Perfume Reviews

Reviews by landshark321

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Total Reviews: 1002

Coffee Break : Golden Moka by Xerjoff

Xerjoff Golden Moka is the second entry Iím trying from the Coffee Break collection released in 2018 (after Golden Dallah), and like Golden Dallah, there is the vague hint of raw unroasted coffee and some roasted coffee. I was assisted in understanding that the cannabis-like aspect of Golden Dallah was actually the fresh coffee rather than black / roasted coffee.

Golden Moka is noticeably fresher and brighter, a mix of citruses, raw coffee, oud, rose, and resins, still having some of the same funky cannabis-type feel as Dallah but in a fresher blend, certainly yielding a less idiosyncratic and more versatile offering while still having a lot of character. I think itís an impressive feat to use the raw coffee accord in this way to yield a multifaceted, borderline tropical fruity mix that is provocative in various ways (with rose and oud in the mix) but settles in a reasonably well-blended fresh, sweet, resinous, yet still sort of funky coffee mix. Like Dallah, I love Mokaóitís a great fragrance and slightly easier to wear than Dallah, even if Dallah edges it out on account of richness and daringness.

Golden Moka appears to only be available in the US via Luckyscent and then the Xerjoff Universe website, for $275 and Ä235, respectively, so priced slightly higher than Golden Dallah, peculiar since Dallah seems to be denser / higher-performing than Moka, but it could be a matter of ingredients and Iím currently unsure if Moka was released later than Dallah in 2018 (Green followed in 2020).

8 out of 10
07th January, 2021

Coffee Break : Golden Dallah by Xerjoff

My first try from Xerjoffís Coffee Break collection is Golden Dallah, the member of the collection that seems to be reputed to actually contain the most coffee. I definitely fall into the camp of immediately smelling cannabis upon first spray, perhaps the effect the named Cambodian oud note, the overall blend smelling like a mix of cannabis, coffee, resins, and just a touch of cocoa. Itís a great blend that hints at being a sweet gourmand while really only being partly that, instead a coupling of the cocoa/resins and oud/cannabis aspect. And it performs very well, with strong projection from the onset and seemingly quite great longevity. To clarify, though, the coffee is present but not dominant. I would not label this a coffee-rich, let alone a coffee-dominant fragrance, at least based on how it smells on my skin.

The cannabis accord in Golden Dallah reminds me of two of Dua Fragrancesí two original blendsóCannabliss with the Mobster and Pineapple Expressówith Golden Dallah landing somewhere between the dark boozy tobacco vibe of the former and fresh fruity aspect of the latter.

Golden Dallah is priced at $235 for 50ml and is sold by great boutiques like Beverly Hills Perfumery and Luckyscent as well as Saks Fifth Avenue and the Xerjoff Universe website. I obtained my sample from the Xerjoff website but both Beverly Hills Perfumery and Luckyscent sell the official spray samples in addition to full bottles.

Overall, this is a clear winner that may be a little challenging due to the sort of cannabis/oud accord, but for those that enjoy it, it might be a welcome, daring, semi-gourmand.

8 out of 10
06th January, 2021

I Don't Know What - Fragrance Enhancer by D.S. & Durga

D.S. & Durgaís 2018 release, I Donít Know What, is described as ďa fragrance enhancer with a transparent radiance that gives any perfume a certain, as the French say, ĎI Donít Know What.íĒ So while it may not seem ideal to try a fragrance enhancer on skin by itself, I nonetheless want to experience it that way and evaluate it on its own merits.

Itís a citrus/woody mix with a good amount of ISO E super and ambroxan, sharp and musky, understandably involving some of the chemicals that are known to boost performance. On its own, though, it is perfectly pleasant as it contains a fairly agreeable mix of notes, in this respectóafter all, ISO E super and ambroxan do tend to blend in fairly well. It has a vague kick to it, perhaps a spiciness, that prevents it from being wholly fresh, and so it has a wee bit of character.

However, I do not feel that it is a fragrance that I would reach for on its own, which makes it all the more puzzling mimics most of the line, at $260 for 100ml EDP, $175 for 50ml EDP, and $72 for 10ml pocket perfume oil, and is sold through the house website, Luckyscent, Saks Fifth Avenue, among others, though it is much more affordable at FragranceNet, where it is $162/109 for 100/50ml.

Itís somewhat interesting, though.

6 out of 10
29th December, 2020
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Hyde by Hiram Green

Hiram Green Hyde is my second try from this house (after Slowdive) and a celebrated leather scent, which, upon first spray, absolutely delivers this vision. Much like Slowdive is a dark and spicy (albeit also sweet) honey scent, Hyde is a spicy leather scent with resinous accents and just a touch of sweetness to prevent it from being too sharp. It maintains a bit of a burnt character with birch tar, specifically, and the smoky side of labdanum, I suspect, with just a slight tartness and levity provided via lemon and bergamot. Vanilla being listed as a note is not wholly surprising but Hyde is by no means a sweet fragrance. Instead, it sits spicy without being animalic, peppery, or sharp, always an impressive feat, being spicy but not too spicy.

