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Turn 1 by F1 Fragrances

A rather strange scent compared to the marketing blurb and how it actually smells.
Turn 1 is apparently a 'fresh and mineral fragrance that evokes the tension of tyres racing on wet asphalt'. From this description, I would expect a scent that is similar to Dior's Fahrenheit, but alas this is none other than a clone of the more recent Dior Sauvage!!
I get no wet asphalt or racing tyres as such. The opening is a fresh out-of-the-shower scent and the association to Dior Sauvage is so strong that it is impossible to think of this scent in any other way.
The scent does last quite well on skin and has the spices toned down compared to the Dior. However, the price is way too high for a clone scent, therefore this is a thumbs down for me.
Move along please - nothing to see here.
Sep 1, 2021


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

Dior Homme (2020) has had quite a bashing since it was released, solely due to the marketing department at Dior having made a big mistake: using the exact same name of an existing popular fragrance, based around the iris note, originally released (by Dior) in 2005. The name confusion is no excuse really, as the 2020 version is a very good scent on its own and should not be confused with its predecessor, now known simply as 'Dior Homme Original'.

Dior Homme 2020 is a fresh and invigorating, masculine, woody scent that is a no-nonsense, versatile fragrance. Although it opens with bergamot and pink pepper, it takes many twists and turns before it dries right down, which bring to memory many other modern fragrances. Dior Homme 2020 contains a number of long-lasting synthetics such as ISO E Super (the cedar, 'pencil-shavings' note), a touch of ambroxan (ambergris, amber) and cashmeran (cashmere woods). The nearest related scents to my nose are Escentric 01 and Escentric 02 by Escentric Molecules. It contains very little if any sweetness or powdery notes (a big plus for me). Some have drawn parallels with Terre d'Hermes in the opening and even Aventus in the far dry down. The entire scent comes across as something quite familiar, yet it becomes something hard to pinpoint.

Prospective buyers should not be put off by any of the notes/ingredients mentioned above or the scent's misleading name. The whole fragrance is totally inoffensive, office-friendly, can be worn dressed up or down and remains a crowd pleaser that never becomes overwhelming or cloying at any point.

This is quite the contrary to Dior's other recent chemical waste release, known otherwise as Sauvage, which was too overpowering when sniffed up close (yet surprisingly pleasant when smelled on others from a distance). Dior Homme 2020 feels entirely natural and airy. It blends well with skin chemistry and it lasts remarkably well on both skin and clothes. It was its 'pull factor' that had me smelling my arm after applying it.

All in all, a very appealing aroma that screams masculinity, class and sophistication. Just don't judge it by its label!
Jun 4, 2021


Gentlemen's Cologne by Castle Forbes

Gentlemen's Cologne is arguably the signature scent in the not-very-well-known Castle Forbes range, along with 1445 perhaps.

The opening is easily one of the most breathtaking there is and it is just so simple. The combination of the three "L's", lemon, lime and lavender, conjure up a majestic accord that creates a resinous-pine effect. The woods join the party not very long after, making this scent one that is firmly centred at the masculine end of the spectrum.

It's not a very long lasting scent as you might find from most designer scents with their bucket loads of synthetic molecules. Instead, Gentlemen's Cologne feels very natural and easy-going.

The similarities with 1445 are definitely there, though Gentlemen's Cologne is the easier one to wear and has much more citrus overall. It does cross a few paths with some other scents: Patrick by Fragrances of Ireland and Acqua di Parma's Colonia Futura for their luscious greens; to a lesser extent Aramis Tuscany for the woods and Azzaro Pour Homme for the lavender.

All in all, this is a bargain everyday scent for any vintage or wet shaving enthusiast. The 100ml size is an EdP strength and should last a while.
May 7, 2021


No. 88 by Czech & Speake

Despite No. 88's reputation as a "dark" scent (mostly a misconception due to its unique black bottle), No. 88 is a masterfully crafted floral-chypre with a fougere structure, that is both long-lasting and projects very well for the best part of the day.

The cologne version in its current form comes across as quite powdery and packed full of geranium. The rose and woods play a supporting role here. In the more recent Eau de Parfum, the geranium and powdery notes are toned down and allow the rose and woods to come to the front much more. This is reminiscent of the vintage version and it results in a much smoother fragrance overall. Both versions have a touch of sweetness due to the frangipani. To me the cologne is a like, whereas the EdP is a love.

