Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Nares Hughes

Total Reviews: 22

Bogart Citytower by Jacques Bogart

I really like this. A dusty, powdery, cardboard kind of smell. A musty leathery base combines well with the nutmeg. The rumbling oudy incense is blended beautifully with the geranium and cardamom - little hints of spicy pepper pop up from the smoky wood. It's vaguely medicinal but not to the extent of Guilty Absolut's cough-drop leather. A little hint of rubber maybe? But this pulls me in, it's cosy and warm, reassuring. As usual for a Bogart you can smell it and it lasts. A radical idea for a perfume it would seem.
26th February, 2019

Aoud Damascus by Montale

A very nice rose. Very little oud that I can detect. Definitely not an oud softened by a touch of rose. More a pretty rose deepened slightly with wood notes and the merest hint of incense. I like the rose, it's quite delicate, it's quite realistic. It's not harsh, it has some warmth. This is a soft scent on my skin. Feels more pink than red. Very quiet.
26th February, 2019

Poirier d'un Soir by Miller Harris

Like over-ripe pear in the opening, as if the pear is fermenting. A rum note and birchy leather with a slightly metallic (Ambrette?) rose give an odd but to me really promising beginning. The way the spun sugar and florals combine reminds me of lychee, or a tin of fruit salad! But it's straight up linear after an hour of wearing, I feel as though I want it to do something else, shift one way or another. In this it's putting me in mind of the Swiss Arabian attars Ansam and Layali, all three scents being linear fruity/sweet with florals. But I think the Cedar in Poirier drags it away from sickly sweetness and gives a slightly sour edge. After two hours it's toning down but not really changing, maybe becoming a tad more rosy than pear. So I'm okay with the general quirky (Cashmeran?) fruity/floral vibe but definitely not blown away by it. Btw, IMHO of the three perfumes I mentioned here, Ansam is the nicest - and it's not listed in the directory.
25th February, 2019
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Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

A 'classic' style aroma, mature, sensible (not at all frivolous), pre-irony and pre-niche honest (not trying to be anything other than it is). Note-wise, there's a lot going on in this one: Overall, a strident patchouli scent accentuated by slightly shrill/sour Civet; bitter Oakmoss; earthy Vetiver, and leather. Hints here of Aramis Classic and Kouros but, to me, pulled round by a quite prominent cinnamon note and an even more noticeable dollop of honey. I also get the rose, the sweetishness of which too sets it apart from the Big Beasts (a bright lemon note makes a difference as well). Altogether, this is juicy and not at all a dry patchouli. It goes on quite harsh but a vanilla/honey vibe keeps it nice. A grown-up frag without pretensions that performs really well on my skin.
25th February, 2019

M7 Oud Absolu by Yves Saint Laurent

This is light on me. I have to go heavy with it and then it gives a soft incense cloud that wafts gently round me. I must admit I prefer my perfume a tad more ballsy. And as a lover of oud, I like the patchouli in this! The vague hint of Agar wood here merely adds a little to the myrrh and labdanum to give the quiet temple fug.
That said, the effect is a good one when I catch it. The combination of orange, patch, and incense is sexy and refined. I have similar performance issues with my skin-chemistry and Jubilation XXV and have learnt I have to hammer these particular scents and/or manage my expectations.
Smooth warm and sensual if an ethereal tease, YSL Oud Absolu is classy and understated. Nice.
24th February, 2019

