Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 162504

For Your Love by Mizensir

I really do like For Your Love by Alberto Morillas' Mizensir. I'm a big fan of raspberry fragrances depending on their compositions. For Your Love has been compared to Baccarat Rouge 540 EDP, but they smell quite different to me, especially in their opening notes. Both do have a noticeable raspberry, but the BR540 has a mix of saffron that makes it much different than FYL. Both fragrances are textbook examples of the use of synthetic compositions that are done extremely well. For Your Love in it's far dry down does leave it's clean opening and mids into a slightly "dirty" for want of a better word dry down with it's synthetic ambergris mixed with patchouli, but it has an overall cleaner vibe to me than BR540. Happy to have this one in my collection as it's a scent profile that I enjoy. Nice job Alberto!
24th February, 2021

Montecito by Abbott

Bright, sour, realistic grapefruit opening. This is followed by a clean, slightly sharp and bitter vetiver. Both the opening and drydown are enjoyable and realistic.

Feels classy and dressed up but probably best for daytime and work situations. Projection is light and it lasts maybe 5-6 hours, so warm weather and indoor situations seem best.
23rd February, 2021 (last edited: 24th February, 2021)
Shycat Show all reviews
United States

Pearl Musk by Ava Luxe

Clean, light, musk (but not laundry type.) Softly vanillic, moderately powdered, and with a prominent carnation note, ever so slightly and briefly spicy in the opening. I get no soap impression or plastic impression.

The effect is bright while soft, innocent, and most assuredly feminine. Lasts nicely into my 7th hour, now at the musk base.
23rd February, 2021
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Enslaved by Roja Dove

Holy Baby Powder, Batman. Colin and deadidol nailed this already, so all I can add is my utter disconnect with this Roja release. I might have to find a new loving home for the rest of my 2 ml sample. Excuse me while I make a hasty retreat back to Puredistance M and the Gulf Collection.
23rd February, 2021

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

I fell like I'm REALLY late to the party on this one! Reviewers are discussing variations over the years, and I'm just sitting here enjoying my sample and wishing I'd tried it sooner.

So what does it smell like? An old-school masculine powerhouse. It's bracingly sharp on top, heavy with anise, pine, mint, and ginger. It quickly smooths out when the lavender comes in, calming down the high-pitched spikes and situating this firmly as a classier version of a Brut fougere. There's also a soapy neroli that seems to fill in all the cracks and crevices, while round, fruity oakmoss comes in later, adding a retro density. The eventual bass seems to be mostly minty moss paired up with lavender and tonka, like a mash-up of fougere and chypre basenotes.

I keep thinking of a wine analogy: you can have a passable wine, which basically just tastes like wine. Or, you can have a much better wine, where you can really pick out the nuances and the terroir and the undertones. If Brut is a basic wine that just smells like Brut, Azzaro is the good wine where all the nuances come though.

Very much a thumbs up!
23rd February, 2021

Eau de Lacoste Femme by Lacoste

It's so easy to tell when a perfume isn't even trying...

There's that mix of fake strawberry, fake peach, and a little bit of mint over soapy musk, all made weirdly salty so it smells like cheap fruity shampoo - it's immediately recognizable and literally thousands of perfumes smell like it. It's for girls who don't care about perfume but want to smell like they've recently showered.

This is Lacoste's version. I can't imagine anyone cares.
23rd February, 2021
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

À la Nuit by Serge Lutens

Jasmine and clove - that is the impression when this olfactory journey commences. The clove start first on me, but an evergrowing jasmine is gradually starting to become the domainant force here.

It is actually a mix of several delightful jasmines (from Egypt, Morocco and India per the scent pyramid). After a while some green undertones arrive also; at times they are a bit on the grassy side.

Towards the ends a sweeter undertone - honeyed white musks mainly - comes and goes, with touches of benzoin and whiffs of fruity moments.

