Reviews by Agent Zero

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    Agent Zero
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    Showing 1 to 18 of 18.
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    Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès

    It actually has less longevity than Eau d'Orange Verte!!! I can't believe that. Even as I write this I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that concept. I really think you have to try hard to make a scent this wimpy. For the hour that it lasts, it has a very nice grapefruit accord backed up with light vetiver. I can't identify anything resembling rose however.

    To top it off, it's rather expensive. Shame on you Hermes and JCE! You can do so much better! It gets a neutral however because it does smell good.

    03 August, 2009

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    Aoud Leather by Montale

    I'll start out by saying that unlike the other three reviewers for this scent so far, I've never smelled Cuir d'Arabie. Maybe that makes this review less credible. On the other hand, it means I also don't have a preexisting bias when it comes to Montale leather/oud combinations. So onto the review... It's pretty good stuff actually. The leather here is nice and relaxed, and unlike Knize Ten, where leather seems to be buried under a Victorian potpourri, this comes off as clearly leather, like a new couch. Side by side with the leather is oud, reminiscent of the accord in Tom Ford's Oud Wood. It's kinda an unusual combination at first. Most perfumes combine oud with prominent rose or wood notes, but this smells like I sprayed the aforementioned Oud Wood on a new leather couch. Like many oud-centric fragrances, this one smells better wafting off my body than it does when I directly put my nose to my skin; something about oud smells a little off right against my skin but smells marvelous away from it. Not a bad release overall, better than a lot of other Montale Aoud's I've smelled.

    02 August, 2009

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    La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    The sickly cousin of Armani Code

    When YSL released L'Homme, many of us here were disappointed because it lacked the typical cunning of previous YSL fragrances. However, it still managed to smell good and it's one of those scents that can be worn for pretty much any occasion. But La Nuit? It's mainstream pseudo-oriental synthetic floral at its worst. One spray on my wrist and it almost instantly became oppressively cloying, easily overpowering the Terre d'Hermes I was already wearing (no small task!). The fragrance that came to mind as the closest match to this was Armani Code, only with the citrus (the opening of Code always gave me that Orange Glo vibe) toned down and the florals amped up, only where Code stays dignified and reserved throughout the life of the scent, La Nuit became annoying and overbearing. I'll pass on this one.

    02 August, 2009

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    Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

    The best pure citrus scent I have ever smelled. Period. I'm a fan of every single one of those notes listed in the pyramid (though if there's patchouli, I'm having a difficult time smelling it).

    As for the longevity thing? I prefer to think of it's fleetingness as almost a good thing. I'm a college student and I need something to spray on and make me smell good in the morning when I go to class. I can milk about 3 hours out of this, which is enough to get me through morning classes. Then I go home, change into the clothes I'm gonna wear for the rest of the day and a longer lasting scent. In this instance, having it last a short time is actually good. It's all in how you perceive things.

    Plus it's pretty damn cheap, so you could actually afford to shower in it if you so chose.

    19 June, 2009

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    Yes, Green Irish Tweed bears a resemblance to Cool Water, but to compare the two would be like comparing the $12 steak you order at TGI Fridays to a steak from the finest steakhouse in town (Ruth's Chris, Mortons, Bobby Vans, etc.). Yes, both are steak, and both offer generally the same taste, but the $40 steak has so much more flavor packed in. It's denser, it's longer lasting, it's more rewarding. Such is Green Irish Tweed. It's basically the same smell, but made with the highest quality ingredients. I could wax poetic about GIT for hundreds of words, but I'll spare you the tiny details. The bottom line is some of the best things in life come at a high price: a fine steak is one of the best meals you'll ever have the pleasure of enjoying in your life. Green Irish Tweed is one of the finest smells you'll ever come across in your life. You owe it to yourself to savor it at least once.

    08 June, 2009

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I had the misfortune of smelling Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's Ambre Precieux before smelling Ambre Sultan. Why do I say misfortune? Because the MPG offering was my first experience with a purely amber scent and I loved it. It set the bar high and I was interested in trying this one because it gets more hype here than probably any other amber scent. What soon followed after applying it to myself was disappointment. There was none of the smooth, rich, creamy amber found in the MPG scent. Here, it was spicy and harsh, almost grating to my nose. Very disappointing as far as amber scents go.

