Nov 5, 2009
My somewhat-difficult to substantiate impression is that Luca Turin and others feel that Allure as a brand in general is an exercise in pointless marketing mediocrity, and the fragrances are just not that good, and not very sophisticated. But the notion that Allure Homme should only get 1 star while Cool Water gets 5 is beyond absurd. First of all, there's not much about Cool Water that actually works as a cologne, beyond just smelling "fresh" and nice. I don't feel that I need cologne to smell fresh or nice - I have soap for that. Cologne should be moving and carefully chosen. I think of Cool Water as a product for people who don't like, understand, or have much patience for fragrance, but feel compelled for whatever reason to wear something anyway. It's an inoffensive, nondescript, rather linear (in a bad way) wallflower of a scent. I'm not actually saying that there's anything wrong with Cool Water as it stands on its own - without comparing it to anything else, if I happened across Cool Water in a land without perfume, and did not know much about what my nose was actually capable of smelling, I'd think this tepid Davidoff juice was just fine.

But in the real world, and really comparing it to other things . . . if you want to talk about fresh lavender, why not Pour un Homme de Caron? So there goes the need for the easy to miss synthetic lavender on top of Cool Water. If you want wet oakmoss, why not Grey Flannel, and say goodbye to the joke of oakmoss that is supposedly lurking around in the midst of Cool Water? If you want more lavender, geranium, and sandalwood, why not the brilliant Azzaro pour Homme? These notes, though present in Cool Water, are present only in the sense that if you were taking their attendance in a classroom, you'd find them all asleep at their desks. And let's not even get into the fact that somewhere along the way, probably sometime in the last ten years, Cool Water has been reformulated into something even cheaper than what it was originally. Now there's this impossible cardboard note that suggests they've found some kind of poor substitute for many sadly-dismissed real things . . .

This breeds the argument that the great thing about Cool Water is that, love it or hate it, it manages to take all of the elements described above and combine them into something that smells clean and fresh and very contemporary. But does it really?

Then there's Allure Homme. It is one of the least pretentious fragrances I've encountered, in that it does not claim to do anything more than what it should - smell good and a bit expensive. There's nothing about its note structure that lacks interest: there are surprisingly spare citrus accords on top, with a smooth pepper heart (as smooth as pepper gets anyway) and a sandalwood and cedar base, sweetened by a generous dose of tonka and glowing labdanum, for an ethical if not slightly injudicious second helping of that mellow ambergris effect I've come to appreciate in many of the better fragrances out there. The gold-gilt but otherwise modest brown box and simple square bottle round out Allure Homme as something that is classy, modest, and beautiful.

Is Allure a perfect scent? Absolutely not - there are some problems with it. Everything in this fragrance is blended into what I think of as an "olfactory mush". It's certainly not an aquatic, and there's no calone in there, but it's very gooey and abstract. In other words, aside from the initial light citrus and the almost nose-stinging pepper middle, Allure becomes broadly warm and sweet without really getting into any particular territory and staking its flag. Yet I think there's a misconception out there that Allure Homme is supposed to be this rich, complex fragrance because it's Chanel. Yeah, it's Chanel, but Chanel, like any other house out there, is allowed to strip back its ambitions and sell something that's just a simple, sweetened chypre. Some would argue that they're not allowed to do this, but Americans like things that get to the point, and even a soft luxury can do that easily enough. When you think about how horrendous it could be, you realize Allure Homme isn't really anywhere close to being all that bad. To be fair I'll admit that that's not the way to measure the quality of a fragrance. However, if you try to find something offensive in it, in that it just smells hastily made and cheap, you'll come up short. Where's that cardboard that went into Cool Water? Nowhere to be found. Is there something here that's offensive? Not a single thing, unless you're especially sensitive to diffused Jamaican pepper (which is really a dried fruit - the allspice of Pimenta dioica, a plant that is only germinated through bird droppings). This little allspice trivia alone makes Allure Homme a product that, at least in conceptual terms, is far more interesting that anything about Cool Water, aside from the latter's astounding commercial success as a re-invigoration of the "fresh" fougere.

