Reviews by ortho123

    ortho123's avatar
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    Showing 1 to 30 of 97.

    Aqua Velva New Musk by Williams

    I've become a fan of soapy scents, and this one qualifies as a keeper and one to wear frequently.

    Sweet musk indeed but for me there's a defined coolness to the floral aspect of this aftershave/cologne that prevents it from veering towards a too insistent "warm" or heavy. It doesn't take refuge in an easy spice or a supplied sharpness...a present scent but also an after image...

    02 October, 2012


    Kanøn Norwegian Wood by Kanon

    Almost didn't buy this stuff because I'm not a Beatles fan really, but glad I did.

    Stays true to the Kanon tradition, especially that sense of a "natural scent" that connotes grooming in a very casual, day to day manner.

    This is a very clean, lightly spiced. lightly "wooded" scent that I have been wearing on some hot, humid days...nothing cloying about it.

    This is definitely a close up scent with very good longevity...a kind of light at the ocean oriental lotion by the end of the day.

    Sandalwood indeed...the nutmeg hit me early on...a sort of drier, restrained vanilla that makes this one a winner.

    24 July, 2012


    Lomani by Lomani

    Do I like Lomani better than Drakkar Noir? Yes. And frankly, the connection in the opening to Cool Water is undeniable.

    Aside from a less harsh opening than in Drakkar Noir or even Cool Water, after several wearings, the dry drydown which initially seemed much later (first time around) seems to assert itself even earlier, esp. the notes of vetiver first (patchouli second), kind of breaking through the sweetness and the soapiness, defining the devevlopment. In short, with each sucessive wearing the drydown seems less of a suprise but "there" even early on (at least for me), providing indeed some measure (as mentioned by other reviewers) of restraint.

    Bottom line: looking for a brighter sense of gentleman these days that includes a level of 'tude there but not veering, "teetering," as I said in my review of Drakkar Noir into this sense of "washed." I find Lomani MUCH easier to wear and frankly more enjoyable than Drakkar. I am NOT an enemy of Cool Water BTW, but I actually like the more classic start to finish of Lomani.

    The phrase "Don't bathe yourself in Drakkar" always seemed somewhat redundant to me since the very intent of Drakkar was a kind of "washed" however lightly applied, vaguely enclosed within a leathery bubble, and trying too hard.

    Lomani is much more lotiony (a good thing for me)and retains a very classic sense of calm and yes everyday grooming (which might bore others, but not me!), with an after shavey opening/middle that I enjoy and value. The drydown..indeed.mossy, classic yet somehow because of the vetiver? the slight patchouli, provides the bonus of a familiar yet (in my imagination) exotic talc...and is there really some cedar there?

    Sure this is not the most original stuff out there, but the original Lomani? Two thumbs up!!!

    10th July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)


    Devin by Aramis

    Good, but not great. Green, but sometimes grating and then oddly soothing almost a lotion. The "soothing part" very close to the after shower sense and the "Devin products." But the name of the cologne itself? Not simply "silly" but striving for "pedigree" (to quote, reference some other reviews) and THAT's the part whether trying it out more recently and from recollection that makes this one for me an ultimate neutral.

    Not better because I wore it a lot "back in the day" and not simply distinctive because of a barage of aquatics. Can't condemn it but won't be wearing it again. MUCH happier with Aramis!!!

    I find this scent to be oddly self-conscious: not bright enough to overcome a kind of intrusive sensibility of "reflection" (leather). No wonder I wore it"back in the day" when things weren't going that well with whatever her name was...not simple enough, not complex enough...not fresh get the "idea."

    08 July, 2011


    Old Spice Smooth Blast by Procter & Gamble

    This is NOT an over-the-top fruit/oriental but indeed a smooth blend that is natural, grounded, orange indeed, faintly tropical, a subdued watermelon? with a subtle wood (not a piercing cedar), minimally vanillac, musk base. Comparisons to Kenneth Cole's Reaction are fair but I much prefer this cheapo which has none of the KC Reaction "drop off" into a little murky effect...something of a Beyond Paradise reference here but more than just a Beyond Paradise knock off. Those looking for a more athletic, projecting deo essence will not find it here, but that's OK. Frankly, with Old Spice scents such as Pure Sport, after shave and cologne become almost irrelevant since the deodorant is like a solid cologne. In short, Smooth Blast is NOT in that ballpark. I like it, even though I also like stuff like Quorum very much. Very wearable! And it retains a masculine sensibility.

