Top Rated Reviews of the last 7 Days

ScentFan 29 hours ago
4 Awards
No Greater Excellence
If a greater perfume than this exists, it's got to be Roja (Haute Luxe) by Roja Dove--at least in my personal sniffing experience. But even Roja can't eclipse the sheer wonder of Shalimar in its most glorious form, the original extrait. It took me a long time to understand this perfume, years to collect every version, months to study it, compare it. Then, one day, I put on the extrait and it was as if clouds parted and a choir of angels sang. Not the boring kind of angels. These were wrapped in furs (magic ones not from animals) and had wings of gold. The real Shalimar is an experience of bliss awaiting the perfumista or perfumisto lucky enough to snag a well-preserved bottle of the extrait then glory in the Lemon/Bergamot top and thrill in its civety heart and base. From Jacques Guerlain's notes, Thierry Wasser reports the extrait has: bergamot, lemon, jasmine, rose, orris, opopanax, tonka bean, birch tar, patchouli, incense, vetiver, civet, castoreum, vanilla, musk. I can smell them. Given the restrictions on today's perfumers, such a scent will never come again. At least it once was made and can still be enjoyed--the reigning excellence in perfume, even in its age.

TaoLady 5 days ago
2 Awards
A smoldering rose...
Low, thrumming along from beginning to end. A rounded sensuous bottom-of-the-garden rose shimmering in moonlight...need I say how much I love it.

A bit of background - I am a lady of a certain age with dry skin living in a mildly southern climate on the East Coast of the US. I love all things oriental - and I love roses. (Anyone remember La Rose Jacqueminot? It DID bring an entire department store to it's knees...) And I love ANYthing Jazz Lady puts her talents to.

Anyway, this saintly rose is going into permanent rotation in my collection - vive Annette Neuffer!

StellaDiverF 5 days ago
2 Awards
Starbucks Mocha
The very first minute of Café Tuberosa indeed smells like the aromatic, bitter astringency of coffee to me. But it soon gets overrode by rich cacao, and the fragrance smells more like a cup of sweet mocha with a bar of dark chocolate than black coffee. There is also a subtle boozy impression during this mocha phase, probably due to the presence of rose and sweet citrus.

I didn't expect the tuberose here to be a carnal witch, but still, to my disappointment, this enchanting flower is close to non-existent in Café Tuberosa on my skin. What I get, is a vague floral undercurrent that can be attributed to almost any common floral notes if you will, and a creamy sweetness of artificial vanilla. This sweet creaminess initially enriches the mocha and makes it more unctuous, but eventually softens and the mocha fades into the background after about 2 hours.

Afterwards, the clean patchouli and the rose assert themselves upon the vanilla and the tobacco-ish remnant of cacao, and create a somewhat ripe prune effect in a cocoon of velvet. This dry down indeed reminds me of that of Tom Ford Noir de Noir with slightly less complexity. The sillage is rather close to my skin, while the longevity is just above 6 hours.

All in all, I enjoyed Café Tuberosa, especially its initial mocha phase. As a gourmand fragrance, its sweetness is not over the top and overall I find it easy to appreciate as long as one enjoys chocolate-dominant fragrances. However, the execution of various notes, especially the tuberose and the patchouli, still has a strong commercial identity. The fragrance reminds me of a cup of Starbucks mocha, it's pleasant to drink but clearly feels standardised. I would recommend it to gourmand fans of mocha and dark chocolate, but not to those who are expecting a special tuberose or realistic black coffee.

TaoLady 4 days ago
2 Awards
A suble carn...for the discriminating few!
Insiders tell me that carnatiion is out of favor these days. Tant pis! (more for the rest of us loyal fans - you're listening to a girl who grew up on Bellodgia)

This beauty opened up ona slightly citrusy and floral note with the under-thrum of dusty carnation. I'm especially susceptible to labdanum which is present from top to bottom - a nice underpinning for the spiciness of the carnation and the hint of sandalwood. Trust JazzLady to reclaim a classic!

3 Replies

MrHonest 3 days ago
2 Awards
Basic, entry level, quasi-aquatic vetiver.
There are some vetiver scents on the market, both expensive and inexpensive that are absolutely dreadful. This is not one of them.