I can't speak for any of the other Allures, as I've only smelled and used Allure Homme. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Turin's rating of 1 star for this fragrance should be seriously reconsidered, and with due respect to Mr. Turin, so should his 5 stars for Cool Water.


Basenotes Dependent
Dec 28, 2007
I didn't want to leave such a great post unattended to, though I don't really have much to add! I agree, and I think many others do as well, since the topic of LT and his ratings have been brought up numerous times before. I don't think Allure Homme is a particularly phenomenal fragrance, though I do think it is well deserving of a 3-star rating, and similarly I don't feel Cool Water is good at all, and think that (at least at it's current state, I don't have any experience with it's original formulation) would be generous with a 2-star rating. I feel like LT sometimes puts more credence into technological achievements, and cultural importance rather than plain old smell, which IMO is a mistake. Welcome to BN Karlovonamesti!


Basenotes Dependent
Jan 27, 2007
Don't take too seriously Luca Turin reviews - afterall, it's his impression, not something universal that you should assume as an absolute truth.You said that Cool Water is a product for people who don't like understand or have much patience in fragrance, and in this categorie I don't see difference between Allure and Cool Water, since Allure is also something in that way, unpretentious and not hard to like. I cannt see it as an expensive smell either. I'd say is a classy casual one. Still, I prefer the Edition Blanche over Allure, that has a mouthwatering sweet citrus that i trully enjoy.
But if you are here showing your point of view, defending Allure and discussing about it, so Luca Turin achieved something with it's book, and it shows that you have a critical sense and not assume everything that he says as truth. I still prefer his reviews to Tania Sanchez one. I hate here reviews, they in general don't say anything that makes you understand more about the fragrance.


New member
Jan 19, 2010
LT seems to be awfully tough on Chanel, mainly because he expects a lot from them. It seems that if he thinks a Chanel scent is anything less than stellar, it deserves one star.


It's subjective. many people gave Yataghan 1 star, many people gave it 5. You think Azzaro PH is brilliat, so i don't. I like many fragrances that in this forum others say that's like cheap cologne.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 5, 2003
Dr. Turin's reviews are his personal opinions. Yours opinions may differ and are probably just as correct as his are--for you at least.

I couldn't agree more.

Myself, I sure rated Allure Homme at a single star after I bought it and found wearing it far made me feel uncomfortably cloyingly sweet smelling, but after I took it out and gave it two days wear last month I'd say it's not too bad. Still can't quite give it as many as three stars, so to speak, however.

I'm only using the star rating thing very casually of course. I don't think much of Cool Water either.


Super Member
Mar 22, 2010
The original Cool Water was amazing. I would give it 5 stars as well. The reformulation is still above-average for an aquatic.


Basenotes Dependent
Mar 16, 2009
I'd like to see Turin judge "Idol". Conversely, Simon Cowell can review some fragrances. You gotta admit, it might be interesting.


Basenotes Institution
Feb 20, 2008
There is a kind of false objectivity in many books like this. I first noticed it long ago with movie reviews. The reviewer doesn't tell you what his or her criteria are, and as you read a lot of the reviews, you realize that different standards and criteria are being used, though the reviewer makes it sound like they are all being assessed the same way. In this case, we have the issue of whether the frags were even given the same "chance," or if some were dismissed after a quick whiff of the top notes on a smelling strip. And of course some are discussed with no reference to the actual smell. So, get whatever you can out of it, but don't worry about it being "serious." There is a kind of nastiness involved, though, which is what you may be responding to more than anything else. I don't know enough to get angry about frags, and I wish LT could have explained his feelings better, but that is "water under the bridge" at this point.

Le Grand Duc

Basenotes Dependent
Feb 9, 2010
Cool post ...

Many of my favorite frags get slaughtered in that book too;

Midnight Poison; Spellbound; Ange ou Démon; Flowerbomb;
; and Pour Monsieur Concentrée all gets but 1 star!

Fahrenheit; Dior Addict; Dioressence; and Dolce Vita gets 2!

