Reviews by rbaker

    Showing 151 to 180 of 881.
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    Cristobal Pour Homme Eau de Cologne D'Orient by Balenciaga

    This is one of those flankers that declare their ancestry openly: an opening similar to Cristobal PH with coriander, but the white pepper is more dominant with an added whiff of a light incense impression. In the drydown on my skin the geranium is more dominant, and in the base sandalwood and tonka form the core of this scent. Overall on me this is smoother and with a bit of incense. Outstanding blending, ultra-smooth and superb overall quality, with good silage and projection - with only four hours of longevity - but it is a Cologne after all.

    15 February, 2014

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    Carlo Colucci Uomo by Carlo Colucci

    The opening blast is interesting, a traditional
    orange-bergamot combination with cinnamon and cardamom giving it warmth and some extra gentle spice. This first stage is not super-creative, but pleasant and solid. On my skin, however, this scent becomes somewhat generic in the second half: the notes of wood and a rather dull amber are not as good as the beginning. Silage and projection are good, and I get three hours of longevity. Overall a good and a dull phase make the neutral score.

    14 February, 2014

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    Escape for Men by Calvin Klein

    The top notes of eucalyptus, birch leaf and grapefruit are a very nice, fresh and unusual idea. The drydown adds sage and fir impression with good effect, but the base with its generic patchouli and vetiver is a bit of fruity chaos and not convincing. Synthetic, for sure, but the initial phase nonetheless gives nice aromas, especially the eucalyptus - no koalas though. Although the end is not as good, this scent is just at the border between neutral and positive, but the great silage, good projection and an enormous longevity of twelve hours make it a thumbs-up. For spring or autumn.

    13 February, 2014

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    A*Men Pure Shot by Thierry Mugler

    The mint-freshness of the opening with its juniper vibe is nice, as is the light white pepper note. Later a wood impression with a patchouli that is very restrained on my skin. Whilst the summery
    top notes are convincing, the rest is quite mediocre. Limited silage and projection with three hours of longevity.

    12 February, 2014

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    Lanvin for Men by Lanvin

    The opening is classic-phantastic: bergamot, clary sage, a great petitgrain with a bit of citrus - green with a touch of freshness and a whiff of booziness. The drydown veers a bit to the discretely floral, with jasmine, a nice carnation note and a bit of a darker rose added. Green and discretely floral - delightful. The base does not get too heavy; oregano, labdanum and a whiff of a light moss, with a subdued leather lining. This classic composition in it's green-floral-richness with a tilt towards chypre reminds me of a more elegant version of dunhill's Blend 30, and some features are reminiscent of Courreges PH. Blended exceedingly well of top-grade ingredients, with splendid silage and projection. The longevity is absolutely amazing at around thirteen hours. In all aspects a masterpiece by Lanvin for autumn.

    11th February, 2014

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    Original Santal by Creed

    The opening has cinnamon and juniper with the coriander joining in a bit later, there is a hint of sandalwood it takes a while to develop noticeably. It is more obvious in the drydown, but remains in the background whilst a nice ginger with rosemary are in the dominant roles. Later a very nice tonka -neither too sweet nor cloying- gradually grows stronger and takes over the base eventually. This "Santal" is a bit of a misnomer, like a violin fan seeing announced a violin concerto but then a Haydn Symphony is performed. It is not truly a sandalwood-centred scent like Creed's Bois de Santal or the more subtle Santal Impérial, and I can see why some see it as a spicy or nearly a gourmand fragrance. Indubitably, though, the silage and the projection are outstanding, and the longevity is unreal and amazing, especially for Creed: Fourteen hours! Great for autumn on cold days.

    10th February, 2014

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    White Flowers by Creed

    Gorgeous opening with a lot of apple blossom with a smidgeon of lemon cream. The drydown enters with violet and a convincing geranium note, with a lovely jasmine added later - a rich summery bouquet of delicate elegance. In the base I get white musk - the end phase being more linear than the earlier stages. Beautifully blended of ingredients of the highest quality, with decent silage and projection. I get a longevity of nearly five hours, which is SFC = superb for Creed.

