Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 159885

Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger

A subtle frag that should be treated more like an aftershave. Overall, a Neutral rating for me because it was absolutely everywhere and unapologetically over-sprayed by everyone in the mid-late 90's. In this case, less is way more.

Released the same year (1994), and ironically by the same house (Aramis), I personally prefer to reach for this timeless gem of men's perfumery - "Havana".

2 stars.
17th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Tuberose Angelica by Jo Malone

This starts out with a tuberose, and this really the main thrust of this creation. Quite a bright tuberose, neither thick or heavy but with a touch of levity and trim. At here is a restrainedly indolic undertone with just a light waxiness.

The angelica it weak in me and somewhat on the perfunctory side, as is the amber that appear just before the end.

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

This is a nice tuberose for warmer spring days, unusually light-hearted and bright, but the rest is a disappointment. 2.75/5.
17th September, 2020

L'Ombre des Merveilles by Hermès

I wasn't overly familiar with this line when going to sample L'Ombre des Merveilles (2020) in Nordstrom, but after taking wearable decants of the line home to test in my own time, I've discovered that this entry not only has zero DNA with the rest of the line, but perhaps the weakest performance of the bunch. In a rare move of cynicism from the brand, Hermès has given everything the modern mainstream fragrance user (that isn't a performance-obsessed dudebro) wants in a scent: brightness, freshness, cleanliness, and not smelling like anything they can negatively associate with something else. Imagine your typical "Karen" if you will, prattling off a laundry list of things she doesn't like and expecting the perfumer to work with whatever is left unnamed to make something for her, that is this fragrance. Abstract clean, brightness, warmth, transparency, and an undefinable "modernity" that really smells of nothing to me. Even smelling like water would be more definitive than smelling like this.

The opening of L'Ombre des Merveilles isn't so much an opening, as it is a thud of rounded clean. A flurry of laundry musks and a slight tea note greet the nose, and something that smells like the late dry down of a 90's perfume to say the least, but presented as the opening of this one. Seems we're not back to the old "upside-down note pyramid" of the original Eau des Merveilles (2004) however, as after this clean laundry attack subsides, we move into norlimbanol "incense" territory, a bit like Bleu de Chanel (2010) without the violet leaf, then a rounded semi-sweet slug of tonka in the base with the usual linalools and limonenes to polish the scent until it glows. This is utterly boring, and goes absolutely nowhere, but you'll smell "modern" for sure. Wear time is maybe six hours and performance is terrible. Either that, or I get anosmic to this stuff too fast. Wears unisex I guess, and best use for summer, like most of the line, but easily the worst to date. I just can't get over how much like nothing this smells, even more so than something from the Escentric Molecules line. Sigh.

I don't know what else to say about L'Ombre des Merveilles besides it really does feel like a perfume made for a neurotically dissatisfied person that makes it their life's mission to write corporate every time their coffee isn't perfect, or yell at the kids outside for playing because they have to turn up the rerun of their court drama they've already watched 15 times before. Real "my peas don't mix with my carrots" kind of perfume, and totally devoid of any worldly notes that might remind them of the time they had to eat a coworker's vanilla cookies, or someone spilled a bottle of lavender hand lotion in line next to them at Kohl's, or any perfume that might remind them of an ex they're still not over. Yeah, if you really don't love yourself, you might love L'Ombre des Merveilles, as it's the quietude of the void given fragrance form. Test and see for yourself, but this to me is the worst thing I've ever smelled from both Christine Nagel and Hermès. Thumbs down.
17th September, 2020
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Eau des Merveilles Bleue by Hermès

Eau des Merveilles Bleue (2017) is a bit of a capitulation to men, whom found most of the previous Eau des Merveilles (2004) line pretty wearable, in spite of its feminine market copy. Here we see house perfumer Christine Nagel do what Jean-Claude Ellena has done and mostly dispense with the original "upside down note pyramid" theme of pillar entry, and just vibe off of key elements from it. Namely, the ambergris heart and the fresh citric oceanic notes that defined the dry down of that scent, bolstered with additional "proper" aquatic elements to turn the Eau des Merveilles accord into a proper aquatic fragrance, albeit a unisex one that will probably appeal more to men (like I said in the opening). It's always funny when a market segment a house wasn't expecting emerges and they're forced to make a product to meet that surprise demand. What this means to a casual fan of the original Eau des Merveilles is a more oceanic and possibly masculine feeling to the scent, so if a Hermès aquatic with a Hermès price tag sounds like your bag of chips, start munching my friend.

