Perfume Reviews

Reviews by freewheelingvagabond

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Total Reviews: 357

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

A very lacklustre aquatic with a metallic sweetness about it. Again, it's hard to believe that Jacques Cavallier is the nose- goes to show that the marriage of the house and the perfumer is not always harmonious. I vastly prefer Acqua di Gio over this one, though apparently this one has a better longevity. But I like good longevity and performance from fragrances that smell good, not the rotten ones. Perhaps I don't get along well with the note of Yuzu, but I have a fair degree of tolerance and acceptance when it comes to others in similar territory, such as Yuzu Man. This one is an absolutely redundant non-entity.
15th February, 2015

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Sport by Issey Miyake

A very cheap deodorant smelling fragrance that has very little to offer. Hard believe Jacques Cavallier is the nose behind this one. This is one of the worst even among the generally not-so-impressive ''sport'' fragrances. If you're after one, look at the ones by Dior, Chanel or even Lanvin.
I'd stay away from this one.
15th February, 2015

JHL by Aramis

I came across this fragrance when I purchased a set of Aramis Gentleman's collection, which is a great release in itself. I haven't smelled the vintage version, but Aramis has done a great job to bring back these fragrances and make them available to the public at very affordable prices. Aramis JHL is a beautiful oriental fragrance centred around spices, woods and florals. A smooth blend of cinnamon, sandalwood, carnation and rose creates a wonderful olfactory experience. There is a strange balsamic effect this fragrance has, that almost calms you down. Upon initial application I detect a rose that subsides around the middle phase of development, while cinnamon and sandalwood linger on throughout.

The overall effect is a beautifully constructed oriental that is very different from most of the other stuff out today. I have heard it is very similar to Youth Dew and Cinnabar- none of which I have sampled. JHL is an absolute pleasure to wear at any time, especially when it's not hot, and has good longevity. It almost transports me back to a place, to my childhood days when I used to go to buy books in College Street on winter days. There were bookshops, carpentry shops, flower vendors, milky tea- sometimes laced with kesar- sold in earthen cups and drank by the hundreds, people going to work, to university, mellow afternoon sunlight, and a general feeling of warm joy in the air. It makes me feel as if I've known it for ages, and sometimes makes me a bit nostalgic.

14th February, 2015
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Umbra by Ramon Monegal

Not a fan of this.

Opens up with a promising lemon note and a woody background, and is quite nice in the beginning. However, from there on the citrus subsides and a sweetness, attributable perhaps to the tonka bean note, surfaces. I have trouble picking out the vetiver, but the fragrance retains a remotely earthy feel that is characteristic of so many vetivers. The overall effect is a nondescript, almost candy-sweet and vaguely woody scent without any class or character. Almost a scrubber.

If you are looking for a citrus-woody fragrance, look at Versace L'Homme. If you're looking for a vetiver, tonka bean or vetiver -tonka bean combination, look elsewhere.

Projection and longevity were nothing to write home about.
09th February, 2015

Pour Un Homme by Caron

Another great example of how many affordable great fragrances still exist in the market today!
Yes, it's been around since 1934, and there's a good reason for that. Caron pour un Homme is one of those classic masterpieces that can be worn by gentlemen at any occasion throughout the year, though it's best when it's not hot summer months. A beautiful fresh lavender citrus opening is beautifully complemented by the sweetness of vanilla to create a very distinctive scent. It is beautiful, warm and enveloping in its soapy aroma. Everyone must try this at least three times!
08th February, 2015

Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

A really unique fragrance, but that's where the story kind of ends. It has such a complex array of notes that the overall fragrance is very hard to places, and perhaps refuses to be classified. There is a blast of calone and green notes up top with spices, and vague hints of a floral theme. There is an unnatural oily calming effect. Though I like the opening, it's from the heart onwards that I begin to not like it so much. The aquatic vibe subsides a bit and a woody phase emerges, except that this combination in this particular case I personally don't find agreeable at all. It becomes more of a synthetic green-aquatic-woody-spicy mess. It does project an image of a deep blue sea and a dark sky at the crack of dawn like the commercial, except that all of it is a bit unnatural. While I am not averse to 'synthetic' smelling fragrances and adore many of them (the latest incarnation of Cool Water being an example), this particular blend doesn't do it for me. Finally, projection is average and longevity is decent.

