Top Rated Reviews - 2017

JCopelandSFP 4 years ago 13
10
Scent
10
Longevity
8
Sillage
9
Bottle

Just, wow.
In comparing this to Dior Homme Intense, they both start off very similar (lots of iris), though VUI quickly becomes less powdery and more sweet than DHI. A slight zestiness from the mandarin orange and slight mintiness from the clary sage become present (a very slightly fresh orange scent), with the sweetness from the Tonka bean heart coming in quickly to sweeten the iris. After about an hour and a half, DHI is hardly noticeable as a skin scent on my hand (latest formulation), while VUI continues to project strongly. VUI ultimately becomes vanillicly (not a word, I know) sweet, still iris-y but not too much so, and the leather provides an elegantly dark and masculine undertone (very subtle). Ultimately, I love this fragrance. Very classy, strong, masculine, yet has a significant presence of sensitivity. For a well-dressed gentleman. 5 hours later, still a good presence (1 spray), still smells like smooth, sweet, slightly orangey iris. Dry down could function as a good close encounter scent, if not over-applied. 24+ hours later, dry down smells of leather and vanilla with a hint of iris. Pleasant.

JCopelandSFP 4 years ago 11
10
Scent
10
Longevity
8
Sillage
10
Bottle

A phenomenal blend of the highest quality
Scent: going to take a slightly different approach, and do a comparative analysis:
-comparing it to Spicebomb Extreme, they certainly have a similar vibe. SE is sweeter and more aggressive (spicier) in the opening, while Herod is also sweet but much smoother (not as spicy).
-As the initial blast dissipates, SE definitely reveals itself to be fairly fresh (there's lavender). Herod is a warmer fragrance.
-The main accords I get in SE are "cinnamon" (there's no cinnamon, here, but perhaps the mix of tobacco, caraway, and black pepper seems to create the accord), and not long after that the scent calms a bit and becomes a little smoother (thanks to the vanilla). Herod's cinnamon accord is actually cinnamon, and definitely comes off as more than just a representation of it.
-The tobacco note is so smooth (as compared to SE and also DG The One, in which the accord is a bit dirtier, harsher, though not off-putting); though smooth, the tobacco it is definitely the most detectable accord. The vanilla provides a smooth sweetness, that seems to calm the black pepper and cinnamon here (those two can come off as extremely spicy, I find it astounding at how smooth the scent is in light of that). The foundation of the sweetness is definitely the cinnamon, which seems to stay a while. There is a tiny, tiny hint of freshness, which probably comes from the vetiver in the base (though the actual scent of vetiver is virtually undetectable, it's just the vibe).
-Overall, if comparing Herod to SE, it is clear that Herod is a niche fragrance. The quality of the ingredients and their blend is so well done. It is very difficult to truly distinguish the other notes, like the incense (slight vibe), osmanthus, and labdanum in the heart, or even the woods in the base. The only other presence I can detect outside of the main accords is a bit of muskiness.
Performance: lasts 12+ hours on my skin, projects ok for the first 3 or so, seems to get a little stronger during that time, then basically a skin scent after 8 hours, but I didn't have to dig my nose into my arm to smell it. Definitely stays on my skin much longer. I took a shower the next morning (almost 20 hours later), and as my skin started to heat up from the hot water, I started smelling it again.
1 Reply

Drseid 4 years ago 10
9
Scent
9
Longevity
8
Sillage
10
Bottle

Ropion + Malle = Greatness
Superstitious opens with an airy rose, supported by soapy aldehydes. Moving to the early heart the soapy aldehydic-laden rose deepens, as it is joined by slightly bracing peach, smooth woody incense, and relatively sanitized jasmine, as hints of underlying woody vetiver peep through from the base. During the late dry-down the jasmine, incense and rose gradually vacate, first leaving the peach to couple with the sharp, woody vetiver and the remnants of the incense, before finally giving way to a vetiver and dry amber base tandem that finishes off the composition's relatively lengthy life-cycle. Projection is very good to excellent, and longevity is outstanding at over 15 hours on skin.