I get moderate sillage, good projection, and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A gorgeous sweet and soft jasmine scent for spring, which is convincing it its pared-down simplicity on the basis of the high quality of the jasmines. 3.5
23rd February, 2021

Baiser Volé by Cartier

A very fresh, pretty lily opening: quite green like a florist's shop, a little salty/hammy. However powder soon joins and the lily becomes much more subtle; for me it doesn't carry through enough. The drydown is a soft powdery floral that lacks interest and further on it smells more like laundry musk. Longevity is short - a couple hours at most (maybe it's been reformulated?). I like the opening, but that's it unfortunately.
22nd February, 2021

Mojave by Abbott

I really like Mojave because it reminds me of a spicy ginger beer. Fizzy, bright, peppery, and a little sweet. I do not get the tobacco leaf so it doesn't lean fem or masculine to me.

Should be pretty versatile for most situations outside of cold winter air. It's just not heavy or sweet enough to cut through the cold. Also, projection is average at best.
22nd February, 2021

PS by Paul Sebastian

Warm, dry, powdery, spiced vanilla glow. Perfect.

In a great American entrepreneur success story two guys from Jersey create and market a scent on their own and it works out.
I have deep love for Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne. Only Paco Rabanne sits ahead of this for me as far as the best the 1970s had to offer and qualifies as a must have for life in my wardrobe. Its composition presents as classic, not simply'vintage' and is less challenging for those worried about the risk of older frags smelling 'icky' or painfully 'dated'. Also it is absurdly affordable which makes PS one of the best values in all of perfumery.
So to summarize...
Warm, dry, powdery, spiced vanilla glow. Perfect.
22nd February, 2021

Oyédo by Diptyque

Diptyque Oyédo (2000) is a fragrance that is supposed to be an homage to the Japanese yuzu, although whether or not it contains any real yuzu essence is debatable. Beyond this, there is a melange of citrus, an odd raspberry note that is "accidental" according to the brand, and then a simple woody base accented with thyme. There isn't much to really report about this stuff, as it is almost painfully simple, even more simple than a traditional neroli-focused eau de cologne, which at least has some interesting supporting players in the mix. I guess this makes sense, considering Oyédo began life as an interior room spray that came in one of the big old bottles Diptyque used to package them in, then saw release as an eau de cologne in the old square bottles, before finally seeing release as a candle and eau de toilette. Everything about Oyédo screams aromatherapy or some middling mall boutique focused on simple one-note-wonder juices like the kind that used to pop up then go under in a few years back in the 90's and 2000's. If you told me Oyédo was actually some $5 plastic bottle body spray that came from one of these stores or something stuck out on the end cap in the health and beauty aisle at Target, I'd not question.

The opening is lemon, lime, orange, and the yuzu, which together makes Oyédo smell something like the muscat gummies or tiny gelatin cups imported from Japan that you can sometimes get from the local Asian groceries here like Uajimaya or H-Mart. Beyond this, Oyédo seems to get its citrus from an overdose of citral, and does eventually show hints of that dry raspberry note, blamed on a synthetic called frambinone that reproduces the smell of berries that cannot otherwise be extracted naturally. The thyme finally shows up, but whatever is being used here for the wood note is bitter and unpleasant. I imagine there is some Iso E Super here but the cedary woody note doing the talking in the base is powered by a massive dose of linalool, which moves Oyédo into feeling like children's chewable orange-flavored Tylenol with that metallic chalkiness. This is something I absolutely cannot stand, so I suffered here to deliver these wear times for you. Wear time is about 6 hours which is okay for something obviously meant to be light and refreshing, but the yuzu-tinged citrus push goes poof in thirty minutes, leaving you with 5 1/2 hours of that chalk. Best use would probably be in summer time as something to wear outside or after a shower, and Oyédo reads totally unisex.

