Latest Perfume Reviews

Pois de Senteur by Guerlain

A stunning, classic, delicate Guerlain floral. I have never smelled a sweet pea in nature, but the sweet pea accord here definitely is reminiscent of the only other sweet pea-centric fragrance I've smelled--Caron's Pois de Senteur. I'm sure there are citrus notes at top, but they blend seamlessly with the honeyed floral bouquet that is obvious from the outset. In the sweet pea accord, we have a scent that is somewhere between rose and orange blossom. It has the greenish, hyacinth-like tea rose scent of phenyl ethyl alcohol mixed with the concord grape orange blossom note of methyl anthranilate. This is all brought together by a rich, honey accord. This floral lays atop a mild Guerlinade. Vanilla and tonka bean don't stand out, but are clearly present rounded out with resins and lightly animalic musks. This has a good deal of the oily, rosy-floral texture of Chamade, and I suspect fans of that scent would find much to love here. It's a beauty that would be much appreciated if ever resurrected!

Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma

I love this house, Acqua di Parma and I wore Magnolia Nobile for what seems like forever. I decided to give Iris Nobile a try and overall, I really like this EdP.

As others have noted, Iris Nobile is an iris fragrance but certainly not a soliflore. Shortly after the very intense ANISE and (signature) citrusy orange AdP opening, this perfume morphs into a lovely display of soft white florals. Iris is present but so is tuberose, orange blossom, yling-ylang and other ethereal sweet florals. Yet Iris Nobile is not translucent or sheer in any way. This EdP is a rather hefty, creamy, dense spicy-floral fragrance that lands with ambrette, musk and a wee-bit of amber.

To my nose, Magnolia Nobile is feminine floral all the way. I detect spicy floral, some resin, a bit of cedar but not much more. And unlike what others have noted, I do not get a ton of vanilla in the dry down.

Similar to Magnolia Nobile, the silage with Iris Nobile is moderate and longevity is long, say 6+ hours on my skin.

Not sure yet about this one. I ADORE Magnolia Nobile but after a spell, I moved away from feminine floral and into oud, wood, resin, incense-y, sorta churchy fragrances. Now I feel like I need more of a balance because the latter mentioned tend to lean way too masculine for my current taste & lifestyle.

This is a lovely floral fragrance, which I understand is out-of-production. If you can grab a full bottle before there are none to be had and you love Italian leaning citrus floral fragrances, go ahead and give Iris Nobile a try!

Sweet Do Nothing by D.S. & Durga

A quick review: this is basically an orange blossom & neroli scent. There’s a watery/cactus note over the whole thing, taming the flowers’ sharpness. The base is nice, but short lived, mainly consisting of cedar with some creosote in the background…bringing the whole thing firmly into unisex territory.

The notes make it look far more interesting than it is in reality. That said, if you’re looking for a unisex scent with orange blossom and neroli, this would not be a bad place to look.

Noir Patchouli by Histoires de Parfums

Others have already said this is like the Bernard Chant Chypres.
I'd just add to that and say; it's like one of them put through a fine sieve - I think it's the powder...
And that gives it a feel like a seventies green chypre.
It's not bad, but I've already got seventies chypres, and the Bernard Chant's, so I'll just layer them instead of buying this.

Indonesian Oud by Ermenegildo Zegna

Let's make it simple. I don't understand people that don't like oud posting reviews on an oud based perfume, guess what, you won't like it because its got oud in it.
Yes there are lots of rose/oud perfumes out there and for me Zegna's take is the best balance out there. Its dense, its thick and has excellent longevity.
I'm not fussed if it's a crowd pleaser, it smells beautiful. Enjoy!

Q by Dolce & Gabbana

Meh. Inoffensive, but I expected more from this. Not at all distinguished. I can detect a slight note of cedar, but not the other notes listed, at least not in enough quantity to make an impression.

Mots Verts by Smell Bent

Sparkling rhubarb over vanilla creme soda, with a touch of pine underneath to give a tinge of green. But really, the topnotes mostly smell like bubble gum. The rhubarb vanilla bubble gum eventually morphs into the sugary smell of a red cherry lollipop, though I could also describe it as a maraschino cherry perched atop an ice cream sundae.

