Perfume Reviews

Vetiver by Guerlain

Guerlain Vetiver EDT (current version)

This is my first experience with a Guerlain fume. Upon initial application, I had no poetic transformative experience to speak of, although this one doesn't offend.

I get soap and grassy vetiver for pretty much the entire life cycle of around 6 hours.

A sense of tobacco may be present in the air, but I personally didn't detect any as the vetiver remains the dominant player here.

With a reverent tone - "Neutral"

2.5 / 5 stars
1st October 2023

Conquista by Fueguia 1833

A $400 plus version of Voyage d'Hermes and possibly even more fleeting. This house is good at soliflores; juniper is the star here, with citrus (I get yellow Amalfi lemon rather than bergamot) thrown in. A weak gin and tonic. I could see the name as an homage to the British mastering of India, but don't understand the copy written up for this fragrance, touting it as harkening to conquest of the Patagonia (perhaps Julian Bedel was thinking of the brief British occupancy of Argentina). Pleasant but ultimately not worth it.
1st October 2023


Siberian Musk by Areej le Doré

Review of Siberian Musk Part III

A Solid Musk perfume

My least favorite from this Classic collection, and still a perfume that I really like and enjoy. That kinda tells you how good this collection was. Now, the reason that I am not crazy about the Siberian Musk trilogy, and the Russian Musk brothers, is that I'm not the biggest fan of pine, greens, and citruses. There are only a handful of those perfumes that I love, so I'm very picky with them. Still, I very much enjoy this perfume, just like Russian Musk 2, but I prefer this one over the latter. Mostly because this one is muskier, more ambery, dusty, and dry, and it has a beautiful leathery and smoky quality to it. RM 2 is more polite, and tame. The opening of SM3 is full of greenery. Juicy and sparkling citruses, green, wet grass, bitter galbanum, and pine. Just underneath this green landscape, there is an ambery glow, akin to the Orient, a hint of warm desert sand, frankincense smoke, and regal, leathery musk. The greens stay through the dry-down, but the resinous-musk core makes it a beautiful journey for me. I think this one pulls off a very good balance, landing right in the middle between compositions like Russian Musk and Prin's Mongolian Mriga. I'd take this one over the first, and sometimes even over the latter, as some days the strong animalic character in Mongolian Mriga is too much to carry through the day.
30th September 2023

Walimah Extrait de parfum by Areej le Doré

Review of Walimah Parfum Part II

As good as before, with a dash of extra Oud

I'd say of the new classics this one resembles the OG the most. The only noticeable difference is in the opening hour when the new one is definitely more Oud-heavy. God I wish it stayed that way, but unfortunately for me, it becomes identical to the original afterward. One of the best Floriental perfumes that I've come across. Very vivid and clear floral notes, with prominent Champaca, a dash of Cocoa, resins, powdery musk, and a beautiful green, earthy vetiver. The Oud is not a major player in here, but the vetiver does a really good job at grounding the florals. A very natural-smelling floral perfume that is perfectly unisex, unique, and darn beautiful. This one and Strangelove's Lost in Flowers are some of the best floral perfumes out there, that would wear equally great on women and men.
30th September 2023

Ottoman Empire by Areej le Doré

Rview of Ottoman Empire Part IV

One of the best Oriental Melanges

Ottoman Empire IV, to my nose, is just as good as ever. You can't go wrong with any of the iterations. It used to be my least favorite Areej perfumes and it climbed to become a top 3. I'd say that overall, taking all aspects into consideration, this might be Adam's best creation, his signature scent indeed. There are slight tweaks between each version but at the end of the day, the end result is the same. One of the best and most beautiful Oriental blends that one could get to experience. This is NOT a typical Rose Oud. I'd say it is a very unique perfume, I haven't smelled anything similar. It really is its own thing.
Warm spices in the opening, followed by Rose and Frangipani. The Frangipani is such a key ingredient in this composition, many don't realize how nicely it works in this blend. The base is really dense, creamy, woody, resinous, and slightly sweet. A combination of Oud, Sandalwood, Moss, Myrrh, and Labdanum. But with Ottoman Empire, it's all in the overall feel, as everything clicks to create a final accord. I think the name could not have been more aptly suited. It does feel as opulent and regal as the great Ottoman Empire was in its heydays.
The slight changes between different iterations of this are going to be the degree of powderiness present, the rose note/accord used, the prominence of the florals, and the density and woody character in the base. Of course, aging will play a significant part, as well as how each bottle is properly stored. But overall, this is a perpetually amazing perfume.
30th September 2023

