Fragrance Review: Moschino ‘Toy Boy’ EDP

My thoughts on Moschino’s latest release ‘Toy Boy’.

As I mentioned in my recent post about fragrance being part of your style, I’ve decided to start doing some fragrance reviews.

For my first fragrance review I thought I’d start on a totally random piece given to me for review, rather than trumpeting off about a favourite.

Toy Boy is a spicy-synthetic eau de parfum released in 2019, that certainly lives up to the spice part of its character. It’s also quite noticeably synthetic and to my nose I don’t detect a hint of any natural ingredients, though this could simply be because the synthetic notes overpower any presence of them.

Disclaimer: a sample of this fragrance was provided to me for review at no charge. Regardless, you will see that my unfiltered judgment and opinion is expressed in this review.

Initial Thoughts

The first thing that struck me was that the bottle is pretty damn ugly. I’ve seen some weird and wonderful fragrance bottles in my time, but never one this unsightly.

This fragrance is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml sizes.

The smell of it reminded me of a time during primary school when we were introduced to herbs and spices for the first time, tasting small samples of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Clove tastes pretty nasty by itself, and unfortunately this one smells strongly of clove.

Wearing the Fragrance

I tried this twice, the first time with a single spray on the arm and the second time I wore three sprays. I didn’t like the opening either time, but when I wore a single spray I didn’t mind the dry down.

However, the second wearing I wore three sprays and I found it really overpowering in a bad way. The note of clove was just so overpowering and I couldn’t abide with it at all.

Olfactory Notes

I have taken the note pyramid from Fragrantica.

The top notes are written as Bergamot, Pepper, Pear, Elemi and Nutmeg. However, all I really got was the pepper in combination with the clove heart note.

Heart notes are described to be Clove, Rose, Flax and Magnolia. The clove note was utterly overpowering and all I could smell for several hours was this pungent smell of clove – it didn’t smell like natural cloves, but a rather synthetically charactered clove.

The base notes are purported to be Vetiver, Cashmerean, Sandalwood, Ambermax and Sylkolide. Once the clove smell had finally disappeared, I actually didn’t mind the skin scent so much. However, I still couldn’t enjoy it just because of the memory of the top and heart note compositions.

I used 3 sprays, and could smell it for quite some time. It certainly lasted a long time, which unfortunately for me was mostly the clove smell wafting through. This being said, I seemed to be the only person who disliked it – a couple of other people liked it, and nobody found it offensive. I guess my nose is just unlucky in that aspect.


Smell: 1/5

As in the above paragraph, I didn’t like the smell of this at all.

Projection: 3.5/5

This fragrance had noticeable projection for a good few hours before settling into a skin scent. It wasn’t a performance beast by any means, but it was present.

Longevity: 4/5

Toy Boy lasted for most of the day on my skin before settling into a skin scent. It wasn’t present the next morning, thankfully for me. The fragrance has enough strength that you could put it on in the morning and get wafts of it all day.

Is it unique? Yes/No

One thing I will say about this fragrance is that it’s unique; I’ve not smelled anything else quite like it. Given that many designer scents for men seem to share a similar crowd-pleasing DNA – a subject I’ll dive into in the coming months – I do think it’s quite refreshing that Moschino have given the perfumer license to experiment and release a scent that stands out from the rest, even if I’m not a fan of the outcome. I give them props for that.

Concluding Thoughts

Despite my not liking it, if you’re a big fan of spice – especially clove – this fragrance might be up your alley.

Given the thickly textured spicy overtones of this scent, I think it’s best worn in cooler weather. I doubt it would cooperate with hot weather at all. I wouldn’t wear it in a work environment, even if I liked it. I think it’d be better suited to casual use.

It seems to be available fairly inexpensively with some 100ml bottles pricing around the $90 mark, but given the polarising nature of the fragrance it’d be a good idea to sample it first rather than blind buying.

Have you tried this fragrance? Do you have a favourite spicy fragrance? Let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for tuning in,


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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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