Perfume Reviews

Reviews by bbBD

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Total Reviews: 363
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31 rue Cambon Eau de Toilette by Chanel

I've this over the last couple days, and regardless of how I try I cannot articulate a review of the fragrance itself. All I can say is that I was captivated from start to finish. At one point I dozed off reading with 31RC on my arm, and I woke up smelling my wrist. Even in my sleep I couldn't help but explore this fragrance! Coromandel might be the most wearable (for a man, at least) of the Exclusifs, but this is by far the most beautiful.
21st August, 2008
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Escentric 01 by Escentric Molecules

What a neat fragrance! This Iso E Super that comprises the bulk of the fragrance creates some interesting olfactory illusions that lend credence to the notion that synthetic does not have to be a bad thing when done properly.

The fragrance is comprised of a perfect balance between lime and light pepper with a touch of incense lurking in the background. These elements wax and wane in strength over the course of application, but never fail to bore or get me to stop smelling my wrist. To date I have only tried a light application, but I get the feeling that with a heavier application I will be able to catch whiffs of lime and pepper throughout the day.

Perfectly unisex, there's no deep story here, no unfolding drama to interpret.... just a fun fragrance perfect for summer, the office or anywhere else you need 'fresh' scent that isn't a '(fill in the blank) Homme Sport' or '(blank) Femme eau Fraiche'.
21st August, 2008
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Coromandel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Wow... I know I'm not sophisticated enough with fragrances to write a review that does this justice. The initial notes are strong and somewhat discordant, with a heavy incense and pepper focus. I am utterly transfixed with the dry down and may simply have to buy a bottle. A strong patchouli intertwines with vanilla in such a way as to create a chocolate-esque fragrance - the way yellow and blue make green What is so wonderful is that I can smell, at once, the patchouli, the vanilla, and the combination of the two. Leather and amber enhance and round out the fragrance.

Longevity and sillage are great. Having sampled all the exclusifs I can honestly say there isn't a bad one in the bunch, and I would be happy if any were on my shelf, but if I had to choose one this would be it. Final thought, I find this to be unisex and best and if it was classified as masculine I wouldn't blink. This could be worn by a woman but seems more appropriate on a man.
20th August, 2008
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Amber Absolute by Tom Ford

On first application I wasn't too thrilled with Amber Absolute.... too sweet, too syrupy. Luckily I've learned that making judgment calls on one wear is a rookie mistake!

On second wear I put two diffuse sprays on the back of my hand and went to work. The beginning was the same story - sweet, vanilla amber so thick it could be syrup. However, I soon noticed at work that the most wonderful aroma was wafting in front of me, right over my keyboard. At first I forgot the AA was on my hand and thought it was my scent of the day (Egoiste). I then remembered I had sprayed the AA and found that the two sprays on my hand were giving off the most lovely, resinous incense-like sillage. These dark notes are balanced perfectly with vanilla and amber. Never quite gourmand, Amber Absolute is rich and inviting, with terrific sillage and longevity.

Thumbs UP, and on my 'purchase someday' list!
20th August, 2008
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Blu Notte pour Homme by Bulgari

This opens with huge gobs of synthetic ginger like it's brother, BLV, only there's a little more going in with Notte to counterbalance the ginger. Unfortunately it's just enough, and even though I catch traces of notes I really enjoy, like chocolate and light florals, the ginger is so medicinal (or 'baby wipe' as people put it) and unpleasant that it cannot save this fragrance. I have a twice used 50ml bottle sitting in its box waiting for the day it is traded to someone who will give it a good home.
19th August, 2008
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Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé by Hermès

The reviews of the fragrance below are simply too good to improve upon, especially buzzlepuff's description and floatingpoint's analysis that this a fragrance better suited to wearing than sniffing on a wrist. I will therefore relate my experience with Ambre Narguile.