I was honestly surprised when I first smelled this. It immediately took me back to my grandfather's bathroom cabinet for some reason. I don't know if it was the lemon, ginger or the vetiver, but the overall spiciness was not what I was expecting. The effect is to give off an air of cleanliness, to be sure, but for me, there was always something about it that put it in the buttoned-down realm of Terre de Hermes, without that distinct earthiness. Moreover, there is no question that the "orange" in orange zest (Oz) is peculiarly absent.

It's an incredibly simple and linear scent. Perhaps a small nod to the fougeres of yesteryear, it leans just a little too mature and "zingy" for my nose, but can still be appreciated for what it is - a very decent release. It really is. I do get the Homme Sport similarity, but Oz is far less complex and refined than Dior's creation. It's just basic as basic can be - a distinctly crisp and refreshing ginger-vetiver combo from top to bottom, with respectable longevity for the price.

I salute Zara for creating something fresh and spicy among an overwhelming selection of sweet and fruity gourmands, but it's hardly revolutionary. In fact, one of their newest releases from the Swedish collection called "Norrland" is probably a step up for the average individual, due to the substitution of grapefruit for the ginger making it slightly more youthful and appealing IMO. However, despite being hailed a TdH clone, that one is also strangely missing the orange (#wheresmyorange?...).

So is it worth a buy? I guess that's up to you. Personally, I'm not a big fan of vetiver so I don't own a bottle (plus my signature is Bvlgari Man Extreme which is similar and better), but since most Zara fragrances are usually clearanced after a year, I wouldn't mind scooping up a bottle for 50-60% retail. But if you can, do a side-by-side comparison with Norrland and see which you like better. Otherwise, don't rush it. Like I said, it's not revolutionary and there's always something better around the corner...

1 Reply

Raygsoko 2 days ago
2 Awards
Smooth Mix
I was on a quest for a wearable tobacco scent and tried many over the past couple of years. I realize there are several out there (and the many variations of how tobacco can be utilized in fragrances) and in my mind, I had a very specific scent I was looking for and wasn't successful finding anything that met all of my "criteria". Until of I tried Cuir Impertinent.
Simple with few notes but for me it gets the point across both subtly and elegantly but not too formal. A perfect mix of light leather and tobacco and the star anise adds enough sweetness to round it off. I enjoy it and recommend a decant for those that like this genre of scents. Worth a sniff in my opinion.

Gianluca 5 days ago
1 Awards
There ain't no Black in 1881 Black
To begin with, Black is just one of many 1881 flankers, though it has nothing to do with the original 1881, which is a soapy, green, and fresh scent. I picked-up several Cerruti fragrances back in the Spring including 1881 Black. I only tried it once and didn't recall any details since one of the other 1881 fragrances caught my attention, Fairplay to be precise. Fast forward three seasons and I said to myself, "Wow, I really like this one" when it was applied to my skin: 1881 Black walked that fine line of having a clean, fresh, sweet side but also striking a nice balance with having a woodsy-spicy side. Excellent!

That being said, 1881 Black opens gracefully like a warm spicy smell with a hint of sweetness to the blend. You do get pepper and orange in there with some nice fresh spice, perhaps the caraway. It is a little bit balsamic, medicinal, but that facet fades away quickly. As it settles in even more of the warm spicy notes show up along with the relaxing ability the lavender note brings to the party.

In the heart, I do get cedar quite strongly, rather the marzipan accord appears almost instantly and the woody oud gives the almond note a creaminess that gives the impression of vanilla. The oud here is mild and smooth, not the opulent and dark one typical of the Arabian scents. A great specific blend of sweet almonds and woods, nutty I would dare. One can almost taste marzipan when wearing this. Not necessarily spicy or intensely masculine, but 1881 Black delivers a complex symphony of rich, deep notes that I find different people interpret and pick out notes of widely contrasting attributes.
If you are into male gourmands, like me, this could be a nice and interesting addition to your collection. I'm really enjoying the drydown: woods, fresh-spices, and a touch of marzipan sweetness. Not so stingy!

