Spray Lists

500 Greatest Modern Perfumes

A list by Basenotes

Basenotes celebrates its 15th Birthday in September 2015. Over those years we’ve seen lots of perfumes come, and (sadly) lots of perfumes go.

We’ve compiled a list of the 500 greatest fragrance launched in the time we’ve been around – modern classics if you like.

Some of the perfumes are made by international corporations, and some by an indie perfumer in their back-room. Some sell by the bucketload, and some are no longer available. Some would cost you hundreds of dollars, others you could pick up for less then $10.

They are ranked from 500 to 1, but please don’t get hung up on the order. All of these perfumes deserve a sniff if you have the chance. They tell the story of the perfume industry over the last fifteen years, and each are important in their own way — which is why we're revealing the list one fragrance at a time, in roughly hourly intervals. The full list will be revealed in full on 25th September 2015.

So who compiled this list? You did!

How the list was compiled

Firstly we took all of the fragrances in our database that were launched between 2000 and the present. (Although Basenotes didn’t launch until September, we counted all fragrances launched that year).

We then took into account:

  • star ratings (from wardrobes)
  • number of members who own the fragrance (from wardrobes)
  • number of people that want the fragrance (from wish lists)
  • number of people that wear the fragrance (from the Scent of the Day feature)
  • ratio of positive vs negative reviews (from reviews)
  • page views (over the last 6 months)

Let us know your comments

Let us know what you think of the list so far, and what you think might (or *should*) be included, in the comments thread here



by Pal Zileri (2005)

About Sartoriale

No longer in production

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Review by the_good_life

This olfactory complement to Pal Zileri's new "Sartoriale" luxury line of menswear disappeared rather quickly from the shelves, probably failing due to the weakness of the brand name in the fragrance world coupled with the scent's lack of originality. It tries to evoke sartoriality by combining soft florals typical of classic gentleman's fragrances (violet, muguet, rose) with a nice but rather stereotypical base of soft incensy woods built from popular molecules such as cashmeran and iso-e-super. The result is low key and really does go very well with an understated cashmere suit or blazer. I actually consider its lightness an advantage, as an amped up base would probably turn shrill and cheap at this budget (the producer Mavive, best known perhaps for owning the Pino Silvestre brand, does not work in high end territory). I picked this up at a UK discounter for mere 10 quid and soley in the context of some research on sartorial fragrances, but it's a nice wear on occasion and delivers with more taste what a lot of pseudo-niche lines charge an insane price for.

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Tam Dao Eau de Parfum
by Diptyque (2012)

About Tam Dao Eau de Parfum

Tam Dao Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

Review by alfarom

Not much to say about Tam Dao EDP if not that's a vast improvement on the original EDT. After the initial sharp-ish opening, the EDP feels more rounded, creamier and deeper than its precedessor but, most of all, it can finally be considered a *sandalwood* fragrance whereas the EDT has always struck me as a partially successful, cedarwood-centered, Comme Des Garcons.

One of the best *Diptyques* in years. Big thumbs up!

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Noir de Réminiscence
by Réminiscence (2009)

