Perfume Reviews

Reviews by gimpy

Total Reviews: 58
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Santos by Cartier

This has been in my top 5 since I first smelled it. If you love fragrances like Bois du Portugal, then you owe it to yourself to try this.

An oriental with a dry fougere top. It reeks of dignified, masculine class.

Don't fall for the emperor's new clothes hype that only the vintage bottles are the ones to go for. I've had 2 different vintage brown bottles (and the Sport version) and the modern version is just as good (probably even better if you like the topnotes). I never cared for the Concentree, to be honest.

Lovers of Eau Sauvage Parfum 2012, try this. Extremely similar base.
29th July, 2018
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Eau Sauvage Parfum (original) by Christian Dior

A better blended Santos by Cartier. It smells almost like a flanker.
29th July, 2018
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Laguna Homme by Salvador Dali

Reminiscences of Allure edition Blanche, with a warm tobacco undercurrent mixed with what smells like you body after laying out on the hot beach all day. This was first, so kudos to it.
09th August, 2017
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Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

Better than average scent. Picked this up at Marshall's for cheap. Starts off smelling of M7 (sweet oudness), turns a bit smokey/ashy, and dries down reminding me of the Castoreum from old Antaeus. Good scent. Certainly not bad.
31st July, 2017
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Pi Fraiche by Givenchy

When I started getting into fragrances, the original Pi was one of the first fragrances that was near and dear to me. I still wear the original juice, but anyone who knows it knows how much it can radiate. Living in a place hot 80% of the year, limited how much I enjoyed the original.

I always had this one on my radar but never picked it up when it was available. I finally found a good value on ebay and took the plunge.

For lovers of the original Pi, who wanted something lighter, this is GREAT! I'm still debating whether it's just Pi with the basenotes toned down, or with another fresh undercurrent note added. If I inhale deeply I tell myself I smell something a bit mentholated.

Either way 2 big thumbs up. Anxious to try Pi Air after the dog that was Neo.
29th July, 2017
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Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

Absolutely timeless. This is one of those scents that you cannot put a date on. It smells as if it could have came out anytime in the past 120 years.

Lavender, sour woods, patchouli, a touch of vanilla. It touches upon Zino and Bois du Portugal. Immensely classic. Smells much more expensive than what you can get it for.

Five stars.
18th July, 2016
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Cuba by Czech & Speake

Olfactory heroin. Completely intoxicating, while still being manly. Green, floral, and spices, with a huge minty bay rum undercurrent.
30th June, 2016
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Messe de Minuit by Etro

Over the years, multiple new incense scents have been released (many to much fanfare), but Messe de Minuit remains my favorite incense scent. I own all three versions so I will give some brief thoughts on all three.

Original version (round label): This is the driest version of the three, by far. Frankincense resins, dusty stone, and remnants of candle smoke. I do not get any orange in the version. Lives up to its reputations as the most gothic version. Longevity is good despite being an EDC.

Second version (square label-gold cap): While you can still tell this is the same scent as the original, this version is more sweet with the added pronounced orange note. However, other than this change, this smells of almost pure frankincense resin oil. Not quite as dusty or dry as the original, but very nice. Longevity is superb.

Third version (square label-silver cap): This version picks up from the second version, but the honeyed orange pomander note is much more pronounced. It does eventually dry down to the resinous character of the previous versions. Despite the naysayers, I also love this version--it's extremely comforting in cold weather, and always puts a smile on my face.

No matter what version you choose, you can't go wrong. You wont get the (somewhat artificial) smokey frankincense effect that Avignon and Cardinal offer, but the effect and imagery is still incredible. MdM remains my favorite incense scent, slightly edging out L'Eau Trois and Cardinal.
08th September, 2015 (last edited: 07th September, 2015)
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parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Comme des Garçons

I was positive I would love this scent before I ever smelled it-almost blind bought a bottle. Pepper with coniferous woods and light incense (and some violet). Sadly, after 20 minutes this dries down to laundry detergent. No matter how much I try to envision the forest imagery, I can't get past the laundry detergent association.

Encens Flamboyent totally outclasses Zagorsk for the winter woods and incense scent.
07th September, 2015
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Yatagan by Caron

Pine, Celery Seed, Castoreum, and Wormwood.

Bitterly dry and aromatic. You'd never know this fragrance was released in the 70s as it's not dated at all.

Lovers of dry and green fragrances need to do whatever it takes to sample this. It's been in my top 3 or 5 ever since I've discovered it.

Longevity is not the best, however.
23rd August, 2015
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Armani Eau pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

Never was there a more beautiful, classical scent. Like heroin for your olfactory senses.

(Vintage version)
13th March, 2015
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Collection 34 : Ôponé Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

When I first smelled this 10 years ago, it was simply too much for me. The saffron was too overpowering to my nose.

Over the years, I slowly used up my decant, eventually finding a full bottle along the way. I absolutely love this fragrance today.

This is a very simple and linear, but long lasting, fragrance. Dry roses, saffron, and a touch of woods. Very adventurous. I imagine this is the smell of the cargo of a renaissance sailor returning from the far east.

