Perfume Reviews

Reviews by alexmate

Total Reviews: 51
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Scotch Peat by Strangers Parfumerie

Fragrance In Three Words: Earthy Smoky Whisky

Starts off with sort of candied, sugary apricot. As the fragrance progresses I get more of a smoky whisky reminding me of something like Laphroaig. I get a lot of earthy notes and bitter green absinthe.

Like Burning Ben also released on the Strangers Parfumerie line it has that kitchen sink feel. I'm not doubting Prin Lomross' talent and this is an interesting and complex perfume, it just feels a bit too difficult to be wearable. On a different day I might prefer Burning Ben, but both have left me feeling underwhelmed given the hype.

Price in the UK is £75 for 30ml which is OK for a niche perfume.

The perfume also has a slightly green tinge which may stain clothing. I noticed it stained the sprayer on the decant.

Rating: 6.5

1ml decant
12th May, 2021
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Burning Ben by Strangers Parfumerie

Fragrance In Three Words: Cocoa Rubberised Espresso

I had to try this and Scotch Peat after lots of positive reviews on YouTube. Unfortunately the first time I tried it (and Scotch Peat) I got a really unpleasant ammonia smell. It could just be down to my skin's chemistry on that day.

For me it started off with a nice strong espresso coffee, very light cherry tobacco and a slight burnt smell from labdanum.

As it progressed I got more of a chocolate cake smell and what is described as burnt tyre. It didn't have the seductive burnt tyre of Bulgari Black (1998) or the potency of something like Beaufort's Vi Et Armis (2015) which does a black tar note really realistically.

Maybe it's down to the hype, but I can't help, but feel cheated. I know Prin Lomross is an incredibly talented and exciting perfumer, but it has too much of a throw everything into the mix feel. I was really letdown by the projection which was moderate; given the notes I expected a monster. Lasted around 5 hours which is good.

Price in the UK is £75 for 30ml which is OK for a niche perfume.

PS: something to watch out for is this (and Scotch Peat) might stain white clothing.

Scores: 6 out of 10.

1ml decant
12th May, 2021
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Oud Occult by Voronoi

Fragrance In Three Words: Tangerines Incense Sawdust.

Solid opening of sweet tangerines and black pepper. It doesn't contain actual oud, but it has a dusty incense (reminded me a bit of Terror and Magnificence), creamy sandalwood and a slight sawdust cedar. Drydown is quite sweet with some peach and vanilla amongst the amber woods.

Price in the UK is £98 for 50ml. That would make it the equivalent of £196 for 100ml. This puts it on the expensive side, but cheaper than Prim Parssana and a few others.

Score 7 out of 10.

Source: 1ml decant sample.
06th May, 2021 (last edited: 12th May, 2021)
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A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

Fragrance In Three Words: Boozy Cherry Tobacco.

I'm a massive fan of the original A*Men as well as Angel (woman). I had to try this flanker as I do enjoy boozy fragrances and baccy ones.

Starts off with what to me is cherry tobacco. It's not really a sweet candy cherry more like one which is blended in with the tobacco.

As it progresses the cherry fades and a boozy rum takes over. It doesn't smell like a bottle of rum to me it is more like rum cake.

The drydown for me was a really heavy vanilla and just a general sweetness.

Price in the UK is around £50 for a big bottle. Unfortunately it is much harder to get in the UK than the USA.

I think it is a banger. Really versatile. What puts me off is I think there are probably better tobacco fragrances out there albeit for more money. I'm also not sure how unique it is. That said I really enjoyed it especially the delicious opening.

Scores a nice 7.5 out of 10.

2ml decant from respected seller.
04th May, 2021
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Charogne by Etat Libre d'Orange

Fragrance In Three Words: Animalic Floral Leather.

This is named after the French word for Carrion. The vulture like bird that feeds on animal corpses.

This one starts with what to me is a champagne style note as well as lashings of ginger, cardamom, citrus and light pink pepper. It's a solid and complicated opening.