About Noir de Réminiscence

Noir de Réminiscence by Réminiscence

Review by Colin Maillard

Noir by Reminiscence opens with a really powerful and hyper-dark blend, somehow fresh somehow stale and dusty (and also fairly harsh initially), in a way similar both to many niche scents, and several vintage masculine scents (Arrogance, Trussardi Uomo...). Basically it’s a really gloomy concoction comprising bitter-minty herbs (eucalyptus), balsamic woods, patchouli, incense, a shady and sour resinous base with a bold indolic-urinous musky aftertaste, softened by a subtle ambery-resinous accord and brightened by a light citrus-floral accord which is barely perceivable initially. I think I also get something salty (vetiver?), and perhaps something like leather too. Basically Noir can be roughly defined in my opinion as a really dark herbal-woody-resinous Oriental fragrance mostly tending to mossy-earthy-incense territories, and for a while with quite a bold indolic-roasted note underneath, well contrasted by a refreshing quite bitter citrus-minty head accord. It reminds me of several fougères as I said, but with a decidedly contemporary texture – so shortly, don’t worry about smelling “outdated”: this is a modern, sharp, polished scent. The drydown is really pleasant, more tending towards soft, velvety notes of smoke, incense, resins, sandalwood, still dark overall but less raw. It also emerges better the soapy-dusty accord of violet and rose. All smells solid, rich, and also quite unique in a way: I named a couple of scents as a rough reference, but actually Noir smells much “new” to me to many extents – new, yet nostalgic in some way. It’s interesting because it can easily be pulled off by fougères nostalgics as much as “niche-heads”, which I guess makes it a particularly solid scent. Surprisingly creative, although a bit linear once it enters the (endless) drydown. Another cheapo (I forgot to mention that; 35 eur/100 ml here) easily surpassing so many expensive scents quality & creativity-wise. Addictive!


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by John Varvatos (2006)

About Vintage

Perfumer: Rodrigo Flores-Roux

Vintage by John Varvatos

Review by MFfan310

John Varvatos Vintage ranks as one of the better mainstream designer fragrances that you can buy right now. It's a juniper, tobacco and leather fragrance, but well-blended to the point where this could theoretically be sold as a niche fragrance at five times the price. Yet you can buy a bottle at Macy's or Sephora at a normal designer fragrance price - in today's designer market, this might be a miracle. Sillage and longevity of Vintage is the best out of all the John Varvatos line.

Highly recommended - especially if you live in a place where most months are cool and cold.

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by Gianfranco Ferré (2005)

About Ferré

No longer in production

Perfumer: Pierre Bourdon
Supplier: Fragrance Resources
Packaging: Serge Mansau
Packaging: Bormioli Rocco

Ferré by Gianfranco Ferré

Review by Hexter

I really love this. It's fabulously summery and somehow... salubrious. The golden-fruitiness reminds me of the smell of the skin of a really ripe melon - as well as being sweet and juicy there is something dusty and slightly earthy going on there too. There is also a touch of the sort of high quality, collagen-enriched shampoo I was subject to at hair salons in the eighties.

After the fruit wears off there is a comforting, sweet starchy smell, which I guess is some sort of sweet floral, and is appealing without being too obviously culinary. This fits in with what mbanderson61 has said about basmati rice. This fragrance doesn't last very long on me, but could be usefully worn to work to feel like you've just got back from your holidays.

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Coco Blanc
by House of Matriarch (2012)

About Coco Blanc

Perfumer: Christi Meshell

Review by ClaireV

The notes for this read like a wet dream for any gourmand lover: Sandalwood absolute, massoia lactone, Hawaiian vanilla, chai spices, butter, special reserve vintage musk. But this is far from a simple, creamy gourmand, and in my opinion, takes a bit of time getting used to. On my skin, Coco Blanc opens with a piercing note of raw Massoia, in all its oily, wood-alcohol splendor. It is sharp, pungent, and rather hissy – almost like hairspray. Thankfully, the sharp oiliness dissipates rather quickly, leaving behind a creamy, buttery fug of Massoia lactones – all the shades of fig and coconut in the flavor rainbow. All in all, it’s an immensely cozy and inviting sort of smell.

The top part – scads of dairy-rich elements such as butter, cream, and vanilla, plus the coconut notes – kind of smell like those Ferrero Rocher chocolates called Raffaello. In particular, the part past the desiccated coconut and the crisp shell where your teeth sink into the creamy white chocolate filling. Eating this filling always feels like eating pure, raw cocoa butter. It doesn't really taste of anything – it’s more of a texture than a taste.

But what makes this a clever fragrance is the fact that this Raffaello sweet is nestled within a darker, muskier layer that gives it an altogether grown-up character. The musky, woody layer feels a bit dark and gritty to me, and so stops the fragrance from tipping too far into overly rich, dopey gourmand territory. In other words, it’s a proper perfume.

