Perfume Reviews
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GewoonBB 13 days ago
Exquise or Wackpack?
La Douleur Exquise is the love/heartbreak child of Eugen (U Smells Good). Sceptical as I am about ‘Youtuber-launches’, his independent approach and teaming with Antoine Lie was hopeful. Is the first release exquise or #wackpack?

La Douleur Exquise paints the image of suffering and overcoming well, with a juxtaposition between the castoreum and the rose. Straight away I get leathery castoreum. It opens skanky, but it’s not offensive to me, as it veers more into the saffron-leather than into the animalics or cumin.

The duality comes from the rose being brighter and soapier than I expected. Comparisons to Portrait Of A Lady have been made and the brightness of the rose is comparable, but the overall scent is closer to Oud Ispahan in my opinion. It’s not quite as sugary sweet as either.

Rose is front and center, with incense and saffron. I’ve heard people speak of a green rose, but this fragrance smells 100% red to me. Slightly soapy, fruity, sweetened and quite leathery. And resinous! The texture is oily; I picture satin red syrup slowly moving on a glossy wooden cabinet or patent leather.

I was afraid the patchouli would be overbearing. Perhaps due to the wet texture, I don’t get the threat that patchouli often poses to my nose. Even in the drydown, it feels more like resins than patchouli. The castoreum opening minutes aside, I don’t think I perceive this scent as daring, dark, green, smoky or earthy as reviews I’ve seen. At its core, it’s a vibrant rose to me, with sweetness kept in check, in a super resinous shell. Darkness surrounds it, but light has overcome the dark within this composition.

La Douleur Exquise is a 9 out of 10 for me. Potential drawbacks? It’s closer to conventional rose-ouds than I’d expected. Pricing is high for a brand without a track record, but Lie’s work for Les Indemodables is indicative of the top-notch quality and ingredients here; I’m more than happy with my purchase. The bottle looks and feels great in hand, but should have a better atomizer at this price point. Great release overall.
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GewoonBB 2 years ago 1
Renewed trust in eau de colognes (NKNN)
Do you wear eau de colognes? To be completely honest, since I've started my fragrance journey, eau de colognes haven't been on my radar much. There's still an association to cheap and outdated for this style, because those were the things I've smelled as a kid or a teen. Lately I've found my appreciation for lavender (in part because of Zaharoff) and with Strawanza, my eyes are once again opening up to the world of eau de cologne. Strawanza is a masculine woody and spicey scent that was sent to me by the Austrian brand Wiener Schurken, and it's a nice one.

Strawanza opens a bit harsh, due to the alcohol and the spices, but what struck me immediately is that the woody accord in this is very nice. It's on the darker and greener side, so it takes me to a pine forest, but it's balanced by a fresher and brighter scent from the clove and menthol. The combination puts it in the Christmas-scent direction for me, especially when it starts to get sweeter. That sweetness in Strawanza really makes the fragrance for me. There's patchouli and tonka, but to my nose it's quite a strong cinnamon-like scent for most of the wear, but a touch greener. The original darker woodiness, makes way for a cedar base, so it smells a bit cleaner, sharper and I guess more modern. All the while the fresher tinge remains, reminding me a bit of shaving cream.

One of the reasons eau de colognes have not been featured on my page a lot, is the longevity. When your collection grows, the need to reach for a shorter lived fragrance isn't always obvious. Now the longevity on this is surprisingly good and besides, there are situations where you don't need all day performance, especially in the early morning or before bedtime, which is why Strawanza works well as an aftershave as well. At €59/100ml is very reasonably priced and you won't get much better. Show some love to our Austrian friends! •
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GewoonBB 2 years ago 4
Vivacious (NKNN)

What's a new release that you're excited for? If you've been following my journey, you'll know that I love what Hiram Green is doing and I love most of his fragrances. Now Vivalicous is one that I honestly had concerns for (as far as my personal taste goes), because I love florals, but not often green and/or indolic ones and this seemed to go in that direction. Dilettante and Moon Bloom from the house are hard to wear for me, but I'm glad to say that Vicalicious was a pleasant surprise and I love it.

So it sounds like a Destiny's Child song, but it smells like violet, or at least, that's the note that Vivalicious is built around. If that would be all to it, I probably wouldn't love it. As with all of Hiram's works, it's all natural and that's also how it smells. The violet is slightly bitter and sharp, almost spicey for a moment (it also has carnation, which I think can get quite spicey), but turns soft and powdery. It's a bright opening, with some bergamot and I get a hint of an orange-y scent. What absolutely steals the show for me is the orris butter. Despite the powdery texture that I also get, it's such a smooth fragrance. Combined with an amber accord, it has a warmer, quite sweet base. It's almost a honey-like sweetness (a more conventional synthetic honey, rather than the honey that is used in Slowdive). To my nose the overall composition has a sweet hay-like or even woody scent. It's a bit grassy, ever so slightly vegetal, but not nearly as green or indolic as either Dilettante or Moon Bloom. The sort of gold color of the juice represents the scent well for me.
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GewoonBB 3 years ago 1
Aventus Killer? (NKNN)
Pokémon EDT opens with a relatively acceptable soft floral scent. Think rose water and stalks, with a bit of orange-y citrus. After about 15 minutes, a wild plasticy air freshener scent appears. 1 to 1.5 hours in, and most of the citrus has faded and you're left with a plastic watery fragrance, that kind of reminds me of a cheap synthetic violet accord (but only like 1% oil and 99% water). It's a skin scent from the start and after 3-4 hours, it's practically undetectable on skin.
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GewoonBB 3 years ago
Salted & Green (NKNN)
I was taken by surprise by Salted Green Mango...eventhough the name tells most of the story. Salted, Green Mango...if you take those 2 things to heart, you have a pretty solid idea of where this is going. Now when they say salted, they mean it. This is not one of those fragrance where you get a hint of a connection to saltiness, like a seabreeze, but instead you get a proper amount of actual saltiness and seaweed. Now I know that a green mango isn't the same as a regular mango, but for some reason, I still thought I'd be getting more of that tropical, sweetness that you get from mango or mango products; in stead you're hit with this, almost zesty, mango skin. I also get a lot of lime at first and there's some bitterness. It's quite sour, but not sharp at all.

In the drydown, the saltiness does become more like a seabreeze or briny water and the fruitiness becomes a bit smoother, maybe more juicy, but it remains sourish and never becomes too sweet. It's very refreshing, I don't think it utilizes mint, but it has the same effect that mint can have in somewhat similar fragrances. In particular, I found that the late late drydown, when it becomes a skin scent and you get more vetiver, is reminiscent of the opening of Guerlain Homme EDP, but without the sharpness. A last thing I want to add is that there's a hint of spice, from chilli peppers, that only adds to the uniquness.

I think it smells amazing and unlike anything else that I've tried. The bottles are small, 30ml only, but for 70$, you have a unique, quite long-lasting, scent that'll get you through Spring & Summer. I want a bottle, but getting it to the Netherlands at a fair price might be a challenge.
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