Try it out if you're looking for a different kind of aquatic. Though I don't like its development on my skin, it's still a quality fragrance.
01st February, 2015

Set Sail St. Barts for Men by Tommy Bahama

Tommy Bahama Set Sail St. Barts is a quality fresh fragrance based on a simple lime smell over a boozy mohito/tequila note. The idea is simple and perhaps not the most unique, but the execution is very good. The result is a fragrance that opens up on the skin with a fresh boozy lime scent that stays on the skin awhile before transcending to the salty musky base where the citrus subsides but the boozy vibe is retained. This one has decent projection and longevity of 5-6 hours on my skin. The unique selling point of this one is that it is very different from the hundreds of other bland aquatics that fill up the shelves at department stores. A great little gem!
31st January, 2015

Legend by Michael Jordan

I could detect some coffee and chocolate notes up front. I don't know why but for some reason this fragrance smelled a bit unrefined to me, and I could never reach for it in cold weather given I had Pure Havane, Dior Homme Intense, Chergui,... But that doesn't take away anything from the fact that it's still a quality composition, especially for its price.

If you're looking for a gourmand or something for the cold weather and not looking to spend more than $20, give this one a try. If you are a collector, this should be in your collection. If you're the average Basenoter with at least 15 odd bottles in your collection, you are still encouraged to try it, but might want to look beyond it.

I'm giving a thumbs up considering its quality at that price point, and that it has decent performance. Otherwise would have given a neutral rating.
31st January, 2015

Versace Man Eau Fraîche by Versace

A nice smelling fragrance, but unfortunately didn't much for me. Projection and longevity were average. Moreover I used to get bored of it pretty quickly, and I'm glad I was able to sell off my bottle.
For fresh fragrances for hot weather use, I'd recommend Dior Homme Sport, Mugler Cologne, Original Vetiver, Millesime Imperial, Grey Vetiver and Tommy Bahama Set Sail St. Bart's over this.
31st January, 2015

Bogart by Jacques Bogart

One of the best ever from the great little house of Bogart. Even though it was released a while back, this spicy masculine fragrance themed around a smooth leather is still relevant. I get an incredible blend of lavender, herbs and leather with hints of citrus and perhaps rose. Great for daytime wear, and is perfect for both work and casual weekends. Projects well and lasts a reasonable amount of time on my skin.

If this was some 2015 niche release, it would be selling like hot cakes at 100 bucks per bottle. But life is much better: it is surprisingly inexpensive.

A great, great fragrance.
31st January, 2015

Midnight in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels

This review is of the EdT.
I am really impressed with the quality of fragrances from the house of Van Cleef and Arpels. Midnight in Paris is their latest release for men, and is a great release to boot. I detect some citrus with hints of chocolate, and a very smooth leather note. Perfect for a date, perfect on evening outs and for dinners. I can imagine one wearing this in the daytime as well, but not in summer. Perfect for evenings and nights in all seasons. I can also very well imagine this on a woman. The performance of the EdT is very good on my skin.
A great fragrance. I can hardly wait to try the EdT.
30th January, 2015

Terre d'Hermès Parfum by Hermès

Terre d'Hermes Parfum was one of the first fragrances I had at the beginning of this hobby, and has seen me through some not so great times. A restrained orange opening with hints of spices, is followed by a mineral earthy mid and woody base. I can detect some vetiver in the heart and the base, perhaps a hint of cedar as well. It has decent performance on my skin. Really stands out in the crowd of other designer fragrances- a solid release!
30th January, 2015

Tokyo by Kenzo

Very poor performance absolutely ruins this one.

Quite similar to Azzaro Visit, but has less of the nutmeg and is sparkier up front due to the ginger and pepper. Nothing great, but not pretty bad either. But perhaps there are other fragrances and perhaps you wouldn't want to hold on to it for long.