Given hours, the candy sweetness remains, but the focus shifts to the wood elements and a pinch of cinnamon. I definitely smell the pine, and the whole thing smells like a mix of candy and incense, or maybe even a rather abstract version of cough syrup - a mix of sweet and syrupy with medicinal elements.

I usually don't like perfumes that smell like candy, but this avoids the usual strawberry Skittles cliches and actually shows quite a bit of clever creativity (plus I'm a sucker for rhubarb), so it gets a thumbs up!

L'Interdit (2018 version) by Givenchy

Even though this is a feminine fragrance, I kind of dig it. Starts out as a sweet candy type fragrance. I personally would not wear this, but I think it would smell great on a woman. Calms down to a sweet woody fragrance.

Hot by Benetton

It's an early evening, you have put your hair into low bun, added gold shimmer on your eyelids, a slight hint of pink gloss. Your jewellery is humble, small, gold coloured. You are wearing black smart casual. What to spray? To suit a gold toned, refined and neat look... Must be something like Hot.

Hot is a potential scent, it can fill a room, but is the same time not suffocating. woman who wear this fragrance is soft sweet feminine but not boring she has innocent sex appealing just like John Meyer's song your body in wonderland.

Once I got over my initial expectations of Hot and examined it for the scent that presents itself on my skin I began disliking it less and less with every wear. It starts out sharp and woody on me but settles into a nice, very classy clean, powdery and feminine scent after about 10 minutes.

I can't identify a specific white flower but there is definitely a slightly sweet, deliciously waxy floral scent to Hot. The woody note is slightly bitter and earthy to me in this perfume but the ever so slightly, gauzy almost invisible and sheer sweetness nicely balances it out. The bitter note firmly grounds Hot while the sweetness creates a sheer, diffusion type of effect.

It is subtle and beautiful, I sorely misjudged Hot at first. Once again I let my expectations of a scent prejudice my actual experience. I am glad I didn’t give up on try it and that I came to really enjoy it.

Mystère by Rochas

Aptly named, Mystere may elude even the most open-minded fraghead in that it is the embodiment of all that is shadowy and uncertain. It takes you by the hand into the deep, dark woods with tall trees filtering the aldehydic sunlight to its thinnest beams, and then lets go of you, saunters away and says, "good luck."

It begins with a cool bergamot and a stemmy galbanum, like the aroma of an unruly thicket and you make your way out of it, a panoply of florals, violets, creamy white blooms of all kinds, wild roses and herbal blossoms, swirl, a round bouquet where no flower comes forward and says "I'm the king of the castle." But someone is a dirty rascal here, because no sooner than the floral cavalcade reveals itself does a sinister civet's eyes glow from within the shrubbery. Mystere is just as carnal as it is darkly woody.

The cypress releases its exudate as if overly excited, and we are left with the most enchanting dry down of musks, civet, and moss. A rolling stone gathers no moss, but how about two rolling bodies? Then I detect costus, which renders it all yet more lascivious, skin and hair and sweat and latex mingling with the trees and wild herbs and lichen. When this untamed beauty reaches its climax, I am left bewildered, but wanting to be led right back into those deep, dark woods once more. 

Indian Dream by Mancera

I bought a sample of this mistakenly believing it would be full of the wonderful spices of India, but no, this is a bog standard designer floral musk dressed up in a slick pink Mancera bottle. The slightly sour, powdery florals, the big poofy puffs of musk, the sweet but dull vanillin - it passes as nice and flowery and pleasant in that generic Laura Ashley manner. But it has all been done before, and better, especially by Cinema by Yves Saint Laurent, which this somewhat resembles.

Azahar by Adolfo Dominguez

It scent smells like a perfect spring morning when there's still dew on the grass, just as the sun starts shining bright and the birds sing. It's joyful.

As the citrus notes subside, the elegantly light green notes take centre stage and a very clean and refreshing orange blossom note then joins the delicate florals. The senses are uplifted and you now feel serenely ready to face the day’s challenges.

Longevity could be better. For everyone who hates mornings, Azahar is a sensationally effective and gorgeous way to banish grogginess and face the day, the perfect adjunct to a large, freshly brewed coffee!

