Tom Ford Noir by Tom Ford

A slightly skanky Dior Homme - becomes sickly over time. Pugh!

Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée by Chanel

Very light, bright, sparkly and citrus. Very pleasant but not much depth or substance. Effervescent.

Kalemat by Arabian Oud

Soft syrupy sweet woodsy base with a bitter green, balsamic herbsy top. And apple skins / hookah pipe? Very eclectic. Top and bottom are chalk and cheese, and don't play nicely - like a freshly baked flapjack with crushed fresh basil leaves on it. It's just a bit odd...

Floriental by Comme des Garçons

This is a bit of a car crash - light pot pouri florals with a harsh vetiver and a resinous, balsamy undertone. I don't get any sandalwood or plum, which might have helped smooth things out, but more than likely would have clashed even more and made it worse.

Just too many juxtaposed strong elements that conflict rather compliment each other.

Apsu by Ulrich Lang

Unripe melon and tabouleh - all very green and fresh, and balanced between sweet and savoury. Limited projection but comes with the territory.

Eau de Citron Noir by Hermès

A nice fresh lemon peel/rind. To me it doesn't smell like cleaning spray and it's not overly sweet or synthetic. I agree with other reviewers that it's very linear with no smokey depth or the tea I was really hoping for. It probably works well in summer but for me Sel Marin takes that spot every time - it's just more interesting, like smelling fresh citrus but at the end of a jetty with the sea spray below and the breeze making all the notes more etherial, coming and going in different combinations. It wins every time.

Framboise Noire by Shay & Blue

Interesting. Like a fruitier Jubilation xxv. A big oud opening but then goes lighter and even a bit soapy. Less complex than the Amouage and I'm not sure if that's a good thing - musky ouds are a bit all in or not at all. Definitely pleasant - just a bit in no-man's-land.

Vétiver Fatal by Atelier Cologne

A bright fresh vetiver with a faint hint of plum. Simple. Clean. Interesting. Original. Slightly metallic and cold. A perfect summer office grab and go.

Jubilation XXV Man by Amouage

Just keeps getting better and better - a perfect Sunday scent for colder months - wonderfully warm and complex - notes subtly emerge and drift away - it's slightly sweet, slightly smokey, slightly boozy - warming and cosy like a fireside whisky.

Plum Japonais by Tom Ford

A warm sophisticated mulled-plum. Well balanced with other notes - not sweet. Just spicy enough to be interesting but not Christmassy. The florals a brightness and complexity too.

Edit: I don't know if this has been reformulated but my latest decant (from scent samples) smells much darker than I remember - much closer to framboise noir from shay and blue. Lacks the cleanness of Tom ford for men extreme and is a lot less similar than I previously thought. I get something almost oud-like which I'm not a fan of and I'm sure wasn't there before. A real shame.

Lost by Miller Harris

I was hoping for a zesty earl grey tea, with a faint after-taste of blackcurrant bitter-sweetness - something refreshing but not icy cold - something clean but interesting. Citrus meets sweet meets bitter meets tart all in a slightly watery drinkable way but with just enough musk to stop it being a wash out.

It's actually like a mild rose hand soap. The rest of the notes seem to be lost somewhere in the city.

Gold Leather by Atelier Cologne

Incense and not much else for about 8 hours. When it finally calms down it actually turns into a nice warm skin scent of plum schapps, something like turmeric (but soapy clean, not dry and dusty) plus a light leather. Actually very pleasant but no projection by this stage. And earlier on it's too much of an incense-thug for practical use.

Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

Another magical melange of woods, spices, florals and citruses from Tom Ford! Wonderfully softly spoken, humble and ever so slightly sweet, but with complexity and richness underneath.

It's such a shame it's also another one that gives up after an hour or so. Performance is hopeless - projection is minimal and it's barely a skin scent after a couple of hours. So disappointing.

Tacit by Aesop

A fresh clean vetiver with a hint slight bitterness of crushed basil leaves. A quirky take on vetiver and a more interesting alternative to TF Grey Vetiver.

