Perfume Reviews

Reviews by vitaman

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Balsamo della Mecca/ Mecca Balsam by La Via del Profumo

Wore this for 3 hours with a vague feeling that I've smelled it before. Finally dawned on me that this is Messe de Minuit by Etro with less projection.
A nice rich Frankincense skin scent. Feels sacred and comfortable. Main gripe is that even applied generously, it keeps its cards a little too close to the vest (vestments?).
28th March, 2015

Endymion by Penhaligon's

First I must say that Lucy's review was simply one of the best I've ever read…..had to read it three times.
Now to Endymion. Received a sample from Penhaligons. Of the 4 samples sent this one stood out. The masculine take on powder is attractive. Liked it until I smelled LP No9 for men by the same House. The top notes of Endymion are clearly superior, but once they die down, LP blows it away. Similar vibe but just more spice, more interesting and longer lasting to boot.
19th February, 2014

Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

Bought this based on the reviews here and from enjoying other Luten's frags.
I am trying hard to get the onions, cumin and spice shop vibe that others mention, but I get nada.
I tend to love that sort of thing (Odori's Glio is a revelation in the Indian spice shop genre), but all I get is a far more ordinary semi formal rich sweet thick wintery scent. It has monster silage and an immediate appeal; the quality is obvious. It reminds me of an 80's fragrance tweaked up for the present and with better sourced ingredients.
23rd January, 2014
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Sana by Slumberhouse

Forget the listed notes.
This is all about stewed fruit. Prunes, apples, peaches.
Thought I really knew what was going on here until my wife caught a whiff.
You smell like Bourbon she declared. And not just any bourbon….Maker's Mark she specified. And dang if she wasn't spot on. If that's what you want to smell like, Sana will do the trick.
Excellent sillage and longevity.

17th January, 2014

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

Maybe it was the expectations from reading so many positive reviews but this is very close to a Negative.
Opens with a generic, synthetic, sweet cloud of everything I dislike in a fragrance.
I could not pick out a single note. Dries down an acceptable although not distinct "gentleman's" fragrance. There are better frags available certainly over the last 20 years (maybe 40) that should render this obsolete.
Once it dries down it is not offensive and reasonably pleasant but does not live up to its legend. Maybe the Vintage variety would be different but not motivated to find out at this point.
17th January, 2014

Gli Odori by Odori

This one is all about the cumin.
And that does not sound good.
Cumin is great as an unexpected foil for a floral, or sweet ginger or tea fragrance, but it is rarely found on its own. It just doesn't have the chops the headline the show.
But Gli is the exception. The cumin hits you early and often and I just can't get enough of it.
There is just enough warm sweetness behind to keep it balanced and ever interesting.
Maybe with future wearing I will pick out the green herbs and woods, but in only one wearing I can tell this is one amazing cumin perfume and is going to be one of my favorites.
13th January, 2014

Rectoverso Man Tea Tobacco by Ulric de Varens

Think of this as a poor man's Odori Tobacco.
The top notes are not nearly as nice and it does not have the longevity but the crux of the scent is similar.
It opens with a cheap sweetened tea note (instant?) and takes a while for the tobacco to shine through. But once it does, it becomes likable and at it's price point even lovable.
If price is not a consideration there are better Tobacco scents out there.
Factoring in bang for buck, this one is hard to beat.
11th January, 2014

Acteur by Azzaro

Cannot really pick up any individual notes in this.
It has a sharp synthetic smell that is married to a sweet synthetic one.
Was expecting more after reading reviews. Not sure it would even make a good air freshener.
10th January, 2014

Individuel by Montblanc

Blind Buy based on reviews.
Have had some good luck doing so despite dire warnings posted against such irresponsible behavior. However this buy was irresponsible.
It's sicky sweet, highly generic, very synthetic.
The bottle is attractive, love the cap.
My advice is to play with the bottle if you see it in a store, and then buy something else.
06th January, 2014

Eau Lente by Diptyque

This one although a little spicy, is on the feminine side with none of delicious warm masculine spice notes of say a Tauer Eau d'Epices.
Very linear with little to recommend it. Best part of it is that I bought a sample rather than a whole bottle.
13th December, 2013

L'Ambre des Merveilles by Hermès

The Amber that Pampers

Sprayed this on at Bloomingdale's thinking it was a Men's frag. (It was right next to Terre d'Hermes).

When I got home my wife was all over my wrist. "What is this?!?" Almost had to restrain her from licking it like candy.

Although she likes amber based perfumes on herself, it did not read to her initially as a woman's perfume.

When I discovered that it was marketed to women, I looked for the male equivalent, and purchased Ambre Narguile.

The Cinnamon Apple notes in Narguile were a little off putting especially in July. My mind kept wandering back to Des Merveilles.