Lyric Man by Amouage

I think this is an extraordinary rose perfume. Rich, intense, and abrasive although fairly linear on my skin. I get no real progression here, it's straightforward. But I love this scent's representation of the rose - tart and pungent balanced with a velvety flowery sweetness. From the start it's dark but sharp - lime AND bergamot as the opening. I was unsure what angelica and galbanum notes give so checked and found the word 'bracing' used for each. So the initial citrus assault is followed immediately by these invigorating notes alongside spicy nutmeg and ginger. But that's not all - in the base there's a sappy pine note! So this takes off, climbs, soars, and remains stratospheric.
These 'high' almost bitter notes are tempered though by florals: the rose itself; earthy saffron, and orange blossom. Vanilla sweetens too and, with some santal, rounds the edges somewhat. Depth is added, in my opinion, by incense and musk, which provide a broody, gently swirling animalic feel.
To me, the overall mental picture this juice gives me is one of a dark, dark red rose as used perhaps in a Grimm fairytale. There's also something in the bitter acidity of the citrus, and the earthier 'bracing' notes that's summons the metallic tang of blood. After 4 or so hours on my skin things begin to settle into a more conventional, but definitely not lightweight, rose. Superb.
24th February, 2019

Zino Davidoff by Davidoff

A beautiful rose patch scent. On me it goes on with an oddly powdery/dusty citrus (bergamot) hit. The patchouli powderiness is instantaneous for me despite this note being in the base. Perhaps the lavender and sage affect a dustiness? I don't know. The lavender note is subdued but, to me, significant in this initial phase. It's a woody scent too, at top and base, this gives a soft roundness - no sharp edges. The floral heart is interesting - a light rose with a smooth lemony (quite realistic) geranium and the faintest (good!) hint of lily-of-the-valley. I don't notice any jasmine. Then the base of creamy sandalwood; sappy Cedar, and almost nougat-like vanilla. As I said, I get a nice dusty patch all the way through. I really like this and have the deod stick too. Today I used some Yardley rose moisturiser as a base and it did no harm. I got a good 4 hours and just reapplied. I really enjoy this and dig the retro bottle too. Mine's a Dec. 2017 batch.
21st February, 2019

Paloma Picasso / Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso

My two penn'orth on this one is that I find it a smoother and more accessible musky oakmoss scent. It's not as overpowering as Tabu or Aramis 900 for example. I like that the fairly astringent opening dies down to a nice warm and creamy but nonetheless musk-laden perfume for the remainder of it's life-span on my skin. The sprayer on my bottle fires it out like a gun, and this is no meek juice so I have to be careful. The patch here is not too strong but rather gives a subtle backdrop to the main players' animalic antics. To me the various floral and citrus notes, along with the Civet and Castoreum, give a classic but relatively restrained overall scent. But it has great performance and that floral musk keeps going until a mossy, grassy, woody-amber base gradually creeps in. Civet is king here though and remains at the top throughout on me.
19th February, 2019

La Fumée Classic / La Fumée by Miller Harris

I love smoky balsamic scents, and I'm really into this one. It's a spicy/woody incense that stays fairly linear on my skin but that's okay with me. I enjoy cumin in perfume and here the warm-skin scent it imbues is for me enhanced by the cardamom and coriander. And these spice notes feel dry like the seeds in my kitchen jars which helps give this scent a dusty aged character that I like. I have a jar of dried chamomile too, and here its creaminess, along with the labdanum, goes beautifully with the resins and smoke. The lavender plays a bigger part in the meld than I first realised - I can pick out this note among the others throughout, but like I mentioned, I get a fairly steady linearity from the start. Elemi up top and amber at the base ensure resinous tones through this too. The arid parchment-like quality eases after an hour or so and gives way to a woodier vibe with sharpish cedar sap; leathery birch; creamy sandalwood, and a beautifully restrained drop of oud. As it moves further into dry-down a slight sweetish floral tone comes out in the woodiness. Overall, this starts as an ancient book might smell, then later reminds me of inside a dusty old chest of drawers that once had lavender drawer-liners. Not a great deal of development but I really enjoy wearing it all the same.
08th February, 2019

Oud Essentiel by Guerlain

This is a beautiful scent for lovers of wearable ouds. It's not harsh or challenging as some synthetic or higher-end real ouds can be - no 'Barnyard' or 'Skank' here, to my nose. It's not cheap (but not exclusively elitist) so there may be some real oud in it but this is tempered by a touch of rose, saffron, and resins. A reasonably strong leather note reigns in the harsher elements of the oud also, as well as the presence of Cedar, another wood note perhaps diluting the potential of Argarwood to overwhelm.
I love Guerlain's perfumes. This particular fragrance's sister, Santal Royale, is equally good, but quite similar in many respects, but I ended up going for this one out of the two.
It lasts for a long time on my skin and has a continual billowing energy wafting it around, although this does not fill the room or cause folk to edge away, at least not in my experience. Having said that, it would be easy to overspray with this.
Overall. a lovely, quality blend for the cooler months and/or special evenings. Captivating.
07th February, 2019