Chinese Oud by Areej le Doré

Review of Chinese Oud Part II

A different feel, but just as satisfying

Personally, I can't say that I find this version of Chinese Oud that similar to the first. It does have the exact same structure, and it eventually evolves into an almost identical scent, however, the Oud used here feels completely different to my nose in terms of profile, quality, and especially texture. My skin also amplifies woody notes, and maybe that makes it pop even more, hence, making the differences more notable. In the first version, the oud's profile is smooth as silk, mostly coming across as a brown, suede leather accord, working along the other notes. In part 2, the oud is sour, smoky, very textured, like a bumpy wood surface, and much drier. To me, this profile is very apparent and it stays like that, quite noticeable for some good hours before it finally recedes and becomes something closer to the first version. I still love this version, as it provides a nice variation of the same theme, but if I were to choose between the two, I'd go for the first one.
30th September 2023

Majestic Aoud by Roja Dove

A Total Shipwreck of an Oud perfume attempt

I don't write a lot of reviews on perfumes, but I'll go out of my way when something:

1. Blows my mind.
2. I feel that it is incredibly under the radar and it is amazing and should receive much more deserved attention.
3. It is hyped to death due to discontinuation and it's actually shit, or close to that.

With Majestic Aoud, it's the latter. Not only do I find this to be a poor perfume and a very poor rendition and attempt at an oud accord, but the name, the Roja marketing, the few people hyping it, and the price just make this one a comedy through and through.
I won't call Roja out saying there's no Oud in this. But to me, it certainly smells like none. This smells to me like the cheapest way to attempt an Oud accord, using the cypriol and patchouli combo. Classic and cheap way to do it. When I sprayed this, I immediately thought to myself, "Oh boy, I smelled this Oud before". It reminds me of the cheap oud accords one could find in designer houses, or most certainly in Robert Piguet's Oud. That one uses a similar Oud accord, heavily built around Patchouli and Cypriol. So, yeah, no Oud in here. I don't care what they say. Anyone who has a decent experience with natural oud, will not fall for it. So, the oud is out, you ain't getting it. Moreover, there's this annoying Amyris used in the base, also known as the poor man's sandalwood. So the idea of luxury gets shipwrecked further. Basically, the main notes that I get, and define this perfume to me are, the cypriol, patchouli, and amyris in the base, a bit of synthetic cviet, Osmanthus, and some aromatic elements in the opening. So, it is an aromatic-floral perfume, heavy on patchouli and cypriol. I can only imagine the disappointment in shelling 2000 USD for this stuff and smelling it for the first time. I think they pulled it off the shelves afraid of getting sued lol.
I am no fan of this house, at all, but this one has to be the most disappointing one in the entire line, and I have tried almost all of them. That being said. As ridiculous as this perfume is, and as much as I disregard the house, I still ADORE Diaghilev and consider it one of the best Chypres ever created, even though heavily inspired by Mitsouko. That one is exceptional, and a top 20 perfumes ever for me. This one is disastrous, and the entire story around it makes it even worse. Please do not blindly buy this, get a sample first and save yourself the expense.
30th September 2023