The opening here is a blast of aldehydes and juniper, with those notes quickly folding into the ambergris note of the original's heart. Again as with classic Eau des Merveilles, I can't really say if this is actual ambergris despite the market copy, but it has a breathy mineralic warmth and underlying marine muskiness, so it's a good take if synthetic. Additional "sea notes" are found in the heart, which mostly translate in my head to something ozonic in nature, then a base of denatured patchouli and ambrocenide for that "woody amber" feel most modern things have from the 2010's. Christine Nagel seems to be a fan of just naming two or three notes in her pyramids, so most of what I mention is detected not stated by the house, so your mileage may vary. Wear time is eight hours with average performance all around, best for casual outdoor summer use like at a BBQ or if you work outdoors. This barely feels unisex but leans more masculine to me, and anyone liking the original but not the heavier flankers that followed may appreciate this more since its closest by far to the first Eau de Merveilles in tone.

The bottom line here is this is Eau des Merveilles Bleue, is how it sounds, although could probably be named "Bleu de Hermès" if you really wanted to be cynical, since it has the appropriate house transparency developed since the 2000's but also the blue freshness the dudebros crave. I like Eau des Merveilles Bleue but like with the original, it plays in a crowded field and has a price tag that makes it a hard sell when there are so many things you could have which smell just about in the same ballpark for a fraction, mostly thanks to discounters crammed to the gill with those competitors. Hermès collectors who love these tilted sparkly bottles will jump all over this, and anyone looking for an aquatic that is "a cut above" in most respects to your average Bvlgari or Nautica scent will appreciate what Nagel has dished up here in Eau des Merveilles Bleue, although anyone with more niche-aligned tastes or an aversion to obvious synthetics use will poo-poo even more than the standard Eau des Merveilles. Nice, simple, fresh, but a bit overpriced for what it is. Thumbs up.
17th September, 2020

Eau des Merveilles by Hermès

I'm not the first person to bring it up I'm sure, but the point of Eau des Merveilles by Hermès (2004) is to create a feminine market fragrance that does not contain florals. This was apparently just before Jean-Claude Ellena picked up the reigns as house perfumer for the brand, so Ralph Shwieger and Nathalie Feisthauer were put to task on it, and their solution to the problem of a flowerless feminine perfume was rather unique: make a citrus and woods fragrance upside-down. Yes, that's right, the notes of Eau de Merveilles are positioned and proportioned so that notes typically on top are instead in the final dry down, and notes usually associated with the base come out of the sprayer on skin. I'm guessing this concoction worked, because it spawned a series of flankers, some inventive and some not so much. I don't think Hermès Eau de Merveilles smells much like genius, but it is good, and unisex despite the market copy. The Jean-Claude Ellena and Christine Nagel eras full of transparent nothingness and one-two punch accord structures have made erstwhile minimalist freshies like Eau de Merveilles seem redundant, even if they came first.

The opening salvo of oakmoss and vetiver is quite strange to the unsuspecting first-time sprayer, but the smell is quite aromatic and nice, being green and a bit woody, with a perfect set up for a transition into a nice cedar in the heart (which can sometimes be in the heart in normal fragrances too), flanked by what is claimed to be a rare use of true ambergris in a designer fragrance. I can't verify this claim, and to me it would seem cost prohibitive, beyond skirting various laws in various countries, but there is a sort of mineralic breathy muskiness that is a tell-tale of ambergris, but could just the same be a high-quality ambroxide compound. A bit of "watery freshness" that can only be described as a properly-chlorinated pool (some of you will know what I mean) merges into the citrus base of lemon and orange, given heft by a large dose of pink pepper and a hidden unlisted musk component, because no amount of citrus will anchor to skin for long. The smell is fresh and clean, not exactly "aquatic" nor really floral, but nice. Wear time is about eight hours, and performance is average all around. Suggested use would be summer for me, as a casual scent.

