Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Dane

Total Reviews: 153

Des Clous pour une Pelure by Serge Lutens

Nope. Gross. It's the colour of mouthwash, and it smells like a fresh-citrus accord mixes with clove.

Who thought this was a good idea?

16th August, 2020

Paris-Venise by Chanel

Nope, this didn't grab me. I agree with other reviews saying that it's a No. 5 redux. But instead of the beautiful complexity of No. 5, it's just neroli with a dash of vanilla dryer sheet. No. 5 on a hugely reduced formula cost.
16th August, 2020

Duel by Annick Goutal

I tried maté in Argentina. It was gross, but the smell was lovely. Duel captures the over-steeped bitterness of the real thing.

Doesn't last long, but a good Eau de Cologne alternative or for someone who wants something quiet and reserved.
23rd May, 2020
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Jaïpur by Boucheron

This related to the extrait.


Like many of Grosjman's scents, this opens with a delicious fruit accord, to my nose recalling one of those cheap, canned fruits in syrup - this time soaking some slices of mandarin that no longer possess and of citrus' zing, leaving only the green meal.

The top manages to cover the floral heart, unlike her brilliant Kashaya for Kenzo, where she mixes the fruity topnotes with some rose and carnations (more "trademarks"), instead a quiet, soapy violet takes their place, making a nice combo for some aldehydes hiding in the background that add sparkle.

The heart a surprisingly cool affair. Lots of watery flowers like lotus and the aforementioned violet. Carnation/clove isn't listed, but I swear I smell a drop of spice. The slightly soapy element remains (freesia? peony?).
19th May, 2020

Armani Privé Iris Céladon by Giorgio Armani

Remember when Mugler tried to add violet to Angel? Didn't go so well. Same idea here, better execution.

No iris root in sight, but the idea of the flower (which doesn't have a smell, but violet is a close enough idea).

Strong (as in Opium strong) patchouli-musk with a touch of herbs & spice. Would have sold by the bucket in the 80's. The 100ml bottle should last a few lifetimes.
14th May, 2020

L'Heure Bleue Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

One part orange blossom, one part spicy carnation, one part violet. Throw in some heliotrope, some anise and other spices, and you have this remarkable, edible masterpiece.

I have not tried this in some years. I have a fluted EDC bottle, and an EDP from the "striped" gold box. I prefer the Cologne for its less-intense approach.

Women have worn this their entire lives, and it makes perfect sense why. It's all downhill after this.
25th April, 2020

Hermèssence Cèdre Sambac by Hermès

This had so much potential - a quality, Hermes-style woody floral. But not - instead you get a strangely raunchy jasmine accord with weird, pissy undertones and a ton of indole.

The heart of the scent is a nice, quiet jasmine with a touch of woodiness...more sandalwood synthetic than cedar, but not terrible.

Now here's where things go very wrong. The drydown is a bare, synthetic mess. For the price of this thing, that's completely unacceptable and lazy.

Maybe next time don't release 5 scents at the same time.
02nd April, 2020

Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

Love at first sniff?

Fahrenheit was my first fragrance purchased in about 1997, when it was already out of date. But ever since my first smell of it in the late 80's at the mall, I was mesmerized by it.

I went through jugs of this in the past - I think at one point there was a 150ml spray? By the time I actually bought it, it was $20 at Shoppers Drug Mart. I remember it being *the* smell of gay night clubs.

I now have a hard time picking out notes. It's always been floral to me - I didn't know it was violets until later in life. But now all I can smell is "Fahrenheit".

I very rarely this anymore. But it will always be my "first".
29th March, 2020

Galop d'Hermès by Hermès

I totally ignored this one until Turin reviewed it. I hated the bottle, I hated the weird quince note....but mostly I hated the price.

Anyway, after a kind transaction with a fellow BNer, I am now in possession of a bottle.

I still hate the bottle, even if it is very well built and quality feeling. I still don't love the quince. But that rose, be still my heart. It's so natural, dark, and beautiful. The leather is a nice backdrop, though mostly before the drydown (weird).

You don't always smell a rose that smells so real, but not the pretty parts, the weird notes you only pickup on after smelling the flower too many times. It's damp, off-putting, and authentic.

This is where that annoying quince comes in. It turns the rose fruity, to the point of almost smelling of osmanthus (Rosemanthus(TM)). I love me some osmanthus, but I just want that stunning rose accord to dominate, which it eventually does once the fruity notes tame themselves.

I will say that I mostly spray this on fabric, because I find wearing it can be a bit intense, and the price is still absurd, but so be it.

20th March, 2020

Rose & Cuir by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Ok, to start off - this smells good. No doubt about it. BUT, it's essentially something from the Hermes line. I feel like they pulled an old project and tweaked it. Hermes would never release something with the chemical-leqther isobutyl quiloline (gasp!)

