Reviews by Bigsly

    Bigsly's avatar
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    Showing 1 to 30 of 306.

    Henry Cotton's in Green by Henry Cotton's

    The Estonian site lists incense as a base note rather than olibanum, but that may be a "lost in translation" situation. In any case, this begins with a clear fougere accord but it's accompanied by a minty quality. Because of that, the fougere accord never becomes irritating, as I find that it often does. On some level this is like Francesco Smalto Pour Homme (1987), but this one is drier and isn't as smoky. Moreover, FSPH is one of those scents with a fougere accord that scorches the olfactory earth, so I generally don't have much interest in wearing it. What happens in this scent, by contrast, is that as the mint loses its potency, a dry, herbal/incense type of quality comes forward, and it too has the effect of preventing the fougere accord from becoming irritating. It's not too musky, and definitely isn't too sweet. There's not obvious aroma chemical element to this one either. I like to think of this as a niche fougere, actually, due to its unique qualities. This is not a grassy green - if you want something like that, try Bobby Jones Cologne.

    24 May, 2014


    Rebel for Men by James Dean

    Not sure if the one I tried is Rebel or Rebel 2, or if there is a difference. The one I tried begins with a mild, melon-like quality and that lasts quite a while but slowly gets weaker. It's reasonably natural smelling but not something I enjoy. I never got any "deep, dark" base, as others have claimed, and I don't want to spray more because I don't like the melon (I used two sprays to the chest). I have a feeling it won't be strong enough for the people who like these melon type scents and others will either not like it or think it uninteresting. At the low prices I see it selling for now, it's certainly a good deal for those who can enjoy it. Since I don't enjoy it, I'll give it a neutral. Longevity seems to be at least good, though it never seemed especially strong.

    18 May, 2014


    Cadillac Coupe by Cadillac

    Unlike the other person who reviewed this, I get no bitter tobacco nor smoky leather, and I think it's far from being anything like Bogart Pour Homme or Macassar, so perhaps there were different formulations of it. I do agree that there is no iso e super nor "laundry musk" overload here. If tobacco is present it is the most subtle I've encountered so far, and I'm a tobacco scent fan. Instead, this is quite similar to Jacomo for Men (2007), though with a couple of different notes. On the box, coumarin is listed, and there is a gourmand-ish fougere accord here, though mild. Also, there isn't much note separation , though it is reasonably natural smelling. It reminds me of another scent too, perhaps U Ungaro Him, but I can't remember for sure. Just so long as you aren't expecting the richness and depth of vintage, you may be pleasantly surprised, especially at current prices. I also have bottles of the original Cadillac and Cadillac Extreme, and those are crude and loud by comparison to this one, though I might like those better for that very reason! However, relative to most designer releases of recent years, this one compares favorably, generally-speaking of course. It would likely work well for "romantic" occasions but it seems a bit too subtle for the 20-something party scene. And I don't think it would work well in hot weather.

    16 May, 2014


    British Sterling by Dana

    I first tried a Dana formulation that is several years old and then an original. The smell, at least beyond the top notes, is similar, but the original has more depth and complexity to it (it also lasts longer). It's simple yet the quality of the ingredients must be what makes it so enjoyable! Basically, it's a vanillic/spicy/musky scent with a hint of wood (just a bit sweet). If you think a scent like Jaipur Homme is great you might want to give this one a try. There's something in Jaipur that doesn't work for me (I think it's a synthetic wood molecule used), but this one is just right. Moreover, you could use this for layering. You can still get Mem or Speidel formulations on ebay for reasonable prices, if you have some patience.

    09 May, 2014


    Preferred Stock by Coty

    I would call this Preferred Red, because it is like a simplified version of vintage Red for Men by Giorgio of Beverly Hills. I do think this is better than the new version of Red for Men, but I'm giving it a neutral for lack of originality. If Red wasn't released first, I would give this a positive rating. It's a more "mature" scent, but not too "old" (not that it matters to me), and the ingredients seem at least good (for a "cheapo"). However, because I already have enough vintage Red to last me a long time, what can I do with this other than put it on my swap list?