The past year or two have been tough for this reviewer. The perfume releases have not gotten any less numerous, but the quality and effort found in most of what was sniffed just wasn't there. As a result, there really hasn't been anything on the market that could inspire this writer to want to put any effort in posting a review. Enter Superstitious, composed by the great Dominique Ropion for the equally great Frederic Malle...

When I received early word of Superstitious' release I had to take note as most times Ropion and Malle come together for a release it is something special, and luckily, Superstitious does not disappoint.

Immediately when applied on skin the rose comes through, so light and airy. Some reviews I have read compare the rose to Portrait of a Lady, but I respectfully disagree. The rose in Portrait of a Lady is a lush, jammy rose that is the near polar opposite of the kind used here. This is a much more fluid rose that couples better in this implementation with the soapy aldehydes and the slightly bracing peach. Speaking of aldehydes and peach, I was a bit leery when I heard the composition might focus on them as neither have been favorites of mine in past compositions, but Ropion skillfully handles both by first presenting the soapy side of the aldehydes that is very different from their presentation in key legendary compositions like Chanel No. 5, while balancing the peach with fine, sanitized jasmine and clean woody incense. By the time the composition morphs into its sharp, woody vetiver-centric late dry-down it is hard not to be hooked. The end result is a modern perfume that reaches back to the past greats and feels right at home beside them.

The bottom line is the $370 per 100ml bottle Superstitious is living proof that Dominique Ropion is at his best when directed by Frederic Malle, and that neither has lost their magic touch, earning an outstanding 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5 rating and an easy recommendation from this writer who has had his interest in perfume renewed.
1 Reply

Karenin 3 years ago 10
7
Scent
8
Longevity
7
Sillage

Amouage "Myths Woman"
A fellow perfumista once remarked (and I fully concur with this sentiment) that Amouage comes under fire no matter what sort of new fragrance they introduce. On the one hand, people moan that the company has set a low standard with un-Amouage-like scents such as “Lilac Love” or “Blossom Love” (a deviation from the company’s Arab roots is often quoted as the main complaint). Others, on the other hand, feel uncomfortable when Amouage releases a fragrance that does not follow suit, blaming its outlandish composition for its unwearability. “Myths Woman” is a case in point for the latter.

The thing that immediately struck me when I first sampled “Myths Woman” was how uninviting it smelt. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean this is an unpleasant aroma, it just flatly refuses to play the usual repertoire of tricks. There are no seductive sweet notes, no tangy spiciness or soft woodiness. This is an outdoorsy perfume which transports you right into the middle of a narcissus-and-chrysanthemum flowerbed. In addition to the flowers, you can catch light whiffs of composted soil to intensify your experience of the “great outdoors”. In about two hours, the perfume invites you to enter a different place: a dimly lit bar. However, you can’t help noticing there’s something odd about it: it’s deserted and the only trace of human presence is a stale smell of sweat mixed with cigarette smoke.

There’s no doubt “Myths Woman” is a nod to leathery green chypres of a bygone era. It successfully emulates not only their composition, but also a trademark feature of this category of scents, namely an air of standoffishness. “Myths Woman” may never become the signature fragrance of “shiny, happy people”, yet I’m sure some daydreamers and wanderers will be able to uncover and bask in its rugged beauty.

sebjar 3 years ago 10

Fort & Manle Charlatan Review
This is my Fort & Manle Charlatan Review, the Charlatan by Fort & Manle Fragrance Review. This is one of the most beautiful, dark rose perfumes I have ever put my smell sense on. Absolutely gorgeous, gothic, sexy, delicious, dark rose perfume. It’s got chocolate, Perigord Truffles, rose, osmanthus, vanilla and amber. Intoxicating and heavenly. One of the best. It’s what I wanted in a dark rose fragrance like Noir De Noir which also uses tuber or truffles in the notes. Man this is the best. If you like Noir de Noir you will have to get your nose on this beauty. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

StellaDiverF 4 years ago 9
6
Scent
9
Longevity
8
Sillage
9
Bottle

Adequate but disappointingly safe gourmand vanilla
Aura opens on my skin with an intensely sweet-tart fruity accord, along with a tropical green note. The vanilla also starts to manifest from the very beginning, providing an opaque, creamy texture to the fruity accord.

