Perfume Reviews

Reviews by lovingthealien

Total Reviews: 19

L'Effleur by Coty

Hideous, screeching, paint remover flowers from hell.

Possibly mislabeled oven cleaner.
28th June, 2012

Devin by Aramis

Copy Johannes' review from below and turn it into a thumbs up. One of the very best harsh mold-chypres ever!
15th June, 2012

Wild Woods for Men by Coty

What a fantastic gem. I picked up a new tester for almost nothing and I'm very impressed. It has no top or middle notes - it's just a lovely woody incense melange. Almost completely synthetic, but wonderful nonetheless. It's extremely well-rounded with no sharp or astringent aromas. I detect, in order of strength - sandalwood, incense, tonka, cedar, nutmeg, tobacco, vanilla, and musk. Creamy and delicious, discrete and brief, and rather simple - a great lounging fragrance.
12th June, 2012
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Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

Eau Sauvage is not at all what I expected. It seems many of the reviews here try to push Eau Sauvage as a fresh and clean citrus fragrance which is completely missing the point. The fragrance opens citrusy, for sure, but to call it a fresh citrus fragrance is missing the forest for the trees.

Juxtaposed over the classic chypre accord is a myriad of brilliant and groundbreaking aromachemicals and accords. The citrus opening's almost tangible liquidy strangeness is modified by several aromatic herbs and the aroma of dried fruit to give it a bit of a rougher, foody edge. This is all lovely, but it's a lie. What makes this fragrance truly great is the vivid sweat accord, just like fresh sweat on a white cotton tee shirt. This makes the fragrance feel alive and as jarring and realistic as the breath of another human being. It's almost creepy. This living quality is both relaxing and contemplative, and really ahead of its time. A true masterpiece.
15th March, 2012

Escada Homme by Escada

This is Chanel Pour Monsieur through the viciously barbaric lens of 80s powerhouse masculines. Interesting, considering it's a post-Cool Water 90s fragrance. Unfortunately, it takes the more delicate, subtle characteristics of Pour Monsieur and turns everything to maximum volume. The whole thing comes off as an interesting juxtaposition of class and cheap brashness. It's like wearing a neon yellow plastic raincoat over a vintage Armani suit. Interesting, but terrifying.

Recommended for those who can pull it off!

EDIT: I recently obtained some vintage Escada Pour Homme and it is a far more subtle and balanced fragrance that is definitely recommended. The IFRA strikes again...
10th February, 2012 (last edited: 23rd March, 2012)

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

One of the very, very best deals available. This one is to be strictly used on skin, lest you wish to smell like the "Mountain Rain" laundry detergents that are likely based on this classic!

The opening is a roll through a flower garden. "Green" starts and ends with this beautiful, bitter, juicy violet leaf opening. Galbanum and Citrus enhance and focus this bitter greenness, making it smell quite literally of crushed fleshy leaves, chlorophyll and peppery qualities abundant. Just beneath this realistic greenness is a beautiful floral bouquet. The entire effect is both realistic and nostalgic; this is truly the goal of perfumery. These florals play around with each other, some dominating over others, as the quiet, woody cyphre base adds a distinct edge to the scent, keeping it from just being a bubbly floral. It is shy, never really revealing its character through anything but subtle hints.
18th January, 2012

Shalimar by Guerlain

Indisputably beautiful. Shalimar doesn't merely sit upon your skin and project its essence like most parfums; it melts into you, combining with you, and projects your essence. Hypnotic and wonderful. Breathtaking every single time.
22nd December, 2011

PS by Paul Sebastian


I am a HUGE fan of orientals. I had fairly low expectations for PS, but it was actually even worse than I imagined. It's not stuffy, but it is definitely cheap smelling. It has this putrid sun-tan lotion accord that others may like, but I don't. The whole scent is very mild and unstimulating. It kind of smells like old nick-knacks at a flea market, but somehow less pleasant. Cheap and boring through and through. There are so many orientals out there that positively blow this one out of the water.
15th December, 2011

Coriolan by Guerlain

A beautiful, sharp, bittersweet cyphre with a fantastic theme and beautiful ingredients.