Overall, this is very impressive, with the leather, birch tar, and labdanum telling most of the story, with interesting quirks provided by the other notes, but on the whole, a masterful, rich execution. I just might have to pick up this and Slowdive this year, but I probably will owe both a revisit at some point first.

In the US, Hiram Green is priced at $165 for 50ml in EDP concentration, very reasonable in light of its quality and performance (I said the same of Slowdive), and it is sold via several great boutiques: Indigo Perfumery, Tigerlily Perfumery, Luckyscent, and Ave Parfum.

8 out of 10
28th December, 2020

Love Kills by Masque

This a long overdue proper sampling of Masque Milano Love Kills, the third entry of Act III and one of the houseís 2019 releases that I had the privilege of first smelling last June at Perfumology. Itís a fresh, green, citric rose scent with Turkish rose, geranium, patchouli, cedar, and musk. It seems to contain a healthy dose of geranium with all of its spicy, herbal, fresh, and sharp sides.

Whatís not to like? Itís balanced, not overly sharp, with good harmony between the rose and geranium, and itís romantic, as its name suggests, while not being especially heavy or feminine, so itís versatile and year-round friendly, as it works perfectly well on this cooler winter day but would be nicely boastful in the heat of summer. An easy winner of a release from Masque Milano, which has a good variety of challenging and easy-to-love scents.

Itís priced at $158 for 35ml, within the current range of Masque Milano pricing, with a 10ml travel size also available for $57, at great boutiques like Perfumology.

7 out of 10
23rd December, 2020

Cuir Obscur by Byredo

First wearing of Byredo Cuir Obscur, a Harrods-exclusive release from 2016 that still remains difficult to find in the US (Iíd not even heard about it until recently), fittingly a leather-centric fragrance that has a semi-animalic, semi-dry quality to it while involving rose, amaretto, and patchouli. It has herbal, floral, boozy, and smoky qualities to it.

Itís pretty well balanced but lands fairly sharp and heady for a couple hours to start despite having a mellifluous notes, even the sweet amaretto and musk. Overall, itís a nice leather offering with the variety of contributing notes and does calm down quite a bit after several hours of wearing despite being very strongótoo strong in the leather/patchouli/nutmeg, perhapsóin the opening.

It feels more like a ďlikeĒ than a ďloveĒ after reapplying a bit to experience the opening again, but itís definitely a unisex (perhaps slightly masculine) winter choice that I think many will like, so Iíd recommend trying it if you come by it.

Itís priced at a modest-for-the-brand $198 for 100ml (considering that for US customers, it needs to be shipped from the UK, presumably) and that pricing seems reasonable for the product, a very useful cold weather fragrance.

7 out of 10
22nd December, 2020

Nuit d'Issey Polaris by Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake Nuit díIssey Polaris is a recent acquisition, a release from earlier in 2020, a sweet and spicy woody/resinous mix that makes for a nice cold weather option. Apart from the black pepper, I do not detect most of the notes individually, so Iíd just as well include the full list since itís not too long: black pepper, bergamot, cypress, cedar, patchouli, oud, leather, vanilla. This appropriate conveys that there are spices, resins, woods, and sweets. Thereís a vague notion of tobacco, as well, both the leaf and the smoke, that perhaps comes from the oud, leather, cedar, and cypress, the takeaway being that there is some dirtiness to counteract the sweetness of the vanilla and the spiciness of the pepper, which Iím guessing mainly account for the sweet/spicy blend.

As far as comparisons within the line, itís sweeter and lacks the rose of Or Encens yet has a similar incense-like center, but is comparably agreeable, overall, to that earlier release; both are nice options (Iíve not yet tried Noir Ambre, unfortunately). It does not really compare to Noir Argent or Pulse of the Night, however, the other two menís releaseís of late with which Iím most familiar. Outside of the brand, Polaris lands ever so slightly more animalic than, say, Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb or Bvlgari Man in Black, but only just a touch, due to the leather/oud. It has a comparable sweet/spicy balance to these other options otherwise, though.

Overall, Polaris feels like a relatively safe release, like Or Encens, but is similarly well-executed and makes for a versatile cold weather option, particularly for men, unsurprising in that itís in the menís collection, though certainly it could work for some women. Like Or Encens, it performs well and is a nice offering, though Iíd give the edge to Or Encens, which feels a bit better blended overall. I picked up a bottle of Polaris from FragranceBuy.CA as part of a recent sale, and it remains available on that site (which is great) for $67 (for the standard 100ml bottle size).