I like gourmands and was made a special trip to a Hermes boutique while traveling just to try this. I made the horrible mistake of zapping the back of my hand with two full sprays. I almost choked it was so strong and overpowering, and therefore I wasn't that taken with it. I ended up buying the Hermessence 4-pack of travel bottles, which includes this. Playing with Ambre at home, I came to learn that a fine mist - one spray from a distance - is the correct dosage for this fragrance to appreciate it. It must be diffusely applied and not concentrated in one area on the skin. One such spray on the chest/lower neck area, and perhaps one misty spray on each arm, allows the wearer to be enveloped in the most wonderful aroma of spicy-vanilla-amber-cake for hours and hours. Unlike the other Hermessences, this is not minimalist, it throws significant sillage, and lasts forever.

If I were to spend $210 on a 100ml bottle of one Hermessence, I'd be hard pressed to decide between this and Vetiver Tonka.

Thumbs way UP!

19th August, 2008
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Vanille Tonka by Nicolaï

A lot more tonka than vanilla, and more feminine than I thought it would be based on the published notes and the reviews. Very nice, very high quality, just not quite for me, even though I'm a big vanilla fan.
18th August, 2008
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Private Collection - Un Crime Exotique by Parfumerie Generale

Absurdly fantastic! Similar in concept to the new Serge Lutens 5 OClock Gingerbre, but definitely distinct and unique, and while its a gourmand I think it would appeal even to those who don't like gourmands. It starts with a distinct gingerbread note, not sweet like cookies but rather spicy like mulled cider spiked with cinnamon and rum. This is a very, very full bodied fragrance, and is develops a distinct black tea accord intertwines with the spicy gingerbread, with just enough sweetness. The interplay of tea and gingerbread is what makes this fragrance and will probably lead me to buy a bottle. On drydown sandalwood and vanilla become more prominent - as does the cinnamon, and blend everything together perfectly.
17th August, 2008
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Pink Grapefruit by Floris

I very faithful Grapefruit fragrance... the first time I sprayed it on my girlfriend could smell it across the room - it's that strong. Lasts about 4 hours on my skin. Absolutely fantastic, but it's so... well.... grapefruity that it's not really appropriate for an office. Great for hanging out on summer days!
14th August, 2008
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Bois d'Argent by Christian Dior

An amazing, complex fragrance that reveals something new and different about itself every time you wear it. On first wear I didn't notice sweetness, just a bold, salty, woody tobacco/iris note dominating the top notes. On subsequent wears the sweetness of the honey became more noticeable, providing a counterbalance to the iris, tobacco, and patchouli. Over a few hours the balancing accords almost meld into one lovely yet bold fragrance. Lasts FOREVER - even though a swim in the pool and a shower - easily 8-10 hours if not longer.

Now, if I could only get to a Dior Homme store to buy myself a bottle...
14th August, 2008
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Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

Fantastically crisp and 'light' fragrance (but not a light sense). Unfortunately on my skin I don't get much of the herbal, woody basenotes, it just sort of fades out within a couple hours. Nonetheless it's a great classic that deserves a try by everyone.
14th August, 2008
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Lacoste pour Homme by Lacoste

LPH's most noticeable feature is its boozy, sweet rum note. This note, paired with cinnamon and vanilla, creates the basis for a fairly sweet fragrance. The rum note persists for a long time, eventually giving way to a soft, sweet musk. The fragrance most similar to this is Boss Bottled/#6, but I think Boss does a slightly better job balancing the sweet notes with some woodsy notes. This is one of those fragrances I like smelling on my arm but I'm not sure about wearing as a daily fragrance. Avoid if you don't like sweet fragrances.
12th August, 2008
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Dior Addict by Christian Dior

EDITED REVIEW: Even though my tastes have changed considerably over the last couple years, there are few fragrances about which I have done such a complete 180 as I have with Dior Addict. I was initially enamoured with the thick bourbon vanilla, orange blossom, and floral underpinnings. Perhaps some of my excitement was due to the fact Addict was one of the first feminines I decided on my own was perfectly ok for me to wear. I felt like an explorer, not realizing many guys had long before realized Addict is essentially unisex.