Aksum by Pryn Parfum

The Prin Summit

This review is long due, but it needs to be done, as this is one of the most perplexing, unique, and mind-bending perfume compositions that I have ever smelled, and I have smelled many. If I want Prin Lomros to be remembered for only one creation, it would be the original AKSUM. If there will ever be a Prin Lomros section at an Olfaction museum, I want this to be the only piece in that collection. If there is one Prin that set the bar, it was this. Whenever people ask me, what's the Prin to try, I always put this one as a first, although I realize most people will never get to experience it. I never use the word masterpiece, but this is a masterwork perfume to me.
But first things first, I'm talking here about the OG AKSUM that came out in 2017 and was only sold through Bon's shop, in Thailand, as a limited edition. I think there were like 60 bottles made, and they went fast. Not the re-released, the reformulated version that Prin made due to high requests and sold afterward to people asking for it. That's a shadow of what this beast was created to be. The original, was at the time, an absolute madness, a real experiment. He managed to source some really amazing absolutes, as well as an amazing Wild, 60-year-old Indian Oud oil with a unique profile, and he decided to put it all on the table with AKSUM. At the time, it was unheard of, even today, it smells unlike anything out there. The OG was almost entirely natural and was compounded at around 45-50% concentration. This stuff is so viscous that if not sprayed for a long time, it clogs the pump and the atomizer. It doesn't spray, it rather squirts perfume. In terms of ingredients used, the oud used, and the concentration, the second version of AKSUM is quite a letdown if you ever tried the OG. It is much lighter and feels like an EDT by comparison, the oud is much inferior, I believe it is a Trat Oud, and I think there are more synthetics used. Telling them apart is quite easy though, especially if you ever smelled the OG.
The OG came with the classic Pryn Parfum cardboard box and had the batch code LT010617, which was only available to purchase from the Pryn Parfum website for about 550 USD, the atomizer is a black color like all old Pryn Parfum bottles, the perfume is very dark, can't see through, and incredibly viscous, almost like an attar. The reformulated one was sold privately by Prin himself, I think for around 350 USD, it is much lighter in color and less concentrated, and most of them, or the ones I've seen, have a silver-grey atomizer. But of course, the smell is rather different, and the most striking difference is in the profile of the Oud used. I never got the HOMA and AKSUM comparison, to me they smell very different, but I think the new AKSUM does smell much like HOMA, whereas the OG smells nothing alike.
Now that I got that part out of the way, what does AKSUM smell like?
This is one of those perfumes where the individual notes work together to create a flume, an overall accord, and it all comes together as a whole. Trying to pinpoint notes in this one is futile, and unnecessary. I'll never forget the first time I smelled this. I could have never imagined myself wearing something like this. It didn't smell like perfume, it smelled alive. The first thing that came to mind smelling it, was a cave. A dark, wet, soil-like, earthy, cave smell. Inside, a bunch of natives are preparing animals for a sacrificial ritual, burning all sorts of incense, while the smell of goats that are about to be slaughtered is discernible in the air. Nice picture, I know. It still makes me picture that, even today, but I came to accept it. I'm part of the ritual now. It is a primal, raw, animalic smell. It's not animalic in the sense that it's dirty, like some of his work. Quite the contrary, it's not that dirty. It's animalic in the sense that it smells like nature. Unfiltered, raw nature. Old world smell. And by that, I don't mean the 19's, or the Dark Age, I mean freaking prehistoric times. I'd imagine that smells like these would be encountered in Ancient Greece. Rocky terrain, goats roaming around, incense burned for the Gods. That sort of Old World smell. The Oud that he used here is truly exceptional, and the absolute ENGINE/CORE of the perfume. It is an Indian Oud that has this most exceptional earthy-mineral and chocolaty aroma, together with the more common leathery profile of those ouds, but no fermentation or cheesy aspects whatsoever. Another note that is easily identifiable is the goat hair tincture, and then some spices, mostly the tumeric, the cumin, and the immortelle, hay, and olibanum. I'd call this an Oud perfume, as the Oud is the star of the show, and it really helps to build the entire composition around it. But again, here, the notes are not important, but rather the outcome of it all.
Truly one of the most exceptional, boundary-pushing, and experimental perfumes that have ever been created, and the one I believe Prin should be remembered for.
30th September 2023

MAAI by Bogue Profumo

A Work in Progress...