This was made in 2000, when perfume makers had a sort of fetish for vivid orange and exotic citrus notes anyway, as a awful amount of output from this time was focused on yuzu, orange, grapefruit, and so on. Clinique Happy for Men (1999) and Boss in Motion (2002) were two big pushers of this kind of vibe, but they were thicker, more complex, and a tad sweeter than Oyédo, having not only more meat on the bones, but no jarring base notes that snapped you out of the otherwise sunny disposition the scent was supposed to deliver unto you. I think Diptyque should have left this one as a candle and room spray to be honest, but enough people loved it so here it is, in a form that you can douse on yourself. It's a real shame too because I rather enjoy the opening, even if it has very little yuzu that I can recognize, and if they had found a better base for this scent, I might actually have enjoyed it. As Oyédo stands, all I get after 30 minutes is nasty powdery orange that reminds of the kid's medicine I used to hate taking as a child, and I can't really sign off on that. You might see things differently and may not pick up on the irritating base as much, so I still recommend testing Oyédo, which is thankfully pretty common at all Diptyque counters and easy to test. Thumbs down.
22nd February, 2021
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Supernatural Number Six by Caswell-Massey

The bright citrus opening - a bright lemon mainly with bergamot, enriched by a neroli, but whiffs of petitgrain delivering additional zest. At times I get a nigh-metallic undertone. Soon a herbal side is added, mainly rosemary, but also whiffs of fresh chives.

Later on an ambery rose is added, but both are somewhat generic on me, as is the touch of white musks I get towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection, and eight hours of longevity on y skin.

A fresh and slightly zesty summery Cologne that is executed very well, but any attempt to veer into deeper waters in the later stages remains unconvincing though. 3.5/5
22nd February, 2021

Individuel by Montblanc

Montblanc Individuel (2003) is a love or hate kind of fragrance with a tumultuous history full of controversy, conspiracy theories, and hype from influencers that literally brought it back from the dead once after it had been discontinued, only to slowly see it fade from memory again until threats of discontinuation made it relevant once more. For these reasons and more, this scent gets a lot of talk, and I can imagine will only get more talk if and when it does dry up again in the market as it has done several times, especially since one of those times will likely be its last. The big deal about this stuff, and the main reason anyone still talks about it so many years after it's initial release on the market (in which it tanked), is that Montblanc Individuel was notoriously copied almost note-for-note by Creed with the release of Creed original Santal (2005), a scent I personally loathe not only for this reason, but for literally being a sandalwood fragrance with no discernible sandalwood. More like scandalwood, am I right guys? Anyway, the Creed was richer, sweeter, and a tad more natural-smelling, mixing in some elements from Joop! Homme by Parfums Joop! (1989), to which this is often compared as well. It's true, you have to be okay with the general theme of the classic monster that is Joop! Homme to really appreciate Individuel, but I believe this scent is continued development of the ideas in Joop! Homme, plus a whole bunch of other kitchen sink stuff that most mainstream guys in the early 2000's just weren't into anymore. Either way, you've smelled this before and know right away if you like it or not, so there's no gray areas or learning to like the stuff in time like with some other things. Montblanc also wouldn't have a fragrance of theirs receive any talk after this until Montblanc Legend (2011) came along almost a decade later.

Montblanc Individuel was bashed together by master perfumer Pierre Bourdon, the legendary nose behind some of the biggest hitters in the male fragrance market, including several early Creed scents he co-penned along with his friend and fellow Roure Bertrand Dupont graduate Olivier Creed when the latter asked for help in modernizing the house which had up until then only peddled mostly classic French perfumery. Individuel opens up with a fairly strong cinnamon, sweetened with pineapple, various citruses, and made masculine with lavender, mint, and juniper. Some liken this opening to the smell of Red Hots candy, but honestly that is more the trick Original Santal tries to pull since it strives to be more "extra" in every way. Avon Frikton for Men (2000) is a better example of the kind of cinnamon found in Individuel, and it's nice. The heart is rather floral and some would say feminine by conventional standards, with orange blossom, jasmine, and rosy geranium, plus a few gourmand twists of cocoa, raspberry, and vanilla. Only some violet leaf dries things up enough to move Individuel away from this perceived femininity, and a host of spices like coriander, cardamom, and nutmeg join the mostly-oriental base of amber, patchouli, oakmoss, musk, and javanol pulling duty as sandalwood. The ultimate effect here is like a drier, more complex, and refined take on Joop! Homme, dialing back the gauche and adding some artistry. Wear time is really good at 10+ hours and performance is more than enough for cold days. Best use for me with Individuel is clubbing or romantic evenings if under-sprayed, or really just any time you want to cut the air. Montblanc Individuel is nothing if not a statement fragrance, but because of its complexity and blending, can be different things to different people depending on what stage of the dry down you encounter it on a person, which is something the upscale Creed take on this can't claim with its paired-down design.

