Reviews by JaimeB

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    Showing 241 to 270 of 284.

    Bois d'Arménie by Guerlain

    The French invented papiers d'Arménie, strips of paper that were impregnated with incense notes of benzoin and frankincense. These were burned to perfume the air in the home in the days before air fresheners. Guerlain has updated the concept into a beautiful oriental fragrance that deepens the resinous notes with patchouli, rich woods, and balsams; at the same time it is lightened by florals and brought out by delicate spicy notes. This is really a distinguished shared fragrance, and a smooth and elegant presence for any wearer.

    26th April, 2008 (Last Edited: 08th September, 2009)


    Cuir Beluga by Guerlain

    I completely agree with Vibert on this. The immortelle (everlasting flower) and almondy heliotrope are the perfect foils for the soft leather of CB. The creamy character is due to these two elements, I believe. Immortelle is used to round out florals, chypres, and ambers. It possesses a syrupy, honeyed, and slightly nutty aspect with hints of tobacco and red berries. Not overly fruity, it piques the nose just enough to give the impression of a fruity richness while hardy revealing the fruit on a conscious level. Heliotrope's almond touch reinforces the nuttiness and adds a soupçon of cherry pie (again, subtly and just under the radar).

    Amber and vanilla in the base, of course. Would this be Guerlain without them?

    26th April, 2008


    Insensé by Givenchy

    A floral for men, and what a floral! An incredibly rich mix of floral notes in the heart with a citrus-fruity herbal top, and grounded in woods and amber. A kind of light chypre accord (no patchouli, but oakmoss in the base, with citrus top notes) complements what is essentially a fougère fragrance. Can men wear this? Some men think it feminine, but it was made for us, guys! I say "Hop to it!"

    The name, by the way, is French for "senseless," "foolish," "insane." A good name, I think, since it really does drive me crazy!

    26th April, 2008


    Eau de Guerlain by Guerlain

    Green, astringent, spicy-floral eau-de-cologne type scent. Basil, petitgrain, carnation are the hallmarks; moss, amber and musk, the support; and caraway is the surprise. Definitely classic within the genre, but just innovative enough to be really distinctive in a very wide (and sometimes shallow) field of eaux de cologne. In my view, the best of the Guerlains of the genre.

    26th April, 2008 (Last Edited: 09th September, 2009)


    Derby by Guerlain

    This is right up there with Cuir de Russie and all the other great leather scents. This one is definitely in the masculine mode, very straightforward, yet seamlessly constructed so that it hangs together as a unity. To the delighted nose, this could be a novel single note and hardly seems like anything constructed. The words for this are natural and unselfconscious. A benchmark masculine leather-chypre.

    26th April, 2008


    Après L'ondée by Guerlain

    A classical ambery floral from the hand of Jacques Guerlain, the master himself! This one is quite a voyage, in a couple of ways.

    First, it is definitely a trip down memory lane. Just over a hundred, this lady is still remarkably fresh and not at all out of style. She is gentle and unobtrusive, but makes a strong statement for subtlety in the best sense of the word. Even though Après l'Ondée wears remarkably well today, it does hearken back to an earlier time. This is the time of no-time, when time didn't matter, and leisurely life was a given; before the mad rush and stress of modern life, there was a still center that can even now be touched in wearing this scent.

    Second, it is an olfactory journey of elegant, gentle turns and subtle surprises. Right at the beginning, the gentle clove-scented hint of carnation begins to appear, even as the top notes are still unfolding. The violet and cassie are subtly piquant, prefiguring and blending with the carnation, a prolepsis of future charm. The white florals, jasmine, ylang, and neroli, form a chord, broken across the top and middle notes. The mimosa in the heart echoes the cassie-acacia in the head. Heliotrope in the base picks up from the headier florals above and anchors them along with it in a sweet bed of amber, vanilla, and musk. The journey is smooth, a stately development and interlacing of themes: hesperides, acacias, white florals, rose, oriental notes, and the gentlest animalic touch of musk.

    The subtle melding of accords wafts the gentle breath of spring; this is the perfect time of year for a scent such as this.