Overall, I like this one: a versatile scent that is good for the office and in most casual settings. The opening is excellent, the heart a bit challenging, and the drydown very nice. A very good fragrance for the price.
1881 Black performs well for inexpensive EDT, it lasts several hours on my skin and projects moderately.
Definitely, a great combination of gourmand notes that are not spices. Really unique. Very great addition to any man's fragrance wardrobe that provides contrast and a counterpoint to the typical warm woodsy/leather/tobacco field of masculine colognes. Suggested seasons are cool late fall and cold winter.

StellaDiverF 4 days ago
1 Awards
A Lavender Version of Cuir d'Ange
Bucoliques de Provence opens with a beautiful lavender note. It's aromatic, herbal, and moderately earthy thanks to the subtle rooty aspect of iris hiding underneath, yet at the same time, it smells clean to me. Thankfully, the clean effect here is not due to the metallic, screechy faux-lavender note routinely dosed in many commercial fragrances' top notes, but is achieved through a steamy, fluffy white musk layered over everything, like applying a blur filter to create a soft, dreamy ambiance on the picture.

The leather and the iris here are the faithful companions to the grey-purple lavender. The bridge between lavender and leather is built around the hay facet present in both, which at times smells even a bit spicy. Iris also fits seamlessly in the picture, thanks to its velvety texture linking to the leather and its earthy characteristics shared with lavender. Sometimes, when the violet facet of iris meets the subtle herbal spiciness, I can even smell a vivid herbal violet note popping up occasionally.

With time, the boundary between these notes become more and more blurred. After about 2 hours, Bucoliques de Provence becomes a sensual, musky suede skin scent. This supple, slightly powdery white musk and suede actually remind me of the dry down of Hermès Cuir d'Ange, but this time with the aromatic, hay facet and the earthy rooty nuance humming in the background.

The sillage of Bucoliques de Provence is initially moderate during its first hour, and then drops to the proximity of the skin for the rest of time. It lasts about 8 hours on my skin.

Starting from Bucoliques de Provence, the recent releases from the main line of L'Artisan all seem to favour a more straightforward structure with a naturalistic, bucolic style. Here, the lavender field in Provence and the leather representing the historic glover industry in Grasse make a solid alliance with iris as the witness. Each accord has subtle yet rich nuances to evoke a natural sensation, while the fragrance as a whole is easy to appreciate and exudes an effortless elegance thanks to the precise dose and choice of the clean yet skin-like, plush white musk. I would definitely recommend it as a refined lavender fragrance with a delicate iris-suede undertone.

Gianluca 4 days ago
1 Awards
Fabbri's Morello and Mint-infused honey blends
First off, I won't say a thing about A*Men Pure Havane similarities given that despite it is on my wishlist, I miserably never had a chance to test it yet. Having said that, Insurrection II Wild by Reyane Tradition cologne, according to what I feel and smell, fits well under Oriental-Gourmand group.

It opens on my skin with a mixture of Morello cherries syrup and mint-infused honey. The Morello is a variety of sour cherries that is so dark-skinned, it is almost a mahogany red, with dark red flesh and dark juice inside. Sometimes Morello cherries are so dark red that they are almost black in color. I know Morello cherries very well since in Italy we have Amarena Fabbri company, whose syrup is the heart of a company that has a great story to tell. This syrup is made from fruits pitted and then candied in the syrup and is ideal for decorations or fillings with any dessert. The tart of these fruits is present in almost all the lifetime of this scent. That's the opening.

After a while, a green sharp tobacco note emerges, but not offensively like a cigarette on the street, rather gently, with pride and elegance typical of the finest Cuban cigars. I almost get a caramel scent as well, and over time this beautiful cologne dries down to a deep tobacco, spicy, and woody combination that is exquisite. It’s truly lovely, highly unusual, perfect for a business day as well as a night out.

The heart goes on with a sour leathery accord blended with vanilla spice, like if you were wearing a leather jacket with pockets filled with patchouli leaves and vanilla sticks. Yeah, you are right, it isn’t listed in the notes, rather I also detect a hint of vanilla which provides an extra creamy and powdery smoothness. Oh, what a damn good sensation! It’s so full-bodied, gourmand and woody essence of birch is wonderfully unique and bold.

