This is a lovely amber, but a remarkably similar experience can be had for a fraction of the price by wearing Molinard Amber.
Acteur is a very well done masculine floral chypre. This is a spicy rose scent that lasts for a long time. Go light on the application as it is strong. A very good masculine rose scent with lots of spicy over a mossy leathery base.
This one smells just plain weird. I usually have an open mind about fragrances, but this smells like a huge mess to me. The notes clash drastically and never seem to sort themselves out. The dry-down is the best part of the scent, but even that is a huge disappointment and not worth the wait. Fracas for men is powerful, I'll give it that.
I am partial to the Guerlain Eaux. However, this Chanel offering holds its own next to them. What sets the Chanel apart from so many other EDC scents available is the huge amount of high quality neroli oil used. This scent is fleeting of course, but great while it lasts.
Eau de Rochas Homme is an excellent scent. I was expecting more of a traditional Eau de Cologne, but it's really chypre. There is much in common with both Eau Sauvage and Halston Z-14. The composition is actually quite complex for a scent of this type. The citrus top contains some sparkling aldehydes over clementine, lime, lemon and bergamot, plus some herbaceous elements of basil and vervain. The heart is subdued never losing the freshness of the overall concept with floral components of Jasmine, Muguet, Rose, Geranium and Freesia, along with a very light spicy element of clove, carnation and coriander. The base stays very subdued, slightly woody, mossy and with elements of clean musk, ambergris, vetiver, oakmoss and cedar.
Eau de Rochas remains one of the best office scents available.
08th February, 2011 (last edited: 09th February, 2011)
I have an up and down relationship with Aventus. I was indifferent to it upon its initial release and was amazed at the amount of praise it was getting. Upon further testing I decided however that a 1 oz bottle was necessary in order to be able to really start to wrap my head around the scent. I sprayed it on and I was simply awash in compliments for an entire day (something that has never happened to me on such a scale in my life). I soon began to realize that it was a scent that seemed to have universal appeal, yet I was still rather on the fence with the scent myself. I have come to appreciate it more and more, and although it is definitely not one of my favorite scents, it is quite pleasant and very wearable in many situations. I really mostly wear it for the compliments it always seems to elicit. I would definitely classify it as a fruity fresh scent with woody and floral undertones. The dry down is not as sweet as the pyramid might suggest, but rather a somewhat dry vanilla, musk and moss. The longevity is quite exceptional even though there seems to be a tendency toward scent fatigue which could prompt premature reapplication. Overall, Aventus is a well constructed scent that I find fairly uninteresting, but I wear when I want to receive compliments from others.
Ho Hang is a wonderful spicy oriental that is not commonly worn or even known about these days. It belongs to the same category of scents such as JHL, Pierre Cardin, Patou pour Homme and Ricci-CLub. Applied too heavily Ho Hang can be very cloying and overly sweet. Applied with a light hand it is a sublime oriental masterpiece.
The opening is a lively fresh citrus accord consisting mostly of Lemon and Bergamot tempered with Orange, Lavender and Basil. The heart of Ho Hang is a floral and woody blend of Geranium, Cedar and Patchouli over a background of Carnation and Rosewood. The oriental base is rather sweet and somewhat powdery being mostly a Vanilla and Amber accord overlying some textures of Tonka, Musk, Benzoin and Labdanum.
This is a rich and floral, spicy oriental that hearkens back to the early '70s when mens fragrances were much richer and more textured. It doesn't smell too retro for its own good however; applied contentiously it is a surprisingly relevant scent for today.
Agua Lavanda is one of my very favorite lavender scents. It's got the perfect balance between fresh and creamy. There are nice herbal elements to it along with some hints of geranium, clary sage and wood. The dry down is a wonderful tonka experience. Overall, this is an excellent cologne splash that has very typical EDC longevity. In trying to out maneuver the low longevity I did pretty well bathe in it recently by pouring it into my hand along with the Puig Lavanda body lotion and applying all over my body. I was VERY fragrant for several hours, turning many heads in line at Starbucks. Lavanda is an exemplary lavender scent that is quite uplifting and bracing. Highly recommended for lavender cologne purists especially.
