Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Jay-Lux'eau

Total Reviews: 101

Hawas for Men by Rasasi

This gets praised like insane so I had to try it.

Invictus is much better in the opening. Hawas lacks the fruitiness and refinement of Invictus there.

In fact in the open and early drydown it's not that far off from another Invictus clone I have here and that one was like 5€ from Aldi. You know, the all calone and some musk type. But Hawas gets better surprisingly.

When fully developed, Hawas is worthy competition for Invictus but me personally I want a scent to be good right off the bat. Several of the fruity notes as well as the oakmoss and ambergris combo (the notes that make Invictus) only come out after more than an hour on me.

Until that time, it lacks Invictus' crowd pleasing factor. It's also not the best club scent / chick magnet because it never gets that likeable, sweet fruit bubblegum vibe. That's very apparent when you've applied them side by side like me now and go from one the other.

However it does outperform Invictus. Mixed feelings. If you are a fan of Invictus I would advise Hawas and layering the two. I'm not that into Invictus and Hawas' development takes too long for me, so it's a neutral from me.

26th December, 2020

Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

In the opening, this is one of the soapiest scents out there. It's up there with Prada l'Homme. Both remind of a classic white soap bar but then go their different ways.

Eau de Gentiane Blanche goes more towards an aloe vera like smell which is likely what the Gentiana flower smells like. Color wise, it would be a light (and later on very dark) green bar of soap whereas Prada l'Homme would be a light purple one.

I liked the opening of EdGB a lot but not the drydown because it turns pretty much a darkish green in the end and loses the soapy vibe for the most part. I'm actually doubting between neutral and negative now. I'll have to give it a thumbs down in spite of its very nice opening. The drydown is not something I want to be smelling like.
26th December, 2020

Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake

It's a sharp, raw lavender as if you're smelling the plant itself. Imagine that green stem, scraped, that's also in there. I could swear I get some geranium too, also a stingy, sharp one, putting the fragrance in your basic shaving cream/aftershave aisle.

When it's dried down, a weird extinguished fireplace smell also surfaces. With some matches and firewood next to it. How do you even get a smell like that in there?

105 GBP for 100ml? This is a 10$ grocery store aftershave scent at most and not even a good one because of that drydown.

26th December, 2020
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L'Anarchiste by Caron

Smells like rain at first, a 50/50 mix of rain in the city and in a forest.

Then come out fresh cut red wood, pepper, and a recognizable mint - orange blossom - mandarin. A grassy, wet vetiver too.

I also once had a powdery, aldehydic experience in the heart and drydown. Wearing it again now, and this over it's a cedar powerhouse to me.

It's one of the most natural smelling scents I've had so far.

Not bad. Later on it becomes mainly sandalwood-musk-vetiver. Very unique although not my thing.

25th December, 2020 (last edited: 02nd January, 2021)

Mandarina Duck Pure Black by Mandarina Duck

This is assuming that my decant that is labeled 'Mandarina Duck Black', is in fact Pure Black.

It's like a sweet earl grey tea. I assume the sweetness is the tonka and the flower combo gives me that earl grey vibe.

If you like that tea (and tonka) a lot, this might be for you. That ethereal aspect of black pepper and a very toned down vanilla are also there.

Not bad but I can't say I'm blown away.

I do have to add that this has monstrous projection!
25th December, 2020

Habit Rouge Sport by Guerlain

I get tonka and rose just like in Adrenaline (Enrique Iglesias) but it's much more subtle here. That surprises me because neither are listed as a note.

Definitely a red fragrance. Powdery (patchouli) heart. It does have that Guerlain quality to it. But it seems you'll have to spray a lot of this to get it to perform. Mildly woodsy base.

If you like this one and want it cheaper and on steroids, I advise you Adrenaline.

I see now that it's not on sale anymore. Since I have a decant I'll give it a neutral - where I otherwise would give a thumbs down because it doesn't perform.

I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that my decant may have been diluted, you know to stretch out the bottle it came from.
25th December, 2020

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

It's like a more animalic, more masculine but at the same time watered down Arpège. Is this a good thing?

Well, no, if you were going by the notes pyramid, you wouldn't expecting this. Woods, Toffee, Leather? Forget about those 3.

It's a make up powder like, ointment like scent. With a VERY in your face animalic musk. (Real deer musk?)