I don't think many people really pay attention to this line beyond Hermès fans or influencers on Instagram and YouTube, who get sent the latest bottles from this line to push onto their following, because I literally see nobody talking about this unless they're someone with professional-looking bottle photos taken with a Leica camera and at least 10,000 followers to their name. Most "average Joe/average Jane" types are stuck on main-line Hermès perfumes like Terre d'Hermès (2006) or older classics like Calèche (1961), but if you're the kind of person to veer into the Hermèssence, then you're also likely to enjoy this scent and its brood as well. The quirky built-in sprayer head and "tilt to the side" bottle base are nice to look at, as is the starry sort of bottle design that reminds of the later and discontinued Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris (2011), but none of that matters unless you just collect to display. Ultimately, this is a light and harmless freshy with a sunny citrus disposition and a bit of marine vibe throughout, but ends up being a bit of a high-priced alternative in a saturated market segment. Try before you buy! Thumbs up.
17th September, 2020

Tommy Into The Surf by Tommy Hilfiger

Very sweet, bright opening. Has a youthful, vibrant feel. The drydown does calm down a little, bringing in woods and violet. I’m reminded of Hollister Wave for Him mixed with Montblanc Legend in the drydown.

Good projection for the first few hours. You can still smell on skin for most of the work day, 6-7 hours.
17th September, 2020

Gardénia by Guerlain

Guerlain's take on Gardenia takes on darker approach compared to others, specifically the one from Chanel. The opening had some tart bergamot that added a brief moment of brightness before plunging into the deep. The gardenia note soon appears and receives support from other florals. I'm sensing some of the skanky jasmine and deep rose notes in the heart which contributes to the darkness in Gardenia. The florals are met with even darker notes in the base. Present are the notes of civet and musk which contribute to the animalistic qualities, vanilla which adds a minimal amount of sweetness, and wood notes which adds a supporting backbone to the base. The gardenia florals never fully disappear but is blended by the other notes present in the drydown. Performance for Gardenia is good. It's fairly strong early on before staying closer to the skin in the later stages of the scent. For those who enjoy gardenia this is one worth trying.
17th September, 2020

Replica Whispers in the Library by Martin Margiela

Not exactly terrible, but not anything to really write home about, Maison Margiela Replica Whispers in the Library (2019) is supposed to conjure images of old paper and fragrant wood shelves mixed with candles. The scent doesn't really do that for me personally, but what it does manage is pretty enough if you're looking for a calming scent to wear while reading. I'm not the biggest fan of the house going in, so my expectations were tempered thus, but even then I just barely "break even" with what's being presented.

The most simplistic of accords is this, opening with mainly an aldehyde and a bit of pepper. Supposedly cedar is here but if anything it's just Iso E Super adding woody volume, because beyond that, all I smell is vanilla. In fact, after about 30 minutes, this is primarily a vanilla scent, with no trace of old books or wooden shelves. I can see the candles comparison if those candles are vanilla, but that's it. Performance and wear time are teetering on below average, and I'd only use this as personal scent for home if at all. Best time of year is winter but you could get away with a scent this light in warm weather too.

Whispers in the Library is apologetic like a 90's light oriental, aimless to the point of insipid, but unerringly pleasant in spite of it. There are many better and more powerful vanilla fragrances plus Byredo does a thing about libraries that gets much closer than Maison Margiela Replica, so I'd check that one out instead. Not much more to say, a short review about a scent that by design has little to say itself. Any Sephora in the US should have this and elsewhere a perfume boutique, so it shouldn't be hard to track down, just try not to get too excited. Whispers in the Library is no page-turner. Neutral
17th September, 2020

Cigar by Rémy Latour


No tobacco fragrance captures the smell of a cigar box inside of a cigar lounge better than Remy Latour Cigar.

The "aura" of sweet fruits combined with cedar, tobacco and more are all there throughout every phase of this awesome cocktail. 4 sprays, sit back, and relax.

At $15 bucks online, it's the easiest no brainer blind-buy of all time for tobacco enthusiasts.

4.5 stars.
17th September, 2020
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

L'Homme Idéal Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

When L’Homme Ideal first came out I sampled it at a Guerlain boutique and didn’t especially like it. I am not into sweet gourmand scents which is why, while I can appreciate L’Instant it was just too confectionery for me. I have revisited L’Homme Ideal, buying a bottle to wear in the fall and it is growing on me. The top notes quickly give way to the amaretto accord which dominates the fragrance throughout its lifespan. The base notes do a good job of grounding the amaretto and give it that new Guerlainade note. As is often the case with Guerlains, there is also a Marzipan, patisserie note (as found in L’Heure Bleue) that reminds me of those amaretto biscotti (children love it when you burn the wrappers). However, the almond aspect of the amaretto also gives this a slightly barbershop quality which I like and helps make this fragrance more masculine. Over all, a very nice scent for cooler weather which will work as well with a cashmere sweater and leather jacket as it will with a suit and tie. I am especially fond of the Cologne flanker although I have not yet tried the other flankers.
16th September, 2020 (last edited: 22nd September, 2020)

Eros by Versace

2 sprays and you will be transported back in time to your early teens, you know, the insecure glory days.