Top Notes: Lavender, Rosemary, Spike, Petitgrain, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Clary Sage, Geranium
Base Notes: Musk, Tonka, Cedarwood, Moss
26th January, 2011 (last edited: 28th January, 2011)
Dandy has a very vibrant opening of green violet leaf, bergamot and orange. The citrus notes burn off quickly leaving the floral green violet note to carry into the heart notes of pepper, cardamon and santal. It's a striking and bold statement, while remaining quite tasteful and very pleasant. The dry down is very resinous and slightly mossy, being mostly labdanum, frankincense and tree moss, with woody remnants of santal and patchouli. Neither of the Arsène Lupin duo are quite as long lasting as I would have expected for being EDP in concentration, yet the longevity is still quite respectable. Dandy is the obvious popular one in that it has a bolder, almost niche like quality about it. At first the similarities between Dandy and Chamade pour Homme seemed too close, but upon further wearing, it's obvious that those similarities are purely superficial at best. The Arsène Lupin duo are two of my favorite releases from 2010, and although many scoff at the high price tag, in my estimated opinion they are both worth the investment.
Guerlain certainly knows how to do Eaux de Cologne. Here the star is the citron. To me it is almost a soliflore based on Citron: a beautiful scent that is not quite lemon, not quite lime. Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat is an uplifting, refreshing, stimulating and mouthwatering experience. The Eau de Cologne genre is not meant to be long lasting. The eaux are used as part of the bathing ritual, as a base for one's scent of the day, and/or a refreshing pick-me-up through out the day. To complain that an Eau is not long lasting enough is akin to complaining that water is wet. Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat is another triumph in the Guerlain line of Eaux de Cologne.
23rd January, 2011 (last edited: 26th January, 2011)
Here is a very powdery, very warm, extremely long lasting and powerful scent. Jockey Club is history in a bottle. This scent has a very textured history, from being worn and loved by politicians, actors and musicians to being used in Hoodoo ceremonies as a good luck, prosperity and gambling potion. Jockey Club is one that I hope never goes out of production. It's old school in the best sense of the term. If you want something fresh and modern, you have definitely come to the wrong place. This scent is so retro (1840) that it is almost avant-garde.
18th January, 2011 (last edited: 24th January, 2011)
Florida water is a light, fleeting American cologne water that has been in constant production since it was first introduced on February 14, 1808. It has very natural smelling notes of Clove, Cinnamon, Lavender, Lemon, Bergamot, Rose, Jasmine, Neroli and Musk. One of it's most common uses is as a true toilet water, meaning that it is added to water in a wash basin to cleanse and refresh the body. It is also used as a very light cologne. Due to its ability to create a sense of well being, it has, over the years, been also adopted by a wide variety of spiritual practitioners to be a holy water of sorts, for spiritual purification and psychological well being. In addition, its other purported uses are quite numerous: as a room spray, personal deodorant, as a compress on the forehead to relieve headaches, as a massage liniment, applied topically to help relieve fevers, as a foot soak, an astringent, pre and post shaving lotion, hair tonic, after bath splash and as a mood enhancer. People often even wash their floors and spray their draperies with it in order to keep the house smelling lovely. The name Florida Water, is based on the idea that Juan Ponce de Leon, discovered Florida in 1512 while searching for the Fountain of Youth. The manufacturers claim that the formula has not changed since 1808. I have used Florida water for over 30 years, and it smells the same now as it did when I first used it, so I have no reason to not take them at their word. It's a wonderful scent, and at $3.00 per bottle, it is always worth having on hand.
This is a very charming and extremely long lasting scent. Although it is meant to scent a bath, it is an EDT concentration and can be worn like any other fragrance. The top notes are a very soapy floral accord of lilac, rose, muguet and citrus. The middle notes are pure resin with a delicious accord of Oppopnax, Benzoin, Olibanum and Myrrh. The base notes lean toward the sensuous with an accord of Sandal, Cedar, ambergris, vanilla and musk (Caron often display some of the best musk accords in commercial perfumery).
This is a quirky little scent which starts off like lilac soap and ends up purring like the oriental tiger it is. RBdC has a reputation in several communities as being a lucky charm when worn. I can't say for sure how effective it is as an ingredient in magical rituals, but I do know that it makes my bathing ritual quite sublime.