Cabochard by Grès

This is for the EDP. A beautiful aldehydic leather. The notes are very similar to Aramis obviously, but with a sweeter opening. I get the fruity notes on application along with a hint of dry tarragon.
I'm a bloke btw, so it may seem different on my skin, or not. But either way, I deem this to be, as all 'fumes will soon be, completely unisex. Truth be told that's why I got it (along with Tabu, Aromatics elixir etc.). Reviews here and elsewhere from experienced perfume lovers tell of how well these reacts to male chemistry and that's what I'm finding. For what it's worth, I'm in the camp that believes fragrances have no gender they're just marketed toward one or the other, and often bought so 'I' can 'be that'. So it's down to money (for the manucaturers) and identity (for the end-user).
Anyhow, Cabochard smells great on me. Lasts well too. There's quite a floral mid to it, but the spicy leather/tobacco vibe is prominent throughout, as is the sparkly/soapy aldehyde buzz, even into the mossy cream drydown.
A lovely perfume for us all.
07th February, 2019

Vetiver Extrême by Guerlain

A beautiful, fresh vetiver. But a flanker that's considerably more rounded and soft than Guerlain's Vetiver. The citrus in Extreme is toned down a lot, and the incense note certainly softens it and gives a creamier feel. There's still a fair amount of soapy fizz to this mind. Yes, a bottle-green bar of soap would be a fitting mental picture here (lime green or yellow for it's sister Vetiver). I love them both, but this gentler, less astringent one edges it for me.
07th February, 2019

Piment Brûlant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

After reading reviews I was expecting a 'greener' fragrance, and although the opening is indeed just like a freshly cut bell or chilli pepper, after some time I get an ongoing and quite deep 'red' spicy scent. Chilli pepper and cinnamon mostly, rounded with lower notes of the cacao and dark chocolate. I find these override the amber and vanilla which seem to play a supporting role rather than being detectable to my admittedly very novice nose. I really enjoy it. I love cooking and am always happy to smell gourmands, especially unusual (to me) ones like this.
I'm not bothered about projection, I wear scents for my enjoyment, but I'll report that this one certainly doesn't shout, nor does it last all day/night. I've got a nice, well blended skin-scent now after a few hours of putting it on. I'd happily add a few more sprays next time.
I did notice a similarity with the violet/violet leaf notes in DSquared He wood cologne which I've worn a few times lately.
Altogether a very nice fragrance from a house that seems to me adventurous and creative.
05th February, 2019
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Jubilation XXV Man by Amouage

This is a superb perfume that frustrates me because of my skin type, or because of my expectations, or both. It disappears from me much sooner than I'd like, and I want it to perform like Interlude Man! Please forgive my childish rant. I'm trying different amounts of sprays, different moisturisers, and thinking perhaps in warmer weather it'll last longer on me (although in N.E. England, warmer weather is hard to come by). It both lasts on and projects from my female friend's skin better than from my male. I'll try to accept this bum hand from nature, worse things happen at sea and all that.
But while it lasts on me it's sublime - I love that labdanum and olibanum are opening notes. A resinous, balsamic, rich warmth flows out from the start. Honey in the mid and opoponax and myrrh at the base ensure this is a smooth incense treat for me. I love the use of bay leaf, ambergris, and immortelle. There's just a wonderful balance of notes. The patch and herbs counter exquisitely the sweeter florals and spices. Three woods encompass it all without one of them overplaying its hand, even the oud. And a delicious blackberry note runs through it all.
It's one for me to enjoy by sniffing closely the elusive haze, indoors, alone, enraptured. I honestly get the whole 'Eastern' spiritual incense vibe from this - unfortunately I'm a greedy 'Western' materialist who wants MORE! ;)
Edit: I've put it in an atomiser and reapply when I'm out, sod the expense.
29th January, 2019