Wish Diptyque would bring this one back.
25th January, 2015
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Frankincense & Myrrh by Czech & Speake

The vintage F&M opens with a minty lemon and basil opening (slightly medicinal), and if I take a deep whiff I am reminded of SMN's Potpourri.

After this the frankincense and powdery myrrh take over. At this stage it becomes more resinous, oily and herbal. The fragrance fades out from here.

Great English gothic scent, but more polite than vintage No. 88.
23rd January, 2015
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Anucci Man by Anucci

Funky bottle and nice sprayer. However, this unique white floral is unfortunately ruined by an overpowering sweet syrupy amaretto note.
19th January, 2015
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Incenso by I Profumi di Firenze

A deeper, more organic Gucci PH I, with some Santal Noble thrown in.

Highly underrated, but also overpriced.
16th March, 2014
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Ambra Grisea by I Profumi di Firenze

A salty, briney amber. Very singular, but what I image abergris that's been floating in the ocean to smell like.
15th March, 2014
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Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

A heavenly, dusty iris that truly achieves a zen-like vibe.

Meditative and spiritual. I went to bed wearing Timbuktu, Shalimar, and Palais Jamais, and dreamt of this...
11th March, 2014 (last edited: 22nd July, 2017)
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Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf

Wow, what a fragrance!

I don't know what's in this, and I don't think I wanna know. Is it an oriental? A spicy wood? I'll go with the paradoxical aromatic-oriental.

Spicebomb smells like a cacophony of spices dancing around. No, it's not the traditional spices you'd expect in a masculine. These are pleasing and never harsh. If Frederic Malle bottled this for $300, it'd be all the craze here.

While probably most similar to L'Occitane's Eau de Baux (I'd say 75%, but EdB is more oriental with less spice and more vanilla), the scent I get the best similarity to is the discontinued Gucci Envy. Not in smell, but in feel. Envy also had that jumble of spice (there, ginger which no one considers a spice) that was so well blended and pleasing as to defy its ingredients. Now Envy is discontinued and Spicebomb is born shortly thereafter. Coincidence or reincarnation?
05th March, 2014
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Cool Water by Davidoff

The GOAT fragrance as far as I'm concerned. I went twenty years between wearing Cool Water (going through 2 4oz bottles of GIT in between). I've owned and tested almost all niche brands, yet if I ran out of my house because it was on fire I'd probably grab this (after briefly thinking about grabbing Rive Gauche).

Don't let the Creed/GIT fanboys fools you (and I say this as someone who considers Creed his favorite house), Cool Water is the better scent. GIT is too heady, too floral, too sweet. Cool Water is decidedly more attractive and masculine. If GIT is the smart, refined exchange student, Cool Water is the popular jock athlete giving him a wedgie in the locker room. Even at the same price I'd take Cool Water all day. What are GIT pumpers gonna say "I paid 5x as much for GIT and even though people think I'm wearing Cool Water, I'll admit Cool Water's a good scent?"

You know that feeling when you discover a new scent that you love only to lose it a year later? Well every time I smell this I still feel as if I've been born anew.

Forget you biases, forget what you've read (especially here), and smell it for youself. There's a reason Luca Turin gave it five stars.
22nd February, 2014
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Erolfa by Creed

Vying at they top for the most versatile Creed.

An invigorating briney aquatic. You can wear this casually AND with a suit as there's no fruity or sweet notes that other aquatics often come with (and is their ultimate limitations). Similar in vibe to Bulgari's Aqua, or, less so, to the vintage CW.

Great scent and longevity (one spray lasts all day).

Only con is the price.
07th February, 2014
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Weekend for Men by Burberry

Modern chypre

For as much bashing as this scent seems to get, I find it an extremely pleasant and modern chypre. A mix of citrus and what at times can admittedly smell like dryer sheets, over a fuzzy oakmoss base. Very simple and uplifting scent.

12th October, 2013
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Arôme 3 by D'Orsay

Elegant lavender scent

This review is for the vintage formulation (with the white label on the bottle).

Arome 3 opens with a dry, herbal lavender that is extremely pleasant to smell. Mixed into this lavender is a soapy/mossy note that soon strongly suggests the familiar oakmoss of Chanel PM. After some time, the oakmoss recedes leaving a nice, clean soapy lavender scent. I do not get any woods, but do get a hint of musk in this in addition to the lavender/oakmoss/soap making for a barbershop vibe.

Arome 3 is a very nice understated airy lavender scent for lavender lovers.

Surprising longevity with repeated use.

Pros: Barbershop

03rd October, 2013
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L'Eau Trois by Diptyque

Holy grail material.

When I was younger, I would spend my summers on my grandparents' Texas ranch. The midday heat was something else. Dry, sparse rugged vegetation, sunbaked brown dirt. L'Eau Trois reminds me so much of my experiences then exploring.
The first 30 minutes are nothing but bitterly dry resins, herbs, and dirt. I am instantly taken back. It is the smell of that dry Texas outdoors I loved. Slowly the frankincense resin oil (I get tons--almost to the point of pure EO) and smouldering myrrh makes its appearance (and main appearance) giving the fragrance added substance. This smell holds for the duration of the scent.