I don’t pick up much chocolate here beyond the slight Raffaello connotation, but really, what is white chocolate except a waxy representation of milk and butter anyway? I sometimes eat the stuff, but I would be hard pressed to give you a description of what white chocolate actually tastes or smells like, beyond the general descriptor of ‘milky’. Towards the very end of the drydown, perhaps eight hours in, I do get what smells like a big old mug of hot milk, the kind you sipped as a child before bed. It is insanely comforting. For an all-natural perfume, Coco Blanc is very strong, and its longevity is incredible. I smell it on my scarves and coats for days afterwards. Out of all the chocolate perfumes I've been trying lately, this is by far the most arresting and accomplished.

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Grand Cuir
by Parfums Retro (2013)

About Grand Cuir

Perfumer: Hugh Spencer
Creative Director: Jeffrey Dame

Grand Cuir by Parfums Retro

Review by drseid

Challenging Open, Sublime Close...

Grand Cuir opens with a very aromatic near ashy moss-laced pine accord coupling with birch and clary sage derived leather hanging around well into the early heart where it then joins a soapy accord with just traces of aromatic lavender and earthy patchouli rising from the base. As the fragrance enters the late dry-down it softens its rugged tone quite markedly, now with the remnants of the patchouli-laced soapy leather accord joining now dominant rosewood to finish off the development. Projection is significantly below average and longevity is average about 8 hours on skin.

Grand Cuir is quite the polarizing one early-on with its rather aggressive mossy leather and near Irish Spring-like green aromatic open. The soapy accord that quickly follows suit is rather unexpected and I still am not entirely sure whether it is a net plus or minus. Once you get past the rugged open and early heart phase the composition becomes much more appealing polished, smelling quite fine indeed. The rosewood finish is particularly sublime, as it couples with the remnants of the aromatic leather to excellent effect. The bottom line is the $155 per 100ml bottle Grand Cuir is a largely successful composition only marred by a polarizing open that may prevent some from getting to the "good stuff." If you can get past it there is an excellent finish waiting in the wings that lifts the overall score to a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating, and a recommended verdict.

Pros: The woody leather drydown is quite appealing.
Cons: The open is rather harsh and may turn off many before they reach the payoff.

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Datura Noir
by Serge Lutens (2001)

About Datura Noir

Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake

Review by Nukapai

First impression: Wow! I almost did a double-take. What just hit that blotter? Was it a cherry lemonade explosion served on a bed of tuberose? Or a marzipan confection with cherry jam and candied tuberose topping? Or some kind of exotic fruit punch mingling with sun tan lotion after a hot day? I had to try this on and boy, I actually really fell in love here. It's definitely rich, definitely sweet, but I enjoyed it so much it almost made me giggle with delight.

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Narciso Rodriguez for Him Eau de Parfum Intense
by Narciso Rodriguez (2012)

About Narciso Rodriguez for Him Eau de Parfum Intense

Review by Buysblind

I'm not sure why violets aren't listed in the note pyramid, because to me this is an extremely smooth and simple fragrance that showcases a grayish floral violet note blended and backed by a powerful white musk. The iris note is also very white, airy, and floral. It serves to accent the perimeter of this EDP and extend its radiance outward, lending the impression of clouds at some far away distance in the sky. I honestly don't pick up on much pink pepper here--if I look closely at the heart of the fragrance I can smell a touch of a sweet spiciness, but it's very subtle and not what immediately jumps out. This fragrance is more bitter than sweet, in my opinion, and more "perfumey" than earthy. By "perfumey" I mean that the white musk, and violet-iris tandem dominate on a level that is more in tune with flower petals and the airy space around them than anything coming from the roots or soil below. Furthermore, a bit of a synthetic nature is lent by the white musk, though that's not to say it's unpleasant or harsh. Overall a very clean, somewhat formal fragrance that seems almost flawless in its construction. The notes pair so well together and appear to execute exactly what they set out to do. I think this fragrance is unisex. Men obviously like it, and there's something in here that reminds me of the classic Rive Gauche, on a drier, airier level, but I wouldn't think twice if I smelled this on a woman either. The floral aspect and gender-neutral white musk are reminiscent of common components in many women's perfumes. In fact, on average, I think guys might shy away from this one due to these aspects, and understandably so.