From experience, the Cologne works well in warmer weather - the opening freshness from the bergamot and accompanying florals (geranium and rose) make for a welcome change to the traditional citrus-chypre warm weather scent. Conversely, the new Eau de Parfum works well in the cooler months due to the more pronounced woods, but either can be worn so long as they are used in sensible quantities.

All in all, a unique floral-chypre fougere, centred around rose, with a classy character that is totally unisex.
Feb 24, 2021


Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake

Did someone say lavender? Yes! Lavender is actually a very common note in men's fragrances.

As a fan of the fougere accord, I've been wearing scents containing lavender quite a lot - without even knowing it! It was never my intention to wear a lavender scent on its own. But that all changed when the heavenly accord of herbaceous mint, rosemary and mossy sandalwood combined with peppery lavender entered my nostrils.

Oxford & Cambridge does not immediately come across as a sporty fragrance; Lavender is after all a light herb and is never overpowering at any stage - overspray this to your heart's content. The mint freshens it up, giving it a rather spring/summery feel, whereas the mossy sandalwood base creates a smooth, yet light woody finish to this nostalgic potion. There is also a very gentle sweetness from the heart through to the base that takes away some of the herb's bitterness in the opening.

The name Oxford & Cambridge is quite fitting (as is the blue bottle!) and exudes a certain elegance reminiscent of the English country side, perhaps an outing to either of the famous cities on a rare spring Bank Holiday.

To me, this is the ultimate calming fragrance: one to unwind with, wear on a lazy afternoon, on a picnic, a walk in the countryside, or even to bed!
Feb 24, 2021


Déclaration d'Un Soir by Cartier

The entire Cartier Declaration line needs to be sampled. Based on the success of the original, there are some hidden gems here waiting to be discovered.

Declaration d'Un Soir is quite a way off from the rest of the line. It does have a good rose note that mixes really well with some other interesting notes like nutmeg and woods.

The opening feels like they threw in the whole rose bush: petals, stems, leaves, thorns, heck even some of the soil (I'm guessing that's a patchouli-like note). The whole opening feels like there are some berries in there too (raspberries perhaps?). But a lot of the greens fade away as the scent develops, almost like the rose is blossoming. It doesn't come across as 'feminine' at all, but could easily be worn by both men and women alike.

I agree with the comparisons to Paestum Rose. In fact I can see this as a 'poor man's Portrait of a Lady', given how similar the rose blends with the berry note.

All in all this is a great floral masculine that could work for both men and women in all seasons.
Feb 15, 2021


The One for Men Eau de Parfum by Dolce & Gabbana

The One EdP for Men has to be one of the most addictive scents I have ever come across. I have never liked sweet scents, but fortunately The One EdP is not excessively sweet by any means. Instead, it has become a really classy dumb-reach during the cold months.

The largely amber accord is accented with hints of ginger, grapefruit and cardamom which creates a heavenly mix of spice and ever-so-delicate sweetness. Tobacco, Orange Blossom and cedarwood complete the party, though I find these notes are not the loudest in the composition. The cardamom and ginger/grapefruit are much more pronounced and remind me of the same notes in Chanel's Pour Monsieur EdT (for the cardamom) and Creed's Original Vetiver (for the ginger/grapefruit). Obviously, being an amber scent The One EdP does not smell like either of these scents in their entirety; it does share these common notes.

Regarding the tobacco note, I have noticed many commenting that The One is a tobacco-themed scent. I largely disagree with this; the tobacco may be there but it is sooooo delicate, practically drowned-out by the other notes, that it may disregarded. I certainly wouldn't class it as a tobacco scent and get much more of a spiced amber accord than anything else.

Now to address the elephant in the room: longevity. As with any scent, if you are constantly putting sprays all over yourself, you will go anosmic to it very quickly. I got introduced to this fragrance through a generous decant. As I do with every new scent that I am trying out, I wore a maximum of one single spray each time and I never lost the scent trail once. Once I went through the decant, I quickly realised I hadn't had enough, so I knew it was time to buy a bottle - a huge 150ml size to be exact! I wasn't afraid to spray a bit more from the large bottle and quickly realised that a couple more sprays won't ruin it for me, so long as I am spraying away from my nose (i.e. not on the neck/chest area). The optimum number is 3-5 sprays. Surprisingly I get around 10 hours longevity and projection is a good couple of feet with my young children often telling me I smell nice before I get really close to them.

