Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Jay-Lux'eau

Total Reviews: 64

masculin Pluriel by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Beautiful opening, really. I also didn't expect this to be a vetiver to the degree that it is. My first impression was: okay, this can no doubt beat my Aqua di Parma Colonia Club and even my Creed Bois du Portugal. With at that point just a really good vetiver, patchouli, cedar and timber wood notes. All at a clinically clean level, ultra refined, as we know (only) MFK to do it.

Not so fast though. Question marks arise after the opening as to where exactly it's going. You see, it has notes you'll appreciate, but they are reminiscent of the masculine, cheapie, vetiver inspired aftershaves(think Mennen, Brut). You know, the brands you can find in grocery stores, the aftershaves, EdT's and such. MFK did keep the bad stuff in those out of Masculin Pluriel, of course. The few moments that you think there's going to be dirty animalic musk, in the end fade for clean peppery notes with an earthiness. This likely is the patchouli with the "leathery accord". That last note is very non-linear, kind of like now you smell it, now you don't.

I miss musk, I miss ambergris. It remains too herbal if that makes sense. The leathery accord adds a clean oakmoss note that is very welcome but it leaves you wanting more than that.

It's perfect at what it does but I feel it could have beaten Aqua di Parma and Creed to it, yet refused to enter the game. What a missed opportunity. That took it from positive to neutral for me.

29th February, 2020

Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

Instant flashback but I don't remember to what exactly. Suspecting after some thought that the culprit is one or more old formulations of Tabac by Maurer & Wirtz.

Very pleasant this one. Fresh ginger heart paired with ambergris in the downward direction. Subtle tobacco but it's very present nevertheless. Nice zesty top, might also be the citrus side of ginger interacting with the orange top. To me it is able to compete with (modern) Tabac's quite complex herbalness (lavender, petitgrain, vetiver) with just that one note, ginger. Crazy.

Or maybe it's the fact that keeping it simple with just that one note doesn't distract that much from the lovely combination that is tobacco and ambergris.

If (like me) you feel Tabac is letting you down nowadays, try this one.

27th February, 2020

Noir Epices by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Rose off the top, yet green at the same time from the geranium. Feels vetiver like even at times during the opening.

Lovely wood base, mainly sandalwood. It's all very well balanced (top-heart-base) and feels like something classical perfume producers would have wanted to attain several decades ago but couldn't yet. Mainly due to the use of hedione amongst other things.

In that respect, I like to compare fragrances in that genre to Lalique pour Homme, which feels much 'older' than it actually is (1997). Noir Épices is much more refined and and subtle, it kept hedione out of the mix and uses geranium in a clever way.

I find there are also pleasant animalic touches in Noir Épices, reminiscent of musk and maybe oakmoss, yet they aren't listed.

Beats most other classics, therefore i'll give a positive although i'm not into classic that much anymore.
27th February, 2020
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Oud Satin Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

It's all oud almost. Might as well put on an oud essential oil. A smoky oud with a burned smell in the background. You may have smelled this type of oud fragrance being worn by many Middle Eastern (religious) men. I can only see this being applauded by this target audience as oud to them is the go to scent and deeply engrained within their cultures. They might also pick up various subtleties where Oud Satin Mood may or may not outperform other ouds, as they are so familiar with the stuff.

The rose you get is harsh and pungent and to my nose not all that natural smelling just because the sharp oud keeps being in front of it morphing the rose notes (that probably are in fact very natural at this price point). Because of this, I'm reminded of many a room deodorizer with similar rose like scents.

It's completely non-gourmand. I get no vanilla at all, no pods, no essential oil, no vannilin.

I wish Kurkdjian had surprised me like Montale did with Black Aoud but he didn't.
26th February, 2020

Herod by Parfums de Marly

What to say about this one. At first, smells similar to Reyane Wild Insurrection II and Mugler Pure Havane.

Contrary to those, it does morph, away from gourmand, rolling tobacco, honey sweetness and liquor into a more classical, cigar like tobacco with myrrh and a mild, but still churchy incense.