Fast forward a few months and countless samplings of other floral vanillas. I now find Addict to be grossly out of balance, to the point where I find it wearing it makes me uneasy to my stomach. There is an overtly synthetic feel to Addict that adds to the unpleasantness. The florals are too heavy and bitter, taking too much sweetness off the vanilla - a vanilla which is far too thick. The whole composition just sits on the skin, doing nothing for hours and hours. For an excellent floral vanilla try Farmacia SS Anunziata 'Chia' or even good ol' L'Artisan Vanilia.

I love Dior dearly, but Addict just doesn't cut the lines well. Should be booted.
09th August, 2008 (last edited: 13th August, 2009)
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Newport (new) by Caswell-Massey

I'm with andrewthecologneguy on this one... perhaps it's because I'm not familiar with the original Newport, but I like the current version on its own. On first application I immediately drew the association with new fragrance, Ed Hardy for men. They both share a blended citrus/lavender/musk accord that is fairly linear. I don't have too much development on my skin, it just is what it is. Over 20-30 minutes the fragrance gets a little sweeter and little more musky, but for the most part the scent remains as it is on application.

A nice casual fragrance, worth a try if you come across it.

Fragrance Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Lemon, Green Notes, Lavandin, Geranium, Muguet, Rose, Amber, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk
(from the CM website)

Thumbs UP!
06th August, 2008
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Number Six by Caswell-Massey

Don't be fooled into thinking that this is anything like a contemporary citrus fragrance - its' not. The initial burst of citrus is balanced with rosemary and floral notes that keeps the citrus from being too sharp or bright. In fact, when I first put this on my skin I thought it was a spicy fragrance (the initial spice subsides a few minutes later). As mentioned below, the entire life of the fragrance is about an hour, but this is to be expected from what is titled 'cologne water'. Certainly worth a try!


from CM website: "Fragrance Note(s): Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Rosemary, Narcissus, and 27 other notes"
06th August, 2008
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Jockey Club by Caswell-Massey

Never before have I seen such a disparity between the published fragrance notes (copied below) and reality. Not that this a bad scent. I will join other reviewers in their positive comments on what is essentially a powdery old-timey barbershop post-shave refresher. Light florals with perhaps some citrus in the background are all I smell. A pleasant, clean smell that lasts an hour or so.

Fragrance Note(s): Sparkling Citrus, Bergamot, Green Notes, Waterflowers, Sheer Woods, Amber, Patchouli, Soft Mousse
06th August, 2008
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Dior Homme Intense by Christian Dior

Heaven! Heaven in a bottle! This contains all the notes of the original, but with different emphasis (and because it's an EdP, better sillage and longevity).

The original has dominant heart notes of iris, cocoa, and vanilla with the more masculine notes of vetiver, patchouli, and leather lurking in the background, not particularly noticeable but clearly present to balance out the sweeter notes. Whereas the masculine notes provide balance in the original, they take on a more dominant role in the Intense version. The iris and gourmand notes are still present and dominant on application, but the base notes are immediately obvious, with a somewhat salty note (vetiver? patchouli?) competing with the iris notes for equal dominance. As with Dior Homme, this fragrance is very well blended and single notes, especially the base notes, can't easily be picked out.

Now that I've finally procured a bottle I must find another for safekeeping.

TWO thumbs waaaaay up!
05th August, 2008
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Gucci pour Homme II by Gucci

This is one of those fragrances that's been sitting on my shelf, and though I know I like it I never quite find the right day to wear it. To start off with, it's quite strong sillage wise, and the first time I wore it I OD'd, requiring a wash-off during my lunch break from work. Perhaps this soured me on wearing it for a while.