What a delightful, feel-good winter comfort scent this is! I can't believe it hasn't been on my radar sooner. It has become my 'go-to' scent for this winter season and I expect to be able to pull it off on summer nights as well.
Jan 7, 2021


Tom Ford Noir Anthracite by Tom Ford

It's rare in this day and age that I review a Tom Ford-branded fragrance and conclude on a positive note. The entire Noir range for example has been a let-down to put it mildly, often reminding me of the cheap opoponax note that has been so frequently done in both cheap and niche scents alike (Jovan Sex Appeal, Chanel Coromandel, etc). Noir Anthracite is fortunately the exception and stands out from the pack like a brightly-lit Christmas tree in a dark street.

I initially sampled the scent blind and my immediate comment was that it reminded me of a bracing green gent's aftershave from the 80s. I can't quite remember what it was, but the peppers and galbanum bounced right off the spray patch. I don't detect much bergamot in the opening, but the green galbanum is very prominent, as are the peppers and spices of the mid. The dry-down is magnificent - long lasting woods, just like a classic 80s powerhouse after shave.

I managed to grab a bottle not long after, as I enjoyed my sample immensely. Of course, Tom Ford had to discontinue a perfectly good scent, just like he's done with his greatest creations sold under his brand - the original Italian Cypress and Sahara Noir. I suppose that explains why this one is such a departure from the rest of the pack. I only hope I can find more bottles of it in future.
Jan 7, 2021


Pasha by Cartier

A crisp, clean aromatic fougere with the traditional structure as you'd expect from a 90s scent. The lavender is quite prominent and nicely blended, as are the woods in the base.
Pasha is very much on a par with Safari by Ralph Lauren. Instead of the Caribbean spices, it uses mint and wraps the fougere accord around that. Others have rightfully drawn similarities with the now discontinued VC&A Tsar and YSL's Jazz. I would also extend the Venn diagram to overlap with Boucheron Pour Homme and Cerruti 1881.
I am not sure how 'mossy' Pasha is in 2020, but formulations from about five years ago when I last wore this scent were OK. Pasha is not a projection monster or as long-lasting as one might expect of a modern day ambrox chemical bomb, but long lasting and acceptable enough for the average working day. It's not a skin scent by any means.
All in all a traditional aromatic fougere available at ridiculously good prices if you know where to look. A surprisingly low-lying scent. Beware of the flankers: stick to the original Eau de Toilette.
Dec 18, 2020


Perfecto Fino by Czech & Speake

Rarely does something this good turn up in 2020. Love the likes of Bel Ami, Knize 10, Quorum, Sycomore and Polo Ralph Lauren? Smoke & leather powerhouse fragrance lovers, this is one new scent that you need to at least sample.

Perfecto Fino opens with what is quite possibly the most enormous thump of (birch) tar, ever used in a fragrance this side of the Millennium and the new age of ingredient restrictions. Smokey as a smouldering camp fire, it calms down after a good 30-45 minutes or so, releasing its tobacco, leather and woods combination. The extreme dry-down is smokey woods, likely vetiver, representing what remains of the preceding fire.

The simplistic and quite cheap-looking bottle doesn't do the fragrance justice, as what is inside is unique and very nicely woven together. Even the packaging which is supposedly similar to a Central American cigar-box is very elegantly crafted. The bottle however resembles a potion bottle that was hastily put together in the back room of a very questionable medieval pharmacy.

The scent is long lasting and projects well throughout the day. Its progression is very noticeable - you won't mistake this for a 'linear' scent. Pricing is a bit of a joke; it is considerably more expensive per ml than any other scent in the otherwise venerable C&S range.
Oct 1, 2020


Amyris Homme Extrait de Parfum by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Despite trying quite hard to research what Amyris actually is (a plant? a herb?) the best information I could find is that it may also be known as American or Jamaican sandalwood. My review of the EdT of 2009 describes it as a woody scent, with accents of iris and tonka (coumarin).

