Perfume Reviews

Reviews by heylegros

Total Reviews: 15

Cool Water by Davidoff

I traveled to Vietnam in 2008 with two of my friends, and we were going out one night. I hadn't thought of bringing any fragrances on that trip and, to be honest, I really wasn't into fragrances at that time, as I only owned Acqua Di Gio and Code from Armani. As we were about to leave the hotel, I could smell this fresh, somewhat aquatic scent on my friend, which I found quite noticeable.

I asked him for a spray, and liked it. It performed quite well in the super hot, ultra humid Vietnamese climate. When I flew back home, I got a bottle of this, and was surprised at how low the price was. I wore that fragrance for some time, especially during summer nights. It did not seem to perform nearly as well as it did in Vietnam, though.

Cool Water has good sillage for maybe an hour or so, but it quickly becomes a skin scent. Its longevity is below average, which usually had me use another spray during the night.

It’s a pretty bread and butter fragrance, which may come in handy every now and then. I don’t wear it anymore, but honestly, I still have to give this one credit for being one of the first few fragrances that I ever bought and enjoyed.

It is a cheapie, and I suppose for anyone who’s just a casual user of fragrances, looking for a good value, this is a blue scent that you can wear occasionally on summer nights. It is not particularly refined and it definitely smells somewhat dated. Therefore, I'd probably say this is better suited for a middle aged man at this point, meant to be worn occasionally.
12th May, 2021

Club de Nuit Intense for Men by Armaf

If you read this, you more than likely are aware that Club de Nuit Intense Man (CDNIM) by Armaf is a Creed Aventus clone. Therefore, I will not give you yet another assessment of how close CDNIM is to Aventus but, rather, I will review the product as a standalone fragrance, without the comparison axis.

Now that this has been said, it nevertheless seems appropriate to mention that I paid 35 CAD for a 105mL bottle of the eau de toilette (EDT) version. It would have cost me around 500 CAD for the same format of Aventus bottle. I also paid about twice as much (70 CAD) for the limited edition eau de parfum (EDP) version (another 105mL bottle), which is still very reasonable for a product of that quality.

The EDT version of CDNIM is not without its flaws. The first few minutes are somewhat harsh, with a blast of citrusy notes that feel quite synthetic and seem to choke out more than a few folks, at least according to their online reviews. Personally, I do not find it off-putting at all. Interesting thing to note: this is no longer an issue in the limited edition EDP version of the scent. Armaf has done an excellent job in recalibrating the opening, among other things, but also in reducing the smokiness of the scent, which allows the fruity notes to shine through, and makes them more vibrant. Both versions of the scent are overall very similar, but the EDP limited edition version definitely feels cleaner and more polished.

Oddly enough, the EDT version seems to last longer on my skin (it actually lasts several hours) and has great sillage and projection (i usually use two to three sprays).

Overall, I have to say that this is a fantastic product and quite a compliment magnet. It is a well blended mix of citrusy, fruity, smoky (especially in the EDT), musky and fresh notes. I would describe this mixture of notes as a tad mesmerizing (although the Aventus DNA has been a bit overplayed in many people's books), immensely masculine and incredibly versatile. It can be worn every day and basically in any situation.

I have worn CDNIM in the office on a daily basis and I've been complimented countless times. I really struggle to think of a better value for the price. It is the fragrance that made me fall in love with perfumery, and I will always have a bottle of this in my collection.

I strongly recommend purchasing the limited edition EDP version if you don't mind spending a bit more. Again, it does not perform as well in terms of longevity, but it's a fantastic product.

A true gem!
11th May, 2021

Prada L'Homme by Prada

Blind bought this after listening to a considerable amount of video reviews and noticing that something ridiculous along the lines of 20% of male users on Fragrantica have this frag on top of their avatar.

Well, I think the reviewer who said it smells like the lobby of a 5 star hotel coined it quite accurately...and beautifully.