    01st May, 2014


    Les Notes de Lanvin : Oud & Rose by Lanvin

    The listed notes for this one seem to be patchouli, rose absolute, oud wood, and skin musk. I'm not an oud fan and have disliked the acrid note in some of the Montale oud scents I've tried. That's not the kind of oud you get here. In fact, it reminds me of wormwood more than anything else. If you want Ungaro I but can't afford it this might work for you, actually. I don't get much patchouli either, and the rose is subdued and subordinated to the wormwood tinted oud note. Fortunately, there is no major iso e super or any harshness, though if you hate all wood notes this probably won't work for you. I'm really surprised at how "high quality" this feels. I don't know what the original retail prices were, but some have said it was selling for $14.99 at discounters! I took a chance on this one (cost me more than that), and I'm really glad I did! Longevity is outstanding and projection ("sillage") is just right.

    23 March, 2014


    Bois Precieux by Molinard

    I agree with what's been said so far but will add that many will perceive this as "powdery,' though that's not meant to be a criticism. It's also clearly vanillic. If you like those qualities then that's great, of course. It's certainly at least reasonably natural smelling and lasts well. Projection ("sillage") is easy to control by how much you spray. My thought is that this might be something special if a bit of something else was added, and I'm thinking about civet in particular (synthetic - I'm not advocating animal abuse!). So, this is a lot more like Kenzo's Amour EdP than I would like it to be, for example, but I wouldn't say it has any "flaws;" it's just that relative to what I already owed when I bought it, I wish it had been a bit more unique.

    17 January, 2014


    Black Suede by Avon

    My review is for a vintage bottle. I don't understand comparisons to Aramis, as it lacks the leathery and floral qualities (and also lacks the aldehydes of Aramis). Nor does it have any herbal qualities. Other than perhaps in the fleeting top notes, this is mostly spicy and ambery, and it gets a bit powdery as time goes on (but not outrageously so). There is mild wood but not major leathery aspect at all; overall it's natural smelling. I don't get any fougere element and it's not too sweet. There's just a bit of musk but I certainly wouldn't call this a "musk scent." It's simple but effective, though since it could get boring I'd rather wear this on days when I'm not going to pay much attention to the scent I apply, and I'd also suggest wearing this in cooler weather.

    08 December, 2013


    Cigar Aficionado by Cigar Aficionado

    Excellent quality for the price.

    Note that I think this is a different scent from Cigar by Remy Latour but I haven't tried that bottle design. In any case, this is very rich in patchouli and there's quite a bit of amber. In some ways it is reminiscent of Borneo 1834, though this one came first. Borneo is drier than this one, and perhaps not as sweet, but otherwise there are distinct similarities. I'm guessing there is spice and a bit of tobacco here, but the softened/sweetened patchouli is the most obvious element. Unlike A*Men, it is not vanillic, and isn't that sweet. This is not at all like Cuba Red, which is dry/spicy and quite woody (and a bit "synthetic"), other than perhaps mild tobacco notes. This is well worth the money, unless it's been reformulated badly of course, though if you want a more balanced scent with tobacco (rather than one like this that is patchouli-dominant), the new formulation of Vermeil might be better (for this price range). Projection ("sillage") is moderate (spraying more might help) but longevity seems at least good.

    Pros: Inexpensive but reasonable quality.
    Cons: Not for patchouli haters and don't expect a lot of tobacco here."

    15 September, 2013


    Quartz pour Homme by Molyneux

    Too much "fresh" aroma chemicals for me.

    Let me say right up front that I can handle and even appreciate the "fresh" aroma chemicals in this one, but there is too much of them and not enough of the notes I was hoping to smell. I'm especially disappointed by the base, which is hardly present or being dominated by the "freshness." I'm thinking a reformulation was done and that I have the new one, because this doesn't seem like much of an effort. Moreover, there are so many other "fresh" ones I'd rather wear (even Baryshnikov Sport) that I don't see myself doing anything other than trying to swap off my 100 ml bottle of this one, especially consider I don't wear these kinds of fresh scent often in the first place!

    Pros: Good for office/school type settings, especially in warm weather.
    Cons: Too unbalanced for me."