7 out of 10
16th December, 2020

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Or Encens by Issey Miyake

Today is probably my fourth of fifth wearing of the 2017 release from Issey Miyake, Líeau díIssey pour Homme Or Encens, which I purchased this year as a blind buy due a very good price and good reputation. Mostly as advertised, itís a mix of resins, woods, and, certainly to my nose, a fairly prominent rose note, and itís well-balanced as respects these main accords. It also feels like a good balance of exploratory/artistic ideas and well-established norms, like a resinous rose oud, so that itís very workable and wearable but not redundant. That itís not especially rosy or animalic prevents it from actually being a rose oud, instead having an incense center with only a slight spiciness via some pink pepper and cuminóused modestly, in my estimationówith an assortment of resins and woods making up the balance. Certainly the rose always remains detectable, though as one player in an ensemble, not dominant.

Overall, itís robust but fairly agreeable as resinous fragrances go, and I could easily see it being a cold weather unisex staple, though it is of course part of the menís collection.

Its performance is very good, especially considering that it was priced at $43 when I purchased it on FragranceNet but the pricing generally seems to be a bit higher, at $73 on FragranceBuy.CA, and I still think the $73 price is reasonable for this.

8 out of 10
14th December, 2020

Boss Bottled Oud Aromatic by Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss, Boss Bottled Oud Aromatic was first released in 2019 but is still seemingly difficult to find. It has a relatively simple note breakdown of orange blossom, myrrh, and oud, which feels pretty spot-on. Itís fresh and resinous and even slightly sweet with something in the oud that vaguely hints at a dirty, animalic side, but mostly a clean oud ala Oud Wood. It feels fairly well rounded among its varying contrasting points, but just feels a tad incomplete to me, full of plenty but missing something

While I cannot find it in stock anywhere, it is for sale via FragranceBuy.CA for $90 for 100ml. Itís a decent fragrance but a bit overpriced for what it is; that is, itís neither especially imaginative and artistic nor wholly well-rounded enough for everyday wear. Still, I expect that a lot of people will like this since it feels right at the intersection of a few different genres.

7 out of 10
07th December, 2020

Sweetly Known by Kerosene

This is my second wearing of Keroseneís latest release, Sweetly Known, a sweet and spicy mix of burnt caramel and cardamom, primarily, with a notable element of sugar, and finally vanilla and cocoa, though for me, the first three notes tell most of its story.

As in my initial wearing, I am inclined to compare it to Winter of 99, a more molasses-based sweet-and-spicy vanilla scent and the preceding release from early 2019. Sweetly Known is more deeply rooted in the cardamom and sugary burnt caramel, rather than molasses, and is slightly lighter overall than Winter of 99. Still, it packs a punch, and is spicier overall than Winter of 99.

Itís really very easily enjoyable, clearly apt for the cold weather but not overbearing to the point of being unwearable on, say, a summer evening. And despite the prominence of cardamom, itís rather delectable in a candy sense, still quite sugary, despite the vanilla and cocoa notes not factoring too prominently into my experience of the fragrance.

Sold via the house website as well as Indigo Perfumery and Indiescents, both great boutiques, Sweetly Known has the same exceptional pricing as its predecessors, at $140 for 100ml.

7 out of 10
03rd December, 2020

Bergamotto di Calabria by Perris Monte Carlo

Sampling Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria (from the Italy collection), the tartest of the three entries Iíve tried from this house, albeit with some restraint, like Cedro di Diamante, of which it is reminiscent in its citrus dominance (bergamot, to Cedroís lemon), with pepper, woods, iris, and musk. BDC is also laden with orange blossom, orange flower, petitgrain, and jasmine, so thereís a hearty floral component to it that is maybe not so present in Cedro, which lands in slightly sweeter territory. Bergamotto is more to the floral side, with the bergamot less dominant in it than lemon in Cedro. Overall, itís well rounded, an easily likable fresh scent for the warmer weather, especially.

Bergamotto di Calabria is priced at $190 for 100ml and is sold through Indigo Perfumery, Luckyscent, and several department stores in the US. As with the other entries Iíve tried (Cedro di Diamante and Arancia di Sicilia), I regard this as good value, as the fragrance offers some intrigue but is quite pleasant and versatile. Still, Arancia is my favorite of the three, but Cedro and Bergamotto are both nice, as well.

7 out of 10
01st December, 2020

Cedro di Diamante by Perris Monte Carlo

Perris Monte Carlo Cedro di Diamante is part of the Italy collection and is inspired by the diamante citron fruit. The fragrance is a lovely woody fresh lemon mix, featuring a bit of a lime/verbena sharpness, some spices in ginger/cardamom/pepper, and a pleasant dry down of iris, oakmoss, and musk. The verbena isnít screechy, nor is the spice blend particularly spicy, so the mix retains a lemon dominance and smells curiously sweet, perhaps via the particular mix, as there are not any overly sweet notes per the note breakdown.