This is a powdery, quite floral scent that smells like what you'd want to spray on a nice suit fresh off the dry cleaners.

It's a linear scent, with the first 5 minutes or so not being my favourite, but the whole thing drying down quite smoothly and very nicely. I may be used to other fragrances that I don't want to overspray, because I thought the projection was relatively weak. For the record, I only used one spray, so I'll need to see how two or three (yikes!) perform. That may also improve the longevity, I assume. One spray will not get you far in terms of projection and longevity, perhaps I need to be a little less gunshy on the atomizer. I've been wearing Carlisle and Percival as of late, and one spray of either is really sufficient (both are eau de parfum).

Anyway, I'd describe Prada L'homme as an clean, highly pleasant, elegant scent that is definitely inoffensive, and which, as mentioned by so many before me, feels like it would be most perfectly worn in an office environment.

I am happy about this addition to my collection, as I usually work in an office, although the current circumstances led to telework for the last few months.

This does not crack my top 5 and it is not signature fragrance worthy as far as I am concerned, but I really like it and have a feeling that, going forward, I will cultivate some serious love toward this, especially when things go back to normal and I return to the office. A friend of mine who collects fragrances also told me that this is the one he gets the most compliments for from the ladies. I have no trouble to imagine that this is a compliment getter. Quite eager to find out!
11th May, 2021
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Herod by Parfums de Marly

ordered a bottle of Percival from the same house, and a sample of Herod was included in my package. I was familiar with the scent but had never worn it, and had only been quickly introduced to it. At the time, my first impression was that this was way too sweet/gourmand for my personal taste, with obvious prominent notes of vanilla and tobacco.

Well, when sprayed on my skin, the first minutes took me on an odd world of childhood memories, as this smelled somewhat like vanilla play doh, but in an inexplicably good way. I do get somewhat of a metallic aspect to the scent as well, especially within the first few minutes. When Herod dries down, it however becomes much more interesting: warm spicy accords blend into the mix, and give it some depth, especially through the amber note.

Anyone familiar with the PdM "DNA" will find itself in familiar territory, here, with this strong, well-built, somewhat-sweet-but-not-quite-gourmand creamy vanilla-driven base that bears and effective spicy accords.

I couldn't help but think about Carlisle (from Parfums de Marly as well), which is one of my signature scents (during fall and winter), which also has a strong vanilla note and accords that do bear some similarities with this. They are distinct scents without a doubt, but those who say that Carlisle smells like Herod and Layton's love child are not totally wrong.

To me, Carlisle is such a more complete fragrance, in that it takes you on a journey where notes that would seemingly make it a plain gourmand scent instead blend unexpectedly (green apple and vanilla, nutmeg, rose and tonka bean) and give you this warm feeling that's both mesmerizing and comforting, but that also makes it so much more sophisticated than some super sweet, one-dimensional "apple pie" scent.

Herod is no one-dimensional "apple pie" scent, and in no way smells sweet in a cheap way, but to be honest, everything I like about it, Carlisle does better. Or, at least, Carlisle takes you to a similar place at some point through its dry down, then takes you to even more enchanting places. So, where Herod settles down an unveils its depth, Carlisle is just passing by, and its journey then goes on towards a much nicer destination with much more to see (to smell, actually). Again I need to insist that Herod is not a shadow of Carlisle, but the DNA and fundamentals have indeed a lot in common.

That's just my opinion, and seeing how popular Herod is (moreso than Carlisle, it seems), maybe Herod yet has to grow on me some more. But, again, frags that are mainly of the gourmand type are just not really my cup of tea in general.

Performance is good, although a bit sub-par compared to other outings from this house. Percival and Carlisle both perform tremendously better than this. That's not to say that this is not decent-lasting, or that this does not project satisfyingly. It does.