Hanging out at the donut shop, sporting tight trousers and applying half a can of Axe body spray with an itchy trigger finger. Good times.

0 stars.
16th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Magnolia Folie Extrait de Cologne by Roger & Gallet

The magnolia is in the foreground indeed. Pleasant, bright and representing a good rendering of this soulful flower.

A nice jasmine arises soon, a jasmine with a m green undertone and no powdery characteristic. Hint of orange blossom and just a whiff of muguet add to the white floral basket.

Woods and patchouli toward the end. Cedar, a whiff of oak, and a soft and light patchouli that blends in well with the other notes.

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

For spring a scent, definitely, a bit traditional but skinned down to become a lean and modern floral. A bit bland at stages though. 3/5.
16th September, 2020

Burvuvu by January Scent Project

Cedar overdose at first. Smells great! Good amounts of flowers, too. Fizzy patchouli, ginger, and amber. You gotta love rose and wood to wear this one. Eventually I smell fresh, store-bought, potting soil and mushrooms.

I mostly smell cedar throughout the life of the fragrance. Rose and patchouli are still fairly dominant. Hours later I get a dose of the castoreum - not too much, just enough. This frag vaguely reminds of one I already have in my collection. Aramis Calligraphy Rose, maybe - but better!
16th September, 2020
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Oolong Mountain Ti by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

Concentrated, sweet orange (juice) mixed with a variety of strong tea notes. I'm not a big fan of tea notes but, here, they are excellent. They smell "real". Eventually mixed berry smells and a hint of peach merge with the teas.

Kind of a smoky, musky Tonka later. Mellows out considerably. Overall, an interesting, creative scent. A different take on tea notes. Best tea-centric scent I've ever sampled.
16th September, 2020

Ruh by Pekji

Interesting note combo. For me, the notes bounce off of each other, taking turns revealing themselves. It's dark, smoky, in a way... Smells of various incenses mixed together, burning in some faraway mountain temple in the forest, I imagine. It softens, melds beautifully. I enjoy it more as it wears on.

Smells like creamier later, if that makes any sense. No one note overpowers the other. Magnificent blend!
16th September, 2020

Fior di Chinotto by Abaton Bros.

A big, pretty white floral. Smelled closely, it feels like a big, loud mix of tuberose and orange blossom, but with rose and jasmine added to make it smell like a white floral accord more than any specific floral. It's temporarily orangey on top and gets soapy over time, and even a touch woody in the base, but the big floral mix is definitely the focus.

This feels Italian in that it's quite beautiful, but it screams its beauty at the top of its lungs. As an aside, this smells nothing like chinotto, the small, sour citrus fruits that are candied and eaten whole or used to make bitters. But it's still a nice floral perfume, so thumbs up.
16th September, 2020

Fior di Chinotto by Abaton Bros.

Fior di Chinotto by Abaton Bros. (2018) is one of three themed fragrances based around the chinotto planet, a type of citrus imported from China by Savonese sailors to Italy. The chinotto plant is called "citrus myrtifolia" outside Italy, or the myrtle-leaved orange tree, and the "chinotto" fruit themselves are typically used to flavor aperitifs and sodas. The bitter aroma of the chinotto lends it an almost "dark neroli" quality that becomes the primary facet of all perfumes in the Chinotto line by Abaton Bros. With Fior di Chinotto, we see mostly the blossom of the planet become the focus of a white floral musk composition, one that is marketed feminine but can really almost be considered unisex in tone. Two version of this fragrance exist; a parfum and an eau de parfum, and I am reviewing the former. Floral musks are a dime a dozen in the realm of niche perfumes, and all invariably overpriced, so what really sets this one apart from all the other option at the price point of a niche fragrance is theme.