Finally bought a bottle, and I can now report that the silage is solid, and the longevity is excellent. Still get a nice whiff 18 hours after application. Actually the staying power is superior to Narguile on me. This may be a fragrance that is more dependent than most on personal chemistry judging from the last reviewer's observations.

Highly recommended.

Pros: Approachable and Sensual
Cons: Slightly feminine

03rd July, 2013

H.M. by Hanae Mori

Bought this based on the reviews.
Luckily only bought the 1.7 oz size.
I get no lemon at all. It starts as a synthetic, generically sweetish smell.
Eventually dries down to a synthetic vanilla scent.
Nothing to like at all. The great country of France with its rich perfume history, should insist that this be made elsewhere.
On a happier note, in spite of the decidedly mixed reviews on Nicole Miller for Men, I bought a bottle recently. It's wonderful with decent longevity and a scent profile different from any other in my collection.
24th September, 2012

Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella

After reading the reviews, sent for a sample of this for my brother. He is so much of a car nut that his license plate reads...you guessed it....CARNUT. He could not stand it but I loved it. It is an odd one to be sure. Starts with a blast of creosote. Does not jive a bit with the old-timey bottle and traditional sounding moniker. The scent starts to morph after about 15 minutes and goes from beast to beauty. Just following the changes is fascinating.
Winds up slightly sweet, very rich and captivating. The beginning would offend many. The ending will charm most.
27th March, 2011
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Incense Extrême by Tauer

This is all about Frankincense. If you are not a big fan then stay away. My girlfriend described it as a Fragrance for someone who likes the way they smell and wants to be left alone. It's purifying and elevating but a little stark to be welcoming. Very natural and resinous. I like it but prefer the Amber note in Tauer's L'Air.
25th March, 2011

Eau d'Épices by Tauer

This smells extremely natural and at the same time fabulous.
It is not a powerhouse and tends to woo you softly. Excellent longevity and keeps getting better. If you are around people who are easily offended by fragrances, this may work. It can be appreciated by sophisticates and beginners alike. Deceptively simple, if the bottle I ordered yesterday was here, it would be on me now.
25th March, 2011

Sycomore (new) by Chanel

Was expecting to love this. I'm fond of Incense and of Vetiver. Can't get enough of Incense Extreme, Encre Noir, Vetiver Fill in the Blank (Route, Extraordinaire, Dance).
Sycomore certainly contains a nice Vetiver note, but it's civilized with enough muted musk and sophisticated smoke that it just misses the mark. Although it is marketed to Women as many have pointed out it has a decidedly masculine edge. In this regard it sits too much on the fence. It either needs to get a touch more floral and go female, or go for broke and tear its shirt off. Clearly expensive but too careful for me.
24th March, 2011

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

First let me say that I am a huge fan of M. Tauer. His Lonestar Memories and Vetiver Dance are stunning. They involve your interest as they evolve. L'air is one of the most linear fragrances I have ever smelled. I get mostly an oud note with a touch of Amber. Sillage is weak. It's not offensive or cheap smelling. Just does not go anywhere on me. If I wanted this scent I would buy decent quality resinous oils and save the money.
After living with this for a few days I have begun to appreciate it's truly delicious warm amber note. Seems more of a Winter frag but also could work as a night time scent any time. Very rich with a soft sense of mystery.
22nd March, 2011 (last edited: 25th March, 2011)

Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I've not compared the Profile to Terre d'Hermes, but it has some similarities. I think if you like one you will also like the other. It's an impressive, high quality scent but at little serious and not one I would wear often at all.
A day later......Thought I had given it a proper chance after 5 hours...but no! It kept developing to the point that I would trade my bottle of Terre D'Hermes for this one. Still is similar but every difference is an improvement.
22nd March, 2011 (last edited: 23rd March, 2011)

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

For what it's worth, this is the first time I've ever given a positive rating to a fragrance that has garnered predominantly Negs and Neutrals.
This opens up with an intriguing blend of clary sage, a little dry citrus, and vetiver. I was not sure I loved it, but I certainly liked it and kept smelling it over and over. After about 20 minutes, it became slightly floral and possibly deepened its "on the sweet side" of vetiver.
I happened to go for a walk in the woods with my dog shortly after spraying my sample on. The woods are not fully blown verdant yet but there are olfactory hints of nature preparing to burst forth with shoots, buds and blossoms. My dog weighs 10 lbs and is fluffy and beautiful and approachable, but is no lightweight. She will attack marauding raccoons when dogs 7 times her size hang back. Vetiver Dance somehow encompassed my walk perfectly. It's fresh, relaxing, welcoming...but intriguing and filled with captivating contradictions. And it lasted over 12 hours. The only reason I'm not buying a bottle right away is that I feel obligated to try the samples of Incense Extreme, Eau D'Epices, and L'Air Du Desert Morocain. Sounds weird given the raves I've read about these, but that's how spectacular this Dance is.
22nd March, 2011

