Perfume Reviews

Reviews by yuncherrypops

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Total Reviews: 34

This is Him! by Zadig & Voltaire

Sexy woodsy vanillic incense.

This smells fantastic. It's a pretty simple scent overall, as evinced by the note breakdown. The opening is a blast of pencil shavingsy/raw woodsy ISO E-Super coupled with black pepper and quickly settles into the main act: smoky incense mingled with woods, pepper, and creamy vanilla. It does feel synthetic, but not overly. There's little to no evolution, save for the vanilla growing more prominent as the fragrance dries down. But that's fine by me, because it smells wonderful. This is as a slick, sexy, night on the town in an all-black outfit kind of scent, as has been enumerated by numerous reviewers already.

My main problem with this is that the performance is much softer than I'd like. At least, I think it's soft - I could very well be anosmic to the ISO E-Super. But unfortunately I think this is another case of my-skin-eats-everything. I get around 3-4 hours of longevity, and it's almost an instant skin scent. I love the smell, so whenever I wear it I keep my bottle around to replenish periodically, but I can't help but wish that it would just last longer. I have a 20ml bottle, but the juice is so weak (and my love of the scent itself so strong) that I've depleted almost 3/4s of it in 2 months of ownership. If it only lasted a little longer this would easily be one of my signature scents. C'est la vie. I won't be upgrading to a larger bottle when the 20ml is gone, but I am interested in checking out Just Rock!, as I've heard that it performs better and is similar to This Is Him!, for a similar price on the discounters.

Overall, this is really nice, sexy, and fairly unique (for a designer) fragrance for fall and winter evenings. If it performs on your skin, then this could very well be a great option for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite tick my box.

7/10
25th March, 2020

Pour Un Homme Sport by Caron

A solid summer scent.

The smell from the atomizer made me think this wasn't going to be my thing. It smelled way too thick, dense, plasticky, almost Play-Doh like. However, it smells much, much better on skin. It is still dense, but there's also a breeziness to it that keeps it uplifting and eminently refreshing. To borrow some associations from other reviewers: it's like a decadent slice of key lime pie just taken out of the fridge and eaten on the terrace, or a lime creamsicle on a hot July day, so cold it gives you brainfreeze. It does have a quasi-gourmand vibe, though I wouldn't go so far as to classify it as such. Key lime pie is my favorite dessert, and it's next to impossible to find here in Taiwan, so this fragrance does make me feel a little bit homesick, in a good way. But I digress.

"Warm" and "cold" accords are juxtaposed quite well - the central mass of benzoin, tonka, ambergris, white musk, and cedar, all of which combine to convey a sense of creaminess and density, is balanced with an aromatic brace of verbena, ginger, lavender, and citrus, which blow cold air onto the composition. This is where the "mintiness" is coming from, no doubt. The one thing I wish is that this had a little bit more of a gingery zing. Although the opening has some sharp zestiness to it, over time that fades as the scent fully embraces the dreamy creaminess of the benzoin/tonka/ambergris/lavender.

Overall, I'm a big fan of this fragrance. Surprisingly, given my skin's tendency to eat up anything scented, I get great performance with this one, around 8-9 hours. This is one of the only fragrances I have that can last a fully work day, and is still quite detectable as a skin scent at the end of that window. I bought my 50ml bottle for around $35, and I'd say it's a great deal considering. Is it my favorite summer scent? No, but I'll definitely be reaching for it on the hot days when I want a real feeling of refreshment.

8.5/10
25th March, 2020

Amyris Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Maybe I'm just not familiar with the smell of amyris, but to me this smells like little more than soapy tonka with vague floral nuances and a smidgen of coconutty creaminess. I will echo other reviewers' assessment of this as little more than a high end designer fragrance. Not that it smells bad - far from it. It's well blended and likeable, though I certainly don't get any coffee, chocolate, or oud. But I think this is far from Monsieur Kurkdijan's best work. I get limited longevity, projection, and sillage as well, which I've come to expect from MFK EDTs. This is a fantastic house with some absolutely amazing fragrances but I think this one is a dud. Get it on sale if you really want it, but I've smelt Zara and Pull&Bear fragrances with the same scent profile and performance for pennies. There is an extrait version, which I don't believe is in the Fragrantica database yet, that might fix the problems I have with the EDT, but who knows.