MAAI is a perfume that I had to date many times before falling for it. Really hard. Not because it's challenging, not at all. But because throughout the years this one has suffered so many variations from batch to batch that one could easily decide to collect and purchase every single iteration, as to me, they are all different and all tell a different story. To me, there is not one MAAI perfume, to me, there is a story about this idea of a perfume called MAAI. It is an ongoing story, that keeps unfolding, and trust me, it has traveled a long way to be where it is now. I might write one day about all the different iterations of it, but I won't do it here as it would require a full-on article. While not my favorite BOGUE, it is without a doubt the most fascinating one. A story about French boudoirs, icy florals, piercing green shades and velvety mosses, Oriental Harems, Frankincense smoke, warm thick resins, and of course, LOADS of animalics. And the story goes on.
30th September 2023

Uncut Gem by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Chemical Hazard

I avoided trying this perfume after it was badly received by more seasoned noses in my circle. I knew it would smell bad, but my God, I didn't think it could be this bad. This is one of the worst perfumes that I have tried in many years. As soon as I sprayed it I got hit by a massive Ambrocenide that burnt my nostrils and hurt my brain cells. I thought to myself, "Let it settle down, it's Malle, have faith" but nope. This stuff is straight-up garbage. Stuff like this one would smell in all designer/commercial boutiques, and airports, heck, drug stores, supermarkets. The fact that Malle put this one out, and all the blabber about this being Roucel's personal scent and the price. Outrageous. This one should have been called Synthetic Jungle, or Synthetic Mess. Or Outrageously Bad. This house is going down full throttle with these sorts of releases. The Moon was also a synthetic beast, Promise the same, then Superstitious. Small flickers of hope then with Rose & Cuir and Synthetic Jungle, and then this epic failure, and now the boring Heaven Can Wait. It was a great house, but shit started going way South around 2017 for them. Used to love this house.
30th September 2023

Russian Oud by Areej le Doré

Review of Russian Oud Part II

LESS is MORE with this one

With Russian Oud, LESS is MORE. I like to see this perfume as a continuation of Zen and Picante. But this one is the player, the seductive one. Adam toned down the Oud, the smoke, the spices, and the animalics, added dark cocoa, and turned it up to an 11. The result is something truly perfect, brilliant in its barbaric simplicity. Hindi Oud, Resins, a hint of Castoreum, and Dark Cocoa that turns into a molted Chocolate accord. But it really boils down to 3 main players, the Oud, the Cocoa, and the Resins. That's it. But it's more than enough. It almost feels linear, though not quite that boring. The opening is a massive blast of dark, unsweetened Cocoa powder. Like someone just sprinkled some in your face. This opening is fantastic and it literally takes my breath away each time. It wears off quickly and it moves to the heart, where the Hindi Oud is present, quite bold, backed up by resins and a sweet, leathery castoreum. At this stage, the Cocoa envelopes the previously mentioned notes, as these are always portrayed through this Cocoa dust-screen. As it settles into the base, the Oud recedes and the Cocoa together with the resins fuse to create a dark chocolate accord. The woodiness just lingers as a reminder that this is still, an Oud perfume.
This is very close to the original, but I actually prefer this version, as the Cocoa is more prominent, whereas I feel the Labdanum/Resins were more prominent in the OG. Also, there's a more vivid showcase of notes here, and the composition feels clearer. I believe Adam improved upon the original, with this one.
To me, Russian Oud is the best Oud-Cacao blend ever and an incredibly satisfying and comfortable wear. Nothing is off here. Everything fits perfectly within the blend and is dosed accurately. If you are a Cocoa lover like myself, this should be one to sample. Bear in mind though, that this is no plain gourmand perfume, nor the commercially sweet stuff. It has a noticeable Hindi Oud note and Castoreum. I don't really find them to distract much, but I am quite used to them. The way the Cocoa accord is showcased here is my favorite. It has that dusty, velvety quality, before turning into a chocolate-toffee-like texture. For me, this one, alongside Lutens' Borneo, and older iterations of Slumbehouse Ore, reigns supreme in this genre. My Cocoa Trifecta. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
30th September 2023

Chypre Palatin by MDCI

A Modern Chypre, yet already among the very best

A legendary and unique take on the chypre genre, as well as one of my all-time favorite perfumes.
Complexity is through the roof with this one, layers upon layers, aldehydes, green notes and fruits in the opening, florals in the heart, musks, leather, and resins. Starts off as a chypre and slowly steers down towards an Oriental base.