Montblanc were struggling to make a name for themselves in perfume at the time Individuel dropped onto shelves, with the mild-smelling debut Montblanc Présence (2001) having gone over like a lead balloon. Individuel swung the pendulum to the opposite end, as Bourdon basically took the DNA of the bombastic genderbending powerhouse Joop! Homme and infused it with both gourmand, oriental, and barbershop tones to make something with slightly more maturity, more gravitas, but with all the bizarre gender-fluidity intact. Considering the "metrosexual" fashion movement was just starting to ramp up, one might figure this a hit, but it wasn't so. Some say Bourdon's ties to Olivier Creed and the fact he took much of the aromachemical wizardry he wrought in Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985) over to Davidoff Cool Water (1988) meant he owned him one, since he unknowingly invented the aquatic genre and caused a huge paradigm shift in masculine perfumery in the process, thus forking over his recipe to Creed for modification into Original Santal. This of course had the effect of screwing over Montblanc, as Creed was slowly climbing the hype hill in the men's fragrance world even before Creed Aventus (2010) came along to blow the doors open, which is where tales of Montblanc getting revenge against Creed by making Montblanc Explorer (2019) originate. The truth is that comparisons to the later Original Santal are actually what saved Individuel from obscurity, causing Montblanc to re-issue the fragrance after YouTube reviewers brought light to the stuff. I like Individuel but it isn't an every day wear, which may be why 75ml bottles are the largest size, and when it's gone from the world once again, I can learn to live without it. I won't say scramble to get some before it's too late, but you do need to sample Individuel if you haven't smelled it, because it's quite memorable. Just please, don't pay Creed prices for it. Thumbs up.
22nd February, 2021
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Big Sky by Abbott

Starts off with sour citrus and bitter greens. As it dries down, I actually do get the impression of crisp, cool air and evergreen woods. While I may not want to smell like this often, I do appreciate a scent that can recreate a scene or environment for me.

I only get low to average performance with Big Sky. Projection is low and longevity is just okay.

22nd February, 2021

Ines de la Fressange by Ines de la Fressange

A nice aldehydic white floral. The aldehydes are the plasticky hairspray kind and, like Phlegethon says, the bergamot is sour, so I'm in agreement with h_len that the first few minutes are kind of unpleasant. There's also a rather cheap-smelling apple shampoo note up top that doesn't help the topnotes, but that mercifully fades quickly.

A few minutes in, it gets quite nice - a big soapy floral, mildly apple-tinged on top and a nice aldehydic drydown. It feels very "golden", which I realize is a really abstract description, but it's very fitting with its bottle, if that makes sense. It dries down to a proper creamy chypre base, the kind I hope for in a good aldehydic floral.

All told, except for the first minute or two, this is a remarkably good perfume for the price. It doesn't have the stunning richness of a classic Chanel or Patou, but it's close enough to keep me quite happy. Very much a thumbs up!
21st February, 2021 (last edited: 23rd February, 2021)
FISS80 Show all reviews
United States

Rive d'Ambre by Tom Ford

A very nice citrus fragrance. The Amber, citrus and musk combination smells great...while you can smell it. The longevity is poor. I can smell it (with my nose pressed against my skin) for up to four hours. The projection is near nonexistent. A great smelling fragrance with terrible performance issues. Although I like it, I must give it a thumbs down due to price point, performance and uniqueness.
21st February, 2021
drseid Show all reviews
United States

Mātangi by Parfums Karmic Hues

Matangi opens with a very brief blast of relatively sharp orange blossom with an underlying soapy ylang-ylang before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart a green tinged jasmine emerges and takes the fore, supported by the now more prominent neroli spiked soapy ylang-ylang and a rose-like geranium, with slightly creamy orris adding additional support. During the late dry-down the composition morphs into a smooth vanilla driven perfume with mild supporting relatively dry amber through the finish. Projection is good and longevity is excellent at over 12 hours on skin.