4/10
19th January, 2020
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Bottega Veneta pour Homme Extrême by Bottega Veneta

Very lovely juniper, pine, and leather with a great pimento note. The leather is very soft and supple, not especially prominent, but still very much noticeable. It is serious, masculine, and quite sexy, with a smidge of freshness that makes me think that it would work well in warmer weather as well as during the autumn and winter. However, like other Bottega Veneta fragrances I've tried, the performance was poor for me - around 3 hours longevity, and limited projection and sillage. Ultimately, I sold it; but still I get cravings for it. I've since sampled Russian Leather by the house of Memo Paris, and as other reviewers have noted, can affirm that they are quite similar, though Russian Leather is superior in terms of scent profile and performance. I'll be picking up a bottle eventually. Still, Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Extreme is a classy, sexy, very well composed fragrance hearkening back to the old favorites that could shake up your winter rotation of sweet and spicy orientals. I just wish it lasted longer on my skin.

7/10
27th December, 2019

1899 Ernest Hemingway by Histoires de Parfums

A gorgeous but discrete fragrance. Warm, nose tinglingly spicy, smooth, a bit creamy, a twinge of sweetness, but mostly dry. Comparisons to Spicebomb are apt, though as other reviewers have noted, this is far, far beyond it in terms of composition and quality. Perfectly refined and well balanced. I just wish it had a little bit more oomph, a little bit more power behind it. Its lasting power leaves something to be desired, and its projection and sillage are similarly taciturn. I think I'll try this out when it gets a bit colder out, though only at home or at the office.

7/10
27th December, 2019

Signature pour Homme by Zaharoff

I owned this fragrance previously and eventually swapped it. It is most assuredly a rich, complex perfume with high quality ingredients. The oud, resins, patchouli, lavender, vetiver, and spices (cardamom and black pepper) are the most prominent notes to my nose. The Fragrantica pyramid is actually missing a few notes - notably pear, iris, amber, and olibanum. The combination of the pear, iris, oud, sandalwood, and resins create an extremely smooth and creamy texture which I absolutely loved, though the pear and florals weren't really all that detectable. The oud in this fragrance is fantastic - a woody variety without any barnyard stink. There's something very soapy here - maybe the cardamom - that makes this fresh, versatile, and suitable for all seasons, despite the otherwise "heavy" notes. The combination of it all together, somewhat surprisingly, makes it smell like an extremely high quality blue fragrance crossed with a barbershop/gentlemanly classic (lavender + patchouli) with a little bit of oriental inflection. It really is a beautiful fragrance - a mix of old and new, West and East.

So why did I swap it? Two reasons. The first is this - on my skin, it simply didn't perform very well. After trying it in both cold and warm weather, I got maybe 4-5 before it entered skin scent territory. Overall longevity was around 6 hours, with poor projection and sillage. This could simply be a consequence of my own chemistry - my skin eats fragrance - but Zaharoff himself remarked to me in a Youtube comment that the high concentration of naturals in the blend could reduce performance. You'll have to try it for yourself to see what you get it out it. The second reason was that this was simply a bit mature for my tastes. I think it could easily be a beautiful "signature" (heh) scent for men 30+, but for me (24), I felt like it simply wasn't the best fit. Make no mistake, there is definitely a throwback retro vibe here. If that's your thing, then this will absolutely be the fragrance for you. It's not really my thing, so I had to swap this for something that I felt was a little bit more "me".

Overall, though, this is a beautiful, well composed fragrance that is a strong showing for this brand. It's absolutely worth a try if you like classic, gentlemanly fragrances that have a little bit of a modern flair. It wasn't for me, but it could be for you!
27th December, 2019

