Perfume Reviews

Reviews by teardrop

Total Reviews: 729

Les Nombres d'Or : Musc by Mona di Orio

Opens as a very soft, powdery, slightly musty heliotrope, with tonka & white musk. l find this distinctly underwhelming, & l'm thinking it's one of those "non-perfumes", for folks who like skin scents that won't offend anyone. Those who love baby powder might find it comforting, & it could make a good linen spray, were it not so pricey! After ten minutes or so, the tonka intensifies, & three hours in it's much sweeter, but otherwise it doesn't change much, & seven hours in it's fading out.

Far from being musk, this is more reminiscent of loukhoum scents like Keiko Mecheri's, or like a de-fanged Sweet Oriental Dream by Montale, with much less rose.

13th January, 2021

Monogram Collection : Dōjima by Mona di Orio

Begins as a light, ethereal veil of sweet spices & woods, mostly nutmeg & sandalwood, along with a subtle rice accord. This is joined after a few minutes by a smooth iris, which proceeds to dominate the heart along with the sandalwood, until five hours in it fades to a base of labdanum. The projection is low to moderate, & it reminds me by turns of Santal-Basmati by Affinessence, & a more smooth-textured, less sweaty version of Tom Ford's Santal Blush.

Those looking for a rice-dominant fragrance may be disappointed by this one, as the accord doesn't last long here, but l think it would please lovers of iris & sandalwood. lt's subtle enough to be suitable for a work environment, & l can imagine it being perfect for late summer/early autumn.
13th January, 2021

Le Vestiaire des Parfums : Caftan by Yves Saint Laurent

The opening is a bright burst of citrus, pepper & frankincense, evoking all of the golden desert tones mentioned in the description. This impression is fleeting however, for within a few moments the citrus fades, & a strangely savoury, slightly yeasty & herbal accord takes over. lt reminds me of the sage found in sage & onion stuffing, & once this thought occurs to me l just can't shake it. This accord continues through the heart along with the incense, with a fuzzy texture. The projection is low, but l wouldn't call this a weak fragrance; it hovers just above the skin & is very much there when l sniff my arm. Much has been made of the vanilla/benzoin sweetness here, but for me it doesn't even begin to sweeten until around two hours in, & even then there's a smokiness that tempers the sweetness. Later l get a soapy impression, before it finally settles into a soft, powdery amber four hours in. At the seven hour mark it's almost faded out.

l'm not sure what to make of this one. There are moments, particularly in the opening & the far drydown, when l really enjoy it. But that savoury-herbal thing is almost off-putting to me, & l haven't seen it mentioned by anyone else. l'd say it's most suited to late summer/early autumn, but l'll try it again before then to see if my impressions change, & whether my skin was just having an off day.
13th January, 2021
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Angels’ Share by By Kilian

A boozy, nutty oriental, this reminds me somewhat of Givenchy's Organza in the opening phase. As another reviewer mentioned though, there's a sharpness tempering the sweetness, & like that reviewer, I also find it less bold than l expected. This doesn't matter though, because the drydown is a deliciously warm, rich & comforting blend of praline, tonka & woods. The projection is great for the first couple of hours, & after that l still get nice little wafts as l move. The cinnamon is very faint on me, but the vanilla becomes more apparent in the base, & it's still going softly twelve hours in.

l'm not sure l'd pay full price for it, but this is a very enjoyable winter fragrance that reeks of quality, & l think it's perfect for the festive season.
13th January, 2021

Only You by Neil Morris Fragrances

A very light & fruity thing, & there's Neil's favourite papaya note again, along with a slightly musty aspect. Fifteen minutes in, there are milky lactones, & as it progresses there's sandalwood in the base. After three hours the fruit fades, & six hours in it's quite soft, with no further development.