    09 February, 2014

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    Sandalo by Etro

    From the starting moment I am getting a soft, elegant sandalwood note that is intermingled with orange and a soft rose. In the drydown it turns more floral; the rose is complemented by geranium, remining me of the scents of my childhood. Later a very gentle amber/patchouli note with vanilla forms a gradually fading base. The sandal is always embedded in the orchestra of the other scents and never is a solo performer. Beautifully blended of high-quality ingredients, with decent silage and projection; total longevity is over six hours. A fine sandal+ scent for warmer autumn days.

    08 February, 2014

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    Neroli 36 by Le Labo

    Le Labo's names can be a bit like Oxford May Balls - rarely in May. Here neroli is present in the background in the first few hours, but never dominating - that is left to orange blossom with mandarin, whilst in the drydown jasmine and a decent rose come to the fore. Tonka takes charge in the base, so overall a white flowery composition with a tonka base. A bit unexciting and not exactly hyper-original, but exceedingly well blended of top-quality ingredients - just narrowly thumbs-up.



    07 February, 2014

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    Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

    The first minutes I get a dark and harsh patchouli, but soon it is as if a cloud of black smoke has descended. It is a harsh, open-fire smoked-ham-with-Oolong note, with transient whiffs of asphalt, and without any Knize-Ten-style petrol on my skin. The beginning has a few touches that indeed remind me if Bvlgari Black's opening. There is clearly a lot of deliciously rough birchwood involved, developing into a rich, intense and edgy leather scent. After about three hours it mellows and is closer to my skin, with a mild vanilla that is never really very sweet on me - the beast is tamed. And a hair-on-the-chest tough beast it is: This is not wearing a tender silk gown like Chanel's Cuir du Russie, and it lacks the fresh elegance of Creed's CdR masterpiece. Le Labo's Patchouli 24 is a brilliant and gutsy exercise in birchwood and leather, with patchouli more an afterthought after the initial blast. Le Labo' names can be a bit like Oxford's Bachelor of Civil Law, which is really not a Bachelor's degree at all. The scent, however, is splendid, with good silage and projection in the first phases and a total longevity of nearly seven hours. Great stuff!

    05 February, 2014 (Last Edited: 04 February, 2014)

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    Fracas for Men by Robert Piguet

    The opening mixes a ripe-fruit accord - mandarin and a hint of apple mainly - with labdanum and bergamot, a pleasant, nice impression; I also get a distinct licorice tone. The drydown loses the freshness and changes to a patchouli with rose, the latter being a rather poor, generic and dull example of its genre. Labdanum remains present throughout that phase. The base is more wood-enriched with vanilla and peters out gradually. Projection and silage are very good for the first half of its overall longevity of nearly seven hours. In summary, the initial phase is nice, the rest quite average with some distinct weaknesses. Clearly the latter stages do not use ingredients of very high quality, but the opening is not without originality, and in some aspects reminds me of scents that were more common in the 1980s and early 1990s. Overall this hovers at the borderline between neutral and just positive, and the first phase and decent longevity make it scrape into the thumbs-up - just.

    04 February, 2014

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    360 Degrees Blue for Men by Perry Ellis

    The green opening with a touch or bergamot freshness appears an overly strained and synthetic attempt to create something new. The drydown presents with a herbal mix and a floral touch that might not be all bad, but somehow appears random and uncoordinated on my skin. The wood notes in the base are less arbitrary, but nevertheless cannot alter the overall unharmonious impression. Silage and projection are not bad, with about three hours of longevity. I am afraid it is neither a convincing nor an interesting scent.

    03 February, 2014

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    360 Degrees Red for Men by Perry Ellis

    The opening with its orange-bergamot is fresh and quite pleasant, but the green lavender drydown a tad generic on my skin. The base is nothing special with a bit of wood and vetiver. Overall restrained and fairly close to my skin, but the first part is summer-style agreeable. Total longevity of three hours.

    03 February, 2014

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    Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

    From the beginning I am getting a delightful fig. There is a bit of bergamot and fig in the background, but this is not a refreshing Cologne on my skin, it is a fig scent. Later a bit of jasmine and a whiff of wood arenpresent in the drydown, but there is little longitudinal development. Nevertheless the fig is if great quality and quite straightforward. Decent silage and projection for the first three hours, then very close to my skin. Total longevity of nearly five hours. In spite of the limited development this is nice straight fig fragrance for warmer days.