Vétiver Fatal by Atelier Cologne

A bright, luminous vetiver fragrance that balances the grassy, fresh aspects of the root with a dash of earthy bitterness. Plum provides fruitiness à la Bal d'Afrique, and while there is definitely a big similarity between the two, Vetiver Fatal is far less floral and far more unisex. Contributing a bit more of a masculine character to the blend is a very present violet leaf note (to my nose). This fragrance is also far soapier than Bal d'Afrique. Nevertheless, this is still quite unisex and quite lovely - a grassy, soapy, fresh, slightly fruity, and clean fragrance that is sure not to offend even the most sensitive noses. Performance is nothing to write home (or on Fragrantica) about, but is definitely a little bit better than Atelier's citrus centric fragrances (and better than Bal d'Afrique), with around 6 hours of longevity and mild projection and sillage in an air conditioned office environment or a warm, not blazing hot day. I wore this on a humid early September day here in Taiwan and the fragrance was little more than a distant memory on my skin by the time I had arrived at work a mere 15 minutes later. Worn appropriately, though, you can squeeze a little bit more out of it. Overall, I enjoy Vetiver Fatal, but I don't think that I'll be buying a fb after my decant runs out, unless I can find a good deal on the discounters. My favorite fresh vetivers remain Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver, Ormond Jayne Zizan, and Lalique Encre Noire Sport.

7/10
27th December, 2019

Allure Homme by Chanel

To add a voice to the choir:

I absolutely fell in love with this scent at first sniff. It is a sublime, fruity, creamy, semi-spicy, woodsy, citrusy, tonka and vanilla fragrance with that trademark Chanel aldyhedic sheen and a marked dustiness that I loved. But the juice very simply does not last. I get at most 1-2 hours at most, with as little as 30 minutes of projection. I do have perfume eating skin, I'll grant that, but at the price that I paid, a hefty $95, it's simply ridiculous. There are Chanel fragrances that I love, like Egoiste, Coromandel, and Antaeus, that I am willing to pay for. If this juice had anything approaching respectable performance I'd be willing to pay that price. But it doesn't, so I gifted my heavily used bottle to my girlfriend, on whose skin it seems to last at least an hour or two longer than on mine.

A beautiful scent neutered by abysmal performance.

6/10
27th December, 2019

L'Homme Idéal Cologne by Guerlain

After having exhausted a bottle of this fragrance just today, I cannot but feel a sense of relief. No longer do I have to put in the taxing effort of trying to like this fragrance. Not that it's a BAD fragrance, mind you - it's perfectly serviceable, simple, sweet, and generally pleasant. But I can't help but feel let down, especially considering the fat hype train for this juice. I am a huge Guerlain fan, and a huge fan of the L'Homme Ideal line, but sadly this is second to last in my reckoning, right above the dreadful Sport. I've been trying to convince myself that I enjoy this fragrance ever since I got it in August. I live in Taiwan, so it's damn hot. I thought that this would be perfect for the scorching days of the Taiwanese summer and autumn. But I was sorely mistaken - this fragrance was utterly obliterated what felt like mere moments after stepping out of the door into the humidity-soaked Formosan air. I have never gotten even decent performance out of this fragrance, despite overspraying in an office environment. In terms of scent profile, it is, as I previously mentioned, pleasing, but in no way surprising or unique. Creamy citrus has been done many times before, most notably by Chanel with their Edition Blanche and most masterfully by Xerjoff with Uden. Surprisingly both are leaps and bounds above the Guerlain in terms of performance and overall scent character in my estimation. The almond does add some...flair, I suppose, of some kind, but its voice is not all THAT recognizable in the choir. This is not a fragrance with much (or any) evolution. Nor can one detect different notes in the composition beyond citruses, light almond, and maybe a smidgen of musk. Vetiver is listed, as is neroli, and these are tragically nowhere to be found. The overall scent character, on first spray, reminded me of a Haribo lemon gummy bear. I love Haribo gummy bears (really gummies of any variety), but I was expecting something a lot more. "Fizzy frozen lemonade" this is not.

So it is with great satisfaction that I appraise my empty 50ml (quite nice) bottle of Guerlain L'Homme Ideal Cologne, and bid it a long overdue farewell.

If you're interested in a summer Guerlain, go with Vetiver/Vetiver Extreme, Homme L'Eau Boisee, or even L'Homme Ideal Cool, which I think is a lot better than Cologne, if not earth shattering.

