Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Dane

Total Reviews: 167

Sailors by The Zoo

I'm sorry, I adore so many of Laudamiel's creations, and I do like a remix, but this is terrible. I get the Declaration reference, but it also seems to have a Cool Water (dihydromercenol?) accord that I despise. Beneath all that is an overly spicy, air freshener drydown that makes me gag.

This could pass for a dollar store candle meant to hide pet odours.
27th January, 2021

Suma Oriental by Une Nuit à Bali

A nice patchouli-centric amber oriental. I don't catch much cacao, at least not in the same vein as Borneo, but it could easily be hiding in this well-blended composition.

Not very exciting, but there are some good quality ingredients in here and it's worth trying.

Anyone hyper-sensitive to woody-ambers may find one lurking in the background. Unfortunately it grows stronger over time and mars the otherwise natural-smelling blend. Too bad.
15th January, 2021 (last edited: 16th January, 2021)

I Am Trash : Les Fleurs du Déchet by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is good if you're into garden-fresh scents. Things like Hermes' Jardin series.

The main accord here, without much progression, is a tangy-apple-strawberry-rose. Of course, both apples and strawberries being in the rose family, things all fall into place nicely.

I wish I could describe the drydown, but it's mostly more of the same, at a lower volume. Maybe a slug of generic woody-amber.

It's nice. Many would enjoy it. Many will find that strawberry in fine fragrance is a no-no. They might say it smells like shampoo, and they wouldn't be wrong. How will this sell within ELDO's collection? It's almost a juvenile scent, the same way that their Divin'Enfant is. They smell good, but do I want to smell like a toddler? Maybe!
28th December, 2020 (last edited: 03rd March, 2021)
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Lolita Lempicka Le Premier Parfum Morsure d'Amour by Lolita Lempicka

This is probably my favourite LL flanker. This one is so delicate, with the topnotes smelling like almond-dusted cherries and iris, and the licorice-tinted heart smoothing into a woody skin scent.

Basically, if you're looking for the fun of the original, but more fruity and summery, this is the one you want. NOT the inferior "Eau de Toilette". Make sure your bottle has a bite out of it.

So just as the bitten bottle suggests on the outside, the inside is a mere morsel of the original, but perhaps the best parts? Either way, a brilliant transparent oriental homage from the author to herself.

As a transparent watercolour of the original, be mindful that you won't get either the sillage or the longevity of the real thing. Spray liberally.
22nd December, 2020

Drawings by Comme des Garçons

FYI - this is merely a limited edition bottle for CDG's original Eau de Parfum. It looks like someone covered it in paper maché and drew on it with a Sharpie.
17th December, 2020

Memory Motel by Une Nuit Nomade

Kindly ignore the adcopy above. This is Annick Menardo's follow-up to Patchouli 24. But she built on the already-brilliant accord with accents of dark fruit and tobacco.

The topnote is the most breathtakingly beautiful thing - a clear cacao note floats above a swirl of tobacco.

Well worth trying if you, like me, like smelling like old rooms.
11th December, 2020

Rhubarb My Love by The Zoo

This is a very good, photo-realistic rhubarb. It would seem like a logical topnote to something in the Hermes Jardin's series - very tart and juicy.

Doesn't quite exceed CDG's Rhubarb imo, but a lovely rendition either way. Would make a great room spray/candle.

Like the rest of The Zoo line, this lasts and lasts. Hideous packaging, but if you're all about the scent, who cares!
06th December, 2020 (last edited: 27th January, 2021)

parfums*PARFUMS Series 5 Sherbet: Rhubarb by Comme des Garçons

I've loved this since it was released. Back then, you could even get a matching perfumed balm that was quite nice.

There isn't much to say here - rhubarb, on the creamy side. Lasts not long, doesn't project. But delicious while it lasts.
06th December, 2020

Clash : Radish Vetiver by Comme des Garçons

This is a wonderful little gem hidden in CDG's massive collection.

This starts off as a straight-forward, natural Vetiver accord. Not too dark, not too citrusy and bright, and then something strangely "ozonic" enters the room. It's so damp and peculiar - this is what I assume the perfumer would call radish. I don't have a radish on hand, but it's believable, I'm buying it.

That's about that. The rest is more of the same. You pay for radish and Vetiver, and you get radish, Vetiver, and nothing more. Fair.

For most houses that already have a wonderful Vetiver (Vettiveru), I'd say this wasn't necessary, but considering the vastness of CDG's catalogue, why not!

Also, the bottle is. so. cute. I love 30ml bottles because I'll never use up anywhere near that, even if the price is a bit steep for what you get. This one looks just like many other CDG bottles, but miniature. Adorable.
06th December, 2020

FlowerbyKenzo La Cologne by Kenzo

This is a great flanker, I'd say one of Flower's best. This opens up with a very tart, very biting bergamot accord, followed by the OG Flower's accord, with the orange blossom and the pillowy musks with a touch of vanilla.

This is much more ethereal than the original. It comes in a generous 90ml bottle because of this. It's also much greener and drier.

For those of you who don't know, Flower was directly inspired by le Bain de Champagne/Caron, which was always considered unisex. This should be easier for a man to pull off for any guys wanting to dip their toes in the powdery-realm.

TLDR - watered down Flower with a big citrus opening. Very good. Unisex.
03rd December, 2020

Les Exceptions : Chyprissime by Thierry Mugler

Very well-done, non-typical chypre. It seems to take a variety of ingredients (pear, bergamot, oakmoss) and only include the most green, bitter aspects of each.

If you're expecting a typical or even post-modern chypre, you may be disappointed, otherwise a terrific alternative to both Mugler's Cologne, and also somehow No. 19 or Aliage. Lovely.

ps - for another beautiful, more traditional green floral, Supra Floral from the same line is stunning
09th November, 2020

Les Exceptions : Oriental Express by Thierry Mugler

Another boring amber. It smells nice, and if you're looking for that - this could work for you.

Otherwise, there's nothing in here than any other amber. Some spice, some woods, some vanilla, some labdanum.

I happen to have snagged the matching candle to the scent for cheap, and as I suspected, it suits perfuming the room more than your person.
09th November, 2020

Angel Fruity Fair by Thierry Mugler

I liked the idea of this - an apple rose Angel (I took the Pomarose a bit literally). Anyway, it starts as Angel, as all the flankers tend to do, then takes a weird turn away from gourmande and into fresh, fruity thing. I don't personally like it, but it might smell nice on the right person.
29th October, 2020
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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

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

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