Overall, I'd say that this is a very good sweet/spicy fragrance that is too gourmand for my personal taste. If that's your thing, tobacco, vanilla and cinnamon blend delightfully, and spicy accords jump into the mix a bit later to make things interesting. However, you should absolutely give Carlisle a try before spending a couple hundred on a bottle of Herod, because I really have a hard time trying to even imagine that anyone who likes this would not absolutely fall in love with Carlisle.
11th May, 2021

Layton by Parfums de Marly

Layton and Herod are the most popular fragrances from the house of Parfums de Marly, and to be perfectly honest, for the first twenty minutes, to my nose, they are almost identical, with vanilla as the very prominent note. I'm not the biggest fan of Herod, as it too sweet/gourmand for my personal taste, but I do admire the craft, as it is very well built and obviously a quality scent, especially as it dries down and warm spicy accords blend into the mix and give it some depth, especially through the tobacco leaves and amber notes, which hold together the roundedness of the scent throughout the experience, and take it to different places that go beyond the realm of plain, overwhelming sweetness.

As I said, similarly, Layton starts off as somewhat of a vanilla blast, but immediately picks up where Herod leaves you, despite featuring an array of notes that is highly distinctive. It does feel a tad fresher than Herod, thanks to relatively subtle mandarin orange and bergamot notes, but make no mistake, this is a warm scent. It has flowery middle notes that slowly fade in as it dries down, with lavender somewhat standing out but not being overpowering, instead just bringing a very elegant touch to the scent that could have felt a bit out of character without a bit of woodiness to carry it properly.

The accords in this scent just feel like pieces from different puzzles that somehow manage to nest together to create a picture that not only makes sense, but that is even more beautiful than all those pictures - combined - on the original puzzles from which they were taken. I'm not sure whether that makes sense to you as you read this, but it makes plenty of sense as I'm writing it.

I do not want to be annoying with this comparison, but I feel like I need to mention similarities with Carlisle, another outing from Parfums de Marly, which is my fall/winter signature scent, as I did in my review of Herod. It is pretty common to read that Carlisle is like Layton and Herod's love child, and I think it is somewhat accurate, although Carlisle was released a year before Layton. Everything I like about Herod, I feel like Carlisle does better or, at least, Carlisle takes you to a similar place at some point through its dry down, then takes you to even more enchanting places.

When it comes to Layton, I do feel like they it's pretty much at the same starting line as Herod, despite definitely being fresher due to its citrus notes. But twenty minutes in, it has evolved and has already taken you past Herod's finish line, and from there, unlike Herod, I think it feels more distinctive in the path that it takes, despite remaining reminiscent of Carlisle to a certain extent. Again, it's that Parfums de Marly DNA, matched with tremendous performance and projection. Carlisle is more mesmerizing, whereas Layton is more elegant and versatile, but Layton certainly feels like it sits right in the middle of Herod and Carlisle, which is great.

I own both Layton and Carlisle, but to be honest, in my mind, Carlisle is still the marquee outing from this house. Nevertheless, Layton is an incredibly beautiful scent that has plenty to offer in terms of complexity, awesome performance and longevity. If you can only purchase one fragrance from Parfums de Marly (and you're not looking for something to wear during summer, obviously), I'd say go with Carlisle, unless you're indeed looking for something with more mass appeal that is also more versatile. But if you got a few extra dollars, get both. They're great scents.
11th May, 2021

Encre Noire Sport by Lalique

I purchased Encre Noire and its two flankers, i.e. this one and Encre Noire à l'extrême, from a friend who is getting rid of his entire fragrance collection.

My introduction to vetiver fragrances is recent, and it came via the purchase of Terre d'Hermès, which I absolutely love. That's why it made sense to jump on this opportunity to get all three Encre Noire outings from Lalique at a very reasonable price (40$ for the three).

Full disclosure here, I don't dislike Encre Noire, but it is quite a funky smell to get accustomed to. It is, as its name so accurately says, pretty "inky", almost smelling like a vetiver bomb with the kind of whiffs you'd get when sitting in a room filled with opened up black ink cartridges. I think Encore Noire Sport is a much more approachable scent for various reasons, and to my nose the added brightness really makes the woodiness shine through a lot more, albeit differently.

