Scent Essence Velvet Amber by Avon

Sugary vanilla with a top note of plum, black cherry and floral notes. Finish is sweet amber and vanilla. Reminds me a bit of Ghost Deep Night only fruitier.

Brut by Brut Parfums Prestige

Fragrance In Three Words: Masculine Green Woods

Brut was one of the first fragrances I owned. I was given one with the silver paper label, along with what I think was Yardley Gold deodorant. I thought it was very strong. The version I bought last year and finished is a lot weaker.

Starts with a nice lavender and slight citrus. The prominent note is oakmoss, I suspect newer versions use treemoss and dry vetiver. It's mainly green notes. There are a lot of floral notes, but they get lost in the miasma.

Brut is a golden balled classic, I've recently been trying Old Spice again and I like that more. Sadly it has become watered down, but it still retains its core DNA.

Rating: old version 8 out of 10
Newer version 7 out of 10

Eclipse by Ghost

Fragrance In Three Words: Fruit Bowl Musk

Ghost Eclipse is designed to be a summer version of Ghost from what I can tell. It's very fruity.

Top notes are apple, sweet mandarin oranges, lemon and peach. The orange and peach were dominant for me. This is well done, but not in the same league of beauty as Dolce Vita (1995).

The fragrance evolves into floral musks that the Ghost brand is known for with a shot of blackcurrant amongst the white flowers.

It difficult to hate, but it doesn't top the original Ghost for me. Sadly the fragrance is becoming difficult to find as of December 2021 it can still be picked up for less than £30 for 50ml.

6 out of 10

Davidoff Adventure by Davidoff

Fragrance In Three Words: Fruity Woody Vetiver

I used to wear this a lot when it was first launched in the late 00s. It still remains very affordable and isn't too difficult to get hold of albeit not as common as it once was.

Starts off with a blast of synthetic citrus, mainly sweet orange and lemon with a touch of pink pepper.

Drys down to a fruity woodsy vetiver. I was reminded of Terre d'Hermes with the combination of earthy woods, citrus fruits and vetiver. TDH is much drier and complex, not to mention longer lasting, but it's also around double the price.

Tech Specs: longevity was around 4-5 hours with sillage being moderate. Price in UK 2021 is £50 for 100ml, but it is often discounted to £25 or less. It is very good value.

This is a fun fragrance. On another day I might rate it neutral, but not today.

6.5 out of 10

Pink Grapefruit by Body Shop

Fragrance In Three Words: Just Pink Grapefruit

This is unmistakeably ultra bright tangy pink grapefruit. Like most Body Shop fragrance performance is a bit weak. It is a bit one dimensional with not really anymore than a pink grapefruit smell. That said it is done incredibly well.

Tech Specs: price in UK is an incredibly affordable £9 for 30ml EDT.

Given the price point and it delivering on authenticity without it being candied or synthetic, it is difficult not to recommend.

Rating 7 out of 10.

Russian Leather by Molton Brown

Fragrance In Three Words: Birch Tar Cade

Russian Leather delivers on its name. Big, beefy birch tar top notes. Some black tea. It reminds me of Bulgari Black (1998) without the burnt rubber aspects.

Unfortunately the birch tar is short lived and it drys down to warm leather.

Tech specs: lasted around 4-5 hours with the top notes lasting around 1 hour. Projection is moderate. Price in UK 2021 is £120 for 100ml edp.

This would be a positive if I hadn't tried Vi Et Armis by Beaufort which does the same thing better. The pricing point while ok doesn't entice me and Molton Brown is rarely on offer unless it is a discontinued line.

Scores: 6 out of 10

Re-charge Black Pepper by Molton Brown

Fragrance In Three Words: Aquatic Black Pepper

I was glad to try this, but I have to say "I was underwhelmed".

Starts off with a decent strong pepper, citrus and ginger. It reminded me slightly of the opening to Gucci Envy for Men (1998), but not as good, with a slight cola/root beer opening.

As it drys down it becomes much lighter and floral with the pepper disappearing in less than an hour. In the latter stages it reminded me of many men's aqua fragrances including Prada Luna Rossa Ocean (2021). It reminded me most of Marc Jacobs Bang (2010), which I prefer.

Tech Specs: Longevity was above 5 hours. Projection was average. Price in the UK is £120 for 100ml edp.