On paper Matangi hits all the right buttons for this writer's perfume preferences... Jasmine, vetiver, and ylang-ylang are all favorites. Of course, a published note list doesn't mean that much, it is what the wearer actually sniffs, and when analyzed from that angle, the composition is a bit of a mixed bag. The jasmine is the real focus of the perfume through its heart phase. Unfortunately the jasmine featured is more of a green tinged, slightly sharp version quite unlike the indolic heady jasmine grandiflorum this writer prefers. The ylang-ylang is more successful, but it couples with the geranium to yield a bit of a dough-like soapy floral accord that smells good but not great, while undermining the jasmine to some degree in the process. The vanilla led late dry-down is surprisingly pleasant, with the supporting dry amber never calling attention to itself, instead providing just the right amount of body to the vanilla, enhancing the overall effect. The bottom line is the $90 per 50ml bottle extrait strength Matangi may be a bit of a mixed bag, but the "good" to "very good" 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5 rated perfume's whole is better than the sum of its parts, earning it a recommendation to floral indie perfume lovers.
21st February, 2021

Yellow Diamond by Versace

Don’t overthink this one. One ounce of analysis beyond its face value will pop the bubble of whimsy Yellow Diamond solicits. This review is from a carded sample vial I purchased with ironic intent. Had Yellow Diamond come loaded in an autoinjector I would have jabbed my leg with a smirk and thought, “Let’s take a trip back to 2001.” Yes and no, as it turns out.

It’s bold (okay), it’s unapologetic (sure), and it’s not at all attempting to do anything but stay on beat announcing a “woman” is present just follow your nose. There’s sort of an enjoyable drag here like a Spring-themed Elvira, Mistress of the Overripe Bloom. For ladies who are in the mature category, this is either target zone for you or you’d want to actively avoid the whole cougar baggage. I’m not judging (you do you), but many others will which is news to nearly no one.

Launched in 2011 according to the Basenotes profile, Yellow Diamond entered the market a full decade later than I assumed. This could make Yellow Diamond dated or a retrospective culmination of the two-thousand aughts itself. A fun fragrance for what it is, I can’t see purchasing a full bottle but I can absolutely see someone who doesn’t know me well gifting me this if that makes sense.

3/5 in temperate US climates skewing 40+
4/5 in tropical Asian climates 25+
21st February, 2021

L'Amour Fou by Ungaro

Wow - I was expecting a cheap fruity floral, but this is really interesting and creative.

It's complicated to explain - definitely peppery on top. Currant adds a pinch of green fruit, but also a musky element. There's a cold, wet stone element, like the cool smell of a cave, and it's also leathery. Then there's also that blackberry note made famous by Mure Et Musc, which hums quietly in the background and adds sweetness. Given time, it all melts together into an abstract smell reminiscent of mossy stone walls with a fruity sweetness.

Longevity isn't amazing - this just sort of fades after a few of hours, but it's a compelling enough smell to be worth a try. I know some people read random reviews in search of forgotten cheapies that smell like they should be expensive niche perfumes, and this is a perfect example of that. Smelled blind, I would have guessed it were a Byredo or a Willhelm.
21st February, 2021

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense by Chanel

Coco Madamoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense (2018) is really just an "all grown up" take on the original "girly" Coco Madamoiselle Eau de Parfum (2001), itself a perfume released at the beginning of the millennium for the Y2K generation that wanted dynamic, bombastic, and fruity/sour candy fragrances that could extend their youth appeal indefinitely. With this new Eau de Parfum Intense, the concept of being 21 forever has been given up on and as such, the extreme Jolly Rancher vibe that made the original Coco Madamoiselle so gauche yet so gleefully fun to wear has been excised out. What has been left behind is augmented with a few tasteful and more-mature replacement notes, that while not totally changing the character of Coco Madamoiselle in and of itself, does make it something of an ironically less "intense" experience in some ways while increasing intensity in others. Let's just say it's complicated, even if things are really much simpler in effect than in execution. I like Coco Madamoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense, but a little bit of the recalcitrance that made the 2001 scent fun is lost here.

