Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Zealot Crusader

Total Reviews: 11

Sex Appeal for Men by Jovan

A lot of people unfairly compare this to Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur, and I can see where they are coming from completely. Both fragrances have a huge lean towards sweet and spicy, but I think where the major difference is between them lies in the balance between them.

Pierre Cardin is damn near the precursor to that "Spice Bomb" fragrance that made it's rounds in the early 2010's (but much better blended and just better than that comparison suggests), but Sex Appeal is more for the guy who wants that same aesthetic, but understated.

In the world of abstract fragrances for men, not much tops the 70's through mid 80's, when the more complex and bold concoctions hit store shelves. Most of those scents are barely wearable in a modern environment, where too much projection or too much of a singular gender statement can mean odd stares and prompts to hose down.

Jovan must have predicted this and decided to make Sex Appeal wear close to the skin, unlike it's oft-compared competitor Pierre Cardin. The scent has a very subtle mixture of patchouli and amber at it's base. From there it's pick-a-spice-if-you-can and everyone here claims different notes floating around, but it's that air of mystery and desire to get closer for another pass that makes it live up to it's name sake.

Not saying the stuff is gonna get you a date, or even a compliment, but if you want something that smells nice and inviting, but brash enough to turn a head now and then, this is for you. It's not really good for sweltering heat (like any fragrance from this era) because it's warm overall smell will disappear into perspiration or turn into insecticide depending on the person.

For fall, spring, and evenings, this is a great affordable and contemporary alternative to the hip and now synthetic stuff making the rounds. You might get called out for being retro or a hipster from anyone old enough to remember it or from those familiar with the era, but that's a risk worth taking.
11th August, 2017

Navy for Men by Dana

Sweet, watery, and a bit dark.

I've had this before, and grew up wearing it. I would say it is in the same train of thought as Gravity, Polo Sport, and Wings. Just as those, it's a great aquatic for a super humid or hot, arid day, as it mixes well with heat, sweat, or moisture in the air. I wouldn't wear this to formal gatherings, court dates, etc. It's perfect for a casual summer evening at a local bar, a sweaty work day, or even a day about town in a hot city. Sure, it's cheap, sure, it doesn't contain any unique notes or the kind of depth one would expect from an expensive master-blended perfume created by an illustrious house, but it does the job for the price and is a good go-to alternative to the body sprays when light, airy, and synthetic are what is needed to beat the funk of mid-summer. Certainly not a favorite, but it is a dependable fragrance for it's intended purpose.

Pros: Great for hot, humid days.
Cons: Thin, airy, and not very complex

17th May, 2013

Dirty by B Never Too Busy Be Beautiful

The ultimate barbershop to end all barbershop fragrances, Dirty has this way of smelling fresh and clean upfront, but sweet and disarmingly calm upon the dry down. Of course, one must couple this with the bath/shower range Lush has created to get "the full effect", but once the wearer has fully bathed in this mint makeover, all other "out of the shower" fragrances will simple fall flat in comparison. If somebody ever wanted to capture the essence of manly cleanliness one feels after using good old fashioned Barbasol (original) in the steel can but in a proper fragrance, then they would most certainly want to use this. I like it.
13th November, 2012
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Cool Water by Davidoff

The grandfather of all aquatics that ushered in sport and "cool" fragrances that tried to compete with it right up until the mid 1990's. I find it perfect for a scorching and humid summer day, but it's complete lack of warmth makes it imperceptible in anything but hot weather (it is called "Cool Water" for a reason). It's timeless design means that teens and young adults will be wearing this for decades, and unless chypres or spicy musks come back into fashion, this one will continue to remain at or near the top of the men's fragrance pyramid.
05th November, 2012

Chaps (original) by Ralph Lauren

Rich, animalic, raw, leathery, and loud; this fragrance assaults the nostrils upon first whiff. If one can make it to the dry-down, a softer and more powdery sophistication awaits, with ever the slightest touch of sweetness. The problem is, if one over-applies the vintage formula, that dry-down phase never really happens, and it stays at the head not for the duration of the wear (Joop! has this problem as well). I can see this being reformulated into the softer and tamer creature that the "Chaps Est. 1979" is today, because Ralph Lauren wanted to take all the effort out of wearing this one the right way by removing the animalic elements and subduing the leather notes, leaving behind only the softer side that was always there, but buried in the head notes by those who wore this indiscriminately. It's a shame, because some of the powder and dry formality was removed as well, making the new version smell too fresh and casual for it's intended market. If you can find unopened bottles of this classic, go for it, because it can be quite a head-turner if worn with discretion and poise - as it was intended.
29th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)