    It can be a pleasure to renew acquaintance with the lost art of a true master, as was Jacques Guerlain. This is a perfume for today, but, sadly, I feel it would never have been made today. Yet the secret of a classic is that it, too, lives in the land of no-time, where the passing of hours, days, and years cannot touch it; where it is beyond the reach of decay and loss.

    26th April, 2008


    1881 pour Homme by Cerruti

    A top note accord of citrus with green and aromatic notes yields to a floral-fruity heart undergirded by woody oriental notes. This is one I had nearly forgotten, but wanted to revisit after reading Luca Turin's review in "Perfumes: The Guide." I confess that I thought the top notes a bit harsh, but now I see that they lead to a beautiful masculine floriental with delicate resonances that are well worth wearing for their subtle radiance.

    23rd April, 2008


    Cuiron by Helmut Lang

    An unusual, fresh leather scent, with different takes on leather combined into a smooth progression from fresh, through spicy, to woody-ambery notes with a hint of tobacco. The levels are knit together by a chypré theme with bergamot in the top and an amber-leather labdanum taking the place of oakmoss in the base. The impression is one of seamlessness and overall elegance. It cries out for cool or cold weather. It clings to one like a second skin, but is not a skin scent; i. e., it has a decent projection and sillage. Enveloping, warm, plush, comforting.

    22nd April, 2008


    Iris Poudre by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Smooth and stunning in its opening, this scent is a pure floral-aldehyde masterpiece. The aldehydic rose-violet note makes its appearance alongside the top notes, and then the whole settles into its floral-aldehyde heart and woody oriental and musky base notes, quieting a bit and dropping a notch from its initial peak. The rest of the ride is milder, and more intimate and charming as it wins you over with seductive murmurs of slightly powdery sweetness.

    20th April, 2008


    Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

    The turpentine in the top notes sounds harsh, but it doesn't come across that way. I would call this scent subtle and restrained, yet it does have some sillage, and on my skin at least, considerable longevity. I think the most satisfying thing at first is the camphor, which is not the mothball smell of chemical camphor, but the ethereal and penetrating, slightly medicinal incense note of camphor wood crystals. From there, the woods, incense, and moss take over, and the herbal touch of thyme tends to mellow the forest accents. Definitely clean, masculine, even a bit lumberjack. Refreshing.

    19th April, 2008


    Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Mysteriously floral and resinous at the same time, this combines the African karo karounde flower with frankincense and myrrh; it supports these with earthy vetiver and patchouli and crowns it all with spicy pink pepper and green notes of mango and papyrus. Unexpected combinations reveal Bertrand Duchaufour's art. This is an uplifting and cheerfully mellow scent, great to wear when you want to feel good.

    16th April, 2008


    Navegar by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Olivia Giacobetti is the nose behind this fragrance.
    Notes: Lime, Pepper, Ginger, Star Anise, Cedar
    A fresh, slightly chypré scent with a simple opening and a smooth drydown. The notes remain throughout in harmony; though the combination of notes gives a feeling of complexity, the scent is essentially linear, with even the lime note persisting into the drydown. Essentially close to the skin, the sillage diminishes fairly quickly, but the impression reemerges with moderate exertion. Simple, elegant, fresh; this is a great scent for work.

    14th April, 2008


    Rochas Lui by Rochas

    Lui is a very comforting woody scent, with bits of fresh, green and floral. On me, it goes through a bit of a rough patch between the top and middle notes, but it recovers very quickly, and the rest of the ride is very pleasant. I think this can be a dress-up scent, but I wouldn't exclude it from casual attire days. Maybe not for torn jeans... I don't know what buffalo grass is, but it reminds me of something I first knew as sweet grass. I think it contributes that bit of sweetness I find in this fragrance, but that could be the neroli, too.

    12th April, 2008


    Tempore Uomo by Laura Biagiotti

    A strange but wonderful combination of mostly woody and spicy notes, with some fruits and nuts thrown in for good measure. The cypress in the top note drives the fruit straight into the woods and spice of the heart note, so it doesn't come off as a fruit-heavy mix. It dries down to an unexpectedly floral-oriental note; quite a nice ride, but one with only moderate sillage. The effect is romantic and enveloping. It feels good to wear it.