In a late stage an ambery cypress comes in, and a surprising heavy black vanilla deep down below. The cigar note that I felt could get troublesome because it's quite pungent, diminishes just enough at just the right time. Crazy.

Even later you get a fruity note, likely the "iso E super". Then a nice animalic musk.

I was not expecting that this late so many notes could still pop up. For me this is the first scent ever that does this. Like some chemist was hired and engineered these unveiling processes into Herod. Just based on that alone, it's already a positive from me.

I wonder if now this vetiver that I'm getting over half an hour in will really be the final note to come out?

01st February, 2020

Oajan by Parfums de Marly

Opening: Gourmand honey and vanilla. Classic incense, resinous.

Then out comes patchouli, osmanthus jumping in with the fruity touch, all done in a refined way that reminds me a lot of how Kurkdjian did Ultra Mâle.

Ambergris helps in the marriage of classic and gourmand. From the heart notes onwards it does nicely stay outside of that gourmand territory but Oajan certainly has its array of mouthwatering notes prevalent.

Upon reapplying I seem to get more booziness this time over, from what I gather that would be the Davana. There is also something similar to oud present. So imagine the classicalness in this one as something like 80% incense resin, 20% boozy oud. Holding its own very well against aforementioned gourmandness. This makes it come across classy and niche. Think MFK, to put it in a tier.

However, I feel that there are better competitors out there. I'm not entirely convinced about the matched notes either. Also considering the price, this one's a neutral for me.
28th January, 2020

Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

This is a very dry leather. As if you're smelling a totally dried up tan leather hide at a manufacturer's place. If there's even raspberry present in the opening, it's a very papery one and almost not present at all. Also, it's as if the stem of the plant has been scraped too.

After the opening the spicyness is, well, awful. A harsh thyme, making it lean towards the scent of a kitchen spices cupboard. My best description atttempt: a concoction of thyme, cloves and sharp incense.

If only that leathery opening just remained as is. I would have rated it neutral. More raspberry and with the spice mess out of it, I would've rated it positive even. Where Tuscan leather goes however after the opening is just.. bad, for a lack of better words. Oh and then there's the price...
27th January, 2020

Black Aoud by Montale

Love it. Oud done right. As if there is some sort of "honeyed" note in there like Mugler uses in Pure Havane. Not a honeyed tobacco, it's more like all of the remaining notes of Black Aoud have been honeyed.

In short, this rounds out the oud so it doesn't have its usual sharpness and is less predominant, less pungent.

Subtle rose, nicely done so it doesn't go towards feminine at all. More or less as we know it from 1 Million.
29th December, 2019

Oud Touch by Franck Olivier

Quite heavy on the florals at first, so there it leans towards feminine.

A dark, aromatic oud countered with an uplifting, light incense note. The raspberry is of the synthetic type but it's very faint. Actually, this way it accompanies the florals quite well. If you're familiar with it you'll know what I mean when you smell it.

Oud Touch has quite a solid, classical backbone as well, especially for the money. You'd expect that in higher priced fragrances.

If I was into oud, this would definitely get a positive rating from me.

28th December, 2019

Insurrection II Wild by Reyane

Very nice. To me this is a clone of Mugler's Pure Havane. Or vice versa. Both are similar quality and similarly refined so don't worry.

Blonde tobacco, brown rum or cognac, honey or some sweet syrup.

I don't get cocoa here like in Pure Havane but more vanilla though. Which is also nice. A fresher heartnote as well, thought vetiver at first but it's probably a 'green' patchouli. Unless it is really vetiver and the idea comes from D&G The One, also a tobacco with a vetiver heart.

At around 40% cheaper than the Mugler this definitely gets a thumbs up.
27th December, 2019

F pour Homme Black by Salvatore Ferragamo

It's so so. Sweet, incensey, resinous. Thought I detected some patchouli. Maybe it's the black pepper being quite ethereal. Certainly not the typical masculin pepperiness you get in other scents.