As it progresses it becomes more feminine and floral. Really big ylang-ylang, muguet and jasmine notes.

As it drysdown the floral notes persist with some soft leather, a really decent dusty, mouldy incense note and a heavy vanilla. The vanilla really does take over and it was mainly what I could smell as it was fading. The incense and florals are all quality and well composed. Like most ELDO fragrance, it is synthetic, but undeniably expensive smelling and classy.

This fragrance is sadly discontinued. It can currently be bought for less than £100 for a big bottle which is about what it cost when it was a current line. It's not too difficult to find sealed boxes in 2021.

For me it is slightly too feminine. Not the florals, just the sweetness of vanilla contrasting against strong aromas like incense and leather weren't for me. I get they were going for a darkness and light theme.

Scores an above average 6.5 out of 10.

1ml decant sample
04th May, 2021
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Bang by Marc Jacobs

Fragrance in three words: Fresh Powdery Pepper

This is a discontinued and sort after fragrance. It's not mega rare or a holy grail and sold really well at the time, enough to warrant a flanker, Bang Bang. Current prices seem to be around £80 for the bigger bottles. When launched I think the price was around £40 for 100ml.

This uses a unique combination of three types of pepper (Black, Pink and White). It is noticeably peppery, but I don't get the pungency of the black pepper. Drydown is a sort of woody and very clean powdery scent which is undeniably masculine. it would maybe be considered old school now, given vanilla, cocoa and amber have become the base notes of choice.

I know a lot of people have reported poor longevity and projection with this and I can see why. I might have been fortunate in that it lasted around 4-5 hours with medium projection. Like Karma Chameleon "it comes and goes". I smelt nothing after an hour and then Bang it was back as strong as when it was first applied.

It's nothing amazing, but I really enjoyed it.

Scores: 7 out of 10
28th April, 2021
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Wilde by Jardins D'Ecrivains

Fragrance in three words: Soapy, Figgy, Green Tea.

No surprises for guessing this is inspired by Oscar Wilde. It's a difficult scent to waer, not quite bright enough for summer, not heavy enough for colder months. Maybe a Spring scent?

Starts off with a zesty, bright, non-bitter bergamot and grape. Definitely fruity and bright, but this fades quickly.

In the middle I get a green tea. Not a bitter one and I get a fairly strong fig note. Fig isn't listed as a note, but it is unmistakable.

Dry down is a soapy vetiver with the green tea and sort of a floral clean laundry detergent smell.

Price in the UK (April 2021) is £85 for 100ml. Making it on the affordable end of niche. Longevity was around 5 hours on skin.

Overall it's a borderline positive. It's solid and interesting, but sort of underwhelming.

6.5 out of 10

Source: 1ml sample
28th April, 2021
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Hyrax by Zoologist Perfumes

Fragrance in three words: Dirty Hamster Cage

Hyrax is based on the desert mammal Hyrax. Looks wise these are similar to the Pika, a desert mouse immortalised by Pikachu in the Pokémon videogames.

What I'm immediately hit with are really dirty animal notes: hot urine drying on stones, faeces and even animal fur. This is a strong divisive fragrance.

There's a really nice natural rose in the mix somewhere, reminding me of the dirty rose in Theo Fennell Scent (2007). I get the heat of desert air. I mainly get a dirty, seductive animalic leather. This isn't the new wallet smell of Tom Ford's Ombré Leather (2018) or the clean green leather of Givenchy Gentleman (2017); Hyrax is much rawer.

This isn't sexy scent by any means, but I find myself drawn to it. It delivers on concept and it's bold. The downside is it's difficult to wear. Projection is enormous in hot weather with pungent notes of pepper and what some people will describe as rat piss. Longevity is also around the 8 hour mark, with it still being skin scent the day after. Price in the UK (2021) is £165 for 60ml EdP, not cheap, but not a rip either.

Rating 8 out of 10.