Both versions of Amyris Homme have common notes to other scents, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call either a copy of anything. I find Chanel Allure Homme Sport (loaded with tonka bean) in any version and the Dior Homme series (based around iris) hard to wear. Not long after the release of Amyris Homme Extrait, I ended up with bottles of both the EdT and the Extrait. And I have put quite a dent in both. This says a lot - they are both easier to wear than any other similar scent.

Whilst the EdT appears light and becomes a mess with too many sprays (no more than 2-3 with this one and it lasts all day), the Extrait is more polished and has less of the harshness from the dry down of the EdT. Whilst the tonka is a big player in the Extrait as well and supports the scent throughout, the aromatic, woody accents are amplified above the iris even more so than in the EdT. Once again though, the scent is not an "in your face" scent with no single note being unbalanced. If there was a slight hint of coffee in the EdT, there is definitely no such note in the Extrait.

The Extrait is however a highly concentrated interpretation of the EdT, meaning even less of it is required than the EdT. Any more than 1-2 sprays could be too much. Projection is easily a few feet and a typical application should last well beyond 12 hours. A 70ml bottle should there last years.

Both EdT and Extrait share some enormous similarities and as such should be thoroughly tested before committing. I couldn't decide between either and both were a love, so I proudly own both and change between them according to season and mood. Your mileage may vary and I can probably guess most would be happy with one or the other. Another all-star creation from MFK.
Sep 22, 2020


Moschino pour Homme by Moschino

It's hard to believe a brand like Moschino could create a fragrance like this. But of course that was 1990, when everything was unique and manly smelled, well, manly.

Despite some harshness in the top notes (probably due to the age of the bottle that my sample was drawn from), Moschino Pour Homme smells like the love child of Hermes Bel Ami and Caron 3rd Man. Why? Because Bel Ami gives it the leathery-woody dry down (very aromatic) and the Caron has the clove/carnation heart which the Moschino maintains right the way through the heart to the extreme dry down.

Sadly, scents are no longer made like this, but the scent is reminiscent of better times - no sugary/syrup-like sweetness. Just bitter, dry, earthy/leathery goodness.
Sep 10, 2020


Bleu de Chanel Parfum by Chanel

In a time where one new fragrance release leads to another four or five flankers - first the EdT, then the EdP and now the Parfum - Bleu de Chanel is a welcome addition.

Having tried the previous two iterations and being completely underwhelmed, Bleu de Chanel Parfum enters as the crowd-pleaser that Chanel is so good at putting together.

Inoffensive and totally versatile as anything I have ever put my nose to, the top notes of BdC Parfum mesmerise even to this day. Some list mint, others geranium and others just call it Blue (it's not! it's Bleu!!!). Whatever the top notes comprise, I get some very good synthetics combining freshly-squeezed citrus-grade freshness with luscious woods that I can't stop smelling. Some of the citrus is clearly dihydromyrcenol (DHM), but it is so tamed here and used very sensibly so as not to offend (I'm looking at you Dior!!).

The woods and indeed the classic Chanel tonka note in the base of BdC Parfum are what sets it apart from the EdT and EdP. Yes, there is amberwood here, but no harsh "incense" (if that's what you call it), just a classic men's scent - citrus/fresh top with a woody base. Admirers of classics like Chanel Pour Monsieur, YSL Pour Homme, Armani Eau Pour Homme should pay attention and sample this, as should anyone crazy enough to want to spend on Roja Dove's Elysium.

Rarely does a scent like BdC Parfum come to the market this side of the millennium. I bought a bottle the day it was released in 2018 and received a couple of compliments from work colleagues not long after from just 1-2 sprays. Given how versatile/easy to wear this is, I doubt I'll ever be without a bottle. If only I'd gone for the largest size bottle. Top marks, Chanel!
Sep 10, 2020


Amyris Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Despite trying quite hard to find research what Amyris actually is (a plant? a herb?) the best information I could find is that it may also be known as American sandalwood. Regardless, the EdT that I’m reviewing here is indeed woody, but has accents of iris and tonka beans (coumarin).