    09 July, 2013


    Butterfly Flower by Bath and Body Works

    A good compromise between smelling too "old" or too "young.";

    I have the EdT, and I can understand the appeal of this one, though if you smell it up close on the skin it has an odd, latex-like quality. It's not too sweet, or floral, or fruity. Instead, it's a very nice, balanced composition, without the "symphonic" quality of many older florals (so it doesn't come across as "old lady"). I see this as excellent for the office or school, particularly in warmer weather. I have a bit over an ounce I can swap, as it's not "unisex" enough for me (USA only).


    12 June, 2013


    The One Gentleman by Dolce & Gabbana

    What if this was Coromandel Pour Monsieur and marketed by Chanel instead of D&G ?

    Have you tried the original Prada, marketed to women? Have you tried Coromandel? This is basically a "masculine" version of that kind of idea. Though not listed among the notes, there seems to be a touch of something resinous in the base. Also, it gives off a slight orange vibe, which is likely the effect of this combination of notes, or at least some of them. The color of the liquid makes no sense to me, but in any case you don't have to fear an overload of calone, iso e super, etc. Also, the patchouli is clearly present but not too strong, as it often is for me. TOG is a variation on a theme scent, but for me it is perhaps the best variation on this theme! I generally prefer complex scents but I think I'll enjoy this one every couple of months, as the ingredient quality seems good enough to generate a pleasurable experience despite the simplicity. I get adequate projection ("sillage") with a couple sprays to the chest and longevity is excellent but this is definitely not a "party boy" scent, so don't worry about it smelling like 1 Million or many of the ones that smell similar. Instead, this seems like it was meant for those who actually understand scents and know what they are seeking. Imagine that in a recent designer scent !

    Pros: Natural-smelling, rich, balanced, and reasonably-priced.
    Cons: Not for those who seek complex scents, nor unique ones.

    03 June, 2013


    H2 by Hummer

    Do you like Allure Homme but you're short on cash? Give this one a chance! No nasty laundry musk here either, though I'm not saying ingredient quality is better overall. Not exactly the same but close enough for me. I'm not a big fan of this sort of composition because the notes seem to stick together, so to speak, but I like this as a change of pace once in a long while. The top notes are quite good and the drydown is pleasant but light. It's in the middle where it comes across as not entirely natural but that doesn't last very long. This is not at all "green" nor "ozonic" nor aquatic. It's spicy/sweet/fruity. The fruit is citrus-based. The base has some amber, patchouli, and incense. There's supposed to be wood and leather but I have yet to detect them. If you've tried Messe de Minuit think of a light, smoothed out version of the base there (and not as natural smelling). Sure if they would have used niche-quality ingredients this might have been great, but that's not the way it goes. Instead, the money was spend on the bottle and packaging instead, I'd guess.

    16 April, 2013


    Wild Spice for Men by Coty

    The drydown is somewhat similar to London for Men by Burberry. You get dry/woody, leathery, and sweet/vanillic elements to complement the spices. The balance seems better than in London and it doesn't smell "synthetic" either. This was made at a time when being a "drugstore fragrance" didn't mean the quality suffered, it seems. This is one "cheapo" that can compete with designer scents of today, that's for sure, just don't expect exciting top notes.

    21st February, 2013


    Fire & Ice for Men by Revlon

    I acquired a vintage splash bottle of this one recently (3 ounces or 100 ml). An older woman I asked about it said it smelled very feminine. In any case, it is sweet of course but not outrageously so. Think of Dior Homme without the tobacco note and without the powdery iris. Now add a touch of an icy quality. And there you have this one. It's smooth/creamy and reasonably natural smelling. It may get cloying after a while but only did a dab sampling, and it seemed very strong. If you have a spray bottle I suggest misting the air and walking through it on your first wearing. I have to give this a positive review because it's different, pleasant, and probably wearable for the right occasion and if applied appropriately.

    23 November, 2012


    Tattoo pour Homme by Michel Germain

    I don't get much other than the amber. There seems to be a bit of the tobacco but that's about it. Yes, this comes across as the "poor man's" version of the A*Men base, though without patchouli, it seems. It does smell nice, with just the slightest hint of of a "synthetic" candy quality. Certainly if you can get it cheap and want something like this it's likely you'll be satisfied, just don't expect niche here. I've got the bottle pictured above, but it's possible the other bottle represents a different fragrance, for all I know.