4/10
27th December, 2019

Voyage d'Hermès by Hermès

This has to be one of my favorite fragrances in terms of scent profile in the whole world, but one of my least favorite in terms of performance, as others have pointed out. It's an absolutely addicting blend of citrus, tea, wood, and musk with a beautifully rendered cardamom note. It's clean, airy, billowy, and out-of-the-shower fresh, but there's also a little bit of dirtiness or earthiness undergirding the whole thing that adds a sexy edge. It's genderless, ageless (in my opinion, though one might argue that it better suits someone 20+), and just phenomenal in every way EXCEPT for performance. It's pretty much an instant skin scent for me, with a longevity of maybe 2-3 hours, practically EDC in terms of strength. Now, I must add that I do live in a subtropical, bordering on tropical, climate with extremely hot and humid weather, and I have perfume eating skin. Even so, I've applied Voyage d'Hermes in an air conditioned environment without going outside and gotten the same outcome. Wearing this on my daily walk to work resulted in total annihilation, with not even a trace of the fragrance remaining after fifteen minutes. I've plowed through my 35ml (very cool) bottle of Voyage within a matter of months. This reflects both my love for the fragrance (and I do truly love the smell) and its utter lack of performance. For that reason, despite the fact that I adore the smell, I will either be purchasing the Parfum once my bottle is finished, or looking elsewhere.

6/10
27th December, 2019

Reflection Man by Amouage

One of my favorite drydowns in perfumery. The opening is quite powdery and floral, but it quickly dries down to a positively addictive pink pepper, orris, sandalwood, and vanilla combo with a soapy, metallic sheen. I despised it on first application, thinking it was like a too cloying Le Male (if that's possible) but now I'm absolutely in love. On a warm spring day in a crisp white shirt, it's divine.
23rd June, 2019

Plum Japonais by Tom Ford

Ohhhhhh Plum Japonais you are a spicy, naughty little minx. I remember when I first tried you, I thought you were a bit too oudy, a bit too smoky, a bit too spicy, a bit too je ne sais quoi. But you were just teasing me, you little vixen. I was the one who was wrong, not you. You were a star, a diva, a femme fatale, and I was nothing but a boy, a shy, inexperienced boy whose nose had no sense of decorum. But I went away, I smelled, I grew, I changed - I became a man, and I came back to you. And how wrong I was. Will you ever be able to forgive me?

Now I smell the floral sensuality, the deep booziness, the succulent fruitiness, the exotic harmony of saffron and cinnamon that swaddle you in that aura of intrigue, and the dark carnality of oud, resins, and balsams that make you seem so bottomless. Girl, you got stories to tell, you got your sh*t together, you lookin like a slice of fine a la mode, and you ain't takin smack from NOBODY. This is the aroma of a dark eyed beauty you lock eyes with across a smoke filled parlor of a Parisian jazz club, puffing softly at one of those long cigarette holders and delicately tracing a gloved finger along the rim of her martini glass. With a single glance she tells so much but reveals nothing, and when you join her at her table, it feels as if you've known each other forever - everything's already been said. She speaks three languages, she writes postmodernist novels, she's an accomplished playwright. To some she seems haughty, but there's a melancholy behind her eyes that inexorably draws you to her. The night is young, and she proposes that you find someplace quieter to chat. As you open the door, the icy cold winter air wafts in and mingles with her perfume, and in that moment, as the lights of Paris sparkle in the night sky, you know that you're hooked.

Quite unisex, but leaning femme. Performance is great, with powerful projection and sillage but moderate longevity. One of my all time favorites. If you want something that smells truly EXOTIC, give this one a sniff.

23rd June, 2019

Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

What is there to say about this fragrance that hasn't already been said? This a stunning masterpiece of a fragrance that you owe it to yourself as a fraghead to try. Deep, rich, smoky, sensual, fruity, dry, sweet, creamy, soft - PoaL covers almost all the bases. The combination of rose and patchouli - tried and true - is enriched by glowing incense, creamy sandalwood, autumnal spices, and a photorealistic raspberry note (so real that you can smell the tannins in the seeds). It is intoxicating, it is full-bodied, it is exotic, it is powerful, it is perfume with a capital P. This is what you wear when you want to make a statement, when you want to impress, when you want to stand out from the crowd and make everyone smell you. Simply put, one of the best rose fragrances ever made.
23rd June, 2019
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L'Homme Idéal Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