    03 February, 2014

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta by Acqua di Parma

    A pleasant and balanced verbena with bergamot opening lasts fifteen minutes. Nothing special but nice and traditional. On my skin skin then it collapses into a boring drydown of jasmine, wood and a slightly soapy amber, very close to my skin with a longevity of nearly three hours. Pleasant but not more, and after the first quarter of an hour a bit forgettable.

    02 February, 2014

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    Iris 39 by Le Labo

    The Iris in the opening is brilliant - rich, elegant but strong, full and not sweet. The drydown adds violet, a light musk and a dash of rose to it. After two hours it becomes close to my skin, and impressions of ylang-ylang and civet a present. The first iris-laden hours are magnificent, and the total longevity is four hours. A benchmark iris.

    01st February, 2014

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    Monsieur Lanvin by Lanvin

    The opening is classic: lemon, bergamot, sage and lemon but being quite restrained overall. Carnation, geranium and jasmine are added in the drydown, resulting in a citrus-floral of the traditional ilk. Then the scent, hitherto with decent and projection for three hours, it becomes very close to my skin, turning to civet and moss to make the base change character into more of a chypre; it lasts five hours overall. The main drawback is the late restraint that makes it weak, but very suitable for a traditional office setting in spring.

    31st January, 2014

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    Higher Energy by Christian Dior

    The opening is quite pleasant with grapefruit, lemon and mint, but awfully generic. There is a bit of light pepper in the drydown, and the base on my skin is a dull wood and vetiver. Very generic and boring, will poor silage, limited projection and two hours longevity on my skin. Negative.

    31st January, 2014

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    Ylang 49 by Le Labo

    The opening is a gorgeous paradigmatic ylang-ylang that on my skin dominates way into the drydown. A flowery component emanates, with gardenia and a smidgen of an oleander-type bright note. After three hours of good silage and projection it retreats to being very close to my skin, with a base of a patchouli, white musk, faint sandalwood and such a minimal moss note that I need an electron microscope to detect it - this is as much of a chypre as Macbeth was a pleasant man. Total longevity on me is six hours. A good spring day scent, and based on the first three hours a positive rating - just.

    29 January, 2014

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    L'Eau Mixte by Nicolaï

    A nice grapefruit opening with mint leads into more floral drydown, which is dominated by a pleasant rose impression.  A touch of wood and ambery vibes with a musky patchouli added later on.  Summery, with reasonable silage and projection, and five hours of longevity. 3.5/5 Summer delight

    29 January, 2014

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    Eau Mega by Viktor & Rolf

    I get a basil/jasmine opening that is fairly generic and unexciting, quite fresh but on my skin overly synthetic. In the drydown a peachy fruitiness again is pleasant but unexciting. Not bad, but mediocre. Neutral indeed. Limited silage and projection, it lasts for three hours.

    29 January, 2014

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    Baie Rose 26 by Le Labo

    The opening with its well balanced mixture of a fairly restrained rose and a light pepper with clove is quite an inspiration and very delightful. After the first hours aldehyde becomes more obvious. On the base I mainly get a very nice cedar and a white musk and a touch of ambrox. The projection and silage are good for the first five hours, but then this scent is very close to my skin, with an overall longevity of eight hours. The opening is the best part, but overall a nice creation. Spring beckons.

    29 January, 2014

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    Subcilium by O'Driù

    The 2012 release Subcilium is, besides Supercilium of the same year, the second of the  "Vetyver Experience" group.  Again a beautiful, slightly sark vetiver as foundation, but not with the same incense; it comes with a smoky resinous side note instead that is never unpleasant or cloying.   A coniferous earthy forest note adds richness and blends in seamlessly.  Again subtle development is the hallmark if this scent that is never loud or overbearing. Good silage and projection, with a splendid longevity of ten hours on my skin.  Versatile, beautifully blended of the highest amazing quality natural ingredients, it is eminently wearable on cooler spring days, even in a not too conservative
    office setting.  Concept art for real life. 