Source: 1ml Sample
13th March, 2021 (last edited: 12th May, 2021)
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East India / Vi Et Armis by Beaufort London

Fragrance in three words: Tar and Treacle

Vi Et Armis smells like black treacle when it first goes on my skin possibly due to the way a fruity cardamom mixes with a hefty black pepper.

As the fragrance evolves I get smokey Lapsang Souchang tea. It avoids the burnt rubber aspect of Bulgari Black (1998) and the softer seductive side of Lapsang used in L'instant de Guerlain (2004 or new packaging 2018). It's probably the most authentic Lapsang note I've smelt.

I get whiffs of birch tar which remind me of fresh tarmac. This fragrance is said to use Cambodian Oud unfortunately I can't smell it. I do get some fleeting sweetness which is most likely whisky. It's pretty much four notes for me: tea, black pepper birch tar and smokey incense. It's worth mentioning the incense in this is not as smooth as the one in Beaufort's Terror and Magnificence (2019).

A complex and interesting fragrance. If you are turned off by black pepper, smoke or birch tar you will really struggle with this. It is a strong fragrance which lasts around 8 hours.

Price (2021) is £110 for 50ml. I would consider a bottle.

Scores 7.5 out of 10

Source: 1ml Sample
07th March, 2021 (last edited: 12th May, 2021)
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Musc Maori 04 by Parfumerie Generale

Fragrance in three words: Triple Chocolate Orange

The fragrance opens with a zesty orange and chocolate. For any confectionery fans what came to mind was Terry's Chocolate Orange. A British milk chocolate bar flavoured with orange oil.

The chocolate notes in this are authentic smelling and I can imagine expensive to boot. Usually when chocolate notes are used in fragrance they end up smelling like burnt sugar or have no potency and get lost in the mix. In Musc Maori it is very close to drinking cocoa.

The orange fades and the drydown is white musks and slightly powdery amber. Longevity was around 6 hours with moderate sillage.

Due to it using bergamot and having a dusky quality I get similarities to Terre d'Hermès (2006). Terre is much earthier, less bright and sexier. Musc Maori is much more fun though.

Price in the UK (March 2021) is £138 for 100ml standard pricing for Pierre Guillaume's Parfumerie Generale line. Given the quality ingredients and uniqueness I think it is ok priced. I enjoyed wearing it, A rock solid thumbs up, but not a must have for me.

7.5 out of 10

Source: 1ml sample
01st March, 2021
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Mojito Chypre by Pierre Guillaume

Fragrance in three words: Strawberry Mint Vetiver

This reminded me a lot of a friend's Peppermint Candy Cane vape e-liquid. It has a candy strawberry which can't be mistaken for anything, but strawberry. The mint is more of a peppermint than spearmint and is as plasticy as the strawberry. I got a slight whiff of nondescript alcohol on paper, not white rum like just the pungency of grain spirit.

As this evolves a medium-sweet lime comes through with some grassy vetiver and sweet, creamy vanilla.

Sillage and longevity are both moderate with it projecting above hugging distance. Lasted around 5+ hours on skin.

Value: UK Price (March 2021) is £144 for 100ml EdP and £99 for 50ml. These are standard prices for Pierre Guillaume's Croisiere range. It is midpricing for a niche fragrance with limited availability and about on par with Perris Monte Carlo fragrances.

It's a like, but not a love. There's something tacky and fun about it which I like. I found it performed better in hot weather and was uplifting to wear, but I won't be purchasing a big bottle.

Scores: 7 out of 10

Source: 1ml sample (Bloom).
01st March, 2021
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Paul Smith Extreme Men by Paul Smith

Fragrance in three words: Sweet Herbal Geraniums

This was my signature scent around 2010 after progressing from Paul Smith Men (2000). It took me some getting used to as I found this quite feminine by comparison. What I though was a massive rose note is actually geranium. It's a herbal geranium and compliments the woody base really well.

The top notes are sweet citrus and cardamom and similar to most maculines of that era: Prada Amber (2006), Burberry Brit (2004). This part is very short lived on skin. A herbal woody scent with light smoke and bursts of geranium dominate.

