Perfume Reviews

Reviews by foetidus

Total Reviews: 2353

Jako by Lagerfeld

The opening is a citrus, fruit, touch-of-cinnamon accord combined with “Indian Davana Essence,” whatever that is. This opening accord is extremely sweet, and it seems even sweeter than it actually is. There is a little of the rosewood from the middle and incense from the base reaching up to add a bit of a smoky dimension to the sweetness and I think that is a very good touch: I believe this combination of notes would have worked, had the opening not been so overly sweet. The spicy / rosewood heart is quite successful, although it still suffers from a sugary afterburn: I enjoy the middle notes because they include a rosewood note and I’m always a sucker for rosewood in a fragrance. The heart ie quite 90’s, but somehow it doesn’t annoy me as much as most of those 90’s sweet fruit-bombs — I’m still impressed by the judicious use of the rosewood and incense. Some of the sweetness is carried into the drydown and the drydown is quite subtle and definitely close to the skin, but it lasts for an acceptable period of time. I’m ambivalent about Jako — it’s too sweet for me, but I do think it has more complexity than others of its era. It’s the abundant sweetness with a cloying attitude that keeps me from enjoying this fragrance. This could have been much more interesting and even bottle worthy had they been more stingy with the sweetness. (Edit of 09 October 2005 review.)

09th October, 2005 (last edited: 17th August, 2009)

Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

This is the one that got me started on my fragrance passion this time around. I smelled it and I had to have it… Medicinal and aromatic and sweet right out of the bottle — I think it’s the eucalyptus in opposition to the caramel sweetness with the hint of anise spiciness that captivated me. It’s such an unusual accord—fresh and gourmand and aromatic at the same time. I wish the sweetness would diminish, though, because it does tend to push me to my toleration limits, but in all these years, it’s never pushed me beyond. The fragrance warms up with lavender, cedar, spices, and a touch of incense in its middle notes, and in spite of (or maybe because of) its warmth, it takes on a darker, rather mysterious character. The camphor from the base rises up to continue the slight medicinal touch into the base, which is caramel and tonka sweet, woody, and camphorous. Body Kouros is a special scent — my most worn sweet fragrance. It is sweet, yes, but the aromatic notes from the eucalyptus, the cedar, and the camphor equalize the sweetness and broaden the scent enough to make it enjoyably wearable for me.
09th October, 2005 (last edited: 09th March, 2008)

Blu Notte pour Homme by Bulgari

Blv Notte is much better than the original Blv, but still has some of the same problems. It opens with a rather conglomerate accord that I’m not sure how to categorize: It has green, spice, floral, wood, and chocolate; and the ginger seems to make it either a little outer-worldly or a lot synthetic…. Ginger, chocolate, wood, green notes — interesting in itself, and if it didn’t remind me of Bvlgari Blv, I would probably love it, but that ginger note is too much of a reminder of the original. This opening is basically what the scent is — Blv Notte is quite linear. Unlike Blv, no one note seems to dominate its linearity: I can sort of identify the tobacco flower, the bitter chocolate, the rich deep wengué wood, and especially the ginger in the composite accord, but the notes do not have very much separation and they seem contrived and a trifle synthetic. Blv Notte is a little bit fresh and it is conspicuously darker and deeper than Blv. Its variety and its depth make it a much better scent than Blv: It follows basically the same formula, with a few very appropriate and needed changes and additions — but that basic Blv ginger note is still there and the improvement is not enough. Blv Notte is Blv toned down by taking on more complexity.
08th October, 2005 (last edited: 09th March, 2008)
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Coriolan by Guerlain

Coriolan was one of those love-it-or-hate-it scents when it first appeared. To me that says that this must be an excellent fragrance: Polarization is for the great ones, indifference is for the mediocre. Coriolan is anything but mediocre. The fresh citrus opening is tempered and enriched by aromatic greens—sage and juniper—to create a refined accord that I would call not green nor aromatic nor citrus; it’s a combination accord but without the synthetic implications I find in so many of the massively noted openings of the 90’s fragrances. I view this scent as Guerlain’s attempt to meld the synthetic trends of the ‘90s with their tradition of excellent fragrances. (No, it does not contain the Guerlainade… the fact of which makes me grateful.) As the citrus abates, the juniper becomes more dominant and is joined by the spices and an obscure floral element. This heart accord is smooth and creamy to the point where the individual notes are unlikely to be identified. I usually prefer accords with individually identifiable notes but this smooth heart accord is particularly satisfying to me. The juniper combines with the patchouli, musk, amber, and, of course, oakmoss, to make a smooth, musky, mossy base where every once in a while an incense note wafts through the mossy musk: ethereal… but, alas, the beautiful Coriolan has only marginal longevity on my skin.

