Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Andyjreid

Total Reviews: 51

Aoud Café by Mancera

I get a fruity/spicy opening as soon as this is sprayed.

This only lasts a few seconds before I get hit with an aromachemical wood note and a slightly medicinal oud, which to my nose, was similar to Montale Dark Aoud but only half as potent.

So coffee? Yes it's there but to me it smells like my coat when I've spent too long sitting in a coffee shop. Slightly stuffy and stale.

This gets a neutral from me though because while I won't rush out and buy this fragrance, there is something in it which I can't pinpoint that keeps me going back for more.
07th September, 2020

Aventus by Creed

10 years on and what can I say about Creed's Aventus. Well, it changed the face of male fragrance as we know it and took over from Terre d'Hermes as THE go to fragrance for any male looking to impress.

However this is the problem for me. I remember about 5 years ago at my workplace and 3 guys had clubbed together to buy a 30ml bottle of Aventus for the sole purpose of showing off that they "wore Creed". Aventus has become synonymous, in equal measure, with both gentlemen that can afford to purchase and wear it, and those that just want to, for want of a better term, show off.

When Aventus came out it was new, there was nothing else like it. Pineapple, blackcurrant, ambergris, musk, WOW!.

Now, 10 years later, almost every designer brand has an Aventus smell-a-like.

Additionally, I personally feel that Aventus is the main driver behind Creed's insane pricing. The last bottle I bought about 5 years ago was a 120ml Millesime Imperiale and it cost me about £160. That same price doesn't even get me a 50ml bottle these days. That doesn't even account for the fact that Aventus, for some unknown reason, is more expensive than any other standard Creed fragrance.

Creed now blur the lines between designer and niche. In the past, designer brands were admired for trying to push fragrances into the niche market however as far as I am aware, no niche brand decided to push their full priced products into a designer market. I doff my cap to Creed as it seems to have paid off for them.

Aventus is not a bad fragrance however, 10 years on, it is less about the fragrance and more about being a status symbol.

Get yourself a smell-a-like and I bet that 99% of people can't tell the difference.
29th July, 2020

A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

Note: Virtually the same review as the one I left for Pure Malt.

I have been on a bit of a Mugler kick recently since I picked up some sample bottles of A*Men, Pure Malt, Pure Havane and Pure Tonka (I know, late to the party). I wrote all of these fragrances off on the basis that I didn't like A*Men when I first smelled it.

I'll be the first to hold up my hands and say I was wrong.

Of the samples listed above I bought full bottles of Pure Malt and Pure Havane and to be quite honest, I struggle to choose between the two.

Pure Havane delivers from the very first spray. It opens with a giant blast of sweet(cherry and honey?) vanilla pipe tobacco that is warming and comforting. Like someone lit a pipe in the same room. It has the A*Men DNA in there but where Pure Malt goes oriental this stays a little woody and dry on me before the vanilla hits. I'm not massive into vanilla, as in Tobacco Vanille, I find it very cloying, however I find Pure Havane to be exceptionally wearable and it almost has a dry, leafy, resinous/balmy finish to it. For me, the longevity of Pure Havane is better than Pure Malt, but only just.

Similarly to Pure Malt, I cant wrap my head around the price point for this fragrance. Fragrances this good shouldn't be this cheap. In the space of a month I've bought a bottle and a backup and at the price, you could do worse than picking up a bottle of Pure Malt along with it as a partner fragrance.
23rd July, 2020
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A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler

I have been on a bit of a Mugler kick recently since I picked up some sample bottles of A*Men, Pure Malt, Pure Havane and Pure Tonka (I know, late to the party). I wrote all of these fragrances off on the basis that I didn't like A*Men when I first smelled it.

I'll be the first to hold up my hands and say I was wrong.

Of the samples listed above I bought full bottles of Pure Malt and Pure Havane and to be quite honest, I struggle to choose between the two.