The fresh citrus opening is foiled by the extreme green bitterness of the middle notes: ginger, absinthe, and juniper. The sillage is quite strong and herbal and it reminds me very much being lost in the woods. Juniper is a beautiful note, and with the ginger, it really brings out a strong bitter quality that you can almost taste. It is almost like the real citrus retires for an abstract interpretation of the idea of citrus - The acidic ginger, the bitter-crisp juniper, and the sweet ylang-ylang are both one accord and separate notes throughout the evolution. The base and the middle notes seem to be at war, and the tide of the battle shifts continuously, the mossy, resinous base winning (just barely) in the end. Just when I decide if it's sweet or bitter, medicinal or fresh, mossy or bright, I change my mind.

I think this is what puts a lot of hardcore Guerlain fans off. It isn't straightforward or delicious, not comforting or warm. It's vaguely unsettling and inhuman - like curious metal structures amongst deciduous trees in winter, both beautiful and unfamiliar. I think this unfamiliar quality was a deliberate effort on the part of JPG - just look at how many unique, foreign ingredients he used in the creation of this perfume. Truly, this perfume is art of the highest quality, difficult to interpret though it is.
10th December, 2011

Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

I ordered the one from fragrancenet, but they sent me a brand new batch in the new box. I was a little irked, but decided to just unbox it and try it on anyway.

This is SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD. It was love at first sniff. This is probably my favorite men's Guerlain scent, beating out even Habit Rouge. I read that Heritage was a tribute to all the great Guerlain scents of the past - a "Greatest hits" collection that plays all the tracks at once. However, there is no dissonance here. This is so well blended, creamy, bright, classy, clean, dirty, and beautiful. It is also unashamedly masculine. The "real man" sort of masculine.

Note-wise, this stuff is as complex as they come!

TOP: Aldehydes, Juniper, Lemon, Bergamot, Lavendar, Violet, Clary-Sage, Petitgrain, and Green Notes.

MIDDLE: Cyclamen, Orris Root, Carnation, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Jasmine, Geranium, Coriander, Pink Peppercorn, Patchouli, and Balsam Fir.

BASE: Sandalwood, Amber, Tonka Bean, Treemoss, Cedar, Musk, and Vanilla.

The opening is citrusy, only vaguely, but functions as an opening paragraph to describe the history of Guerlain. Yes, there is Guerlinade. Yes, there is bergamot. Yes, there is iris. And yes, there is Violet. There is a beautiful greenness to the opening, as one could expect from the listed notes, but it stays warm and creamy. The lavendar hints at freshly laundered clothes, but just very slightly, lending a "clean" characteristic to the blend.

After that, I just sort of lose my grasp on the scent. It isn't that it is so busy; it's that it's blended so well that the scents all create this solitary wonderful scent that is rich, beautiful, and yet somehow melancholy. If I try, I can pick out certain notes that I'm looking for, but I could probably pick out something that isn't there if I tried hard enough!

All in all, Heritage is the richest "male" Guerlain scent I've experienced. It is breathtaking.

And right now I can smell Mitsouko wafting in from my bedroom as my girlfriend is getting dressed. Magical.
09th December, 2011

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

(Original Formulation) I am lucky to have stumbled upon a very nearly completely full original formulation 3.3oz tester for 10, yes, 10 US dollars.

The first time I wore this, it was summer in Florida. One half-spray to one wrist. After about 20 minutes, I had to scrub it off, but it was to no avail. Somehow, that tiny little spray was completely overwhelming, and was actually nauseating. And it stayed. forever. I put this one in my winter area and decided I would revisit it when it was a bit colder.

Fast-forward to fall, and it's 59 degrees for one night only. I decide to wear this. It was a bit more wearable, but still way too strong. There was just no way for me to judge if I liked it or not; it was just too humid outside and still too strong. It wasn't like anything I've smelled before, that's for sure. I again was forced to put it on the shelf.