It doesn't go well together. At all.
24th December, 2020 (last edited: 02nd January, 2021)

Eau de Cartier Concentrée by Cartier

I get a tarty lavender and vetiver with a nice gourmand, anisy orange note.

Eventually it dries down into a sharper lavender/vetiver/patchouli. Maybe it's just a strong green patchouli (since I don't see vetiver listed).

It nicely retains a sweet undertone for contrast. Is that the 'yuzu' note? I don't know but it's somewhat anise like to me. Well done, not my thing but it is a nice scent.
24th December, 2020

L'Homme Idéal Cologne by Guerlain

Opens with anise, sort of like Spicebomb's top notes. Doesn't turn spicy at all though fyi. It's probably the white amber accord giving an anise feel to it.

There's a very zesty orange underneath. Mildly woodsy base. Likeable.

Herbal, soft, and sweet at heart. You know like some green scents keep a gourmand heart (e.g. Le Male). It fits nicely in that genre but it's not for me. Does feel like a 2000-2005 release to me I have to say. Not very modern.

In the drydown, instead of retaining that anise, it morphs into what smells to me like a an imaginary transparent honey would.

Agave syrup is what comes to mind. I personally don't get almond.
24th December, 2020

Tuscany / Etruscan by Aramis

Talk about a classical cologne.

So I'm putting it more in the aftershave and classical barbershop fresh category. It is more suited to older guys. Pulling this off below a certain age (I can't put my finger on) will be challenging. Very citrusy in the open.

It has now dried down. And I am surprised how it now smells similar to Wilkinson shaving soap. Or is it a Gilette product? Anyway, it's a pleasant smell.

This in my opinion lowers the age barrier but again I can't quite put a number on it. On me, I just can't pull it off I'm afraid but I do enjoy it.

24th December, 2020

Black Magic by Sebastiane

Well you'll definitely stand out. It fills up a room in no time, a house even.

It fills it up with a mess of awful, pungent notes as you can smell them walking around in damn gardening DIY store. Just crude stuff. And that even includes a mix of whiffs from the fertilizer section together with the freshly cut flowers and the horrid scented garden candles aisle.

I hate it. This really has such a prominent (regular) grass and crushed green leafs note in it, not vetiver like at all. The grass note is plain pungent and it get even more disgusting as things get punched around by an awful rose, patchouli, and a frangipane note from a vial you add to a cake. I think they really made this junk in the aforementioned way.

In the end you can tell it's the rose note that becomes dominant but this is a rose crushed in its entirety. You crush it together with some of your lawns grass, throw in all the other stuff into the beaker and there's Black Magic for you. You've been warned.

23rd December, 2020

Silver Shadow by Davidoff

This I find a solid 7/10 on myself. Might rate it 8/10 on others though. Has a certain tang to it in the opening that you know preceeds sweetness, powderiness.

Was thinking it might go into a kind of a Spicebomb but it develops into a soft incense-amber-maltol accord.

I say that from a sample. Let me quickly check the price... 50€/60$ for 100 ml, well that's a decent deal.

For me it's still a neutral but only because it's not really what I'm looking for. If I was to smell this on others however I might rate it positive.

It has a Guerlain l'Instant pour homme vibe to it. If you would add amber to that one and a touch of sweet incense as in Reyane's Insurrection II Wild: that's Silver Shadow!
23rd December, 2020

Bois de Santal by Keiko Mecheri

Interesting one. Opens a tad feminine, then gains quite some depth right off the bat.

It's a smell you kind of want to dig into, in my case it reminds me in a way of certain paints and lacquers that kind of have a nice aroma to them. Some of them are apparently scented with things like tolu so consumers don't get put off too much by their smell.

Anyway, Bois de Santal has a touch of that going on and at the same time has a definite purple feel to it. You know like Hypnôse and Alien for women for example.

It's not bad but it's not the sandalwood-ambergris bomb I was hoping for. Those notes are way in the background. It's mainly a deep, nice smelling osmanthus (has to be that note, maybe some tolu balm too that's not listed).

On a woman I would say this is quite nice.

As a fragrance for men: overall, it's a no go(!) but in certain situations I can see this working, namely formal ones that still allow for some creative input.

