Reviews by Swanky

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    Showing 1 to 30 of 237.

    Diesel Zero Plus by Diesel

    I'm surprised by this fragrance. The bottle, like the other Diesel fragrances, is dull at best, even ugly. The market for Diesel hardly is the old school jetsetter, yet this fragrance seems more suited to a person who enjoys Old Spice and Tabac Original.

    This doesn't smell like Big Red gum to me. It certainly does have a prominent spicy note, but the floral elements seem to be at the forefront to my nose. Not too sweet either, which is just fine by me. For the price, this is an acceptable, even worthy, option for those afraid to wear something that originated before they were born.

    26th February, 2015


    Vera Wang for Men by Vera Wang

    For me the anise is to the fore as it is in Brit or Pi Neo, with an orange top that adds some fullness without getting too sweet. Longevity is good and the bottle is relatively nice for a designer of the period. A surprising scent given that I don't care for Wang's feminine creations.

    30th January, 2015


    Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford

    This is the modern man's fragrance done right. It tips its cap to the classic lineage of fragrances past (Guerlain's Vetiver, Monsieur de Givenchy) while keeping a foot firmly in today's world. The bottle is nicer than so many contemporary men's offerings and it, and the name, suits the fragrance well. Those who usually find vetiver too rooty or earthy shouldn't have any issue with Ford's rendition, well-smoothed by the citrus and spice.

    Grey Vetiver is right for any occasion from a weekend fishing trip to a weekend in Vegas. A nuanced, modern classic.

    16th January, 2015


    Boss The Collection: Silk Jasmine by Hugo Boss

    Like some other reviewers, this is my favorite of this collection. That said, this is to me like a poor man's version of Jaipur Homme, despite costing twice the Boucheron. I still prefer Jaipur and it's vanilla quality seems better than Boss'.

    15th January, 2015


    Cut Cigar by Karen Low

    I purchased this for about $10 in Las Vegas since I'm a big fan of tobacco scents. At first it's quite sweet, almost fruity but the tobacco steps forward early and stays center stage for the remainder. There's an almost wet, fresh tobacco leaf undercurrent to the proceedings that's pretty nice for such a budget offering, and unexpected too. Those seeking a documentary on tobacco production probably would not find this essential but those who've enjoyed Remy Latour's Cigar or Zino's rendition may find an affinity for this fragrance.

    16th December, 2014


    Black by Kenneth Cole

    Not black. Not bad, though. Good longevity atypical of the citrus-based set. This would serve as a work scent or for casual occasions where more daring and complexity would be undesired.

    14th October, 2014


    Only for Men by Julio Iglesias

    Only for Men is a frustrating wear. Out of the bottle it's strong and has the makings of something fairly unique, especially for a men's fragrance. Alas, it very rapidly turns into a wallflower, even with heavy sprays. It's so wispy that I cannot get a handle on what's here. There seems to be a bit of floral, maybe. Maybe it's a sandalwood in the style of THAT MAN. It's a perfume Sybil with all of its personalities underdeveloped and shy.

    This shows up on ebay for triple figure prices. Don't waste your funds on a blind buy.

    19th August, 2014


    Bigelow Barber Cologne Elixir White No. 1585 by C.O. Bigelow Apothecary

    White is the best of the Bigelow Elixirs and represents a good value. They're readily available at your local mall for the price of a couple of coffees. Others lament the longevity but I don't experience those woes. On me it lasts damn near all day, surprising for a citrus fragrance. Simple but effective and a good work fragrance that nods to the barbershop while not smelling, as they say, "dated." Nice work.

    16th August, 2014


    Perry Ellis Platinum Label by Perry Ellis

    Relative to the many similar fragrances on the market, Platinum, if purchased at a discount, represents a decent value. Longevity is superb and the citrus freshness never devolves into a sour aquatic mess that quite a few of this ilk offer.

    The fresh/aquatic genre is probably my least favorite so Platinum will not (nor will any other of this family in all likelihood) crack my Top Ten, but it manages to straddle both the younger set that favors fruity fresh aromas and the mature crowd that wants something pleasant and unoffensive.