I am in a state of ambivalence about the gender distinction of Coriolan. I don’t think it is masculine, but it certainly isn’t feminine, either. Even more to my stupefaction, it doesn’t seem to be a typical unisex scent, either. As far as I’m concerned, this is an absolutely genderless fragrance, and in spite of that or because of that I find it quite sensual. (Edit of 08 October 2005 review.)

08th October, 2005 (last edited: 17th August, 2009)

Bowling Green by Geoffrey Beene

One of the defining openings in men’s designer fragrances—there’s no doubting that this is Bowling Green. That sparkling citrus-juniper blast hits like the double gin gimlet it olfactorily echoes. Very fresh, very bright, and meadowland green. The spices and floral of the middle are quite restrained and the coniferous pine comes through in full force. A regular walk through a pine forest — so clean and clear you can almost see the Nuthatches hopping down the trees trunks. The top to middle movement is smooth and there is little discernible break except that you suddenly realize that you are smelling traces of lavender and nutmeg instead of citrus. But the accords are quite similar — Bowling Green is essentially a linear fragrance. And the linearity continues through the base: Now the fir and cedar takes over the coniferous duties. Since fir is often less sharp and more mellow than juniper or pine, and since the other base notes are the 80’s traditional amber, sandalwood, patchouli, and moss, the dry down loses much of the coniferous sharpness that the top and middle notes have carried so long. The dry down is subtle — rich and subtle and it has great longevity. It is gentler than the typical 80’s drydown, making Bowling Green — at least its drydown — easier to wear today than many of the 80’s classics. An all-around excellent fragrance — it is both warm and cool and is appropriate any season. Love it!
08th October, 2005 (last edited: 09th March, 2008)

Blu pour Homme by Bulgari

I first tried Bvlgari Blv on paper and I thought that it was very captivating and charming (but not nearly as captivating and charming as the beautiful SA who picked it out for me. Perhaps my judgment was swayed... ). I had never smelled anything like Blv before — sweet and gingery, green, powdery, and definitely unique. I bought a bottle without testing it on my skin, and discovered that Blv on my skin delivers a much stronger punch than it does on the test strip. Blv is quite a piercing scent with a projectile ginger-sweet-powdery- floral-green sillage. I came to dislike it very quickly. I think the main problem with the scent is that it’s just too simple and linear — it completely depends on that aggressive ginger accord and has little variety or complexity. The sweet gingery, powdery notes are now overbearing and cloying. Blv’s inability to ameliorate itself is its downfall, I believe. I am now at the point where I have difficulty getting myself to take the cap off the bottle because I simply do not wish to smell it again...
08th October, 2005 (last edited: 09th March, 2008)

Francesco Smalto pour Homme by Francesco Smalto

Francesco Smalto Pour Homme opens on a fresh note — slightly green, somewhat citric, more aromatic than green-herbal: It’s a nice opening but I personally don’t care for the anise note that, to me, muddies up the freshness of the opening a bit. The opening is an interesting accord, though — it is rustic, masculine, and discreet – actually quite unique. In the heart notes, the aromatics grow somewhat stronger, moving into a true herbal / green — richer than the opening, but retaining discretion and centered in a soft smoky ambiance. The dry down is an example of a genuine rustic fougere: moss, hay and leather. I love the hay note, and although I usually don’t like leather in a fragrance, the leather here seems to work okay for me. This was once my favorite fragrance, and after all these years, I still find it interesting and I wear it once in a while. It is ultra-masculine, and it performs well on the skin with very good longevity. (Edit of 04 October 2005 review. Changed from a thumb’s up.)

04th October, 2005 (last edited: 17th August, 2009)

Quorum by Antonio Puig

Sniffing this one again brings back memories. There is something so real, so “there” about Quorum—it doesn’t have much sophistication, it has absolutely no finesse, but it boasts loads of character. It is a straightforward, masculine-of-the-days-gone-by fragrance that brooks nothing less than extreme dryness and starkness. The light citrus notes of the opening are overwhelmed by the deeper darker aromatics of artemisia, cumin, pine. and patchouli—apparently the citruses are not masculine enough. The florals of the middle don’t even dare to rear their beautiful heads. The ultra macho leather and tobacco control the base with the help of the moss and incense. Quorum is about as rawly masculine as a fragrance can get.

I don’t wear Quorum very much anymore. The world has changed and I’ve changed, too. But taking a sniff of Quorum reminds me of where I’ve come from and I miss that more than I like to admit. Quorum’s not a beautiful or smooth or balanced or creative scent. It’s a celebration. It's extremely masculine and it achieves its masculinity with its darkness and potency. It has grit and character, and I’ll always keep a bottle of it around. (Edit of 02 October 2005 review. My first review – now edited.)