Again l'm finding that Neil's lighter, fruitier scents don't really move me, & l much prefer the darker ones.
18th December, 2020

Vanille d'Eté by Neil Morris Fragrances

This opens with a note of soft fruits, with a slight mustiness, before a woody vanilla comes through. l don't find it overly sweet, but it is linear: the mustiness fades but the fruits remain. The projection is low to moderate, it's very close to the skin four hours in, & after six hours it's barely there.

My reaction to this one is a bit "meh". The fruitiness gives it a more autumnal rather than a summery feel, & l think it would make a suitably inoffensive work scent, but l've tried other vanillas that l much prefer to this one.
18th December, 2020

Amazon Jungle by Neil Morris Fragrances

A scratchy herbal/woody/green thing, with some of that signature fruity papaya note l've noticed previously in Neil's fragrances. lt's pretty powerful for the first few hours, slowly softening into a more citrussy blend with a metallic tinge, rather like neroli. At the six hour mark, the base is a touch spicy, & eight hours in it's still going fairly strong.

This one is too green for my taste, & that metallic note gets a definite no from me.
18th December, 2020

Rose Tattoo by Neil Morris Fragrances

Maybe it's my skin, but l'm getting almost no rose from this. lt opens as a sharp patchouli, & there's a leathery, birch tar-like note that becomes more prominent as it dries down. lt's dark, astringent & very masculine-leaning to my nose. lt might smell better on a guy! Three hours in, l get a woodsy tobacco, & then finally there's a hint of rose, & later a mineral note in the base. lt's all fading out eight hours in.

This was more wearable for me after that three hour mark, but it still isn't the kind of rose that l enjoy.
18th December, 2020

A Rose is a Rose by Neil Morris Fragrances

This is a powerful rose, but for the first couple of hours there's a kind of musty, turned, pot-pourri aspect to it. After this, there's a big dose of aldehydes & white musk, & for a while the rose takes a back seat. There's a whiff of smoke, & then at the five hour mark it all settles into a softer, sweeter, more jammy rose. Seven hours in it's still going, but more powdery & closer to the skin.

l like roses, but tend to enjoy them more when their brighter, fresher aspects are emphasised. This one is rather too dense & musty for my taste.
18th December, 2020

First Snow by Neil Morris Fragrances

This opens with a coniferous note that has a cold feel, like a pine forest in winter, & there's a leathery undertone like birch tar. l also get the kind of inky/disinfectant-like vibe that narcissus has. After fifteen minutes l detect a citrussy note, & then one hour in it unexpectedly morphs into sweet, tropical fruit! Perhaps this is papaya, a note of which l've noticed Neil seems quite fond. Another hour later there's sandalwood, & as the drydown continues l get an oriental-style base of warm, sweet amber & musk. Eight hours in it's settled very close to the skin, but fades out after twelve.

That opening phase is not my cup of tea, but this one certainly develops in interesting & unexpected ways! Who knew that snow could smell like tropical fruit?
18th December, 2020

Renaissance by Neil Morris Fragrances

Starts out as a very old-school "perfumey" fruity chypre, with a pronounced note of birch tar/leather, perhaps some patchouli, & something animalic in the background. Thirty minutes in it loses the fruit, there's a salty ambergris, & gradually the leather becomes more smooth & smoky. Four hours in, the base is a labdanum-rich amber, & after seven hours it's soft but very persistent on my skin.

l'm not keen on the opening, but the drydown of this one is most enjoyable. lt's in the "darker" range of Neil's repertoire, in the same ballpark as Prowl & Rumi, & like those l can see myself reaching for this during the colder months.
18th December, 2020

Sherlock by Neil Morris Fragrances

My first impression on sniffing this one is: Dettol disinfectant! lt has a mentholated, nose-clearing effect that whisks me right back to my childhood, & my mum treating the cuts on my knees after l'd fallen over. Along with this, there's a lot of smoke, a vegetal note that could be vetiver, pipe tobacco (appropriate for Mr Holmes), & an earthy, creosote-like accord which l often seem to smell in violet fragrances. The projection is among the strongest that l've experienced in this line, beginning to soften around three hours in. There isn't much development, except for a slow dissipation of the mentholated effect, & the smoke is present throughout. ln the far drydown, there are echoes of Habanita here.