    12 May, 2009

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    Ambrette 9 by Le Labo

    Baby fragrance? Kinda pricey stuff considering a baby wouldn't really even enjoy wearing fragrance. Anyways, it opens up on me smelling like Maker's Mark whiskey, kinda a sweet, boozy smell. Then it turns to a sweet fruit smell, like pears. Finally, it smells like whiskey WITH pears. This entire evolution takes about half an hour. After an hour, it's gone. It's actually kinda a nice smell. Longevity is terrible though and there's no siliage. Not that your baby would care.

    13 April, 2009

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    Style In Play by Lacoste

    Smells like apples to me. I can dig it. Great for warmer weather. Also great for teens.

    09 February, 2009

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    Clearly what the world needs is another insight into Gucci pour Homme. Well, here's my go at it.

    I really wanted to like this. Trust me, I really did. I like Tom Ford's work, I like other male Gucci scents, I even like the bottle. Hell, I LOVE the bottle. The juice just leaves me a little flat. It's not that it's a bad scent, I just don't especially care for the way it smells. It's wood, incense, and pencil shavings plus some pepper and leather in the dry down. Nothing there to hate except for the pencil shavings, which are far too prominent and drive me away. For my money, CDG's Kyoto gives me all the incense and wood I'll ever need.

    Then again, I'm merely a college student. This isn't the kind of scent that can easily be pulled off by someone of my age. Perhaps when I'm older, I will discover this one's true beauty.

    29 July, 2008

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    L'Eau de L'Artisan by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    What is this? A "safe" offering from L'Artisan? Say it aint so! This scent is fresh and completely inoffensive, and frankly, doesn't really show the typical cunning that the rest of L'Artisan's offerings do. Most of what I get is a lemony-soap smell and grass. It's nice, but is it really worth niche money? Considering there are better scents in the same family, namely Mugler Cologne, I submit that it is not.

    09 July, 2008

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    L'Eau de Neroli by Diptyque

    Notes:

    Head: Lemon Leaf Oil, Verbena, Tarragon, Bergamot
    Heart: Orange Blossom, Neroli, Geranium
    Base: Beeswax, Cedarwood, White Musk

    Wow! This was pretty much love at first sniff for me. The opening reminds me of Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermes. Both share a bright, citrus opening that's heavy on the orange. Once the topnotes fade is where they really start to distinguish themselves. Namely, I can still smell L'Eau de Neroli. Orange Verte has almost no longevity on me, and even though I find it to be a lovely scent, I could never purchase a bottle because of the terrible lasting power. Not to say Neroli is a powerhouse because it isn't by any means (with a good spraying I could maybe get 5 hours out of this on a good day, probably closer to 4) but it's an EdC, so I ended up being rather pleased it could last this long. It settles nicely into a very nice orange blossom smell with a little creaminess thanks to the beeswax. This would be a perfect scent for summer. My only complaint is that it's not available in a smaller amount. 200ml is a lot to have of anything, even an EdC. Nevertheless, I feel like I a bottle of this could be in my near future.

    07 July, 2008 (Last Edited: 15 July, 2009)

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    Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Bulgari Black was walking along one day, but it was the weekend, so instead of stopping at its usual destination of the tire fire, it decided to go to the circus. There, it was covered in light fur and a leather saddle was thrown upon its back and it was thrust into the proceedings. It's smokey vanilla sweetness is better suited here anyways.

    07 July, 2008

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    Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

    Wow, an extremely interesting and highly satisfying scent. I get the woods (cypress and pine) and the turpentine in abundance, especially at the beginning. Robin at NowSmellThis offers a very accurate description of this smell, saying "this is the smell of your father's woodshop, assuming you had a father with a woodshop." Well, my father had a woodshop (or at least the garage of our house where he would do work) and I can vouch for this description. At the same time, I find this to be very natural smelling. There's a trail where I enjoy riding my bike through a grove of trees. Every so often, I catch a whiff of something that smells exactly like Hinoki in the air. Either way, it evokes good memories for me. It's not the kind of thing I would wear all the time, but the second my bottle runs dry, I will be sure to get a new one. I find comfort and a unique harmony in its seeming cacophonous notes.

    PS. This does not smell unisex to me at all. At all. In fact, the combination of woods and turpentine makes it, I think, one of the most masculine scents I own. Ladies, please don't wear this one. If my girlfriend wore this, I would most likely steal her bottle so she could never wear it again (and so I'd have more).