Pure Malt opens with a nice heady, booziness which is backed up by the A*Men DNA but is not overbearing or cloying. Pure Malt isn't quite as groundbreaking as the original A*Men or B*Men however it is very wearable and I find it to be a lovely, light-ish, oriental gourmand that lasts all day.

It really is unbelievable that a designer fragrance at this price point could be so good. If, like me, you can't choose between Pure Malt and any of the other flankers available in your country (in the UK it's Pure Havane) then at the price point you could easily afford both.

I hope this is around for many years to come.
23rd July, 2020

B*Men by Thierry Mugler

I can't believe how long it has taken me to write a review of the excellent B*Men given that I have owned a bottle since long before it was discontinued.

I have been on a bit of a Mugler kick recently since I picked up some sample bottles of A*Men, Pure Malt, Pure Havane and Pure Tonka (I know, late to the party) but I can't shake the feeling that B*Men was always my favourite, and still is.

I've made no secret of the fact that I "hated" A*Men when I first smelled it but a few years later B*Men came out and I thought it was a great alternative.

This is a unique fragrance. To this day there is nothing else that smells like it. It carries a Mugler DNA but it's similarities with A*Men stop there. For me I get a lovely, peppery, green fragrance from B*Men along with a slightly tart, fruity note which I'm assuming is the Rhubarb although I don't think it smells like Rhubarb.

The base of this on me lasts all day and smells nice, warm and ambery without being overbearing.

I've just bought an as new bottle online, and although I've paid a little over the odds, it's still not as expensive as a brand new bottle of some designer fragrances out there that aren't even half as nice as B*Men.

If you get it, cherish it and hold on to it forever. If you don't want your bottle? Let me know.
23rd July, 2020

A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

"This is too sweet" were my famous last words every time I tested this fragrance in a store.

Every. Single. Time.

I even had a sample but could never bring myself to wear it because it's too sweet.

Well now that my B*Men seems to be coming to an end I thought I'd actually give this a wearing and to my surprise it is deceptively masculine. Once on the skin the sweetness becomes quite faint on me and I get more of the tar/coffee/patchouli/tonka/musk for most of my wearing of this.

There is an initial burst of citrus at the start but I am happy to say that for most of my wearing I'm getting the above listed notes and I am more than mildly surprised.

I am really glad I never 100% wrote this off and I am now hovering on this being bottle worthy.
12th June, 2020

Cedrat Boise by Mancera

This is an absolute powerhouse of a fragrance.

Every time I wear it I get noticed and I get comments even so much that one of my work colleagues immediately went out and bought a bottle of this after smelling it on me.

It's bold, smokey, a little fruity at the start, and on me carries quite a medicinal note. It is a little linear after the opening but given how solid a performer it is, I'd simply be nit picking to criticise it for that.

I would't know how close Cedrat Boise is to Aventus because I've never compared the two. Regardless I'd rather have a bottle of this monster performer any day.

Also just an additional note to point out how nice the bottle feels in the hand. Nice solid bottle with a cool feeling metallic cap, all delivered in a nice Montale/Mancera style carry pouch.

Lovely stuff.
10th June, 2020

Mugler Cologne Come Together by Thierry Mugler

This is pure and simply a re-name of the original Mugler Cologne. I've tried it side by side with the original and thankfully nothing has changed.

You know the deal here, soapy, grassy, vetiver which is fantastically refreshing in the spring and summer and yet somehow warming in the autumn and winter.

It's Creed's Original Vetiver on a budget. At an online discounter Mugler Cologne Come Together will set you back £35 for a 100ml bottle (£55 for 300ml). What is Creed's going rate these days? £230 for 100ml (£185 at a discounter).

You could argue Creed's side if Mugler Cologne Come Together was rubbish but it just isn't. It's a fantastically well made fragrance that can be bought on a budget. Fragrances like this are just few and far between.

On top of that, layer Mugler Cologne Come Together with a classic Eau de Cologne like Jean Marie Farina and you end up with a fragrance exceptionally similar to Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino.