Caswell Massey Verbena is a soliflore that truly smells like a cologne made from the crushed leaves of a fresh lemon verbena plant. There is no other note, nothing else to round out the composition. If you are looking for a true verbena single note scent that has better tenacity than other verbena colognes, you have found your grail here.
When it comes to Eaux de Cologne, there are so many better options available. True, most of the good options are much more expenive than 4711, however if you are looking for a high quality traditional EDC that won't break the bank, rather than wasting your time with 4711, you could do much better searching out Extra Vieille Jean Marie Farina by Roger and Gallet. I don't buy most of the historical claims from Muelhens, but regardless of the truth, 4711 is a very inferior product. If you like it, then you probably have simply not been exposed to a good quality Eau yet. Search out Farina 1709 Eau de Cologne Original(if you can find it) the Eaux by Guerlain, Aqua di Parma, Extra Vielle by Roger and Gallet etc. 4711 is definitely the most affordable of the Eaux de Colongne; but it is not my favorite.
08th January, 2011 (last edited: 19th January, 2011)
People invariably complain when reviewing any Eau De Cologne, that the longevity is abysmal. This is often due to the fact that they are unfamiliar with the purpose of the eaux. Eau de Cologne as a fragrance type (not necessarily simply as a term of dilution) is best seen as a bath or personal hygiene product rather than a perfume. EDCs are used as part of ones bathing process, in lieu of a bath, or as a way to freshen up during the day. Most EDCs can be very effectively used in this manner, while serving as a base to one's fragrance of the day. They most frequently feature fresh hespiridic notes and other types of highly volatile essential oils which give the impression of cleanliness and freshness and thus are not meant to be long lasting in and of themselves.
Eau du Coq is my absolute favorite EDC. It has an opening of citrus featuring a perfect lemon on top of the best hespiridic accord that exists, consisting of bergamot, orange, and neroli. There is a wonderful fresh/floral/indolic center of jasmine, patchouli and lavender sitting on a surprisingly sensual base of sandalwood, oakmoss and a subtle hint of civet. Never has there been a better EDC, and I'll be surprised if a better one is ever developed. I will never be without Eau du Coq for any reason whatsoever.
Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Gallet is one of the reference Eau de Colognes. Although I have heard that the formula has begun to feature many more synthetics with each reformulation, the over all effect is quite natural and refreshing. In fact the longevity of this EDC is somewhat better than many others of it's ilk, and this could indeed be due to the inclusion of more aroma chemicals. This is the perfect after bath/shower cologne. It works very well in summer months as a refreshing splash or spray. As with all EDCs of this type, it is not meant to be long lasting; it is better to be considered an addition to one's bathing ritual, working well as a base to one's scent of the day, rather than being a full perfume in its own right.
This EDC is nice because after the initial citrus burst, it moves into a nice herbaceous rosemary, spicey carnation (which is where the clove note comes from) and neroli accord which brings some interesting effects to this otherwise fresh scent. The dry down is a light rose water scent that lasts much longer than a true rose water ever would. I have no idea how much this scent has changed over the years, but its current incarnation is quite nice. JMF will never knock my favorite Guerlain EDCs off the top of my list, but it is just about the best EDC in its price point.
Of course this scent is panned on Basenotes. It's a very successful, good smelling, well designed, well mannered fragrance from a house that people tend to deify. The same thing happened to a very good fragrance called Guerlain Homme. It's almost as if people would prefer these houses to never have a hit so that they can keep them all to themselves. Once the bandwagon gets rolling around here, everyone loves to jump on and join in the hate. And yet Bleu continues to move higher and higher in sales rank regardless of all the bad press on Basenotes. Why? because it is a good scent.
While my first reaction on the blotter was "Oh no, that's way too generic!" As soon as it hit my skin, it bloomed into a complex and addictive scent. I do not consider Bleu to be an aquatic scent per se, even though it has aquatic elements. Rather, it leans more toward the oriental. It opens on a citrus/aquatic accord that gives way almost immediately to a spicy grapefruit: mostly nutmeg, ginger and pink peppercorn. The heart note is a solid jasmine fortified by vetiver, cedar and Iso E Super. The base notes are mainly a sandalwood accord over olibanum, labdanum and patchouli, giving Bleu its oriental structure.