Cedro di Diamante lacks the bite of the powerhouse lemon scent of Profumum Roma Acqua Viva, but has some sweetness, so it might be a better option for those who do not want something overpowering or sharply woody but rather a sweet/tart mix with just a touch of creaminess. Itís interesting but easily enjoyable, the lemon staying centered but no other aspect taking over complete. It feels balanced, well conceived.

Overall, though, itís not quite as interesting as Arancia di Sicilia (which I previously tried / also from the Italy collection) but itís still a very nice lemon scent and could really be an enjoyable frequent wear, particularly in warmer months, so this is a nice option that Iíll have to give some more thought, though upon first wear, itís slightly more a ďlikeĒ than a ďloveĒóstill, Iíd recommend sampling it.

Priced at $190 for 100ml like the rest of the Italy collection, Cedro di Diamante is available at Indigo Perfumery (from whom Iíd recommend buying it) as well as department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdaleís.

7 out of 10
30th November, 2020

Awake by Akro

Akro Awake is the fragrance from this house that I was most eager to try, as itís described as a coffee fragrance. Given the note breakdown, which includes coffee, cardamom, lemon, and vetiver, I did not expect it to be sweet, but itís quite sweet, in addition to having the earthy, spicy, citric undertones provided by the other notes. Itís sweet to the point that it seems like there is chocolate in the mix, frankly, but itís not over-the-top heavy or sweet or dessert like, and the sweet coffee aspect is significantly tempered by the other trio of notes.

The coffee/lemon pairing in particular is slightly reminiscent of the discontinued Armani Attitude, but Awake is a bit sweeter and more coffee-dominant than Attitude. Comparing it to other coffee fragrances, it does not have the dark and sweet extremes of Kerosene Follow, nor is it as subtle as Legendary Fragrances Barista, nor does it have the particularly intense rum bite of Sebastiane Espresso Royale. Overall, itís a balanced sweet and spicy coffee fragrance with enough coffee to satisfy lovers of coffee fragrances but not likely enough to scare off the coffee- or sweet-averse. Itís a coffee fragrance thatís fairly easy to wear and versatile, surely more apt for cold weather but not too heavy for mild or warmer weather.

The only point-of-sale in the US is Luckyscent and like the rest of the line, has very reasonable pricing of $160 for 100ml. Particularly at that price, I see a bottle in my future.

8 out of 10
25th November, 2020
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Smoke by Akro

My first sampling from the house of Akro is Smoke, which frankly nails the concept better than I possible couldíve expected in terms of accuracy, smelling of an ensemble of different smoke smells, including cigarette, cigar, and charcoal/barbecue, coming off somehow both appetizing and evocative of an upcoming meal but also a lot of people smoking in my vicinity, which can be a bit off-putting. Itís certainly smoky, but also spicy and woody. Itís fairly dense and makes a very strong impression but thereís enough space and air in the fragrance to appreciate some of its nuance; itís not strictly a cloud of smoke but more of very strong wafts of smoke. Other notable contributors are cade, a favorite type of juniper, the use of which in Imaginary Authors A City on Fire adds to its spicy side, and a mix of tonka and benzoin that do slightly round things out with a bit of sweetness.

As a first impression of the house, even though Iím not in love with the fragrance, Smoke hopefully provides a good idea of the audacity and artistry of its founder, Olivier Cresp, and the concepts within it, as Iím looking forward to trying other Akro entries, especially Awake.

Smoke performs very well, with very loud projection in the opening hours and strong longevity thereafter. Akroís fragrances seem to be sold exclusively in the US via Luckyscent, with each fragrance in their collection being sold for $160 for 100ml, very reasonable pricing.

7 out of 10
24th November, 2020

Bogart pour Homme by Jacques Bogart

First full wearing of the successful blind buy Jacques Bogart Ė Bogart Pour Homme, a now-cheapie with a great reputation, a 2004 release from this same house known for such releases as Bogart (1975), One Man Show (1980), and Witness (1992), and now sort of a classic in its own right. It smells of cherried tobacco with musky undertones, quite sweet but still a bit sharp, though its notes do not include cherry or tobacco, the effect instead being created by lavender, tonka, patchouli, oakmoss, citruses, florals (including rose), and musk. The effect is the same, though: a semi-powdery, semi-sweet, herbal blend thatís quite easily enjoyable, a nod to classics (with lavender and oakmoss) but also to the sweeter mainstream menís fragrances that would follow for years until the present.

It certainly seems like Calvin Kleinís 2011 release CK One Shock, which does include tobacco in its note listing, was at least partly inspired by, or simply nonetheless ended up smelling very similar to, Bogart Pour Homme, as both have a strong cherry tobacco commonality. Bogart is stronger, denser, and more mature-smelling than Shock, which is a bit muskier and more fleeting, more candied, more whimsical.

Bogart Pour Homme seems to be a bit of staple, sold at CVS and Walmart, but available at an uncanny $22 (for 100ml) on FragranceNet (and about the same via FragranceBuy.CA), roughly the same as a 200ml bottle of CK One Shock.

