N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Shalimar Millésime Vanilla Planifolia by Guerlain

I got a strong powdery accord from the opening along with the notable bergamot seen in the regular Shalimar. As for the powdery feel I want to think it was something along the lines of Talcum powder. The vanilla is already coming out into the forefront but other less prominent notes can be noticed. There's an accent of floral notes, I'm not sure which ones as it gets drowned out by the vanilla. The base is mostly vanilla - the powdery vibe is still there, a little bit of incense, woods, and musk.

To my nose it doesn't come off as sweet or something along the lines of vanilla extract. There's no gourmand vibe either.

Anyone who likes the classic Shalimar or any of the Ode a La Vanille flankers should look into Millesime Vanilla Planifolia.
Nov 26, 2021


Bon Monsieur by Rogue Perfumery

I would describe Bon Monsieur as a green aromatic floral scent. It opens up with some refreshing lemony bergamot with the presence of a number florals in particular geranium and lavender. Green, airy, clean, and invigorating right from the start. The opening notes dials down a bit revealing even more greenness in the heart. The geranium and lavender are greeted by some pines (fir balsam) and hints of lily of the valley. The musk becomes noticeable in the later stages of development and eventually the oak moss paired with wood notes (cedar and sandalwood) joins of what is remaining of the florals at the drydown. The scent has a very retro feel, specifically the late 1980s when Gucci Nobile and Van Cleef & Arpels Tsar were first released - I think of these two scents when I smell Bon Monsieur. Performance was decent overall with moderate silage early on before staying closer to the skin. Well done Manny!
Dec 18, 2020


Cuir de Russie by Guerlain

Guerlain CDR proceeds to florals like rosemary, lavender and powdery iris. There's some undertone of oriental and resins that are present - a little bit of amber and vanilla. The birch and styrax can be detected in the blend but it's never truly in the forefront of the scent at anytime. There's a present of musk and civet that exists throughout most of the scent's duration. Very natural smelling, smooth, with the highest quality ingredients observed. The resins, musk, and civet linger into the base where they're met by some hints of oak moss which makes for nice finish. While this has the accord of leather, it lacks the actual note. The performance was excellent with great longevity and moderate silage early on before staying closer to the skin. A very elegant scent overall. Any individuals who have an admiration for classic Guerlains and/or leathers should smell this!
Oct 11, 2020


Gardénia by Guerlain

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


Rue de la Paix by Guerlain

The opening consisted of a well blended mixture of florals, some I was able to identify while for others not at all. Lavender, ylang-ylang, and rose were the ones that I could distinctively identify. I couldn't identify the jasmine or orris root. Aside from the florals there was a citrus/bergamot note to brighten the scent. Very bright and invigorating early on. The rose eventually develops becoming more deep and sensual in the base. The rose is accompanied with some woods and musk. There's a touch of amber and honey to provide a minimal amount of sweetness and oriental feel in the base. Very sensual and comforting. This is something both women and men can enjoy. Performance was pretty good overall: It was fairly potent early on before staying closer to the skin for the remainder duration of the scent. I recommend this to anyone who appreciate Guerlain classics and for any individuals who are passionate for vintage fragrances.
Sep 14, 2020


Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus by Guerlain

A very airy and watery take on Mitsouko. It does share some similarities to the original although not as complex nor dense. Very subtle traces of the peachy opening although it's bit more floral and green. I do get a little bit of the mossy feel at the base but it feels more floral; skews away from the chypre base that we're used to seeing in the original. Very light and subdued. If anything, Fleur de Lotus is more of a green aromatics.
Aug 19, 2020


Flora & Fauna by Rogue Perfumery

At the time of reviewing there were no official notes listed so I went by what my nose was telling me.