    11th April, 2008 (Last Edited: 27th March, 2010)


    Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    A strong citrus and green opening, with floral notes following in profusion. Melon and salycilates provide a mysterious softening effect while hardly being noticeable in themselves. More softness as coconut and musky notes round out and anchor the fragrance. The scent is not overwhelming, and though it is floral it is equally suitable for a man or a woman, in my view. It has some sillage, but is not overly intrusive. Dominique Ropion shows his skill as a perfume artist in the subtle nuances of ingredients which in themselves don't stand out, but rather round out the main players.

    06th April, 2008


    Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel

    For once an Allure variation worth the trouble. This is nice and fresh, a little sweeter and more powdery than the earlier versions. It wears well, with decent longevity and sillage. I don't get much leather in this, though.

    02nd April, 2008


    Rose 31 by Le Labo

    Scratch that earlier review. Crossed wires!

    I find this a very presentable and pleasing rose scent in a fairly masculine mode, according to the way things used to be considered. The cumin in the top is not what does that, although it is a nice tribute to the older style of slightly "dirty" rose scents. The cedar, vetiver, gaiacwood, and oud are what butch this one up a bit.

    A very nice longevity and a good, steady sillage get Rose 31 a lot of well-deserved compliments. If you are willing to forgo the more obvious masculine commonplaces, though, I think there are other scents that can do the same in a more workmanlike way. Une Rose in the FM series and Montale's Black Oud definitely come to mind in this connection.

    But this is for sure no slouch. If like me, you can't have too much rose, this is definitely worth owning.

    15th March, 2008 (Last Edited: 29th April, 2008)


    Ginestre by Santa Maria Novella

    This is a beautiful take on the scent of Scottish broom flowers, with supporting characters, most probably ambergris, but other green notes for sure. This is a very uplifting scent. It really puts the heart back into one. Great for daytime wear, especially in the spring, and I think it's equally suitable for men and women. It is in EdC strength, but gives quite good projection. BTW, the name is Ginestra, with an "a" at the end, in case you need to do a search on this.

    BTW, the notes, according to Fragrantica are:

    Top notes: broom.
    Heart: narcissus, corn flower, orange blossom, orchid and violet.
    Base: birch, oak moss and resins

    21st December, 2007 (Last Edited: 28th March, 2015)


    F pour Homme by Salvatore Ferragamo

    I liked this one at the beginning; it has a fresh top note. Later, when it matures a bit, it turns more leathery. It stays in that mode for a while. In the last stage of drydown, it returns to a sweetish, spicy place. On the whole, I would say it's quite nice, but short of truly special. Still, I feel it could be a good work or casual evening scent.

    04th December, 2007


    Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

    Not earthshaking, but decent. Of course, we expected more, but for $60 a bottle? Get real. The Extreme will be better, but this is as good as a lot of stuff I've paid more than $60 for.

    21st November, 2007


    Version Homme by Ulric de Varens

    Nice scent. It comes off as nothing special at first, just a citrus scent with a little herbalness and spice in the top notes. The special part is in the drydown. There the more skillful accords become evident. The freshness remains, but richer notes of lavender and jasmine emerge , and oakmoss and amber and rich woody notes follow:

    Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lavender, Spice, Jasmine, Oakmoss, Amber, Guaiacwood.

    31st October, 2007


    Eau de Lierre by Diptyque

    I find this vaguely reminiscent of Bond No. 9 *Gramercy Park*. On the whole, I think I prefer this one, and it's a lot less expensive, too. The ivy note is a kind of linear theme here, but the other ingredients, the cyclamen and the ambergris in particular, give this a lift on the one hand and an anchor on the other. As far as green scents go, this is a pretty good one. The other Diptyque green scent, *Virgilio*, is much more herbal; *Eau de Lierre* is smoother, a little less harsh. I think I prefer it to *Virgilio* as well.

    26th October, 2007 (Last Edited: 05th April, 2008)


    Anvers 2 by Ulrich Lang

    This is a captivating scent. It grows on you slowly, but it blossoms beautifully. There's a lot going on in this scent. The pyramid is crammed with different notes, but somehow, it's all making beautiful harmony. Apart from the hesperidic notes in the top, the rhubarb and cypress (also in the headnote) pick up the cedar, sandalwood, and vetiver in the heart. The floral accord lends a touch of sweetness without overwhelming the greener, spicier and darker notes. Some oakmoss in the base gives this a chypre quality, anchored by the florals and bergamot; and yet this is balanced by oriental notes in the base. It's not cheap, but in my estimation, it's much better than some that are even more expensive!