The opening of Coco Madamoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense is rather similar to the original, but with the tangy candy citruses toned down in favor of a bit more aldehydes, making it appropriately more grown-up in that way. Richer, heavier, but missing the grapefruit, EdP Intense further leans into the orange and bergamot as it transitions to the rose jasmine core it also shares with the original. The peony and lychee fruit are removed here and with them goes the Glade Angel Whispers candle vibe that marked the 2001 release, although there is a sparkly champagne sort of feel with some fleshy peach tones similar to the pillar Coco Chanel (1984) in their stead, yet missing the animalic component that makes Coco so much more vivacious than its younger siblings. A soft vanilla tonka and patchouli "fruitchouili" base finishes this off, but as a midway between Coco and Madamoiselle, the Madamoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense doesn't stand out as much compared to either. Wear time is good at 10 hours and performance is enough, going strong for half of it then quiet. Best use is still casual but perhaps more year-round, and you might be able to get away with it at an office with low applications.

Bottom line here is fans of Madamoiselle will enjoy the EdP Intense, but this won't bring any new people to the line, especially not those who didn't appreciate the original flanker to the classic Coco. The DNA is mostly intact, and Olivier Polge basically plays homage to his retired father here by taking a fragrance meant for people in their 20's and retrofitting it so those same people in their 40's could keep comfortably wearing it. This is of course instead of moving onto their mother's Coco out of some obligation to wear perfume made for older women once they too become such women, so I guess marrying some original Coco DNA and removing some of the fruity ozonic qualities from Madamoiselle is the best way of pulling a "have your cake and eat it too". I personally still wear Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1994), which is just about the men's equivalent to this in that respect, so I'd still rock the original Mademoiselle too if I was going to wear anything from the line at all. However, if nobody was ever self-conscious or influenced by peer pressure, half of these fragrances would never come to market. Thumbs up.
21st February, 2021

Versace by Versace

Imagine, if you will, all the cheapest perfume cliches: fake strawberry and peach candy flavorants on top, that cheap fruity shampoo smell, a fabric softener drydown, and fake marshmallowy vanilla. Then carefully construct a perfume from all of these, precision engineered to please the most basic customers without any creativity or artistry whatsoever. That's what this is.

Technically speaking, this is a good perfume - sillage and longevity are proper and I appreciate the skill it takes to surgically conjoin four different kinds of cheap and basic. To put that much care into crafting something so intentionally unremarkable is a talent, but I just can't support such a complete lack of artistry.
21st February, 2021

Apple Bottoms by Nelly

A shot of apple on top, as I'd have expected, leading to a surprisingly complex strawberry compote smell, like strawberries, but cooked and caramelized. There's a beeswax element in here as well, making everything smell like a spicy candle. As it warms up, bubblegummy jasmine sneaks in.

Of course, this is a silly fruity floral - there was no way it was ever going to be anything else. But the way the fruit feels more like waxy jam than just a flavor or candy shows more initiative than the genre requires.

The only place I've ever actually seen this for sale in person was at my local discount/damaged-goods grocery store for like $8 a bottle, so I didn't go into this expecting quality, but as a bottom-of-the-barrel perfume that could have gotten away with absolutely no care or quality control, this is better than I expected.
21st February, 2021
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Elixir pour Femme by Roja Dove

The opening reveals a garden of fragrant flowers, with a bright rose and lots of muguet. This is mixes with an ylang-ylang that is a bit creamy but not heavy and blends in well. A bit of a ripe peach impression adds transient fruity moments, assisted by a discrete raspberry. Whilst touches of tuberose and and geranium come and go, touches of heliotropes add hints of spice in an otherwise rather spice-free affair.