Sillage and longevity are both moderate. The fragrance lasted around 5 hours on skin after 2+ sprays.

Value: As of 2021 UK prices are 100ml £41 and 50ml is £28. This fragrance is often discounted to around half the RRP price. I bought my 50ml bottle for around £14.

Overall: A top value fragrance which doesn't break the mould. Performance wise it is what you expect for the price. It's versatile and smells different to most modern men's fragrances due to it not being a vanilla and benzoin bomb. There are fragrances that do woods better at a similar price point Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme (2017) and better masculine floral fragrances like Joop! Homme (1989).

Scores 7.5 out of 10

Source: Offical 50ml EdT and official 2ml sample
02nd February, 2021
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Rouge Avignon by Phaedon

Fragrance in three words: Dusky Raspberry Rose.

There's something about this I find both obnoxious and seductive. I see the same qualities in TF's Ombré Leather (2018).

Rouge Avignon has a strong jammy sweet rose, comparisons to Turkish Delight are spot on. It reminds me a bit of Joop! Homme (1989) in terms of sweetness. Mixed in with the rose is a powdery raspberry. It is sweet, but not an ultrabright candy raspberry like you might find in the DKNY Be Delicious range.

I get some really nice dark cocoa, but it sort of gets lost as does the smokey vetiver. The bit I don't like is the way the (black) musk mixes with a powdery amber. I find the way it contrasts against the sweetness really jarring to the point of headache inducing. I'm not sure why as I really enjoy Joop, A*Men and Prada Amber Homme which can be offensively sweet at certain times so who knows.

Value: UK Price (January 2021) is £125 for 100ml EdP. This is affordable and puts it in the same price range as Tom Ford's Signature line.

The sillage is on the heavy side on my skin. Longevity was 8 hours+, which is excellent.

This fragrance isn't for me so scores a neutral 6 out of 10.

Source: 1ml sample from Bloom.
05th January, 2021 (last edited: 12th May, 2021)
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Nocturnal by Firetrap

Fragrance in three words: Spicy Peppery Woods

Starts off with a strong bergamot and lemon. Unfortunately the lemon has a bit of that toilet cleaner cheap lemon smell. The orange is bright and fresh. An OK opening. A strong pepper note runs through it. Despite being classed as Sichuan pepper the note I am familiar with in Opium pour Homme (1995), I found it more like black pepper than the spicy kick of Sichuan.

Drydown is typical ambroxan and wood notes. To me it smelt more like a general wood than the cedar wood listed, as cedar to me has that sawdust smell. The drydown is what most people would find sexy. It's well composed and smells more expensive than the fragrance price tag, but it's basic and not really exciting.

Longevity was around 2-4 hours which is respectable. Sillage moderate.

Price in the UK is around £10 for 100ml EdT. The body sprays cost around £2 each. This makes it cheaper than the David Beckham range of fragrances and about on par with Brut, Old Spice and clone fragrances. Very good value.

Overall: Scores an OK 6 out of 10.

Source: Offical EdT (old design black bottle) and deodorant body spray.
31st December, 2020
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Elite X for Men Power by Umbro

Fragrance in three words: Fresh Masculine Woody

I know very little about this fragrance other than it is owned by Corsair. I've tried similar obscure sports brand fragrances in the past; Slazenger anyone?

With first spray I get clean aquatic notes. Maybe some light citrus. More ozonic than the fresh linen scent. There's possibly a hint of lavender or something similar as I get a talcum powder vibe. Dries down incredibly quick with a masculine sandalwood base.

Longevity was incredibly poor at around 2 hours. Sillage: mild to moderate. Given the cheap price I can't begrudge performance to much.

As far I know this is discontinued and the RRP seems to be UK £9.99. Much like the current Adidas aftershaves they were often available for £4.99. It's pleasant, but boring.