Ted by Ted Lapidus

Must say I was influenced by very positive reviews here and the fact that Ted is the name of my fiancee's Dad.
This is the very essence of nothing special. Smells a lot like YSL Homme without the panache. Now that I say that i realize it's a bit of an insult to YSL. Although there are resemblances in the initial statement and the dry down, Ted cannot hold Yves jock strap.
18th March, 2011

Gendarme Green by Gendarme

This stuff smells like Prell shampoo and that's a good thing.
It's a comforting scent and almost universally liked.
I get no Basil notes at all. If you have a good imagination you can smell Cucumber and some mild spices (white pepper?, Cardamon?)
Got a handful of Gendarme samples and this is the only one I'm buying.
17th March, 2011

Gendarme Sky by Gendarme

Tempted to give this a Thumbs Down but it's not really terrible. Matter of fact if you like Green Irish Spring soap you will definitely like this. It's synthetic but in a pleasant soapy way. Probably overpriced. Try before buying.
17th March, 2011

Visit by Azzaro

Cedar and Pepper are evident here. Decent longevity.
Was surprised that one reviewer noted compliments from the ladies.
I have received my shares of a approval on what I had on, but this one owns the distinction of never ever garnering even the slightest notice.
17th March, 2011

Cashmere for Men by Cristiano Fissore

First of all, this is a beautiful scent. Fissore also makes one for women and a 3rd scent which is supposed to be unisex. I have not smelled either but this one could easily be worn by either sex. It is a good marriage of opposites. It's sweet but not cloying....rather upright. It's light but has thickness too it. It is aptly named because cashmere wool is thin but warm.
The notes listed are: bergamot, rose bay, elemi, ginger, cedar, cashmere wood, guaiac wood, teak wood, vetiver, patchouli, amber, white musk.
I did not get any cedar or ginger or vetiver or bergamot or patchouli. This may well be more an indictment of me than the fragrance! I have no idea of what cashmere wood is or smells like, but maybe it is weaving its magic here. Sillage is a little weak but longevity is solid. Will own this one.
17th March, 2011

eo02 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

This is a tough one to describe. Looking at its notes you might think your nose would be assaulted from all directions. It turns out to be a quiet fragrance with an amber or ambergris dominance. I usually associate that smell with warmth but this slightly cool but still sweet. Very nice scent but not distinctive enough for me to buy. This one has the widest differential between sillage(poor) and longevity(excellent) that I have ever put on.
17th March, 2011

Bogart pour Homme by Jacques Bogart

Gilgamesh is a tough act to follow! His description is spot on.
This is not a particularly well known fragrance but probably should be.
Has that universal "you smell good" quality. Amazing longevity and good sillage although not aggressively so. Smells the way a non pipe smoker would want pipe tobacco to smell.
Probably not a great Summer scent, but other than that, pretty versatile.
My bottle doesn't look anything like the one pictured above which is a first for me. Did they have a packaging update?
16th March, 2011

Encre Noire by Lalique

A year ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Frederik Malle store in Paris.
I had been using Musc Ravageur on special occasions for a while and was so excited to actually be in the establishment. My ardor cooled markedly when everything I smelled seemed too feminine. Feeling a bit deflated I grabbed the most masculine scent I could find and gave it a nice big spray. Turned out to be Vetiver extraordinaire. It lasted over 12 hours and was a revelation. A side trip to Normandy prevented my return to the shop and I have had more than a few regrets that I did not go back. Encre Noir although maybe slightly sweeter in its dry down is very close to that rich happy vetiver cloud. If it has the same longevity as VE, then it is one screaming deal.
15th March, 2011

Rose 31 by Le Labo

If you don't love roses, better not go here.
Despite what others have written, Roses dominate.
It's not all that dirty, it's too linear, it's not worth the cost.
Had a sample of Bogart pour Homme on my other wrist applied at the same time.
5 out of 5 co-workers preferred the more modestly priced Jacques de Paris.
15th March, 2011

Tuscany per Uomo Forte by Aramis

I don't reach for this often, but it never fails to satisfy when I do.
A female friend who studied dance in Italy in her 20's told me that it reminded her of all the wealthy good looking Italian men she saw out when walking around Florence and Rome . It's a very confident vibe and also great smelling.
15th March, 2011

Aventus by Creed

This stuff smells expensive. And good. Bought a $35 sample and that's probably about all I'll go for. It's good enough that even at its exorbitant price I would not warn against a blind buy. It's really yummy smelling. I thought it would be more of a babe magnet scent but where I work, most of the women described as merely pleasant and my girlfriend way preferred the far less expensive Apparition Homme Intense.
14th March, 2011