Perfume Reviews

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Unbreakable Bond / Unbreakable by Khloé and Lamar

If you like apple notes except when these are sharp, this is one to consider. There is a hint of chocolate, wood, etc., but the apple is the star of the show and lasts a long time. It's definitely not too sweet or syrupy, and it is a touch musky (no major "laundry musk," thankfully). And the florals are in check as well. So, it's very good for all kinds of social situations, and it's certainly not a "blob" scent, but if you are used to niche then my guess is you'll find this underwhelming (such as if you were to compare it to Apple Brandy).
31st July, 2015
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Immense pour Homme by Jean-Louis Scherrer

Another take on the Green Irish Tweed type idea, which also includes Stardust for Men. This one seems to have some calone along with dihydromyrcenol, making it quite strong but not so great if you aren't a fan of obvious calone (I'm not). It seems quite strong but I just sprayed it on a card and then decided that it might not be agreeable. Moreover, I've got Stardust and prefer it to the others of this type. I also have Corinto Rouge, which is like a simplified and more wearable Cool Water, though I think there are more significant differences between CW and GIT. I just mentioned CR because it too has quite a bit of dihydromyrcenol, but not calone, and it's sweet/powdery like CW (but not like GIT in that respect). Anyway, to sum it up, I think Immense will be enjoyed by those who would like a variation on the GIT theme and don't mind or even want some noticeable calone. I'll give it a positive rating even though I'm not a fan of it.
14th June, 2015
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Courvoisier L'Edition Impériale by Courvoisier

First of all, I'm only rating this positive if you got it at a steep discount and you like this kind of scent (in the Baldessarini Ambre range). For the first half hour or so, it's all over the map, and I had trouble getting a sense of what it was, but it wasn't good, AFAIC. However, this lasts a long time and after an hour or so it smells quite nice, though rather blended. There's a bit of tea, a touch of amber, etc. Later on, I get perhaps a pine/violet raising the heavier elements up, so to speak. Projection/sillage is moderate, and seems to come in rather gentle wafts (I've only tried the EdT). I imagine that the next time I try it, I'll be able to detect more, and possibly enjoy it more. Interestingly, I didn't get much if any of a boozy quality, though others have mentioned that it pervades the composition.
21st May, 2015
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Rocabar by Hermès

If you like Envy for Men, this is along the same lines, as are a few others. I'm not a huge fan of these scents, because they seem to get cloying awfully quickly, especially if you use too much, but I'd rather wear those than most of the recent designer offerings. I'll give it a positive rating because there's nothing really "bad" about it, other than it having a derivative feel to me.
03rd May, 2015
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Avant Garde by Lanvin

I didn't get much of a honey/beeswax element, but the tobacco is obvious. It's not too sweet and I didn't get too much of any aroma chemical either. For $20 or so for 100 ml it can compete against anything else, so long as this is what you're seeking. As others have said, it's dense - note separation isn't like the vintage greats, but it doesn't come across as a synthetic blob, and if something like Michael for Men by Kors is bothering you (as it sometimes does to me on occasion) this one is easier to wear, if less ambitious in terms of composition. In fact, I think Cadillac Coupe is more interesting as a composition, but this one is good for when you know exactly what you want and don't want notes to "spike out" on you (for whatever reason). When I find a scent like this, my thought is often, why should I even bother to sample the much more expensive recent designer releases?
02nd March, 2015
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Bourbon Homme by Marina de Bourbon

First, I'm giving this one a positive rating because if this is what you are seeking you should be pleased. Second, unlike the others, I don't understand the fig cookies/newton idea. This isn't sweet nor vanillic, and the fruit type element doesn't last very long with any potency. The main players in the drdyown seem to be oregano or thyme and wods (pine and sandalwood perhaps), along with the dihydromyrcenol that is obvious from the beginning. There's a bit of lavender and citrus, probably with small amounts of the usual "masculine" suspects, but overall it's like a less complex Green Jeans, and is also somewhat reminiscent of Oscar for Men (not Pour Lui). So, if you want a dry pine/herbal scent and don't mind a bit of dihydromyrcenol, then I think you'll like this, as it seems strong enough not to disappoint. I just did a dab sampling to the ankle so I'll update this review when I wear it the usual way, if I think there is anything else that should be said.
15th February, 2015
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Captain Molyneux by Molyneux

