This is truly a beautiful fragrance. I merely "liked" the EDT after multiple testings, but this EDP version really "wowed" me. It opens quite similar to the EDT version, just with the citrus dialed down and the cocoa notched up slightly. They also transition similarly in the first hour or so, where the patchouli kicks in a bit more, and the citrus/cocoa combo actually has a bit of freshness & "brightness" to it. Then, about 1-2 hours in is when the EDP really makes its play. It projects quite well for the first couple of hours, then settles down gradually to more of a skin scent, albeit a rich/strong one. It doesn't make a loud statement, but you also know it's there, presenting its classy, understated confidence.
The citrus and patchouli play around with the cocoa for quite a while in the middle, where you get what most people describe as the "bitter" cocoa, yet that's also what gives it the slightest bit of "brightness", freshness & masculinity. The late drydown on this it where it just blows me away though. As the patchouli & citrus fade more, the cocoa blooms and sweetens a bit (but not overly so), and just smells so natural and exquisite. I know there's often debate on whether or not this is a true gourmand or not. I'm definitely not experienced enough to make this call, but I can say that the cocoa that develops in the later phases, when it's truly more of a skin scent is in delectable, almost like a high-quality powdered hot cocoa before it gets dissolved in liquid.
It's at this point that I can easily see why many give it the gourmand designation. In the early to middle stages, however, it's very likely only semi-gourmand, as the citrus, patchouli & woods, balance out the cocoa much more, and present a well-blended masculine fragrance that oozes class & quality. Longevity is great on this one. It projects quite strongly for the first couple of hours, and then gradually settles in as a stronger skin scent, often for 24 hours or more. To me, this is truly a masterpiece by Guerlain, and a fragrance well worth seeking out to at least sample for any fragrance enthusiast.
I almost didn't give this one a chance, as I found the original and flankers just "ok", but nothing special and not full-botlle worthy. I'm glad I did try this one again, however, as I actually really enjoy "Extreme" and find it different enough from the rest. While the name doesn't seem fitting, I truly found this one enjoyable from start to finish. The opening of light mint & citrus feels nice and fresh, then the middle and dry-down finish very fresh, clean & even a bit "rich", without smelling of soap or detergent.
As a "clean" scent, I still found this one to be masculine enough, and it has great longevity with "sneaky" projection. I get AT LEAST 4-6 hours of good (but not too much) projection, and that's in the summer heat & humidity. Then, as a skin scent it just lasts and lasts...in a "good" way. I know this is considered by many to be a "safe" and "simple" fragrance, and perhaps it is, but it sure smells nice to me, and my wife really likes it on me as well. Gets a solid "A" in my book for what it is...a good daily, fresh & clean fragrance with a good bit of versatility to boot. I'll be getting a full bottle shortly!
Out of the half dozen Bonds I've tested thus far, RD is definitely one of the best for me. While I did enjoy New Haarlem, Riverside Drive is just the more versatile performer. This one requires a delicate balance for me, as any amount of over-spraying can become too powerful and a bit cloying due to it's sweet background. This is one powerful scent on me, and generally 1 full spray to the neck (or half to the chest or back of neck and half to the front) does the trick, giving me good projection and longevity for a good majority of the day. Any more and it's just too much.
When it's applied properly, I find it a pleasant, unique and classy scent. The funny thing is, I've seen this one compared to nearly a dozen other high quality (and well reviewed) scents, all of which are fairly different in their own right. To me, a fragrance that can draw all of those comparisons, yet still retain its own unique character shows something. Personally, I find RD of high quality, classy, well blended and relatively unique. I can't say it's perfect by any means, as the underlying sweetness can easily take over and become distracting or cloying if given the chance, but the right amount of application should leave most people in the wake of a gentle, pleasant, fresh & masculine aroma. I look forward to getting my hands on a small bottle in the near future.
While I haven't tested out all of Bond's more masculine fragrances yet, New Haarlem has definitely been one of the stand-outs thus far. It's rich, layered and as most people who have worn Bond already know, projects and lasts extremely well. It leaves little doubt that it's of high quality. This one moves into the mid notes almost immediately for me, with a strong blast of coffee, and then lingers there for many hours. The syrupy, coffee mix really never completely wears off on my skin until I shower and scrub it off.
While there is a degree of bitterness in the coffee note to my nose, the wood, amber and vanilla do seem to balance it out fairly effectively for the most part. I have to admit, even though I've never been that heavily into gourmands, and am NOT a big coffee fragrance fan, I did genuinely appreciate catching whiffs of this one projecting around me when I wore it. I found it classy and pleasant, and could easily see myself wearing this (albeit in small doses) during a nice, cold-weather night out. Unfortunately, my wife said NH gave me an "old man" smell that she didn't appreciate nearly as much, so it doesn't look like a future purchase on my end. Looks like I'll be staying with the lighter/softer, older brother "Rochas Man" for me.