Overall, to me, itís an easy winner, very useful, a versatile cold weather mostly-masculine offering thatís a bargain and a great performer.

8 out of 10


19th November, 2020

Orchidťe Vanille by Van Cleef & Arpels

Long-overdue sampling of the 2009 release from the Collection Extraordinaire from Van Cleef & Arpels, Orchidee Vanille, a floral vanilla fragrance that I smelled in stores a number of times before finally purchasing a decant in recent months. Itís a vanilla-dominant fragrance that is robust and interesting while not being too heavy, cake-like, or more generally dessert-like, even. The mix features floral notes (rose, violet), tonka, white musk, and small hints of citruses and almond. Itís sweet but not saccharine, floral and musky with not being overtly feminine, and seemingly balanced while still being focused on the vanilla.

What makes this fragrance great, rather than just good, is that it does not feel too heavy but still feels significant, elegant, well-crafted, just a notch below my two favorite Guerlain vanillas (Spiritueuse Double Vanille, Cuir Beluga), and it performs very well.

Its retail pricing is $212 for 75ml (Luckyscent) but itís avaiible for only $81 on FragranceNet, a very reasonable price for its quality.

8 out of 10
18th November, 2020

Oud Tobacco by Montale

Oud Tobacco is one of Montaleís recent releases and is a mix of the two eponymous notes, with some citrus, spices, and sweets, which yields a sort of spicy, sharp, woody, resinous, sweet mix thatís very workable and apt for cooler weather. Cumin is the main listed note that accounts for the spicy, slightly animalic quality present throughout, but the oud itself does not contribute in an animalic or medicinal way, from what I can tell, but rather supports the sort of smoky, resinous undercurrent below the cumin, tobacco, and sweet contribution of tonka. The citrus / orange blossom notes are faint, at best, as the fragrance does not seem to express them very clearly to me at any point. Rather, thereís a generally well-blendedness and creaminess throughout most of the fragrance, and I imagine that the orange blossom especially helps facilitate a smoother blend.

Overall, itís a very powerful and very agreeable entry, even though it somehow reminds me slightly of designer releases (i.e. Bvlgari Man in Black, albeit with less of a V&R Spicebomb vibe) while having its own character. Itís not quite as interesting as a couple releases from Mancera / Montale from about a year ago (Precious Oud and Oud Dream, respectively) but it remains impressive that their empire can churn out good releases so consistently.

In the US, Oud Tobacco is sold by Krystal Fragrance and Beverly Hills Perfumery with the standard pricing of $170 for 100ml.

7 out of 10
29th October, 2020

Vetiver Sensuel by Mancera

One of Mancerís recent releases is Vetiver Sensuel, which immediately smells like a mix of light vetiver with citruses and florals. Some notes that seem to stand out are a mix of citruses (lemon, orange, bergamot, lime), pepper, vetiver, mint, patchouli, and a blended base of woods and musk, mainly. So itís a formula that seems like itíll produce an agreeable perfume, and thatís largely true in my wearing of it. Thereís not much to dislike; itís very easy to wear.

Vetiver Sensuel is not quite as deep or interesting as other ďfresh vetiverĒ scents, like Roja Vetiver Extrait or Dua Fragrancesí recent original, Pretiosum Vetiverum. Itís a little less sharp that Guerlain Vetiver, however, so it really might work for many a summer vetiver scent that is pretty inoffensive.

Overall, I quite like itóI associate Mancera and Montale with heavier scents, typically, so itís always nice to a see a freshie release thatís fun like Cedrat Boise or Aoud Lemon Mint. It performs reasonably well and is sold by Krystal Fragrance for the standard pricing of $180 for 120ml.

7 out of 10
28th October, 2020

Arancia di Sicilia by Perris Monte Carlo

Arancia di Sicilia is my first try from Perris Monte Carlo. Itís one of the houseís more recent releases (from 2019) and, as best I can tell, one of the more discussed. On name alone, it sounds it should be a citrus-dominant mix, but the note breakdown is much more interesting, and the same can be said of the fragrance itself, which definitely has a prominent sweet-and-creamy citrus aspect to it, but smells far more of a blended dessert, with notes of almond, cinnamon, and coffee.

So while itís fresh and citrus to some extent, is far more of a mixed experience, but still very sweet and almost entirely gourmand, with very good performance. So it has freshness and sweetness, with a sort of year-round friendliness, mostly for gourmand fans. And itís not particularly redundant with entries that may sound similar, like Profumum Roma Dulcis in Fundo, which is a superb expression of the citrus/vanilla blend but does not entail some of the other attributes of Arancia di Sicilia.

Arancia di Sicilia is sold in the US by Indigo Perfumery, Luckyscent, and some department stores like Bloomingdaleís and Neiman Marcus, and is priced at $190 for 100ml in EDP concentration, a fair price point for the quality of the juice.