    I could only find this stuff at Rite Aid which is a shame. It develops into an attractive close skin scent that is very discreet. Not dense, more transparent, which is fine with me and the kind of stuff my wife likes and actually prefers on me.

    Probably one of my best discoveries.

    28 June, 2011 (Last Edited: 29 June, 2011)


    Allure Homme by Chanel

    Not a pyramid but a multifaceted diamond? Translation: differentiation accomplished at times by kinda-differentiation all the while banking on an oriental to be "alluring."

    It's hard to believe so much "science" and "thinking" went into this ultimately uninspiring stuff...or is it?

    Sophistication Lite: for that "fresh yet warm" from the laboratory feeling...

    24 June, 2011


    Clubman by Pinaud

    This scent requires an almost ascetic, scientific level of restraint (think drops vs. even shots or generous dabs). Pretend to be a cheapskate barber, not so bad, nice. But even then, the Perpetual Nowness of this stuff can be "too much" in its constancy (at least for me) however faint or subtle the outcome.

    Believe me I get the appeal of this stuff but do not share that particular enthusiasm. For those who seek an actual barbershop scent used in actual barbershops look no further. I much prefer Canoe and Brut or Wild Country.

    Overapply this stuff, you don't smell clean but creepy.

    " Next!"

    20th June, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)


    Skin Bracer by Mennen

    The proto-Brut-Polo-Azarro PH? Yes. Smelled in the bottle while you're in a supermarket, drugstore or gas station convenience shop, this stuff is an acrid synthetic vanillac tobacco (phosphate?) mess. Slapped on the face after the purchase? Things get better, but not by a lot, at least for me. It's splashing some on the chest that makes it comes alive, and yes, getting some on your shirt: softer yet still assertive, some hint of menthol/mint, imagined florals, and the mood disorder of the vanilla resolved opening up to a fresh, fairly lush nonpowdery drydown. The big question: is there anise? Yes, but not as center stage or of course as crafted as in Azarro PH. The drydown here is dimensional, slightly oriental.

    Unapologetically masculine stuff.

    16 June, 2011 (Last Edited: 17 June, 2011)


    Varon Dandy by Parera

    I picked up a bottle of Varon Dandy (3.3 EDT) again after all these years and am glad I did. Very nice stuff. Sprayed lightly which for me is 2-4 sprays, the initial faux jasmine blast settles very soon into a soapy (for me less "powdery" than soapy) smooth blend. There is indeed a "subtle, Old Spice-like feel" as shamu states but more transparent here in effect than Old Spice (or Jovan Sex Appeal) and for me ultimately better for day to day, a scent that distinguishes itself as an edged fougere with enough dimensionality to satisfy, somehow soapy, subtlely musky, vanillac and am I imagining a faint citrus, wood/patchouli or maybe jasime after all?

    Classic and better for me than a lot of the stuff the young (who scoff at Varon Dandy?) may wear. A scent for a gentleman but not a complete gentleman, with enough 'tude factor to make this a scent I'll be using more often again after all these years. Varon Dandy IMO transcends "associations," historical, political, economic, and at least for me, is a scent I'll be wearing. Inexpensive, but not short on character.

    10th June, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th June, 2011)


    Black by Kenneth Cole

    Good Ol' Kenneth Coty Blah...

    Really, I can see how this mix gives "permission" but I've already brushed my teeth and took a shower...and too much/extra Blah is a migraine.

    There are actually better Coty fragrances...and better smelling deodorants.

    13 December, 2009


    Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

    There's no REFORMULATION that inspires this reaction in me quite like Eau Savage. "He was always great for all these years and now this...we never knew."