This is certainly an interesting fragrance, & much more pleasant than it sounds, but l fear it leans too far to the masculine side for me. l think it might smell sensational on the right gentleman, though!

ETA: this lasted well over thirteen hours on me, & l was still getting whiffs of it when l woke during the night. l swear l detected a minty note at this point, too.
18th December, 2020

Manipur by Neil Morris Fragrances

The opening of this one is distinctly aldehydic, with an impression of an ambery oriental base, overlaid with something green & woody. For a moment l think it's patchouli, & then it hits me: celery! There must be some vetiver here, as it often smells like celery to me. l'm not a fan of this note, & so initially l'm put off, but fifteen minutes in there's a lovely smokiness, & after thirty minutes l begin to get whiffs of creamy tropical flowers, perhaps tiare? Four hours in, it's dried down to a gorgeously sweet, woody, tropical floral, & l'm hooked. After seventeen hours it's still going softly, with a touch of incense smoke & possibly champaca in the base.

Manipur reminds me quite strongly of House of Matriarch's Toukka Ta Tao: another fragrance with a dark/green/woody opening that dries down into tropical flowers. l found that one equally perplexing but ultimately it grew on me, & l can see myself feeling the same about this one after a couple more wearings. It's also reminiscent of Black Orchid & Suntanglam, both of which I own & love. lt's definitely my favourite so far of this latest round of sampling. Thumbs up!
18th December, 2020
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Louis by The Zoo

This opens like a fresh, green, masculine sport cologne on steroids. There's a lot of galbanum & pine, & herbal notes of cardamom, sage & clove. The projection is very strong, & the whole thing comes off like some kind of bathroom-cleaning product. lt also reminds me a lot of Brut, & the smell that radiated from the boys' changing rooms at school after football, back in the day. lt takes around three hours for those sharp green edges to soften, & then it takes on a more agreeable tone of woods spiced with cumin. Six hours in it's settled closer to the skin & hasn't developed any further.

This one is way too far to the masculine side for my taste, & l'm not overly fond of green scents. But if you liked "the great smell of Brut" back in the seventies, this would be one hell of a trip down memory lane for you!
18th December, 2020

Moment by Neil Morris Fragrances

Dark chocolate with nuts & a hint of mint, that segues after an hour into hot fudge sauce. The opening is a little thin, but after that one-hour mark it's richer, with more depth. There's vanilla, woods, & a distinctly almondy/cherry-like note, possibly heliotrope. Seven hours in it's fading out.

This isn't something that l'd go out of my way to smell of, but l'd recommend it to all you gourmand lovers out there. lt's quite yummy, not sickly-sweet at all, & the nutty aspect adds a satisfying element that lifts it above the usual chocolate/vanilla style of gourmand fragrances.
12th November, 2020

MajaïnaSin by The Different Company

This has a fruity opening, mainly orange, along with a tingle of ginger, almondy heliotrope, a smooth nuttiness & a hint of maple syrup. There are faint echoes of ELd'O's Like This here, but this one is nowhere near as dense, rich or gourmand in feel. lt's "perfumey", rather than edible. The projection starts out strong, but dies down quickly. Over the first hour, the fruitiness fades & makes way for the tonka & vanilla notes, but at the two hour mark it settles very close to the skin. Six hours in l haven't detected any further development, & it's barely detectable on me.

l don't dislike this, but having expected a nuttier, spicier version of Like This (which l own & love), l confess myself disappointed. lt lacks the enveloping warmth & delicious opulence of the ELd'O, & is far weaker in performance.
06th November, 2020

Collection Notes de Fond : Santal-Basmati by Affinessence

Toasted rice & sandalwood are the introduction to this sweet & comforting fragrance. Patchouli & iris are also detectable here, but seemingly only in a supporting role; the former to enhance the woodiness, the latter to smooth them out. The rice impression dissipates after thirty minutes along with the fuzzy texture, leaving a smooth, buttery sandalwood which slowly fades. The projection is low to moderate, it's very close to the skin after eight hours, but it lasts a good fourteen hours before fading entirely.