Don't put too much in their reviews, 'cause clearly ALLURE rocks!


Basenotes Dependent
Sep 8, 2008
I respect Turin´s opinions although I do not share many. To me it seems he has some excessive love for certain houses and some excessive animosity against others, if you read the entire GUIDE ,as I did, you are left with that impression and from what I am reading I am not the only one feeling that way.

Said that I am a fan of Allure Homme regardless what I think that the fragrance itself is all over the place and difficult to pinpoint, in other words somehow chaotic. Perhaps Allure is the fragrance that has gotten me the most compliments from women ever and I do have some great fragrances in my wardrobe. Allure as the original posts mentioned smells good and expensive. In my book A WINNER.


Basenotes Dependent
Aug 30, 2008
I do agree that Allure is quite ordinary, and a bit boring. Cool Water, is so synthetic smelling, it's hard to even give it two stars. I am not a fan of either of these fragrances. Fragrance is totally subjective though, and what you love, I may loathe.


Nov 5, 2009
Certainly reviews are subjective and opinions may vary. However, when writing a book that is professed to be a "guide", you're writing something that many newbies are going to flip through to get an idea of what/what not to wear. Experienced fragrance users will read it too, and be less effected by it because they'll balance out many opinions against their own experience.

My issue is in regards to those inexperienced readers out there. For example: Turin rates Creed's Original Vetiver and Original Santal. For the vetiver he chides that it should win a prize for being a vetiver without a trace of vetiver.

This is misleading. Anyone who does even the most cursory investigation of Original Vetiver will find that it's a fragrance that does not use the vetiver root, but the leaf, which has a different smell. The intention was to create a very different, "original" vetiver, and the result is quite nice. Out of all the fragrances I own, Original Vetiver has garnered the most gushing compliments from young women, all of them random strangers. And they all tell me the same thing: "You smell so good!"

Now I'm not saying Turin isn't entitled to dislike Original Vetiver and give it a bad review. But at least throw a few tidbits of information about it in there to let the reader decide. Mention the different vetiver strategy that went into making it. Note that it's a very green, natural-smelling fragrance - which it undeniably is. For the undiscerning newbie reader, this fragrance may very well go undiscovered because Turin treats it the same way he treats Heiress by Paris Hilton.

This is just careless IMO.


He is a human like us. and he has a taste for himself. I don't like none of them. but since 1988 until now Cool Water is selling. It clinged like bomb. It's unique scent imo. However It's synthetic, And for me it's simlar to Anti bacterial Gel !! But maybe Luca gave it 5 for creativity, and being unique,...
Not being Synthetic is important for you. But peoples that buy it, don't attend this subject. Really how much is not being Synthetic is important? It's subjective too!! no?
but allure is not famous such as CW. certainly it has a reason. it's ordinary, you can find many fragrances like this.
Last edited:


Basenotes Dependent
Dec 6, 2007
Cool Water was an extremly influential main-stream fragrance that, for better or worse, has completely alterred mens perfumery. Allure Homme is definitely worthy of more than 1 star - I'd personally say 3.5-4 stars, however like others I prefer the Edition Blanche.

All reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt - one of my favorite restaurants received a scathing review from a food critic / 'expert', but that didn't stop me going there!
Last edited:


Basenotes Dependent
Dec 31, 2008
Art criticism of any kind must balance analysis of technical merits ("Is it well done?") with the reviewer's own aesthetic preference ("Do I like it?").

Turin's decades of personal and professional experience with the fragrance industry allow him to comment on the historical and technical aspects of fragrance, and this insight often comes through in his reviews. He also gives scents credit for being interesting, weird, innovative, influential, or made by either C. Becker or M. Roucel :))), which are all related and more or less personal preferences.

I agree that the drive-by zingers are not always helpful for newbies reading The Guide and his evaluation process and criteria are not always clear; look, Mr. Rogers or Immanuel Kant he ain't. As has been suggested before, maybe it ought to have been titled Perfumes: A Guide rather than Perfumes: The Guide, in order to remove any implication of definitive authority therein. Whatever, who cares? He is entertaining and his way of looking at the world of fragrance is illuminating often enough for me to treasure The Guide.