A charming, classy, unique, and dare I say sexy spring/autumn fragrance. Like the most sophisticated herbal cherry-almond liquer imagineable sipped while wearing a brown leather jacket on a cool autumn night. A fire is burning somewhere far off, and you can smell the distant smoke mingling with the scent of leather. This is also a gorgeous tonka and rose fragrance, both of which are pretty prominent on my skin. Luckily I love both of those notes, so this one checks all the boxes. Sweet, but hardly a gourmand, L'Homme Ideal EDP is the perfect warm, cozy scent for a night out or in during the cooler, but not outright frigid seasons. For a cold winter, I'd have to bust out something with a little bit of extra strength. As much as I love this one, it's not the best performer. I get maybe 4-5 hours tops with only moderate projection and sillage in the first hour before it fades to a skin scent. This is a consistent problem for the Guerlain L'Homme Ideal line, and I hate it because almost all of them (maybe not Sport) smell great. With a bit more presence this would surely be hailed as one of the best masculines (though it is unisex) on the market.
23rd June, 2019

Aqua Celestia Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Gorgeous. Vibrant, green minty citrus freshness that's pure, crystalline, transluscent, like clear spring water between sunlight and shade. The characteristic MFK sheen is present here to great effect, making this eminently refreshing. This is one to wear on the hottest days - its glasslike sharpness could make mincemeat of heat and humidity. By far the my favorite of the Aqua Forte line, and the most masculine.
23rd June, 2019

Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Pure, crystalline, creamy, warm lusciousness. Smells like the most luxurious vanilla pudding you could ever make, with a dusting of spice. Not much to say about this fragrance since it is fairly linear and simple, but it is absolutely lovely, charming, easy to wear, longlasting, and garners compliments galore. The perfect fragrance to wear on a cool autumn evening in Paris.
23rd June, 2019

Portraits : The Uncompromising Sohan by Penhaligon's

Stunning oud and saffron with vetiver, sandalwood, and spices. Rose is listed in the notes, but I certainly can't smell it very much. This is rugged, muscular, sophisticated and manly af. I like the petroleum comparison that another reviewer noted. It has this leatheriness to it with that cumin flow and oud that is just divine. Of all the Potraits Collection, this and Monsieur Beauregard are my favorites. This would be glorious on a cold night.
23rd June, 2019

Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens

Crystallized, candied ginger over a bed of warm spices. Slightly sour and astringent in the top, with the characteristic Lutens "sheen" and dried fruits. I don't get much of the tea to be honest, but as the fragrance dries down, I do get the cacao, honey, and amber. I was recommended this because of my love for L'Artisan's Tea For Two, but I think that I still perfer Tea For Two. Still, this is a pleasant fragrance, and one that I wouldn't mind owning, though not in my top 5 Lutens fragrances. Try wearing this on a warm day as opposed to a cold one - the crystallized ginger and bergamot become more prominent, and this sparkles quite nicely.
23rd June, 2019

Blu Mediterraneo : Cedro di Taormina by Acqua di Parma

Sunlight in a bottle. I have a fantasy about being a well-groomed Italian gentleman in a crisp beige linen suit and jute espadrilles, luncheoning on freshly caught grilled octopus and caprese salad with a sparkling glass of white wine and beautiful madonna at my side on the patio of a seaside restaurant somewhere along the Amalfi Coast. This (or Essenza, Chinotto di Liguria, or Ginepro di Sardinia) would be my fragrance - sparkling, fresh, zesty, charismatic, sexy, and mama mia oh so Italian. BIG love.
23rd June, 2019

Oltremare by Bois 1920

Opens with a nuclear blast of citrus and rhubarb - almost photorealistic, crispy, crunchy rhubarb. This is an incredibly tangy, zesty fragrance citrus fragrance with a warm base of amber, sandalwood, and patchouli. A bit of ozone from the violet, a bit of floral, and an herbal quality from the tea and mate. It does smell similar to other fragrances I've smelt before, but I can't quite place which. I think that it might be a female fragrance that it reminds me of, as this definitely leans more feminine to my nose, though it's still quite unisex. This is definitely evocative of dark, deep blue waters in the Mediterannean, and it's fantastically refreshing. Will be wearing this a lot in the hot weather.
23rd June, 2019

