Reviews

Reviews by Sunsetspawn

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Animale Animale for Men by Animale Parfums

Holy crap, the scent pyramid is pretty spot on with this one. AA is a delicious little gourmand that will instantly remind you of the first 3 A*Men Pure flankers, though with more citrus on top and sans the patchouli bomb. If they made another Animale Animale and just inserted some patchouli I think the whole, "OMGZ I need to get a PURE MALT/HAVANE/COFFEE would go away because there would be a contender that emulates the spirit of all 3.

Anyhow, there is no patchouli, and instead we've been given a heavy dose of "moss." Now, this can't possibly be oak moss because that's been severely restricted, so I'm guessing that this is some type of artificial creation. It doesn't matter what it is, but I can assert that it's actually a little irritating to the trachea, which is ironic because that was the official reason that oak moss was restricted and yet I never had a problem with that.

Look, if you're even slightly serious about this hobby I can't imagine not buying a bottle of this stuff. It's cheap, it absolutely satisfies, and despite the mild irritation in higher doses, it still finds itself in my regular winter rotation, which is more than I can say for the original A*Men: The Destroy of Sinuses.
05th December, 2012

Amber Oud by By Kilian

The amber and vanilla here are pretty solid, while the woods backing them are but a whisper. It all fades fairly quickly, unfortunately, though the vanilla fades a bit more quickly allowing for the woods to become more prominent as time wears on. And although oud is in the name, the primary wood that emerges as the vanilla subsides is cedar.

The whole experience in very simple and underwhelming despite the obviously high quality ingredients. I cannot condone a $400 purchase for something that's "a'ight." Nah'mean?
29th April, 2012

Cereus Pour Homme No. 14 by Cereus

The cognac and violet leaves keep this ambery, woody, spicy oriental in a strange, almost aquatic territory for a fair amount of time. As that aquatic impression wears off the fragrance's herbal quality starts to resemble tobacco. I was actually surprised when I got home and looked at the notes that tobacco wasn't listed. Anyway, it is what it is.
As this tobacco impression trudges on I get a KFC herbs and spices vibe, and I'm not talking about smelling like chicken, but I mean specifically the spice blend used in the batter which coats the chicken. It ultimately settles into herbal territory after the journey is over.

It was an interesting trip but I don't have any desire to take it again.
27th April, 2012

Costes No. 2 by Hôtel Costes

Costes 2 is kind of floral in a solidly unisex type of way. It ultimately reminded me of hand lotion. It doesn't do anything for me, but it isn't necessarily unpleasant.

To summarize, meh.
26th April, 2012

Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

It's fresh, clean, and a bit on the unique side. PAPH is the type of fragrance that may make people wonder if you're not just "super fresh and clean," as opposed to wearing a fragrance. It could be interpreted as "soapy," but, the comparisons to hotel soap just aren't accurate. It also could be interpreted as "syrupy," but it's never cloying, overpowering, or nuclear. While wearing this all I wanted to do was find excuses to get close to people so they could partake in my magical presence.

I will be buying myself a bottle.
20th April, 2012

Aventus by Creed

Fanboyism is not just a symptom of the electronic and gaming industries, and like every iteration of Call of Duty, a new Creed is bound to bring the hype. Well don't believe it. Modern Warfare: Aventus has designer-itus but it falls on its face as soon as the base emerges. You see, the top notes smells like a quality, pineapple dominant fruit salad, and there's ultimately nothing wrong with that, but as the suedey, musky, Everlast 1910ish base emerges things quickly turn. No matter how nice your notes, if they don't play well together than your fragrance is poor.

Interestingly enough, I feel that the hype behind this product absolutely WILL carry it, which is a bizarre oddity of our culture because if this had been released by anyone else, ESPECIALLY a slightly less known designer like Kenzo or Carven, the sands of time would quickly erase our memories of it.

And in the event that it is a "batch variation" issue that is causing some bottles of Aventus to be not-so-good, then this should get a double negative because that's amateur horsecrap that shouldn't be an issue with a $200+ fragrance, although I personally don't buy that "batch variation" excuse for a single unit of planck time.
17th April, 2012

A*Men Pure Energy / A*Men Pure Shot by Thierry Mugler

How are you supposed to react to something so average when it shares its name with the triforce?