It's a reasonably complex scent but one that I'm familiar with. After a few wearings I conclude it smells very similar to the vintage formulation of Guerlain Vol de Nuit. There's quite a few notes that I believe I'm smelling. There's a floral accord that I believe has at least some orris roots and iris. There's also some spices in the mid as well. As the scent progresses it sweetens slightly which makes me believes there's an oriental notes of either vanilla or benzoin. At the base I pick up on woods and some oak moss. Florals, oriental, and chypre is what I get out of Floral & Fauna. The performance is great, I'm getting good silage for the first few hours before the scent recedes closer to the skin. Very calming soothing this scent is, the drydown is wonderful. A definite winner.
Apr 26, 2020


Tuberose & Moss by Rogue Perfumery

At the time of review there was no information or notes breakdown on Tuberose & Moss so I went by what my nose indicated to me.

Overall it's a very simplistic scent - it follows a very similar Soliflore pattern noticed in Jasmine Antique. The opening has a bright fruity opening. My guess of the top notes being along the lines of a peach or a bergamot which hangs on for a short period. The opening fades into a very fleshy tuberose accord. The tuberose isn't as bright like Champs Lunaires but not as dark like Flos Mortis either; it's more in the middle of the road. There might be some hint of spices that only helps to enhance the florals in the mid. Eventually after a few hours the tuberose finally dies down to a very subtle floral-less base. At that point my nose detects what would probably be the oak moss as well as some other wood notes. The mossy accord is very faint and nothing significant compared to it's other members like Chypre-Siam and Mousse Illuminee. Performance was relatively good while the floral accord was at its prime but became a subtle skin scent around the mossy dry down. Overall the tuberose composition was done well however I'm not keen with that particular note. Those who enjoy tuberose will very likely enjoy this one.
Apr 26, 2020


Jasmin Antique by Rogue Perfumery

The presence of the jasmine accord can be noticed immediately upon application. The jasmine has a fresh feel as if one was present in a garden house or a field full of jasmine flowers. It has a slight jammy feel in the early stages. After it settles a bit the jasmine begins to develop a somewhat animalic skanky feel to it. In addition there's underlying tone of spices that helped to enhance to jasmine. Towards the end there's a development of a sweet yet musky accord to round off the drydown.

I'm reminded of Mandy's Aftelier solid perfume Jasmine. It smells quite similar to Aftelier but the biggest difference I notice is the stronger performance. I will say it's not overpowering but one needs to be careful with application as the early stages can be quite strong. Eventually it will settle down to a calming and gentle scent with the jasmine always making itself present. Overall, A great reference for the jasmine note. One of the best jasmine scents that I've come across to date.
Apr 2, 2020


Ishtar by Rogue Perfumery

A very fresh and invigorating opening. To my nose the frankincense in the opening contains a bright citrus like feel. It is clean, airy, and inviting. The lily florals and junipers could be detected in the heart. The juniper doesn't come off as medicinal like in some scents (An example Creed Baie de Genievre). With the juniper present, there's a tad bit of a cinnamon like note with the faintest amount of incense present. The lily notes adds a layer of freshness. Eventually the scent transforms into something both more oriental and woodsy. The benzoin adds a sweetened vanilla like note while the myrrh and sandalwood contribute to the woodsy like base. My initial thought was that this would be something somewhat similar to another frankincense (Creed Angelique Encens) but it was not the case at all. It lacks the strong stuffy smokey incense that one may notice inside a church or cathedral. The performance starts off strong but recedes to something more moderate as time passes. Overall this is a nice addition to a great line of fragrances.
Apr 2, 2020


40 Rogue by Rogue Perfumery

This is a revival to Jean Sesprez's 40 Love Pour Homme. Clearly it has a very dated feel to it. The fragrance opened with a citrusy lemon accord that came off clean and refreshing, I'd say skewed in the soapy realm. There's two fragrances that came to mind: Orange Spice and Cypres Musc. The citrus accord in Orange Spice does seem similar to the one in 40 Love. The soapy accord in Cypres Musc does seem similar to the one in 40 Love. Ironically they were all fragrances from the same era, 40 Love (1947/1951), Orange Spice 1950, and Cypres Musc 1948. Back to the scent, as the opening notes wore off a substantial amount of musk could be detected with an animalic note. At the same instance floral notes began to creep in. What kind of florals they were I wasn't quite sure. I wanted to say there was a presence of some sort of herbal note present in the scent. Honeysuckle came to mind of all things. There was a tinge of green and powdery feel at the heart of the scent. Finally at the base I'm left with the lingering musk and animalic accord in addition to what I believed were a dusty amber note and smidge of oakmoss. There was decent longevity with moderate silage early on before staying close to the skin for the remainder of the duration. A very satisfying and comforting scent that was resurrected exceptionally well.
Jun 13, 2019