To summarize, I think this is a very good Eau de Parfum by Narciso Rodriguez. It's brighter, cleaner, smoother, and more upbeat than the EDT (which isn't a knock against the EDT), and could work wonders on the right man wearing a white button up shirt and sports coat. Its performance is excellent. At the same time, you may find this too formal, too suave, or simply not like the very distinct combination of white musk, violets, and iris. As for me, I'm going to hang on to it for a while and see if I can make it work. While it's not my typical style of fragrance, it seems too good to give up on yet, and somewhere down the road, it just might stick.

Thumbs up and I recommend sampling this to see if it works for you.

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by Histoires de Parfums (2011)

About Rosam

Rosam by Histoires de Parfums

Review by Darvant

Another good release from Histoire De Parfum and another oud/rose combo for us. I would say " a more civilized, smoother or less barbarian Black Aoud". This is in my humble opinion a great, barely averagely dense, ambery/oud scent with a citrusy, almost aqueous and slightly dusty rosey initial feel and a following enduring rosey creaminess with a dark-spicy side (patchouli-oud-spices) and a dose of dust, soapiness and air in the whiff. Inhaling this one i feel some Black Aoud and Dark Rose's  deja-vu for sure but i agree that the medicinal side of oud is here not so evident and that the note of amber is prominent although not utterly creamy. The final remarkable note of saffron, on the side of frankincense, introduces a touch of cool spicy air, exoticism and dust in the final wake. The dry down introduces a more sweet, intense and woody kind of base in comparison with the sharper and cooler Black Aoud. The almost dusty-aqueous rosey initial feel evolves towards a wonderful, still cool, balmy rose that is incensey/opaque, soapy, airy but averagely creamy, consistent and mysterious. There is in this phase a sort of opaque mustiness in the air which is anyway not lacking its spark of prickly/floral sophistication. A bold patchouli whispers silently its discreet strength in the general poetic and silky dimension. Another great alchemy  for the lovers of the rose.

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Patchouli Noir / Patchouly Noir
by Il Profumo (2006)

About Patchouli Noir / Patchouly Noir

Perfumer: Silvana Casoli

Review by BayKAT

If you stumbled upon this review because you are interested in sampling Il Profvmo, you're probably scratching your head right now. Patchouli as the top note? Florals as the base?

Here are the notes from Lucky Scent:
Mint, cedarwood, patchouli, poppy, vanilla

But yes, from the alpha to the omega sniff, it's savory, resinous, don't-hate-me-because-I'm-beautiful Patchouli.

I like the mint burst in the opening, it's refreshing and unexpected.

The middle act is very 'Western' to me. Think moccasins lined with sheep's wool; campfires crackling with cedar logs; and incense sticks smouldering on a rock.

And then...no you aren't hallucinating ...the delicate smell of poppies and the luscious, seductive scent of vanilla.

I'm in love.

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Bright Crystal
by Versace (2006)

About Bright Crystal

Perfumer: Alberto Morillas

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes
Bright Crystal by Versace

Review by mflores_psych

For so long I have been sniffing this perfume from some superstore in our area... i loved it so much because it smells so clean, refreshing, light, sweet, and mellow.. the good thing about it was that it stays for a long time! I spray once in the morning before work, around 7am then go to work - smells it, lunch -- still smelling it, afternoon -- smells it again, dinner -- smells it so much!! it stays on my clothes!! when i get home around 10pm.. it still lingers! i just love it!! this is the scent for the young fashionable workers!

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Kouros Tattoo Edition
by Yves Saint Laurent (2007)

About Kouros Tattoo Edition

No longer in production

Perfumer: Nathalie Feisthauer

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes
Kouros Tattoo Edition by Yves Saint Laurent

Review by Indie_Guy

I find this to be the one version of Kouros that smells like Kouros and yet is not difficult for me to wear with confidence.