Having given it another chance today I remember why I liked it enough to buy it. As with other Gucci offerings, GPHII is fairly linear and serves as a great, wearable, all-day scent. My initial reaction is to the semi-sweet, strong floral violet note. The primary accord is a three way balancing act between this violet, (the strength of which subsides fairly quickly), cinnamon that provides sharpness, and a base of strong black tea. Secondary notes of musk provide powder and tobacco and woodsy notes lend depth. The tea/spice/violet mix lasts for hours (6-8) on me, and as I mentioned before, throws very decent sillage. As many as 12 hours after application I can still sense woods and musk lurking closely to the skin.

GPHII is definitely a 'try before you buy' because if you don't like it's sweet-sharpness there would be no compromising and 'sort of' liking it. This could comfortably be worn anywhere and in any weather, and as someone mentioned below, women seem to dig it. Thumbs up for Gucccccci!
05th August, 2008
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Ice*Men by Thierry Mugler

Glad I found this! Ice*Men flew under my radar until I recently began seeking fragrances with coffee notes. The beauty is in its simplicity... the initial notes truly smell like ice coffee, albeit with a spicy twinge (like spiked ice coffee) provided by nutmeg. The top notes persist for a while, melding beautifully with a mild patchouli base that is as simple and distinct a patchouli note as you'll find anywhere. The balance of spice, lightly sweet coffee, and light woods makes Ice*Men very unique and enjoyable.

TWO thumbs up!
04th August, 2008
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Concentré D'Orange Verte by Hermès

I can't possibly give a better review than the 3-4 that precede this (especially JaimeB's). I personally DO find the concentree to be similar to it's brother, especially in its refreshing, pungent opening that makes the fragrance. There is perhaps more breadth of citrus, such as mango, in the concentree. It's not just grapefruit and orange. Whereas the EdC is gone in a half hour, having done its job of cooling me off after a walk in the Texas heat, EdT continues developing, becoming mossy and woodsy. I would, and do, wear concentree as a daily fragrance.
04th August, 2008
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Dunhill Fresh by Dunhill

I'm never exactly sure what I think about Dunhill Fresh... it's nothing special, but at the same time it's not bad, and while on one hand it is seemingly just another fresh men's fragrance, it offers some things the others don't... read on if you care...

This is not strong, even with excessive application - but that's too be expected of something actually named 'fresh'. The initial 'green notes' I detect are reminiscent of watermelon. Not actual watermelon, but the 'candy' watermelon scent I associate with, say, Jolly Ranchers. The only thing is, this light fruit scent isn't sweet, it's fairly dry. If this was all I detected the scrubbing would start now, but there's something - some note - that creates the slightest sharp/spicy balance to the freshness. Perhaps it is the 'basil' note listed, or perhaps it is something from the heart/base.

I don't get much development on my skin, either that or the fragrance isn't strong enough to appreciate its base. What fruitiness there is slowly fades, leaving a pleasant, but unremarkable, floral/green accord that lightly persists a couple hours and fades out. I haven't tried massively overapplying to see if I can detect the base notes.

I don't find myself ever reaching for D-Fresh, but I'd choose it before any number of others in its categories. At least its inexpensive!
03rd August, 2008
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Blu pour Homme by Bulgari

On my skin I experience way too much ginger without other notes to balance the ginger's sharpness. I note the powdery notes some others detect, but not any of the sweetness. It's almost as though Blv takes the ginger's acridity without that little hint of sweet that I find in, say, my girlfriend's 'ginger essence' perfume (from Origins). CK Euphoria is a good example of a ginger notes counterbalanced by other accords. If you like sharp ginger, Blv is for you - otherwise I'd stay far away.
03rd August, 2008
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Ed Hardy Man by Christian Audigier

This is finally on BN after being available for a few months! Unique entry here - smooth, musky, and minty - I believe they call it a 'mint julep accord', with undertones of citrus and spice. The citrus is not immediately evident, but rather serves to balance the other notes while providing depth. There isn't much development, but the mint does fade and the scent becomes more musky. A little expensive, but there is a .25oz spray mini available that works as a great way to test this out. Sillage is average, longevity is very good on my skin.
29th July, 2008
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Dior Homme by Christian Dior

Quite simply my favorite fragrance.... I can see why some people can't rap their heads around this; it's not your standard male fragrance. Though a quick, cursory sniff may allude to lipstick, a close analysis (repeat as needed!) presents SO much more. Reading other reviews, I wonder how many of those who think this only smells like lipstick did more than smell a sprayed-card at the mall.