    Yeah, the problem is in the middle, and efforts to reel in the topnotes crowd (and cheaping out and regging out?) have turned it into in the best case scenario: a summer scent?

    Seriously I am literally so bored with retries, trying to get back to what it was and as we frequently say "trying to like this" but the trajectory of this masterpeice was ending up a summer scent...with an offputting middle.

    Yeats might have written in his later years:

    Once Refinement tumbled into bed;
    Now the sheet is half-drawn:
    Joy faked, death not...

    Masterpiece summer scent?

    28 November, 2009


    Axe Essence by Axe / Lynx

    There's enough intial "green" in this one to make more mature audiences think they might want to use it. Don't. This stuff is is like the form Polo might take after a nervous breakdown. Smelling the deo stick in no way prepares one for the can smell and built in various murky dimensions. A great scent for troubled jocks.

    15 September, 2009


    Axe Kilo by Axe / Lynx

    IMO, Kilo is better than Phoenix. Why? I think for what it does it accomodates the "deo note" and tries to do less: unapologetically vanillac and spiced, not aiming for complexity but compliments.

    15 September, 2009


    Axe Phoenix / Lynx Phoenix by Axe / Lynx

    I revisted this one after a test run with Axe Fever. 2 years later, I do get the effort that went into Phoenix but it's somewhat lost on me. Strong, somewhat cloying, it builds around the now infamous Axe "can house note" with a kind of teetering effect between violet and leather. OK, but somewhat Calvin Klownish.

    15 September, 2009


    Axe Fever / Lynx Fever by Axe / Lynx

    I gave this one the pits and chesty and have to say I really like this one. I was looking for a brighter everyday scent, and this one is great. Red dragon fruit: think more like tangerine (though it does start out "orange") and something like the edge of a faint ylang ylang...with my wife from SE Asia...this one works just fine.

    A light scent that asserts itself, and I must say a definite shirt sniffer. My assocations with this one included everything from sport scent, candy gourmand, to something like like a fresh yet warm even OK for evening offering.

    14 September, 2009


    Zirh Ikon by Zirh

    Complete turn around on this one for me that I can't explain. Hollow incense scent. No thanks.

    20th August, 2009 (Last Edited: 26 May, 2011)


    Zirh by Zirh

    Coming from someone who wears stuff like Aramis and Quorun, I'm suprised I like this stuff so much. Frankly this is one of those scents like Bulgari PH which you can't smell but others do, and you smell it later yes, a subtle spice edged in brightness.

    19 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 27 March, 2012)


    Hugo by Hugo Boss

    I worked with someone who said he wore this stuff. In the same conversation, he mentioned somewhat nostalgically but at the same time with an air of condescension that his now deceased father had only worn Aramis, as if feeling sorry for the man.

    His father had better taste.

    Synthetic fans rejoice! A fake apple mess.

    18 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 11th June, 2011)


    Ténéré by Paco Rabanne

    A more hallucinigenic version of Aramis 900 with trips along the way into note varieties that rival Halston Z-14 (especially appearing more distinctly) oasis floral mirage in the middle...somehow amazingly grounded with traditional note references yet somehow the drydown. Too much Wowfactor to survive, apparently, and I can't say "They don't make them like that anymore" since they seldom ever the extent that you get suprised in the ride by notes like leather and patchouli in the drydown and this gets seldom said...

    10th August, 2009


    Pino Silvestre by Silvestre

    What does this scent in for me is the rush into the drydown away from any real semblance of brightness...and that's what stays and stays. Gone is the citrus.pine which yes I get and even what I imagine might be vanillic but it's amber and it's really really smoke, like "Incense is best" is it's real motto. I prefer Agua Brava....even after a 1 shot breathing.

    10th August, 2009


    Krizia Uomo by Krizia

    Another Italian scent attempting green in an 80's kind of way. Mostly an awkward opening more than offputting, clumsy more than harsh. The door cracks and in walks in a kind of dry pine soap, not bright as in Pino Silvestre, more like hazy. And so you're patient somewhat thinking the old world drydown won't be old, but it says in perfect English: "It is." Reaches for class, but ends up somewhere at the end of the film "Cinema Paradiso." Had this one in the after shave and never finished the bottle. The drydown seems to be reaching for a sweeter heart.