I have read a lot about Amyris Homme and have tried very hard to give an unbiased opinion. There are obvious parallels to other scents but I wouldn’t go as far as to call this a copy of anything. I find Chanel Allure Homme Sport (loaded with tonka bean) in any version and the Dior Homme series (based around iris) hard to wear. However, after a good month of testing Amyris Homme, I already have a bottle which I am really getting along well with.

The scent is light, but it becomes a mess with too many sprays. No more than 2-3 with this one and it lasts all day. The tonka supports the scent throughout but some very aromatic, woody accents interweave the scent throughout its development. The iris is also there, though not as in your face as other iris-heavy scent. I get no coffee note despite the note pyramid, although I can see how some may perceive a coffee note.

All in all, the EdT is a very under-rated scent. I discovered Amyris Homme in the cooler months, but this could easily work in warmer seasons as well.

Having tried the extrait which recently went on sale, I find that too heavy, less balanced than the EdT, even in cooler weather. I will revisit it of course in the warmer months, but for now I think the EdT is quite good that I would number among the ‘Holy Trinity’ from MFK along with Lumiere Noir and APOM Pour Homme.
Nov 25, 2019


Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

The men's MFK line has recently caught my attention. Lumiere Noir is not one I would normally tend to even try, but right now I am very glad that I did. Lumiere Noir has become my most worn cold weather scent so far this season.

This herbal-chypre EdT is strong yet not overpowering and the notes of artemisia (mugwort), cumin/spices, rose and patchouli blend well together to give a calming and relaxing scent that is very long lasting. Artemisia comes off as most prominent but once the scent settles down, the rose and patchouli come through every now and again, accented by the cumin. The rose is definitely not floral, but more like the rose you'd expect to find in Le Labo's Rose 31 or Penhaligon's The Duke. Overall the scent is unlike other artemisia-rich scents such as Puig's legendary Quorum and Caron's Yatagan (my least favourite).

As far as sizes go, the 70ml bottle may seem small, but only a little is required for each application which goes a long way. 2-4 sprays in the morning last well into the evening, making this a 'dumb-reach' for me. Top marks, MFK - well done!
Nov 15, 2019


Duc de Vervins by Houbigant

Lavender and powder haters should probably stop reading now. The less well known Duc de Vervins by Houbigant is a beautiful concoction of lavender, powdery notes, moss and some spices. The latter are certainly not overbearing and are blended in quite masterfully with the other notes.

But it would be hard to say much more about this scent without comparing it to two others scents: firstly, the venerated and cult classic Brut (yes, Brut!) and the equally comparable Caron Pour Un Homme.

The Houbigant comes across as an Eau de Parfum of Brut, with the Caron being an appropriate comparison owing to the similarity of the notes - powerful and aromatic lavender and vanilla on a bed of musk and amber.

Those seeking a stronger or longer lasting version of Brut or perhaps just like aromatic, powdery scents with a hint of nostalgia from a bygone era, should look no further than Houbigant Duc de Vervins.
Oct 21, 2019


Fougère Royale by Houbigant

The word “fougere” apparently translates to “fern” in English. However, this doesn’t say much to most people. A fougere scent will come across as fresh, woody and distinctly masculine. Some may even use the phrase “barbershop” to describe the genre.

Fougere Royale was the first scent in the genre and this modern remake of the original is a superb rendition of the genre. It is a little hard to comment on how close this is to the original of 1882 as samples are... shall we say, a little hard to come by.

The modern version, released in 2010, starts off bold, citrus-fresh, herbaceous and punchy. It’s dry, sour even and lacks any hint of sweetness; perhaps a nod to its origin. There is also a distinct patchouli in the mix and this is apparent right the way down to the base. The fresh woodiness interweaves throughout the development stages whilst still maintaining the patchouli. The scent is particularly reminiscent of Amouage’s Bracken Man, although there are plenty of fougere scents out there that would equally compare to it.

Fougere Royale is an Eau de Parfum and lasts well throughout the working day. It can be enjoyed in all sorts of weather, but I can definitely see this being worn especially in warmer weather.

All lovers of fougere scents owe it to themselves to experience this scent.
Oct 21, 2019


Number 3 / Le 3ème Homme / The Third Man by Caron

One not to be ignored by fans of woody scents, Third Man really shines in many ways. Way ahead of its time (it was released in 1985), it is bright and bold, warm and comforting, reminiscent of cloves and carnation flowers and very long-lasting.