Whatever. Shot is a fresh fragrance that manages to not be aquatic, which is nice, I guess. There's a VERY slight sweet patchouli base which it shares with every A*Men product I've tried (never smelled Ice Men, but I'm willing to bet that has it as well). On top of this under-powered base is some spearmint and pepper. I don't like spearmint and I'm indifferent about pepper, so I knew this probably wouldn't be my thing. I'm also disappointed with the weak base. AND the longevity stinks as well.

I need to go try Ice Men.
15th April, 2012

Tam Dao by Diptyque

Many of the notes that we so enjoy, when stripped down too far, can become as off-putting as misguided complexity. Due to sandalwood being much more benign than patchouli or vetiver it's hard for a sandalwood-centric fragrance to offer a truly negative experience, but Tam Dao is able to firmly entrench itself in the "who cares" catagory.
15th April, 2012

Memoir Man by Amouage

The price tag makes me want to go neutral, but I know deep in my heart that there is a good possibility I might just say, "eff it," and buy a bottle if I'm feeling froggy. The entire composition is quite nice, and it's dominated by absinthe or wormwood, or both; I'm only slightly familiar with that smell. Anyway, I think my least favorite aspect of the scent is the frankincense, but I'm not sure if I genuinely don't like it or if I'm just annoyed that it's in EVERY SINGLE AMOUAGE I'VE SAMPLED. I think it's the later, because in Epic and Ciel I love it and those are the first two I sampled.

Memoir won't blow down your senses like some of the other Amouages, but it is more than competent.
11th April, 2012

Cannabis Santal by Fresh

Chocolate, patchouli, fruit, and a hint of sandalwood make this a pleasant little concoction. There's also a bit of a synthetic edge to this which makes it smooth and glossy. Unfortunately there's no cannabis in here, but I suppose that's for the best.

I like it.
11th April, 2012

Les Heures de Parfum - VII L'Heure Defendue by Cartier

L'Heure Defendue starts like a chocolate liqueur, and ends like one of those higher quality Ghirardelli chocolate powders. This is a fantastic, gourmet rendition of chocolate; a gourmand of the highest, most single minded order.

Chocolate chocolate chocolate!

But wait, do I want to smell like JUST chocolate? Even the most chocolaty dessert isn't only chocolate!

Not really, and I honestly believed that smelling like chocolate was exactly what I wanted. Strange how that works, but I suppose that this particular smell is only complete when the sugar and fat accompany it, and without such elements it just doesn't satisfy.
07th April, 2012

Honour Man by Amouage

Every Amouage I've smelled has managed to have that damn frankincense note shoehorned into it. It's become detrimental to brand. At this point I can't even blame the perfumer because it's obvious that there is a corporate mandate to use the stuff. This is generic, fresh peppery nonsense PLUS FRANKINCENSE.

When I smell this I have no desire to continue smelling it.
04th April, 2012

Ambre Fétiche by Annick Goutal

Extremely brutal amber and leather. It really is that simple.
02nd April, 2012

01 Nomad by Odin New York

When I first sprayed this on I got so excited because it smelled like a syrupy fruit cake. You see, I just love gourmands, and the more they smell like unhealthy dessert, the better. It's probably because I won't eat unhealthy dessert. So I wore this to work with absurdly liberal application and I was kind of nervous that I might be a offensive. Well, there was no reason to worry with this impotent disaster. Oh sure, it smells great while it lasts, but it only lasts about 4 hours even when megadosed, and even while it lasts it doesn't really project much.

Such a shame, as who doesn't want a fragrance in their collection that's going to raid villages?

Nomad by Odin, grrrrrrrr
02nd April, 2012

L'Homme Sage by Divine

So I wore this today and some things stood out immediately. The patchouli somehow behaves like a top note, and it seems to have a similar edge to the patchouli used in L'instant de Guerlain. It's very prominent for the first two or three hours and then runs and hides. After the patchouli breaks out like acne we're treated to everything else, which is quiet, conservative, masculine, powdery, and is a bit of an ambery, herbal incense. The powdery smell is similar to Tiffany's powder smell, and I can only speculate as to what is actually causing it. And that's what this review comes down to: The powdery smell in L'Homme Sage makes me not want to wear it.
27th March, 2012

Blu Mediterraneo Basil / Foglie di Basilico by Acqua di Parma

Fresh basil taken straight from the garden. That's all this is. The supporting notes are simply here to enhance the garden freshness of the basil. The whole experience is one of an old school tonic.
24th March, 2012

Back to Black by By Kilian

"Back in black, I hit the sack. I've been too long I'm glad to be back
Yes I'm, let loose, from the noose that's kept me hanging about
I keep looking at the sky 'cause it's gettin' me high
Forget the herse 'cause I'll never die
I got nine lives, cat's eyes
Usin' every one of them and running wild

Cause I'm back..."