Rush by Gucci

Love this. It's one the review sites pointed me towards as a scent marketed toward women that quite a few men enjoy wearing. Listed as a Chypre Fruity it leans more floral than fruity to me although the peach note is fairly prominent, I just can't tell where the fruit/floral border is.
I really like the combination of these very juicy, sweetish notes with dryer, earthy patch and vetiver - it creates quite a heady brew. As a novice I lack the language to describe notes so bear with me - I struggle with lily-of-the-valley, which is not in this but is the closest I can use to describe the resulting mixture of notes in Rush (I think tuberose does this kind of thing too?). It is, to my nose, a deep, pungent, almost savoury tone that's common in a lot of classic white floral 'fumes like Chanel No. 5 (which shares a lot of notes with Rush)or others that some dismissively and insultingly describe as 'Old Lady'.
Anyway, I'm enjoying this. The general 'cloud' of it is pleasant, but when I sniff it specifically, I can detect the strains of flowers over the underlying peach vibe. The initial post-spray blast is pretty potent but quickly shifts to the fruit/patch affair described that lasts and lasts on my skin
Definitely unisex IMHO.
27th January, 2019

Graphite by Montana

Love this - Cedar heaven. Three wood notes dominate throughout with a hint of pepper and all rounded out with an amber accord and a smoothing benzoin note. So it's quite creamy altogether but with an acidic edge like the sap in cut wood. I saw logs for my fire and often sniff them when they've fallen off the bench just cut, and the smell is a less concentrated version of this.

I thought this was a linear scent when I first got it, but now I get the floral notes too pushing through adding interest. I understand the references to pencil-shavings but think that 'Graphite' is the lead of the (possibly chewed) pencil rather than the wood, that smooth/sharp sweet/sour tone a little reminiscent of what's achieved in Anthracite. I've seen the word 'Metallic' to describe violet leaf so maybe this with the lemony geranium and sharp bergamot combine to give an impression of the tang of tongue on carbon.
Great for the price, lasts ages on my skin, and is useful for layering too. A winner.
27th January, 2019

Déclaration d'Un Soir by Cartier

I like rose scents and have been looking for the definitive one for me. I've tried quite a few but have mostly been looking amongst Orientals. So this one's crept up on me really - I've had it for a while, but for whatever reason, it didn't really register with me as a contender. But as is the case with perfume collecting it seems, things change. So now I may be settling with Declaration d'un Soir as a surprise-hit rose scent.
I love Declaration, and although this flanker centres around a delightfully piquant rose note (one I can almost taste) it retains the original's heart: peppery-spice, warm nutmeg, and skin-smell cumin/caraway notes. Later the creamy sandalwood/rose drydown is beautiful and lingers for a long while on my skin.
So, all in all, a great scent. The Cartier DNA is one I enjoy, and the Declaration line is a particular favourite. D'un Soir has a great heart - ah, but the rose!
27th January, 2019

Habit Rouge Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

At the moment of spraying, I get a whiff of Turkish Delight, despite the rose supposedly being in the mid-section. Lemon and rose are the dominant notes in this one throughout to me. The lemon takes over for a while after spraying and gets sharper as several other citrus notes combine.
After 30 minutes or so the patch creeps in and together with the woods tones down the citrus. I get a fair amount of sweetness here from cinnamon and jasmine and it hits a nice creamy chewy lemon candy groove. From here the patch heightens, giving a good earthy edge to the lemon bon-bon. I love patchouli but rarely get it married with citrus fruit, this makes a nice change for me. The rose volume too dials up as it gets more and more involved.
A lightly smoked balsamic base awaits for this earthy Turkish Delight. But the leather/labdanum haze plays second fiddle to vanilla here which adds another level to the confectionary accord. I like this, it's bright fresh citrus throughout on me offset by sweetish rose and increasingly gourmandesque vanilla in finale.
It's got a tad more legs than the none-too shabby EDT
on my skin and feels a little 'fuller' despite near-identical notes. Another quality scent from Guerlain.
27th January, 2019