Now, 2 months later, it's finally getting below 50 degrees at night here and it's not quite 100% humidity. I apply one spray to my chest. It's still strong, but this time, I finally can smell it all without it being way too cloying. And what do I discover but beautiful, intoxicating, woody bliss. Yes, I love it. Even though it's obviously not made for my climate, it will be very popular in my winter rotation this year.

Notes listed on the side of my tester:

"Fresh, Woody, Sensual
Vetyver, Amber"

The opening is fresh and green moldy cellar cabinets in an abandoned building. I can't really describe how beautiful this smells, but that's how good it is. As the bergamot fades, there is a bit of the awkward, medicinal, almost burnt-sugar-but-not-sweet phase that is beguiling and beautiful. Then all of a sudden, BAM! Magical, intoxicating, woody bliss. Like a fire burning in an alaskan forest, only completely sexy. Fresh, Woody, Sensual, indeed.

The best part? It lasts forever. You can't get it to stop if you want to. It lingers after two showers. If you sprayed this on your shirt and left it with a significant other after a romantic evening, I can nearly guarantee they would be wearing it later. And it is so strong! This stuff is going to be impossible to use up.
01st December, 2011

Aramis by Aramis

This stuff is ridiculously good for the price. It is very much a product of its middle notes and is positively scorching. It may be too harsh and alien for some, but I can't stop smelling it. It reminds me of the inside of an old briefcase, both classy and of an ambiguous age. It opens with an intense bergamot blast over the already full-blast middle notes; gold, shimmering light. As the bergamot comes down, it gets a bit like a burnt building that has been setting for years. There's an intense firewood scent to it. The sandalwood is definitely detectable over the "man base." It stays sharply smokey as it fades, but doesn't really go away(seriously, it lasts forever).

I'm not sure how close this is to the original, but if it's been reformulated, I don't even care! This stuff is AMAZING. This stuff also tends to be REALLLLLLY cheap at discount stores (~10USD for 3.4oz), so there is no reason to pass it up.
24th November, 2011

Unforgettable by Revlon

Revlon's Unforgettable is a surprisingly good scent. I stumbled upon a half-used bottle from the 90s in a thrift store that was surely kept in a poor condition, so it may be very different from the new stuff, but I was surprised none the less. My girlfriend expressed that it was like a Shalimar that worked on her(it turns to pure coumarin on her). I felt it was much drier, like a more floral Habit Rouge without the lemon. Here's the official scent pyramid:

Top: Freesia, Orange Blossom,Llily-of-the-Valley
Middle: Iris, Iris root, Jasmine
Base: Amber, Musk, Sandalwood.

In practice, the opening is candy powdery, like the tingle you'd get if you accidentally inhaled smarties. The Iris scent is sweet yet dry. Bone-chalk dry. It is actually a very pleasant opening. The drydown is very pleasant to me, but may be unwearable to others. The base is classic oriental with "sandalwood" instead of vanilla. This is the same artificial sandalwood scent present in the famous Nag Champa incense, which the base actually resembles to a degree.

All in all, it's a little ambiguous and common smelling, but very nice for the price and is a decent feminine sandalwood fragrance, especially if you like Nag Champa and wish to smell like it.
23rd November, 2011
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Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

I honestly thought this was the same thing as the atrocious Azzaro Chrome, but WOW was I surprised. I tried a sample of it in a store after a sales associate who knows my tastes well recommended it. I bought it the next day!

The opening doesn't leave you wondering - this is a real fougere. The barber shoppe notes are just a playful sheer shawl over the scary depth that this fragrance hides. After the scent settles a little, the sweet dirtiness of the fougere heart comes out with clever additions of the sweet herbal notes from the basil and lemon. Throughout, the stunning (and I mean QUALITY) Ambergris and musk base gets louder. The ambergris smell is substantial, and brings the other scents in better focus. However, if I'm too liberal with this fragrance in the "warmer" areas of my body (maybe because I'm in Florida), everything starts smearing together and the notes develop at the wrong times, giving it less of its sharp and sweet and more dirty mouthwash.

