Perfume Reviews

Reviews by scenting prey

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Total Reviews: 21

Pure Musc for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

I truly dislike the entire Narciso Rodriguez line including Pure Musc For Her. No, I did not mistakenly choose two thumbs up. Yes, I dislike the entire NR lineup despite riding with FK since Green Tea upon initial release through MFK and keeping Sonia Constant’s NPF in my regular wardrobe. This review is based on a free sample that I did not request.

Two thumbs up for Pure Musc’s objective merits which seem to be a toned down, lower gear ginger muskiness that could be a fragrant shard from a fractured NPF. PM is a stripped down entry model that could easily flex from office to a night out in casual dining, is likely to be offered widely and therefore flexibly priced. PMFR seems like a very user-friendly one stop shopping for utilitarian fragrance needs. This is not going to move many people one way or another and really any criticisms I have are petty and subjective. NR bores me. It’s... nice, which is a me problem and not a NR problem.

A safe blind buy in uncertain times, good value given it can be worn for nearly any occasion, and performs superbly. Any minor subjective negativity I assign doesn’t stand up to those objective positives writ large.
17th October, 2020

Silver Needle Tea by Jo Malone

Best Idea Ever hit me during a decant haul to add on a discontinued fragrance that I was sure I would really like. Legend has it I walked home 5 km in 4-inch heels after midnight in Tokyo because I missed the last train running. There was also that time I convinced myself with zero experience I could ride a horse bareback at 2 am (the horse knew better tossing me on my duff). So in my overall history of lawful neutral teetotaler there are some streaks of hold my cosmo, please. Hence precedence for Best Idea Ever in buying a discontinued fragrance that would zing my little heart.

Our tale need not end in sadness or grand delusion hunting a white whale. Enter Rasasi Sharina Mukhallat Dhan Al Oudh, a concentrated perfume oil that is stronger, widely available, and in production as far as the eye can see. For those that don’t want to chase down discontinued Jo Malone Silver Needle Tea paying unreasonable prices for a brand that is a target of sophisticated counterfeits, consider trying Rasasi Sharina. Bear in mind a mukhallat will require the wearer’s adjustment in application and expectations. To that end I would recommend a video by Nikhil of Exotic Scents that demonstrates the application of attar and mukhallat to maintain product hygiene and generate sillage.

Sharina is not a one-to-one replacement for a spray perfume nor is it a dupe but you may find it satisfies the abstract halo of scent reminiscent of the excellent discontinued Silver Needle Tea.
14th October, 2020 (last edited: 15th October, 2020)

Darcy by Parfums de Marly

Mainly citrus and woods. Feedback from people focus on clean, bright, nice, the sort of things I’d liken to a Campari spritzer or other refreshing aperitif. Darcy makes me a great roving air freshener. Scent gets thumbs up in wearability from a sample, not nearly inspiring enough to get a full bottle. Could make a good a choice for a work wardrobe.
06th October, 2020
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Black Aoud by Montale

Unmistakable rose, one I think nearly everyone would have an associated memory whether a person or product. Based on the reviews I expected Black Aoud would fist my nostrils to Thrill Kill Kult but it is more reminiscent of a rose garden in peak bloom and these little bath tabs my mother used for DIY onsen/sauna time. Not nearly the teeth rattling shockwave I anticipated though I would not call this tame. A wearer would most definitely be making a wordless declaration about commitment to full on rose and not giving a damn who might not.
04th October, 2020

Ruh by Pekji

Ruh is everything Histoires de Parfums Veni strove to be but was not. Finally, the saffron-centered hunt is over. I will wear Pekji’s compositions for my sole enjoyment seeking neither compliment nor judgment. In those moments I will fondly recall an evening long ago dining in St. Peter’s Archabbey.
03rd October, 2020

Roses Vanille by Mancera

I ain’t wearing Roses Vanille - it’s wearing me! Guess who grossly underestimated this little number writing it off as some silly celebrity-like fruit candy compost? Oh yeah, I sprayed with such utter disrespect and did I mention this was my first ever Mancera or Montale? Here I am twelve hours wiser realizing how lucky I f’d around and found out with a really impressive fragrance.