Casamorati 1888 Dolce Amalfi by Xerjoff

Utterly gorgeous, luminous, juicy, spicy, resinous fragrance that is pure magic on my skin. It does have bubblegummy (yes, at the surface level it does smell like Juicy Fruit, albeit the most luxurious Juicy Fruit you could possibly imagine) ice creamy shades, but only a smidge - this is a complex fragrance with facets that reveal themselves only after repeated wearings. My first few wearings were dominated by the fruity quince, apple, vanilla, and spices (still a potent and delicious combination), but now the incense and tolu balsam stick out to my nose, making this an even more beautiful and nuanced composition. One thing has remained prevalant throughout my testing of Dolce Amalfi, however, and that is a lovely vanilla - silky, buttery smooth - that leaves an irrestibile aroma in its wake. I am plowing headlong through my 5ml decant and will without doubt be coughing up the cowries for at least a 30ml bottle, only around $100. As far as I know, of the Casamorati line only Dolce Amalfi and Mefisto are available in 30ml, and as much I love fragrances like 1888, Fiero, Regio, and Italica, my wallet cringes at their price tags. But for ~$100 at 30ml, I can still own this beautiful fragrance from the oh-so-wonderful but oh-so-expensive house of Xerjoff. If you're looking for a truly unique, impeccably blended, fruity, complex, and totally unisex warm weather fragrance, look no further than Dolce Amalfi.
23rd June, 2019

Le Vestiaire des Parfums : Tuxedo by Yves Saint Laurent

This one is a winner. It is undoubtedly designerish. To be honest, it smells like an upscale Spicebomb Extreme. Some might bristle at the price tag, sure. But despite it all, it is without doubt GORGEOUS. Rich, boozy, leathery patchouli and spices, with some green freshness to lighten the affair. It reeks of class, but has a coziness about it that makes me think it could easily be a versatile signature scent year round. Is it a scent profile you've smelt before? Definitely. But the smoothness of the blend, the quality of the ingredients, and the performance set this one way apart. Definitely give it a try if you can find it.
15th March, 2019

Lune Féline by Atelier Des Ors

I really wanted to love this one, but sadly it hasn't lived up to my expectations. The notion of a dry, smokey, dusky, balsamic vanilla with warm spices, ambergris, and resins, coupled with a scintillating golden juice and that heady, evocative name, "Lune Féline"...Well, it was titillating to say the least. And there's no doubt that Lune Féline, as with other Atelier des Ors offerings, is high quality stuff. It's exotic (even somewhat tropical), unique, and it is indeed a dry, smokey, dusky, balsamic vanilla with warm spices, amber and resins. But for some reason, it just doesn't wow me. The opening is promising, with styrax, pink pepper, cardamom, salty ambergris, humid balsam, smoke, and a bit of vanillic sweetness, but all of that complexity vanishes during the drydown, which is just a smidge above your friendly neighborhoood woodsy/musky/vanilla base. Traces of the opening remain, but ultimately they're quite fleeting. By the four or five hour mark, it's just a faint skin scent; this one is no beast. Each time I wear it, I find myself liking it more and more, but I highly doubt I'll fork over $275 for something I find merely "pretty" with average performance. If I'd pick any from Atelier des Ors, it'd be Iris Fauve, Rose Omeyyade, or Choeur des Anges. Still, Lune Féline is still unique enough as a drier, smokier, non-gourmand vanilla that it merits a try, if nothing else.
28th February, 2019

Chergui by Serge Lutens

Sumptuous, spicy, sweet, creamy, earthy. This is an absolutely beautiful fragrance, one which I fell in love with upon first sniff. What else is there to add that hasn't already been said? The hype is absolutely justified here in my book. Bar none, one of the best Serge Lutens and tobacco fragrances period.
24th February, 2019

Tea for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Spicy, smokey, sweet, green. Warm, exotic, sensual, comfy. All of these and more describe the beauty of Tea For Two, which has become my "cozy" home scent. I spray this on while watching something, playing games, or working on something and instantly feel more relaxed. This would be a beautiful cuddling scent for a lazy fall morning, sipping away at a cup of spiced tea and eating a bowl of oatmeal full of cinnamon and walnuts. Longevity is around 5-6 hours on my skin, with average longevity and meh sillage. This fragrance is not a loud, beast mode performer, and it never had any pretentions about being one. This is for intimate moments with yourself or your lover, or the times in your life when you feel most at peace. Try before you buy though, as star anise can be challenging, and this fragrance is definitely anise forward. I wasn't the biggest fan of it when I first tried it, but I've learned to love it, and it will always have a place in my collection.
10th February, 2019

Oajan by Parfums de Marly

One of the best gourmand fragrances I have ever smelt.