    04th June, 2014


    Aramis Gentleman by Aramis

    As others have noted Gentleman is a mildly spicy concoction. It bears, to my nose, little resemblance to the immediate family. It is very discreet and it is indeed attenuated for a modern audience. But it smells good and the longevity is standard for a close-to-the-vest offering like this. Fine for an office, school or church environment where a more potent brew brings the ruckus.

    08th May, 2014


    Rouge Royal for Men by Marina de Bourbon

    Rouge Royal is a cheapie that boasts admirable sillage and longevity. I see it as the love child of an orgy of Le Male, Fire & Ice For Men, and Deauville Pour Homme.

    06th May, 2014 (Last Edited: 17th October, 2014)


    Bottega Veneta Pour Homme by Bottega Veneta

    Bottega Veneta takes the classic masculine structure of fragrances such as Balenciaga's Ho Hang Club and Leonard Pour Homme and makes it palatable (that is, less testosterone-driven) to the modern audience. Pour Homme is suitable for the youngish man who wants to smell like an adult (say in a work environment) or the man of the world who's seen a thing or two and has Van Cleef & Arpels and Xeryus already in his arsenal. Attenuated, but not neutered. Surprisingly nice work from a contemporary designer. I agree that it's a bit pricey, but I don't regret the purchase and while the sillage is modest, the longevity is substantial.

    25th December, 2013


    Hervé Léger Homme by Hervé Léger

    Under the Radar Bargain

    Herve Leger Homme is a quality Avon offering that is well worth the low purchase price. The overarching notes are sandalwood and fir, from what I can tell. The amber adds some depth and complexity to a straighforward woody fragrance.

    Herve Leger would be a good starter fragrance for the man looking to graduate from the Macy's counter but who doesn't have spare income to jump right to the niche lines at Barney's. The projection is not overbearing so this could be a successful work fragrance and the longevity is substantial. Nice work and nice bottle, too.

    Pros: Price; bottle; longevity
    Cons: Relatively hard to find

    21st October, 2013 (Last Edited: 10th June, 2014)


    Tabac Man by Mäurer & Wirtz

    Maligned Man

    TABAC MAN is not a great fragrance, nor an especially good one but it is not, to my nose, the capital offense that so many find it to be. There is an intially sour note (Design for Men, Ulysse, Carolina Herrera among other men's perfumes have a similar note) that fortunately settles down by the mid and drydown. I don't have a lot of fragrances in my wardrobe like TM, so it's an acceptable member of the pack. As others have noted, don't expect much if any resemblance to Tabac Original, which is a great fragrance. Sweet but not too sweet, dry but not too dry, sharp but not too sharp. Should you seek it out? No. But if a bottle comes your way, don't be afraid to give it a sniff.

    Pros: Longevity, bottle, price
    Cons: Generic"

    04th August, 2013


    Set Sail Martinique for Men by Tommy Bahama

    Aptly Named

    Martinique does give the vibe of sea air and suntan lotion overlaying a mild woody aspect. For the occasions where I might be inclined to wear this style of fragrance (summer at the ocean, for example) Set Sail Martinique fits the bill. The drydown has a figgy nature further bolstering the mirage of lounging in the shade while being fed coconut milk and fruits by island girls.

    Pros: Solid longevity, affordable, different from the typical aquatic
    Cons: Not overly exciting"

    18th July, 2013


    Beverly Hills Polo Club Sport for Men by Beverly Hills Polo Club

    Not Good

    The only connection with sports that this fragrance displays is a similarity in aroma to muscle rubs such as Tiger Balm. Sport opens with a harsh, medicinal blast. Mercifully the fragrance is relatively short-lived. Does the world truly need yet another blue-hued conformist called "Sport", even for the paltry ducats this brings?

    Pros: None
    Cons: Smell, longevity, concept</p>

    24th June, 2013 (Last Edited: 23rd March, 2014)


    Halston Man by Halston


    If Halston Z-14 was Little Richard: crude, brash and original, then Man is Pat Boone.