Source: 60ml EdT bottle

Score: an average 6 out of 10.
27th December, 2020
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Le Mâle Le Parfum by Jean Paul Gaultier

Fragrance in three words: Safe Vanilla Lavender

I'm a huge fan of the original Le Mâle (1995) and I honestly believe it is one of the best men's fragrances of the 90s. It's sexy, bold and original. Le Mâle's younger brother Le Parfum is safe, boring and gets lost in the slew of modern gourmand "sexy" fragrances.

Le Parfum starts off with a really good Cardamom note. It is bright and sort of captures the lime note of natural cardamom. The Lavender and Iris come through. It's more bright than lavender oil and sort of OK, but not striking. The base is a heavy vanilla. When mixed in with the cardamom, to me it smells almost like cocoa powder. To be honest this is a nice fragrance and will get compliments at work or in a club if that's what you want, for me it just doesn't stand out.

Sillage is big at first, but this doesn't continue for more than an hour even after 6 sprays. Longevity was around 6-8 hours on my skin which is decent.

Price in the UK (2020) is £56 for 75ml which makes it cheaper than most designer fragrances especially its competitors like Boss and Paco Rabanne.

Rating: a mediocre 6 out of 10

Official 1.5ml carded sample
19th December, 2020 (last edited: 31st December, 2020)
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Elixirs of Nature : Bowhanti by Body Shop

Fragrance in three words: Soft, Feminine Woods.

This has a really pleasant opening of exotic woods. It's quite difficult to explain, but it doesn't smell masculine like Cedar or musty like Guaiac Wood. It's almost crisp and leathery.

Dry down is fruity white floral notes. It reminded me slightly of the florals in Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue (1996) and a boozy apple note similar to Slow Explosions (2016) by Imaginary Authors, but nowhere near as amped up. A really well done smoky patchouli in the base.

Unfortunately longevity on this is really poor for an EdP lasting around 4 hours on my skin. Priced at £20 for 50ml (UK 2020) and smelling more expensive than the price tag, it's hard to argue that it isn't good value. If it had a better longevity it would be an absolute cracker.

Rating 7 out of 10

In-store sample on wrist
16th December, 2020
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Bois Naufragé 16.1 / Private Collection - Bois Naufragé by Parfumerie Generale

I find this uplifting. Starts off with a strong fruity, creamy green fig, nowhere near as potent as the one in Le Labo Thé Noir 29 (2015). I get a bit of pear similar to Ciel d'Airain (2010) also from Pierre Guillaume (albeit his Black Collection); the two fragrances could be distant cousins in terms of DNA.

There's a dominant sea salt note that runs through it. As a comparison Squid (2019) by Zoologist has one, but it is overpowered by the pepper. Squid does the salty seawater theme better, but it's nearly twice the price given the 60ml bottle size.

Drydown is dry green vetiver and a synthetic ambergris base which is musty and compliments the salty theme. This isn't a sweet fragrance in anyway, it's also not an Aqua or an Ozonic fragrance despite the sea salt notes.

This is a totally unisex fragrance, possibly verging towards the masculine side due to the vetiver. Price in the UK is around £138 for 100ml which is OK for a niche fragrance. Sillage was moderate. Lasts around 7 hours on my skin which is good.

Scores a respectable 7 out of 10 for creativity and using quality ingredients.

1ml sample
27th November, 2020
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Optimistic for Him by Paul Smith

Fragrance in three words: Office Safe Aquatic

Top notes are bright citrus. I get a lemon and orange (not Bergamot) mixed together and very light pepper.

This has an aqua or blue feel running through it with a slightly salty, fresh linen vibe. I thought it contained basil, but the note listed is sage, so there's something slightly green. A big note of soft powdery vetiver runs through this and light musky cedar wood.

Overall this is an inoffensive easygoing fragrance. It's more of a hot weather scent. One site lists the RRP as £49 for 100ml, but it was often discounted to around £20. It was about on par with CK and Davidoff in terms of price. The scent appears to be discontinued in 2020 along with Optimistic For Her (2011). Bottles are getting hard to come by, but the prices haven't spiked as much as Paul Smith London for Men (2004) due to a lack of demand.