The people who mentioned tobacco smoothness are not wrong. It’s absolutely the synthesized combination of notes that oddly do not become stale or shift much. Right out of the gate I did get a sense of roses and separately an impression of hard candy, but thereafter the disparate notes find each other and meld into an assertive vanilla pipe tobacco. I can see why men embraced this so fully, at least the ones who did not get hung up on the name. Clearly those gents took Roses Vanille much more seriously than I did.
02nd October, 2020

Ombré Leather by Tom Ford

A good portion of my adolescence was spent in racing and touring leathers. Ombré Leather does indeed smell like smooth leather to me (as opposed to suede) plus some sweet florals, as if I had a broken in riding jacket that had picked up some dried down Metallique. Olfactory memories are amazing. So strong was the association, for me, it triggered the remembrance of the sweat, shampoo, and plastic-metallic factory smell inside my helmet. Pretty cool. Ombré Leather gets two thumbs up for that.
01st October, 2020

Safanad by Parfums de Marly

Cat pee on pleather.
27th September, 2020

Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain

A cautious thumbs up for possibly liking the quiet hum of this bourbon vanilla. SDV was part of a larger order of samplers to rule out a few potential candidates for full bottles. Vanilla is a treacherous note in my opinion because it is so ubiquitous, comforting, satiating, and inviting, it can betray a wearer at any moment without notice sending you into tawdry, gluttonous, or cheap artifice without much warning.

When it comes to vanilla there are three things I do not want to smell like: a candle, a bakery item, or an art medium. My grandmother used to send little care packages to me as a child that had domestic Japanese items I assume were either purposed to dial me into ‘my’ culture, or she didn’t know what else to get her first ever grandchild, an American she couldn’t relate to. Whatever the case, she always included stationery products like pencils and erasers, and the Japanese erasers had a woodsy vanilla-like scent to them.

SDV reminded me of those erasers so it is a strong contender to enter my library criteria by representing a memory but that memory is an art supply so I’m on the fence. I do think it’s pleasant enough to merit a larger decant.
27th September, 2020

Veni by Histoires de Parfums

Heinous, bitter galbanum shrieking from dusk till dawn with lavender in the back seat egging it on to drive faster, harder. Bought through a merchant of solid reputation during a limited 50% off retail after reading Kafkaesque’s glowing review. I only wish I got the notes Kafkaesque extolled and the notes Darvant excoriated because all my bottle of juice emits is migraine-inducing bitter from a single spray. To wildly speculate and possibly save someone $ only buy this if you have already gone through one bottle or you can get this for about $70. A newer launch varying to extremes would suggest you might not be able to trust usual sampling due to a lack of consistent manufacture. I paid $80 new in sealed box from a trusted vendor. The typical non-sale retail is currently $160.
26th September, 2020

Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

My adoration for Acqua di Gio is unapologetic and unconditional. This is my spouse’s signature scent, structured enough to be noticed yet not so overt it eclipses his underlying skin musk. His mid 1990s Silicon Valley casual style has given way to a mature beard and tailored shirts of the corporate world but AdG is still going strong. Buyers should look for semi-regular 40% off sales at Armani Beauty website with free basic ship over $70 USD purchase. This stretches your dollars in a tight economy and protects against counterfeits. Delivery times are reasonable.
26th September, 2020

Love In White by Creed

Saks sent me a sample of Love in White and Aventus for Her. Aventus was uneventful, but I had hope for Love in White. Creed has largely passed me by for lack of standing out in any way, shape, or form. What are they offering? Rare? Exotic? Artisanry? They failed to get me in Paris, at Knightsbridge, New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Munich, Hong Kong, Geneva, so what’s the catch? Stand and deliver, Creed, what are you offering me? Why do I want you in this crowded luxury market?

Love in White did not answer for its brand. The promising notes of orange, rice, and woods were trounced by matronly florals the wore their welcome out in the first few minutes and lingered. I cannot relate to descriptions of Love in White as upscale or classy. This fragrance was launched in the USA, and perhaps being married to a marketing executive I get to see the man behind the curtain more, but this reeks of an aspirational brand here in USA. Creed continues to be a hard pass for me. The quality is there, but in a sea of choices there is nothing to connect my money or interest to this house and its branding. I would say Creed is about one step away from TJ Maxx if it wasn’t already there. Younger people struggling in the current and yet to come economic downturn, please buy further down the ‘waterfall’ of merchants. Bypass Saks for TJMaxx or Costco if you enjoy Creed.
26th September, 2020

Aventus for Her by Creed

Utterly forgettable. Do women really buy this? I’d have to see audited sales data to be convinced. Kill the gender label, give it a Gen Z-relatable name then release it back into the wild.
26th September, 2020
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Aventus by Creed

21st Century Acqua di Gio. Congratulations to the product development and marketing teams.
26th September, 2020

Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf

Conjures up the essence of MLM boss babes or eau de Karen under sustained olfactory encounters. The hint of diaper wipes and spoiled formula underneath it all is ruinous. However, any negative affect might be overcome for wearers who possess enough self-discipline to keep the volume down. Drive by whiffs on someone else could be pleasant making it greatly depend on how much throttle an individual wearer gives it, and if there are a herd of the Flowerbombed concentrated in one spot. Dose makes the poison here.
26th September, 2020