This is very impressive stuff and will have to be on my list as a future acquisition.

8 out of 10
19th October, 2020

Both Sides of Clouds by 4160 Tuesdays

4160 Tuesdays Both Sides of Clouds is the latest and current version of Clouds that feels midway between the more opulent, richer, more natural Clouds and lighter, fresher, and more synthetic Clouds Illusion. Both Sides of Clouds, like its predecessors, is available in both EDP and parfum concentration, and like Clouds Illusion, my bottle of Both Sides of Clouds.

It incorporates the common thread throughout the Clouds journey: an elegant blend dominated by vanilla, orris/iris, and narcissus, which, like the other versions, is deftly neither too sweet nor too powdery. I love sweet fragrances but am very careful when it comes to orris/iris, and the Clouds line walks the line beautifully. Both Sides of Clouds in particular is rich but still accessible, highly vanillic and floral yet still fresh and versatile. Overall, it performs very well, and while being year-round friendly, can stand up to colder weather while not being deafening in the summer heat.

Both Sides of Clouds is sold in the US via Perfumology and Krystal Fragrance, both great boutiques, at $245/155 for 100/50ml. For perspective, the pricing is appropriately greater than that of Clouds Illusion but lower than that of Clouds, and somewhat higher than most of the house, but thatís undoubtedly due to the cost of raw ingredients. As the main blend moving forward, Both Sides of Clouds EDP is lovely, and captures what is most liked about Clouds and Clouds Illusion alike.

8 out of 10
12th October, 2020

Pearfecto by Gallagher Fragrances

Pearfecto is Gallagher Fragrancesí most recent releases, from early 2020, and is a fresh and fruity mix that thatís aptly named, with featured notes of pear, banana, melon, grapefruit, champaca, and driftwood. The fruity mix is curiousóIím not usually a big fan of pear, but itís well-blended with the other fruit notes, the florals, and the woody/salty touch of driftwood. It feels like an easy, unisex summer winner thatís bright and invigorating for the daytime, especially. Itís among the most versatile and friendliest of the fragrances in the line, like Bergamust, but still with some idiosyncrasies like Fineapple and OíFraiche.

Overall, itís very nice, and Iíd say that even for those that donít generally like pear, this is something that should be tried. Like other fragrances in the line, the featured note in the name of the fragrance is not the full story, and this is a rather interesting blend thatís quite harmonious.

Pearfecto is priced at $155 for 100ml, $95 for 30ml, with samples available, as well, and is sold through the Gallagher Fragrances website in the US. Particularly at the 100ml size, the pricing throughout the line remains very reasonable and for someone that loves this fragrance, itís an especially great deal to be under the $2/ml rate.

7 out of 10
07th October, 2020

Roses on Ice by By Kilian

Sampling the other offering from the new By Kilian liquors duo, Roses on Ice, which is based on a gin note, with fragrant notes of cucumber, rose juniper, and sandalwood per the Kilian website, and additional notes of lime, sandalwood, and musk per other sources. I donít get much gin or juniper, myself, but I get plenty of rose, cucumber, and musk, with perhaps a dash of sandalwood.

On my skin, itís mostly a fresh, somewhat floral, somewhat vegetable experience, slightly smoothed over by musk. Itís not particularly boozy at all, and I donít get much juniper or gin. So unfortunately, Roses on Ice pales in comparison, in terms of literal juice color as well as scent profile, to Angelsí Share, the other new Liquors entry By Kilian.

Like Angelsí Share, Roses on Ice is priced at $195 for 50ml, a relatively low price for the house that I estimate has to do with the lack of ornate wooden coffret.

6 out of 10
06th October, 2020

Angelsí Share by By Kilian

Sampling one of the latest from By Kilian, Angelsí Share, one of the two new releases of their Liquors collection (along with Roses on Ice). Angelsí Share is inspired by the phrase that refers to the volume of aging spirits or wine lost due to evaporation during the aging process, and the fragrance is a nod to Kilian Hennesseyís family empire of cognac, specifically, which is the featured note, along with hazelnut and oak, per the house website, though other sources list notes of praline, vanilla, sandalwood, cinnamon, and tonka.

Nutty and boozy have to be the most apt two descriptors, but itís quite sweet but not too sweet, I would argue, and there is a slightly woody base underneath it all that, and thereís a vague sharpness that ties the nuttiness to the sweetness and booziness. And it really feels like a sweet boozy take on cognac rather than, say, whiskey (as in Single Malt), so cognac fans should fined.

I think that some might very well find the sweet/sharp mix to be a little much for their liking, but itís not among the very sweetest boozy fragrances Iíve smelled, nor is it overwhelmingly nutty. Still, it leans toward the sweet cognac mostly, followed by the nuts (a mix of hazelnut and tonka is how Iíd describe it), and then some woods, for which oak seems right on the money.