    18 October, 2012


    Pierre Cardin Musk by Pierre Cardin

    The major elements of this scent include herbal lavender and sage, dry leather, and anisic amber. I'd also say some spice is here but it's blended into the mix so it has a creamy quality. This is not sweet and the animalic quality is not too obvious. Not any muskier than typical men's fragrances of that period, so I don't get the name. Starkness is the word that best describes this one, so if you only like "fresh" or "sporty" scents this is not for you. It's rather linear and slowly fades out over time. If you are going to a rodeo, this one would be appropriate to wear. A few too many notes to be niche but not that far off.

    13 October, 2012 (Last Edited: 13 February, 2013)


    Yang by Jacques Fath

    I have the new version, which may explain the diverse reviews. To me, the drydown on this is more along the lines who talk about tea with jam and honey. I don't get strong wood or any kind of "lotion" quality. It doesn't smell "dirty" or animalic in any way. If it's smoky that must in the top notes, and I get little if any citrus. It's not musky and the spices are gentle/subtle. It smells very pleasant and the sweetness doesn't get cloying. There is no nasty synthetic musk used, nor do I detect iso e super. Projection was at least good and longevity was excellent. More for the niche crowd and certainly has unisex potential.

    01st September, 2012


    Discover by Juvena

    Very similar to Samba Kiss Me for Men. Not sure which came first. Basically, it's highly blended so it comes across as one accord. There is citrus, woodiness, and spices, with moderate sweetness. It feels dense and smooth. If you are used to fragrances like Opium Pour Homme EdP, you might find this one a bit basic or uninteresting, but it's certainly not bad for the non-aficionado who wants something a little different than fresh, fruity, sporty, aquatic, super-sweet ones.

    13 August, 2012


    Mauboussin Homme by Mauboussin

    As usual I avoided the top notes as much as possible. Without much of them, this begins like Third Man (the newest formulation). Over time, it becomes more like the Gucci Envy for Men crowd (which includes Carven Homme, ST Dupont Signature Pour Homme, L'Occitane's Vetyver, and probably several others I haven't tried), with a touch of Blv Notte Pour Homme, over time. Ingredient quality seems decent, though not at the niche level. I'll likely try it again during cold weather. Longevity and projection ("sillage") seemed very good with minimal application. Note separation and originality are below par; complexity and dynamism are reasonable but don't inspire. Current prices are low so this may be a good substitute for those who like Third Man and Envy but don't want to buy both.

    27 July, 2012


    Lancetti Monsieur by Lancetti

    This starts off smelling very herbal/green, almost like oregano (think pizza), with a minor citrus element. A slight soapiness develops, so perhaps there's some lavender in here, but that then blends into the drydown, which is a softer version of the opening. There may be some wood and moss, but it's mostly a dry herbal fragrance. It's not sweet, floral, spicy, or aquatic (apparently, this was released in 1995). I don't detect any patchouli, leather, or tobacco. Some mind find it slightly powdery. The closest fragrance to this one that I've tried is Baime, but this doesn't have the fruit notes of Baime, and is a softer blend. It seems like few people like these fragrances, but LM is for the aficionado who wants a dry fragrance where herbs are the star of the show. Longevity is very good and projection ("sillage") is just right, IMO.

    09 June, 2012


    Maharanih by Nicolaï

    Wow, look at the negative and mediocre reviews, yet Ungaro II is so popular in the BN world! Basically, this is a simpler version of Ungaro II, and it seems more "natural" smelling to me. Every time I wear that Ungaro there is something about it that bothers me, that doesn't feel right. Maharanih, on the other hand, feels just right. If you don't like civet stay away, but if you like "old school" orientals and want a more focused one, this may be one to sample.