Regarding Vintage vs. Current (post 2015 juice).
The differences are in the scent profile, not in performance. I actually find the current version more potent than the vintage. As far as the color difference, although the vintage is usually darker, more often than not it has to do with oxidation, UV exposure, etc.
The scent profile is different mostly in the opening and the heart. In the base, they are closer. I absolutely love both versions, but I can definitely see some people fancying one over the other.

Vintage smells closer to a Chypre in the veins of Diaghilev. Starts off with diffusive aldehydes, and faint fruits, The green and bitter notes are overpowering the fruits, and the florals are also more transparent. The musky and leathery qualities dominate all the way through the heart, where an earthy oakmoss joins in. The major difference is that in the Vintage version, the sweetness is way toned down, and only comes out in the dry-down. The resins, mostly the tolu balm, are far less prominent. It smells more old-school, less sweet and resinous, muskier, more castoreum forward.

Post-2015 is sweeter right off the bat. Tolu balm is amplified, and the overall resinous quality is far more noticeable. The Vintage becomes noticeably resinous in the dry-down whereas the current one is noticeably resinous as soon as you spray it. Also, the bitter-green facets are toned down and the juiciness of the fruits is amplified. Stronger fruit opening. Another thing I notice is that the florals almost give off a bubble gum accord sort of vibe, maybe the pairing with the vanilla and the tolu. It is less musky and leathery, less mossy, overall, more Oriental. In the base, the two, however, become very similar, although the Vintage retains that noticeable earthiness and castoreum-like sweet and chewy leatheriness.

Again, no difference in performance, this perfume has not been watered down, it's nuclear.
I love both, and I'd wear them depending on the season and mood.
30th September 2023

AG by Bogue Profumo

The Quintessential BOGUE

I'd say AG is, so far, Gardoni's highest achievement as a perfumer. It is my favorite no doubt, and I also enjoy wearing it the most, while finding it the most complex out of all his perfumes. I like to call it the quintessential BOGUE, as it really takes all of his past creations (bits of them) and puts them on the same stage, in perfect harmony. Difficult to categorize, I'd say it's a Floral-Oriental-Woodsy-Chypre. I think the way Antonio described the scent is spot on.
It starts with bright and juicy citrus notes, as well as some bracing camphor and mint. Green, juicy, and cooling opening.
The heart reveals a lush floral bouquet, hard to pinpoint specific floral notes, but Gardenia definitely jumps to me. What is important to mention is that the juicy green opening doesn't just fade away to make way for the florals, it lingers still, while the flowers take the central stage. Together with the floral notes, there is an incense/smoky accord reminiscent of MAAI/T-Rex/LITA, that creates a smokescreen through which the floral garden is presented.
Lastly, the base, the baritone. Resins, Woods, Mossy accords, and a bit of Civet. We're leaving the floral garden and walking inside the woods, the resins flickering against the dark background of the forest. Again, the previous actors don't leave the scene entirely, they stay in the second row, supporting the main players on stage. Each phase of the fragrance supports the other, so the transitions are smooth and almost unperceivable.
However, this perfume does play tricks on me. It might play a different piece, so slightly, depending on the season, body temperature, or even dietary changes. And that's what you get when you use an approximate 100 ingredient formula, that relies heavily on naturals.
To me, an olfactory wonder, a perfume that spans many perfume genres and decades. And the limited edition presentation is a work of art, paying full tribute to the composition.
30th September 2023

Noun by Bogue Profumo

Roasted meat goes well with vanilla cookies, apparently...

