Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 73

Shooting Stars : Ibitira by Xerjoff

Equals Prada Infusion d’Homme

Equals Prada Infusion d’Homme

12th July, 2013

Eau de Camille by Annick Goutal

Starts crisp ivy; ends mucky hyacinth

Opens as crisp green ivy; ends as muffled and mucky hyacinth—at least in the opening, it reminds me of Diptyque’s Eau de Lierre; the end reminds me of…oh, just about anything with that fake generic hyacinth note/accord in it

12th July, 2013

Rouge Assassin by Jovoy

Intensly musky baby oil, not lipstick

Overly intense musky baby oil, not lipstick—reminds me a bit of L’Artisan’s Drole de Rose, which admittedly smells more like baby power than baby oil

12th July, 2013
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Iridium by Tom Daxon

Citric vetiver that smells like bergamot

Opens as wet concrete; ends as bracing citric vetiver that smells like crisp bergamot, especially Le Labo’s Bergamot 22

12th July, 2013

Le Chèvrefeuille by Annick Goutal

Magnolia blossom, not honeysuckle

It’s a very good approximation of magnolia blossom, but not honeysuckle

12th July, 2013

04 Petrana by Odin New York

Petrana = barely-there floral orris butter + melon (violet leaf) + fake musk. This primary accord (of floral/fruity/musky) is exactly how the scent of cheap/mass-market laundry products is constructed. In short, Petrana smells just like cheap/mass-market laundry products. This is nasty.
26th January, 2013

Iris Pallida 2007 by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Ummmmmm, we're calling this an iris (orris butter) perfume, why? This is shockingly, nauseatingly, suffocatingly, disgustingly, and entirely about the ANISE! Please understand that I am an orris butter connoisseur, so I am no novice when it comes to this note or its many facets. With that in mind, I'm telling you, IP is NOT an orris butter fragrance. You've been warned.
22nd January, 2013

Straight to Heaven, white cristal by By Kilian

StH does what most patchouli-dominated perfumes don’t do. It embraces and explores the elusive austere/aromatic/almost-desert-like facet of patchouli. This is the kind of patchouli perfume that I have been searching for…one that is supported by the aromatic-ness of Virginia cedar (juniper wood), dryness of nutmeg, dusty sweetness of dried fruits, and smoothness of bits of amber and vanilla. StH is a restrained and refined patchouli, and it takes me straight to patchouli heaven.

P.S.: Where is this supposed rum note that I guess is supposed to be the dominant element?
20th January, 2013

Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum by Aedes de Venustas

I won't even bother discussing the individual notes of AdV. I'll just say that the overall impression is akin to the cacophony of food and spice aromas that envelope and permeate the hair, skin, and clothes of someone who has been indoors cooking all day. This is not a wearable "perfume," and I am baffled that it has admirers.
20th January, 2013

Prelude to Love, invitation by By Kilian

PtL is one of those perfumes whose individual notes largely elude me. That is, my nose hones in not on the primary notes/accords but on those that secondary and tertiary. Namely, I get LOTS of orris butter and leather from this. The overall composition reminds me of two things: (a) Creed's Original Vetiver, in all of its soapy glory and (b) the aroma of L'Occitane's Sandalwood soap, which is a scent that is old-fashioned, comforting, and elegant all at the same time. Ultimately, PtL is my favorite Kilian thus far.
20th January, 2013

Water Calligraphy by By Kilian

WC is a mainstream-smelling but still well-done (even if somewhat synthetic) watery musky floral, though I have not seen musk listed as an note anywhere. The water effect that is suggested through the use of water lily and magnolia is a bit metallic, but then again, that is a facet of magnolia itself. Overall, there is just something about this perfume that is evocative of the Bond No. 9 style. I'm specifically thinking of Chelsea Flowers and Wall Street. Ultimately, although WC is unoriginal, it does a good job of being what it is: a watery musky floral. Still, a light hand when applying is in order.
20th January, 2013

Love and Tears, surrender by By Kilian

Because the jasmine and orange blossom in L&T are surrounded by the sharp greenery of petitgrain, bergamot, galbanum, and ylang, I actually missed the jasmine all together and thought that I was smelling an accord of tuberose and orange blossom. In any event, the white florals here (no matter what tricks they play on your nose) are crisp and natural, not heady and piercing. Still, a light application would be wise.
20th January, 2013