Reading all these reviews around here honestly kind of puzzles me: maybe my nose is totally off-base, but as you'll notice in my review, I don't get a very inky, watery, "damp wood" type of scent from this. There doesn't appear to be an actual consensus among reviewers, but I seem to be getting something different than what is described in the couple of reviews that I read on here.

When you spray it on, Encre Noire Sport is pretty much a vetiver bomb, like the original Encre Noire, with some added freshness that curiously does not come off as very citrusy to me (the notes pyramid seems to indicate otherwise), but clearly makes it distinct from the original. You can tell right away, it is brighter, not nearly as "inky".

As this dries down, though, the vetiver seems to tone down a notch, blending in with other woody notes. However, the woodiness in this flanker is very different than the woodiness in the original, where you'd get this "rainy forest" type of wet, woody notes. Here, I felt like I was sitting in a sawmill filled with freshly cut, dry lumber. And I really enjoyed it, because it's a totally fresh take (no pun intended) on woodiness that I find absolutely pleasing.

The aquatic notes didn't come off as very straightforward to my nose as in, let's say, an Acqua Di Gio type of fragrance (of course they didn't!) to be honest, but there is no doubt that they're subtly carrying the woodiness here with a bit of freshness rather than wetness, which really differentiates the woodiness in this flanker from the "damp forest aspect" attributable to the woody notes in the original. This feels drier, cleaner, brighter and overall better, at least to my nose.

I would definitely recommend this product if you like vetiver and woody notes, especially considering how inexpensive it is. While its sillage and projection are moderate, the longevity of this product is pretty outstanding at 7+ hours. This is probably best worn during spring and fall at daytime.
11th May, 2021

Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive by Zara

I blind bought this after a friend told me it was nearly identical to Herod from Parfums de Marly. Herod is a bit on the gourmand side for my personal taste, but I still think it's a pretty solid fragrance with nice accords and an interesting dry down. Given how cheap this fragrance retails for (25 CAD), I thought it was worth checking out.

Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive from Zara, to my nose, isn't much of a tobacco fragrance at all. What I really get is a blast of honey and coconut notes, that end up smelling like a blend of cocoa and honey, with barely a hint of tobacco leaves when applied to the skin. While this might sound like an interesting combination for fans of gourmand fragrances, I have to say that there is a warmth and richness to this scent that I find very off-putting, maybe because the notes come off as quite synthetic, muddled and heavy. Or maybe because I'm just not a fan of the honey note, which is definitely dominant in this scent.

To anyone about to purchase this and expecting to get a Herod clone for only a few bucks, you will be disappointed. Herod has that beautiful vanilla base note, which is nowhere to be found in Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive. Herod also has this very nice drydown where spicy accords get into the mix, whereas Zara's fragrance is a linear and weak performer.

Really not my cup of tea, but if you like a dominant honey note, this is a safe pick, and a cheap one too. They list this as a men's fragrance but honestly, it comes off as very feminine to me.
11th May, 2021

Encre Noire à l'Extrême by Lalique

Encre Noire à l'extrême, in my view, is the best of the three outings from that collection. While it has this "inky" aspect to it much like the original, it seems to be somewhat toned down by a plethora of other woody notes, a tad of bergamot and an extra kick of vetiver. It is still there, but it does not steal the show as it does in the original, which honestly leaves me quite perplexed every time I wear it. This makes the scent way more versatile and just overall more appealing to me.

It doesn't have the bit of freshness that was injected into Encre Noire Sport, however the widened array of woody notes give it some interesting depth and carry the notes from that original formula into classier, deeper territory. While to my nose, Encre Noire Sport felt like sitting in a saw mill filled with freshly cut, dry lumber, the woods in this flanker feel somewhat damp, and give the scent a sense of darkness that I'd most likely associate with a grey sky, chilly/cold weather and a bit of wind.