Edit: I've had to change my rating from neutral to positive. Even though it may not be one of my wife's favorites on me, I found this to really bloom even more once I was finally able to wear it in cooler weather. It's just so well done and sticks in my head, drawing me back to wear it more and more frequently. Truly one of Bonds best and a top notch gourmand IMO. It's turned me from someone who never really gave gourmands much attention, to quite preferring them in the cooler weather now.
18th August, 2012 (last edited: 19th October, 2012)
As recent reviewers have stated, it's difficult at this point to state anything new or original about GIT. Regardless of what's been said, and its near legendary status here on BN, the average person (at least here in the midwest of USA) has never heard of GIT, CREED as a whole, let alone smelled ANY of their fragrances. It's easy to get the feeling here on BN that it's incredibly common or almost cliche to own and enjoy GIT. Trust me, 99% of the population either can't, or won't spend over $100 on a cologne, regardless of how good it smells, so I can assure you that if you're concerned about smelling "common" wearing GIT, you won't. Period. You'll smell fresh, classy and all around GREAT, and people around you will take notice, whether they say anything or not!
Also, while it draws plenty of comparison to Cool Water and Aspen (which I also own and enjoy in their own right) - and fairly so - they really aren't even in the same class in the long run. GIT is richer, brighter, fresher, classier, more natural smelling and MUCH longer lasting, with a dry-down to put the other 2 to shame. It's simply in a whole different class. All I know is having owned and sampled hundreds of colognes over the years, I've never really found a cologne that rivals the way GIT smells on me and make me feel.
It's pure and simple one of my favorite colognes - Fresh, Clean, Masculine, Refined, Classy, INCREDIBLY versatile, maybe even a bit sexy - and I never grow tired of it (which I eventually do with most other fragrances eventually). I truly gain a new appreciation for it EVERY time I wear it and will always have it as a mainstay in my collection and rotation. I'm not one to "crown" any particular fragrance as my "signature scent", but if I did have to pick one for this purpose, I wouldn't hesitate at this point in time to say GIT would win the honor.
I rather enjoy ILNYFH, finding it to be a clean, sophisticated scent. Definitely reminds me of something more suited to a business professional and perhaps a 30+ scent. I do agree with some other reviews that it isn't necessarily an "original" scent, so I can see how many would opt for a somewhat similar, yet cheaper option from Hugo Boss or the like. Still, this doesn't change the fact that, for me, it smells really nice and I could picture wearing this for a dressier day-time event. I didn't find it overpowering by any means, and in my experience so far with Bond, thought it had average strength and projection in comparison to many others.
After reading quite a few reviews, I thought I would really like this one. I wanted to...I tried...but I just couldn't get past the extended opening. Many describe it as freshly cut grass, but on my skin at least, it came off as cut grass that had "soured" in the sun for a while. A sharp, spoiled, almost "old lady" smell lurking in the background. I gave it a chance, even though the first hour wasn't pleasant for me and smelled sharp and slightly feminine.
Upon transition into dry-down, the sourness did fade a bit, and a nice, soft hint of blueberry did come into play for me (as others have described). Unfortunately, this just isn't enough for me, as I really want my fragrances - especially ones in this price range - to be highly enjoyable the whole way through. Not a "bad" fragrance by any means, just not something that "works" for me.
Wow, looks like I'm the first to review this in 3 years. I think it's safe to say it is NOT a very mainstream frag. While I can see why, with a market flooded with many similar scents, it's lack of advertising and shelf space in brick & mortar stores, and it's relative higher price tag, I still think it lacks some of the attention it likely deserves. Illicit opens up beautifully, with a bright, fresh and natural citrus blend. I often have to fight the urge to over-spray this, simply for the opening alone. Within a couple of minutes, it transitions to a somewhat green & spicy middle with it's ivy and ginger notes. I've grown to enjoy the unique blend of this stage quite a bit as well. It's not overdone and imo, is what truly makes Illicit a unique and intriguing scent.
Things cool down considerably as it reaches it's base, where the wood and tea notes tame down the spice, retreating it to a fresh, clean, calmer, slightly sweet (but not overly so at all) and softer scent. While Illicit does have a bit of fresh and youthful vibe to it, it has enough character and kick to it for almost anyone to pull it off. It's blend also lends itself to good versatility. I've used it at the office and a wide variety of casual occasions. For an EDP, I don't feel I get the projection I'd hoped for, but with 3-5 sprays it's more than adequate for most situations and longevity as a skin scent has been pretty good. Overall, I enjoy my bottle of Illicit and use it fairly often.