Scores: 6 out of 10

Gucci Bloom by Gucci

Fragrance In Three Words: Strong Classical Floral

First of all Bloom reminded me of much older fragrances like Estée Lauder's Knowing (1988) and Elizabeth Arden's 5th Avenue (1996). It's a nod to powerhouse florals.

Opening to me smelt like lily of the valley. Although not listed as a note I suspect jasmine has similar DNA in aromachemicals.

As it progressed I got gardenia and white florals. As well as green stems. Drydown is a bit sweeter with honeyed musk. Unfortunately it never goes into the dirty earthy musk territory.

This is a bit of a weird I think the under 30 would see this as old lady perfume despite the bottle design and marketing. People of middle age probably own a few similar fragrances. I do appreciate a big designer fragrance house taking the risk on revising an old school style though.

Projection is quite big for the first hour with above average sillage. Lasted around 6 hours+ on skin. Price in UK is £105 for 100ml (December 2021) and £77 for 50ml.

Scores a neutral due to the pricing point and there are florals I like much more such as Après L'Ondée (1906) and Theo Fennell Scent (2007).

6 out of 10

Gucci Guilty pour Homme by Gucci

Fragrance In Three Words: Boring Barbershop Sweetie

I wanted to like this more, but I've smelt it all before and it's been done better.

Starts off with a crisp natural smelling lemon, no cheap Toilet Duck lemon fragrance here and a strong lavender. Middle is sugary to me it smells a bit like sweet bergamot.

Where it fails for me is the base. A typical Ambroxan/Iso E bomb with typical chocolate patchouli and amped up powdered amber woods. It's noticeably synthetic, but what separates it from other fragrances?: K by Dolce & Gabbana (2019), Le Mâle Le Parfum (2020), Tom Ford Ombré Leather (2018) - absolutely nothing.

Performance was about average for me at around 4-5 hours with moderate projection. Price in the UK is £72 for 90ml (December 2021) or £57 for 50ml. This puts it about on par with fragrances like 1 Million.

I was originally going to rate it neutral, but changed to negative as it bores me. It's a dumb reach and an okay sexy clubbing fragrance, but it's not for me and there's much better for less money (DKNY, Le Male, Ck One).

Rating: 5 out of 10

Africa & Marmite by Axe / Lynx

Fragrance In Three Words: Meat Flavoured BO

I'm all for experimentation, but this smells gross.
Marmite is a yeast extract and no doubt this smells authentic. To me in deodorant form it reminds me a bit of Bovril, a beef flavoured hot drink.

Africa is a classic and one of Lynx crown jewels. It is overpowered by Marmite in this. I get a slight whiff of its herbaceous-ness.

Price in the UK is around £2, with gift packs with shower gel less than £5.

Rating: 3 out of 10

Bohemian by SweDoft

Fragrance In Three Words: Dusty Ambery Figs

Starts off with a massive nutmeg and fig note. I get some raisins and prune notes as well. Drydown is dry cedar, davana and dusty amber.

It's not really sweet or fruity in the classic sense. It's mainly dry and woody. It is totally unisex and okay value. Price in the UK (November 2021) is £185 for 100ml or £140 for 50ml; this puts it around the same price range as niche fragrances like Byredo.

Rating: 7 out of 10

K by Dolce & Gabbana by Dolce & Gabbana

Fragrance In Three Words: Citrus and Ambroxan

This one starts with a sharp citrus utilising blood orange and lemon. It reminded me a bit of a gin and tonic.

It dries down to a ton of ambroxan, lavender and chocolate patchouli. With a dry finish. It reminds me slightly of Le Mâle Le Parfum (2020) combining a bit of edible gourmand and a barbershop fougere.

I think this is a very safe office fragrance and a sexy clubbing fragrance which would get tons of compliments, I just find it boring. It's the James Corden of Saturday Night TV: boring, obnoxious and loud. These days I prefer Bill Murray; a bit of understated class.

Tech Specs: Price in the UK (EdT, Gold Crown, October 2021) is £77 for 100ml this puts it on par with Dior Homme (EdT) and some of the mainline Chanel (Allure Homme, Egoiste). Longevity was good at 6 hours+.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Moringa by Body Shop

Fragrance In Three Words: Basic White Flowers

This is a typical white flower scent. I've never smelt Moringa, but Body Shop have a knack for authentic fragrances.

