higher class version of AdG and Bulgari PH from the same perfumer. Personally I wish Mr Cavallier had gone down the M7 Fresh and Rive Gauche path but I doubt he had the choice.

Still a very nice and long lasting masculine that seems fresher than the notes hint at.

Not exactly groundbreaking but reassuring nevertheless that these type of out and out 'male' fragrances are still being funded.
12th April, 2019
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I Am Trash : Les Fleurs du Déchet by Etat Libre d'Orange

The overriding impression when you first spray is strawberries over apples but in a citric, not gourmand way -- it is bereft of sweetness and is in fact, quite sharp.

There is a fruity and smooth woody finish and well, it doesn't seem that 'trashy' to be honest.

A perfectly nice wear for both sexes but I'm left a little puzzled by the hype.

Having said that, the opening is on a scale with the fantastic Bendelerious from the same House.
28th February, 2019
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Eau des Sens by Diptyque

This sounds smug but I don't remember even purchasing this but there it was boxed up in one of my drawers.

It reminds me of an old style fougere fashioned around orange blossom.

It has a fresh and crisp barbershop pulse to it and lasts a whole day.

Not the most complex of fragrances but a mighty fine wear and I will be wearing this a lot.
06th February, 2019
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Midnight Saffron by Tom Daxon

Oh my -- how wonderful is this

One of the nicest 'lavenders' I have come across and it has a terrific long lasting ending with facets of curry and a sweetish amber.

If you are missing Eau Noire (and I am) a better replacement would be hard to find
04th February, 2019
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Amber Teutonic by D.S. & Durga

I don't understand the note pyramid at all -- it bears no resemblance to the fragrance, which smells of amber, a slight hint of lemongrass and a big shot of coconut.

Oddly, it is also quite sweet and simultaneously fresh.

The performance is outstanding and I like the smell very much.
14th January, 2019
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Collection 34 : 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

The perfect fragrance for Winter imo.

A very lush thick and spicy gourmand (almost) that lasts for ever.

The creamy sandalwood in the base is just sublime.

Pricey but ultimately worth it
07th January, 2019
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White Lies by Agonist

Apparently, this is fast gaining some sort of cult status amongst 'niche' lovers, male and female. It is turning into Agonist's 'Aventus'.

The notes do have a feminine look about them and it does smell that way in the beginning.

Keep with it though and it turns unisex mainly due to the glorious, frosty sharpness and lucidity that emanates from it.

Oh, it smells fantastic also.
22nd October, 2018
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Carboneum by Aether Parfums

An unusual House based in Paris that have created fragrances based around one note so far.

Via 4 ingredients, Carboneum represents Neoprene which is a synthetic rubber and indeed it does smell of a light (not burnt) rubber, together with a sort of suede sweetness.

It actually smells wonderful imo and lasts a full day.

This House is worth checking out.
22nd October, 2018
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Noble XXI Art Deco Vanilla Orchid by Clive Christian

There are 2 sets of 2 -- either Art Deco or Art Nouveau. I think this forms part of the Art Deco duo with Cypress.

I don't think the women have fared as well as the men with this one. I don't think it is unisex.

For me, it smells mainly of 'white' flowers with the vanilla quite muted.

It lasts well and is obviously a 'quality' product but it just seems a bit flat to me.
03rd October, 2018
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V for Men by Clive Christian

Ultra peppery to start with but after about 30 minutes, it fades and the extraordinary frankincense takes over -- think the original Jubilation XXV.

Lasts for ages and is beautiful.
02nd October, 2018
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Noble XXI Art Deco Cypress by Clive Christian

This must qualify as the archetypal woody fragrance that practically knocks all others out of the ballpark.

After a gorgeous herby and citrus start, the heart and drydown just take my breath away.

You would think the combination of amber, cedar and cypress, could be a little 'hard', but it is oh so mellow.

A ridiculously fine male fragrance. You can almost forgive the equally ridiculous price.
01st October, 2018
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Shooting Stars : Uden by Xerjoff

Truly wonderful fragrance that manages to use very distinctive notes of rum, rose, vanilla and sandalwood and blend them perfectly -- after a surprisingly fresh start.

The protracted top to bottom changes are the sign of an exceptional fragrance and, for me, is the fundamental difference between a niche House like Xerjoff and the majority of designer 'cash cows'.
01st October, 2018
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Join The Club : 40 Knots by Xerjoff

About as far removed from an 'aquatic' you can get imo -- it's much more complicated.

It's salty and citrusy to start with and indeed it does 'fizz'

It ends up like a serene piece of driftwood floating in the Aegean doused by a most beautiful spice.
01st October, 2018
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1978 Les Bains Douches by Les Bains Guerbois

An oriental powdery floral?. Sort of -- in the beginning.

Ends up a smokey, boozy amber softened by heliotrope.

Easy for a man. Lasts for ever. Another hit for Duchaufour
01st October, 2018
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Alien Man by Thierry Mugler

I imagine Bowie smelling of this in The Man Who Fell To Earth.

A leather floral? -- plus some crazy smelling amber in the base.

It has facets of Alien Woman all over it also.

I love it but have yet to wear it in public.
02nd August, 2018
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Fate Man by Amouage

Cumin and Everlasting Flower -- hard to tone that accord down and Fate Man just lashes it up.

I find it totally unbalanced and difficult to wear.
30th July, 2018
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Epic Woman by Amouage

Apart from Honour I reckon all Amouage fragrances are unisex and Epic rams that theory home and for me is much nicer to wear than the masculine version.

Spicy fruit dipped in brine with a hefty dose of frankincense in the base, topped with double cream. I was of a mind to actually eat it. Sounds a little claustrophobic but is surprisingly 'airy'.

30th July, 2018