    10th August, 2009


    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    Not a muscle car scent but a Smartcar scent. Great for the immature to think they are mature and for a mature wearer who wants to think he's younger (but then he feels older, spare tire, subliminal image). Plays with the sense of the verbotten smoothly but relies on when-in-doubt vanilla. Proves vanilla really ain't that easy even after the fetish stuff. Gets a ticket for being tiresome, bad pun intended.

    10th August, 2009


    Gucci by Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    Gucci looks at Chanel and some others and says, "I can do that." But let's not be too obvious or underobvious. Tries to be mature in a theoretical way and oddly succeeds, which makes this one an Aurahouse scent, a slightly smoky neutral after doing the now prerequiste slightly weird. Smokes menthol, switches to regular.

    I actually come away from this liking something like Diesel Fuel For least there's some fun in it all...

    08 August, 2009


    Versace Man Eau Fraîche by Versace

    This citrus with sheet of paper depth of wood and spice does indeed end up powder. Not deep, the edges on this slightly sharp opening can intially give your sinuses a paper cut. It was just a threat. Clean as in slightly sociopathic, feminine clean. Soon gone, except for deligent searches for powder and residue. May actually contain topical minute quantities...should come with a freezing airconditioned room and bright lights...

    08 August, 2009


    Halston 1-12 by Halston

    This is one I may stockpile. Grey Flannel for someone who wants to get some. While Grey Flannel has a nostalgic green, I would describe this green as horny.

    After a cologne trip round the counter starting at Diesel Fuel For Life, tell me this green soapy, plan-to-meet someone scent isn't just great...not too much lavander, edged with florals, and yes for the young, the scent of vanilla on someone's lips... vs. Glade...vs. Mommy's Coty...vs. something of out the Allurewerks Factory ...tell me this isn't better than most of what you bump into.

    May start a letter writing campaign with foetidus, tvlampboy, Naed_Nitram, odysseusm...and even SirSlanty (quoting only his "Feels more contemporary" comment). Truer words have never been spoken.

    08 August, 2009


    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Dry orange. Dry dirt. What seems to inhabit this minimal landscape the most is hype and the fertile imagination of the wearer. Proof that less is not simply more but something like a mirage. Just keep saying "Jean Claude Ellena."

    07 August, 2009


    Wild Country by Avon

    Bang for your buck barbershop maybe more modern now because it's sweeter and more defined. Hey, don't most fougeres smell a littte cheap? Go Wild, yet go lightly.

    Avon's best scent for men after all these years, not counting any discontinueds...

    07 August, 2009


    Mesmerize for Men by Avon

    Proof that hell begins on earth. A "presentational" approach to scent for those who like their notes in big print before they go into the blender: clumsy fruit, clumsy vanilla, and clumsy spice at the grave site. For those who believe queasy equals sexy.

    07 August, 2009


    Black Suede by Avon

    Indeed a cheapo Kourosesque vibe just 30 minutes or so for the impatient. Overall softer and if lightly applied achieves a level of OK, but don't strive here for any mythic greatness with an increase in dosage. Too easily moves into sensual complete our theme.

    07 August, 2009


    Versace l'Homme by Versace

    Don't fall for the intial aromatics hype about the basil unless you love harsh soaps and detergent... or that this is up there with Polo or Aramis (which is not really an 80's scent anyway). A lot of the talk is livin' for the drydown: fairly stark incense with some hints of brightness. Really walk this one around: the ride is really not that happy, IMO...though it starts with fake sun and lemons...and a few cookies...perfect for a "love" that will never last (3 days left in the vacation).

    A scent not better because of the 90's...and I fail to see the "gentleman" in this stuff...and it leads me to believe that "typical 80's scent" is a green light (indeed a very crappy "green" applies here) to saying many crazy things.

    06 August, 2009

    Showing 1 to 30 of 97.