    20th April, 2012


    MCM 24 Morning by MCM

    This isn't a bad frag. It's in that Molto Smalto, Eternity for Men, Ungaro III range. Think of Molto Smalto, but not as rich and without the powdery sandalwood. Now ask yourself why you would want that. In other words, the other ones have something to offer that goes beyond this one. It is natural smelling, and I don't think you have to worry about reformulations, so that's something to consider. My favorite from this group is Molto Smalto, which has a fabulous, balanced drydown that lasts a long time. Morning is a "one hit wonder" kind of fragrance (it has no flaws), but there are plenty of other bands playing similar songs that have a few hits, at least.

    18 December, 2011


    Incense Oud by By Kilian

    A woody/peppery rose with an oud accent. There is absolutely nothing in this formulation that I enjoy. It's not unpleasant, like some oud fragrances (in how harsh they can be), but this is more of something I'd rather just sample on a strip then throw it away a minute later. For rose, I really enjoy fragrances like Rose d'Homme or Royal Secret for Men, and I generally avoid oud fragrances, though it's acceptable here. Perhaps this is a good fragrance if you want to "make an impression" but I can't think of the social occasion this would be appropriate for, especially if you are a man. Is this what billionaires smell like these days? Not ever been in a room with one, I couldn't say. My guess is that the hardcore oud or woody/rose crowd would think this a bit too shy, but that's based on very limited experience. Cabaret (the women's version) would be a reasonable substitute for this one, in order to conserve my money, if I wanted something like this (and as I said, I don't need the oud note). It's not bad, and I won't take price into account, so I'll give it a neutral.

    24 November, 2011


    El Paso by Lomani

    Starts out like Pino Silvestre (must be the thyme especially) and soon transitions into a fragrance very similar to Cool Water (which I really dislike). Longevity and projection ("sillage") seems to be mediocre, but I didn't apply enough to really tell because I didn't want more of a dab of it on me (so that I wouldn't have to smell it much). It might be a bit more complex and interesting than Cool Water, but I just don't want to subject myself to too much of it. I'll give it a neutral because it's cheap and isn't horrifically "chemical" or anything like that. I can't give it a positive because I find these kinds of fragrances to be "blobs" that don't smell especially pleasant. This might be a great gift for someone who doesn't know much about fragrances if you don't want to spend much money.

    15 November, 2011


    Giorgio for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills

    I gave the EA version a regular wearing today (1 spray to chest), and I've never tried the original one. It's probably strong enough for me, but I won't go to two sprays because I find that this kind of frag can nauseate me. I think it's the combination of patchouli, amber, and wood, especially cedar. Here, there is sandalwood and cedar listed as notes, but they must be very mild, because barely detect anything resembling wood and this frag doesn't bother me too much. There is also the possibility that it's too blended, because the new Givenchy Gentleman doesn't seem to bother me. Givenchy Gentleman has better note separation, so right now I'd guess it's the blending that is most likely to blame.

    Anyway, Giorgio for Men does seem strong enough, but I could certainly imagine it being stronger (in the original formulation). It has a bit of that "synthetic"/rubbery amber thing going that's common in many older frags, but it's not too bad. This is not really the kind of frag I enjoy most these days, but it does seem to be at least a decent formulation, unlike some others I've encountered. Over time, I find myself enjoying more. It seems to come together nicely, a sort of orange-tinted, vanillic, herbal-tinged, mildly sweet/ambery and mossy fragrance. Longevity is excellent and projection ("sillage") is moderate to good with one spray. Considering the prices for this new version, I think it should be considered an excellent deal, though not for those who don't like "old school" fragrances.

    15 October, 2011


    McGraw by Tim McGraw

    Not bad at all, though I'm assuming you will get a bottle for around $5-$10 at a discount store. It's got a nice vanillic/pachouli/woody base. There is a somewhat musky lavender and mild spice before you get to the base, and that persists as well. It's not "synthetic" enough to be irritating, though the musky lavender may be too much for a lot of people. I need to be in the mood for it, and don't think of this as an "office scent." However, if you think of the base of Roadster and the middle notes of L'Instant Pour Homme EdT, then you will get an idea of McGraw. L'Instant is more gourmand/anisic whereas Roadster is herbal/minty, while McGraw is musky lavender/spice, so it's sort of like what you want on the side of your steak to me: baked potato, French fries, or onion rings? Granted, the French fries might be better than the onion rings, but there are times when you prefer onion rings. Longevity and projection ("sillage") are at least good, especially the longevity.