At a later stage a dark violet is added - mainly the leaves, but then woods gradually start to arrive and dominate to floral side increasingly. I get cedar mainly, some sandalwood with touches cashmere wood and whiffs of oak. An ambery orris root adds touches of spice - but this is the only spice I get, and a rather faint one it is indeed. Whilst the florals supplied the sweetness of this creation at an earlier stage, now a vanilla and faint note of cinnamon add their sweet share to the whole. Restrained white musks are detectable towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection, and six hour of longevity on my skin.

A rich flora with a subsequent woody phase, made of good-quality ingredients, with a lively balance with a pleasant sweetnesss that is never cloying or intrusive. 3.5/5
21st February, 2021

Atomic Age Bay Rum by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements

Atomic Age Bay Rum Aftershave / Cologne Splash
by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements -

Two thumbs way up! This is my second fragrance from PAA, the other being "Cavendish", an excellent pipe tobacco eau de parfum.

Atomic Age Bay Rum beats its drum after literally being aged in oak barrels so not only does it smell fantastic-liciously of bay and spices, but it's also extremely well blended with not a hint of synthetics to be found.

I know some aftershave hounds love the 15 second "burn" upon application, but this one doesn't fit that profile. It isn't greasy or slick either so you will just have to deal with it being damn near perfect!

5 stars

21st February, 2021

Moustache Original 1949 by Rochas

Rochas Moustache Original 1949 (2018) obviously isn't, but I'm sure everyone who knows the actual original Rochas Moustache (1949) saw that coming, so it's almost a given. In reality, this fragrance is just a reformulation of the short-lived eau de toilette re-issue released in the 90's, that replaced the eau de toilette concentrée and gutted it of animalic musks, sitting somewhere between that stiffer version and the more airy eau de cologne version with the blue label that died long before it. Here in Moustache Original 1949, what little animalic component remained has been scrubbed even further and replaced with a synthetic proxy, offering little of the funk that contrasted with the citrus to create one of the most notoriously musty openings in all of masculine perfumery. I guess for modern noses used to their showergel masculines and rose water feminine perfumes carried by laundry musks, linalool, and Frankensteined patchouli free of any earth, this suits best. However, if you were expecting a more faithful re-creation of the original eau de cologne but within IFRA regulatory guidelines, you won't find it here, although that isn't to say what's here isn't actually good. What enthusiasts will find here in Moustache Original 1949 is akin to what Jacques Fath did with Green Water (1947) when creating Fath's Essentials: Green Water (2016), cloning their older work with gas chromatography and artistic license to then reshape it into something more marketable for today. In both cases the new version fondly echoed the old version, but was its own affair.

The biggest noticeable difference between this and any incarnation of Moustache is the almost complete absence of any lime note, which before was sorta just implied by the interplay of civet and oakmoss with the sour natural bergamot being used up top with the lemon. Now, we see vacuum-distilled bergamot essence in place of full unfiltered bergamot oil, mixed with something that produces a candied sort of lemon effect you see in fragrances like Mancera Cedrat Boise (2011), telling me the days of sharp citrus chypres old heads love are truly dead if this lemon drop is the best that can be done for the opening of Moustache. Yet, there is hope, because the star player of the heart, being that dry lavender and geranium tandem which so defined many a mid-century masculine is mostly intact here. Gone however are any flanking floral support notes, including rose and jasmine indoles, meaning that rotting fruit vibe which defined many a Roudnitska work is missing here. In their place, a vacuous filler of various ionones and acetates leaving the impression of violet leaf and orange blossom emerge, lending a slight sweet roundness the benzoin of the old Moustache used to provide. Finally, the payoff arrives, and you get an IFRA-approved oakmoss chypre base, with real oakmoss (albeit a sliver), labdanum, some patchouli, and a modicum of civetone. The skin scent is the best part, lasting about six hours and smelling dapper, good for spring and summer casual use. This is something I think vintage lovers will enjoy if they like stuff such as Eau de Rochas Homme (1993), and it can serve in all the same instances as well.