NOUN is one of those perfumes that shift and unfold the more you wear them, a very complex and multi-layered composition, like most of Gardoni's work, or I should say, best of his work.
Instead of describing the composition, I'd rather want you to picture this:
A big, grandiose Church, in the Italian (Tuscany) countryside. Inside the church, there is a religious ceremony taking place, thuribles flying around and Olibanum being burned, with the smoke permeating the atmosphere. Cold walls, and cold Olibanum smell, not a warm burning resin type of smell. Just outside the church, you have the opposite landscape. Green grass, and a sunny day, a good part of the clergy are having a picnic, during the ceremony, just outside the church. They're having a barbecue, roasting meat that has been lavishly seasoned prior with all kinds of aromatic herbs from the Italian countryside. The scent of roasted meat morphs with the Olibanum aroma. Then, you have a few vegan priests who brought their own vanilla-flavored cookies and lemonade, as they don't serve meat. If you can picture all that, that's pretty much NOUN in a shell.
A cold Olibanum, aromatic/herbaceous perfume, also showcasing a roasted meat accord, and the benzoin vanillic BOGUE trait in the base, with the also known Ylan-Ylang juicy effervescent accord in the heart, and a vanilla-biscuit accord to wrap it all up. Not a gourmand, but rather a Smoky-Savory perfume. Sometimes you get more of the lemonade and the cookies, sometimes more of the olibanum and the meat. But usually, you get the smoky meats and the herbs, just perfectly balanced by the tutti-fruity juiciness and the vanilla baked goods, in order to prevent it from becoming too monotonous and make it more fun, and warm.
30th September 2023

Antiquity by Areej le Doré

Old World Juice

To me, Antiquity represents the summit of Adam's work, from the ingredients sourced for it, to how he blended everything and the strong emotions this perfume arouses. It is my favorite from the house, alongside War and PeaceI/II, but I consider Antiquity a few steps above, as an overall perfume composition.
How does it smell? In a nutshell, it smells like the name suggests. Old, antique, old world, medieval times. Butch and raw yet smooth and balanced. I picture a medieval library, the old wood, eaten by mold and centuries, old books with worn pages and leather coverings. Besides the old wood, leather, and musks in the base, you have a spicy and old-fashioned carnation in the heart, dusty patchouli, and overripe peaches, to help conjure a more perfumesque creation, that as many have noted, hints back to vintage perfume powerhouses of the mid 20th century. I will just say that, while it does have that quality and feel, it goes waaaay back, and it's wilder, much wilder. Because I own some vintage flacons from the 50' and the 60', but man, this is way amplified. Unique, cannot compare this to anything out there, hence, it holds a very special place in my collection.
30th September 2023

Iris Ghalia by Ensar Oud

Holy Grail Orris

Review based on the 2019 first version. I personally don't like the rest, although the 3rd is closest, while the 2nd version lacks the animalic quality and oompf, and the 4th is the worst, almost feels like a downgraded version of what this originally was.

To me, this is the Orris Holy Grail perfume. I'm quite familiar with the material in its natural form, and I think here, it is not only showcased in full glory and spectrum but also complemented and perfected by the use of precisely chosen ingredients. This might be Ensar's most precise and finely tuned blend, as everything fits in its place, and follows in a methodical manner, nothing is out of place, everything falls where it should, at the right moment. Smelling this is like witnessing a full-scale opera.

The opening is effervescent, spicy, and fruity. Overripe blackcurrant and peaches, hot spices, creating an effervescent sweet fruity opening that takes your breath away. It almost feels like having a sip of an all-natural effervescent fruit beverage.
The heart is Orris in full glory, perfectly supported by Lotus and Lilly. The Lotus shares its watery and green qualities with the Orris, creating a most beautiful accord. The Orris is rich, buttery, just a tad powdery.
The base is loaded with Ambergris and various musks, to lend their animalic qualities and darken the composition, as the perfume steers surely but gradually from inoffensive fruity, to mature and serene, toward dark, warm, and mysterious.

This is all natural yet performance is out of this world. Two sprays on your wrists and you'll fill the entire room, and anesthetize your brain with this intoxicating concoction. Longevity is all day, or till you shower.
The Original Iris Ghalia is the pinnacle of what natural perfumery can be when using the highest quality ingredients, and maybe some luck in striking the perfect harmony between them. I don't think they'll pull this one off again, but if they do, I'll gladly pick up another bottle, if I don't find enough backups till then. Top-class perfumery.
30th September 2023

Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens

To go down in history...