The opening of Fior di Chinotto is fresh and sweet, with chinotto blossom, damask rose, and the chinotto fruit itself. This "dark neroli" aspect I mentioned comes out in full force, and can be seen as a halfway between blood orange and neroli in tone. Put another way, you get the sweet florality of neroli, but the dark deep uncanny-yet-still-citric vibrato of blood orange, which itself is typical more found in gourmands for that reason. After this dark sweet floral opening, jasmine and tuberose come in softly, to lift up and liven the mixture. Tuberose is very well-controlled here, barely musky or fleshy at all, and a big dollop of denatured patchouli (without terpenes) comes in to add a rounded nose feel. The base is surprisingly 1980's in tone, with a honeyed musk note over layed on top "white woods" (some kind of aromachemical again). The honeyed musk makes me think of powerhouses like Estée Lauder Knowing (1988) or Lapidus pour Homme (1987) but with a more-polite musk in place of their civet. Wear time is over 10 hours with moderate performance all around. Fior di Chinotto feels casual spring through early autumn to me, and fit for anyone.

The big kicker about Fior di Chinotto besides the novel top note is that sweet honeyed musk in the base, adding a bit of unexpected sexiness to an otherwise innocent fragrance made for picnics in the park. This is the kind of thing you'd catch in the air and go "oh what is that?" but think nothing of it if you couldn't find the owner, yet might consider snuggling up to said owner if it was someone in your company. For me, this makes Fior di Chinotto a dual-purpose kind of scent that could feel appropriate among strangers, or worn places where you'll bump into Mr. or Ms. right, yet nothing is overtly sexual about it. There's just something about a well-mannered citrus blossom and tuberose musk that feels both unassuming yet also passively come-hither, like everything hinges on context. The bottom line here is the scent sells for near the $200 price point for the parfum and closer to $150 for the EdT, which isn't horrendous for a niche fragrance, but can be a big bite to take for subject like this, no matter how exotic the source of your fruit. Still, worth a sniff. Thumbs up.
16th September, 2020

MAAI by Bogue Profumo

Modern Chypre Extrordinaire

Its really good. Initially kind of camphorous. Civet aldehydes jasmine. Its awesome. 5 stars, top 10 for me.
16th September, 2020

Extreme Speed by Michael Kors

Herbal Updated Fragrance

As designers go, and on the lowish end of the designer spectrum moving toward cheapy, the Michael Kors line just isn't something that gets love. This one is pretty nice though. Its really got some herbal smooth suave thing in the opening. Sage, in all its sageness, not one of those clary sage notes that just is for filler, this one is very present. Cypress is the main player. Its got some of that violet ambiance. I like this one a lot. Dumb name, but the bottle is actually pretty nice. Pictures don't look as nice as it does in person. Feels good. I found it lasted well into the evening, though in the drydown it became pretty aromachem, but hey, its a Michael Kors. This would be a step up from most of the stuff you see in this realm. Pretty well blended, but the materials in the backend show some of their cheapness.
16th September, 2020

Eternity Flame for Men by Calvin Klein

sweet blah

Its not good. It smells like something from the early 2000s not well done. Kenneth Cole Reaction melon, its sweet. They say pineapple, but its not pineapple. Its melon. Pineapple is sharper. Lasts well, sweet. Really cheap. Nothing flame or fire like.
16th September, 2020

Bee by Zoologist Perfumes

Can I just quote thrilledchilled's review and use it as my own??

Yes, this is honey and I like honey perfumes, but instead of playing the honey against bitter, woody, or smokey notes, Bee sweetens it further with marshmallowy flowers, so it feels unbalanced, like it just screams "SWEEEEEEEEEETTTT!!!!" instead of trying for artful juxtaposition.

Like thrilledchilled says, I'll stick with Slowdive.

All that being said, this isn't a bad perfume, just not what I'm into, so I'm voting neutral instead of a full-on thumbs down.
16th September, 2020 (last edited: 15th September, 2020)

Panda (2017) by Zoologist Perfumes

This is awful. Like seriously, just terrible.

5 seconds of cheap apple/raspberry topnotes leads to a couple of hours of dreadful, cheap-smelling aquatic "woody amber" Axe body spray smell.

Even cheap designer scents at least have better performance than this. Aside from the cute panda on the bottle, there's no reason anyone should seek this out.
15th September, 2020

Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 pour Lui Eau Fraîche by Lacoste

A simple but pleasant summer fragrance. Very fresh, citrusy-sour and peppery opening. Similar to D&G Light Blue pH Eau Intense.