Flos Mortis by Rogue Perfumery

A dark take on tuberose unlike Champs Lunaires. The opening consisted of a mothball accord which I determined was the Indole note. A cool mint would best describe it something that is similarly present vapor rub. One mentioned it as smelling like menthol. At this time the tuberose florals began to intensify along with the jasmine grandiflorum. I have to say that the florals were a bit stuffy at times, its carried a strong punch. Letting my nose adjust, I was able to pick up some of the underlying fruit notes which was probably the contributions from both the osmmanthus and red currant. That likely held the florals in check. As time progressed the monstrous florals settled down to what was a dark leather base. Very strong longevity and silage. Overall it was a very challenging scent one that wasn't exactly easy to wear. I'd say Flos Mortis caters to a very specific group of individuals with myself not being one of them.
Jun 13, 2019


Nombre Noir by Shiseido

A very beautiful dark elegant rose scent. Anyone smelled La Fille de Berlin? The rose note I feel is quite similar for both however there's a lot more complexity going on with Nombre Noir. For one there's a definite aldehyde note that fortunately works really well with the rose. Then there's the wood and chypre notes at the base which I enjoy in a rose based scent. Although a dark rose, it's very airy as well. I think this is a rose that would definitely appeal for someone like me. Yes it's very rare and its going for a high premium on eBay. L'Arte di Gucci also offers both the same quality and complexity that fulfills my expectations in a rose scent but it's almost a dead tie between the two. Both of these I enjoy more than YSL Rive Gauche and Coty la rose Jacqueminot that I've sampled from PL's retro Rose Sample Pass.
Mar 17, 2019


Émeraude by Coty

Halfway between L'Heure Bleue and Shalimar. I get the powdery iris, heliotrope florals from L'Heure Bleue and the powdery vanillin from Shalimar.

If I had samples of both scents from the 1950s or somewhere around that era, I would've done a layering experiment and then do a side to side comparison between L'Heure and Shalimar on one wrist and Emeraude on the other.

It's very beautiful and elegant. One would definitely enjoy if s/he enjoys the powdery iris/vanilla accord. Two examples comes to mind: the silver collar formulation of Dior Homme Intense and Carner Barcelona D600. D600 had the inclusion of the cardamon note that over powered the vanilla/iris accord which I ended up not enjoying at all. Dior Homme Intense is my preference for the vanilla/iris accord. Not sure if I would reach for Emeraude personally since I already have Dior Homme Intense as my vanilla/iris choice. It's definitely a nice comfort scent.
Mar 17, 2019


Fougère L'Aube by Rogue Perfumery

The scent opened with a fresh bergamot with a green galbanum note. The opening was crisp and refreshing going along the lines of Creed Green Irish Tweed. Not exactly the same scent but does have some similarity. Lavender florals emerged in the heart that blends with the existing galbanum. I do pick up on a violet leaf note that is present in GIT. I definitely pick up a dominating fougere here. A few hours in the florals started to taper off while the oakmoss and wood notes started to creep in. Some of the magic from the fougere effect is lost but is replaced with the mossy accord that we're used to seeing that is present in some of the other rogue scents. Decent longevity and silage. I must say It carries a timeless feel similar to GIT that it could fit in with the modern times. Overall I would consider this a gentlemen like scent, formal, classy, and clean. If one enjoys the smell of Creed Green Irish Tweed, one will likely enjoy Fougere L'Aube. Great work Manny!
Mar 14, 2019