Presentation is pretty incredible, given that this is a total cheapie. Not that I care about how a bottle looks, but I can appreciate a nice design, and this looks really classy. I also must say that Encre Noire à l'extrême smells much more expensive than the number printed on its price tag. It also performs really well, and lasts for several hours, although it projects moderately.

Make no mistake, this is not a mass-appealing scent by any stretch of the imagination, however it's one that I like to rock every now and then, definitely best worn in the fall, preferably on a rainy day or a rainy night. Oddly enough, I could equally picture myself wearing this at a cottage with a hoodie on, or at the office in late October while suited up.

Given that we've been locked down due to the pandemic for the last year or so (and I have been teleworking since), I'm curious to wear it in those opposite aforementioned scenarios.
11th May, 2021

Greenley by Parfums de Marly

heylegros04/27/21 11:24

I love Parfums de Marly, but I'm not overly impressed with Greenley. Oddly enough, all my favourite scents from the house are listed as unisex (Carlisle, Percival and Layton), although I definitely think they're masculine. Greenley is definitely a unisex scent to my nose. It's not even slightly or a tad bit more masculine than it is feminine. No, it sits right on the fence.

The first few minutes are not particularly enjoyable to my nose. I find that it's a tart blast of pretty crisp apple note that has a sourness to it that is a bit off-putting. It could be the accords with the citrusy top notes, but there is definitely something conflicting in that opening. And it's definitely foreshadowing.

A couple of minutes in, it does get much better, with the musky base basically doing what it does so beautifully (and so much more successfully) in Percival: provide a toned up, powerful body to carry a bunch of notes and accords that evolve through the drydown. Once the woody notes really settle in, they do smoothen up the experience, and those oakmoss, cedar and petitgrain notes blend quite well all in all, although they're somehow pivotal, as they slowly turn the scent into something that has quite a different feel to it. It could be that the cashmere and amberwood notes feel somewhat out of place, as they bring some sort of warmth that just doesn't work all that well in a scent that so blatantly tries to feel fresh at first.

Again, without ruining it completely, they bring something conflicting to the experience. It's like a mid-July, sunny day freshie for the first minutes, then it turns into a scent that feels best worn in front of a Christmas tree.

I'll give Greenley due credit for not being linear. It reaches a point where it's enjoyable, but to me it never goes beyond that. It would be fair to say that the musk base note in Greenley does with green apple what the musk base note of Percival does with lavender. The main difference, to me, is that the other notes and accords are deeply elegant and sophisticated in Percival, whereas they feel a bit plain in Greenley, and too tart-scent oriented for my taste.

Greenley is no different than other PdM outings in that its longevity is really good, and it projects satisfyingly. However, it is definitely not one of their standout fragrances.
11th May, 2021

Hacivat by Nishane

Hacivat by Nishane has such beautiful vibrant, crisp pineapple and citrusy notes in the opening, which are welded together using woody accords that smoothly arise through the dry down. The pineapple note is indeed prominent, and feels very natural to my nose. Hacivat is fruity, but it never steps into sweetness territory, thanks to those woody accords and oakmoss note that eventually give it of an earthy twist.

The middle notes, to my nose, remain very subtle. Nevertheless, they do provide a bit of depth in a scent that is truly driven by its main pineapple note, and everything just blends together flawlessly.

This is a long-lasting beast, and it projects quite a lot, as this is extrait de parfum. This will last all day! I love this scent and I can guarantee that I will purchase a 100 ml bottle in the near future.

With Hacivat being such a bright scent, I don't think it would be well suited for Canadian winters. I would say this is probably best worn during the day. Preferably warm, sunny days too.

Fantastic fragrance!
11th May, 2021

Sauvage by Christian Dior

I've been into fragrances for barely two years now, and, indeed, since then I've been watching and reading lots of reviews online, and there are "marquee" fragrances out there that garner a lot of attention from the online community, whether it be because they're amazingly popular, divisive or simply special. Dior Sauvage is one of these marquee scents, for all the aforementioned reasons.