23rd December, 2020
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Zara Collection Man by Zara

Synthetic citrus freshie that dates from when Zara was not yet putting out acceptable fragrances.
22nd December, 2020

White Musk for Men by Body Shop

It opens with a strong rubbing alcohol note and dries down to a mix of (synthetic) flowers.

Picked up a sample from Decantshop as they had it and I remember some youtuber praising it. Myself, I was expecting a white musk like in AdG and another fragrance I had in mind at the time but forgot, some MFK I think.

I don't get any "white musk" at all, not even the non-animalic kind.

I was gonna rate it neutral as the scent is still pleasant - although too feminine to me - but this stuff costs around 52€(~64$) for 100ml, that made me rate it negative.

This is worth maybe 15-20 bucks per 100ml. Quality is Bruno Banani/Beckham tier, yet an entry level designer price is asked.
22nd December, 2020

Le Mâle Essence de Parfum by Jean Paul Gaultier

I heard it's getting discontinued. I then got myself a sample to see how it is. I did try it in a mall and wasn't blown away but couldn't really remember what it smelled like. This time over, same feeling. It's nothing like Le Male except for being a freshie as well.

Sour citrus opening. The overall drydown combo you get is a mix of mint-cardamom-lavender and likely the costus adding a funky twist to that. Just looked it up and it's a sort of thistle. The essential oil of it apparently smells violet like but: "changes to a more unpleasant goat-like smell as it ages". From its current Wiki-page.

I don't get goat but it is a rather weird smelling violet all in all. There is also a powdery note that I recognize as evernyl, the leather note. Which is a nice touch to me.

Anyway, this one's so so.
22nd December, 2020

Le Mâle Terrible by Jean Paul Gaultier

Got a sample from Decantshop. Not available new anymore. I can smell that it's sort of vintage because it's how Le Male used to smell back in the days.

This is likely Le Male with things added to it by some perfumer. It's okay to me but I think that's because I'm a Le Male fan. This would be thumbs down for many!
Don't pay 100$ for this from ppl on eBay who still have a bottle.

It's Le Male + a sourish and spicy heart added to it. You could mistake the added musk for a hint of ambergris at times. I think there's also extra cinnamon and nutmeg in here. Saffron comes to mind but I'm not sure. A spicy, earthy amber accord anyway added to your usual Le Male lavender/tonka goodness.

That also makes it louder than the original. But all in all it comes across as an adulteration of Le Male to me. Could've done much better JPG!
22nd December, 2020

Sartorial by Penhaligon's

If you like classical fragrances you might like this. It smells similar to how some classical smelling white soaps are scented. That's in the opening. More or less an everything but the kitchen sink thing.

In the drydown the beeswax becomes more and more prominent. The honey is background only. It does steer things away from the kitchen sink combo.

A muskiness as can be found in Grey Flannel also joins in.

That does make for a nice enough scent all in all but it's definitely not for me.
20th December, 2020

Les Jeux sont Faits by Jovoy

Smells like a church. I mean come on...
20th December, 2020

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

Opening reminds me of the scent 'Zwitsal' products have. Which is a nice, inoffensive scent.

I also get an Arpège like feel.

In the drydown it becomes more musky. That musk is semi animalic which contrasts well with that clean opening.

It's more unisex to me. Like a muskier Arpège. It's not bad. Can see both men and women wearing this and they would smell good doing so.
20th December, 2020

Savile by Keiko Mecheri

I like this scent but it's such a lightweight. I'd have to apply a lot of it and then the alcohol would overwhelm it all.

It's a fresh cologne style tobacco and classical smelling scent.

The classicalness however is way turned down which is actually nice. Like a nicer Lalique pour homme le Lion. It's classicalness is just there as a backbone in the distance. The jasmine seems to be real and not come from hedione. No annoying metallicness in here. Jasmin and vanilla is such a nice combo but I which they would have put much more in it. That would require more tobacco as well, and I guess that's just not the gist of this. Nice as a cologne though.
20th December, 2020

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Sport by Issey Miyake

I had a (official) tester of this that I wore a lot on a vacation in 2017. Just tried a likely newer batch, a sample from Decantshop.

It doesn't really take me back in time though, you know, like a scent can do.