Odeon / Petite Fleur Bleue by Godet


I believe this is Godet's take on a blue floral after Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue 1912 release. Similar to their fragrance Chypre, Godet was clearly trying to compete against Guerlain, Chanel, and Coty. The opening consisted of heliotrope and fresh florals with a dab of sparkling bergamot. Interesting on Fragrantica heliotrope is not a note that is featured in Flueur Bleue but instead rose and freesia. I do pick up the freesia but not the rose. The florals hold one for a time before notes of incense and chypre emerged at the base. Fleur Bleue isn't as smooth as L'Heure Bleue, it's a bit jagged and obnoxious. Compared to Chypre, this one has much better longevity and stronger silage. As with Chypre, Fleur Bleue has a quality that is inferior to L'Heure Bleue. Not a memorable scent for me unfortunately but I'm glad to have tried it.
Feb 18, 2019


Cuir de Russie (new) by Godet


This is by far the best one of the three (Chypre and Fleur Bleue) that I've sampled from Godet. Similar to Chypre and Fleur Bleue, Cuir de Russie is Godet's take on russian leather that seems to mirror Chanel's although it was released in 1924. Godet's version I got bergamot, soft iris and violet florals combined with birch, styrax, and of course leather. A tart bergamot note can be detected immediately at the opening before being subdued by the birch and powdery florals. The base was dominated by the leather with the styrax that added some resinous feel. Compared to Chanel's this one lacked the animalistic fecal note that added a strong punch to the scent. This one has good longevity and silage. I do think the animalistic accord is needed for this scent, without it does lose some of its magic. A nice take on leather although Chanel's Cuir de Russie is much better. As for Godet and of the three that I've tried so far, I do find this house inferior to Chanel and Guerlain along with Coty. A good experience overall but not memorable.
Feb 18, 2019


Chypre (original) by Godet

I had high hopes about Godet Chypre thinking it was going to be something magical given that the sample is nearly a 100 years old!

The scent started out with a bright sparkling bergamot note that held on for a few minutes. A thin whisper of iris florals arrived only soon to be met by vanilla and leather. It reminded me a little bit of both Creed Royal Delight and Chanel Cuir de Russie: sweet, floral, leather. At the base I'm left with a mossy ambery accord. It remained green and dry but had a slight oriental twist to it. The base reminded me of the second formulation of Rogue Perfumery Chypre-Siam and Coty Chypre if an ambery vanilln accord were added. Barely visible at that point. My biggest disappointment was that the ambery mossy accord of the scent was a skin scent. It was there but I had to stick my nose against my arm to smell it. Very etheral, transparent, and short lived. Despite the color, age, and most of all appearance of the bottle and juice, it's not all what it cracked up to be. Nothing amazing or breath taking here. It did hold its ground compared to other chypre scents in its day: Guerlain Mitsouko, Coty Chypre but I would consider it inferior to both of them. At best Godet Chypre is an alternative take on chypre compared to Coty Chypre and Guerlain Mitsouko and I would gladly reach for the the latter two any day. If I had to guess Godet was a house competitor to Guerlain and Coty back in the early 20th century. Despite my disappointment, it was worth sampling if one enjoyed vintage chypre scents.
Feb 13, 2019


Tabac Vert by Rogue Perfumery

This one has been suggested to have similarities to Creed Vintage Tabarome which is my favorite Creed. These are my thoughts.

For the first few minutes the opening was bright and invigorating, this I believe is the bergamot note. The opening of Tabac Vert I would say is the closet in resemblance to VT. The tobacco and pepper starts to emerge giving it a darker and dry feel. In addition, the mossy accord begins to take effect thanks to richness of the oakmoss present in the scent. The similarities are definitely there between the two scents. I do feel that TV is a bit more modernized than VT not exactly the same but it's not far from it. I think if the average nose were to compare the two s/he wouldn't be able distinguish the differences. The base contains wood notes provided by the sandalwood and cedar. The oakmoss never goes away in the drydown but becomes more subtle. A prominent tobacco based scent that really connects with the old world of fragrances. Wearing this I imagine myself in either two different places: a gentlemen's club or at a barbershop.