Angelsí Share is very nice, roughly on par with Apple Brandy, though still a clear notch below Single Malt in terms of best of the boozy fragrances of the house. It performs quite well, with very loud projection to start and quite good longevity, equivalent to my experience with most of the darker fragrances in the house.

The retail pricing of both Angelsí Share and Roses on Ice is somewhat modest (basically as inexpensive as their fragrances get), at $195 for 50ml, but this may very well due to be presentation, which does not seem to include one of the brandís signature wooden coffrets.

8 out of 10
05th October, 2020

The Orange Tree by 4160 Tuesdays

4160 Tuesdays The Orange Tree is the delightfully realistic scent of an orange plantófresh, green, tart, and fruity. Its key notes are mostly centered around the orange plant itself, fittingly: orange flower, sweet orange, mandarin, clementine, blood orange, petitgrain, and woods. I definitely get the petitgrain note, its heartiness anchoring the other various components of the orange. It feels full and complete, though, from roots to fruit.

The Orange Tree is a bit like the orange zest / icy citrus concept Iíve seen in other fragrances, but done much more effectively, conjuring the actual plant rather than a recreation of a synthetic food item of sorts. Zaraís Orange Zest does this reasonably well for the price but does not really compare to The Orange Tree in terms of quality.

It performs modestly, so not nearly as well as most of the darker creations, but thatís to be expected with its note breakdown. While I do love a super-strong fresh fragrance, the goal, I feel, in a fragrance like The Orange Tree is authenticity, and in that respect, itís a great success.

I do not believe that it is yet available at US retailers but should be at some point in the future, I imagine. I certainly recommend trying a sample or ordering one from your next haul from the main site, as The Orange Tree would nicely complement any collection.

8 out of 10
28th September, 2020

L'Homme Idťal ExtrÍme by Guerlain

One of the most recent releases from Guerlain is LíHomme Ideal Extreme, a sweet, spicy, boozy mix that feels very apropos for the upcoming cooler weather in the northern hemisphere. Its note mix consists primarily of plum, tobacco, almond, pink pepper, patchouli, woods, and just a hint of leather. The plum/tobacco mix is especially telling, with plum being a lovely sweet and boozy additive to contrast the bitter/smoky/green aspects of tobacco, with other supportive notes.

It has an effective sweet and spicy balance, perhaps slightly more sweet than it is boozy but it overall feels complete and well-thought-out, relatively safe but with some intrigue. This could easily be a fall/winter staple for men in particular, for those who are not sweet-averse. It performs pretty well, in EDP concentration, meeting the expectation of a perfume beyond a designer/cheapie.

I blind bought this from News Parfums some weeks ago after seeing a favorable review, and unfortunately it does not yet seem to be available in the US, though itís currently for sale on Harrodsí website at $73 for 50ml. I paid a little more via News Parfums at a little over $80 for the 50ml size. The retail pricing seems very reasonable overall for the quality, utility, and performance.

I regard it as a successful blind buy and a recommended try for those that have access it to it now for those, like myself, in the US when it becomes available here.

8 out of 10
23rd September, 2020 (last edited: 20th November, 2020)

HOS N.001 by House of Sillage

This sampling of the house of House of Sillage, HOS N.001, a sweet and spicy mix that immediately strikes me as a sort of cherried tobacco, an exaggerated variation of Mugler A*Men Pure Havane, though it lacks both cherry and tobacco in the note breakdown. Rather, itís a mix of sweets (vanilla, tonka), spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove), and resins/woods (cedar, mahogany, amber, oud), the overall effective of which is largely more sweet than spicy or woody.

I wouldnít say itís a sweetness overload, however, as it feels reasonably refined, and reminds me also of Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia along the lines of smelling like effervescent root beer a bit. Thereís something nutty, surely the tonka, in the way that that the almond features in the almond-named Mandorlo di Sicilia. The oud feels undetectable, however, as I do not get any of its animalic or medicinal twinges when wearing, and the spices are relatively tameóneither the cinnamon nor ginger nor clove stand out very much, though I could imagine each being part of the mix.

Overall, HOS N.001 is easy to wear for fans of sweet fragrances like me, I imagine, and is reasonably versatile to that effect in that itís not so heavy to be overbearing on a summer evening but certainly strong enough for the winter cold. And while some might regard it as masculine, I could see it being unisex, particularly given many of its foody notes .

Sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdaleís, and the house site, HOS N.001 retails for $285 for 75ml, though itís currently on sale on the house site for $213.75, though Iíve recently seen it as low as $142.50 (50% off). At the lowest price (under $2/ml), itís quite a good deal, albeit a bit more of a stretch at retail.

For me, personally, itís a bit more of a ďlikeĒ than a ďloveĒ and I feel itís well-executed overall but a couple notches below Mugler Pure Havane, which it initially reminded me of, albeit comparable to Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia, which might be a better analogy for what it does best, the sort of unrelenting, nutty, almost candied sweetness.