    Pros: Nice bottle.
    Cons: Weak, pale shadow of Z-14

    08th June, 2013


    Royal Copenhagen Sport by Royal Copenhagen

    Aquatic Forefather

    If the bottle I have at all resembles the original 1982 rendition of Sport by Royal Copenhagen, then this should be getting a lot more publicity as a progenitor of the latter-day sport fragrance. I am a big fan of the original RC men's perfume, but it's a near-macho, potent oldschooler. Sport shares nothing with it's dad except the brand name and bottle shape. Sport really does capture the feel of a day at the beach: salt water, a breeze, tanning lotion and sunshine. It's an upbeat fragrance that possesses more character than just about any current "Sport" aroma. Upon the drydown I recognized another scent - Patrick James's Yosemite. Where that bottle disappointed in the longevity competition, Royal Copenhagen Sport lasts damn near all day with just the right amount of sillage. As the previous reviewer alluded, this is the Sport fragrance for those who eschew Sport fragrances.

    Pros: Original, Long-lasting
    Cons: Hard to find in stores

    27th May, 2013


    Casran by Chopard

    For originality and truth in advertising, Casran gets a thumbs down. For the aroma itself, in a vacuum, it is not bad so I settle for a neutral.

    Smells like it's from the same neck of the woods as Deauville, Colonial Club and others of the era. The note recipe listed above bears scant resemblance to the very linear yet pleasant Casran. Maybe there's some bergamot, there is a sandalwood-like note and vanilla, of course, since men's fragrance developers nowadays are inspired more by Foster's Freeze than by, say, Rolls Royce.

    04th May, 2013


    Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka

    Au Masculin is sweet in the way Brit for Men is sweet, which is to say that I don't find them of the dessert variety. Neither strikes me as overly gourmand, mercifully, since I tire quickly of cookie dough note breakdowns.

    Plenty of others have captured the flavor (and aroma) of this one. As someone who does not like black licorice, I surprisingly find this lovely and wearable. Nicely done, LL.

    01st May, 2013


    Vegas by Playboy

    Vegas is the best of a rather sorry lot from Playboy. I'm not sure what I'm smelling here. If not for the notes list, I'd really be at sea. I guess that's apple at the top, but like Starburst's or Sweetarts' version. Maybe there's some tea here which combined with the faux apple is giving some a root beer vibe (I don't quite get anything that distinct). Underlying this all is another diffuse sweet note; in this rather rare context I'm glad it is so, because a straight-up ice cream cone vanilla would really drive this off the rails. Instead it's somewhat like Fire & Ice for Men, almost cherry-like but not quite that fruity. Probably more legible if one has not actually been to Las Vegas; on the other hand both the city and this fragrance are mirage-like and ersatz.

    23rd April, 2013


    Amazing for Men by Bill Blass

    Amazing is anything but. The name is pretentious by definition, the longevity is mediocre and the fragrance is dull and uninspired. If you have some of the Jordan fragrances such as Jordan by Michael or the Perry Ellis bottles that come in similar columnar packages, then you don't need this redundant offering. Mr. Blass is the one from this house that is worth a sniff.

    17th April, 2013


    Jivago 24k Men by Jivago

    Jivago 24K is a dud in just about every way. The bottle is gimcrack '80s personified. Dollar store knockoffs don't use such cheap plastic! The gold flakes are risible and add nothing to an already low-rent operation. The fragrance is a cross between Eternity and Dolce and Gabbana Pour Homme for about 20 minutes, then becomes a melange of illegible notes. Finally, the vaunted longevity and sillage are nowhere to be found in my bottle. After two hours projection is puny and dull; at the six hour mark I can hardly smell this stuff. I wanted to like it, perversely, because it is so unpromising out of the box. The whole scene is set for a lousy, dated loser and I hoped it would be awesome despite itself. No go, I'm afraid.

    15th April, 2013


    Rogue by Beverly Hills Polo Club

    It's not uncommon for Hollywood to remake a foreign-language film that, in its original language, was tough, downbeat and uncompromising. Attaching a bankable star, they will make the new version more mainstream, audience-friendly and, unfortunately too often, compromised.