The rice note makes this one deliciously different from other sandalwood fragrances. lf only it lasted longer, because what remains after that first half hour, while pleasant, does not distinguish this from other sandalwoods that l enjoy far more.
06th November, 2020

JD Mimosa Mixte by JD Jeffrey Dame

A sunny citrus opening, mainly bergamot, is underpinned with sweet violet & creamy ylang. l don't get the basil note at all. Thirty minutes in, it takes on more of the fuzzy texture of mimosa, along with a hint of almondy heliotrope. After five hours, there's a sweet amber in the base, & later on vanilla & musk. lt's still humming along softly eight hours in.

This is something quite unusual: a sweet & cheerful spring floral with a tropical flavour, & it reminds me distantly of Guerlain's Attrape Couer. A nice, happy fragrance for a bright spring day.
19th October, 2020

Jungle Jezebel by Sarah Baker Perfumes

Well, this is certainly a weird one, at least in the opening phase. First out of the gate is an unmistakable burst of good old-fashioned pink bubblegum, supported by a fruity accord that reads as mainly banana, although there are dark hints of civet lurking in the background. Tuberose hoves into view, & then twenty minutes in, the bubblegum races off into the distance, leaving room for what feels for all the world like an old-school animalic chypre. lt remains warm, sweet & fruity rather than dirty, similar in feel to Schiaparelli's Shocking, although it also reminds me of something else that l can't quite figure out. Four hours in, it feels more like a fruity floriental, with creamy sandalwood, vanilla & tonka, but the civet continues to weave in & out for the duration. The projection is moderate rather than overpowering, & it lasts around twelve hours before fading out.

This is not one l would have chosen to try, had l not been sent it as a freebie with a purchase. And as l suspected, it's really not my style, but it's certainly interesting...
22nd September, 2020

Clash : Chlorophyll Gardenia by Comme des Garçons

l get a delightful dose of rhubarb in the opening, of the raw, unsweetened kind. lt makes me smile, as it's a relatively unusual note in perfumery, & always reminds me of the rhubarb my dad used to grow in the garden when l was a child. lt's supported here by a crisp, green note of galbanum, which doesn't become too sharp or strident as it sometimes does on my skin. There's spearmint here too, & a faint rubber/vinyl note, & then twenty minutes in l begin to detect a creamy gardenia beneath it all. After an hour the gardenia takes centre stage, & it's wonderfully realistic, projecting very nicely. A little later, the gardenia is joined by an ozonic/marine note, & three hours in there's a sweeter fruity aspect. Four hours in it settles very close to the skin, but it's still going as a soft, creamy floral with white musk after seven hours.

l dabbed this rather than spraying, as l wasn't sure if l'd like it. l'll need to try spraying it to see if that improves the performance, but l think this would be a lovely fragrance for spring or early summer. Rather than clashing, l think these notes work very well together, the green notes adding a cooling effect to what can sometimes be a rather cloying floral when the heat is on. Thumbs up!
15th September, 2020

Musc Monoï by Nicolaï

This is an interesting exercise in noticing the difference between dabbing & spraying. l transferred the contents of the dabber vial into a spray atomiser before applying this for the first time. The few drops that landed on my skin during the transfer process smelled strongly of milky coconut suntan lotion & ocean breeze, very much like Ensoleille Moi by Andre Gas, one that l own & love. However, spraying it on skin produces a quite different impression. l clearly smell each of the opening citrus notes of neroli, lemon & petitgrain, & these last close to an hour rather than being fleeting, as these notes often are. Over that first hour, the citrus slowly takes on a sweet, slightly powdery-vanillary quality, rather like lemon sherbet or perhaps lemon drizzle cake. After this, some faint floral notes appear, but two hours in the scent has almost disappeared! l have to stick my nose right onto my skin to catch a whiff of calone, white florals & white musk, with just a trace of coconut & maybe some sandalwood. There's the faintest whiff of animalic musk at the four hour mark, but no monoi, & at this point it's barely there.