Anyway. There is no rose in here. Elena has used a mixture of leaves, stems, and blackcurrant. It's an impression of a rose at a very specific time in its lifetime. A nice illusion, but only that.

When that Diptyque-Baies-diluted-10x-topnote finally morphes into a drydown, it's a beautiful balance of chemical (Bandit), the harsh green aspect of the top/heart notes (Gentiane Blanche) and a slight licorice-y element. It's great. But too late. Very much an elegant perfume of 2009.
27th January, 2020

Essence No. 4 : Oud by Elie Saab

I'm glad I finally got the chance to try this, as it seems to have disappeared from all the discounters and the price has shot up to near-retail levels on ebay.

If you're after a literal, modern "oud", you'll be happy with this. I guess I was expecting something a bit more abstract coming from Kurkdjian. Alas, no, to my nose, and from the western oud fragrances I've smelled, it resembles another creation from his own line, Oud Cashmere, as well as Gao from Xerjoff. That is, a fairly straight-up rendition without much adornment.

The opening possibly has some ionones, which give the illusion of being a softer scent than it really is (which shows in the drydown). It also has one of those terrible "woody ambers" that pierce the nose, although they've done a decent job of trying to hide it. These factors make me enjoy the topnote experience much more than the heart and drydown.

From testing and loving much of the other scents in this collection, and from the initial retail pricing, I expected more...something in the lines of Armani's Oud Royale, which is a brilliant take on oud, without actually trying to smell like the real thing.

Not bad, but not for me.
13th January, 2020

La Collection des Cuirs : Cuir Patchouli by Elie Saab

A surprisingly feminine patchouli, with ample sweetness and subtlety.

The topnotes mix patchouli with a lovely, soft leather accord. The leather soon takes a backseat to the patch, which has some chocolate nuances, and avoids any rough edges. I'm not sure where the sweetness comes from...i don't smell the other listed notes (bergamot, amber). Fans of Borneo will be pleased.

After sampling most of the ES Essence line, I'm quite impressed, although I wasn't at first. They're subtle, but of the highest quality. Standouts are Rose, Amber, and now this lovely creature. The rest of line are all excellent, but more on the simple, one-note side. Highly recommended.
26th December, 2019

Essence No. 7 : Neroli by Elie Saab

If you're looking for neroli/orange blossom, this is a great option. Bright and cheerful with a touch of citrus, and that's about it.
05th December, 2019
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Essence No. 6 : Vetiver by Elie Saab

This is a great vetiver, if you like vetiver. I happen to be rather indifferent to it - I prefer it to be in a composition, rather than the sole player, as it is here.

Having said that, this is a superb example of a vetiver "soliflore". The top has a dry, green, almost mintiness to it, the rest is straight-up, clean vetiver. Not citrusy, not rooty, but somewhere right in the middle.

You can grab this for a great price right now, so it's hard not to recommend. Not miles away from the likes of CDG's Vettiveru, but with better ingredients and a beautiful green juice that matches the scent perfectly.
05th December, 2019

Essence No. 9 : Tubéreuse by Elie Saab

Good stuff. I was hesitant about this one, as Elie Saab's Gardenia is such a stunner, and the two flowers are, in perfumery, often interchangeable.

I was mistaken.

ES's Gardenia is more of a straight-forward, realistic interpretation, without much adornment or progression. Tubereuse, on the other hand, has a distinct top, middle, and base. It's darker, more rubbery, and spiced with a raspy cinnamon bark note. Both it and Gardenia dry down to a similar, woodsy base, but Tubereuse is more introverted, less blatantly floral, and more interesting because of it.

There are A LOT of tuberose-centric scents on the market, but more often than not they're brash, loud, gutsy things like Carnal Flower, Amarige, or Fracas. Saab's take is more androgynous, spare, and contemplative. Thumbs up.
05th December, 2019

La Couche du Diable by Serge Lutens

Amber and tomato paste. There may be an exquisite drydown, but I couldn't get past the first 30 minutes to find out.
26th November, 2019

Essence No. 8 : Santal by Elie Saab

I find there are 2 broad categories of fragrances - one that I like to spray on my arm and study the progression and nuances, and the second, something that's just nice to wear.

Santal falls into the latter category. It's comfortable, uncomplicated, but done well. I don't smell any apricot or osmanthus sadly, but a nice accord of sandalwood, vetiver, and a touch of leather.

Like the rest of this line, nicely done, demure but durable, and a good deal at discounters' current prices.
23rd November, 2019

Essence No. 2 : Gardenia by Elie Saab

This is very well done, and in keeping with the rest of the "Essence" line - demure, wearable, and with great ingredients.

The only other gardenia that I've actually taken my wallet out for was Tom Ford'd discontinued Velvet Gardenia. Elie Saab's is much easier to wear, and without the cheesy aspects of the Tom Ford. It also maintains the gardenia illusion longer, without the brute force that plague much of TF's line.