Muscs Koublai Kahn is a legend for a reason. This is the best synthetic musk perfume to ever bestow the fragrance world. But there's more to this than just Musk (synthetic accord).

Quick reformulation tip/advice, THE CURRENT VERSION SMELLS IDENTICAL TO THE VINTAGE, please don't spend 500 USD on vintage bottles. I have a vintage bottle and tested the Gratte Ciel version side by side, blotter, skin, it smells identical. This one is my favorite Serge Lutens perfume ever and one of my favorite perfumes of all time, so trust me on this. Get yourself samples of all versions if you are skeptical, but of all Serge Lutens reformulations, MKK is probably the best preserved and close to the old vintage version. Don't feed the Fragcom trolls.

Back to the scent. To me, MKK showcases a very true-to-life synthetic Musk Accord. Sheldrake really did magic with this one. The musk is there but there's a lot more going on of course. There are many other animalic notes used here, civet, ambergris, castoreum, ambrette, and lots of cumin. So, as you can imagine, this is quite a dirty perfume. However, we are talking here about Sheldrake who has proved himself again and again, so he doesn't just throw in all the animalic notes hoping for the best. He balances out the dirty facets with very well-placed resins, that sweeten up the perfume, a hint of rose, a touch of honey. He depicts, in perfume form, the duality of the Kahn, a fierce warrior but at the same time a man of great wisdom and tenderness. The perfume behaves in a similar fashion, it's dirty and provocative, and it's in your face, but maintains a constant restraint, warmth, and gentle feel. It isn't as dirty and animalic as many have made it up to be, but of course, it depends on where you are in your fragrance journey. I find it incredibly sexy. Downright erotic.
A real legend, from a legendary house. The fact that Serge Lutens has kept this scent true to its original form and that they are still selling bottles when they could have discontinued or reformulated it in order to save money and move more, just shows why this house is still above most if not all niche houses out there.

To me, top 3 Musk perfumes ever, alongside EO 2 and Onthamara, those two using the natural stuff. This is just as good and evocative though. Hats off.
30th September 2023

Lumière (original) by Rochas

If I had to design a gown that matched the scent it would look like a mahogany or reddish-brown velvety gown, off the shoulders, no sleeves, a matching shawl for your shoulders in a scarlet color, and floor length skirt.

Masterfully composed, it is a multifaceted and cohesive perfume - simultaneously dewy and bright, floral and fruity, green and woody. Yeah, it manages to be both radiantly bright and densely rich; timeless, yet of its era; rooted in tradition, yet provocative; complex yet utterly cohesive.

It opens with dewy green notes, elevated to soapy radiance by the aldehydes. I get a prominent rose note at the opening, made green, fresh and soapy by the other notes. There is a hint of peach in there too. As it develops, the white florals emerge, led by a beautiful jasmine note that smoothly paves the way from the green, soapy opening to the floral heart. The dry down is woody and chypre-like. Wonderfully rich and earthy, it is satisfying in the manner of classic chypres.
28th September 2023

Éthéré by Vicky Tiel

Sometimes a cheap but cheerful fragrance reveals its own stroke of genius, testament to the fact that it doesn't always require expensive, natural ingredients and a luxury price tag for a fragrance to be thought-provoking and appealing to the nose. Éthéré, for which a 50ml can be had in the US for under twenty dollars, features a translucent chamomile tea note that sets it apart from the myriad fruity florals that were de rigueur in the 90s.

While it has that sunny disposition, the chamomile note, reminiscent to me of the Moroccan chamomile variety (Cladanthus mixtus), often called wild chamomile, feels bright, apple cider-like, yet more floral than its aster cousins of the blue/German and Roman variety. I don't want to say that natural oil is used here, but the effect is felt for sure. Its opening may be a bit of a shock, challenging to a nose who expects a more rounded entrance, but I find it quite stimulating, and actually evocative of smelling pure chamomile oil; whether that's deliberate or not is definitely up for debate—it could just be the budget. It also reminds of celery seed in the early stages, a crunchy watery green.
After the top, the chamomile is punctuated by a tea accord, and an overall aqueous nature, with hints of watercolor violet ionones. Soft florals almost levitate in the heart, including mimosa and far away jasmine.