Yeah, Allure Homme is probably more than a 1-star fragrance, considering all of the folderol deservedly in that category, but Turin is allowed to hold Chanel to a higher standard if he wants to. It is incumbent upon the reader to decide for herself what is worth smelling and what isn't, what to love and what not to. LT and TS clearly intended to contribute to the discussion--rather than end it--which is in keeping with their desire to have perfume and perfume criticism taken seriously.

Whatever their perceived failings with respect to individual fragrances, I am grateful for their voices among the din.


Nov 5, 2009
By no means do I intend to discredit Mr. Turin. Actually I agree with 98% of his analysis. Many of the 7 fragrances I own are, by coincidence no less, 5-stars in the Guide.

My only problem lies in the critical realm of holding Cool Water up as a measuring rod. By that standard it is impossible to see merit in a criticism of Allure Homme. Allure is original; Cool Water is a dumbed down version of Green Irish Tweed. Bourdon just reinvented his own wheel.

Turin knows this of course.


New member
May 25, 2010
If Turin thinks Cool Water is better that Creed GIT should have his nose checked... He hates Creed and trashes everything that house does, I guess it's more the fact that trying to be controversial to be critical, the problem with his opinions come when he published them and make them a public subject of discussion...


Basenotes Institution
Dec 5, 2007
Allure Homme is definitely not a 1-star fragrance. Unfortunately, there was not a lower rating to give it.


Basenotes Dependent
Dec 10, 2007
The other thing that needs reconsidering is all of these modern reformulations, Cool Water was a decent fragrance 10 years ago but the current bottle is a poor representation of what it once was and now has a dreadful bleached quality to it.


Basenotes Dependent
Jan 18, 2011
Wow, I couldn't disagree more. I'm certainly no big fan of Turin's reviews, but I am a fan of Cool Water and definitely prefer it over Allure Homme. (although I do love Allure Homme Sport Cologne, which you probably don't like since it's very fresh and clean smelling). Anyway, that's why we all have our own preferences and favorites. I personally prefer a lot of fresh, clean type scents and it's honestly my favorite category of fragrance.

As far as Cool Water, I'm also one who prefers it over Green Irish Tweed. Granted, GIT certainly is more natural and uses better ingredients, but I personally am not a big fan of violet leaves or heavy ambergris. That's why I prefer the lavender/peppermint opening and musky/mossy drydown of CW better.

Deleted member 13377847

GIT smells too natural for me to want to smell like that.


Basenotes Institution
Oct 25, 2007
The Turin star rating is very subjective, but regarding the two fragrances being discussed, IMO they are both fine fragrances.


Basenotes Dependent
Aug 4, 2010
I'm sorry but hes lost all credibility with me. Allure Homme is a fragrance that I would 100% give a 5 stars. Projection and Longevity? Perfect. I get 10 hours and it projects perfectly. Not too loud, but loud enough that everyone will smell you. Versatility? Perfect. You can wear it going out to lunch in jeans and a tee shirt, and you can wear it with the most expensive suits in the world. You can wear to Chuck E Cheeses, you can wear it to a 5 star restaurant and on your wedding day.You can wear this during the hot temperatures of summer in Cali, and the cold temperatures of winter in New York City. As far the the scent itself, one of the most attractive scents I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. It certainly keeps me on my feet as well. One stage is citrus, then it has a peach pie gourmand smell, then its woody. Its an all around amazing fragrance, and considering all categories you use to rank a fragrance such as versatility, proj/long, and scent, this could be in the discussion as one of the best fragrance ever. The only thing its lacking is that fact that it is not daring. Its funny that a fragrance that does everything else so well can be criticized for smelling too pleasant.