Oddly enough, I had never smelled it until recently. Or, at least, I had never knowingly smelled it, but when I first sprayed this on me, it felt somewhat familiar. Lots of people online call this generic, synthetic, a "guido" scent...meanwhile others praise it tremendously. Full disclaimer here, I kind of wanted to dislike it, but I can't.

Is this mass appealing? Of course it is. Is this ground-breaking? Hell no. I'm actually surprised to see so many notes in that pyramid, because this really comes out as a straightforward scent without much depth, but with a powerful and incredibly pleasant formula. It is very linear too, and remains the same throughout the drydown and hours later. So what you first spray on is what you'll get throughout the entire experience.

To my nose, this is a fresh, soapy, peppery ambroxan bomb with a bit of cedar and bucketloads of masculinity. As I said, I wanted to dislike this, but as I'm wearing it, I find myself smelling my wrist every 20 seconds or so, and enjoying this tremendously.

A friend of mine compared this to Swiss Army EDT, and it's not a comparison that you'll read anywhere online. But it is incredibly accurate in so many ways: Swiss Army, back in the day, was a crowd-pleasing fragrance that reached about the same level of popularity as Sauvage, it was a super linear power scent, and it was literally a heavier version of this, albeit fit for colder weather and much less modern, if that makes any sense. But if you compare the note pyramids of these two fragrances, you'll be surprised to see how many notes they have in common. Obviously, the ambroxan is a major differentiator in this one, and turns this into a fresh, clean scent that has a clear shower gel feel to it.

This may or may not be your thing, and of course the level of sophistication of Sauvage is not its main quality, but all things considered, including its reasonable price, its strong performance (it will last 7+ hours, easily) and its versatility, this is a dumb reach. While it is clear that this is made to appeal to a "douchy" audience of nightclub aficionados, I could rock this wearing a white button-up shirt and a suit, so as I said, it is versatile, and won't be daring enough to be character-defining, unlike other niche fragrances. So this may come off as a douchy smell on some greasy night club bartender wearing a tight V-neck muscle tee, but this may also come off as a sexy clean scent on a man in his mid-thirties who works in a corporate environment.

Anyhow, I love Dior Sauvage for what it is: a true freshie that is linear, powerful, and that has "mass appeal" tattooed on its heart. You should clearly pass on this one if you're looking to stand out, puzzle the folks around you with ground-breaking scents, or if you like to use a fragrance to add a mesmerizing aspect to your character. Otherwise, this is about as safe a blind buy as you'll ever smell if you're looking for a reliable and crowd-pleasing freshie.

One piece of advice that I would give, though, is to not exceed two sprays with this one. It's very strong and becomes a tad overwhelming to the nose if you overspray.
11th May, 2021

Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

I've been racking up a bunch of awesome fall/winter scents over the last few months, including Parfums de Marly's Carlisle and Layton, and I've purchased a few fresher scents lately, such as Terre d'Hermès and Percival. Nevertheless, I still am on a quest to find the perfect freshie, which I'd use for occasions that are more casual than those during which I'd use either of the aforementioned fragrances.

Online reviewers have managed to point me in all sorts of interesting directions, and obviously Bleu de Chanel is mentioned so often as a landmark freshie/iconic "blue" scent, I had to try it out. And I just did, so here are my thoughts.

I do enjoy the first few minutes to a certain extent, however once the nice vibrant citrus notes in the opening dissipate through the dry down, Bleu de Chanel becomes too warm/spicy for my personal taste and for the use that I intended to make of it, unfortunately. More roundedness in the scent as a whole and better accords could have saved the day, but I personally find that, in Bleu de Chanel, those spicier and heavier notes like vetiver and incense don't nest together so successfully and make the scent heavier than I wish it was. It's not repulsive, but neither is it particularly enjoyable.