Bleu is not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a solid fragrance that gives Chanel a huge hit scent so they can have the resources to keep doing haute couture and haute parfumerie well.
31st December, 2010 (last edited: 01st January, 2011)
I like Zino quite a bit. I've heard this one compared a lot to Guerlain's Heritage. I don't find them all that similar personally. Zino is really sort of a floral fougere with oriental tenancies. The base notes color the entire perfume at the onset. The top notes are not nearly as nuclear as other reviews had led me to believe; they are actually quite stately. The lavender, citrus and slightly herbaceous top notes are sweetened and darkened at the outset by the smoldering scent of tonka, and patchouli from the base. As the top notes burn off, the rose becomes quite prominent with the jasmine and muget accord giving roundness and depth to an already fairly three dimensional rose. The woodiness of santal and cedar in the base rises up next and is sweetened by vanilla and amber. There is a bit of a rasp at the far end of the dry down from the remnants of patchouli and cedar, but nothing that is all that upsetting, but the composition does tend to fall apart just a bit. All in all, Zino is a very nice ride, but it ends rather abruptly. Sprayed on skin I get about 2 or 3 hours, and on fabric 6 hours tops. The sillage seems like it will be fairly aggressive on first application, but Zino very quickly pulls it all in and stays a bit closer to the skin than one might first expect.
This is a very refined, elegant chypre. It's a smooth scent which opens up on a bright bergamot, tangerine and lemon citrus accord, with a very slight hint of basil. Cloves and lavender always improve one another, and the heart of Armani Eau Pour Homme is a testament to this. The dry down is a bit light for a chypre with oakmoss, musk, cedar and sandalwood and perhaps a bit of benzoin. Although it does tend to be somewhat on the powdery side, it's not overly sweet or cloying. It has about the same longevity on me as Chanel pour Monsieur (original). Armani Eau Pour Homme is a classic, and doesn't smell at all dated or old fashioned. It can be dressed up or down. Very nice!
Attrape Coeur is a very rich perfume which straddles the Oriental and Chypre lines. It opens with peach and a dash of bergamot on the top. The heart notes reveal a luscious tuberose, jasmine and rose blend over a distinctive Guerlain chypre base of oakmoss, amber, vanilla, iris, tonka, patchouli and leather. On my skin it starts off sweet, floral and fruity, then turns to a very dry oak moss reminiscent of Mitsouko, and sweetens up again as the dry-down moves into a somewhat typical Guerlainade base. Although there are very obvious floral elements in Attrape Coeur, it never displays itself as a floral scent, rather it is very much a chypre, albeit on the sweet borderline gourmand side. It is no more feminine than Sagamore by Lancome, or Tiffany for Men. This scent can obviously be classified as a "unisex scent." In fact the SA at the Guerlain boutique said that it is considered one of the Les Parisiens "shared" scents. It is, on me, Mitsouko's sweeter sibling.
Differences in perceptions and taste constantly amaze me. I am at a loss as to how anyone could not love this scent. It is one of the finest commercial sandalwood scents available. Although some what sweetened with coffee, chocolate and spices, this is a very pure interpretation of the sandalwood note. It has the perfect balance between creamy and dry, no real rough edges to speak of, excellent longevity and very moderate sillage. It's everything and more I have ever wanted in a sandalwood scent. It is worth it's price and more. One of the finest offerings from this house indeed.
Lauder for Men is an excellent aromatic scent for men. It is classified as a fougere, but I don't really smell the fougere accord at all. It's more like a masculine floral with a large aromatic element. The opening is a sumptuous aromatic bouquet of green aldehydes, juniper and a gorgeous tagettes note along with some excellent aromatic herbs and galbanum. The floral center is rather cool and has much in common with the florals in Aramis 700. These are very stately and elegant florals which never lean too far into the feminine territory. It is extremely usable for men who shy away from floral scents due to the large aromatic element. The base comes through the florals; even though there is amber and vanilla, this is not a sweet or amberic base at all. It is rather dry and woody and the amber and vanilla exist to help the scent from going too bone dry. The ultimate dry down ends up finally after many hours of longevity as a clean musk skin scent. Overall, Estee Lauder for Men is an elegant, versatile and easy to wear scent that smells like it belongs in the Aramis Gentleman's collection. Very nice.