    06 July, 2008

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    Tea for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    An astoundingly good recreation of smoky, spiced tea. This was designed to smell like tea and it absolutely delivers in that regard. I guess this could be considered the British version of Mugler's Pure Coffee. It also has surprisingly good longevity. It's really a lovely scent.

    But...

    Do you really want to walk around smelling like a fresh cup of tea? I'm not so sure I do. I feel as though the standard reaction people would give you is not "oh, you smell nice", but rather "who's making tea?" This could smell amazing on the right person, but I think it would be better off as a scent for the room (L'Artisan actually makes something close to this as a candle/room scent called The Et Pain D'Epices).

    06 July, 2008

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    Black Aoud by Montale

    Boy, I hate to be the turd in the proverbial punch bowl, but after sampling this, I'm afraid I cannot give it anything but the dreaded "thumbs down". I can pinpoint exactly what I dislike about this scent. It might be a total shocker so you should probably sit down for this one... the OUD! I just cant deal with it. In small, more discrete amounts, such as in M7, it's fine. But this is a full on oud-smack to the face. It comes strong and hard in the opening and even after several hours, it still rears its ugly head every so often. As for the actual "Black" part of Black Aoud, well it's very reminiscent of Czech & Speake's No. 88. It's dark, smooth, and handled well. At least the longevity is amazing, so if you do like it, you can enjoy it all day. For me, there are enough rose scents I absolutely love (the aforementioned No. 88, Le Labo's Rose 31, and L'Artisan's Voleur de Roses) that I won't lose any sleep over this one.

    Try before you buy is something that's preached regularly around here, but I'm not sure I can stress it enough with this scent. Clearly, it has many, many people who adore it. It's pretty pricey, so there's no reason not to get a ML before you take the plunge.

    And forget about that "unisex" label it has. This is hands-down a masculine scent. One of my worst nightmares is showing up on a date, only to find her wearing Black Aoud. I just don't think I could do it.

    02 July, 2008 (Last Edited: 06 July, 2008)

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    Tea/Rose by CB I Hate Perfume

    Tea plus rose is an accurate description of this. Actually, it's more like rose plus tea. In the beginning, I get them in about equal parts; a bright vibrant rose and smoky black tea (think L'Artisan's Tea for Two with rose). If only it could stay this nice. As the the scent evolves, the tea dies down and the rose remains. I use the word "evolves" loosely in this instance, as the rose stays pretty much the same throughout the life of the scent, and pretty much nothing else shows up. The rose is bright and bold, it reminds me a little of Frederic Malle's "Lipstick Rose" minus the lipstick (thank god, that lipstick smell killed me). Longevity is average. While this is listed as unisex, I feel like it falls a little more towards the female side of the spectrum. Not so female that a man couldn't wear it; I just find the pure rose accord to be a decidedly more feminine smell.

    30th June, 2008

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    Navegar by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Navegar opens for me with a huge blast of cucumber. After a minute or so, it falls to the background along with some wood and lime takes center stage. It's a great smelling lime, pure, crisp and refreshing. As time goes on, the lime becomes a little less pronounced and the fragrance gets a little more spicy. Quite a nice scent overall, it strikes me like it would be best worn in the spring/summer. Unfortunately, Navegar suffers from some serious sillage and longevity issues. As others have noted, the scent stays close to the skin, and not for very long I might add. I get about 3 hours out of it, which is much too short for a scent this pricy. It's a pity, because when you can detect this, it's a real winner.

    10th June, 2008

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    Méchant Loup by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    From reading all the reviews here, I thought i would be greeted with a beautiful blend of hazelnuts and honey behind a woody backdrop, which sounds great to me. I DO get these notes, but it's hard to distinguish them most of the time because a black licorice accord keeps beating me over the head without mercy. This might be good for some; personally, I can only take anise in very small, controlled doses (and it helps when it's being overpowered by a series of other notes). It's a shame, because in the brief moments where the licorice gives me some olfactory fatigue, the true beauty of this scent shines though. If the licorice was gone, or even controlled, this would be worth of picking up a bottle. As it stands, I'll give it a neutral because as far as I can tell, I'm the only one to ever experience this excessive licorice phenomena. Plus, even with its faults, it doesn't smell *bad*. Just not my cup of tea.

    04 June, 2008

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