The worst part is that it abandons your skin much earlier than when you would've planned to abaondon it.

I bought a bottle after sniffing at it at a store, and later learned one of the most fundamental lessons of life in a rather harsh way: never judge a book by its cover.
28th January, 2015
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Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

I am only familiar with the German version.

A very nice, well blended, refined, versatile fragrance for men. There is a hint of tobacco at the base, alongwith some woods. While perhaps not great, it is still very good. The only complaint is that projection and especially longevity could have been better.

The bottle looks and feels great, the box is even better.
28th January, 2015

Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

I'm only familiar with the Parfum version, so the review is for that.

Terre d'Hermes was one of the first fragrance bottles that I owned, and sure enough I finished off 75 ml of it. This one has a refined orange note up top, backed up by woods and vetiver. A while after application a hard to place metallic vibe develops, a development I personally am not sure whether I liked or did not like. But the overall fragrance is still smooth, classy, refined, definitely modern in a good way and refreshing. Another great thing about this one is its versatility, though I'd say it's best on humid rainy days and afternoons.

Perhaps not Jean Claude Ellena's greatest achievement, but a highlight in his distinguished career. Recommended to try.
28th January, 2015

Dior Homme Sport (original) by Christian Dior

I never cared for any sport fragrance until I came across Dior Homme Sport. The Dior Homme DNA is present, but the iris takes a backseat as a sparkling lemon note accentuated by a zesty ginger accord provides an invigorating opening. This wonderful combination is not too well-blended, which means it is easier to pick out individual notes. It is also somewhat linear compared to the Dior Homme line, which makes it all the more a right candidate for those summer days. It has average projection and average to good longevity, but for some reason the performance peaks up with heat. I passionately recommend it to those seeking a bottle worthy summer fragrance and are tired of the generic modern aquatics over-saturating the market. In fact, I passionately recommend it to everybody.
28th January, 2015

Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

Is this the greatest fragrance for men ever created?

A breakdown of notes would be redundant, though violet leaf, orange and leather are the dominant players. A gorgeous floral leather, Fahrenheit stimulates senses like no other, awakens the mind and touches the heart. Fahrenheit is hot and cold at the same time. Fahrenheit is the first scorching ray of sun that melts the ice on snow-capped peaks. Fahrenheit is the smouldering lava that eats up everything in its path as the world burns red in its wake. Fahrenheit is the moist damp brown earth beneath the fleshy green trees with dark wet branches after the first rain in months.

Fahrenheit is not a fragrance. Fahrenheit is an experience.
28th January, 2015

A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

A*Men Pure Havane is a sensational olfactory experience from start to end. This fragrance opens up on the skin with a burst of sweet cherry tobacco and the A* Men DNA is clearly detected. The fragrance stays almost that way throughout its life. I can detect notes of tobacco, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate (cacao?) and a faint tar accord. Make no mistake, those who find the tar note too strong in A* Men will have no problem here. A very well-blended fragrance with excellent projection and longevity on skin. Almost all fragrances from the house of Thierry Mugler are winners, but this one is a total knockout. I agree with TMoran, this is as good as it gets in the designer game....perhaps even in niche. The rubber flask bottle is a love/hate thing - I personally love it. I purchased Pure Havane after sampling it along with A*Men and Pure Malt, and I would put it slightly ahead of its cousins.
The smouldering intensity of Pure Havane is unmistakable, and should be experienced at least once in life. A masterpiece.
28th January, 2015

Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

Piper Nigrum opens up with a heady aroma of spices, at the foreground of which are mint and pepper. The intoxicating opening calms down about 30 minutes later, where a beautiful balsamic feeling sneaks in to accentuate the pepper and the mint. In the final stages one can sense a hint of sweetness due to myrrh and amber, thus rounding off an unusual and inspiring olfactory experience. I can imagine this being worn both in summers and in winters, though I'd say it's best reserved for spring and fall evenings.
26th January, 2015

M7 Fresh by Yves Saint Laurent

A most unique smelling fragrance.