    28 January, 2014

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    Allegradonna by O'Driù

    MUYER DEL PALADIO
    The top notes of jasmine is soon joined by a touch of basil, but in the drydown it is cinnamon with black tea and galbanum that take over soon. The overall result, especially with wormwood joining in later, is that of a beautifully balanced incense note, and incense that has a touch of lightness. Is is never very dark, heavy or cloying.  Decent silage and projection with a good longevity of seven hours, the last three close to my skin.  For those who want to try a cinnamon-based incense but dislike heavy and cloying scents, this might be worth a try as an autumn fragrance.  Incense without heaviness.

    28 January, 2014

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    L'Accordo by O'Driù

    Here the top note starts with grapefruit, to which a beautiful vanilla and later a delightful sandalwood note are added, with benzoin, and on my skin a cinnamon-like touch. Altogether a beautiful opening. In the drydown a touch of basil and jasmin are soon again overshadowed by a nice tonka with a glimpse of background vetiver.   The main phase lasts about five hours and I deemed it over and gone, when the base note tonka re-appeared, very close to my skin and at times complimented by the sandalwood; this second phase lasted another two three hours.  This scent is less powerful than most other O'Drius and more subtle; one of the more versatile ones.  Excellent!

    28 January, 2014

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    Aqua pour Homme Marine by Bulgari

    The opening is a nice olfactory marine beach scene: aquatic with seaweed, a slightly salty note and a fresh grapefruit with neroli. Nonetheless I don't get a fresh opening blast, more a gentle fresh breeze. There is not much development on my skin, apart from light wood added at the end, like drifting onto the beach. The overall impression is nice, well made, a tad generic and synthetic but not overly so. Adequate silage and projection with a longevity of four hours, which is very good for such a type of scent. Not exciting, not special but solid and summery.

    27 January, 2014

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    Rose Ishtar by Rania J

    A beautiful rose opening with a green touch, the fragrant leaves of the roses contribute to the top note. Over the first few hours the roses' scent's character changes, as if moving form one type of rose to another; I feel a bit like ambling in a rose garden. Later in the drydown I get spicier notes, and after about five hours vanilla sets in.  The later base notes have a pleasantly soapy element that dominates the last hours. Good silage and projection, and on my skin an excellent longevity of around ten hours. A great bouquet of spring roses.

    27 January, 2014

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    Lavande 44 by Rania J

    Lavande 44 is a modern lavender that is fresh and, on my skin, with a vetiver component. A touch of saltiness is added later. Not very complex but more than just lavender, and not in the tradidional lavender mould, well-balanced and well- blended. Average silage and projection with four hours of longevity - great for spring as a contemporary lavender.

    27 January, 2014

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    Rose 31 by Le Labo

    The opening rose is gorgeous: a rose that is elegant, bright, with hardly any sweetness on my skin, with a green leaf note, beautifully done. Then caraway with vetiver are added in the drydown. After about three hours the scent very rapidly collapses and from then on remains very close to my skin. The rose is now only a shadow of its former self, and in spite wood and labdanum making a restrained appearance in the base, this latter phase is not only quite unoriginal but plainly disappointing. The silage and projection are good throughout the first three hours, and the overall longevity is quite good at six hours overall. A nice summer scent for cooler days; just hovering at the border between a neutral and a positive score due to the substandard second half. I ask myself: if this scent would only display the beautiful first three hours and then vanish, would I give it a positive score? The answer is: yes; so it is an overall thumbs-up, but only by the skin of it's teeth

    27 January, 2014

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    Eau Cendrée by Jacomo

    Coriander, citrus and traditional lavender make for a nice opening, in a classic way freshened up in the drydown by a well-made petitgrain being added. A more flowery phase, with carnation dominating on my skin, has a green component attached to it. So far this is a delightful composition, but now, moving into to base notes, this scent achieves truly magnificent heights. A superb sandalwood in junction with an extraordinarily characterful patchouli are merging with the rest, resulting in a glowing, rich and intense note of nigh-amber characteristics. Fleeting memories of Balenciaga pH and, mostly, of Cigalia, come to mind. This is top class, smooth, perfectly blended with very good silage and projection. Longevity is superb with nearly eleven hours. My favourite Jacomo, great in autumn.

    26 January, 2014

    Showing 151 to 180 of 881.