Highly recommended for gardenia lovers, and in my opinion, also better than Estee Lauder's Tuberose Gardenia, which was too "perfumey" for me.
18th November, 2019 (last edited: 19th November, 2019)

Fate Woman by Amouage

Get an older bottle of Opium on eBay. It'll be cheaper and better.
17th November, 2019

Essence No. 1 : Rose by Elie Saab

First test - smells like Tocade.

Second test - compares with current Tocade. Ok, Tocade has been ruined. But this is on par with pre-reformulation Tocade.

Third test - I think I like this better than Tocade. In the same way that Kenzo Flower took Bain de Caron's original formulation and made it up-to-date, Elie Saab has taken a great scent and reconstructed it with better ingredients and a more angular structure. Tocade always smelled cheap to me, even though it smelled good. No.1 Rose smells lush and, frankly, better.
15th November, 2019 (last edited: 14th December, 2019)

Essence No. 3 : Ambre by Elie Saab

Yet another amber...hard to get too excited. Given that, this is a good example with quality ingredients. It opens very resinous, drying down to a more edible, doughy accord. Not unlike a song you hear on the radio that's you don't know the name of, but can sing along with.

At times I can't bear the thought of a day spent with the likes of Ambre Sultan or other ornate ambery-creatures, and this fills in nicely. It also layers well with the florals in the Essence collection.
15th November, 2019 (last edited: 05th December, 2019)

Rose Mignonnerie Extrait de Cologne by Roger & Gallet

This is pretty generic, the only thing that stands out is the similarity between this and Shisiedo's Ever Bloom (same perfumer), although Ever Bloom is more interesting.

Also, the claim that 87% of the ingredients are natural must refer to the grain alcohol content, because I smell nothing natural.
15th November, 2019

Aurore Nomade by The Different Company

This is a weird one. The opening is a wonderful fruit bowl of who-knows-what. A fresh accord, not quite marine, but not miles away either lingers in the background. It's subtle enough to not recollect nightmares of the 90's.

The heart is less exciting. Still fruity, a bit tropical, and a little "off" (in a good way).

I happen to love a good fruity perfume, this doesn't quite match some other favourites like Yvress or Chinatown, but I wouldn't say no to a bottle.
14th November, 2019 (last edited: 13th November, 2019)

Akkad by Lubin

This is a lovely take on amber, with resins and spices and just the right amount of sweetness. Not groundbreaking, not as unusual as the king of this arena, Ambre Sultan, but much easier to wear.

One special aspect is the diffusion this scent offers. It doesn't matter what else I'm smelling, the lingering sultriness won't let you escape.

A wonderful amber.
13th November, 2019 (last edited: 23rd April, 2020)

Galaad by Lubin

This is a very good, cigar-box fragrance for the quiet-type. Aside from some nice spices and balsams, it possesses a nice freshness with a slight smokey undertone.

Not necessarily my type of thing, and definitely not a thrilling encounter, but a solid fragrance for someone who only wants to own one bottle of perfume.

Also worth noting that it shares a very similar amber drydown to its sister scent, Galaad.
13th November, 2019 (last edited: 14th November, 2019)

Dreckig bleiben by PMP Perfumes

I really like this. After a burnt, smoky start, a lovely and strange accord emerges that reminds me of wet wood. In the same vein as ambient fragrances like Patchouli 24, but in a transparent, delicate way, like the subtle scent of fine paper.

I'd love to own a bottle of this. Beautiful.
13th November, 2019

Concrete Flower by PMP Perfumes

This is a nice twist on the Eau de Cologne, albeit a bit soapy/musky. It opens up rather generically, but it's worth the wait. The heart has a lovely, dry greenness.

Probably not worth the price, or moreso, the effort to find somewhere to ship to use lowly North Americans. But nice.
13th November, 2019

Idole Eau de Parfum by Lubin

I'm not sure if my sample is wrong, but this is not what I remembered when I tested Idols EDT some years back. That was saffron and leather, not miles from Safran Troublant, a favourite of mine.

The sample I have of the EDP is a harsh, spiced orange pomander that I find highly unpleasant.

Hopefully my sample is wrong, because this is terrible.
13th November, 2019

Attaquer Le Soleil Marquis de Sade by Etat Libre d'Orange

I mean, if you like labdanum, you'll be in heaven. For the rest of us, it's good, but a bit harsh.

I'd say this is on par with Rien with regard to the stark, brutal nature. It smells of incense, pepper, paint fumes and resins. It's a take-no-prisoners jump into the underbelly of smells.

I can't help but have respect for this, and even own a bottle. As far as wearing it, I have to be in the right mood, which is very rare. I think if I smelled it on someone else, I couldn't help but comment, it's that striking. It makes scents like Avignon and Bois d'Encens seem like water.
10th November, 2019 (last edited: 26th November, 2019)

Don't Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don't Swallow by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is the original "Yes I Do". Diorissimo-light.
10th November, 2019