Whilst most scents these days contain enough sweetness to make the wearer wonder wether they need a health check, Third Man remains dry as a bone throughout the day and yet remains restrained and does not overpower.

The opening lemon notes can feel rather strange at first but once the opening calms down, the pleasant aroma of cloves and spicy carnation flower accord sinks through, the opening is a distant memory.

The scent may dry down further, however I find the clove accord stays right to the end. Patchouli may enter in the mix as well somewhere but it is hard to notice behind the other notes.

All in all, a wonderful masculine that is clearly a classic. Perhaps one of the best scents to wear to an interview or an office setting.
Oct 21, 2019


Escentric 02 by Escentric Molecules

I tried this on by accident having been on the lookout for Molecule 02, which is just ambroxan.

I have to say I am quite surprised by the bad reviews on this one. A super fresh and long lasting scent, it is quite unique whilst the ambroxan stays right at the back acting mostly as an accompaniment. It does creep out a bit more in the dry down but without losing the freshness as such.

The lack of marketing and a proper name make this a hard scent to decide when to wear it but it is through and through a summer scent.

The hedione reminds me of original, unadulterated Eau Sauvage which was one of the first to use the molecule back in the 60s. It works really well here and blends superbly in the composition.

All in all not a half bad scent. Ultra fresh and sparkly, never overpowering and totally wearable by just about anyone. What’s not to like?
Jun 20, 2019


Eau de Minthé Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

Launched in early May 2019, Eau de Minthe is Diptyque's modern take on a classic fougere (fern) accord. The traditional lavender is replaced here with mint; a fresh herb that is usually a top note in fragrances.

As such, I found the fragrance name a little misleading. The mint is not the leading star of the show here. Instead, it makes its appearance from the outset and is short-lived. It seems a little shy and doesn't shout out from the balcony. It is muted, tamed even, yet woven together expertly with earthy patchouli (perhaps there are hints of nutmeg there too) and geranium. On my skin, the patchouli jumps out loudest of all, with the other notes playing their tune quietly in the background. I detect no rose as such.

Eventually the fougere dry-down soon takes over, leaving a relatively strong trail of freshness and just a touch of sweetness creeping through. It was enough to keep me smelling my hands every few minutes and I was soon hooked. On a tester/blotter, the scent retains the accord for several days even with few sprays, so I bet this one will cling to clothes quite nicely.

Diptyque continues its history and obsession with everything to do with Greece or Greeks - from the herbaceous and incense-fumed mountains of Mt. Athos (L'Eau Trois), to the mythological cinnamon-opoponax 'favourite' of Alexander the Great (Eau Lente) and the fragrance of fresh green figs (Philosykos) - comes the tale of Minthe and Hades. If Hades smelled this good, he must have had style. As a Greek, it's hard not to love this brand.

All in all, this is nothing groundbreaking as a new scent. But it is a fresh fougere minus the lavender and for some people this may well be a modern take on a classic and will likely satisfy even the most demanding vintage scent enthusiasts. Just what we've been waiting for. Well done, Diptyque!
May 31, 2019


New York Intense by Nicolaï

There are niche fragrances and niche fragrances. This one is the latter.

It's hard to judge at first whether a fragrance is rightly hyped. Often this is why sampling is a must for this hobby, but this isn't always easy, especially when something this high up on the niche scale is hard to get hold of. I was however, lucky enough to get my nose on New York Intense thanks to the generosity of another member.

Whilst I was immediately taken aback by the uniqueness of this modern masterpiece, it really did take me a while to come to pulling the trigger on a bottle. And boy was the wait worth it!

The work of a master here lies in the stitching of all the bits and pieces together. There's a lot of freshness, some pepper (not too prominent), patchouli, styrax (I detect this in abundance) and a sweet but delicate aura throughout (which never gets too much unless you use too much). It's hard to imagine this smell in your head without actually trying it. What's more interesting is the perfumer describes NYI as an oriental spicy citrus on their website, but the official card that came with my bottle refers to it as an amber. I would describe it as a modern vintage men's cologne done so well that it is a must try for any gentleman that is serious about this hobby. Of course a lady could easily pull this off as well.

