Fragrance Reviews

Two Fragrance Reviews by a person who does not wear fragrance

Last month we visited with a writer who doesn’t wear scent. He thinks that scent…is a disguise.

Woon Tai Ho

Since then I have sent him two bottles to review. Let’s see what he has to say.

From Woon Tai Ho
The first scent is heavy and deep, it overpowers at first but the lingering impact is comforting. The second is sweet, almost like a flower.

I could get used to the first over time. I am suspicious of the second. If the first was a person, I would want to see the person again. The second is like a teasing breeze. I am less trusting of it.

The first scent is like a strong wood. It stays powerful. Not sure if I want a scent to last that long.

The second is candy. Not a smell I am comfortable with. I can do without it.

You say surrender to scent. I could surrender to the first scent. I think it could lead me somewhere.

But I don’t think I have made up my mind about wearing either. If I must I would be pulling myself out of a comfort zone. I think I would be very conscious of wearing the first scent. I would feel frivolous wearing the second.

I need to get used to wearing scent, especially in hot Singapore. A day like today – the temperature is above 30 degrees C. My natural body oils would feel invaded, usurped by a scent.

I am also going through an emotionally trying time, finding it very difficult to be trusting, so perhaps a scent could be good company once I got used to it.

Wearing a scent is probably the most personal thing a person can wear. It externalises one’s soul.

Pores are windows of our body.
So a scent is like a breeze that visits.
When the soul avails itself, the scent can be an agreeable stranger.
A beautiful stranger.

Jordan: Thank you Tai Ho for your insights into a realm you have not visited before.

Woon Tai Ho reviewed Dzongkha by L’Artsian Perfumuer (the first scent) and Neroli Portafino by Tom Ford (second scent). His sister has received Neroli Portofino with delight. Tai Ho has Dzongkha on standby in case a rare scent-wearing moment should overtake him.


Perfumer: Bertrand Duchaufour

Classification: Woody Spicy



Dry Down

Dzongkha was inspired by the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Dzongkha is a language, the spiritual language of Bhutan.

a quiet, introspective scent, a study in tasteful understatement
Marina Geigert
Perfume Smellin’ Things

Neroli Portofino

Woon Tai Ho Riot Green

Perfumer: Rodrigo Flores-Roux

Classification: Citrus Aromatic

lavender thyme rosemary bergamot

neroli orange blossom

Dry Down
herbal musk woody amber

exhilarating… It has a cool, crisp character, which is retained even in the drydown.
Victoria Frolova
Bois De Jasmin

Further Reading
Mountain-Top Scent Experience in Bhutan
Woon Tai Ho’s latest book

Smelly Thoughts review
Now Smell This review

Neroli Portofino
EauMG review
Australian Perfume Junkies – The Smell of Sydney Summer

18 responses to “Fragrance Reviews

  1. Dear Both
    A terribly good idea done awfully well.
    Thank you both for an illuminating glimpse passed a door set ajar into the other room where people don’t wear perfume.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  2. This was the review I had been eagerly anticipating! Thank you, Woon for sharing your thoughts so candidly. “pores are like windows of our body. so scent is like a breeze that visits……..” another quote to hang on my wall…

  3. What an interesting perspective! Thanks for the review. I wonder how often Woon will give that bottle a spritz, if at all. I wonder if a spritz of the right thing could send him tumbling down the rabbit hole with the rest of us.

    • Well my award-wining one, I did think that Dzongkha would be the one based on Mr Woon’s mountain-top scent experience in Bhutan (see interview). How about a suggestion from you for his next review?

      • Oh, that’s a tough one. Perfume for someone who doesn’t like perfume. I’m going to think about that and I’ll get back to you.

  4. How fascinating to read the mental processes and journey of someone who doesn’t wear scent and is a bit dubious about the whole thing when trying out 2 perfumes for the first time. Really interesting to what things he finds alluring or suspicious. Like Poodle, I keep wondering what perfume could send him tumbling down the rabbit hole and make him change altogether into someone who really does perfume. Jordan, keep sending him stuff!!!!! 🙂

  5. Completely agree with Kafka and Poodle…Jordan you must send Woon some more perfume…not that I necessarily want him to “fall down the rabbit hole” (somehow I sense that this will not occur based on what he has written thus far) but rather I enjoy reading his impressions on perfume and would very much like more!

    • Sure Brie, but would you make a suggestion along with the others? Hot climate juice please. Nothing frivolous y’hear, and one that is potentially good company. Eau My Magdelena; how about Ginza in the Rain, 8+8 and Albaster Wrists? Two of these have passed the evaluation stage and are in pre-production. Maybe he could review the first iteration of Huit et Huit.

      • Yes to Huit et huit and another one brewing in my mind whilst I await my Eden Botanical order…. I would be curious as to Woon’s take on pure essential oils which can be quite different from perfumes made with a combo of e.o.s and synths. When all is done I will send to you and you can pass on to Woon… a fragrant fairy recently sent me some classic/vintage so there might be something in there that would entice Woon as well….

        • actually I am wondering now about Incense Pure (Sonoma scent studio)? You will be getting that one soon so you can pass on as well!!

  6. I’ve just recently came across Dzongkha, liked it very much and see at least a decant of it in my future. Neroli Portofino was very nice on my skin but I don’t think it’s good enough for its price: there are other great citrus scents much more affordable.
    It was interesting to read a take of somebody who’s so new to wearing perfumes. But are you sure you want to “break” him? Just imagine how much money he’s not spending now… 😉

    • Looking forward to your review Undina. I am happy for Mr Woon to stay in the fragrance-free room and pop into The Scented Salon peridically. Of course we still have to find a free-fragrance room.

  7. Pingback: Sillage in Singapore – Interview with Woon Tai Ho, author of Riot Green | The Fragrant Man·

  8. Pingback: Christmas Gift Idea 4 – Tom Ford Mini-Flacons | The Fragrant Man·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s