Sillage and projection are both moderate. The fragrance lasted around 5 hours on skin.

This scores a solid, but unremarkable 6 out of 10 from me.

Source: Official 2ml sample.
17th November, 2020 (last edited: 24th January, 2021)
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5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden

To me it smells like a white floral musk, with a heavy vanilla base. I'm sure fans of Ghost (2000) will probably like it, for me it's just middle of the road, but not unpleasant.

Lasted for around 5 hours.
14th November, 2020
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Thé Noir 29 by Le Labo

Fragrance in three words: Intoxicating Fruity Fig

I was in the middle on this one, but I've decided a thumbs up is the way to go as I think there is something unique and intoxicating about it.

It wasn't what I expected. I was hoping for a big black tea heavy note like Gucci pour Homme II (2007) or Black by Bulgari (1998). The tea note in Thé Noir 29 is very subtle almost an afterthought, despite its name. You get a massive fruity fig note which dominates. Drydown to me is musty woods.

Price in the UK is £130 for 50ml or £189 for 100ml (in 2020), which makes it about on par with Byredo.

For me it isn't bottle worthy, but I would score it 7 out of 10.

Official 0.7ml Sample Vial
06th November, 2020 (last edited: 03rd February, 2021)
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Hello You! For Men by Paul Smith

Fragrance in three words: Unimaginative Lavender Neo-Fougère

This is by an two incredibly talented perfumers Dominique Ropion and Fanny Bal unfortunately the fragrance is a bit on the crowd pleasing unimaginative side.

I get a bit of a Neo-Fougère feel from this with a strong Lavender. Top note is sparkly citrus very similar to the top notes in Ralph by Ralph Lauren (2000). Drydown is masculine vetiver and creamy patchouli.

Lasted around 4-6 hours which is what I've experienced with other Paul Smith fragrances. This is a safe, but pleasant fragrance. It's not in the same league as Paul Smith Men (2000) or Extreme Men (2002). Price in the UK is around £29 (2020), but can often be bought for less than £20 which makes it top value.

Scores an average 6 out of 10

Source: Official 2ml Sample
04th November, 2020 (last edited: 27th January, 2021)
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Ciel d'Airain by Huitième Art

Mild fig nowhere near as strong as the fig note in Le Labo Thé Noir 29 (2015). Strong good smelling pear; many pear notes can smell like Pear Drops candy or acetone. This has a nice (synthetic) ambergris which is salty and slightly musky. Olive tree wood notes running through it which gives it a Mediterranean vibe.

I've tried Bois Naufragé (2010) which is also by Pierre Guillaume and contains ambergris, fig and something pear like, but this is better.

Price in UK is £138 for 100ml (in 2020). It is a really nice and interesting scent. It is bottle worthy, I like it, but don't love it. Solid 7 out of 10 and a true unisex scent.

1ml sample
03rd November, 2020
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Squid by Zoologist Perfumes

Fragrance in three words: Salt and Pepper (squid)

This is coloured a lovely blue. It is based off a squid's environment and how a squid smells.

I mainly get a pink pepper note which runs all. the way through it, it is a really strong pepper up there with Opium Homme (1995). Seductive incense which is really well done and reminds me of black musk the way it envelopes. There's a salty note which wasn't strong on my skin, but many people say it is potent on them.

The fragrance for me stayed the same as when it was first applied, with the pepper drying down slightly after a few hours.

Price in the UK is £190 for 60ml which is the more premium price range for niche fragrance. Definitely bottle worthy, but a big investment.

Scores a nice 7.5 out of 10. One of the best samples I tried in 2020.

Source: 1ml sample from Bloom
23rd October, 2020 (last edited: 03rd February, 2021)
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Fuji Green Tea by Body Shop

Floral influenced green tea. To Body Shop's credit they have created an authentic green tea note. I'm rating it neutral as it's not for me, that said for the price it is hard to find a cheaper green tea fragrance.
21st October, 2020
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Moscow Mule by Juliette Has a Gun

Fragrance in three words: Dirty Tuberose Cocktail

I was hoping for a much stronger ginger and something more like vodka.