    Rogue is a bit like a Hollywood version of macho powerhouses such as Polo and Krizia Uomo. What was swaggering and brutal in its original form is now filtered for a modern consumer who wants an airier, lighter, more accessible fragrance. If you sort of like Polo but think it's too strong, this is made for you. It's very affordable but frankly the low budget shows through. Longevity is all-day but there's a sense that there's less than meets the nose. Not terrible but it's definitely the shallow end of the pool.

    02nd April, 2013


    Bulgari Man by Bulgari

    Bulgari Man comes in very nice clothing, almost formal and classy, a black tie kind of bottle. The name of the fragrance, like so many others these days, especially in the designer realm, is dull but unpretentious.

    The fragrance has a subtle woody-floral construction in the style of Guerlain Homme and ST Dupont and Cartier's Declaration. It starts with a mild bergamot and is shortly joined by a muted violet leaf aroma. Many masculines today use violet leaf lazily and harshly, but Man uses it judiciously to add depth to a somewhat transparent recipe.Vetiver, sandalwood and musk round out the team. Unspectacular, but solidly done. This makes a fine choice for those occasions where discretion is the better part of valor: weddings, funerals, work, church and job interviews.

    01st April, 2013


    Brit for Men by Burberry

    There was a time when Brit was quite influential (Pi Neo is one obvious example of a post-Brit fragrance) in taking the Le Male route and subverting it by adding a dose of spice. There is a slightly chalky, inedible vanillic aspect to Brit but I don't categorize this as a powder scent (see Canoe for a reference powder). Against my usual predilections, I do like Brit for Men well enough, although as some others have opined, it's too simplistic to be a daily wear and in hot weather or if over-applied it will be cloying.

    31st March, 2013


    Sienna by Crabtree & Evelyn

    Sienna is another viable option for fans of classic masculine structures. To paraphrase another firm's ads, "if you love Halston Z-14 (or Tuscany or Santos), you'll love Sienna." Sienna is of the kitchen-sink school, ladling in spices, leather, patchouli, perhaps some basil. For a substantial bottle the price is quite a bargain and anyone near a mall will probably be able to access it, although there's talk of the line being discontinued.

    29th March, 2013 (Last Edited: 27th December, 2014)


    Mackie for Men by Bob Mackie

    Back in the early '90s, this was my signature scent. Trying it again twenty years later, I still find it a pleasant wear. It's not so much my style any more, but that's part of the appeal - it's unlike most of my wardrobe today. It's in the same boat as Eternity, XS, Pleasures and other aromatic citrus fragrances of the period, but I prefer Mackie to the others. The candied sharpness that characterizes Eternity and Pleasures is present at the start of Mackie, but is quickly buffed to a shine and while it cannot be called natural-smelling, it is at least plausible. It has pretty good longevity, too, for this type of aroma.

    24th March, 2013


    Arden Men - Sandalwood by Elizabeth Arden

    Old School to the bone - bone dry, that is. Denizens of the barbershop era of men's colognes: Brut, Aqua Velva, Jade East, et al will recognize the DNA of Arden's sharpish lavender-sandalwood accord. Apart from the hint of lemon, I don't get much more from this than those notes. No problem. It's 1957 and Frank's singing "I'm A Fool To Want You" on the turntable and the fire's roaring away in the fireplace. And Kim Novak's taking your tie off...

    21st March, 2013


    Claiborne Sport by Liz Claiborne

    I'm using a very relative, very liberal scale to give this a thumbs up. Claiborne Sport manages to improve a formula originated by Eternity for Men and Pleasures for Men: a candied fresh scent like a million others. Claiborne manages to make it last longer than Pleasures and not smell as ubiquitous as Eternity. Judged solely against this tepid pack, CS is a good option. Pitted against Derby, Habit Rouge or Sables? It's like bringing a toothpick to a swordfight.

    19th March, 2013

    Showing 1 to 30 of 237.

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