Basenotes Dependent
Oct 15, 2011
I'm sorry but hes lost all credibility with me. Allure Homme is a fragrance that I would 100% give a 5 stars. Projection and Longevity? Perfect. I get 10 hours and it projects perfectly. Not too loud, but loud enough that everyone will smell you. Versatility? Perfect. You can wear it going out to lunch in jeans and a tee shirt, and you can wear it with the most expensive suits in the world. You can wear to Chuck E Cheeses, you can wear it to a 5 star restaurant and on your wedding day.You can wear this during the hot temperatures of summer in Cali, and the cold temperatures of winter in New York City. As far the the scent itself, one of the most attractive scents I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. It certainly keeps me on my feet as well. One stage is citrus, then it has a peach pie gourmand smell, then its woody. Its an all around amazing fragrance, and considering all categories you use to rank a fragrance such as versatility, proj/long, and scent, this could be in the discussion as one of the best fragrance ever. The only thing its lacking is that fact that it is not daring. Its funny that a fragrance that does everything else so well can be criticized for smelling too pleasant.

I totally agree with you Jonny. Personally im on my second bottle of Allure Homme and its definitely the most versatile cologne ever. It can also be a scent which one could wear the any nightspots :) awesome frag that deserve way more than one star.


Basenotes Dependent
Aug 4, 2010
As a matter of fact, im going on vacation for two weeks. I'm bringing two fragrance: Gucci Pour Homme 2 and Chanel Allure Homme


Basenotes Dependent
Nov 6, 2002
I laugh when people get all offended when Turin and/or Sanchez give fragrances they like bad reviews. Grow up people. Enjoy the book for what it is. The OP has a hate on for Turin. LOL, why should Turin reconsider because YOU said so ? I would love to harrass every BNer that give my favorites bad reviews or even bad comments on the forum. Wouldn't that be fun ?

PS : Allure Homme is really sweet in the dry down. Too sweet, actually. I like the top notes alot. But I just can't take the fragrance for more than 1 hour. It actually gives me a headache :( No, not a fictional over-exagerated headache, but a real one. One of a couple of fragrances that do that to me.


Super Member
Dec 4, 2011
Yes I'm reviving this because A) it's a good post and B) I think the issue of Allure needs to be addressed. Here's the issue with Allure Homme. First of all, you're Chanel, with the exception of the niche houses, your perfumiers have quite literally the best of the best of ingredients to choose from, they could've opened up with a glorious floral top to complement the lemon you get at the outset, maybe a base of exotic woods or a new sandalwood variant. As it is, Allure smells like a bottle of lazy lemon (artificial lemon) you can get at any grocery store with a bit of pepper thrown in. For what a truly high-end citrus should smell like, see Hanae Mori's HM. HM is the calibre of scent you expect from a house like Chanel demanding a price tag like that. Here's the thing; it isn't that Chanel's Allure is a "bad" fragrance, it's just terribly "average" and for a house that's done Platinum Egoiste, No. 5, and CoCo, you should expect more.

As for the OP's point about various notes in Cool Water being done better in other fragrances individually, the point is that they've never been done this well together. That Cool Water/GIT mix of Lavender and violet just worked in a way that no other perfumer's been able to replicate. Of my 50 or so bottles of fragrance, Cool Water has garnered more compliments than any other by far, for all the hauteur and snobbery it elicits, the bottom line is it "smells good."

I do appreciate the OP's post though, it's incredibly astute and does make some good points, but yeah, at the end of the day, I agree with Turin on this, for a house of Chanel's calibre, a fragrance like Allure is just below par...


Basenotes Junkie
Dec 25, 2022
I have to agree with Mr Turin on both assessments. While on perfumes rated with by him with 3 stars it's more of a grey territory, I agree with most of his 1 star, 4 star and 5 star ratings.

For me, if Mr Turin says a perfume is great, I can usually agree, even if I like it or not. Likewise, if he finds a perfume is poorly done, I most often agree. So, for me, his books and articles are generally useful.


All Is Beautiful
Basenotes Plus
Nov 17, 2018
I think many of our wonderful members here write fabulous reviews and I value their findings more than I value Turin’s and Sanchez’s. But their writing is fun to read, I will give them that. Their Kouros review for example.
  • Love
Reactions: rum

Latest News

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...