On paper, the notes list reads almost like my idea of the perfect summer scent, & l was quite excited to try this one. Sadly, although what l smell is very pleasant, l confess to being disappointed with its performance, hence the neutral rating.
15th September, 2020

Lilylang by Sylvaine Delacourte

This opens with bergamot, pink pepper & a white floral accord laid over a lot of white musk. l don't get any lime or mandarin. lt quickly goes from crisp & clean to a darker, woody-spicy feel. The floral notes aren't easy to pick out until around two hours in, & they're mostly dominated by the tropical note of ylang ylang. As it dries down, l increasingly detect the scent of hot skin drenched in milky suntan lotion, minus the coconut that's usually associated with beachy fragrances. Later on, there's a mineral note which could be interpreted as sand, & seven hours in it's still going softly.

l expected more of a Big White Floral here, but the jasmine & tuberose don't stand out enough to put it into this category. lt is a nice beachy perfume though, & the woody notes make it somewhat similar to Bronze Goddess. l think it would work well in cooler weather, too.
26th July, 2020

Champaca Supercritique by Les Eaux Primordiales

Again, the notes list for this one seems to vary depending on where you look:

Basenotes: blackcurrant, jasmine, champaca, labdanum.

Fragrantica: plum, champaca, magnolia, ylang ylang, cinnamon, cloves, labdanum, orris.

For me the Fragrantica list seems most accurate. l get a fruity opening that lacks the tartness of blackcurrant, along with a spicy accord dominated by cinnamon, as well as woods. The fruit fades around thirty minutes in, & then there's a soft heart of white & yellow flowers, mostly ylang ylang. Just when l'm really enjoying it though, it fades very close to the skin, barely detectable at the four hour mark.

l was hoping for something far richer & more powerful here, & although it's not unpleasant, the performance is a letdown. l've now tried two from this house, & found both of them disappointing, so l don't plan on trying any more.
26th July, 2020

Gardénia Supercritique by Les Eaux Primordiales

Listed notes for this one seem to vary depending on where you look. The Basenotes Directory lists peach, pear, gardenia & warm milk. Fragrantica replaces the warm milk with woody & earthy notes, while Les Senteurs adds patchouli & jasmine.

l'm glad l checked the Les Senteurs listing, because when l first sprayed this l thought my sample must have been mis-labelled. This is far more of a woody oriental than a floral, & l definitely smell patchouli here. There is a little fruitiness after a few moments, & l sense a white floral accord struggling to make its presence felt, but... NO GARDENIA! The fruit slowly fades, there's a lactonic aspect in the heart, but three hours in it's very soft & there's been no further development. After six hours, it's barely there.

Those of you who know how much l adore gardenia will understand my disappointment with this one. lt's a pleasant enough perfume, but it irritates me no end when a perfume house tries to con me into expecting gardenia where there is none. That crime gets a firm thumbs down from me.
26th July, 2020

Totally White / 126 by Parle Moi de Parfum

The strongest impression here is of lilac, but there's also a prominent note of new-mown grass. l don't really get hawthorn, but there is a similarity with Dame Perfumerie's Soliflore Wisteria. l think this might be a little cloying if overapplied, but a couple of sprays on my arm give off a nice little cloud of spring floral loveliness. Two hours in it's a little softer, but otherwise there's no real development except for perhaps some white musk in the base. It's still going after ten hours.