Un Bois de Sépia by Serge Lutens

UBS is a well-mannered vetiver + cypress + sandalwood fragrance. The overall aromatic/woody effect is unoriginal. The one thing that I think would have improved this composition is the exclusion of the opoponax. That sweet myrrh note sticks out like a sore thumb—it just does not belong. Given UBS's lack of inspiration, I too am uninspired to say anything else.
19th January, 2013
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Fou d'Absinthe by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Fd'A is a throwback anisic, piney, spicy woody fragrance not unlike Polo (the original). Given its anisic quality in particular, it also evokes the fougère style. Fd'A would be a nice scent for, let's say, a gentleman who is at least 50 years old. Otherwise, it is unoriginal and dated.
19th January, 2013

L'Ombre dans L'Eau Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

LDL opens with a blast of harsh green-spicy cassis that reminds me of jalapeño peppers (which I despise). This nastiness subsides a bit to reveal what I can only describe as a cringe-worthy bloody/iodine-like metallic rose. Ultimately, LDL makes me grimace and shudder when I smell it (i.e., think of the involuntary facial expression and body spasm one gets immediately after taking a spoonful of cough syrup).
19th January, 2013

Datura Noir by Serge Lutens

I don’t get the coconut (at least not initially, and not a good one at that), nor do I get the tuberose, almond, or heliotrope...nope, not at all. What I do get, in ABUNDANCE, is a jasmine and orris butter accord (even though neither is listed) plus a vanilla and musk accord (both notes are listed). The vanilla is harsh, artificial, and overwhelmingly syrupy. The musk is likewise very synthetic-smelling and unpleasant. Ultimately, DN grosses me out so much that I grimace when I smell it.
18th January, 2013 (last edited: 19th January, 2013)

Chêne by Serge Lutens

Chêne is yet another Lutens perfume that doesn’t dare to smell like anything other than Atlas cedar (Lutens’ personal favorite note). As is the case of Lutens’ Feminite du Bois, the Atlas cedar aroma in Chêne is derived not from actual Atlas cedar (it has Virginia cedar, which is actually juniper wood) but rather by suggesting it through a clever accord, in this case comprised of oak, birch, and rum. The one albeit minor variation in Chêne is that the Atlas cedar effect is smoky—in fact, the finish is rather "church-ee."

Oh, how I wish that this perfume dared to be what it was meant to be (based on its supporting notes): a true dry/aromatic woody fragrance, not another sweet/cough drop-like Atlas cedar-type perfume. Toss out the rum, honey, and Tonka, and throw in some orris butter, a pinch of patchouli, and a smidge of vetiver. What a crisp, classy, alluring, and masculine fragrance that would make…an impeccably groomed gentleman in a tailor-made designer tuxedo.

In any event, if Atlas cedar is the note/accord that you’re after, then I suggest Lutens’ Cèdre or even Feminite du Bois instead.
18th January, 2013 (last edited: 19th January, 2013)

Bois Farine by L'Artisan Parfumeur

BF is an anisic and honey-toned sandalwood that is simultaneously dusty and creamy. The combination of all of these facets is likely the reason that it is reminiscent (at least to some, though not me) of the aroma of peanut butter. Unfortunately, the dusty quality in particular turns the sandalwood rather cloudy, murky, and ultimately unpleasant. Nevertheless, my biggest problem with BF is that it is outright insistent and incessant. I put about a QUARTER of a drop of it on a test strip, and I could EASILY smell it from 10 feet away, and that's not a good thing to me. BF makes for an interesting creative exercise (that should have been limited to the perfume lab) but not for a good and wearable finished perfume. Instead, I would opt for the likes of Guerlain’s Samsara or Chanel’s Bois des Iles when reaching for a feminine-leaning sandalwood.
18th January, 2013 (last edited: 19th January, 2013)

Perles de Lalique by Lalique

Initially, I get lots of (too much, really) patchouli with a much lesser blushing rose and violet-ee orris butter. The overall effect reminds me a lot of Diane by Diane von Furstenberg. It's fine, I guess. I don't know. There's just so much out there like it employing the patchouli-rose accord (e.g., see Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle, Coco Noir, and Chance, Dior's Midnight Poison, Yves Saint Laurent's Elle, etc. ad nauseum).
18th January, 2013

Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens

FdB fooled me. On sniff alone, I would have surmised that this was largely comprised of Atlas cedar (actually, it reminds me of Lutens’ Cèdre and Bois de Violette, both also from Lutens). However, on checking the notes, I was surprised and amused to learn that the primary accord is Virginia (not Atlas) cedar, peach, and rose. Given that Virginia cedar is actually juniper wood and has a very aromatic aroma reminiscent of vetiver and lemon (whereas Atlas cedar is much sweeter and more cough-drop like), it is shrewd of Christopher Sheldrake to recreate Serge Lutens’ favorite note, Atlas cedar, without ever using Atlas cedar. Having given proper credit to the creativity here, I cannot help but to conclude that this Atlas cedar-type aroma has already and repeatedly been done by Lutens. Ultimately, FdB is a good fragrance in itself, but it is repetitive, even if creatively so.
31st December, 2012 (last edited: 12th January, 2013)

Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens

BdS begins somewhat promisingly as a green and smoky (albeit synthetic) hyacinth plus cold dry orris butter, all the while including a sprinkling of spices, pinch of galbanum, and bit of musk. All of this, at least in the opening, somehow culminates to create an overriding, overwhelming, and slightly nauseating neroli overtone. However, it is in the finish that this perfume degenerates into an overpowering synthetic musk that evokes the aroma of cheap and disgusting dryer sheets.
31st December, 2012

Fidji by Guy Laroche

[Vintage Version]

Three minutes of hyacinth and oakmoss with a hint of aldehyde, followed by a cheap cacophony of ambiguous musky and sweet florals. Frankly, dated drugstore perfumes smell better than this. Perhaps nostalgia explains the rave reviews that I have both read online and heard in person. That aside, for a more on-point rendition of a hyacinth and oakmoss accord, I recommend Chanel Cristalle (in either the vintage or modern version).
31st December, 2012

Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

Ten minutes of powerful orange blossom plus mentholic nutmeg, followed by soft tuberose plus a bit of jasmine and even less hyacinth, with the orange blossom still persisting. Given all of the reading that I did about this perfume before sampling it, I am surprised that I do not have more to say about it, but I really do not have more to say about it. It is a GOOD perfume, not special, not magical, not profound...just good. It certainly does not intrigue me like Carnal Flower or even Fracas does.
30th December, 2012 (last edited: 12th January, 2013)

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Musc Ravageur opens with a few minutes of moderately intense anisic lavender hovering above a very soft, smooth, and creamy vanilla. Then, the lavender mellows but remains easily detectable, and the vanilla intensifies, but because it is aided by musk, it stays very smooth and creamy, all the while hanging alongside a pinch of cinnamon. Of course, this lavender-vanilla accord (like the lavender-oakmoss accord), evokes a typical fougère style and has become ubiquitous in perfumery (e.g., see Le Male, HM [from Hanae Mori], etc.). Ultimately, although the perfume is very well done (as is to be expected from this brand and the perfumer), it is largely unoriginal. Its greatest accomplishment is the exquisite smoothness and creaminess of its vanilla, which I think is largely due to the assistance of the musk. Perhaps this is why the word "Musc" appears in the name of this perfume even though the note itself is not a focal point.
30th December, 2012 (last edited: 12th January, 2013)

French Lover / Bois d'Orage by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

FL/Bd'O opens with vibrantly green galbanum evoking crisp ivy mingling with aromatic juniper wood and vetiver. After a few minutes, the intense greenness largely but not entirely fades, giving way to an orange-tinged and somewhat leathery vetiver and angelica (I suspect the orange and leather are overtones and thus not actually in the formula, but who knows). Ultimately, I cannot honestly say that FL/Bd'O is groundbreaking. However, because it is such a natural bright yet earthy aroma, it is certainly pleasant and easy on the nose.
30th December, 2012

1889 Moulin Rouge by Histoires de Parfums

As most here know, there are numerous perfumes that are “makeupy” in general and “lipsticky” in particular—e.g., Lipstick Rose, Broadway Nite, CB I Hate Perfume’s Lipstick Accord, and so on. Of these and similar offerings, most would likely agree that the archetypal lipsticky perfume is Lipstick Rose, so I will compare and contrast it with 1889. Whereas Lipstick Rose begins as a realistic, succulent, and sweet lipstick aroma that last from several hours to over a day but ultimately finishes as an elegant and natural baby powder scent, 1889 begins as perhaps an even more realistic and drier lipstick aroma that unfortunately lasts a mere three minutes or so and then quickly morphs into what has now become a ubiquitous (albeit synthetically plummy) rose-and-patchouli accord supported by synthetic musk. This finish is not bad, per se, but it is certainly not what the opening promises. Given this overall analysis, I contend that Lipstick Rose is the superior lipsticky perfume, if “lipsticky-ness” is what you seek. This is not just because the lipstick aroma in Lipstick Rose lasts significantly longer than in 1889 but also because Lipstick Rose as a whole smells so much more natural than 1889, which relies heavily on synthetics for its plum and musk notes.