Projection is pretty good during the first few hours and then is pretty much faded out to a skin scent after 5 hours.
15th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Honey & Crocus by Jo Malone London

There is some honey in the opening indeed; not a rich and dark honey, but a lighter version. The honey is combined with a pleasant almond milk form the start, and these two constitute the top Niue’s on me.

Very soon the crocus arises; it is very restrained and hiding behind the notes that developed previously. Not a spring field in England, but more a shy small bunch of the flower.

Virtually concurrently with the crocus a lavender arises. A lovely lavender, with a green undertone and not sweet at all. This lavender moves into the foreground closer to the end.

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

This spring scent is nicely done and not without an original twist, but the crocus is too pale and the honey a bit too diluted to entince. The notes that are not in the name are the most intense and convincing ones. Still, a - just - positive score. 3/5.
15th September, 2020

Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone by Giorgio Armani

Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone (2008) now goes by the name of Vétiver d'Hiver, but is for all intents the same scent (besides the change in juice color from gold to blue), and really isn't a vetiver scent at all. It should be noted my review is of the older version. Alberto Morillas composed this one, and in all honesty, I could have confused Vétiver Babylone for something composed by Francis Kurkdjian, because it has that same light white floral citrus and woody white musk vibe many things from MFK have, but is saved by the fact that it predates most the existence of the house by a year. Armani was dipping its toe into "niche" level scents like many designers were in the late 2000's, trying to cash in on the growing wealth gap and rise of the millionaire and billionaire classes, who all thirsted for exclusivity and conspicuous displays of wealth during a time when most people were suffering the "great recession". Niche perfume houses were keep to sell this kind of luxury, and brands such as Creed lead the way, but it was only a matter of time before corporate interests like that of most major designers wanted in too. The Armani Privé was Giorgio Armani's particular answer to that calling, and Vétiver Babylone was one of the earlier examples of what it offered.

Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone opens with a familiar floral citrus volley of bergamot, lemon, orange blossom, and citron. There's a bit of litsea cubeba in here as well, and the overall vibe is very similar to Maison Francis Kurkdjian Petit Matin (2016), making it quite possible that Kurkdjian found inspiration here in this scent for his later masterwork. The heart of green cardamon, coriander, and pink pepper varies a bit from the later Petit Matin, but the base carries a similar tune of ambroxan (a very early usage of it here), karmawood, white musks, and the slightest hint of vetiver. These trace vetiver amounts combined with the pink pepper and a lack of rose denote the biggest difference between Vétiver Babylone and the later Petit Matin, otherwise they are kissing cousins. Clean citrus, white florals, and a breezy transparent base that leaves a sharp trail are what lies in store for you with Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone, but at eau de toilette strength rather than the usual eau de parfum concentration in which these kinds of fragrances tend to be found. Inoffensive, fresh, unisex, light, and airy simplicity is what you'll find, with decent sillage and longevity, but maybe a bit too cheerful for a suit-and-tie office. Spring through summer weekends or day outings? Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone has got you covered.

The elephant in the room is whether or not to get the older Morillas take on this subject, or the newer Kurkdjian take, and I guess that comes down to what you're looking for in the genre. Other folks compare this more directly to Prada Infusion d'Vetiver (2010) or Roja Dove Elysium Parfum Cologne (2017) but I just really don't see it myself, having worn the dickens out of the MFK, my mind more closely draws parallels there. For me, this is a clean citrus scent with florals first just like the MFK, and the vetiver is an afterthought. Cost per milliliter is lower on the Armani Privé, but the quality and blending is much higher on the MFK (sorry Morillas), making Petit Matin feel more luxuriant. I also have to give fair warning that I hate so directly comparing two fragrances side by side as the bulk of a review for one of them, and perhaps things might have happened in reverse had I discovered this before MFK, but seeing as Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone gets less attention overall and is harder to sample (mine comes from a decant given by a friend), it's unlikely this would have happened the other way around. In short, you've probably smelled this, and smelled it done marginally better, if you're familiar with niche freshies of the 2000's and 2010's. Thumbs up.
15th September, 2020

Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren

Pineapple sushi, sprinkled with chopped ginger, nuzzled in a bed of sweaty gym socks. Bon appetit!