This is aptly named, feeling weightless yet substantive. The chamomile merges with amber in the closing stages, revealing more pineapple-like facets, eventually feeling like a cordial distilled from its blooms. A rose note somehow pushes through in the late stages as well. This one is fascinating and quite an enjoyable wear for me, but it would require an open mind and setting aside prejudices about cheapies. If we were to ignore that fact, it could easily pass as an evocative niche scent (which may probably spend the same amount on materials and production!). Plus the bottle is really something else.
28th September 2023

Jaguar (original) by Jaguar

I get some orange and amber rendered sweet with a "greened out" cedar from infusing with some pine. The body of the blend is quite powdery and harsh from lavender and gardenia forming together. I get some hints of tobacco, nutmeg, and a really vague leather note.

I'll give Jaguar Original a thumbs down rating. Lagerfeld Classic styled orange crossed with a bright and pungent floral covered in powder I just can't work with. Although the Fougere side rushes in and tries to build that around into a masculine and gentlemanly scent I get an older women's fragrance vibe from it.
27th September 2023

Pretty Fruity by Montale

it's ok, but it also smells very generic. If this was blindly sniffed i would not have said it was made by Montale. It is subtle and I do not like subtle.
27th September 2023

Liù by Guerlain

If someone can reveal the poetic side of florals it is Jacques Guerlain. Liù is melancholic and ethereal. Like snow it quietly seems to wrap everything in its cold, hazy, subdued atmosphere. And it feels like all the fragile beauty of the world is covered together in it. It is an ode, not just a perfume.

Liù is more rich and straightforward than other aldehyde fragrances. Though let’s pay our highest respect to Guerlain’s L’heure bleau, which pawed the way for this perfumery direction. Even though aldehydes are not declared in L’heure bleau pyramid: the violet and other blue flowers create an impression that they are there.

First of all crispy freshness of white plain shirt. Calming, almost musky clean wave of aldehydes carrying behind a bouquet of sort of white flowers, which are soaked in an icing whiskey sour cocktail. As almost if an elegant lady is seating in a smoke room with a whiskey cocktail on rocks and the room is decorated in fading late summer bouquets. She is calm, respected and self - involved. She doesn’t care about what other people think of her. She knows her own value and sides of her character that make her personality outstanding.

After awhile, the loudness dials way down and it's almost a skin scent. But it lingers around you in a soft, luxurious cloud all day, and while you think only you can smell it, I assure you, others do get wafts from you and you will get compliments. I don't find it old, granny or outdated, because it is above time and fashions. When you feel class- less and unworthy, it showers you with love.
27th September 2023

Tendre Madeleine by Laurence Dumont

This is a departure from typical winter scents - it's not overtly warm nor is it cold. It falls somewhere in between, in this poetic little space that really speaks to you. Like winter by the sea. You imagine you're wearing something cozy, puffy and soft maybe a blanket on your shoulder while you're walking along a beach.

The sour burst of bergamot and bitter orange is eye-opening, it fizzes away into a salty and warm vanilla, the warmth comes from the thick almond/cinnamon mixture, which is playful yet cozy and comforting. In the end the vanilla meets a smooth sandalwood that is more sweet than woody. The scent hits like a drug, and temporarily wipes away all emotional and mental discomforts.
27th September 2023

Cool Water Woman Sea Rose by Davidoff

Cool water Sea Rose is very light as a feather, soft as cashmere, delicate as a whisper. The pear is beautiful & almost smells watery in a lush way. In fact, at first it's juicy, fresh and playful. Then it grows up a bit and it's truly floral.

The scent literally transports you to a beautiful, warm, delicately delicious place. Like a warm hug in a sunny day, when you just had a shower and your skin is still slightly wet. Performance is moderate to better on all counts.
27th September 2023