    05 October, 2011


    Ignis by Omar Sharif

    Ignis has that "black" quality: sweet/fruity, a bit heavy/syrupy/vanillic, a little spice, a little patchouli, a little powdery, a little musky, a touch of tobacco (tonka type), etc. I wonder if this was the first of its kind, since I can't think of one that was introduced before 1994. It is somewhat similar to Burberry's London for Men but without the strong wood element, though with an animalic element (it's mild) Perhaps most notablly, it has that dried fruit/port wine thing that London has. Ignis doesn't have any "synthetic" qualities, which makes it superior to London, at least to me, nor does it has a "blob"-like quality, which seems to be a problem with this kind of fragrance. Projection/"sillage" is at least good and longevity is at least very good. Beyond the top notes it's rather linear, which is not uncommon with these kinds of fragrances. All in all, it's quite good, though not the kind I find myself drawn to these days. The notes work too well together, so there isn't as much contrast or dynamism as I'd like. This is perhaps best classified as a "romantic" fragrance, since it doesn't have the "monster sillage" one would expect of a party fragrance.

    23 September, 2011


    Cellini by Fabergé

    Sort of an anisic version of the original formulation of BIjan for Men (which is woodier), though apparently Cellini came first. It's not as complex as the Bijan, and it feels lighter, though by no means is it any kind of "weakling." The anise is quite strong at first, and reminded me a bit like IL by Lancetti for a while, but then it settled down into a more blended fragrance. Anyway, this is what you would expect from a fullbodied 80s style men's fragrance. Over time, Cellini goes in a more herbal direction than Bijan, with the anise kind of melding in. The listed hay and leather are not strong, nor is it particularly sweet. It seems that the listed middle notes overpower the base ones, but it lasts a long time with at least good projection/"sillage" (the opening has strong projection). One thing that is very well done here is the blending. You can tell the notes are present, but it has no "blob"-like quality. The balance is great and it smells natural. No, the drydown is not as smooth as Patou Pour Homme (and there's not clear animalic note), but this may be the closest thing to it, once you get a few hours into it (otherwise the anise is too strong).

    22 September, 2011


    Jaguar (original) by Jaguar

    I was fortunate to acquire a 125 ml splash bottle, still sealed in the box! It has the wood cap (screw type) and says 85% alcohol. I decanted some into a dab vial and applied it that way. Doing this, I didn't detect much in the way of top notes. It seems like it takes a while for the amber to heat up and help bring the other notes out. The orange is there but muted, and it wafts in and out gently, perhaps for a couple hours. The two main themes here are ones I found in vintage Xeryus and vintage Quorum. From the Quorum type, I get green, leather, and tobacco. The Xeryus type features a strong amber, cedar, and spice type of accord. It's definitely not too sweet, nor musky, and while the lavender note is clear, it's not irritating, as is the case in many "men's" fragrances from the 1980s. One thing that's great about this one is that it offers all the complexity, dynamism, balance, and naturalness you expect from a great vintage fragrance without any qualities that might offend anyone; hence, you can wear it for any occasion. And I see no reason why it would cause problems in hot weather.

    What's really interesting to me is how much variation there is among the reviews. There is certainly a "grassy" aspect to it, but it's not nearly as strong as in a fragrance like Bobby Jones Cologne. There is also an almost gourmand aspect to it, with the vanilla and some other notes generating "toasty" and almost chocolate-like qualities at times. I can also see why some might feel it's powdery, though it's not a particularly strong element. So, if you don't like "shape-shifting" fragrances, this may be one to avoid. On the other hand, if you like what this fragrance offers, this is definitely a "Holy Grail" candidate. However, keep in mind that there could be reformulations, so if you get a fragrance that seems bland and much simpler, one would assume that is the case. Longevity is very good but projection/"sillage" is moderate. Also, the Quorum aspect to it does not last as long as the Xeryus (amber and cedar accord), and the grassy aspect gives way to the toasty, somewhat gourmand aspect, as the scent progresses. Mine was made in Switzerland.

    21st September, 2011

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