If I could isolate the opening of 1889, combine it with the first few hours of Lipstick Rose, and float them both on a wave of fog from Iris Silver Mist, then we might have "thee" lipsticky perfume. Alas, 1889 alone falls short of the touchstone lipsticky perfume.
30th December, 2012

Dans tes Bras by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

DTB is a sensual, stunning, and very high quality woody, coniferous, and musky violet and heliotrope scent that is artfully composed and aptly named. It is literally evocative of being in the arms of one’s lover fresh from the shower and still naked. In other words, it smells like freshly showered skin but with a hint of natural underarm odor detectable because no deodorant has yet been applied. Nevertheless, this aromatic juxtaposition (of freshly showered skin and slight underarm odor) is very alluring to me—it is real, familiar, comforting, and true to life. It is downright romantic and carnal, which seems to be a signature of Roucel’s work. Maurice is a master.

Incidentally, I get the mushroom tone that others have mentioned, but I only get it in the opening. Besides, I actually like it. Further, like "nthny" below, I too get the green Palmolive associations, but mostly in the very beginning. In fact, in addition to mushroom and green Palmolive, I also get Choward's Violet Mints in the opening.

Projection, sillage, and longevity are all great to excellent.

As for the negative reviews, I obviously neither share in them nor am I surprised or even disappointed by them. I am unsurprised because DTB, like ISM, is high art (as someone else described), not just perfume. Sometimes, it takes time to appreciate a masterpiece like this (in fact, it admittedly did me). I am also not disappointed by the negative reviews because it will make my wearing DTB that much more unusual and special.
28th December, 2012 (last edited: 06th January, 2013)

Azurée by Estée Lauder

[2012 Sample]

WOW! The BEST chypre (for men or women) that I have ever smelled. Better than Bandit, Feuille Verte (2006), Aramis, Paloma Picaso, Arabian Wood, Antaeus, Cristalle, Zen Original, Mitsouko, and many others. So, why is Azurée so wonderful (besides having a remarkably affordable price)? Because it offers what almost no modern chypres that I have smelled offer—a masterfully STABLE and BALANCED formula that is rich, powerful, sophisticated, pristine, and persistent yet simultaneously unobtrusive, unimposing, warm, and welcoming.

Projection, sillage, and longevity are all great. In fact, on a paper test strip, the top and middle last for DAYS. After that, I can only smell the patchouli and oakmoss, but they last for OVER A WEEK.

I cannot believe that a perfume that is this exemplary in both raw materials and composition is made by a mainstream company. Azurée is easily in league with (and in my opinion, surpasses) offerings from several of the top niche houses. It is a world-class fragrance that for me (at least so far) is the touchstone chypre. Refined, elegant, classy, and classic.
19th October, 2012 (last edited: 03rd November, 2012)

The Party in Manhattan by The Party

The comparison to Mitsouko seems half fitting at best. Mitsouko is dark, dusty, spicy, and exceedingly about the oakmoss and PEACH accord. Conversely, Manhattan is bright, clean, sweet, and exceedingly about the oakmoss and JASMINE accord. In fact, to my nose, Manhattan has A LOT of jasmine in it...maybe even an overdose of jasmine. However, I do agree that it smells vintage, which I like very much. That vintage characteristic is likely the result of Manhattan's classic and really well-balanced chypre structure, as well as the fact that it is is comprised of all naturals. Ultimately, it smells rich, robust, elegant, and expensive—a high quality chypre indeed.
14th August, 2012

Diane by Diane von Furstenberg

[Per, the notes in both the EdP & EdT are frangipani, violet, myrrh, musk, and patchouli.]

I really dislike the type and amount of musk that is used in Diane. That musk, when coupled with florals (esp. those that are synthetic), ends up smelling a lot like mass-market, cheap, and synthetic laundry detergents/fabric softeners/dryer sheets. This is very gross to me. Additionally, the musk and frangipani (a.k.a. plumeria) together seem to create an overtone of...get ready for it...chlorine. Strangely enough, I really like the smell of chlorine, but not as an overtone in this particular composition. Finally, I also get an even stranger overtone that I think results from the musk, myrrh, and patchouli accord...that overtone is halitosis! Yes, I said halitosis. I realize that this assessment invites personal criticism, but I assure you that my breath is quite unoffensive, as attested to by both my dentist and hygienist. Ultimately, it is obvious that Diane sends my nose some very disturbing and disgusting signals, but it is what it is.

On the plus side, for those of you who like this perfume, both the EdP and EdT offer good to great projection, sillage, and longevity, with the EdP being the stronger of the two, of course.
13th August, 2012