Fragrance Reviews

Custo Barcelona Man Fragrance Review (MAINSTREAM MONDAY)

* Begins with a sweet, but not too sweet, mix of citrus and light floral.

* It’s like a sweetened Tom Ford Neroli Portofino on top, but projects stronger.

* Then it gets really interesting.  The orange blossom comes in with a strong, animalic musk and changes it from sweet and clean to dirty- almost to the point of slutty.

* The change comes as a surprise – maybe one hour into wear.

* Sfter a while, the musk retreats.  The base is again a surprisingly strong amber vanilla mix that lasts a long time.

Summary:  Custo Barcelona is a Spanish designer that I fell in love around 2006 because of their vibrant patterns and colors. The scent matches that exactly.  It is bold and brash but doesn’t go all the way to being obnoxious.  It is not an office-friendly fragrance, but would work for a night out fragrance, especially for someone who is not afraid of wearing bold clothing that gets them noticed.  Actually, this would work well for someone who wears neutral or black clothing but wants an accessory that will make them stand out.  Anyone in your proximity will notice you.  I am guessing they called it an EDT because it’s for guys, since the longevity is more like an EDP- lasting more than 10 hours on my skin. It’s also interesting to note that this fragrance was made by Francis Kurkdjian.

Custo Barcelona Man is available from the Custo Barcelona website.

Bottle purchased by me so no disclaimer needed. Image courtesy of Fragrantica.

Fragrance Reviews

Illuminum Orange Blossom Fragrance Review

* Orange Blossom kicks off with orange flower – surprise!  Actually the orange flower is not overly sweet and juicy, spices are there to dry it down.

* The spices are slowly replaced by a quiet oud.  It’s not screaming at first, but you can smell it enter the room.

* The oud is kind of like tequila – you add it to a party and things get interesting.  The oud is joined by a musk that goes a little animalic and gamey, but not all the way to skank.  The orange flower stays present which really accents a contrast.

* After about 6 hours, a sweet zesty incense joins the orange flower to make up the base.

* It calms down to a skin scent that lasts more than 9 hours.

Summary:  When I saw Illuminum Orange Blossom was classified in their musk family, I knew this would be an interesting take.  Mixing oud and flowers is not a new idea, but it’s usually rose which is the flower of choice – using an orange flower was quite unique.  As with all the other Illuminum Haute fragrances I’ve tested, the top broadcasts and then it calms down over time.   This one can easily be for men or women but I definitely see this more for evening than daytime wear.  The oud party in the middle is definitely too much for the office.

Illuminum Haute Perfumes are available from .  They will be available at Henri Bendel in June 2012.

Disclaimer:  Sample provided by Illuminum.  My opinions are my own and I am not financially compensated for this review or any others. Image from

Fragrance Reviews

Ineke Field Notes From Paris Fragrance Review

Ineke Field Notes From Paris

* Field Notes starts with a juicy orange blossom and sweet patchouli.

* Although this is listed as a feminine, I definitely can see guys wearing it.  It reminds me of the better Chanel masculine fragrances – like a sweet cologne.

* The orange blossom stays present throughout the fragrance.  It starts to get a little soapy when the sweet patchouli is joined by tobacco and leather.

* Once it gets past this phase, Field Notes is different every time I wear it.  Sometimes I get wood and amber with orange blossom in the base.  Other times I get more tobacco with a touch of tonka.

Summary: Field Notes From Paris is an orange blossom fragrance that is full-bodied but not overpowering.  This would be a great office scent as it feels like a classic masculine with a modern twist.  It lasts through the work day and the base notes will go on into the evening.  This would make a great gift for college graduation (or even father’s day). It’s very wearable and a bit unique – just like the person you would probably be buying it for.

Ineke Field Notes From Paris is available from and from select boutiques.

Disclaimer:  Sample provided by Ineke.  My opinions are my own and I am not financially compensated for this review or any others. Image from