7 out of 10
22nd September, 2020

LíHomme ņ la rose by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

One of Maison Francis Kurkdjianís newest releases is LíHomme A la Rose, a fresh rose scent designed for men, and I think it mostly hits the mark in this respect. Itís fresh, slightly sharp, ever so slightly sweet, but mostly rosy and pleasantly so, with some citruses and spices to create rounded, balanced perfume, some key notes being grapefruit, sage, and amber wood.

This falls into the category of being very nice and easily wearable and versatile, but a bit pricey for lacking boldness and innovation. Still, it could be a rosy menís signature scentónot to mention a perfectly pleasant option for women or anyone elseóso if itís one of a handful of scents that one wears, it could be worthwhile.

Retail pricing is $275 for the standard 70ml bottle size in EDP concentration, sold at the French house site as well US boutiques and department stores. It performs reasonably well, but not outstandingly.

Overall, a nice scent worth smelling but not groundbreaking.

7 out of 10
17th September, 2020

Signature pour Homme by Zaharoff

Today is my second wearing of Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme from George Zaharoff, the 2018 release that has become very popular in the fragrance community. I only tried it for the first time five days ago, long overdue, and it made quite the impression, as well.

It certainly lives up its name immediately as it has the smell of a menís signature scent, very modern with some more classic touches as well. Itís woody, spicy, musky, and, to make especially modern, sweet. Of the notes, the standouts to me are the lavender, pepper, cardamom, ginger, resins (myrrh, frankincense, amber, and woods (cypress, balsam fir, cedar, sandalwood). The mix of notes is a testament to how well blended it is, and itís effectively (albeit not overly) sweet without the use of vanilla or other dessert-like elements (save pear), relying instead of the resins to bring out the controlled sweet vibe in contrast to some of the sharper elements of lavender, pepper, and cardamom. Thereís oud in the background somewhere too, but admittedly itís subtle, though I do get vague, slight animalic twinges in the background, very much in the background behind the woods, resins, and spices.

Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme achieves a balance between being a bit familiar (I likened it to the muskiness of Escada Magnetism a bit during my first wearing, and now it feels like thereís a champagne cologne-ness in the background as well, along the lines of Acqua di Parma Colonia) but at the same time it feels modern, new, and a wee bit idiosyncratic, having its own character.

Zaharoffís pricing is very reasonable for the versatility and elegance of the fragrance, $155/95 for 120/60ml, at EDP concentration. It also performs quite well. I think a bottle is in my future.

8 out of 10

16th September, 2020

Series 3: Ascent by Rad Hourani by Six Scents Parfums

My third sampling of the ďEssentialsĒ from Six Scents re-releases, Ascent, originally released in 2010 as ďSeries Three #4 by Rad Hourani,Ē a fresh, sharp, floral that does feel rather like an airy ascent. It has some powder but not to the point that it smells like potpourri or more stereotypical, mature, feminine perfume. Note-wise, I certainly get the floral mix (violent, ylang ylang, white rose), a bit of leather, a lot of musk, and, vaguely, the tonka/benzoin mix, though on my skin the blend is only very subtly sweet in the way that mostly-spicy or mostly-powdery fragrances sometimes are.

Overall, itís a very effective conjuring of air, very clean, while not obtrusively powdery, and familiar, but not at all repetitive with fragrances that Iíve smelled before. Like the others in the Essentials group, Ascent is surely worth trying, though I give the edge to both #087 and Urban Tropiclia over Ascent.

Ascent is priced at $58 for 30ml (in EDT concentration), unusually reasonable in niche perfumery nowadays.

7 out of 10
08th September, 2020

Series 1: Urban Tropicalia by Alexandre Herchcovitch by Six Scents Parfums

Urban Tropicalia is one of a trio (the ďEssentialsĒ) of limited editions from Six Scents Parfums / Parfums Quartana / Joseph Quartana, a 2020 re-release of a 2008 offering, ďSeries 1:, No. 1: Urban Tropicalia by Alexandre Herchcovitch.Ē

Urban Tropicalia is an aptly-named fruity mix that does make me feel like Iím in tropical rainforest or at least the produce aisle that features its spoils. Itís a well-balanced mix that involves the bright tartness of citrus and the more indulgent, sweet, fruitiness of other fruits, with the standout notes to me being blackcurrant, lime, and apple, with hints of florals, woods, musk, and just a pinch of cinnamon.

I often shy away from fragrances that seem like medleys of tropical fruits, but Urban Tropicalia is well-executed, an enjoyable, fresh, realistic ďfruit saladĒ rather than something too sugary or synthetic along the lines of ďfruit punch.Ē

Urban Tropicalia is in EDP concentration at a price of $53 for 30ml bottle, certainly a bargain for something so well put together. Along with #087, Iíll be picking up a bottle of this. This is delightful.

8 out 10
04th September, 2020