    25th October, 2007


    Sybaris by Antonio Puig

    This is a beautiful, traditional masculine scent. It isn't shy at all. It begins with a very pronounced mandarin (tangerine) note, and then gets more floral, green, and spicy as it begins to dry down; all this without letting go of the citrus accord. Having said all that, you'd really have to classify this as a leather-chypre scent. The drydown, which is noticeable for hours, lingers in the leather-moss-amber-patchouli base witha hint of cumin. You certainly won't smell minty-fresh by the end, but you will smell manly!

    17th October, 2007


    Collection Homme Atlas Cedar by Jean-Charles Brosseau

    Really interesting:

    Top: Clementine, rhubarb, green notes, ozone notes
    Middle: Nutmeg, cardamom, jasmine, cinnamon,
    Base: Cedar, juniper wood, iris, sandalwood, amber, musk

    Kind of unprepossessing on paper, but much better on my skin. A resiny, deep woodsy accord right off the bat, slowly evolving into something a bit sweeter and slightly awkward for a bit; then it projects a really piney, resinous note with a hint of floral sweetness (the jasmine or the iris?) and a tantalzing bit of saltiness. Ended up leaning into the wind by the junipers plastered to the ground by years of sea squalls. This is a cool scent overall, but paradoxically, will probably do nicely in cooler, wetter weather.

    16th October, 2007


    Macassar by Rochas

    If you are looking for a woody, masculine scent with a touch of leather, this is your baby! This is perfect in cool to cold weather, or for a cozy evening by the fire with a special person. Of course, it exudes warmth, elegance, and sophistication in public. Just be careful, if you wear it too well, it might make your S. O. a little jealous!

    15th October, 2007


    KL Homme by Lagerfeld

    A beautiful oriental. I saw this ibn a little perfume shop and picked it up right away. It was the last one on the shelf.

    The carnation-rose-cinnamon accord is lovely; it is slightly reminiscent (to me) of Caron Bellodgia, but in a more masculine key. This would be very comforting on a gray, rainy day!

    Aldehyde, Bergamot oil, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rosewood, Carnation, Cedarwood oil, Cinnamon, Fern, Geranium, Jasmin, Patchouli, Rose, Sandal, Amber, Benzoin, Civet, Musk, Oilbanum, Vanilla

    12th October, 2007


    Louve by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I know a lot of you guys don't like almond and cherries, but I do; it must be a heliotrope note, 'cause that's what I know that smells of almonds and cherries. Like some others here, I felt it too strong at first, but after it has a chance to settle, it turned very soft and soothing. On me, at least, it's not particularly sweet after the first twenty minutes or so. It takes on a kind of dryness, actually, that's very much closer to the skin than the first blast. The notes listed for it on are:
    Top note : White Almond
    Middle note : Fruity Note, Rosy Note
    Base note : Amber, Vanilla, Balms

    11th October, 2007


    Iris 39 by Le Labo

    With notes of Iris, Lime, Patchouli, Rose, Ylang-ylang, Musk, Violet, Ginger, Cardamom, and Civet, it is quite powerful and perhaps most suited to evenings and cooler weather. But I love it! Really chic, and just a little bit dirty. Kind of French in that way. I found it intoxicating from the first. It is really a very rich scent. With time, it dries down to a much softer accord in which the iris, violet, and lime become more pronounced -- or at least less obscured by the heavier base notes. Just couldn't let it get away from me.

    11th October, 2007


    L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Bergamot, angelica, iris, honey, hawthorn, jasmine, heliotrope, white musc. It manages not to be cloying, in spite of the honey and heliotrope, which can really take over if not tamed and balanced. Also, it retains an aura of freshness, even into the drydown. The sweetness seems to be from the jasmine, honey and heliotrope; yet the green hawthorn and angelica do wonders for keeping it bright. Really like this one. I thought the 10% concentration would be a bit light, but I think any more in the direction of EdP strength would have made this too heavy. I get the Eau Chaude idea: sort of cologne-y, but with some warm undercurrents.

    11th October, 2007

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