It's not my thing. White flowers and a bit of earthy green musk. It's not sweet like many floral fragrance which is a good thing, but it's one dimensional.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Dolce Vita by Christian Dior

Fragrance In Three Words: Peaches and Cream

This offering from Dior is sadly discontinued in favour of Miss Dior flankers.

This fragrance features a vivid apricot and peach note. The fruity notes are blended beautifully with an old school powdery rose and a sweet vanilla base. Lasted around 6 hours on skin. It's subtle and not a massive projector.

It's slightly too girly for me, but if the price was on par with current Miss Dior I would add it to the collection.

Rating: 8

cK one Shock for Him by Calvin Klein

Fragrance In Three Words: Fruity Gourmand Tobacco.

This was a blind buy based on reviews by Greggieboy and Mr Smelly on YouTube.

The fragrance starts off with a tropical cucumber and Clementine/Tangerine. A really original opening compared to the bergamot and pink pepper a lot of fragrances use. This part lasted around 20 minutes.

Drys down to some green notes and a well done tobacco. The tobacco isn't quite on par with Pure Havane. Light amber and chocolate notes give a gourmand feel without being overly sweet, but it also lacks the punch of balsamic amber in more expensive fragrances.

This is becoming my signature fragrance for the time being. It's very affordable and has an originality often lacking in designer fragrances. On skin it lasts around 4 hours.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme by Gucci

Fragrance in Three Words: Old school woods

Real anomaly of a flanker. It not only smells better than the original, but is done in a style you rarely see in designer fragrances.

It's big on cedar and has a sort of varnish smell. I don't really get anything medicinal, but I can understand comparisons to Coal Tar soap.

Rating: 8

Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir

Fragrance In Three Words: Green Stinging Nettles

This is a very bitter green smelling fragrance. It reminded me of stinging nettles and ivy that used to grow up the side of an old shed at my parent's house.

The fragrance didn't really evolve that much so if you don't like the opening stay away.

The fragrance lasted about 6 hours on skin, sometimes longer on hot days. It also smelt very potent in the atomiser and on clothing.

There's something about it I liked, but it could be a bit too much if I wasn't in the mood.

Rating 7 out of 10.

Ombré Leather by Tom Ford

Fragrance In Three Words: new leather wallet

This is in the affordable range of Tom Ford fragrances and delivers on performance lasting a good 7 hours on skin with big projection if oversprayed.

Starts off with a smooth leather similar to the fresh smell you get when you take a new leather wallet out of a box. I get a slightly spicy, slightly herbal aroma, maybe cardamom and although not listed as a note I get pepper. Has a cloying amber haze that lingers, similar to Rouge Avignon.

This is a sexy clubbing scent at its heart. It stands out by using quality expensive aromachemicals from Giurvadan and being more obscure than say Y or Invictus. Value wise at around £120 for 100ml with discounters offering it for around £100 it is good value, but for similar money I would rather buy L'instant De Guerlain or Terre De Hermes.

Scores 7 out of 10.
Source: official carded sample from rep.

Bendelirious by Etat Libre d'Orange

Fragrance In Three Words: candied cherry musk

This is another one of ELDO's discontinued late 00s fragrances. It is fairly easy to get hold of and costs similar prices to when it was still in production at sub-£100 prices for 100ml bottles.

This starts with an incredibly bright cherry. It is a candy cherry similar to what you would taste and smell in a lollipop or soda. I get a fizzy slightly sour note which could be either the champagne or grapefruit. This takes the edge of the sweetness, but it is a trace note and very faint.

Drydown has tonka listed and to me it smells like vanilla musk. Not quite as obvious and prominent in Ghost (2000), which is my go-to reference for vanilla and white musk. Benderlirious is to my nose more expensive smelling and less enveloping. I don't pick up much in the way of leather or rooty florals or if I do they are surprisingly subtle. I do get a huge note of Turkish delight jam which runs through most of the fragrance.

It's a fun and silly fragrance. It's on the feminine side more than the unisex side. It is sweet and like all of ELDO's fragrances features quality ingredients and an evolving palette. I preferred it over Chargogne which I tried earlier this year. For me it's just a bit too candied and not sexy enough.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Source: 1ml decant from respected website

Cozé 02 by Parfumerie Generale

Fragrance In Three Words: woody weedy earthy

I tried this off the back of the reviews on YouTube as well as the fact it is one of most popular fragrances in the PG line. I'm sort of indifferent to it.