I haven't tried the vintage one; the new one comes in a bottle that is similar to ones I've seen at the dollar store, which may be a good sign - perhaps they spent a bit more on the scent than the bottle! The odd thing is that a slightly burnt smelling rubbery quality dominates everything. There is no searing fougere accord, for example - not much of a fougere at all, actually. It's not sweet, beyond the most minimal amount, and the muskiness is moderate. You can get a sense that some citrus and herbs and present but spices do not seem to be included. There is nothing "hard," such as a clear wood note, and if there is vetiver here it is of the "skunky" variety I've come across in decades old vetiver scents marketed to men (that might be the burnt rubber type of thing). This was purchased new from a major retailer, so on some level I'm happy because it suggests those old vetivers I own smell appropriate (not being any kind of vetiver expert). It doesn't come across as "green," nor "blue," though the liquid is a a deep blue. Other than the skunky/burnt rubber element, this is reasonably natural-smelling though as I said, that quality may very well be natural! It's not very strong but it's easy to make it stronger by spraying more - since the price is low there's no reason not to do so. And it does a nice job o\f conjuring up images of the sea without the use of the usual synthetic "aquatic" aroma chemicals (or else these are being used in very small amounts). And finally, I doubt if you will be happy if you buy this thinking that it will be "modern," especially if you like aquatic scents from the last 15 years or so. I'll give it a positive rating for those who don't spend too much on it and don't "blind buy" it. I don't see myself wearing it often, as it's got limited dynamism, richness, and depth.
03rd February, 2015
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HiM by Hanae Mori

Tired of "lavender overload" gourmands and "iso e super nightmares?" This is one to sample, as it is clearly "masculine" but doesn't go for the obvious. No doubt, the opening seems to have been inspired by Gucci Pour Homme II and the base by Spicebomb, but that doesn't bother me. There is a softness and depth here which is uncommon in recent designer scents, and it smells reasonably natural (Spark for Men, by contrast, has an obvious "synthetic" quality). I don't get that much woodiness nor fir balsam here, and overall it's nicely balanced so that no note is dominant. I've now tried the EdT and the EdP and I think the EdP is a bit creamier, though I didn't study them in detail or side by side. And at current prices this is a really good deal. To those who criticize it, my question to you is, what do you expect at this price point? Longevity and projection/sillage are very good if not great in both formulations.
13th January, 2015
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Adam Levine for Women by Adam Levine

Yesterday I sampled Spiritueuse Double Vanille, but the vanilla in that one was too strong. In this one, it's just right (if you want a vanilla scent of this type), though I don't think you'll like this if you hate vanilla. In any case, the drydown is rich and natural smelling, and even has reasonably good depth! The balance is fairly good too, though perhaps just a bit more vanillic than I'd like (and not enough sandalwood). I don't get much saffron, other than perhaps in the top notes, so that shouldn't be an issue for those who dislike that note. And I agree with CDGfan over at Fragrantica, in that this has a specific kind of jasmine/incense feel (I didn't know the name of it but she apparently does). Overall, this is one that I'll likely keep, as I can use it for layering too! Also, I consider the drydown unisex, at least for those who enjoy vintage or niche. A very nice surprise for quite a low price.
06th January, 2015
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Ciel Man by Amouage

Unlike Way Off Scenter, I don't find the opening pleasant at all, and instead agree with what Foetidus said: "I’m afraid Ciel for Him is a rather disappointing fragrance to me: First, its opening is unimpressive—a sharp, floral / herbal backed up by a light incense and cedar. The peach seems to enter into the opening also, creating what is to me a discordance that I find a touch unpleasant. I really can’t separate out the floral notes because it’s an amalgamated accord—blended to the point of seeming forced or artificial."

On another site, Dullah pointed out that there was a reformulation and that the earlier one was really bitter/sharp, so if that's true it may account for the big differences in some reviews. I had an old official sample and I'd guess it is the bitter/sharp formulation, if there was more than one. To me it's like sharp floral notes combined with a leftover ethnic food accord. I used a small amount, thinking that Amouage scents are strong, and I'm so glad I did because I don't know how sick I would have felt if more was applied. I then sprayed a pleasant "cheapo" underneath where I sprayed Ciel and that dominated it to the point where the unpleasant experience ended. I'd go for vintage Insense if I wanted this kind of thing, but so far I have only found these kinds of compositions to be quite unpleasant !
29th December, 2014
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Lauder for Men by Estée Lauder