l'm not sure l'd reach for this all that often, as lilac is something l prefer to smell "in the wild" rather than on me, & l was hoping for more of the earthiness of hawthorn here. But if you're looking for a lilac soliflore, l think this is really well done & worth a try.
26th July, 2020

Tuberose & Moss by Rogue Perfumery

For me this is a sweet tuberose with a slightly "turned" vibe in the initial phase, & a woody cedar base. l don't detect any citrus until around forty-five minutes in, & just after this the moss makes a brief appearance. After a couple of hours, it's a crisp, yet still sweet white floral, quite pretty & feminine. Seven hours in it's close to the skin, & there's a creamy vanilla in the base.

l like this one ok, but it doesn't compare to what l think of as reference tuberose perfumes like Carnal Flower, Beyond Love or Fracas. l guess l like my tuberose to pack more of a punch!
17th July, 2020

Flora & Fauna by Rogue Perfumery

ln the beginning, this is a retro-style fruity chypre with just enough animalics to make it interesting. Bergamot can sometimes come off as sharp for me, but here's it's soft & rounded, aided perhaps by the "dried apricot" note. The amber & leather are apparent early on as well, & fifteen minutes in after the fruit has faded, moss & labdanum come into play. After thirty minutes, the labdanum takes centre stage, & it's glorious: warm, smooth & rich, still dominating the drydown several hours later. I get a whiff of a soapy, clean musk thirteen hours in as it's fading.

lt's a long time since l tried Mitsouko, but from memory l can see a distant relationship here. Chypres are not my usual style, but this one is very well done, quite an achievement considering it's all-natural. And l adore that labdanummmmm...
17th July, 2020

Ishtar by Rogue Perfumery

A sparkling, nose-tingling, piney-lemony frankincense, with a pinch of cinnamon & the bitterness of myrrh. lt's kind of metallic, not soapy at all to my nose, & l'd say it leans masculine. One of the reviews makes much of the sweetness here, but l don't really get that, although the bitter sharpness recedes over the first hour, & then it's more smooth & woody. l get a whiff of lily if l put nose to skin, but otherwise this note is not obvious to me. Four hours in there's just a slight sweetness from the benzoin, & later l swear l get a note of smoky tobacco. It all lasts a good ten hours before fading out.

l agree with others here that this is a summer incense, in the same ballpark as Passage d'Enfer, but less floral. lt's not a love for me, but certainly an interesting & different take on incense.
17th July, 2020

Jasmin Antique by Rogue Perfumery

For the first fifteen minutes, this is a fruity jasmine with just a touch of indole, but not quite enough to produce that "magic marker/acetone" scent that can be so off-putting to some, & seems more present in jasmine sambac. After this, it settles into the softer, yet deeper & more floral jasmine grandiflorum that l adore. Over the next hour, a hint of powdery vanilla sweetness develops, but it's not overly sweet, & the projection is excellent. lt continues in this fashion, slowly fading close to the skin, but seven hours in it's still very much there if l put nose to skin. l should mention that l was doing vigorous housework on a warm & humid day when l tried this, so it may have burned off quicker than it might have done otherwise. l don't get any clove or musk here, but as l've said before elsewhere, l may be anosmic to certain types of musk.

l agree with others here that this is a top-notch reference jasmine, especially of the grandiflorum variety. l'm not sure it'll knock Jasmin Full off it's perch as my favourite ever jasmine fragrance, but it's pretty darned close...
17th July, 2020

India Café by Neil Morris Fragrances

The opening of this one is similar to Midnight at the Crossroads Cafe, minus the patchouli. It has that same chocolatey, spiced coffee, but the amber adds some sweetness, & there's also a slightly savoury quality to it. A faint incense adds a little smokiness thirty minutes in, but the star of this show is a deliciously nutty labdanum, lightly powdery, which slowly becomes richer & more intense. Six hours in it begins to fade, still going very softly after nine hours.

That wonderful labdanum note pushed this one from a "like" to a "love" for me, & put it firmly on my list of favourites from this house.
14th June, 2020