Succulent honey, cinnamon, cherry, tonka, vanilla, ambergris, osmanthus, musk, patchouli, labdanum, resins, and a wisp of smoke combine in a pretty astonishing blend. It's sweet, but not overly so, being restrained by its smoky, balsamic facets and the florals. I don't get any kind of "apple pie" vibe from this (or from Habdan either, PdM's supposed "apple pie" fragrance). It honestly doesn't smell like any kind of pie or cake in particular to my nose, but it does smell very edible, almost like a syrup with which you would douse a baklava or halva in a Middle Eastern bakery. I can't really attest to the comparisons it draws to Ambre Narguile, as I haven't smelt that fragrance, but it definitely does not smell like Tabac Rouge, Tobacco Vanille, Pure Havane, or really much anything else, including other PdM fragrances.

In my view, this is the best offering from the house, along with Layton, and the best gourmand fragrance I have smelled, along with Feve Delicieuse. Longevity, sillage, and projection, as is typical with PdM, is beast mode.
08th February, 2019

Luna Rossa Black by Prada

A rather generic dark amber and tonka fragrance with a bit of patchouli and tobacco thing going on. Sweet and a bit powdery (maybe some iris in there?). Is it going to win any awards? Hell no. But do I like it? Yes! Even though it's basic and straightforward, there's just something about this that I enjoy. There are better options if you're in the market for a dark designer fragrance (something like the Man in Black series by Bvlgari or Valentino Uomo Intense/Noir Absolu), but this certainly a competent fragrance. Performance is good, compliment factor is good. If you can find a deal on it, it's not a bad option for a fall/winter designer.
07th February, 2019

Fève Délicieuse by Christian Dior

Fabulously gorgeous gourmand fragrance, edible but immensely wearable. A massive payload of creamy vanilla, tonka, cherry, praline, and almond is lightened and slightly mentholated in the opening by mint and lavender. Sweet, powdery, balsamic, heavy but light. This one gets compliments galore and should not be worn without forethought. I think it would be better suited to formal or semi-formal occasions, but it has this warm coziness to it that makes me think it'd be a great date night or close encounter fragrance as well. Fantastic projection, longevity, and sillage.
07th February, 2019

Carlisle by Parfums de Marly

Oft described as the lovechild of Herod, Oajan, and Layton, Carlisle is a weird one for me. The first hour or so is somewhat plasticine on my skin, probably a consequence of the patchouli, guaic wood, and florals in the mid. After that, it gets nicer for me, and I think, wow, I actually kind of dig this. But the drydown is the same vanillic PDM-ade that you smell in all of their fragrances, with an added dash of cardamom. The notion of combining some of PDM's fragrances together sounds like a great idea, but I feel that Carlisle is lacking, especially for the price point. I find myself missing Layton's freshness, Herod's creamy tobacco and vanilla, Oajan's honey and cinnamon. In combining these fragrances together, Carlisle has lost their distinguishing characteristics and thus, on my skin at least, just smells amorphous. If you've smelt other PDM fragrances, you've smelt this one. For the price, I can't justify purchasing Carlisle, especially since I own Layton and a big decant of Herod.

Performance is typically great for the house - 8-9 hours longevity, about 2 hours of projection, and decent sillage.
17th January, 2019

Halloween Man Shot by Halloween

Don't sleep on this one.

Very much akin to La Nuit, this is a dark, sweet, boozy fragrance that is right along the lines of what you'd call "sexy", and has excellent performance. The iris gives it a bit of a powdery feel, and is nothing like the lipsticky iris of the Dior Homme line, while cardamom and vanilla give it a certain sensuality. The lemon daiquiri accord, however, is a bit screechy and synthetic, at least for the first few minutes, but later on it has the effect of lifting the fragrance up out of a sweet powdery purgatory and giving it its own identity. I've also found that the longer I've had the bottle, the less synthetic and astringent, and the more creamy and smooth it's become. Compliment factor is very high with this one; women and men both love it. There might be better options for a night out fragrance, but for $20 for a 125ml, it's a good pickup. By far one of the best cheapies I have.
16th January, 2019