Montana Parfum d'Homme (original) by Montana

Great juice, terrible bottle! Sprayer's okay though so it works, but it's definitely one to hide at the back :0)
This is a lovely scent that really seems to glide. It has an aldehydic citrus and lavender opening which smells classic in style. The orange is quite prominent. The aldehydes are not too soapy to my nose whilst the lavender is really smooth and creamy, almost toffee-like with the cinnamon.
The floral herby heart is really silky too with the geranium being the key 'rounding' note to me. The pine is not harsh; background sage and tarragon work well alongside delicate rose and jasmine notes.
Then what for me could be the perfect base rolls in: labdanum, leather, and incense provide a smoky element; a soft fuzzy patch along with moss give an earthy touch, whilst vanilla, santal, cedar, and ambergris add more gentle sweetish tones.
So I'm enjoying this one a lot. Seems akin to classic gentleman's scents without being overly 'Barbershop', it's much too silky for that. In fact, despite the low-level leather, it reminds me of Occitan.
Lasts well on my skin and dries down with the vanilla note remaining for a good while.
26th January, 2019

Bentley for Men Intense by Bentley

Nice boozy balsamic leather. Reminds me a bit of Obsession for Men, the cinnamon being quite prominent here. The leather note is subdued though, which makes a change. I've used bay leaf a lot in the kitchen over the years and really get that note in this. The pepper isn't as fizzy as it can be, again a nice change. It's very woody with a good and creamy patch/cedar combo. The incense isn't as forward as I'd like but the rum almost makes up for this with its burnt caramelly feel. Quite linear I suppose and not ground-breaking but I like it all the same. Overall, a warm spicy autumnal scent in a nice chunky bottle.
25th January, 2019

Straight to Heaven, white cristal by By Kilian

Sumptuous rum and patch combination. Opens with a disorientating blast of dust and juice. Opulent fruity booze (which to my nose is like dried apricot and mango coupled with a quite heady rum note) and a patch and cedar cloud of dustiness is somehow melded beautifully. Whereas even dried fruit has a certain 'jus' to it, the dryness from the earthy half of this fume's notes seems like it should contradict the boozy fruit half, but doesn't. The woodsy notes along with what is a clean patchouli increase a tad as the rum-punch subsides a little leaving a lovely linear but beautifully blended perfume provoking thoughts of ancient oaken rum casks.
I love patchouli scents and this is a good one (wants to be at the price). It's way out of my range but I'm enjoying the sample.
24th January, 2019

Scandinavian Crime by LM Parfums

I have the EDT and love this theatrically dark, spicy incense. Overall, on my skin, it's pepper and patch over a smoky accord. To me, each section is more than just good.
The opening is sublime, going on spicy and bright without being harsh - it eases open rather than blasts. That said, the pepper is quite a 'high' note, but it combines well with the cardamom and ginger (coriander too if I really look) so that the all-round effect is one of misty softness.
After half an hour or so the patch and oud creep in. The oud is fairly restrained and seems to be there to work with, rather than dominate, the labdanum, incense, and pillowy patch. This underplayed oud brings about what to my nose is a subtly stunning, pervasive incense. The pepper/ginger fizz gives the incense effect a realistic tinge, the sort that Avignon goes over the top with in my ever-so-humble, here that soapy/sneezy vibe is limited.
After a couple of hours it begins to round out as the amber; vanilla; musk, and sandalwood take effect. Smooth smoky spice remains, becoming creamier through dry-down. There's also a low-level suggestion of grapefruit/nutmeg throughout this.
Not a beast on my skin (extrait is available) but that doesn't bother me, it's a scent I really enjoy wearing. The packaging suits it - dark and foreboding. I grabbed a back-up bottle quick.
24th January, 2019