Reviews by manatee

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    Armani Eau de Nuit by Giorgio Armani

    If this fragrance were a person, it would be a question-ducking subject-changing PR exec at a small struggling firm. Someone who never puts their money where their mouth is, who promises great things but never delivers, and who ultimately ends up being a derivative wannabe with more ambition than competence.

    The top notes are creamy and saccharine to the point of near-nausea, the middle acts like it's gonna introduce new elements but then just plods along pretentiously, and in the end the drydown exposes this sad concoction for what it is: a lifeless and cynical melange of sweetness and fake leather that no one in their right mind should ever spend a single dime on.

    26 April, 2013

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    cK One Shock Street Edition for Him by Calvin Klein

    Generic, citrusy, bland, and evaporates in an hour. Not even close to the character of the original. Two thumbs in free fall.

    26 April, 2013

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    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Extreme by Guerlain

    I bought this as as fragrance noob completely new to the hobby. Found myself in a position to easily get it from Debenham's in London since my sister was living there at the time. Don't think I'll ever forget the first time I tried it. I'd read so much about it on Basenotes and I'd had such limited experience with truly well-developed frags. The first spritz, which landed on the back of my hand as I drove back to work in an awful hurry after picking the bottle up at the post office, was nothing short of a revelation. I was honestly afraid I was gonna drive off the road.

    After managing to somehow avoid a massive multi-vehicle collision, I remember parking in front of work and then just sitting there. Box next to me on the passenger seat, bottle in my hands, eyes scanning the periphery for any co-workers who might see me sitting there in my car fondling an intricately designed bottle of anonymous liquid in an altogether unwholesome way.

    As much as that first taste delighted me, though, I was wholly unprepared for what was to come. This fragrance's drydown, you see, transcends any mention of notes. It is, in a word, perfect. Throughout the rest of that day, whenever I shifted my body, I would catch these wafts of ... I don't even know how to describe it. Like all of the best fragrances, this one projects an entirely different aura from the one you smell if you put your nose up to it and sniff. And that subtle aura - the one given off by someone wearing this - is nothing short of olfactory nirvana.

    I've worn this religiously when going out in the times since then, and I've received a fair few compliments, but honestly, compliments are the most unscientific marker in the whole pseudo (quasi?) -scientific discipline of seeing how well your fragrances are received. Much more important are the subtle signs - someone moving slightly closer to you; someone talking to you at a distance where you know they can smell you, not saying anything but yet you can tell they're taken aback in an unmistakably flustered way; someone doing a double take, then giving you a look that broaches no misunderstanding.

    In a nutshell: heard this was the bestest fragrance, tried it out, found that yes this is indeed the bestest fragrance. Absolutely amazing piece of work from spritz to sunset. I could wear nothing but this for the rest of my days and be happy.

    16 January, 2013

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    He Wood Silver Wind Wood by Dsquared2

    It's amazing how completely this has sailed under Basenotes's radar, considering what a distinctive and charming fragrance it really is. This is not quite like anything else out there: an unapologetically piercing melange of spicy smoky woods and lavender, which develops into a dark deep cedar-and-musk accord. There's a subtle cold medicinal sweetness there throughout (I'm assuming that's the titular 'silver wind'), and from top to drydown it gels perfectly with every element it encounters along its way. Just beautifully done. Best suited to fall and winter nights out, though it never fails to draw compliments regardless of setting. Thoroughly underrated, highly recommended.

    21st September, 2012 (Last Edited: 28 September, 2012)

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