Yeah that's right, this fragrance puts that song in my head, so I'm passing on the psychosis.

Anyway, Back to Black is an amazing honeyed tobacco fragrance with light highlights of apple pie and tea. It's a little flimsy in the longevity department, and a little more so in the sillage department, so you might find yourself using a triple dose every time you wear it (I know I would), especially because it's so fantastic that there is no way you could ever offend anybody no matter how much you spray it. If this had the power of Black Afgano or say, Tobacco Vanille, it would be a no-brainer, but due to the current lack of omph I'm having a hard time justifying a purchase.
23rd March, 2012

Les Zazous by Keiko Mecheri

So I'm sitting here over 12 hours after I put this on and the cloud of honeyed rose has not dissipated. This thing can hang; the longevity is outta sight. I'm very impressed that something so natural-seeming lasts so long. As for the scent, well, that pyramid is looking pretty accurate. I don't really know about vetiver, ambergris, and mahogany, though. And who the hell the knows what "fresh aromatic notes" is? Anyway, the honey and rose dominate here, with everything else kind of hanging out in the background. The tobacco is nice and the whole thing reminds me a bit of Back to Black, but the rose makes things ever so slightly feminine so if given a choice I would probably go with the By Kilian.
22nd March, 2012

Blu Mediterraneo Sicilian Almond / Mandorlo di Sicilia by Acqua di Parma

Vanilla cream soda with poor longevity and sillage. It gets points for being unique and being a vanilla fragrance that's wearable in warm weather because it's aquatic-ish (or soda-ish or whatever), but it ain't making me want it, that's for sure.
21st March, 2012

Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

It's a citrus and fig fragrance with that same sweet shampoo glaze that Capri Orange has, or Arancia di Capri, or whatever. Yay! I like Fico di Amalfi better because the bitter grapefruit combined with the fig make this interesting and yet it still has a casual vibe about it. This also has a bit more longevity and sillage than Arancia, but just a bit.
20th March, 2012

Al Oudh by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Oudh is a tough one for me. In this particular fragrance the oudh turns a perfectly good concoction into a whiskey smell. Of course the rose probably adds to that, as it's another element that I feel takes a careful hand in fragrance construction.

Big fat no from me.
17th March, 2012

Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

While this does smell good, I just don't want to smell like this. It's an old-school compare scent, and could give you old man vibes. Colonia was probably worn by Vito Corleone on vacation, well, if he existed.
Try Assoluta, as its modern blast of white musk keeps it out of old man territory but it is similar in composition.
17th March, 2012

Pardon by Nasomatto

Just like L'instant de Guerlain Extreme, I get a smooth blast of cocoa and a floral, tea like accord. Unlike L'instant, I'm not getting that patchouli base. Instead, the base here is woody, and may have a touch of oud and leather.. Also, unlike L'instant, Pardon doesn't put off as much sillage, nor does it last anywhere near as long. There may also be similarities to L'instant EDT, but I'm not familiar with that.

It good, but with L'instant Extreme cheaper (even at jacked up gray market import prices), and more powerful, purchasing this would be foolish.
14th March, 2012

Patchouly by Mazzolari

MP is a little woody and harsh for me to really consider buying it. There were moments during my sample wearings that were very nice, but the bottom line is that those moments were reminders of patchouly-centric fragrances that I found far superior. Off the top of my head, MP vaguely reminded me of both L'instant Extreme and Pure Coffee, and made me wish I had been wearing either. Maybe I just like my patchouli a little softer and more rounded.

In it's favor, it did get better with time, and by the eighth hour it had become much more pleasant and balanced, but I could never buy something that would just make me wish I wore something else.
10th March, 2012

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

"Attention, fragrance shoppers!

Take advantage of our penny fragrance sale.
If you buy one bottle of fragrance at the regular price...

you'll get another bottle of fragrance of equal or lesser value for only a penny.
Try and beat fragrance for a penny!
If you can find cheaper fragrance anywhere, wear it!

Hey, what do we have approaching here?

A new flavour: apple pie fragrance."