Bulgari Man Rain Essence by Bulgari

Rain Essence is a soft subtle fragrance with some presence, matching the 'Essence' moniker quire well.
No bombastic sillage, no punch in the face opening, just a soft genderless aura.
The heartnotes permeate very well featuring the crystal musk - reminiscent of Le Labo's AnOther 13.
Overall a fragrance that wears close to the skin, and gives off beautiful soft glow.

8 88 by Comme des Garçons

A wan saffron tea with a back wash of something vaguely aquatic. It smells like the 1990s. Not offensive, but nothing particularly special or noteworthy.

Emerald Desert Sultan by Ard Al Zaafaran

Puzzlingly, this is a fragrance seemingly unknown by the Fragrantica community. With its top notes of iris, musk and vanilla heralding warm heart notes of leather and palm leaves, it makes for a very useful yet unusual daily driver. Great for lovers of left-field scents.

Bulgari Man Rain Essence by Bulgari

Bvlgari Man Rain Essence by Bvlgari (2023), more like Bvlgari Man Pain Essence, amirite ladies? This stuff is by far not the finest hour for Alberto Morillas, who has somehow slugged it out through most of these flankers in the Bvlgari Man (2010) line. Some folks may note that this smells a bit like someone tweaked Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud's work in Bvlgari pour Homme Extrême by Bvlgari (1999), and he did used to work for Firmenich like Morillas still does, before going off to be house perfumer for Louis Vuitton; so I wouldn't be surprised if Morillas touched up that formula since Bvlgari discontinued it some time ago. Other than that interesting little twist, there isn't much here besides sheer musks, some irritating "picklewood" surrounded by tonka-tea, and dry white florals crowned by astringent citruses. Doesn't sound so bad does it? Well wrong, it is bad, so very bad. Alberto Morillas should learn to just say no, he's the top dog there at the big F anyway, why can't he?

The opening of Rain Essence is the most interesting part, as you get some of that tea with mandarin and lots of buzzy acetate things that can give one a headache if you overdo it. Paradisone like what Morillas used with Harry Freemont in cK All by Calvin Klein (2017) is here, alongside some ambroxan and that nasty picklewood sandalwood crap, before we get to the guaiac wood base, which is more ambermax-type sandpaper nose irritant garbo than anything else to be honest. I swear it feels like Alberto composed this on a lunch break by feeding the AI composer at Firmenich a bunch of cliff-notes he scribbled onto a napkin he had lying around, before going back to Mizensir to make an actual fragrance someone would want to wear. What any of this has to do with rain is absolutely beyond my ability to comprehend, that's for sure. Performance? Who cares? You won't want to smell this for long. Better than bad, but not good. You want an itch you can't scratch? Wear this.

Bottom line here, is this not only feels like a lukewarm retread of better work, but one that is almost seemingly made to be purposefully worse (yet ultimately more expensive to buy) than what it is playing a back-handed homage towards, showcasing that the late-stage capitalism corporate race-to-the-bottom has hit terminal velocity. At least Bvlgari Man Glacial Essence by Bvlgari (2020) had the decency to be mediocre but pleasant, like a more-expensive overly-wrought attempt to improve on a random Nautica fragrance you could buy at HomeGoods for $20, in case you wanted an extra $100 on the pricetag for effectively the same fragrance. This isn't even -that- good, and really just has me running away screaming from the ghost of Le Labo Santal 33 (2011) long before I can complain about the rest. Essentially terrible, as I wasn't fond of Bvlgari pour Homme Extrême anyway, but at least I didn't mind it. Here with Rain Essence, I couldn't wait to wash it off. Thumbs down

Club de Nuit Intense for Men by Armaf

This review is for the EDP, which is the most recommended flanker according to my research and that's what I purchased from perfume empire. There's nothing new to say about this fragrance that isn't covered extremely well already.

Go to Dillard's. Ask for an associate to give you two close, good sprays of Aventus on the back of your clean hand. See if you like it. See if your lady likes it. This is the same thing.

Do not obsess over batches. This stuff is ridiculously long lasting, strongly projecting, and amazing smelling.

