Perfume Reviews

Reviews by aestheticindustrialist

Total Reviews: 27

Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir

Very strong, a bit caustic perhaps? Too tenacious and loud for my tastes.

Like a rebooted Grey Flannel on kryptonite.
09th May, 2018

Thirty-three by Ex Idolo

Vivid, super fresh, dewy rose. Clean, clear, and as if picked from the garden. An exceptional rose perfume.

Oud? Not really.
20th February, 2018

Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

A real thriller. A total skank. Oh my, a classically styled wonder.

Salome is resolutely animalic. But it's also fairly floral, powdery, and faintly aldehydic. The effusive opening is uric and ammoniac and indolic, thrusting jasmine like a stadium speaker pounding out bass. The hyraceum (Africa stone) is almost imperceptible, but this deft integration is clearly in play, that sort of old book, history museum hall aura that helps invoke a sense that this perfume was made several decades ago.

Moores has really succeeded in composing something whose sum is much, much greater than its parts; again, the integration here is masterful.

Alluring, and for the courageous and the cognoscenti.

24th September, 2017
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Tacit by Aesop

Ho-hum citrus-resin with minimal sillage and a sweet drydown.
10th September, 2017

Truth Calvin Klein Men by Calvin Klein

At a time of Calone insanity, marine accord frenzy, obsessive freshness, and national anxiety, I found Truth to be an outlier that deserved more recognition than it did. It unified a marine/ozone facet with light, green freshness, and, in my opinion, the best presentation of "white musk" at the time — clean, out-of-the-shower light sweat evaporating off the skin.

Oh, but there *was* that problem with the original sprayers that started to decompose/rust not long after launch...
22nd August, 2017

Euphoria Men by Calvin Klein

A forgettable gourmand evoking stained khaki and uninspired facsimile.
22nd August, 2017

Calvin by Calvin Klein

The original formulation of Calvin was prescient, predictive of many seminal riffs one would see down the line, through Drakkar Noir and numerous spicy fougeres later on. Calvin's main problem was it was too strong; it took a serious effort to spray on as little as possible. A full spritz was noxious, but just the right amount was a wonderfully zippy bergamot, yet coriander-like, musky idiosyncrasy.
22nd August, 2017

cK2 by Calvin Klein

There is minimal and there is simplistic.

Calvin Klein has been known for their accomplishments in the realm of haute minimalism.

But cK2 is truly an accomplishment in the realm of simplistic.
22nd August, 2017

Cardinal by Heeley

Pretty straightforward incense, much more interesting than Avignon (Commes des Garçons) although quite similar — perhaps Cardinal is more richer, more natural feeling. The incense notes persist for a good two to three hours. The base notes are pleasant, resinous/ambery, but admittedly not super exciting. Unobtrusive overall.
20th July, 2017

1 Million by Paco Rabanne

So kiss a little longer
Stay close a little longer
Pull tight a little longer
longer with 1 Million!

That 1 Million freshness lasts right through it.
Your fresh breath goes on and on
while you chew it!

Say goodbye a little longer
make it last a little longer
Give your breath long-lasting freshness
with 1 Million!
13th July, 2017

Sauvage by Christian Dior

Vile. They should just call it "Eau Ambroxan."
13th July, 2017

You Or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d'Orange

The first three to five minutes are lovely — fresh and alluring, a well-balanced citrusy saline mist that glimmers like a breezy Los Angeles sunrise. Thereafter, however, it's a sweet calone pudding that screams "safe," an I-drank-too-much-vodka sweat that's off-putting, a boredom that is the worst of El Lay, that of a foul wind blown in from the doldrums of Fresno. Probably a crowdpleaser given its concept, but zzzz...
12th July, 2017

Gaïac Mystique by Givenchy

Lacks the spicy interestingness of true guaiacwood, substituted with obtuse coumarin. Forgettable.
12th July, 2017
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Phi - Une Rose de Kandahar by Tauer

A lovely sultry rosy opening that suddenly disintegrates into a cinnamon-ambroxan cloying stew.
09th July, 2017

Black Afgano by Nasomatto

This smells less like hashish and more like the spent ash you throw away several days after you've smoked hashish. High concept, underwhelming implementation, but interesting for what it is, a phenolic/animalic/plastic mishmash.
05th July, 2017 (last edited: 29th August, 2017)

parfums*PARFUMS Series 6 Synthetic: Tar by Comme des Garçons

The original formulation of Tar was something that I could never conceivably wear, but something that I would always want to smell. It was just a deliciously foul bottle of hot, freshly paved asphalt. It was a hot, but breathably vivid Los Angeles day. I first smelled this at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA, which at the time was one of the few easy places you could find CdG and this series in particular. The memory is indelible, like a footprint imprinted into a new road by a firm foot.

Let's hope the rerelease for Olfactory Library adheres just as well.
05th July, 2017

Monocle Scent One : Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

Hinoki is very minimal and simplistic: a cypress & laurel leaf opening, a synthetic impression of actual Hinoki wood (which, in its finest quality, smells wonderfully anachronistic, alluringly camphoraceous, lemony, vivid, and virile), and a pretty common-to-CdG cedary-musk base accord.

What it does it does well, thanks to the captive faux-Hinoki which makes up a large part of the composition. But, I've found after repeated wearings, its thrill fades quickly, namely, I find myself asking, "Why would I want to wear this anymore?" when I think about it: the opening notes are too short-lived, its core is too one-faceted, and its foundation is ultimately reminiscent of too many other CdG scents, which in time, all begin to smell too alike to wear as unique.