When it finally dawned on me that TV smelled like apple pie a la mode, specifically with high quality vanilla ice cream, I thought of Cheech Marin's scene in From Dusk till Dawn.
And that really is it. I'm certain that the intent behind this fragrance was to smell like apple pie. The tobacco is a faint whisper that only serves to enhance the apple pie spices. There also isn't much bass to it; it shrieks like a banshee without any darkness or woods. That's not to say there's no base, as the whole damn fragrance is a linear superbase.

The sillage and longevity on this on are off the meat hook, chain, scale, walls, and outta sight. If you like TV and buy a bottle you are absolutely getting more value per dollar than if you bought any run-of-the-mill designer fragrance, despite the high price tag. Two sprays would probably be too much for just about any occasion. I have a 1.5 ml sample, I've worn it 3 times, one of the times I went too far and it was nuclear, and I STILL have some left. So the price really shouldn't be an issue for anyone.
10th March, 2012

parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Sequoia by Comme des Garçons

I see there is rum in there, and perhaps that would be the cause of what I was considering the "whiskey" smell. Of course, there is a type of oud in there, and that could assist in the "whiskey" smell. Unfortunately I don't drink enough to sort this out properly, I don't have any rum, my whiskey is sealed, and vodka and scotch won't help. My liqueur cabinet stinks. It could also be interpreted as "pimento," but not quite as foody.

Anyway, besides this bitter and intriguing note that will last forever on clothes but be absorbed immediately on skin, this is a forest in a bottle. As art, it's very nice. As a wearable scent, it's interesting but unsatisfying. Of course, my tastes lean towards gourmand and other nearly edible sweet and delicious scents, so consider that with this review.
06th March, 2012

Gaïac by Martine Micallef

"bergamot, jasmine, cloves, gaiac, vetiver, vanilla"

See that? That's from a website where this can be purchased, and that really is a close representation to what I smelled as I've sampled my sample. The smart money also says that there's a bit of cocoa in there. In fact, as I wore this I didn't know what to expect, and still the bergamot, cloves, cocoa, vanilla, and gaiac were pretty clear. Well, I didn't actually know what gaiac smelled like, but now I do. Anyway, I wasn't really able to smell any vetiver, but I know that vetiver is often blended out of existence and is just used to mildly alter the character of a fragrance. As for the jasmine, well, there is a tea-like note sitting in there, which, by the way, goes perfectly with the bergamot.

It is what it says it is, and it's great.

Now there's the issue of potency to price. You see, for that kind of price you would hope the fragrance hauls ass much like Tobacco Vanille or Black Afgano, but unfortunately you're stuck with a whisper. I'm still very tempted to buy a bottle, but it's a purchase that must be carefully considered. It's a good thing I have another sample.

Why do I feel like I'm channeling Paulie Walnuts?
05th March, 2012

Amber Absolute by Tom Ford

This is wood and amber. No, it's not "woody," it's wood. It smells like wood shop. It's so earthy and raw that it starts to smell like play dough if you use your imagination a little. There may be of hint a patchouli in there, too. This is seriously high quality stuff, and it only takes one wiff to know it. Anyway, as much as I commend Tom Ford for releasing this kind of amazing monstrosity, I just don't dig on amber, no matter how well done.
02nd March, 2012

Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

And a resounding "meh" was heard across the Milky Way. This fragrance seems to have a little bit of everything. It's a little woody, and fruity, and incensy, a little spicy, and maybe kitchen-sinky. Now, to make sure everything plays nice together, a liberal schmear of iso e super is used. I have nothing against the super, in fact, I love Grey Vetiver and that stuff is loaded with it, but it just doesn't work for me in TFE. Maybe I'm wrong, and it's very likely that I am, but I feel that the iso e super is being used to take a rich oriental and make it totally mainstream. I'm going to stop trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about now and just leave you with a neutral.
29th February, 2012

Burberry London for Men by Burberry

London is a spicy, fresh, piney tobacco. The port wine and cinnamon are fairly clear as well. But regardless of the notes that may or may not be easily identified by me or anyone that happens to be wearing this fragrance, one thing seems to be clear: This smells of Christmas. Now I know that's hard to explain, but from my point of view it just reminds me of the family Christmas party. Spray it on a Christmas card and BOOM, the recipient has that much more holiday spirit.

I think it could match the Thanksgiving party too.

Whatever, this is a warming fragrance that's perfect cold weather. Wear it from November to March, unless Spring comes early.
28th February, 2012