For those who have never smelled Creed Vintage Tabarome or can't afford it, Tabac Vert would be a great affordable alternative. Nothing will beat VT but this is probably the closet resemblance that I've smelled of it. I could see myself wearing this as a cheaper alternative to VT.
Jan 13, 2019


Le Canotier by Rogue Perfumery

Two notes stand out to me in Le Canotier: Tabacco and Vetiver. The opening is a bit bright thanks to the citrus note which quickly recedes into the background. Soon the tobacco and violet leaf emerged providing a bright spicy accord fused with some lushes green feel to it. The tobacco resembles the one of Creed Tabarome Millesime. It's quite potent and becomes a bit polarizing after a while. The tobacco does taper a little but sticks around. The base is met by vetiver which is of the drier and darker kind. A little bit of ambergris can be detected as well, something common in many Creeds. The drydown I felt was a wrestle between the tobacco and vetiver notes. This one has long lasting longevity.

Overall, this one does not appeal to me much. This one reminds of Tabarome Millesime, which is a Creed that I do not enjoy, and this is one that I can't wear. It also felt a bit more modern compared to the others. Most importantly the tobacco combined with the violet leaf, (and moss?) is something I can't get passed. I enjoy vetiver scents but the other notes just make this impossible to enjoy. The quality is definitely there and this one does stand out but just not for me.
Jan 13, 2019


Chypre-Siam by Rogue Perfumery

A very dated scent. First thing that came to mind was Coty Chypre. It also made me think about Guerlain Mitsouko although I've never smelled an earlier formulation of it.

The opening consisted of a zesty fresh basil note with a little bit of lime that made the scent initially aromatic. The heart introduced a subtle amount of florals, I was able to detect the jasmine here. Finally, the oakmoss emerged supported by sandalwood and a little bit of leather. The drydown was extremely mossy, dry, and green.

A very elegant and refined scent, one that I do enjoy a lot. For someone who enjoys vintage fragrances particularly chypre based scents this is one to try.
Jan 13, 2019


Mousse Illuminée by Rogue Perfumery

I would definitely categorize Mousse Illuminee as a power house scent and the most potent of the entire collection.

In the opening I detected strong whiffs of fresh pine leaves. Cypress and laurel leaves began to emerge adding to the scent's bitterness giving Mousse Illuminee a resinous feel which lingered for a long time. Tree moss, wood notes, and musk were present at the base.

As some have already suggested, I too could imagine myself in a forest. The fresh odors of tree sap, the smell pine trees, and aroma of moss in the surrounding all in a cold damp environment.

While it was a good scent overall, this is one that I would have a difficult time wearing.
Jan 13, 2019


Derviche by Rogue Perfumery

This is the first scent that deviates from the previous 4 (scents in Rouge Perfumery) in which it doesn't focus on chyrpe or green notes.

The opening begins with some sparkling bergamot before it recedes giving way to some tobacco and of course the labdanum. The amber accord is not as dark and resinous as I was expecting it to be but it's not super sweet either. Floral jasmine is met with a sugary amber vaniila accord at the base. In addition, I was able to detect woods and musk in the base. The drydown makes me think of Hermessence Ambre Narguile but it's not exactly the same. A very nice scent overall.

Longevity and silage were good although not as bold as Mousse Illuminee or Le Canotier. I think this is perfect for the individuals who enjoy both amber and jasmine. The jasmine does have a dated feel and definitely it worked in harmony to complement the amber/vanilla accord at the base.
Jan 13, 2019


Champs Lunaires by Rogue Perfumery

Like Derviche, this too deviates from the chypre and green notes.

The opening begins with a sharp pomelo note that provides a brief citrus/grapefruit like smell. Quickly it fades giving way to the tuberose florals. The tuberose is quite elegant and lushes. I wasn't able to pick out the white rose petals blended in with the tuberose but it's slightly different to the tuberose that I've smelled in the past. This reminded me of Serge Lutens Tuberose Criminelle . Eventually the tuberose florals tones down giving way to a creamy musky dry down with a backbone of woods aided by the sandalwood.

The longevity and silage are good, not overbearing which is a good thing. Elegant and sensual through the entirety of the scent. Wearing this, I imagine myself in a field of tuberose on a bright clear spring day. Tuberose isn't one of my favorite florals but I do enjoy the composition of this scent. Anyone who enjoys tuberose will surely like this scent.

I hope Manny could continue exploring other genres as well as these scents Derviche and Champs Lunaires are fantastic.
Jan 13, 2019

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