Because of this creamy texture and intense sweetness, I don't recognise it as rhubarb like in Hermès Rhubarbe Ecarlate, which is much more juicy, more sparkling and natural-smelling. In fact, the creamy fruitiness combined with the tropical, ripe greenness briefly evokes green banana in my head.

The volume of vanilla soon escalates to the max, and pushes the interesting tropical greenery aside. Combined to the potent fruity sweetness, Aura actually smells very much like typical commercial fruity tonka-vanilla gourmand fragrances on today's market. There's also an artificial, peppery smoky note mixed within, screechy like nails on the chalkboard. Meanwhile, the orange blossom seems to only bring its grape-y sweetness to the table, further enhancing the fruity vanilla gourmand impression. I can hardly notice any floral aspect.

If I concentrate my attention, there is indeed an almond-like nuttiness embedded within, maybe stemming from the Tiger Liana which is described by Daphne Bugey as having vanilla, almond and smoky facets. Occasionally, a fatty, slightly sour animalic nuance can also be perceived. But they are not daring enough to provide a meaningful contrast like patchouli in Angel or aquatic spiciness in Womanity.

After about 8 hours, the vanilla finally stops screaming, and surprisingly, the tropical green note survives it. Now, Aura is mainly a soft, ripe tropical fruitiness mixed with a delicate green camphor nuance and merest earthy, dust-like astringency, like a humid tropical jungle in a fairy tale, without any deadly, hostile creatures. This far dry down reminds me of Zoologist Bat, but Aura at this stage feels much gentler and easier to appreciate, whimsical yet adorable as well.

Aura has a heavy to modest sillage, and the longevity is almost 12 hours.

I adore Aura's mild, tropical-jungle-esque far dry down, which matches the campaign perfectly. How I wish Aura would smell like this part all along! Unfortunately, the first two thirds of Aura's development on my skin is dominated by the commercial fruity vanilla, and fails to leave a strong impression like how Angel, Alien and Womanity did to me.

Moreover, I usually find Mugler's fragrances rather artificial-smelling, which is oddly appealing in the case of the first three pillar fragrances, providing an unexpected futuristic spin to the shocking contrasts. But with the rather generic treatment of fruity vanilla in Aura, this artificial quality sadly becomes a shortcoming to my taste.

When compared to other currently available gourmand new releases, Aura is indeed decent enough. Without the purple, plum-molasses-like fruitchouli jam accord, the tropical green facet of Aura does retain a certain refreshing quality. However, I still can't help feeling disappointed. Maybe I just set the bar too high for this beloved perfume house, and it's unrealistic to expect them to deliver wildly innovative olfactory experience every single time.
3 Replies

K1 4 years ago 9

Fruity - incense - aromatic
By far the best of Amouage IMHO? This is like Keith Haring paints Caravaggio; a serious perfume made by an artistic mind and jovial ingredients that proclaims cutest fruity notes mingled with bewitching frankincense and lavish ambrosial dry down. It's enticing, friendly, sexy, divine and dedicated to pleasure. Let me exceed my limits and say it's like an orgy in heaven! Everybody's invited!
5/5

Exciter76 3 years ago 9

Memories of Clove Cigarettes
I’ve had a few weeks to spend cozying up to Chergui. The reviews and various online forum opinions are so polarizing. To be frank, the notes are a bit intimidating. I was at once curious and trepidatious about trying Chergui. However, nothing beats testing perfume to skin. And how glad I was!

My grandmother used to smoke clove cigarettes. Though I maintain smoking is an unattractive habit, I loved the scent of my grandma’s cigarettes. They were mildly sweet and smoky, even when unlit. There was an exotic spiciness to her pack of smokes that I found most intoxicating. Chergui is sweet, spicy, and hearty, much in the same fashion as my grandmother’s cigarettes. I should resent the scent since a lifetime of smoking contributed to her passing, but it actually feels very comforting. I am taken back to a time when my grandma and I would sit at her kitchen table and talk; she would refrain from smoking around me but I could still smell the pack of cigarettes she stowed away in her shirt pocket.