Make no mistake, this is not a terribly-crafted product, but as it relates to my current collection, even if I were to enjoy that product, I wouldn't be able to find it a proper slot. I'd much rather wear Terre d'Hermès on formal occasions during summer and spring, as it has a way more classy and unique feel to it; I'd much rather wear Percival on more casual occasions all year round, as it is more versatile, more sophisticated and much less spicy. And on top of that, both these fragrances perform way better than Bleu de Chanel, whose projection is very average, and longevity sub-par. On my skin, it becomes a skin scent in less than two hours. Very disappointing, poor performer.

To all of those who say that Bleu de Chanel is the Mona Lisa of "blue" scents, my personal opinion is that the award belongs to Percival, with which I am absolutely in love (on a side note, Percival is way more expensive than Bleu de Chanel, though). Needless to say, I don't get all the hype surrounding this one at all, although I do agree that it is a versatile fragrance...for as long as it lasts.
11th May, 2021

Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

So this is yet another fragrance that I blind bought, and I was incredibly excited about this one. Having read and watched several online reviews, I had a feeling that, as a man in his mid-thirties who works in a corporate office environment, Terre d'Hermès would be a perfect fragrance.

Just got it today and I am wearing it as I am writing this. What can I say, really? This is everything I expected and then some. I fell in love with it instantly.

It's dirty and it's's heavy and's sweet/fruity and woody. It's paradox in a bottle, basically. And the true tour-de-force here is that Hermès made this all blend together and work so well. Damn, this 100% lives up the hype!

It is no breaking news that notes of orange and vetiver stand out in this one. Oddly enough blended together to create something that has both a hint of old school cologne and plenty of fresh, vibrant old orange smell.

Those that describe this scent as "dirty orange" probably sum it up quite accurately, although to me this doesn't feel dirty at all...not even smells clean, strong and super manly. I was not familiar with the vetiver note, but I can tell now why it's mostly associated with men's's a very interesting note to my nose, and I'll sure look up some more scents featuring it.

Thus far, I find this to be relatively linear, although the orange and vetiver notes do switch seats through the drydown, with the orange note taking the passenger seat and vetiver taking the wheel...the grapefruit, patchouli and cedar notes are constants, sitting in the backseat, and hold this somewhat unusual combination of powerful orange and vetiver notes together, but more importantly, keep this scent fascinating from the moment you spray it on to a few hours later.

I literally can't stop smelling my wrist right now. I am seriously impressed with this product, which is an instant favourite.

Also, this has a niche aspect to it, without the steep price tag. Really, I can't say enough good things about Terre d'Hermès. This also performs quite impressively.

Phenomenal scent.
11th May, 2021
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Percival by Parfums de Marly

This is a product that gets very mixed reviews online, mostly due to the combination of its steep price tag and the familiarity of the olfactory experience that a lot of people consider it to provide. Many people out there say that this is basically a designer fragrance with a niche fragrance price tag.

It gets compared to Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce and Mont Blanc Legend. I have not had the chance to smell the former, but I own the latter, and I have to agree that, in a very general manner, Percival and Legend both feature lavender and bergamot as notes that really stand out. So, there is, indeed, a similarity.

In the fascinating world of fragrances, details matter quite a bit, and more often than not, subtleties in the accords of the notes, the strength or moderation of even the slightest notes can make all the difference in the world. And more often than not, this can be a major differentiator between an expensive niche fragrance and its clone, or a Mont Blanc Legend and a Percival. And this explains why I do like Legend, but I'm absolutely in love with Percival.

Among the details that turn this baby into a totally different experience are the fantastic base notes. I find that the musk note, especially, really has a lot to do with the magic here. As a base note, it just really carries the top and mid notes beautifully and constantly makes them fade in throughout the first few hours in a calculated yet powerful manner...and really efficiently.