L'Eau Trois is at once centering, calm, masculine, conforming, and dry. I've never smelled anything like it. In fact, it's slowly replaced my Yatagan and Timbutku for what I tend to naturally grab to wear daily because it's so comfortable. Not to mention L'Eau Trois has also become my favorite incense scent out of all (well, tied with MdM)--this makes Avignon seem dainty.

Longevity is superb--I can even smell this after a shower.

Lovers of dry, dusty, incense smells need to sample this.
01st October, 2013 (last edited: 02nd October, 2015)
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Palais Jamais by Etro

Dry Masterpiece

Palais Jamais is easily one of the five greatest smelling fragrances I've ever smelled (probably tied with Timbuktu for overall favorite).

Dry Herbal/tea Masculine Poetic Victorian

If you have an affinity for these types of scents, you owe it to yourself to try this.

Pros: Dry, masculine, poetic
Cons: None"

21st September, 2013
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Cathedral (Holiday no.3) by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

I am revising my previous review of this. More gummy and unburnt resin than smokey incense. Smells similar to Incenso with the cedarwood replaced with cinnamon.
20th September, 2013 (last edited: 17th January, 2015)
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Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

Great calming scent

Updated Review: Originally, I couldn't warm up to BE due to the arresting ashy top note. However, I wore this and kept rewearing it. Eventually, that discordant note no longer bothered me. I guess it's like many great scents that take time to come around to.

BE is an excellent calming, if simple, incense-based scent with a huge fir component. I can't stress how great of a fall/winter scent this is for those who do not like the traditionally heavy winter orientals. There is a certain outdoorsy/churchy/medieval vibe with BE. This would pair well with Full Incense during fall/winter.

It is a simple scent with not much evolution, but that is how I prefer incense-based scents. Too many notes and it starts to get away from the concept and point of incense. Very calming and grounding to wear.

Silage is good and longevity is very good (although it becomes close to the skin after 8 hours). I just bought a full bottle of this.

Pros: Original, calming
Cons: Burnt gunpowder note, simple"

08th September, 2013
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Bois du Portugal by Creed

Refined woody oriental

Updated review:

BdP has one of the best opening I've smelled in a frag. It opens with a gorgeous melange of lavender and spice, which transitions into a creamy cedar and sandalwood mid with the topnotes shimmering off. This seems almost a woody fougere at this point. This dries down in a ambergris base with a very barbershoppy feel.

I've had two different batches of BdP. The first was nuclear in longevity. I actually did not like this one as much as the base of it became very syrupy sweet. The second version I have is a tad weaker, but much more pleasant in its drydown.

Overall, BdP is an extremely refined masculine scent that goes with everything. I get the same groomed feel as with Rive Gauche. Lovers of New York should try this. While New York is more orange amber over oakmoss, BdP is more spiced woods over ambergris. I prefer BdP.


Pros: Great topnotes, longevity
Cons: Basenotes can be more interesting"

31st August, 2013
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Insensé by Givenchy

Unique, although lacking substance

It is true, the top notes of Insense are very lovely. I get a nice muguet, which you don't find often in a man's scent, with a bit of herbs in the background grounding the floral top. Unfortunately, this lovely top lasts 10 minutes top, and the rest of the scent is a boring sour woods with not much development. They're are much better masculine florals IMO.

Longevity is average.

Pros: Lovely muguet
Cons: Linear drydown"

22nd August, 2013
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Nicolaï pour Homme by Nicolaï

Cool, balmy lavender.

Nicolai PH is a very nice cool, balmy lavender scent. The mint/menthol gives it a slight cooling effect. As it dries down it is not that unlike Caron's Third Man (minus the overripe fruit note), as it becomes more resinous and ambery. Someone below said it was 3rd man perfected, and I like that comparison. However, the more I wear this, the more I think that this is a minty Heritage (minus some of the heavier basenotes of Heritage).

I can't explain enough how wonderful this scent is. Extremely elegant and gentleman-like. Smelling it puts a smile on my face. Very french, very intoxicating.

Lasts a good 8 hours. Perfect for work and/or a spring day. Five Stars.
21st August, 2013 (last edited: 01st October, 2015)
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Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan Parfumeur

The most versatile incense scent

Scent: I do not get many notes in this. I can detect the lillies, a light white incense, white musk in the basenotes, and sometime that smells of stone. However, the effect that these notes have are divine. PdE is a cool, calm, mediative scent. I definitely get the image of stone churches.

Often incense scents can be very abrasive and hard to wear. However, PdE is not only of the most versatile incense scents around, it is one of the most versatile scents, period. I wear this to work, and it's calming effect is fabulous. In fact admirer's of Bulgari PH may enjoy this, as I find the white musk base similar. I will probably never be without a bottle of this. Only caveat is that it can seem a tad synthetic compared to something like the primordial L'Eau Trois.

Longevity: This is one of those scents that doesn't project much, but it certainly has lasting power. Three sprays lasts all day, and I can still smell it on me after work. Outstanding balance.

Pros: Longevity; calming, cool.
Cons: Can be a bit synthetic."

18th August, 2013