Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Swanky

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Total Reviews: 249
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Pitbull Man by Pitbull Premier Fragrances

Pitbull Man comes in a sleek bottle but frankly the Pitbull-in-black-tie marketing is off base; this is a generic fresh fragrance. Sure, it could be used for any occasion but it's a summer, daytime scent as much more than a formalwear accoutrement. As these things go, this is pretty well done, affordable and as I said earlier the bottle is cool. Those looking for something special or original won't find that here.
24th April, 2016
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Duc de Vervins L'Extreme by Houbigant

For once the notes listing is spot on, with the possible exception of lime, which seems to be the main citrus player here. The motor in Duc de Vervins L'Extreme runs a good 18 to 20 hours as one might expect from an EDP. Lime, lavender, moss - stars of many masculine classics from Acqua di Selva to Moustache - take center stage. Fans of the old school and fans of power fragrances can blend the best of both worlds in one bottle. Look for bargains. The gimcrack, dated packaging is the only drawback to this brew.
24th April, 2016
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Mesmerize for Men by Avon

Mesmerize is not really my bag, but for the price and longevity, it's an acceptable offering. Bobster referenced Dunhill Desire and I agree that there is a similarity. At the start, Mesmerize has an almost-effervescent aspect like some 50s-era fragrances (think Moustache or Tabu)and the apple is the key note (although it is like a SweetTarts version).

Later some spicy sweetness enters the fray and it remains potent all day.
16th April, 2016
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Gravity by Coty

Yes, Gravity is made by the econobrand Coty. Yes, it is a drugstore fragrance with the attendant low price. No, it's not natural or niche.

But, Gravity is pretty damned unique. It's a bit like Captain by Molyneux and a tad like Horizon (although the latter fragrance post-dates Gravity). It doesn't have the usual wispy aquatic character one might anticipate in a blue-hued bottle. In warm weather this can pack some oomph - go easy on the trigger when temperatures climb.

The touch of lime in this puts in on another plane from the usual cheapies.
12th April, 2016
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Royall Vetiver by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

As a vetiver fan, I do like Royall's plausible and realistic rendition but sillage and longevity are lacking. There several vetivers on the market that are superior (Grey Vetiver, Encre Noire, Guerlain).
01st April, 2016
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Séxual Noir pour Homme by Michel Germain

It's not very fun to write negative reviews; good fragrances warrant and garner more enthusiasm, frankly. Alas, Sexual Noir deserves derision. The inaptly-named Sexual line from Michel Germain features a sugary note and Noir (also inaptly-named) is no exception. This is an utterly generic brew. The notes list above bears scant resemblance to the scent in the bottle. I get a heavily synthetic and vague sweet and fresh...something.

Try it on skin; on paper it's a semi-pleasant if bland mainstream fragrance but on paper its derivative, gimcrack nature is revealed.
27th March, 2016
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Replica At the Barber's by Martin Margiela

I agree with Erok32 that this may not be up to the price tag, but it is well made, long-lasting and different enough to merit a test drive at least.

There is some semblance of Barbasol shaving cream in this but this is sharper and near medicinal, which suits the apothecary styled bottle but, to my nose, detracts from the overall success of the fragrance. Fans of Pasha or Safari might find much to recommend in At the Barber's.
22nd March, 2016
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Agua Lavanda by Antonio Puig

I own Agua Lavanda in the fluted columnar bottle with a green cap and sprayer. It is essentially an EDT concentration, so I have none of the longevity woes some lament. This is one of my go-to scents in spring and summer. A near soliflore, it's probably my favorite straight-up lavender.
27th February, 2016
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Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

First, I am a huge fan of old school classic fragrances such as 4711, YSL Pour Homme, Moustache, Monsieur Musk, et cetera. I have none of the anti-age bias that some exhibit. Second, I enjoy the Chanel brand's cultural place and Antaeus and No. 5 are masterpieces in my book. All that said, I cannot wholeheartedly endorse Pour Monsieur due to the performance, as many others have noted. I don't care about sillage or compliments, frankly, but I do want to be able to detect a fragrance myself. CPM has an odd resume on my skin. It's grammar school years (the opening) are top notch, but the high school years (middle period) are invisible; he's cutting class, smoking in the boys' room or hiding in the lockers because he's absent on my skin. Later, though, as a middle-aged college student, he comes back with better grades and more participation in the class discussions. When I can smell it, it's a winner but for long stretches it's but a memory...
24th February, 2016
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Desire for a Man by Dunhill

Desire is both modern and a throwback. It has the fruity sweetness of the current crop with the distinctive "cologne" note of Sixties-era fragrances. This split personality makes this one of the more interesting of Dunhill's current roster of fragrances. Longevity is top-notch and in the end I don't find this too sweet once it dries down. A nice offering in my collection that manages to stroll just this side of generic.
20th December, 2015
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Jacomo de Jacomo Original by Jacomo

Smokey Joe's Cafe - Wow, the smoke in the top of this bad boy might turn some off but for me it's what sets this winner on the right track. Yes, it's very dry as many others have witnessed with a leathery, woody heart. A bottle such as this does point out the downside to a large fragrance collection: something like this can get overlooked. I should reach for this more, because when I do I like it more each time. Iko Iko indeed.
05th December, 2015
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Life On Top by Penthouse

The notes list implies a more complicated fragrance than Life on Top actually is. It's another fresh-woody in the Sean John 3 am fraternity.

It's dirt cheap so it's a decent value if you're looking for this kind of young man's quotidian drone.
06th November, 2015
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Oak by Bath and Body Works

Oak is like a cross between Hypnose Homme and Obsession for Men. It shares some obvious d.n.a. with Woodland, another B&BW fragrance that was an even closer replica of Obsession. In warm weather, the spicy aspect speaks more loudly, like the CK precursor.
05th June, 2015
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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)
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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 initially-sour note (Design for Men, Ulysse, and 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.

04th August, 2013 (last edited: 24th April, 2016)
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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
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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)
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Halston Man by Halston

Reductio

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
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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