Is it a ground-breaking scent? Not at all. It is a fresh, clean, blue-ish type of scent whose formula is reminiscent of cheaper designer fragrances that's unlikely to garner a whole lot of "What are you wearing?" type of questions from fragrance aficionados that lean on the connoisseur side of the aisle. But, given that such fragrance aficionados do not constitute such a large portion of the population that you're likely to encounter on a daily basis, I do not see this as such a big deal, as most well-known online reviewers among the fragrance community seem to find. Yes, this is mass-appealing, and incredibly versatile. It's an all-year round scent that you can wear on basically any occasion, and it will get you tons of compliments.

This has way more depth and roundedness than Legend's linear, squarely lavender-driven scent, and it takes probably three sprays of Legend to get the projection of a single spray of Percival, and it will not match its longevity either. So the steep price tag is not so unjustified, if you ask me, but I can understand why someone would differ.

To me, Percival is the Mona Lisa of fresh scents, as its relatively familiar combination of notes blend in a deeply elegant, sophisticated way and its phenomenal quality is undeniable with stellar projection and sillage, and a longevity that puts 99% of fragrances out there to shame. I was at a pool party one afternoon and wore ONE spray, and people around were noticing. I jumped into the pool and stayed in the water for 15 minutes and I could still smell it on my skin afterwards, and for much of the evening. This is some seriously strong juice.

So, is it fair to say that this is a designer fragrance with a niche fragrance price tag? I would disagree, mainly because of its superior quality, the way the notes blend together beautifully and its amazing performance. It is a very safe pick if you're looking for a crowd pleaser and a versatile scent, and yes, it is expensive, although you can find it on certain discount sites. The pyramid of notes might make you think otherwise, but the roundedness, incredible performance and tiny details take it a step above similar designer fragrances. So, to be fair, while this is not a daring scent at all, this is very sweet craft...niche house type of craft too.

One of my go-to's!
11th May, 2021

Carlisle by Parfums de Marly

I blind bought Carlisle, which I knew was somewhat risky, as this is an expensive fragrance and the online reviews I watched/read did indicate that this is not necessarily the kind of scent that is a "crowd pleaser". I was familiar with other fragrances from Parfums de Marly, Herod, Layton and Percival to be exact.

I am a huge fan of Percival, but I was looking for a less conventional array of notes, something that would be intriguing and less common. Herod and Layton are indeed niche fragrances, but they are Parfums de Marly's most popular ones (at least in my experience). So after a lot of reading, video watching and a bit of hesitation (blended with excitement, I admit), I decided to get Carlisle, which gets a lot of love from the online community and makes most reviewers' top 3 favourite fragrances from Parfums de Marly.

Carlisle is, in fact, a mesmerizing scent. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, but not overly. It is somewhat gourmand, but in a very cozy and comforting way. The first 10 minutes are not where this scent shines. However, past those, the notes blend together in an almost magical way, with green apple and vanilla somewhat standing out, but again not stealing the show, which is complex and evolves through the dry down.

Like other fragrances from this house, the quality is felt immediately. This is not cheap, and it shows. Longevity is almost scary. I wore two sprays for 7-8 hours, then took a shower before going to sleep. Next morning, I could still smell it a bit on my wrist. Impressive stuff. I usually stick to 2-3 sprays and I get fantastic projection and sillage. This scent is a BEAST.

I'm usually not into gourmand fragrances, but the gourmand aspect of Carlisle is incredibly seductive to my nose. Thankfully, it does not define the whole scent, but rather gives it a really cozy aspect. This is the perfect "sweater weather" scent.

PdM really hit it out of the ballpark with Carlisle, in my view. Despite the fact that this was released prior to Layton, Carlisle somehow feels like the synthesis of the houses' greatest hits (including Layton) and of its famous DNA, packaged into one beautiful, mysterious and comforting powerhouse whose performance yet has to be matched.

Overall, I am blown away by this product and am incredibly happy with this blind buy. Highly, highly recommended. This is my signature scent in the fall and winter.
11th May, 2021