Starts off with Indian Hemp oil. This note is unmistakably cannabis smelling, but without the ashy burnt notes I usually smell when I am in the less salubrious parts of town. It's pungent and earthy. A similar note is used in Lynx/Axe Vibes (2020) range of fragrances. As you would expect PG's is much richer, but if you just want the hemp notes Lynx have done an incredible job for £3.

The drydown is earthy and woody with patchouli. I was reminded slightly of those weird shops that burn incense sticks and have Moroccan carpets in the window and ceramic figures of Buddha. I got some very subtle tobacco which was less dry and rich than in Pure Havane in the latter stages.

Lasted around 5 hours on skin. I enjoyed this, but not enough to spend £138 on the 100ml bottle. It does what it sets out to do it, creating a multifaceted experience out of what is seemingly a one dimensional concept.

Scores: 6.5 out of 10
Source: 1ml decant from respected website

Terror and Magnificence by Beaufort London

Fragrance In Three Words: Wet Creamy Incense

This is a bit of a difficult one. I was expecting a massive smoky incense and this isn't it at all.

Like a lot of Beaufort fragrances the initial notes seem to run all the way through it. To me this smells slightly sour. I didn't really get a specific wet stone or wet ink note, but it does smell slightly wet and fusty. I can see how it smells cathedral like. I get something similar to creamy sandalwood, cheesy oud and dusty haunted house incense.

It's not really fun, sexy or easily wearable. I can't see it being a dumb reach. It is well composed, interesting and enjoyable to wear. Unlike some Beaufort fragrances this is much subtler than some people may expect it's not a monster in terms of projection or longevity (6 hours).

Rating 7 out of 10
Source: 1ml decant from respected website

Burning Ben by Strangers Parfumerie

Fragrance In Three Words: Cocoa Rubberised Espresso

I had to try this and Scotch Peat after lots of positive reviews on YouTube. Unfortunately the first time I tried it (and Scotch Peat) I got a really unpleasant ammonia smell. It could just be down to my skin's chemistry on that day.

For me it started off with a nice strong espresso coffee, very light cherry tobacco and a slight burnt smell from labdanum.

As it progressed I got more of a chocolate cake smell and what is described as burnt tyre. It didn't have the seductive burnt tyre of Bulgari Black (1998) or the potency of something like Beaufort's Vi Et Armis (2015) which does a black tar note really realistically.

Maybe it's down to the hype, but I can't help, but feel cheated. I know Prin Lomross is an incredibly talented and exciting perfumer, but it has too much of a throw everything into the mix feel. I was really letdown by the projection which was moderate; given the notes I expected a monster. Lasted around 5 hours which is good.

Price in the UK is £75 for 30ml which is OK for a niche perfume.

PS: something to watch out for is this (and Scotch Peat) might stain white clothing.

Scores: 6 out of 10.

1ml decant

Scotch Peat by Strangers Parfumerie

Fragrance In Three Words: Earthy Smoky Whisky

Starts off with sort of candied, sugary apricot. As the fragrance progresses I get more of a smoky whisky reminding me of something like Laphroaig. I get a lot of earthy notes and bitter green absinthe.

Like Burning Ben also released on the Strangers Parfumerie line it has that kitchen sink feel. I'm not doubting Prin Lomross' talent and this is an interesting and complex perfume, it just feels a bit too difficult to be wearable. On a different day I might prefer Burning Ben, but both have left me feeling underwhelmed given the hype.

Price in the UK is £75 for 30ml which is OK for a niche perfume.

The perfume also has a slightly green tinge which may stain clothing. I noticed it stained the sprayer on the decant.

Rating: 6.5

1ml decant

Oud Occult by Voronoi

Fragrance In Three Words: Tangerines Incense Sawdust.

Solid opening of sweet tangerines and black pepper. It doesn't contain actual oud, but it has a dusty incense (reminded me a bit of Terror and Magnificence), creamy sandalwood and a slight sawdust cedar. Drydown is quite sweet with some peach and vanilla amongst the amber woods.

Price in the UK is £98 for 50ml. That would make it the equivalent of £196 for 100ml. This puts it on the expensive side, but cheaper than Prim Parssana and a few others.

Score 7 out of 10.

Source: 1ml decant sample.

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