And whereas CdG once felt very unique, now, especially here in Hinoki, it begins to just feel safe. Lovely, but not so proportional to its bloated price.
05th July, 2017

parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Comme des Garçons

An overused base accord of musk, musk, and more musk, topped with sweet, shortlived incense. Boring scrubber.
05th July, 2017

Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein

Early 1990s-memory provoker. The original formulation has muscle and flesh that the contemporary recipes lack. Vintage bottle from circa 1989 holding up perfectly — spicy amber that reeks of the handsome bridge and tunnel crowd, in the most desired way possible. In hindsight, complex and exciting; with today's eyes, fairly linear and myopic, but a pleasure center still all the way.
05th July, 2017

Wild Roses by Aftelier

A floral, vanilla disaster that culls the more pickled elements of rose and the lardy facets of palmarosa, perhaps some impurities leftover in the geraniol distillation. Cloyingly sweet, like the saliva one begins to taste as a wave of nausea hits. Equally turn-invoking.

Aftel is deft with the all-natural restriction, but this is a true lapse in her otherwise artistic skill.
05th July, 2017

Civet by Zoologist Perfumes

If you have enjoyed the pleasure of smelling raw or real tinctured civet, then your reaction to this composition will be: "This smells absolutely nothing like civet." Neither bluntly nor ethereally does any stage of it come across as being inspired by the animalic gold.

Beyond the misnomer, I found this to be quite pedestrian and forgettable, reminiscent of something I smelled too frequently when I worked the fragrance counter in my youth. It's keenly associational to several different styles of fragrance past — that perhaps is its strong point. It's a musked pastiche of many different perfume conventions, packaged in a gorgeous cut bottle and branded with an interesting concept and design identity.

In fact, I would argue that it's the overarching concept of the line that encourages excitement about this particular bottle. No matter, this outlier isn't buying into that ideology or buying the bottle.
05th July, 2017

Room 237 by Bruno Fazzolari

Vinyly, clean citrus.

Conceptually, it's a pretty scant connection to Kubrick's vision of Room 237 — which, to me, would smell sireneqsue followed by putrid air and disease. There's no emotion of fear in this bottle, it's a clean step out the door from a summer shower.

05th July, 2017

Lonesome Rider by Tauer

Another Tauer that pairs too much longevity, too much sillage, and an insipid, caustically tart/synthetic core that really leaves one feeling lonesome, since it's so hard to stand next to anyone wearing this.

If you know its predecessor, Incense Flash, which is basically the prototype or base structure here, but refitted with "leather," then perhaps this is for you. Like its forebear, Rider is equally headache inducing and caustically overbearing. It is somehow too tart, too thin, too bright, and too much while stitching together some saddle of pleathery, vinyly tannin.

I cannot wear this and unfortunately it's durability resists scrubbing. It's cloyingly longlasting and incredibly protrusive with its sillage. I understand why people love this (and Incense Flash), but if you're looking for something that ranks a sublime confidence paired with bold vision, Lonesome Rider is merely drifting out from the sand dunes of an empty, dystopic, alkaline desert.
05th July, 2017

Incense Flash by Tauerville

Like many of Tauer's efforts, this is too strong, too long, and in this instance, borderline caustic. Never have I experienced an immediate headache as quickly after spraying as with Incense Flash. This lemonbomb is the worst parts of citrusy frankincense without the incense — it's frank in its statement, but lacks the sublimity of good incense.

A flash, yes, like an oncoming and deafening migraine.

Also: Cf. Lonesome Rider, which is basically a refitting on Incense Flash to be more "leather."
05th July, 2017

Yohji Essential by Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Essential begins with a verdant burst of faintly sweet, but tart yellow flowers. Its rose facets are supportive, rather than defining. One could certainly characterize the overall entry as harsh or brash — it is fairly ammoniac/uric, and definitely animalic in that sense.

Thirty minutes in, Essential becomes less brash, or perhaps the wearer just becomes less aware of the volume. I wouldn't characterize this as overly complex, I sense some light herbal elements, and agree with the previous reviewer's assertion of a cumin edge. There is a fruited, malic quality underfoot as well.

It's nice, but this beast is not for my skin.

(Vintage bottle from launch release.)
05th July, 2017

Limestone by Thorn & Bloom

Limestone is a beautiful, well-integrated, extremely fresh and dry composition. Its overall characteristic is quite slatey: there is a general cool, modern stonelike quality that the vivid notes of lime and peppercorn effortlessly connect with the costus root — really a beautiful bridge here. Though the notes suggest its heart contains "jasmine, champaca, cilantro," they hardly stand out, rather unite an form a sum greater than these parts that leans as a light(ly) floral bouquet against bright grey flint.

This is really lovely, and was a unique, understated standout amongst the nominees at the 2016 Institute for Art & Olfaction Awards.
05th July, 2017

parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Avignon by Comme des Garçons

Avignon is a fairly good incense accord: It has a nice element of frankincense paired to a citric wood (presently very reminiscent of the CdG/Monocle "Hinoki" Georgywood), coming across rather high-pitched. But, I'm not entirely sure why people freak out over this: it's not a holy apparition.

In memory, I recall enjoying this more years ago, so perhaps I have changed. Today, this perfume is giving me a headache. It's linear, straightforward, and rather banal. It's not complex — it's in-your-face frankincense and wood — rather the product of too many altar boys igniting the censer. The drydown is mostly the higher-gamma Iso E Super with some remaining frankincense.

Great opening, but fades toward audience universalism.

04th July, 2017