There really is nothing to dislike about this fragrance. It's not generic yet somehow it is completely inoffensive and can be worn by any age group, male or female.

Oh an the "S" note for me is most definitely not "Soap" but actually "Suncream/Sunscreen".
10th June, 2020

Encre Noire by Lalique

I bought this as a blind buy as I'd come in to a little extra money and had been meaning to pick a bottle up for some time.

I am not disappointed.

Encre Noir to me is a really dry, woody vetiver. That said I pick up a scent in this that I have found in many fragrances before but in other fragrances has never sat well on my skin. I get a bit of an Incense vibe from it.

Some of the Comme des Garcons fragrances spring to mind like Incense Kyoto and there is also something in here that reminds me of EDPFM French Lover. Both fragrances I loved on paper but didn't work on my skin.

Suffice to say Encre Noir does work on my skin and I quite love it.
04th June, 2020

Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

I'm going to give this a thumbs up because as far as nailing a modern interpretation of a classic cologne this presses all the buttons.

There's not much to say about the fragrance itself other than it does what it says on the tin. It's classic cologne style with a floral middle and dry down.

There is an awful lot to like here..... except the price. Man this is way overpriced for what it is. Trust me, if you buy this, you're paying for the name.

Want to replicate this for 1/5th the price?

Buy 4711 or even better Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina and layer it with Mugler Cologne. Job done.
06th March, 2020

Aramis Tobacco Reserve by Aramis

Bought this blind and am really glad I did. I was buying a replacement bottle of Tuscany and noticed that this had dropped in at £35 for a 110ml bottle so though "why not?".

I read somewhere that someone layered this with Tuscany and I can see why this works.

What I would say is that this is neither like the original Aramis (or any of the flankers since) and also isn't that much like Havana. Sure it shares a similar note to Havana but when I tried Havana it was like a "damp" tobacco and this is like a dry/green tobacco.

Fortunately, I don't find the Tonka in the basenotes overpowering and I find that in general I get an almost cedar like dryness throughout the middle which lasts a long time on me.

The fragrance isn't overwhelming but it's a solid addition to the wardrobe. It's inoffensive but different enough to not smell like anyone else.

Give it a try and don't get caught up in the name.
26th February, 2020

M7 Oud Absolu by Yves Saint Laurent

A lot can change in 5 years.

This is the first review I have been compelled to leave here for a very long time. Through my years I have tried the original M7, owned a bottle of the reproduction, and, most recently have purchased a bottle of the Oud Absolu reissue.

My review of the original M7 was based on a sample I had which was great. I then went and bought myself a bottle to find it was a newer, reformulated (colourless glass with brown sticker), version. It was nice but too sweet and cloying.

I had the opportunity recently to try the Oud Absolu version which supposedly stayed truer to the original formulation. I can't remember the original sample I had but what I will say is that I feel that all the cloying sweetness if the reissue is gone in the Oud Absolu version but it holds the value of the original fragrance. Once again upon trying a sample this turned heads and this time I genuinely love everything about it too.

Warm and sensual without any overbearing synthetic notes. This lead to a full purchase.

Tastes can change over 5 years but YSL did a great job on this and have allowed me to say that I finally "get it".
25th July, 2014

Full Incense by Montale

Maybe I'm all romantic about Full Incense because it is currently winter but I simply cannot find anything not to like here.

Full Incense is another Montale that does exactly what it says on the tin. It has it's similarities to other fragrances, notably Avignon,however I find Montale's offering to be more rounded and less synthetic than Comme des Garcons'.

I don't really get much more out of it than incense but I love incense. I get images of burning frankincense when wearing this so I can agree with the "Church" comments. With so many incense fragrances you have to get past some overbearing nonsense in the top and middle notes to get to the warm incense basenotes. This skips that and goes straight to the incense and it remains there for a long long time.
07th December, 2012
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Santal Wood by Montale

Santal Wood is Montale attempting a mainstream male fragrance. It is inoffensive in the opening and has a very generic woodsy/ambery/iso E super thing going on.