Maybe I'm not that excited because I've smelled something like this before. I actually mixed up that one myself. I do remember upon first smelling this kind of combo that I really liked it.
24th December, 2019

Cooper Square by Bond No. 9

No cognac in here, there's more of a grain alcohol with juniper berries ("genièvre"). It has a turpentine like volatility and smell on the opening.

Cooper Square is fresh like Kölnisch Wasser 4411, but without the herbs and citrus. Notes that are listed but which I do not perceive: Lavender, cognac, patchouli, vetiver. They definitely wanted a transparent EdC vibe for this. It's refined in the middle and base. Musk, myrrh, labdanum. All are ultra clean and non-earthy, non-animalistic.

Just not my thing. The only masculinity in it, is that it's strong in the beginning. Men could wear it to work but risk people thinking it's some niche fabric softener or aftershave cologne.

This makes more sense for classy older women.
21st December, 2019

Bentley for Men Intense by Bentley

It's horrible guys. Too heavy on the booze and the incense, really. The booze ain't really the problem, especially on the opening there are cognac and single malt whiskey notes.

But then.... comes this cloying, cheap, flimsy incense. Shame on the perfumer, seriously. I'm talking those cheap Chinese red incense sticks, no joke. Once you pick it up and recognize this, it's game over.Besides that, to no avail what so ever anymore, there is a vetiver like freshness, patchouli and some wood.

It's more suited as a scent for a room. And even then you'll get fed up with it in 5 minutes.I think those youtubers praising this stuff must've gotten paid.

So conclusion: maybe as a scent for the men's room or a market stand.
19th December, 2019
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A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

What a scent. Takes me back in time, to the smell of cognac infused tobacco leaf.

Brown Cuervo rum. Barrel flavor. Faint cocoa, like the one you get from tiramisu.

So reminiscent of nights out filled with liquor and tobacco, just indulging.

15th December, 2019

The One for Men by Dolce & Gabbana

Slightly sweet, orange peel, wood. An underlying freshness from the greens.

Faint ambergris, faint tobacco... at times they are totally absent even. More of it would have helped. If then it was also less sweet and orangy, it might have even been a Tabac 2.0 because the basil and coriander are so interesting. As is, it's inoffensive and okay but forgettable.
14th December, 2019

Attimo pour Homme by Salvatore Ferragamo

Slightly better than F by Ferragamo.

It has the same DNA (fruity top, patchouli/pepper heart, incense) but the base is now enriched with white musk. Not bad because it tilts the dull 'F' somewhat toward Aqua di Gio territory.

I however don't see myself wearing this as it's nothing memorable. There also seem to be a lot more notes listed then I'm getting from it. It's 'F' plus some white musk, nothing more.
11th December, 2019

Dark Obsession by Calvin Klein

All sorts of different notes listed than the original 'Obsession' yet it smells almost identical.

That means 80's, churchy, kitchen spices, amber and a losing cinnamon as it's dominated by the spices and the prominent incense.

Only difference in Dark Obsession: a very minimal sweet-sour fruitiness in the opening, almost non-present anymore thereafter. And that's gaurana. But it you have ever smelled the original Obsession than you know nothing's gonna throw it of its course.

If you're interested because you think this one is totally different, which is understandable given the claimed notes, take it from me that it's not. Even the colour of the EdT is the exact same bronze and rosé.

No fir, vanilla or chocolate here guys. They should name this Deception by Calvin Klein. Negative!
10th December, 2019

Chrome Sport by Azzaro

A lot better than the original Chrome.

Sofisticated, fresh scent with quite natural and nice smelling citrus top notes. Unlike what you would assume if you've ever smelled the regular Chrome.

This is not exactly a blue nor light blue scent.

Unlike in Aqua di Gio for example, the white musk is more laid back, lingering. What then makes it not blue nor light blue for me, is that it's only minimally directed towards aquatic territory via the ginger. So if like me, you go by color, rather think of this one as transparent.