Rouge Smoking by BDK Parfums

Although the marketing material I’ve come across in English for Rouge Smoking lists this as feminine, I beg to differ. A smoking in French is a jacket and the fragrance itself is a slightly decisive and unfussy root beer or sarsaparilla infusion. There is enough structure keeping Rouge Smoking from veering into full-on food flavoring so no worries there. A Gen Z male could easily wear this with nary a sidelong glance. It’s cheerful to my nose almost an ode to Dr. Pepper flavored lip balms. My oldest son looks like a member of BTS so this suits him perfectly. His sibling looks like a MMA fighter so, not so much.
25th September, 2020

Kingdom of Bahrain by Roja Dove

You better be a sexy, suave mfer if you wear this because my word this is what I fantasize Tom Hardy or Daniel Craig to smell like. Crowd-pleasingly hard-edged, intense, and in full control. I would find it very difficult to concentrate around a well-groomed, confident male accessorizing tastefully with Kingdom of Bahrain. Wear it for yourself by all means my review is not intended to encourage anyone to wear for others but rather to acknowledge the rare beast that has the power to short circuit.
25th September, 2020

Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermès

No other fragrance represents me more faithfully than Osmanthe Yunnan. In my opinion Jean-Claude Ellena captures feminine whisper so in touch with classical Asian aesthetics I can’t think of a more elegant scent to imbue my skin with that never overtakes or overstates. The memory Osmanthe Yunnan represents for me and my significant other is a multi-course lunch set in a misty mountain temple with fragrant native tropical flora in bloom and countryside tea farms. We were there to escape the city (and family) for the day.

Heavily romanticized with individual context it is easy to hold those two thumbs up high. Objectively? Not worth the price tag for most because unless the nose of those around you REALLY dialed in to this specific aesthetic and will be extremely close, as in physical contact, Osmanthe Yunnan is nearly devoid of projection, sillage, or longevity.

My recommendation for those seeking a lasting, radiating tea scent with a similar profile is to look towards Nishane Wulong Cha or Ormonde Jayne Qi Intensivo. Show restraint applying the Nishane because it has the horsepower to yank anyone within reach up by their collar. Qi Intensivo will more demurely radiate but you also might give off olfactory sensations to others of rolling through clean hay on a sunny summer afternoon. That might be too soft with a power suit you’re wearing for hard negotiations.

The best cocktail emulation I’ve found to memorialize that tropical tea garden or courtyard aesthetic with increased projection and longevity is Qi Intensivo layered over Philosykos EDP.
25th September, 2020

Perfume Calligraphy Rose by Aramis

Strong resin and roses. It’s pleasant, reminiscent somewhat of Estee Lauder Amber Mystique with much less pencil shavings. Here’s a reminder for me why I tread mainly in the Top 40 Hits of niche perfumery Roja/MFK/Dipthyque/Ormonde Jayne with a heaping designer side dish of Tom Ford and Hermès.

Calligraphy Rose unfolds in chapters that are decidedly different starting from rich resin with a present linear rose all the way down to finishing with an hour or two of custard. It is a pleasant experience for the wearer but one would truly need to know his or her audience to gauge what others are experiencing. Calligraphy Rose radiates a good one meter from body with surprising tenacity. And the human cohabitating with me has an olfactory aesthetic much more rooted in modern East Asian metropolises than a diluted mudblood such as myself. I might look like I hail from one of the points of heavy miscegenation along the Silk Road but regional and cultural aesthetic nuance matters.

Buyers should not pay more than around $60 at the time this review is written.
25th September, 2020

Gold Woman by Amouage

One of my grandmothers used a soap called Camay, the other a sandalwood soap by Flower & Bee. Amouage Gold Woman caught me off guard with a scent reminiscent of those two soaps combined. So if you like Amouage Gold Woman those soaps might be of interest to you. Neutral.
19th September, 2020

Tihota by Indult

Would you like to smell like fresh crepes? This is the juice for you. Tihota does align squarely in my fragrance library built collecting scents that represent memorable travels or moments. It would fit the bill of the many times across Europe or Asia I’ve hit up a crepe cart. In no way would I turn my nose up at someone wearing this, but on me? Negative. Tihota is far too food-like and sedate, so sweet and satiating the ghost carbs turn into an aromatic lullaby.

FK’s East-West wavelength is almost always a perfect ride for me but on this one he either went so Parisian I couldn’t follow or he cranked it out on his laptop without too much thought because mon dieu it’s strong, making Tihota worth the attention of true vanilla connoisseurs.
18th September, 2020