The ride from lemon candy opening through department store synthetic floral fill on down to that nice base is where most purists will take issue with Moustache Original 1949, because as I noted above, it just isn't Moustache in anything close to the original form. Is this Moustache at all? Well, if you define a fragrance by the concepts it is known for then yes; this has a citrus opening, a classic dandy heart, and a musky chypre base with just a speck of animal allure; these are all things Moustache would be defined by with historians who appreciate the scent and they are present in some fashion here. Otherwise, if you define a fragrance by what it has in it, strictly observing the composition of the original perfumer's vision, then this is not Moustache. Hell, they even managed to "de-Roudnitska" the fragrance by removing his trademark rotted fruit accord from it, which methinks may have something to do with the family or son Michael Roudnitska retaining rights to all his father's formulas and Rochas not wanting to be bothered by that. It's likely in similar fashion to how Dior used GC machines and the skill of François Demachy in 2011 to recreate all their legacy scents without having to keep paying Givaudan, Harmann & Reimer, and Roudnitska's own Art et Parfum for formula access, just with Moustache here, less attempt to stay true to the original was made than by Dior. This is a horse of a different color from the Moustache so many know and love, plus far more polite in public, wearing more like a fond memory of Moustache than a reformulation. Thumbs up
20th February, 2021

parfums*PARFUMS Series 1 Leaves: Calamus by Comme des Garçons

Calamus is one of the more unconventional green scents. There’s no galbanum present - this is more of a damp leaves and grass, bamboo-type scent where the green is enveloped in a noticeably milky, slightly sappy accord that is quite unique. It stays relatively linear, and it’s a light fragrance but the composition is different and interesting enough that is doesn’t bore or disappoint. Easily unisex.

A green fragrance for people who don’t normally like green scents. It was composed by Bertrand Duchaufour, who has done a few quirky green scents but probably isn’t known for these as much as some of his other fragrances.
20th February, 2021

Rosa / Rose by L'Erbolario

Violet leaves (musky, dark and presenceful in its role of co-star) and "haunting" rose mastering a musky vegetal "victorian in style" rich floral bouquet. I don't get in particular jasmine. Freesia and geranium provide structure, assertiveness, "leafiness" and hints of greenness. Incredibly well appointed fragrance for its cheap cost. Sweetness is absolutely balanced. Rose increases gradually its presence along the way. L'Erbolario Rose is a languid super-floral creation really poetic and refined (exuding a deep sense of soapy cleanliness and measured timeless class). Longevity and projection are impressive on my skin. A resolute thumbs up by me.
20th February, 2021

Pleats Please by Issey Miyake

This features a fruit candy note that feels to me like faux apple with a pinch of strawberry, apparently intended to simulate pear. It sits on top of a very effusive, sneezy white musk that smells like exaggerated soap with an undertone of fabric softener. The fruit becomes more abstract as the day goes on, ending up as more of a sweetness than a specific smell.

I sampled this because it listed indole as a note, so I hoped it may be at least a little bit challenging or avant garde, but it's not. This is a crowd-pleasing, intentionally unremarkable fruity floral for people who want to smell like soap and candy. As such, this is the kind of designer perfume where I have no technical complaints, but my desire for artistry and creativity is unfulfilled.
20th February, 2021

The Cape by Abbott

Soapy, fruity-sweet, clean-aquatic, unisex scent in the opening. A little bit of ginger wakes it up and keeps it from being a boring Bath & Body hand sanitizer scent. Doesn't smell bad, just heavily synthetic up close. Best I can describe is that it's similar to Lacoste White or other fresh/sweet blue Zara frags.

The drydown is woodier, more masculine and has a tea-like scent. Generic but very nice.

I get average performance. Not loud or super long-lasting but it's decent and can be cloying if over-sprayed.

20th February, 2021

Angélique by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

Good because it’s not bad is not a resounding endorsement. How I wish I had received the Anubis I requested instead of Angelique and Bengal Spice as supposed substitutes. The most I can say about Angelique is its floral green is fresh, is balanced, though great for a soap or shampoo like Aveda products. Angelique wears like a simplified Ormonde Jayne, and in my opinion Geza Schoen’s use of champaca leaves this one wanting by comparison.
20th February, 2021