Original Kouros can remind some of pee, Kouros Cologne Sport can remind some of poo (manure specifically), but this is the one that is "just right". It has the unmistakeable clovey, incensey, patchouli/fresh laundry Kouros signature. The animalic notes are dialed back quite a bit. The added fresh notes here are rather full bodied and fleshy-- not like the wan, screechiness of many modern clean scents.

This one is very modern, yet still edgy with its retro overtones. It has all the best parts of Kouros, while being easier to wear.

Put Kouros on a shelf; take the white bottle down occasionally to sniff and admire-- but this is the one to wear.

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Sensuous Noir
by Estée Lauder (2010)

About Sensuous Noir

Perfumer: Annie Buzantian
Supplier: Firmenich

Lauder say: "Like the soft seductive curves of a feminine silhouette, Estée Lauder Sensuous Noir embodies the warm, fluid sensuality of the woman who wears it"

Sensuous Noir by Estée Lauder

Review by blood-orange

I am gradually becoming obsessed with this fragrance. It is the first time I've found myself fond of a new release in a relatively long time.

Sensuous Noir is as the name implies; sensual and dark. It has such a beautiful aura, being smooth, slightly smokey and quite earthy.

I love patchouli in my fragrances, however for some, Sensuous Noir could be your worst nightmare. The earthy patchouli is quite dominant along with the pepper, spices, woods, pine and vanilla.

I am struck by how unique this fragrance is, I never would have expected it to be this amazing. Towards the drydown this fragrance becomes quite 'incensey', resembling the scent of those small stores which sell everything from tie-dye dresses, dragon pendants, witchcraft books and exotic incense.

I like the somewhat gothic undertones in this fragrance, although I am everything opposite to being a goth. Dark, smokey fragrances, like Sensuous Noir intrigue me and make me feel incredibly sexy, yet approachable.

Sensuous Noir's lasting power is fairly good, as is the sillage while not overpowering, can certainly be noticed. It's a pity that my country is now going into Summer. I would have loved to wear this in the chilly Winter weather we have here.

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by Slumberhouse (2014)

About Sådanne

Perfumer: Josh Lobb

Review by kingofengland

I like that description, a yummy fragrance for girls who want to smell like a lollipop. Fairly obvious is the fruity strawberry but Sadanne also has an element of Norne in it, the smoky deep fir tree effect. It is a gourmande Norne. Fir tree products - some of the absolutes - do have a strawberry facet so perhaps the perfumer wanted to bring this out. I also get jam roly-poly, it really is a nice gourmande scent. It took me about a fortnight before the connection with another well known fragrance, Williams Ice Blue Aqua Velva dawned on me. Sadanne, in the drydown, carries an allusion to that old favourite. On other occasions this fragrance has conveyed to me a booziness, similar to the air wafting out of a pub. Whether a perfume like this is wearable for the average person is another matter; Mr Lobb's creations are more in the nature of olfactory curiosities. But the world would certainly be a poorer place without them. This in my opinion is one of his best efforts.

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Velvet Orchid
by Tom Ford (2014)

About Velvet Orchid

Perfumer: Yann Vasnier
Perfumer: Calice Asancheyev-Becker
Perfumer: Shyamala Maisondieu
Perfumer: Antoine Maisondieu
Supplier: Givaudan
Creative Director: Tom Ford

Velvet Orchid by Tom Ford

Review by Poboijosh

I am just ecstatic that I finally get to review this juice! First, I'll begin by saying that Velvet Orchid is very, very well done, to the point where there's 4 famous noses behind this perfume, and in fact `so` well done that personally I believe this juice should have been packaged in a brown 50ml flacon and a 250ml decanter, and been appropriately named Orchideé de Velours and kindly taken the place of Fleur de Chine in the Atelier d` Orient Private Blends collection which I will thoroughly explain why...