It's woody, fresh, sporty, aquatic and my guess is that the majority of people will like it.

It doesn't challenge and feels out of place in the Montale line.

Where it does tie in with other Montales is it's longevity. It lasts forever and this made me bored of it.
07th December, 2012

Greyland by Montale

What a lovely blend of spices and incense................. and then.........


Cumin and sweaty armpits

No thanks
07th December, 2012

Dark Aoud by Montale

Dark Aoud, along with Black Musk, has quickly become one of my all time favourite fragrances.

The oud note dominates this scent but it has a dark, smoky and burnt feeling to it. It is extremely medicinal (not chemical) in the opening and remains linear throughout most of it's wearing. Got compliments from other guys the very first time I wore it. Not "you smell great" compliments but more like an understanding nod of appreciation.

There are no "rose petals" or "white musks" in Dark Aoud it simply does what it says on the tin.

This will split opinions and you will never hear "Yea, Dark Aoud. It's ok I guess".
07th December, 2012

Black Musk by Montale

Like many Montale fragrances Black Musk is a challenging wear for some. It opens up with an explosion of the medicinal Montale oud house note however this didn't last too long on me before I found myself sniffing my shirt over and over to try and identify what was going on.

Black Musk is complex and is not as linear as some other Montale fragrances. I agree with comments about it being dark and futuristic. To me it had a sharpness to it with almost metallic/inky qualities.

This has huge longevity and after the initial burst of fragrance I find it stays quite close to the skin however still projects enough to have people notice how great you smell.

In a sea full of aquatics and department store "woods" you'd stand head and shoulders above the rest.
07th December, 2012

Aoud Cuir d'Arabie by Montale

I can appreciate this fragrance for what it is and what it is meant to be. I get the oud and I get the leather however unfortunately I also get a giant fecal note that I just can't shake from this regardless of how long I've been wearing it.

Is it a bad fragrance? Absolutely not.

Is it for me? No
07th December, 2012

Aoud Musk by Montale

I had originally written off Aoud Musk as upon my first smell on a card I felt that an earthiness overpowered everything else in this fragrance.

I had bought a sample so I thought I'd may as well wear it and I'm glad I did. This opened up to be a wonderful fragrance full or warm woods and musk with a very masculine feeling to it. It remains quite linear for most of it's lifespan however this is not a bad thing as it feels comforting to me.

I was worried about this having animalic characteristics however it is much more earthy. The longevity of this is great and anyone who is close to you will be sure to notice.

This is on my list to get in the future.
07th December, 2012

Aoud Lime by Montale

Well this is something else. A big loud opening of medicinal oud, harsh lime, and for me, a soapy undertone. The soap prevailed to my nose and I likened this to many lime scented shaving soaps. A very clean and clinical smell.

I loved it and my wife hated it......... until the next morning. After 7-8 hours the harsh soapyness had gone and I was left with a wonderful aromatic woody smell.

Aoud Lime, as with many other Montales, can be very challenging but it is certainly worth trying at least once. Under no circumstances should anyone every buy this blind.
07th December, 2012

Peau d'Espagne / Spanish Leather by Santa Maria Novella

I've worn the Peau d'Espagne now for a couple of days from a sample and simply, I'm blown away.

I find it hard to describe how I feel about it. It's old yet has a modern abstract feeling about it. Very much un-mainstream. I absolutely love the birch tar note in there and that adds a real "old world" woody aspect to the fragrance. The whole time this is going on you have faint floral/herbaceous notes floating about in there and they are sitting at the side on a pillow of talc.

The star of this scent though is the medicinal/balmy/ambery binding in the base which along with the dryness of this scent, brings all the notes together. "Leather " fragrances can be cloying (GFT Spanish Leather) and can sometimes be over the top (Knize Ten). I agree with one of the previous reviews saying this is stronger than the above but it is much more perfectly balanced than any other leather I've worn before.