It delivers but it's nothing new or spectacular.
10th December, 2019

Colonia Club by Acqua di Parma

It's definitely a green one, a vetiver. It also has a sharpness, a leafy, ethereal pepperiness that's enjoyable. Sort of like peppermint. Besides that the mint to me is eucalyptus like which I usually don't prefer over mint. Might be the petitgrain giving it that twist.

Aforementioned sets it well apart from for example Creed Bois du Portugal even though they share a similar vetiver ambergris base.

It's a very refined cologne but given the price level it sits at I can't quite give it a positive.
07th December, 2019 (last edited: 02nd January, 2020)

Kokorico by Jean Paul Gaultier

Never seen or heard of this scent anywhere until I got back into the fragrance game earlier this year. I know JPG quite well, for once, they don't deliver though.

Kokorico is only mildly gourmand unlike what you hear on youtube and read elsewhere. A vague sweetness. A slight Lalique like classicalness is present even.

There is what seems like some sort of toffee and now that I read the notes list, yes, fig or plum. Cocoa, not with sugar but just the bitter stuff, is the note that's bending the fig towards toffee for me.

I'm not big on vetiver nor on classical at the moment, that's why I give it a negative but if you're a fan of vetiver and/or classical, you'll likely rate Kokorico neutral to positive.

07th December, 2019

Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

Grassy green scent, vetiver, cologne style alcohol.

Only smells soapy to you if you know the Savon de Marseille vert, the green one.

It's not barbershop-soapy, like JPG Le Mâle. Which is more complex, a level Mugler cologne is not at.
06th December, 2019

Dark Rebel by John Varvatos

It's refreshing to me to have an EdT that lists tobacco and actually delivers you the note so hard and in the foreground.

This is a brown to dark brown tobacco, if you've ever smoked hand rolled cigarettes you'll definitely know the difference between this and it's blonde alternative (unlit).

Furthermore, I don't think it's actually the tobacco note itself but the realness of the leather, tree sap and its wood that tilts the whole towards cigar territory. The rum is nicely done and blends in so well with the ethanol you're used to getting from applying a fragrance.

Manliest scent I've ever smelled, can only praise the daringness.
06th December, 2019

Wanted by Night by Azzaro

I tried the EdP of Azzaro Wanted by Night ( the EdT has brass colored 'bullets' in the bottle).

The opening is not nice. It's too much and it's quite synthetic. A sweet anise, some hints of tropical fruit (mango? tuttifrutti?) and some citrus. As said, they are not very natural fruit notes but the tropical ones are the most natural. At this stage it's sweet and sour, however, the way the sourness comes across is as if it was definitely intended to be sweet but kind of ended up smelling 'off' in a way.

It gets better though. And I think they traded off scoring with the opening for longevity of the fruit notes, which is very good.

The drydown is cinnamon, red cedarwood, ambery sweetness. In the background (and when rubbing) there are still tropical fruit notes present which is remarkable. Good projection and longevity I have to say. Sillage too probably.

All in all I have personally smelled similar note combinations in certain room perfumes (apart from the fruitiness), so this EdP reminds me of those so I cannot position it as a success/positive, even if I don't actually find it that bad, but because it's coming from Azzaro the lack of creativity in that part is not acceptable to me. This might not be the case for others! It's not the manliest in the drydown either, must be said.

A bit of (blonde) tobacco would have helped it a lot imo. I now see that Tobacco is actually listed but I don't get any of it. That said, with more tobacco, it might have gone towards a V&R Spicebomb clone.

24th November, 2019

Le Beau by Jean Paul Gaultier

Besides the Le Mâle DNA that's present, I also get marine notes from Le Beau. A faint ambergris seemed to be present as well the first tries.

It's not gourmand but slightly more so than Le Male and its flankers because of the 'coconut wood'. I got good projection as well from it.

All in all it's enjoyable but a bit too simple for my liking.

01st November, 2019 (last edited: 06th November, 2019)

Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Just tried this for the first time and woww...

