I'm afraid that I don't particularly like the Montale house style of Oud + Rose. Oud Cuir D'Arabie does have those trademarks, but also a raw leather like smell as a counterbalance. This gives it something which a scent like Black Aoud very much lacks: balance. The oud/rose combination still is not very much my taste, but I do respect where the fragrance is going. For me that leads to a neutral rating, but if you like the general style of the house you should definitely try Oud Cuir D'Arabie.
When I first sniffed it, I thought this would be very similar to Heritage from Guerlain. But it turned out that Bois du Portugal belongs to the same fragrance category as Heritage (woody oriental), but really does have a different character. It is more masculine. In the beginning I smell some smoking woods and something that smells like incense. Later on, when some sweetness kicks in, it reminds me of Antaeus from Chanel, but a lot less overpowering.
Another wearing gave me strong visions of people in movies like The Godfather or the Sean Connery version of James Bond. Strong, well-dressed men, that have class but can also be dangerous. This is a classy scent, but at the same time it is really macho. Not the type of macho that fits my style, but Bois du Portugal is a good scent nonetheless.
It took me a long time before I gave this sample a try. I suspected a boring citrus and was pleasantly surprised by a light, fresh and very pleasant scent that lingers in the background. Longevity is not a problem on my skin. I could detect traces of it 14 hours after application. I do have trouble discerning different notes in this scent, so I’m not sure what exactly it is that makes this scent so pleasant. Eau Fraîche is lacking a bit in personality and depth and there are scents in the same category that I like better. But if I saw a cheap bottle of Eau Fraîche somewhere, I would consider buying it.
After I sprayed on the sample, I was very surprised because Guerlain Homme smelled exactly like one of those Adidas shower gels I used to use after a fitness workout. The shower gel assocation never left my mind while wearing this fragrance. Other assocations are youthful, sporty and energetic.
I think Guerlain Homme should have been promoted as a sport fragrance. It is very contemporary. It combines fresh notes like lime and mint with a vague sweetness, that fits well with a metrosexual image of masculinity. To me the sweetness gets annoying, but I can understand that it can be appealing to other people.
Guerlain is clearly trying to reach a younger generation with Guerlain Homme, hoping this will be a bestseller. Probably hoping also that those young people will get curious about the other Guerlain scents. A perfectly defendable management decision. But I doubt if this will succeed. Guerlain Homme is a bit more expensive than most of the scents marketed at a younger agegroup, but it's not significantly better. Guerlain Homme is a decent sport scent, quite nice even, but being nice may not be enough.
The core of Dior Homme Sport is the citrus-ginger combo. On my skin the ginger is more prominent than the citrus. Basically that's all there is to DHS: a refreshing ginger scent. It's great for casual summer wear, not complex but very enjoyable.
I sampled Unforgivable before I sampled Millesime Imperiale. All the rumours about Unforgivable being a Millesime Imperiale clone are true. They smell a lot alike, but Unforgivable has more citrus going on, while I detect a melon note in Millesime Imperiale. Unforgivable does not last long on my skin, but Millesime Imperiale does. Unforgivable was not the kind of fragrance that really suits me. Millesime Imperiale does not really fit with my personality either, but I do like it a lot better. It is casual and classy at the same time. I still like Acqua di Gio better than both of these fragrances (oops, I forgot that saying that is a blasphemy on basenotes :) ). And yes, this fragrance has a tendency to grow on you. I do not think I will buy a bottle of it, but I think I will buy a new sample of this scent. Millesime Imperiale is a good fragrance and I have been doubting between thumbs up or neutral. There is something very likeable in the dry down that I find hard to describe, that shifted the balance for me to thumbs up.
After reading the reviews, I thought Sweet Oriental Dream would be very sweet with a lot of sillage. But on my skin the sweetness is tempered a lot by the smell of nuts. I can smell the rose only in the topnotes. The smell of nuts is there right into the ambery drydown. I sampled it in the winter and found it was not too sweet or overpowering, but it probably will be in warmer weather. I've never smelled nuts as a note in a fragrance before, so this makes Sweet Oriental Dream quite a unique smell for me. I like it and give it a thumbs up, but I won't be buying a bottle of it. It's a good scent, but not the kind of scent that I could pull of.
I was eager to sample this, because it is so popular on basenotes, but I’m afraid this is not for me. The first impression is that is has a very realistic and very strong rose note. If there would be powder in Black Aoud, the rose would have turned very feminine. Luckily the rose is counterbalanced by woods, which makes this scent unisex. I still do not think, as some people do, that this is a masculine scent. I can wear sweet fragrances like Dior Homme without feeling awkward, but the rose note in Black Aoud is way too much for me. When after hours the drydown sets in and the rose fades, things get a lot better. This is an interesting scent, which would probably smell great on the right person, but I just do not feel comfortable wearing Black Aoud.
Quite fruity! On my skin it is a light scent that does not last very long. It’s more fruity than fresh and I have a hard time finding the aquatic notes some other reviewers mention. Unforgivable is nice, but without personality. Totally inoffensive, but at the same time totally forgettable. And I agree with tdrps that Unforgivable smells girly and not really masculine. Still, I think it is quite a decent fragrance for casual occasions and is probably more suited for younger persons. The fruity notes of Unforgivable somehow just never feel quite right on my skin and when I’m in the mood for casual-fruity-fresh-aquatic, I would prefer Acqua di Gio over Unforgivable.
Tried it in the winter and smelled tar and sweetness. Not unpleasant, but it did not develop. When I was cooking something with onions and Chinese spices, I found out it mingled well with the scent I was wearing. I had a bit of the sample left and decided I should probably try it again in spring/summer. I tried it again in spring and the combination of a tar smell and the sweet spices reminded me of a pancake restaurant in my hometown, which is located in an old ship. This makes this scent a bit of a gourmand for me that reminds me of a place which is 2 km from my home, instead of reminding me of far away deserts. The bitter tar note is a good counterpoint for the sweet spices and gives it the needed masculinity for me to be able to wear it. I think this scent is definitely on the masculine side of unisex.
I really like it and it is quite unique, but I don’t think I will buy a bottle of it. The problem is that I don’t see many situations were I could wear this one in public. For a day at home it is great, especially in the summer holiday. In a relaxed state of mind this scent is able to transport you to a time in the past and it has an adventurous feel to it. The tar note reminds me of wooden ships and brings to mind images of pirate films.
While testing this, I found out that I really do not like anise as a note. This scent smells like a candy store. As a child I loved candy stores, but as an adult I do not want to smell like that. This is cloyingly sweet and lacks development and personality. Longevity is good though, but in this case that was not a good thing for me. Avoid this scent!
This was the first eau de toilette I bought. I choose it mainly because I really liked the design of the bottle. After having tried it, it has been my favorite for years. As I remember it, it smelled like leather or tobacco (although it probably was wood), which I found very pleasant and fitting for a masculine fragrance. At the same time it smelled a lot fresher than some of the other wood based fragrances I came to know afterwards. Sadly it is not available anymore in the Netherlands. I really miss it. Definitely thumbs up!