I had previously started a thread in the forum here about finding a scent which was the smell of walking into the entrance hall of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. A lot of answers came back but this is that scent (maybe adding in a little of SMN Pot Pourri), this is alchemy, this is Santa Maria Novella.

The smell of a perfumer in a centuries old building with surrounds just as old. Old oak which has soaked up all the fragrances past and holds those scents as memories for everyone to smell in the future.

This is simply wonderful.

Now...... to try and source a bottle.
26th July, 2012

Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums

Well I've only had my Bottle of Ambre 114 for about a week and man what a fragrance.

I knew what I was getting myself into with it when I had been trying it from a sample but I had no idea what it would become.

Nothing else I have worn, ever, has had that many comments (note comments not compliments). People in work have actually stopped when walking past me to ask what it is that I'm wearing and how different/strange it smells. Someone said it smelt medicinal but had a lovely warm smell to it and someone else just badgered me for 10 minutes with the "what are you wearing?" line.

I mean it's nice to get attention and all but this fragrance is just so much more to me. It is certainly in holy grail territory but from a frag/fume-head point of view. I have never smelt anything in my life that keeps giving the way Ambre 114 does. Every time I have worn it, I get something different. Obviously there is quite an oriental kick to it and it can sometimes overpower just after application but even though it has an opulent almost "thick" smell it always stays light on the skin. You get florals through it, and once, only once, I got a fabulous birch tar note for about an hour after wearing it for about 5 hours.

You can get a clear 15+ hours out of this and wearing it is like reading a story or going on a journey.

My only concern about it is................ can it be too nice to wear every day?

03rd April, 2012

Égoïste Cologne Concentrée by Chanel

I really really love Égoïste as an EDT and I use the aftershave version also. It is one of those scents that just blows me away every time I smell it. It was hard enough (a few years back) to even find a bottle of the EDT available in the UK. Now, fortunately, we have a few Chanel Boutiques so are able to get our hands on Égoïste and all the Les Exclusifs too.

To get the general scent of Égoïste check out the review for the EDT. I can't add anything more than what has already been said above. Cologne Concentree Égoïste is richer, thicker almost. It exudes opulence. They say Égoïste was originally Bois Noir (Dark/Black Woods) well I'll be damned if Cologne Concentree doesn't fit this description.

It's rarity has become stuff of legend and so has the price point if you try to find it on the second hand market.

I have the smallest amount left in a Chanel sample vial and EVERY TIME I smell it, my heart genuinely aches that this is no longer in production.

Edit: I managed to snag a full bottle of this a good while ago now but ultimately I let it go for the same price as I bought it for. Yes it was worth it but I cherished the fragrance so much that I actually became apprehensive to wear it. Eventually I ended up wearing, and appreciating Égoïste ETD so much more and as a result found that it worked better with my body chemistry than the Cologne Concentree.

Given that Égoïste is still available, I would go for it every time unless I found a bottle of Cologne Concentree at the same price as the ETD.
26th February, 2012 (last edited: 13th May, 2020)

Black Pepper by Molton Brown

There was once a thread on the boards here asking people if they liked the products that accompanied the fragrances, in this case Black Pepper EdT is actually the accompanying product to the body wash.

I bought this on the strength of the scent in the body wash which Molton Brown claimed they had managed to put in an EdT. In my opinion Molton Brown didn't even try.

If this genuinely smelt like the body wash then this EdT would be a contender up there with some of the great power scents of the 80's and if it had some longevity it could quite easily have been my holy grail of scents.

As it turns out it is a poor version of what was supposedly copied which turns cloying on my skin, even once the scent has gone.

Get the body wash instead and on a day off have a bath or shower with it and enjoy it's scent for as long as it lasts.
17th November, 2009

Original Santal by Creed

Right, firstly, I know a lot of Creeds come under scrutiny for being like/being worse than a smell-a-like but I tried this on today and all I smelt for the majority of the day was Joop!. Not a smell like Joop! but a smell that is so similar to Joop! I couldn't tell the difference. Joop! is very loud and tenacious and you can smell sillage from miles away, similarly with this.