The association to a city is quite frankly absurd - I can only picture pollution when I remember my sole visit to the Big Apple. But it is what it is: a superbly crafted fragrance with great longevity and projection. Its freshness will appeal to many, whereas the blending is bound to be noticed by vintage lovers. One not to be over-sprayed at any cost, it lasts and projects very well for the best part of a working day: two sprays are enough to last me past the 10 hour mark.

Recommendation: sample first in different settings. Full bottle worthy for me - and the bottle is quite special too.
May 7, 2019


Elysium pour Homme Cologne by Roja Dove

As fragrance houses go, Roja Dove's is one that continues to focus on bling, ignoring the fact that those in this hobby actually care about the juice above all.

The Elysium bottle however is nice; which is a shame as the juice is not worth the asking price. A distinct similarity to Chanel's well-established Bleu line makes Elysium the most pointless creation ever to grace the shelves of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason et al.

The opening is fresh and zesty - sparkling with aldehydes even. As it settles, the similarities to Bleu are obvious. Elysium's composition may well be of a higher quality, but to my nose the scent is obsolete given the three Chanel versions - EdT, EdP and Parfum.

Elysium settles with a crystal clear vetiver note that for something of this price point should emit gold leaf petals at you throughout the wearing.

But alas, this is after all juice in a bottle. It may be a high quality juice of something already out there (zero marks for originality once again, Roja), but at nearly £600 retail (at the time of writing) for the 100ml Parfum, this is a distinct 'nil point' from me.

The fragrance could have stood on its legs at a much lower price point. But alas, Roja chooses to market his scents at those living on yachts off the Southern coast of France. Pass.
Apr 10, 2019


Fetish pour Homme by Roja Dove

Men's scents owe a lot to the iconic and legendary Bel Ami by Hermes. For many of us the benchmark leather scent, it is one I have come to love and think of as something as close as possible to a signature scent as a frag-head can get to.

Fetish by Roja Dove fails to impress on originality right away. Its opening notes are a relatively good interpretation of that original smoky-leather-chypre called Bel Ami that we all know and love. I for one wouldn't be able to distinguish the two early on in a side-by-side comparison.

The similarities unfortunately end there. The heart contains bucket loads of cypriol - perhaps Roja Dove's scent DNA - which makes the scent reminiscent of moth-balls. By the dry down, the smooth and crisp vetiver note joins the party and the curtain draws to a close. There is sadly no encore.

There is a well-known obsession among niche perfumers recently to rip-off classic scents and this reeks of a lack of originality. Uninspired is an understatement. What else could they do? Roja has intentionally borrowed the top from Bel Ami and then made a complete hash of the rest. Surely if you're going to make a copy, you should do it right? Or improve it at the very least?

I am surprised a house that is obsessed with bling is able to create a fragrance with such a bland and uninspiring heart and dry down. With this level of cypriol, it makes me wonder who Roja thinks he's kidding.

The current edition of Bel Ami should be in every man's wardrobe and costs a fraction of Fetish. Fetish (and it's not too distant cousin Puredistance M) are redundant in this sense and all fragrance enthusiasts, including any millionaire readers, should steer clear of this one.
Apr 10, 2019


Eucris Eau de Parfum by Geo F Trumper

Review for the new Eau de Parfum, 50ml spray

It's one of my favourite releases so far in 2018! After sampling it, I bought a bottle as soon as my preferred store had it in stock. It's a huge improvement on the cologne-like EdT, which only comes in a splash bottle.

First impressions were "this stuff is potent!". The scent is an oakmoss overload. There is plenty of it in there. Others have commented how they "can be allowed to release a scent with so much moss in this day and age". I'm puzzled by this too but it is a welcome scent.

To me it also comes across as "inky", dark, thick and mysterious, yet it maintains a certain freshness in the opening. The blackcurrant and cumin are both muted compared to its predecessor, but the association to Aventus is justified (to my nose) because of the oakmoss.

50ml of this though is ample as you won't need to spray a lot to get a good long-lasting scent into the evening. Two sprays max should do it.

I personally have worn it to work a few times and its staying power is big. I've also worn it in the evening and can detect it on me well into the morning the next day.
Feb 11, 2019

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