Starts with a zesty lime and sweet ginger. This has a dominant white musky floral type note which I really didn't like. Has a well done Tuberose note, really similar to the one in Twilly d'Hermès (2017), but not as bright or as appealing. As other reviewers have mentioned it is more on the feminine side of unisex fragrances.

Price in the UK (2020) is £85 for 50ml or £110 for 100ml, which is OK for a niche fragrances. Fragrance is long lasting with 8 hours+ and good sillage.

Scores a disappointing 4 out of 10

Official sample 1.7ml EdP.
19th October, 2020 (last edited: 27th January, 2021)
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Ukiyo-E by Gri Gri

This is a good fragrance, but it's not what I expected. I was hoping for an uplifting summer green tea, this one is really melancholy. Imagine drinking bitter green tea on a pagoda while buildings are being demolished around you.

Starts with a really strong naturally bitter green tea leaf, almost pine needles. Has slightly pissy Yuzu notes and a cooked stagnant rice which is almost like unsweetened popcorn.

I've noticed heather is in the base. I thought it was violet. It is a dominant note and runs through it taking the bitterness off slightly by adding a purple flower note.

I would class this as unisex leaning towards the feminine side. The sillage is quite big due to Iso-e, but it's not a shouty scent. It's experimental and weird, but we need perfumers to take risks or we just end up with opponox office fragrances.
17th October, 2020
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Ralph by Ralph Lauren

Fragrance in three words: Ultra-bright Millennium Citrus

Reminds me slightly of Boss Bottled For Men (1998) with a fresh apple and citrus opening. I get the comparisons to DKNY Be Delicious (2004) as well, but it isn't as sweet or anywhere near as loud. Drydown is soft white flowers and light musk.

This is very much an everyday, crowd pleasing fragrance that isn't challenging or exciting. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would though. Personally, I would pick any of the DKNY range or Boss Bottled over this.

Price in the UK (as of October 2020) is around RRP £43 for 50ml, it can often be picked up for around £25 though. This puts it at average value for a designer fragrance, on par with most CK fragrances.

Scores a 7 out of 10, but only just. Borderline positive.

Source: Spray on skin from 50ml Bottle
07th October, 2020 (last edited: 27th January, 2021)
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Orlando by Jardins D'Ecrivains

Starts with a sparkling orange top note and some soft equally sparkly ginger. I'm not sure what Bay Rose is, but I get a white floral note similar to White Musk or White Tea Rose which dominates.

This to me is a floral scent, but a heavy scent, not quite dirty or dank, but definitely not a refreshing, clean scent. I get some spice notes which makes it feel slightly dark to me.

The base is Gaiac wood, Musk and Peruvian balsam. Gaiac wood I typically associate more with masculine fragrances. Which could be an attempt to make it more unisex given this is based around Virginia Woolf's Orlando book about gender roles. However, to me this leans more towards the feminine side.

I like the concept and the fragrance, but this isn't for me. I would have preferred something more citric, but maybe I'm a bit bored of rose and musk fragrances at the moment.

Price in the UK is very reasonable at £85 for 100ml or £30 for 20ml roll on. Lasted around 4 hours on my skin before it became a skin scent with it still being detectable the next day, so top marks for longevity. I can see people falling in love with this scent; I enjoyed trying it, but it's not bottle worthy for me.

1ml sample
05th October, 2020
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Lynx Ice Chill by Axe / Lynx

This fragrance was originally launched in 2019. It is an antiperspirant so at least on my skin it is less potent in terms of projection than the standard body spray range, but much more long lasting.

The fragrance has a lemon toilet cleanerdetergent type smell which I find really appealing. It's certainly a lot different than most fresh lemon fragrances. The frozen mint is basically a "green" smelling mint which is only OK. I also get some pine notes and the standard metallic powdery antiperspirant smell.

Just an OK fragrance from Lynx, not a future classic. That said at a push I would buy it again.
02nd October, 2020