Longevity issues? Are you kidding? Currently at 10 hours and still going strong, now just smells like Joop! layered with the Creed house note of amber.

Other Creed smell-a-likes I have been able to pass because I consider the Creeds to be of a greater quality but I can't let Creed have this one.

I wish I had "longevity issues" with this but I don't.

I smell like a pre-pubescent teen at a school disco.
20th October, 2009

Spanish Leather by Geo F Trumper

Not much leather in the opening of this cologne and to be honest not much leather at all. I sort of agree with the_good_life when he says it should be called English Barbershop as it does contain a soapy note.

It does say on the box however that "It has often been assumed that the preparation includes leather in it's make-up but the name actually derives from the fact that leather, usually tanned kid or chamois, is immersed in a special perfume. Once treated this "Spanish Leather" will retain it's distinctive fragrance for a considerable time. Trumpers adhere faithfully to the traditional preparation when producing Spanish Leather Cologne."

So they have stated that it is based on a liquid used to treat leather. I can smell some leather in it but it isn't till the dry down which to me hangs around and smells like a leathery-talc.

All in all this is a very pleasing and sort of light cologne which I feel will see me through summer and winter.
12th August, 2009

Millésime Impérial by Creed

With Millésime Impérial I'm in with the camp that love it. In fact, I'm pretty much 99% sure that if I could only ever use one scent again then this would be it. When I first bought Millésime Impérial I was taken in with the top notes. It is a little fresh and very aquatic but not in a modern trendy way. I grew up on a seaside town and to me the aqua in Millésime Impérial smells like the smell of sea air on a warm summer night. It also seems to have a little fruityness in there, not citrus but an almost melon like accord. Spraying this on makes me feel like a million bucks.

However the real beauty in Millésime Impérial, for me, comes about 8 - 10 hours after I've applied it (longevity naysayers be gone, this lasts). To me the basenotes in this just shine, its that lovely far away dry down that even after the day at work, Im sitting having a glass of wine or a beer, I stretch out to put my glass down and even that little muscle movement is enough to trigger a little heat which triggers the drydown again, a lovely warm but crisp amber. I go to bed and I still smell this and the next morning I get up and go for a shower and the first drop of water that hits my skin makes it smell like Millésime Impérial.

There are a lot of smell-a-likes both averagely priced (Unforgivable) and highly priced (Bond No9 Wall St). Unforgivable wears away to nothing in seconds and Wall St, while it has the longevity it doesn't have the development.

I would happily wear this every day for the rest of my life if it weren't for the price. However, excellence never came cheap.
13th July, 2009

Rapport by Eden Classics

This along with Mandate, to me, is the ultimate "Fathers Day" cologne. It just reminds me of that "smell that the kids can afford for dad that isn't Old Spice or Brut" and I still know some gents, my own father included, do wear this.

I think it works fine for what it is, however it takes me back to being a boy, not a young man, a boy, and trying this on to make me smell nice for the girls at school discos etc. Oh the shame and failure.

Im sure some will love this for the nostalgia but for me this belongs in the same ether as Hai-Karate etc.

Certainly one I would not buy for myself, or my father.
28th June, 2009

Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

One of the negative reviews here said "this smells like barbasol". My point is, what's wrong with that? This is meant to be a masculine scent and it is. It does smell like barbasol and it does smell like an old fashioned barber shop but that's the thing which Rive Gauche does best.

Apart from being taken aback that this comes in an aluminium container and not a bottle, I can't fault it.
17th June, 2009

Knize Ten by Knize

You wake up in the morning, you have a shower and get dressed. You go to your fragrances and say "What shall I wear?" You choose Knize Ten.

For the rest of the day, everywhere you go, you will be turning heads.

A lot of people will be curious about what they are smelling, others will turn in disgust.

You won't care though because you're wearing Knize Ten
17th June, 2009