Although Velvet Orchid is focused around the Orchid flower, and now the newly added `Velvet Orchid` accord, do not in any way allow this to fool your nose... Velvet Orchid has an immensely strong Magnolia and Hyacinth accord which is followed extremely closely by Heliotrope and Narcissus, and these florals are so powerful that they're obviously and truly the sole focus in this perfume. This is almost the exact same concept in Fleur de Chine, but where Fleur de Chine falls flat and insipid fairly quickly, especially on much less of a grand scale, Velvet Orchid remains overly rich and opulent well into the far drydown and is right on the cusp of almost being `too ` much olfactory wise. This is the type of perfume that clings to and lingers in your sinuses long after sniffing and enjoying this juice...

Velvet Orchid`s opening is insanely over-the-top from those floral accords, it's super sweet from Honey while being boozy from the Rum note, it's almost too much, honestly. The citrus notes are undetectable to my nose. The heart notes bloom within 15 minutes or so where that huge Magnolia and Hyacinth flower dominate this perfume well into the far drydown, with just a hint of Jasmine and Rose swirling around in the background, and keep in mind that this new `Velvet Orchid` accord is more for pretend, or a suggestion, the same as in this juice`s older Sibling Black Orchid, and just as a quick off topic, you would not believe how dry, mentholated, woody, incense-y and dark that Black Orchid smells next to this, I was absolutely shocked, because Black Orchid on it's own smells sweet, wet, earthy, but next to Velvet, it pales, so that just goes to show how compact and strong this perfume really is! I will say with confidence that aesthetics wise, these two definitely are related, but personality wise? These two perfumes are not even in the same ballpark... as Velvet Orchid drysdown, those huge florals slide into the background where the surprisingly strong Vanilla, Labdanum, Myrrh and Sandalwood notes begin to take shape. I'm having a hard time picking out the Peru Balsam and Suede notes, but this drydown is just gorgeous! Overall, I like this one, I really like this one... It opens sweet and boozy, it`s a very powerful perfume, it's extremely floral with a stunningly beautiful and very smoky drydown that almost has an Incense feel to it but is dominated by Vanilla and Sandalwood, and as strange as this sounds, this juice almost smells like Fleur de Chine and Black Orchid had a love child, so they named it Velvet Orchid... there's some serious projection from that ginormous floral heart, I mean seriously potent. Longevity is fantastic with projection in the 12+ hour range, while skin scent results blow easily past 18 hours, impressive! The only thing that I can find wrong with Velvet Orchid is that this perfume is definitely for the Ladies, and I genderbend perfumes left and right, but I just cannot in any way pull this juice off, it's extremely Feminine, loud and boisterous, but in the most beautiful way possible, so if you're one of the Women that feels like Black Orchid is too Masculine for you, well, you can wear this juice and feel like a total Woman all day... the finality being? This is a seriously, properly done perfume, for a serious, and proper Lady...

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Bois Farine
by L'Artisan Parfumeur (2003)

About Bois Farine

Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes
Bois Farine by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Review by ClaireV

I thought I had the measure of this the minute I put it on. Aha, I said to myself, ok, Bois Farine, I understand you completely. You are less a perfume than the collected smells of a health food store: crushed peanut shells, sawdust, wood shavings, bags of whole-wheat flour, quinoa, big jars of tahini, and chunks of halva lined up in the cooler section. Dust, oil, flour. It’s all there.An olfactory joke, sure, but a wry, knowing one.


But wait. The journey isn’t over yet. We may have started in the health food store, but the scenery is whizzing past us now, to primary school and the delicious smells of the art supply closet. I can smell the cheap almond glue smell of heliotropin, and it reminds me both of salty playdough, warm vanilla, and the standard-issue, non-toxic glue they let kids use.

There is finally a dry, warm vanilla – dusty, like the smell of realms of paper in the closet. I smell the blue-white milk, tepid and fatty, already put out in cups lined up behind the teacher’s desk, ready for our snack time, collecting dust as the school room clock’s long hand inches inexorably slowly towards 11am and freedom.

I see now why so many people find this a comforting scent. It starts out as an olfactory joke and ends up as a f^&*%g time machine.