I vaguely remember that unique, fresh aquatic accord but it now lacks that peppery sting that I found was its trademark. Slightly disappointed because of that but it's still decent. However it's a neutral now from me, I remembered it being a thumbs up. Seems it's closer to Porsche Design - The Essence nowadays.

The 2016-2017 tester I had from a perfume store was actually more Sauvage (EdT) like!

19th December, 2020

L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

Lovely scent. Don't know if it's the elemi but it also feels boozy to me somewhere deep down. Like some sort of new, white rum infused with:
- oolong tea
- anise
- citron
- hibiscus

That's in the open and initial drydown.

A nice sandalwood-patchouli-elemi-pepper combo becoming dominant thereafter.
19th December, 2020

Play Sport by Givenchy

It's not ground breaking but to me it's one of the best I've smelled so far in the 'sport' subgenre.

This is because there is a nice woozy note or accord in here that you'll think comes from a more dressed up, 'transparent' scent. If I had to take a guess it's mainly the mint and amyris. At times gives off a Cavaillon melon like smell (the one that's orange inside).

That's a nice twist for a sport scent! By the way it's very naturally citric and therefore refreshing in the open.
19th December, 2020

Voyage d'Tabac by West Third Brand

I'll tell you how this one goes:

- Sweet opening,like a Zara (Tobacco Collection I/D/E, R/W/A)
- Synthetic multi-fruit bubblegum smell joins in
- A tobacco surfaces that more or less levels it out
- at this point the sweetness goes away (thankfully)

- You're hopeful, once again
- You are then greeted with a note that'll astonish you
- Wait, was that something fecal I smelled?!
- Yep there it is again, definitely

It never really goes away, it just morphs into civet (a.k.a. cat piss) and back. And back and forth between the number 1 and number 2 of the cat.

- You then wash it off

Again, a fraud of a notes list.
18th December, 2020 (last edited: 19th December, 2020)

Maroussia by Slava Zaitsev

What Chanel failed to achieve with No.5 (add civet in an intelligent, non-disgusting way)
18th December, 2020

China White by Nasomatto

Smells like a restroom full of urinals that haven't been cleaned in ages but in stead have these solid/sublimating deodorizer blocks in them. I kid you not.

Add in some great grandmother's (the toilet lady?) classical perfumes in there and there you have it: China White ladies and gents!

Should've known by seeing that youtube video promoting their 'Fantomas' that THIS HOUSE IS A JOKE.
18th December, 2020

Tobacco 1812 by West Third Brand

Orange blossom honey (you know, the solid type) and beeswax are the prominent notes here. Probably made more potent by coumarin. Maybe very far away indeed a cured tobacco leaf.

Another disappointment (see my Voyage d'Tabac review). Better steer clear of this brand!
18th December, 2020

Bentley Infinite Rush by Bentley

Well I thought I'd give Bentley another shot after the disappointment that is Bentley for Men Intense.

But this one sucks too.

Strong tiger balm vibe on the opening. Becomes less eucalyptus like and more hexyl cinnamal like in the drydown. "Well that's good right?" Ehm no, because its vibe just changes from tiger balm to the scent of Voltaren Emulgel anti-inflammatory skin gel (a Diclofenac containing gel). I'm not quick to compare a scent to some other existing product but Bentley makes me do just that, twice.

Now this isn't a bad scent for a medicinal skin cream but what a JOKE Bentley pulls off here again. Not going anywhere near Bentley again.

You see the notes list and expect a scent that can hang with Spicebomb... but man will you be let down. Total fraud of a notes list. Should be: Elemi, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Black pepper, maybe a hint of a powdery Iris.

Cheap Chinese incense sticks is what you get from for Men Intense.

Tiger balm and Voltaren from this one.

18th December, 2020

17 by Le Cherche Midi

An ambery vanilla cream or balm with a heartiness in the open that could be mistaken for some sort of subtle pepper.

I also get a honey like soap or shower gel. Beeswax. Sandalwood is very faint.

Indeed unisex. I'm not blown away by this. To me it's a bit more suitable for women. Women who don't want go fully gourmand to avoid that too youthful vibe.

No. 17 is like the scented soap section of The Body Shop and similar stores. Those usually smell nice and so does this. In an amber, vanilla, honey balm like way.

The neutral is on me only, I can see being a thumbs up for many.
17th December, 2020