First of all, if you think 1985 you are probably thinking this will contain a load of lavender and coumarin. It doesn't. While it may contain those elements, I don't even consider this scent a fougere, because other notes dominate. Second, I have one with a gold top but that cap has green sides, and I have another with an all gold cap (older). The green one is stronger, like an intense version of the earlier gold cap, but the earlier version is smoother and really special. The notes are "tight" in green cap and it can be a bit irritating, and some of the musk element doesn't seem as natural as I'd like. Still, after an hour or so it's not too far from gold cap, and the actual smell is very similar. Now here's the most important point, at least to me: when compared to others that are at least somewhat similar, that is, 1881, Jazz, Tsar, Photo Lagerfeld, etc., I prefer this one by a wide margin (though I'm not sure if my 1881 is vintage, if there are differences with that one). The only other one that I'd put in this category is Coriolan, but that one is a bit different, so I can enjoy having these in my rotation without thinking I don't need both. The problem I've encountered is that when I wear similar ones I often think I'd rather be wearing the one I consider best.
15th December, 2014
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Uomo by Valentino

Beyond sweet gourmand there is this scent. It's olfactory abuse in a bottle. From what I can remember, it's closest to Cadillac, and certainly not Dior Homme (never tried DH Intense). There are strong aroma chemicals, but they are dominated by what comes across to me as candy or food flavorings amplified to the extreme. I wear gourmands regularly (A*Men, Play Intense, So New York, Rochas Man, Pi, etc.), but this one goes where no man should ever venture (just kidding, of course). On the other hand, if you want to announce your arrival from a mile away, this may be your best choice!
09th November, 2014
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Sculpture Homme by Nikos

What you get:

1. An inexpensive but decent Minotaure type of scent.
2. A tobacco-like effect, presumably due to cedar and tonka.
3. At least good longevity and projection/sillage.
4. Ingredients that don't scream "chemical soup."
5. Intelligent composition.

What you don't get:

1. Soapy fougere or super-musky "cologne guy" effect.
2. Too much sweetness.
3. "Rough edges."
4. High prices.
5. Bad sprayer or cheap bottle.
01st October, 2014
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Stardust for Men by Llewelyn

I first sampled this as a newbie, and at the time my sense of smell was quite sensitive. This came across as harsh and discordant. Now I realize that was just the top notes, but these days I enjoy that lime/nutmeg/pine combination. For me, this does what GIT does, but in a more original, and hence more enjoyable way. There are so many violet leaf/lavender type scents, and yet few like this one. However, to me the best part is the drydown, which again is similar in "feel" to GIT but doesn't seem to have much dihydromyrcenol. Somehow, Stardust does what so many "dihydromyrcenol overload" scents fail to do, that is, create a slightly creamy ("crowd pleasing"), aromatic, and natural smelling effect, while possessing good note separation and dynamism. The sandalwood note is fairly good, but I don't get clear leather (and it's certainly not too sweet). There i no animalic quality and it's a bit musky; also, I fail to detect the jasmine in any clear way. Overall, I consider this quite an achievement and I can't think of anything that is on this level. Oscar for Men (1999) had a similar idea, but feels rather singular and definitely more "synthetic" by comparison (and I consider Oscar to be quite good). The only thing some of those with quite a bit of experience might not like about Stardust is that it has a slight "musty" quality (and there isn't as much vanilla and amber as one might expect, considering how common it is in more recent scents to include such notes in large amounts).

Top notes: Mexican Lime, Mediterranean Lemon, Siberia fire needle, shaved nutmeg.

Middle notes: Jasmine, sandalwood, Indonesian Patchouli.

Base notes: Bourbon Vanilla, creamy amber, and impressions of leather.
24th September, 2014 (last edited: 18th January, 2015)
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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.
24th May, 2014
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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.
18th May, 2014
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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.
16th May, 2014
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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.
09th May, 2014
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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
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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.
23rd March, 2014
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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.
17th January, 2014
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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.
08th December, 2013
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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."

15th September, 2013
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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."

09th July, 2013
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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).

"

12th June, 2013
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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.

03rd June, 2013
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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.
16th April, 2013
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Halston Limited by Halston

This dries down to a floral chypre type scent, though without the strong aldehydes of the "feminine" ones from the 1970s. There is a bit of castoreum, but certainly nothing like other "masculines" of that period, such as Salvador Dali Pour Homme. It's on the dry side and without much in the way of sweetness, with minor support from herbs and spices. This is for someone who wants a very smooth yet complex chypre that doesn't possess strong aldhehydes. I'm speaking of the drydown here because I have a splash bottle and it's got a very small hole in the plastic insert, so I just let a little dribble out onto the skin. With this application I don't get much in the way of top notes. If you want something sweeter and more floral in a "powdery" way (in a masculine of that period), there is Ho Hang Club, but then you give up the dry chypre structure.
31st March, 2013 (last edited: 16th August, 2014)
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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
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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.
23rd November, 2012