The sparkling grapefruit along with neroli up top is starkly contrasted with the agarwood which burns throughout. Extremely wearable, versatile and works well in spring summer and fall. I get average projection and longevity (around 6 hours) from this one. A wonderful take on another wonderful (M7) fragrance.

Too bad it is discontinued.
05th December, 2014

Dior Homme Intense by Christian Dior

A masterpiece.

Dior seems to be one of the few designer houses heading in the right direction with their men's fragrances. Dior Homme Intense perhaps remains the pick among their modern creations. A remarkably wonderful opening of cacao and iris with vanilla in the background is followed by a sensuous, enveloping and almost edible scent. From the middle phase onwards the fragrance becomes smoother as notes of musk and woods drift in and out. I personally get moderate projection and good longevity (7-8 hours) from this one.

Make no mistake, this fragrance is a must try for anybody and would put many higher priced niche offerings to shame.

I could well imagine this one on a young sophisticated woman.

05th December, 2014

Bulgari Man by Bulgari

A nondescript modern masculine with citrus up top succeded by a woody drydown with a somewhat creamy character and just a hint of sweetness. All that doesn't sound bad until you wake up next morning having no recollection at all what it smelled like. It is that boring. I can tolerate the opening but do not like the drydown, there seems to be some sourness lurking that I cannot appreciate at all.
Perhaps deserves a try and I'm being a bit harsh, but there are countless other fragrances that cover similar territory and purpose with a lot more oomph and class. Terre d'Hermes, Eau Sauvage Parfum and the reformulated version of Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme come to mind.
04th December, 2014

Dirty English by Juicy Couture

Another could-be gem ruined by poor longevity and weak performance overall. The concoction of citrus-spices-booziness-leather is great and markedly distinguished from the many other soulless specimens that line the shelves of mens fragrances at stores. Subsides into a faint pleasant skin scent about 4 hours after application.

A must try, particularly if one is okay with no-so-great performance. Doesn't cost a fortune either, so generous applications are not that expensive.

Pros: Uniqueness, well-done fragrance
Cons: Longevity, Projection (particularly longevity)
29th November, 2014

Lanvin L'Homme Sport by Lanvin

The neutral rating is only for performance.

A lovely bergamot/citrusy opening accentuated by mild pepper, immediately distinguishing itself from the crowd of other 'sports' fragrances, leads to the balmy lavender sage heart phase and eventually transcends into the musky, and slightly woody base. The heartbreak occurs upon the realisation that all this was a fleeting charm rather than a drawn out affair.

Pros: top notes, overall smell, price
Cons: performance- poor to average longevity and lack of projection.
23rd November, 2014 (last edited: 26th January, 2015)

Prada Amber pour Homme Intense by Prada

Prada Amber pour Homme Intense opens with a zesty bergamot citrus accord with an array of delicious notes hovering in the background. After about an hour the creamy myrrh takes the centrestage accentuated by a hint of vanilla. This phase lasts for quite a few hours before the show is rounded off by a restrained amber whose sweetness is balanced by an earthy patchouli note. After the initial brisk opening, this fragrance has the trademark Prada soapy vibe, though not as pronounced as Amber pour Homme. This fragrance is slightly sweet- I definitely disagree with another reviewer who calls it ''uber sweet''. Performance is very good with this one- I get at least 7 hours on my skin. This stunningly gorgeous fragrance merits at least a couple of wearings, though it has really grown on me over time. I could see people wearing this in all climates except for summer. More of an evening fragrance, but not hard to imagine someone wearing this at daytime in cooler weather. A modern classic!
11th November, 2014

Midnight Poison by Christian Dior

A decadent rose-patchouli fragrance with a soothing, soft, lush amber note. There is some citrus at the beginning, but it's blended smoothly. The overall effect is a stunning oriental that is sadly discontinued.

Dior, please bring it back.
12th August, 2014 (last edited: 08th March, 2015)

Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden

I really loved the way this smelled on my friend- fresh and green without being too sweet or minty. Projection is average and longevity seemed to be decent- I was with her the whole evening.
25th March, 2013 (last edited: 12th August, 2014)