Everything I heard about this scent is what sparked my interest in perfumery again earlier this year, after nearly a decade. In fact, before I heard of this scent I didn't know Kurkdjian has his own fragrance house. Bought it not soon after the discovery, yet I refrained from trying it for over half a year, until now.

This is really something guys. And I'm critical towards MFK, believe me (or read my reviews). The opening is smooth and sweet, mandarin ambery and resinous, like a lightweight (frank)incense.

As if there's liquid incense mixed with orange blossom honey. The incense vibe seems perfectly integrated with the orange, that to me also comes across as orange blossom.

In the drydown the orange makes way and you get like only the best, masculine notes that are in Tabac (leather, wood, ambergris). The leatheriness stemming only from something oak moss contains, evernyl. Yielding a fine, powdery leather. Seems MFK picked exactly those (sub)notes which is perfect! Thanks to Baccarat Rouge 540 I can now also confirm the ambergris note in Tabac as I've never smelled it by itself. It's stronger in here though (the ambergris). As expected: fir balsam and ambroxan being present and highlighting it.

BR540 is not a linear scent, it's turbulent! I don't think I've experienced that before in a way where such unpredictability is... laudable and must be 'calculated' so to speak.

I like it a lot. I don't see any particular incense note in it now that I'm checking the notes. It must be the fir resin and the marigold. After looking up what marigold actually is I only have one drawback, a personal flashback and that is that I've smelled this flower as a kid and it doesn't particularly smell good. If I hadn't looked marigold up however, I wouldn't have recognized it. It feels so in place in here, unbelievable.
21st October, 2019

À la rose by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Clean, enjoyable scent where you can really make out that there are multiple types of rose in there, well, two to be exact. The other notes are merely supportive.

If it wasn't done in such a clean manner and with the twist of 2 types of rose in there, I would probably have rated it negative because of being just rose and nothing more.

At the same time though it's not thàt spectacular and when you consider the price of it too, you get a neutral rating.
20th October, 2019

Adrenaline by Enrique Iglesias

Sweet smokey tonka, strong violet and rose combo with the rose prevailing, pepper and aromatic wood. Got it because I saw it on sale for only 10 EUR/100ml and the notes seemed very interesting to me whereas the name and the marketing totally did not.

At first I thought it certainly wasn't bad but I had a bad déjà-smelled feeling, namely with Adidas Extreme Power EdT.

It grew on me however the more I recognized how it differs from aforementioned and smells more natural and mature. Don't get me wrong, it's still an adolescent smell that wouldn't really suit... let's say men 35 or 40+. I can see this working well in a club too, especially if (travel) sprayed not too long ago.
19th October, 2019 (last edited: 20th October, 2019)

Winter Collection pour Homme by Zara

Not bad. It's quite strong yet doesn't project a lot. Longevity isn't that great but then again it's cheap so re-applying is a no brainer, especially if you get their 5$/12ml travel spray version which sprays only a minimal amount each time.

It does okay in the top, heart and base range.

Tangerine added in the top in stead of only bergamot. Eucalyptus in stead of mint. You see how the fragrance gets more pungent this way? This is just what you want in the winter but also fall time.

I still like their Gourmand Leather better, the more I wear this Winter one, the more the fact that it's crude at times, bothers me.
04th October, 2019 (last edited: 22nd October, 2019)

Vibrant Leather by Zara

If this is a clone of Creed Aventus then I'm thankful I didn't bother yet trying to obtain that.

It's not that bad so if Aventus is your thing then I guess go for this one as a cheaper alternative.

To me however, Vibrant Leather is a quite dull, flat fragrance that reminds me of the smell of wet paper with sweet and sour pineapple on top of it.
04th October, 2019

Night pour Homme III by Zara

Not even worth your time and effort trying it.

Zara has decent fragrances but this isn't one of them. The notes look OK on paper but in fact it's just a crude mixture with little thought given to it.
03rd October, 2019