This scent is expertly blended, and smells AMAZING in cold weather. Pure lasting quality. My advice if it's not particularly cold out is to apply it lightly to the neck or wrists, and avoid applying it under clothes where it tends to get too mouthwashy.
22nd November, 2011

Kanøn Norwegian Wood by Kanon

It is a very effective and classy room spray - It smells like a beautiful, open cedar cabin in the mountains on a sunny winter day after it snowed. Bright and uplifting, but sweet and warm. Too one dimensional and cheap smelling for a personal fragrance, however. Additionally, it smells TERRIBLE on my skin. Much better on drapes. :)
22nd November, 2011

4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

I bought a 400ml bottle of this to replace my extremely costly habit of spraying Guerlain's Eau de Cologne Imperiale all over myself and my bedsheets each night before bed.

While the opening is heavenly(and _very_ similar to Guerlain's EDCI), the rosemary in the drydown is just a bit off. I get a touch of baked turkey, and I'm not sure if that's what I want after working with food all day.

For the price, though, I can't complain! It may not be the best Eau de Cologne on the market, but at the very least, it is a real EDC that is widely available, something that can't be said about any of the others.
16th November, 2011

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

This is a review of the newest Eau de Toilette version. This fragrance is certainly complex. Up top I immediately get a huge blast of lemony, powdery wood. Not carpentry wood, but more like antique Indian furniture wood. The basil is definitely detectable and the pimento(allspice) comes out right after. I'm a fan of allspice in orientals, and it hits nicely in this scent as well. I would have to describe the opening as extremely loud yet muffled gently by the powder..

As it dries, the top notes are still there, but the lemon lets the woods shine through, and I get a wonderfully powerful carnation scent out of it. I LOVE carnation - it is such a soft and beautiful scent. The woods are warm and pure, the rose and carnation are realistic, and the spices arrive one at a time, like at a gala event. The patchouli seems to merely create a "texture" in the woods, if that makes sense, and doesn't necessarily project its own essence.

As time passes, the scent warms and sweetens, the vanilla arriving fashionably late as if it had prior engagements and was only just able to make it (and in a ridiculous leather suit). The incense intensifies, and deep floral notes penetrate the sweet smoke in the most beautiful way.

The entire experience isn't purely "classic" or "old" to me (and cerainly not bingo hall old lady!). It is more like taking classic art deco lines and filling them with paisley and smoke; a dark, gruff, unshaven man in an exquisite black suit with a corsage in a baroque castle; Clove cigarettes and white bouquets. It oozes class and is perhaps a bit risky as a floral oriental for men. Do yourself a favor, though, and try it out a few times - it wasn't what I expected the first time, and I got a bit overwhelmed by the "lemony mothballs" scent that others mention, but damn did it change on my skin.
14th November, 2011 (last edited: 18th March, 2012)

Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain

This fragrance is a very clever reinterpretation of Shalimar. The opening is very Guerlain and rather surprising. It actually reminds me of a less-floral Amarige opening. There is a muted fruity note present that reminds me of peaches in wax, intensified by the citrus and Iris. As the middle notes emerge, it gets a bit sweeter, still retaining the citrus bite. The florals are very warm and wet, and the fragrance continues to get warmer. The dry-down is what really gets me to love this fragrance. From afar, you get a wonderfully modern waft of lightly sweetened florals and amber with a higher dose of the incense smell from the patchouli and vetiver. Up close, however, it is beautiful incense and vanilla - truly the spirit of Shalimar. It's far from being another "younger" flanker for Shalimar - it's been rebuilt from the ground up, and is certainly not as accessible as many people have complained. It has its own soul, and stands on its own as a very nice fragrance.
11th November, 2011

Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur by Pierre Cardin

I didn't know what to expect from the reviews, but found an unopened vintage bottle of this for 5 dollars. There wasn't much in the top that thrilled me, but as soon as it hit the dry-down, I realized immediately that I had smelled this before. It smells very much like the beloved Tabu for women. Indeed, past the opening, the scents are nearly identical in composition. The bouquet is of different flowers, but to the same effect. Out of the two, I definitely prefer Tabu, but this isn't a bad one, either.
06th November, 2011