02nd October, 2005 (last edited: 14th December, 2013)

Yatagan by Caron

I’ve been defeated, but I am still proud of my efforts… After years of trying to wear Yatagan, hoping to some day tolerate its aggressiveness, I’ve given up… I couldn’t do it: The wormwood, artemisia, leather, and castoreum form a combination that is lethal to my nose. I sure would love to smell what other reviewers smell in this, but to me, this is is close to fragrance hell. (Edit of 02 October 2005 review.)

02nd October, 2005 (last edited: 17th August, 2009)

Pour Un Homme by Caron

I don’t really get much citrus out of the opening, I mainly get a startling lavender / rose / herb accord. The accord soon joins with the vanilla from the base to form a pleasant barbershop-like, sweet, powdery lavender that holds well. This is basically ‘the’ scent for an hour or two. I am rather undecided about this lavender accord—at times I really like it and at others I find it cloying. When the scent seems to disappear, it really hasn’t—there is a dry down where a sweet powdery lavender hugs the skin for several hours: You (or anyone else) have to get up close and personal to smell it. In spite of my ambivalence, I consider this a classic that no collection should be without—especially considering the price.
02nd October, 2005 (last edited: 18th June, 2006)

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Top notes: Laurel, Artemisia, Coriander, Bergamot
Middle notes: Carnation, Cinnamon, Geranium, Jasmine
Base notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Amber, Musk, Incense

Kouros is an astounding fragrance, but it’s opening really scares me. I get something that smells powerfully “perfumy.” This attack impresses me as somewhat un-masculine because of the flowery-ness of the strong aldehydes, the bergamot, and especially the floral notes rising up from the heart—all these notes dominate to my nose. The middle notes are almost completely floral spiced up with cinnamon and a bit of cloves; the middle notes are actually easier for me to take than the top notes—and with the middle notes, I’m beginning to like the scent. There is even a little gasoline note shadowing the background—a note that I enjoy. It is the dry down that completely wins me over: The incense / honey / oak moss dominate the base and there is a trace of patchouli and vetiver. The base is totally enthralling—it’s one of the richest, most satisfying accords I’ve found in designer fragrances. This base makes Kouros my favorite comfort scent.

If I search hard and use my imagination for those elusive urine notes that others talk about, I can find them; but why on earth would I want to search for them? And as for the infamous urinal cake—well, I don’t really think so, but even if it did smell like that, it wouldn’t bother me. In spite of the fact that I have many scents that I truly love from beginning to end; and, as much as I have had to fight its opening of Kouros, I find myself turning to Kouros over and over again. In fact, when I really think about it, even the raucous opening has endeared itself to me—I think I’d miss it if I no longer could smell it.

Kouros is very strong, but it comes in several versions. Kouros Fraîcheur is an ingenious scent that trims down much of the excessiveness of the original Kouros, yet manages to stay remarkably true to the uniqueness of the original. Kouros Sport tones down the Kouros spirit even more—too much in my opinion. Body Kouros—the one that got me to buy Kouros by mistake, is a completely different scent.

Anyone who is serious about fragrances should at least try Kouros—it is a ‘love it or hate it’ scent that has managed to be a big seller for twenty-five years—that usually spells quality. It is an experience. As for me, I don’t know how to quit it.
02nd October, 2005 (last edited: 04th March, 2007)

Chrome by Azzaro

It opens with a bright burst of citrus/ aquatic with a metallic undertone sharp, but only sharp enough to add energy and interest. Definitely synthetic, but the synthetic-ness is attractive and fits appropriately with an EDT named ‘Chrome.’ Its floral midnotes are more subtle than its opening. The base notes are light, traditional, and woody with the persistent echo of the signature metallic note. Chrome is young and clean and quite modern. It is generally non-offending. It throws a respectable amount of pleasant sillage and stays without variation or quirks for a good long while. This is why it is so popular: It is well blended, non obnoxious, has excellent longevity, and, for being one of many light fragrances, it is neither a cK one nor a mE too. Chrome is its own person.
02nd October, 2005 (last edited: 10th January, 2006)

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

Azzaro is one of the truly great designer scents. Timeless—it is the epitome of classic fougeres. Its herbaceous / citrus / lavender opening accord has a clean, direct clarity—an elegantly tailored fresh and aromatic beginning. The heart notes emphasize the masculinity of the fragrance with its spices, conifers, and woodnotes. As dry as the notes read, they come off more ‘elegant’ than ‘dark.’ This fragrance is a gentleman, not a rogue. The base is especially rich with musk, oakmoss, and ambergris—solid and substantial, with the amber taking center stage. Azzaro is an elegant fragrance, but it is fresh enough to be worn comfortably in more casual circumstances. Handsome, refined, adaptable, fresh, and long lasting—it’s hard to beat.
02nd October, 2005 (last edited: 15th October, 2006)
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