0 stars.
15th September, 2020

Dior Homme Eau de Toilette (2020 version) by Christian Dior

Dior Dry

Iso E, violet (i think im the only one who gets this), cashmeran, cedar. Its super polite. Lasts all day easy. Great blending. Demachy is all about these semitransparent frags. He does em well. Wears well. This is a movement frag, to be experienced as an aura in the air. Good stuff. Dry and masculine. Thumbs up!
15th September, 2020

Knize Ten by Knize

Cuir baby powder

Opens with some tan leather, mechanics rag note, flowers, and powder. Gets powderier as it dries. Kind of butch to me, but my wife said it smelled like her grandmother. Lol. It smelled moreand more like talc the further it went. Nice roundness and density. I like the fragrance, but its juat not quite all together a winner for me. Im going neutral.
15th September, 2020

Missoni Wave by Missoni

Very fresh. This does have similarities with Allure Homme Sport, the eau Extreme version, and even Versace pour Homme. But the quality is not as nice as any of those. It has a cheap smell to me, similar to a shower gel, in the opening. The drydown reminds me of Thallium Sport. Feels best for mild to warm temps.

All that being said, this got a very favorable reaction from my wife, an instant like for her. Very fresh, clean and a little sweetness to her. I think this one is a little harsh up close but much better in the air, which would explain our reactions.

Excellent projection. Will get noticed and probably complimented.
15th September, 2020

Eleventh Hour by Byredo

I like this. I don't want to, but I do. Byredo is a house of smoke and mirrors for the most part, the price tag on their perfumes egregious, but this is one case where I enjoy what's being served up. Is it worth the price? Never, but that's not the point of a review is it? Eleventh Hour by Byredo (2018) covers the grim and edgy concept of the "last perfume possible on Earth", conceived at the end of time, or at least the end of life as we know it on the planet, when sea levels have engulfed most of the land and temperatures have made all but most extreme northern and southern places inhospitable to life. The ingredients chosen in Eleventh Hour signify the kinds of things that can still grow and produce perfume, like the Nepalese Ban Timmur, a plant related to Sichuan pepper that provides a minty citric spice tone to the perfume. The rest of this is going to be the prerequisite aromachemical wizardry that most niche labels of this tier produce, with frequent niche perfumer Jerome Epinette. I admit I'm not the biggest fan of his sometimes-derivative work, but he seems to be on his A-game here.

Eleventh Hour opens with that Ban Timmur note and a nice dry bergamot with some sort of aldehyde. A plum rum note comes through, with traces of fig and carrot seed. This boozy dry hay-like structure with the fruits and pepper transitions well into the tonka and oakmoss base of Eleventh Hour, boosted by cashmeran for a smooth woody feel and the glow of Iso E Super. Labadanum lends a chypre feel and overall this could be a cousin to Terre d'Hermès (2006), but with more fruit and spice. Oddly, I get something of an apple ghost note in here, but more like a mulled apple cider sort of vibe, enhanced by the tonka in the base. Eleventh Hour sits in a weird nowhereland between the chypre and the fougère in terms of structure, but it's very satisfying. Eleventh Hour lasts about eight hours on skin, with above average performance in terms of being noticeable to oneself or others, and feels best used in cold weather or indoors where humidity and sun won't make the warmer elements swelter. Eleventh Hour also feels pretty cozy/casual to me, but could make do in an office environment if it isn't a very structured sort of workspace with a strict dress code.

Eleventh Hour by Byredo doesn't 100% conjure "end of the world" imagery in its smell, but perhaps that's the point, since at the end of the world, people would look to something comforting to help them forget their imminent demise. Probably so too, does this perfume in our current (possibly ending) world help the wearer forget their own doom for just a bit, as it wraps that wearer in a dry fruity spicy woody "wool blanket" of scent. This is one case of a Byredo perfume where the conceptualization of a time or place is sort of irrelevant to the smell of the perfume being good or bad in my eyes, since if I caught whiffs of this on a collar or a passerby, I would immediately think of something joyous, welcoming, and festive, rather than a perfume simulating the state of the art during the end times. Yeah, this is fairly synthetic and won't please hardline worshipers of vintage oakmoss chypres or artisanal ouds, but do I really have to keep saying that anyway? Elitist cliques are tiresome and I grow tired of inserting caveats into my reviews for them. If the price is right, this may be worth checking out. Thumbs up.
15th September, 2020