Dior Homme is at once sweet and gourmand while also being distinctly masculine. In fact I think we can credit DH for showing us all that masculine doesn't have to mean strong vetiver or herbal notes. The notes easiest to identify are iris, vanilla, and cocoa, all of which fade in and out. The genius of DH is in the fragrance's depth. If all we smelled was iris, vanilla, and cocoa this would be nothing but gourmand. Repeated application leads one to realize that the background of leather, vetiver and patchouli balance the sweetness. On my skin leather becomes more pronounced over time.

TWO thumbs waaaay up.
29th July, 2008
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Gucci Eau de Parfum II by Gucci

Bought this for my woman and dig it.... the berries on top are sweet and strong at first, but not to the point of being candy-sweet. The sweetness eventually settles and becomes more musky. Lasts a long time on her.
28th July, 2008
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Pure Vetiver by Azzaro

Bought this for the sake of completion (owning Cedrat and Lavender). I'm picky about my vetiver fragrances and this one doesn't quite make the cut, being more heavy on ginger than anything. The three Pure bottles look nice together, and at $15/each I can't complain, especially liking the other two.
28th July, 2008
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Kouros Cologne Sport Eau d'Éte by Yves Saint Laurent

This is the only Kouros I own, and it's definitely the mildest of all that I've tried (which is nearly all of them). One could wear this anywhere, anytime, with no fear of scaring people away as is possible with the original. At first this is definitely 'perfumey', as the review below puts it.... you get all of the notes at once. Light fruit (tangerine?), mint, and anise. As with the original, there is something animalistic lurking in the background, but only ever so slightly. Over the 30-60 min after application the mint and fruit fade, leaving a pleasant, light anise scent that is similar to Rive Gauche Light. This is an EDC, and the whole thing lasts about 2-3 hours on my skin.
27th July, 2008
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Cashmere by Susanne Lang

A soft, powdery blend of amber, vanilla, and spices (cinnamon?)... I bought this for my fiancee but find it to be fairly unisex. I guess we can thank Dior Homme for reinterpreting powdery, sweet fragrances as a masculine possibility. I would put Cashmere in the same category and don't feel uncomfortable wearing this, especially at the office.

The quality is very, very high. High recommendation.
26th July, 2008
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Allure Homme Edition Blanche Eau de Toilette by Chanel

To picture Edition Blanche, take Homme Sport, strip a few of the notes out and replace with similar - but not the same - notes. I'd say Blanche is about 80% of Sport. Whereas the top of Sport is a creamy neroli/lemon, Blanche loses the creaminess and the neroli, replaced by grapefruit and light pepper notes. It is not entirely unlike Terre d'Hermes, though not quite as sharp. The top takes a while to fade, and in all honesty EB loses most of its ooomph once it does. The base of light musk and sandalwood is subtle, and unless you really spray it on, barely detectable. They call this 'EDT Concentree'.... Chanel should have just made the investment in perfume oil to make it an EDP. If they had done this, EB would be more competitive in the marketplace.

I'm very much enjoying this on the ridiculously hot days we have here in Texas. Thumbs up for being a fantastic fresh summer scent, but I will note my disappointment in its lack of longevity.
25th July, 2008
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Ambre by Molinard

I sprayed a single spritz on my arm to sample. Hours later I was still noticing the wonderful amber/vanilla aroma wafting up at me. Although classified feminine, there was nothing about this preventing a guy from wearing it. Be sparing as it's quite thick and rich.
23rd July, 2008