A familiar scent without the carcinogenic element? Yes please! I don’t get the strong hay but I do pick up the honeyed tobacco. I did not think I could love this so much but I do. Who on earth wants to smell like honey-sweet unlit clove cigarettes? Uh, I do!
3 Replies

Exciter76 3 years ago 9
8.5
Scent
10
Longevity
9
Sillage
10
Bottle

The Choice Scent for Intellectuals, Circa 1990
When I was in my early teens I received my mom and my aunt’s perfume hand-me-downs. My opinions of those scents were of no consequence; love it or hate it, I wore it. Of course, it was always better when I loved the second-hand perfume. I hated Oscar de la Renta’s eponymous perfume but I wore it daily for three months when I was sixteen because my mom gave it to me. That was as good a reason as any to wear a scent, even a despised scent. But RL Safari was a solid love affair. Nothing could ever replace my beloved scent. Nothing.

I’m trying to get back into my fifteen-year-old self’s headspace to understand what it was that made Safari so irresistible. My fifteen-year-old friends were wearing Liz Claibourn, Tresor, or Sunflowers. I was a wallflower whose perfume made her stick out like a clichéd sore thumb. I carried my cut glass trophy of a scent everywhere I went, and boy, was that bottle heavy. I refreshed my scent often, which was absolutely not necessary. Often, I smelled of Safari even after showers. Our love was solid. But why?

It was the last of the big-boned broads from the late 1980s/early 1990s. Safari was not as obtrusive as its contemporaries (I’m looking at you, Red Door) but it was not demure, per se. Safari was bold but it was also tempered with green elements, like oakmoss and vetiver. It did not feature prominent roses or jasmine; they are present but lurking in—not dominating—the scent. Instead, new and unorthodox flowers were presented to star in this show. In a word, Safari smelled new. To smell it now, it smells kind of dated.

I never answered WHY. I loved its quirky personality and its greenness. I loved its status as a perfume outcast, for I was an awkward outcast, too. It was light years away from what every girl in high school was wearing. It was smart and sophisticated, or at least what I imagined smart and sophisticated women wore while reading Kafka for pleasure’s sake. Safari represented the woman I aspired to become. Safari still smells like that to me.

I’m spending a little time with Safari because many loves have come between us. It feels an awful lot like seeing a high school boyfriend some twenty-five years later while you’re shopping for tomatoes with your current beau. It is awkward and confusing but you might remember what it was that caused you butterflies some twenty-five years ago. Or you might scratch your head and wonder what all the fuss was about. I’m recalling the butterflies and the love letters of years past. However, I’ve moved on. I’m happier snuggling up to my Guerlains and my Tauers. But Safari taught me how to love and appreciate what’s beautiful and unique in the (perfume) world. For that reason we’ll continue to catch up every so often for a platonic date. We will then part ways until next time.

Lexa 4 years ago 9
5.5
Scent
6
Longevity
6
Sillage
6
Bottle

Crowd pleaser
Mediocrity...or even less.Every single powerful House of fragrances comes nowadays with a gourmand liquid,that's because very many of them are hard to call perfumes.YSL has its fair share of candy bars and sweet to sickening scents.Black Opium is a joke,a joke that really hurts and ashames the real Opium name,a perfume that made quite a history in its days.It is supposed to be gourmand,well,yes it is,but it is really difficult to make a difference between all of them gourmand scents today.I have no idea if I smell YSL or Dior's Poison Girlie thingie,or Givenchy's Dahlias,or Bvlgari's Omnias or any of whatever they decide to bring up to the market.They are all the same,synthetic,burning your olfactive organs,making your eyes burst to tears...I have decided not even to try to imagine how they smell,no way in hell,i'd rather use my vintage Escada,at least it is old school.
2 Replies