Would I take it over Sauvage EDT? I think the citrusy black pepper still beats the smokey pineapple bergamot... BARELY. 200mL of this is like 1/4 the price, though

Y Eau de Parfum Intense by Yves Saint Laurent

Y Eau de Parfum Intense by Yves Saint Laurent (2023) really proves that L'Oréal has absolutely zero respect for the legacy of the brands it completely owns. No doubt, the only reason Ralph Lauren fragrances still come out halfway decent through them is they bought up a company that had a preexisting agreement in perpetuity that they couldn't break (Cosmair), and in the case of Giorgio Armani, L'Oréal's Luxury Products division just holds a license to produce the products, rather than owning owning an entire spun-off brand of cosmetics and its holdings like they do with Yves Saint Laurent. After literally trashing 90% of the brand's coveted fragrances made before 2010, they went about sticking the remaining lines out on the street corner like a pimp who is owned money, making endless inane flankers of the Opium by Yves Saint Laurent (1977) range, and the L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent (2006) range, respectively. The Y Eau de Toilette by Yves Saint Laurent (2017) range was to be their great new masculine pillar, and originally thought as an ostensible men's version of Y by Yves Saint Laurent (1964), they debut perfume by the house; but nope, they discontinued that too! Nothing is sacred, all is disposable.

So here we have yet another "intense" flanker-of-flanker situation, like the Europe-only Y Live Eau de Toilette Intense (2019), appending the Y Eau de Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent (2018) release that was in my eyes, the "intense" version of the original pillar. Hell, they even completely tweaked and re-launched that too in 2022 to be more like the EdP because that one ended up outselling it. All in all, I'm just tired of these redundant barely-different flankers that all seem to have a higher price tag as their only reason to exist. The EdP was the perfect balance between the "blue fragrance" shower gel thing most designer mens launches were doing, and something a bit more unto itself, with a heavy mineralic salty ambergris vibe borrowed from Paco Rabanne Invictus (2013) minus all the bubblegum. That "sweet spot" could not and has thus not been topped, even through parfums and "Eau Fraîche" further-aquatic takes, now up to seven "unique" entries in the line, all just more blue than you, or each other. Well frankly, I'm blue in the face at having to inhale all this stuff, with the only real point of difference with this "intense" eau de parfum being a bigger slug of cedarwood and some pink pepper, biting into territory already staked out by Burberry Hero (2021) and K by DOlce & Gabbana (2019).

This isn't more intense or longer lasting, because the original Y Eau de Parfum was already an atomic bomb; and I swear if any jock-for-brains meathead in a Men's Warehouse business suit and YouTube channel pops up with Penzoil hair cocaine circles under his eyes to give me his Dollar Store Lothario crap about how Y EdP has bad performance now due to reformulation, I might just go nuclear myself. Seriously, this is just Y EdP with all of Dominique Ropion's previous work gutted out and replaced with two-bit plagiarism of flavor-of-the-week base materials nicked from more-recent releases. I wouldn't even be surprised if this was mostly an AI exercise despite his name being attached to it, and the fact they want $150 for this just makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Clearly, I am not living in the same universe as the people for whom this product was intended, but I'd at least think those people could smell around the counter where they are trying fragrances a bit more, so they can at least walk away with some that least feels like it was created with purpose, rather than as a reaction to something else or as manifestation of a shareholder's nocturnal emissions. Holy cow Batman, this stuff is bad! Thumbs down

Coconut Bay with Lime by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements

This is yet another exceedingly pleasant fragrance from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements. The scent brings positive vibes for me. I think this could work just as well as a bath-set fragrance where you just buy and use the bath products of this, or you could buy the EDP fragrance. Both would workout great with this scent. This is at least a 4 out of 5 start scent and I have no doubt there are some people out there who would really like this one.

Forever Elizabeth by Elizabeth Taylor

If the flowers were a woman, Forever Elizabeth was a super femenine, young, sophisticated and independent woman with a touch of mystery. It is soft, it whispers sensuality while displaying frivolity and fun. It reminds me of the sunshine while after a rainstorm lingers in the corners of my mind. It is sweet without being sugary and feminine without being girly. The female who wears this is all woman.

The fruits and flowers in this one are perfectly balanced. Seriously a elegant perfume. The green apple doesn't smell like shampoo. The rose and jasmine also aren't heady or classic smelling; merely a whisper of a rose and jasmine flower, sprinkled with cool spring rain. Forever Elizabeth is pretty, cool, subtle and sweet, with a touch of vintage flair. Could be worn by any age and gender, and not offensive at all. It makes you smile everytime.

Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir

In an age where the average TikTok fragrance influencer recommends candy-floss laundry musk tragedies for smelling "like a snack" and the results-driven content-creator puts the aphrodisiac function over anything else. Ok, eff it, let's just cut to the case, there are legions of fellas (and woman who capitalize on the trope) who see fragrance as a means to an end, perhaps a rear end to be exact, or some "trim," because let's face it, that's what it's really all about, right?

Now imagine a fragrance that gives the middle finger to any hackneyed concept of what is sexy or palatable. It pushes the wearer to feel all the flavors, including the sour, the bitter, even touching upon the decidedly ascetic (at least to start), in the form of not so glamorous vegetation (think stinging nettles, tagetes marigold, milkweed) and even inorganic matter formed from a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. WHAT? And somehow, I am more moved by this than by anything that reminds us of indulging in desserts or sloppy sex (though I do have a place in my heart for both of those, let me be clear).

Nuit de Bakelite starts BITTER, SHARP, and COOL. It is a lesson in stark reality, and sheds a light on its beauty. Plants protect themselves by being unpalatable to organisms that would otherwise devour them. Now do you always want to be devoured or would you like to be admired from afar before making the next chess move? Reverence doesn't always mean touch, fondle, and grope. There are stems and secretions, arguably more magnificent than blood and semen. These elements are just as much part of the verve and vigor. Galbanum represents the chlorophyll and phloem, artemisia represents the teeth, tuberose the flesh, and the angelica root the sex, with its vegetal muskiness.

Over time, the ice melts, we peel away the layers, and the soul is laid bare and vulnerable, this is authentic naked, not merely five-minutes-tops carnal, far more meaningful. Leathery yet damp, soil, humus, reminiscent of plasticine or opening up a new toy; a bit softer, but still steadfast in staking its claim. Nuit de Bakelite is like an aperitif, better to be sipped than swallowed. "Savor the flavor" they say—well, don't mind if I do!

Violette Hay by Marissa Zappas

I suspect that this scent will be contentious as it’s such a unique, tonal smell-in fact, it’s discomforting at first-like getting lost in an arid, open, alien landscape. It’s highly cerebral, jaw droppingly sophisticated, packed with subtleties, but the initial impression I get a cloud of warm sweet leather followed closely by a smooth accord of musk blended with violet.

If there’s a hay-like feel to it at all, it would be dry, clean hay. What is extraordinary, though, is how dovetailed these notes are. In it's development it takes an interesting twist, it feels very familiar to me, like a memory from my past I cannot entirely place. I could never say "it is a leather scent” even though leather is clearly present, If anything, I’d be inclined to say that it’s a violet-based scent. It smells ambient, like the air of a space in which multiple scents intertwine but without any muddiness whatsoever.

Nothing syrupy, goopy, or particularly dark, aggressive; Violette Hay is open, spacious, and very dry. It is a similarly desolate space, only without the green, damp vegetation. It’s dusty, barren, distant-yet calming once you dial into it. It does smell like a thing from the past, but not quite a vintage perfume.

Senso by Ungaro

The fruity woods was a theme that Jacques Polge would play with - on and off - for a decade. And by the time he came to do Senso in 1987, it needed to address the High Eighties style of feminine, to which he gave more panache than it probably deserved.

Part of Polge's genius was the way he could adapt the same idea to a bubblegum tuberose like Senso, or - with equal conviction - the hard dry woody masculine of Égoïste, also 1987.
They were a His and Hers couple, even though they were on different labels.
And both were variants of the fruity woods - which first appeared in Ungaro and Antaeus, both 1981; another His and Hers pairing.

Don't take this for lazy recycling though. Senso - like her partner Égoïste - is excellent, even if it feels dated these days. But that's more to do with the Eighties than any fault of Polge.

The recycling came later when Ungaro relaunched Senso in a hot pink bottle in 1992 - the same year that Chanel released Égoïste Cologne Concentrée, a flanker by François Demachy and Polge ... a third cycle of the His and Hers fruity woods.

Acqua di Colonia by Lorenzo Villoresi

A perfect composition, constructed using the classic structure and themes of the eau de cologne genre, but with an unusually seamless effect thanks to Villoresi's keen craftsmanship. This has been meticulously finessed.

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