It’s like watching Cinema Paradiso and holding out until the last scene where they play all the cut reels and then ending up howling on the floor. Bois Farine, you are such an asshole.

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New York for Gentlemen
by Brooks Brothers (2008)

About New York for Gentlemen

Perfumer: Richard Herpin

Review by Swanky

It's nice to see a contemporary fragrance that isn't anti-history. New York Gentlemen looks back to classic citrus-centric offerings such as Dunhill and Eau Sauvage but is more discreet than either, making this a safe, solid choice for school or work where proximity merits subtlety. The bottle is nice and classic looking and the fragrance equally so, if not quite a great one due to the relative formula budget yet it smells better and lasts longer than many pricier rivals.

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Where to buy New York for Gentlemen


Baie Rose 26
by Le Labo (2010)

About Baie Rose 26

Perfumer: Frank Voelkl

Exclusively available in Chicago.

Review by FirstPartisan

Ok, this scent is a true masterpiece in my opinion and getting a hold of a bottle was not an easy thing to do for, but I am glad that I'm a proud owner of this fragrance at last. Baie Rose translates into Pink Peppercorn as somebody else already mentioned in an earlier review and what I get out of this fragrance is an amazing combination of pimento mixed with rose damascus (absolute), musks, and ambrox. Now Ambrox is the note that gives this fragrance a true beauty. so sexy, so complex and so appealing.

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Allure Sensuelle
by Chanel (2005)

About Allure Sensuelle

Perfumer: Jacques Polge

Allure Sensuelle by Chanel

Review by rso6e

I don't do flowery scents. But I'll make an exception for Allure Sensuelle.

This is a wonderful, dynamic, attention-grabbing scent that's classy but takes confidence to pull off. Allure Sensuelle has excellent silage and longevity and in my opinion is very different from, and much better than, the original Allure. In fact, they're so different I wish this wasn't marketed as a flanker. The original Allure is overly powdery and floral on me and is the only scent I've come across yet that feels too 'old.' It has a nice drydown of amber/sandalwood but I won't sit through the *long* blast of boring powdery flowers just for that.

Allure Sensuelle is another animal. The short version: flowers->carnal flowers->musky/spicy/sandalwood sexiness.

The long version: It opens with a BLAST of sharp green geranium - I get no fruit. An explosion of flowers follows and blends immediately into the geranium. My impression is white flowers - fleshy, heavy, sweet but very slightly musky - so probably jasmine. I don't get much rose. There's also a slight spicy edge to the flowers, perhaps pink pepper. After a while the flowers change; they're still very much present but I detect the barest edge of something dark and faintly animalistic, almost *rank* which I think may be another facet of the jasmine. This flowery stage has VERY strong silage.

After this, once the flowers begin to quiet down, the scent gets closer to the skin. It's as if the flowers shout 'pay attention!' and once you're looking, the smell beckons you closer. Once the animalistic-flower note fades, I get hints of chocolate and something deliciously like hazelnuts. I wish this stage had better silage because it's so yummy! It then blends into a simultaneously sharp and creamy sandalwood, with hints of something cool and powdery I'm attributing to iris. At this stage I occasionally get whiffs of spice and sweetness...but it's mostly a cool sheen of iris over woods.

And Allure Sensuelle is STILL not done changing! At its drydown I get a lot of sandalwood, which is like catnip for me: musky, spicy, creamy, and sweet. I wish the sandalwood was a *little* sweeter and less sharp...if Chanel had added amber to warm and sweeten the drydown it would *perfect* but even so, it's pretty heavenly as it is! These ending stages are my favorite, when Allure Sensuelle morphs from creamy/nutty/mocha (wood and chocolate touched with coffee) to a spicy/musky sandalwood that makes my eyes roll back. It's never gourmand or overly sweet; it's very smooth and well blended. It really is, as its name suggests, *sensual*. This is bite-your-lip sexy: confident, feminine, and bold. A smell for a woman who knows what she wants.

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