Perfume Reviews

Reviews by PStoller

Total Reviews: 5

Milord by D'Orsay

D'Orsay Milord is, according to Grace Hummel, "classified as a zesty floral chypre oriental fragrance for women." I'm not sure by whom, but it's an apt description. She lists the pyramid thusly:

Top notes: aldehydes, lemon, orange, basil, lavender, bergamot, "fruit note"
Middle notes: nutmeg, mint, black pepper, cinnamon
Base notes: vetiver, ambergris, woods, oakmoss, patchouli, vanilla, musk

All this is present in fine but somewhat understated form in the EdC. It blooms more brilliantly in the extrait. Either way, wonderful stuff.

As with a number of d'Orsay fragrances, there is some confusion about whether this was originally a masculine or a feminine due to the trademark image of the Chevalier (which even threw some retailers back in the day). However, per d'Orsay's own ads, it was definitely launched as a feminine, though it is now easily unisex.

It was discontinued in 1952, and is not amongst the d'Orsay fragrances relaunched in the 1990s (or any of the subsequent relaunches). In this age of draconian materials restrictions, I doubt there'd be any point.
18th October, 2020

Eau de Lanvin by Lanvin

"Eau de Lanvin" is a fragrance in its own right, though one about which relatively little info is available.

Lanvin’s official website has a picture of a bottle much like mine—a tall, roughly cylindrical glass bottle with flat facets on the front and back, vertical ribbing on the sides, and a glass stopper (rather than the later bakelite cap mine has)—accompanied by this text:

"In 1933, true to her pioneering spirit, Jeanne Lanvin launched the very first 'eau mixte': 'L'Eau de Lanvin.'"

An "eau mixte" is a unisex fragrance, and while Eau de Lanvin may not have been the very first, it was perhaps the first in another category: the sport fragrance. An early ad exclaims, "Sportifs! Frictionnez-vous après le sport a L'Eau de Lanvin—rafraichissante et stimulante." This text accompanies a picture of a fit young woman posed as if she had just broken the tape in a foot race—topless. ("Frictionnez-vous," indeed.) Another early ad, also with a nude woman in the background, states, "Ni un parfum, ni une eau de cologne, ni une eau de toilette, mais une eau de santé. Elle est le complement indispensable de tout effort physique." ("Not a perfume, not an eau de cologne, not an eau de toilette, but an 'eau de health.' The essential complement to any physical effort.")

By the 1950s, while Lanvin was still emphasizing "the freshness of l'Eau de Lanvin," photos and illustrations placed the bottle amongst leaves and flowers. At the end of the decade, Lanvin stopped selling Eau de Lanvin as a standalone fragrance at all, instead offering versions of its classic perfumes mixed with Eau de Lanvin to create such fragrances as "Eau de Lanvin Arpège."

In the 1970s, new owners E.R. Squibb discontinued the Eau de Lanvin mixes (along with all the classic perfumes save Arpège and My Sin), and relaunched Eau de Lanvin as a standalone. The nude woman returned in demure impressionist form, but the tone of the text had shifted: "Eau de Lanvin: à fleur de peau. En l'Eau de Lanvin, il y a beaucoup, beaucoup de fleurs. Si vous aimez les fleurs, vous aimerez l'Eau de Lanvin." ("In l'Eau de Lanvin, there are many, many flowers. If you love flowers, you'll love l'Eau de Lanvin." Still, while "à fleur" means "flowering" and "de peau" means "of the skin," the entire phrase, "à fleur de peau," has the colloquial meaning, "on edge." So, though the emphasis on health and sport was gone, some suggestiveness remained.)

While conceived as unisex, Eau de Lanvin seems never to have been marketed with images OF men, and ultimately not TO men. It was discontinued in 1983.

So, what does Eau de Lanvin smell like? Described by Perfume Intelligence as "a citric-spicy masculine EdT," it reads as unisex to me, albeit on the butch side. It opens with citrus and a bit of civet, gradually fading through subtle florals into a warm but aromatic herbal vetiver and moss base. It's no sillage monster, but it has decent longevity as a skin scent, and would no doubt serve well as an "après-sport" fragrance without any of the ozonic/aquatic taint that "sport" and "fresh" acquired in the 1990s. Since almost nobody knows what this is, modestly priced bottles show up on occasion, and they represent a solid value. Thumbs up.
10th December, 2019 (last edited: 19th August, 2020)

Raphaël for Men by Raphael

Per Profumo:

Top Notes: Bergamot, Orange, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Lemon
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Lavender, Clove, Rose, Cedarwood
Base Notes: Moss, Musk, Tonka bean, Vanilla

I only have the aftershave, so I can't say how the EDT compares.

After the bitter citrus and herb opening, I get more clove and cedar in the heart than floral notes. Also, I don't smell much tonka and vanilla, which suits me fine. I find it somewhat reminiscent of the later Hermès Eau de Cologne/Eau d'Orange Verte, sans the tropical fruit.

This was apparently one of Johnny Hallyday's favorite scents in the '60s before the fire that left Parfums Raphaël in ashes, formulae and all. Not much Raphaël for Men survives, perhaps because little was produced in the first place, and not for very long.

Anyway, quite nice: it earns a thumbs up, but it's not worthy of unicorn pricing just because it's rare.

Note: The references to Mülhens as the parent company in this listing are erroneous, probably due to confusion with a series of four "Raphaël" fragrances produced by Theodor Jebe in 1986.
19th October, 2019
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Lord Molyneux by Molyneux

FYI, notes stated on a vintage Lord Molyneux tester:

"Aromatique Hespéridée": clary sage, lavender, bergamot, citron, tangerine

Spices: coriander, pimento, pepper

Woody Amber: patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, cistus, maté
15th September, 2019 (last edited: 02nd March, 2020)

X Twist Tabac by Clive Christian

I went out tonight with the original X on my left wrist and X Tabac on my right. At no point could I discern a significant difference between the two, and I was trying. So, less a flanker than a twin. If you want to know what it smells like, read the many X reviews: I have nothing to add.

I gave this a provisional thumbs up because I really like X and, as I was running low, I felt the purchase wasn’t a waste. But I can’t see why anyone who has one would need the other, and the original is much easier to come by.
01st August, 2019 (last edited: 06th August, 2019)