I seem that, once this scent takes off, it remains in this state of bittersweet warmth forever. If you're anything like me, you just can’t help but to continually sniff your wrist while wearing this. The dry-down is this bittersweet, raw vanilla, resinous amber, with a sharp ash accord. Not a wet, damp, dirty ash, but dry and powdery cigar ashes, a Cuban cigar! It sounds nasty but I think it smells so good.

Despite being sweet with notes of honey, rose, vanilla, and amber, RTIW is certainly masculine. This is how it differs from other tobacco vanilla scents on the market which are sweet and oftentimes more feminine and “round”. The herbal and green tobacco note together with the earthy and bitterness of patchouli make it more masculine. Whoa, this is the top, it fades and most of the wear is a vanilla-patchouli tobacco. Just get it if you like tobacco fragrances. Instead, if this doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, look elsewhere. However, if you like rich and masculine scents, then RTIW is a masterpiece of a fragrance.

Thankfully RTIW is an EDP, which has wonderful sillage and longevity. Sillage is just right, it isn’t overwhelming but it is on the strong side of things. It doesn’t require that many sprays to be effective, which is a relief with so many weak colognes out there. It also has really good longevity, this is an all-day kind of scent for both the workweek and weekend. However, be aware that it is much more of a skin scent after 5-6 hours but with a reasonable application it should still be noticeable. Suitable for both day and evening wear, Insurrection II Wild is a great choice for a signature scent, best if worn during cold weather from late Autumn thru all early Spring.

My last words, It is so good and something that I’d wear frequently. As I said, I can’t stop sniffing my wrist when wearing it!

Gianluca 3 days ago
1 Awards
Obsession From A Different Corner
Obsession is a vintage CK male cologne that belongs to the past century and it was my first oriental fragrance, which I wore in the late Eighty when I was twenty-something and I went through two bottles of this after high school graduation, and I am still burnt out on it. I've recently found a bargain and bought another bottle of it and now it is part of my winter rotation. Just to give it a try I sprayed a couple of sprits on my skin and immediately I went back in time to that marvelous period of my life... George Michael "A Different Corner" is the song that came to my mind, although Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran were likewise hitting the top. A great scent then, and still smells just as I recall. One of the first things that I have always noticed about Obsession is its warmth and notes of spice. It is a rather complex and rich fragrance and unlike a scent such as Opium Pour Homme, its spice is less Oriental and more of a fragrant cinnamon bouquet.

This scent is really interesting because it also has some fruity top notes like tangerine along with some more subdued floral notes which lend it an earthy or woodsy quality. The warmth and the blend of herbal spice and florals lend credence to the fact that Obsession is a very nice cologne for the winter months. I think that it hangs beautifully in the crisp and cold air. Its longevity is average in my opinion, though, it can become overpowering when over-sprayed and have a tendency to permeate from clothing or skin.

In blending Obsession for men, I think that Calvin Klein's perfumers went to the extreme of blending an explosive combination of fresh citruses like bergamot, grapefruit, lime, and tangerine while harmonizing the flowery whiff of relaxing lavender, fruity nut, spicy aroma of coriander and warmth of cinnamon.
The heart is rich in colorful carnation with yellow jasmine, multi-way rose tree, and green pine, whereas the dry-down is muted by a warm aura of amber, benzoin, patchouli, and undertones of musk, sandalwood, vetiver, and vanilla.

Overall, I still think that this is one of the top fragrances by Calvin Klein and is simply a classic. There does seem to be a different formulation though with newer bottles versus the older version like it has become a bit weaker. I don’t know what the deal with that is but this can still be a good pick up for the right guy. Recently, we all noticed that our beloved vintage jewels have gone under some reformulation that makes them lighter and weaker than the original ones.
It is a mature fragrance for everyday wear and is also inexpensive, so those are some definite pluses that Obsession has going for it. This scent is so appealing and perfect choice for events in the daytime as well as in nighttime. On the other hand, some will feel that this cologne is strictly for the older set or has a dated vibe to it. You know what? I don't care. Is it awesome? Absolutely.