Musc Impérial by Atelier Cologne

A creamy lemony clary sage musk. More coconut-milk than fig. Definitely leans a bit feminine for my tastes. No blackcurrant. Was hoping for something a little cleaner and fruiter (without taking it too far into ‘mure et musk' territory) - shouldn't have been surprised with a name like musc imperial though.

Hwyl by Aesop

Oh what a shame - with a name like ‘hwyl' it promised so much but in the end it was a ‘hwyl' disappointment (sorry - 'real'!)

The opening is amazing - a mysterious and brooding fug of smokey earth with a bit of conifer (so far so good).

But all that's quickly over powered by a minty medicinal vibe somewhere between stale chewing gum and Covonia cough expectorant, and the subtle conifer becomes an overpowering pine note, as if some pine-needles are stuck to some chewing gum on the bottom of someone's shoe, and are being ground down and intensified as the person walks home from the drugstore.

I'm upset to be so down on this one - nothing particularly ‘stirring' about it at all - other than ‘stirring' together a bathroom cabinet of cough sweets, toothpaste and radix pine shower gel. Why couldn't they have just stuck with the opening...?

Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

This is at another level. The long note listing doesn't really do it justice - to my nose, none of the individual notes are that indiscernable but together they create a complex fragrance with a character of its own - ever so slightly dark-fruity, with a faint tinge of peaty-whisky, but also clean and classy. It's warm and cosy but smart at the same time. The performance isn't great (it's actually terrible!) - the scent lasts on the skin a couple of hours but has no projection after the first hour or so (and no sillage to speak of at all). It's a real shame because the scent itself is in a class of its own.

Blasted Heath by Penhaligon's

Not much about this is ‘blasted' - lightning didn't strike on this heath once, let alone twice. There's no smokiness, no burnt woods, no ionised air/high voltage electricity smell, no charred peat etc.. It's just a diluted mossy-sage green fragrance that's very wearable and inoffensive, but not particularly interesting or unique either. I definitely get similarities with Floris 1962 but with less mint.

Vétiver Extraordinaire by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Fresh orange peel on a wooden chopping board - zesty but delicate. Ends up in no-mans land with cool clean vetiver pulling one way and warm woods the other. It doesn't quite have the ‘cold water sink-wash' feel of grey vetiver/original vetiver/muegler cologne; and doesn't have the full warm woods richness of Comme des Garçons or L'occitane's Cade. Plus I'm not the biggest fan of orange fragrances. Probably needs a particular type of day to make this work - when you need slightly warm, slightly fresh (or can't make up your mind).

Layton by Parfums de Marly

Very green and bitter. Patchouli and cardamom pod skins. Fruit pith without the fruitiness. Bond number 9 New Harlem with less coffee? Unpleasant.

Bibliothèque by Byredo

Sweets and not much else? Even a few hours later I just get feminine peach body spray. Was hoping for so much more...

L'Eau par Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

Cold sparkling water with mint leaves, fruit peel (yuzu?) a clean wet wood like reeds or bamboo (?). No real depth or development but clean and refreshing.

Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive by Zara

Initially thought this was ok but it's pretty linear and quite cloying and overpowering. There's lots of hype around it (or was at one point) but don't get sucked in - it's cheap but really smells it after you try the better options on the market - Atkinsons Odd Fellows Bouquet, Histoires Ernest Hemmingway, Aramis Tobacco Reserve, Phaedon Tobacco Rouge, eau duelle etc. All these are much more interesting and wearable over and over again. RWA just gets sickly after about an hour - I've decanted my bottle, watered it down, put some wooden diffusing sticks in it and turned it into an air freshener for the toilet - it's absolutely indiscernible from the vanilla air fresheners you get from the supermarket. It works well in that context.

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I have a love hate with this one - the dry down is completely amazing - a lovely subtle fougere-musk with a light toffee-vanilla sweetness that you can almost taste as you breathe in, and it's totally worthy of all the hype. The problem is you've got to have the patience to sit through the opening - 4 hours of a slightly musky musty clove. At fine if you can apply it well in advance of going out and put a clothes peg in your nose, but it's a bit impractical. Apparently there's a fragrance by l'erbolario called dolcelesir that goes straight to the amazing dry down. I'm keen to check this out - it could be the answer to my clothes peg woes!

Latest Threads

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...