Contradiction for Men by Calvin Klein

Imagine Eau Sauvage sweetened up and turned into a fougère, and you pretty much hitthe mark with Contradiction. Roughly the same green opening follows with a sweeter and more citrus and grass-heavy dry down than Eau Sauvage, making this one like a casual counterpart to the Dior classic. Longevity could be longer, but that is an issue with all scents of this type, fougère, chypre, or otherwise.
29th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)

Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée by Chanel

Richer and more oriental-based version of the original Pour Monsieur. For fans of chypres whom already own Eau Sauvage or Moustache, this one is a good change of pace when kept alongside it's chypre kin. The Concentrée variant adds a little richness to the mix that the original wouldn't deliver, and does so in a way that doesn't mask or make unrecognizable the trademarked scent itself. Since the standard EDT smells so similar this concentrée version that it would be redundant to have the concentrée if one already owns the original, it isn't recommended to buy this unless curiosity wins one over. Having the concentrée instead of the venerable original adds a bit of the warmth to a wardrobe that is otherwise heavy on chypres and fougères, and makes a good wear for winter when the Eau Sauvage or Moustache just wouldn't project enough through the cold air. Essentially, this is a great way to have the atmosphere of a Chanel classic but spiced up just a bit for depth beyond it's original formulation.
27th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)

Brut by Fabergé

Sweet lavender opens this one up and the powdery dry down of the woodsy base notes puts this one square in the same train of thought as canoe, but much less itchy than that earlier scent with much greater longevity. A casual one for sure, and not to be worn were contemporary style is expected, but a good fragrance for work or mucking about with friends. Certainly a man's fragrance made for a man that just wants to smell good with no particular target audience in mind, despite what it's legendary advertisements might say.
27th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

This utter essential classic should be worn prominently in fall or early spring, when it is still warm enough for the aroma of the base notes to project without being so warm that they sour with perspiration. A very sweet and elegant fragrance just on the cusp of being a powerhouse, this cologne straddles the fence between rich and refreshing. Similar to Drakkar Noir but not quite as soapy, this is good for someone who wants something heady but not downright spicy; just a perfectly balanced and civilized fragrance for casual or romantic use in moderate temperatures.
27th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)

Axe Lab by Axe / Lynx

A fruity sweet creation that far more quality than the body spray line but still feels a bit too synthetic to compete with the older design houses. This one compares favorably to fragrances by Clinique, Armani, and Kenneth Cole; it could double as a poor man's version of New York by the latter, and comes off as a bit drier and longer-lasting than more expensive entries in this class.
27th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)

Moustache by Rochas

I had heard much about this fragrance, having visited several sites giving databases for things like this, and everything pointed to this being a forgotten classic that stands apart from modern fashion. Truly, something buttoned-down like this would never proper without it's "retro" appeal in an age of "sexy" or "sporty" fragrances meant to allure or exude prowess to prospects of the opposite sex(or same, depending on the wearer). As it stands, Moustache comes from a line of fragrances called "chypres" that usually have something herbal or animalic at their base, and aren't really made anymore because nobody really likes the conservative type of smell that such a formula gives off. For comparison, think of the dry smell English Leather, Stetson, or Wild Country gives off and that puts one fairly close to the foundation of this one. Where Moustache deviates from the above examples is in the the notes that spring from such a dry base, as it trades the woodsy, sweet, or leathery smells of the above for something more floral and coated in citrus.

The initial spray comes off as kind of scary, as there is a noticeable urine accord in it, but after about five minutes, that offensive blast disappears to produce something tart, discreet, and genteel. The ultimate goal of Moustache is to exude class, which was more important to a man of the late 1940's than virility or physical power; but that is probably because the male culture of that time was based more squarely in civility and personal honor than today's shallow materialism or carnality. This is most likely why this example fragrance - and it's entire category - have summarily fallen out of fashion except for older people remembering the fragrance, intellectual hipsters, or counter-culture types trying to make an anti-establishment statement by wearing it.

This fragrance not only inspired future "chypres" like Dior's "Eau Sauvage" and Chanel's "Pour Monseur", but is a sure-fire winner for anyone who likes lemon and lime-based smells as a general rule - even women - and makes a perfect fragrance for casual or romantic evening wear when something heavier is not appropriate. As for me, I can appreciate the class this one projects, and even if it dates me beyond my years, I'll still enjoy it's soft and understated lines as something more comfortable than all the pepper, fruit, and aquatic freshness any modern fragrance can muster.
17th October, 2012