I have always been a lover of both chypres and orientals. Every time a great aunt or older lady in my family or extended family would come around when I was a child, I would adore the perfumes they would wear. I know the moniker "Old Lady Perfume" is supposed to be an insult, but in truth these older women lived before the era of mediocrity slowly started to creep into fragrance. Vol de Nuit is everything I love about classic perfumery. It is at once a chypre and an oriental. From its green opening through its narcotic floral center and into its dark, rich and full bodied vanilla, oakmoss and spice base it is complex, balanced, and unashamed of its own opulence. I know that many consider Vol de Nuit a unisex scent, and I can certainly see why; but in my memory this perfume always will carry associations of strong women who lived through so much and still came out strong, lovely and filled with grace, poise and dignity.
Sous le Vent is an enchanting chypre which opens with a bergamot and lavender accord over an herbacious estragon note. The heart is a gorgeous green and spicy floral accord which includes notes of jasmine, carnation, cinnamon, clove and allspice blended over some elegant green leaves and aldehydes. The base notes are a sandalwood/orris/moss type smell that draws out the spices throughout the entire drydown. Sous le Vent is a highly addictive, complex scent that works perfectly as a masculine. In fact, I thought it was a man's cologne when I first smelled it and was surprised to hear it was marketed to women. It finds fairly decent rotation in my wardrobe. Since the sillage and longevity are quite moderate it works beautifully for either daytime or evening. It's one of the most beautiful chypres available. I wish it were produced in other concentrations besides EDT.
30th November, 2010 (last edited: 01st December, 2010)
Ambre Précieux is definitely one of my favorite amber scents, and a favorite scent overall from this house. Although the structure of this scent is not very vertical, I wouldn't call it a linear scent since it tends to really bloom over its long life. Although the amber notes are present throughout the scent, there is a definitely lavender and faint green note in the opening. The bulk of the scent is a complex amber accord made up of balsams and resins including benzoin, Tolu, Peru and Labdanum. This resinous accord is sweetened with vanilla and spiced slightly with Nutmeg, and allspice type notes over an ambergris base.
Ambre Précieux comes out of the bottle nice, but almost subtle, and it grows as the day goes on. It lasts all day long with moderate sillage, while moving and changing slowly from one facet of amber to the next. It's not too dry, and not too sweet. If you like resinous amber fragrances, Ambre Précieux has no real competition.
Vega is often compared to Chanel #5 and Arpege, but I for one don't smell the similarities. The aldehydes in Vega are toned down quite a bit. Yes the jasmine, and white flowers are present in Vega, but there is a sweetness, a darkness and a spiciness that the typical aldehydic florals don't possess. Vega opens with bergamot and aldehydes, with jasmine and orange flowers peeking through from its floral heart. The vanilla and orris over tonka and woods in the base not only support the florals, they color them. The depth and subtle sweetness and woody spiciness of the base permeates the entire perfume lending not only warmth, but richness, comfort and welcome. Most Aledyhidic florals seem standoffish and formal to me; but Vega is a star of great luminosity. It has no need to prove anything to anybody. It is almost casual in its pure elegance. Upon my first several testings of this fragrance, I thought that there would be no way I could feel comfortable wearing anything so floral and beautiful. But now I can't imagine my wardrobe without Vega. So far, Vega is the only aldehydic floral that I can ever see myself wearing. Wearing Vega doesn't turn heads because it smells feminine; it turns heads because it smells inviting.
Bellodgia is a beautiful scent that can be off-putting on first sniff. It took me a while to get to know it. The carnation is front and center right in the top notes. The typical eugenol scent associated with carnation is exploited in the finest way in Bellodgia with an excellent spicy clove center. There are notes of jasmine and muguet which play in and about the clove and carnation as well. Bellodgia settles into one of Caron's nice musk bases intermingled with moss and slightly sweetened by vanilla. This is not a typical floriental or chypre. It is a carnation scent built into a spicy symphony. It is very acceptable for men or women, and it smells like no other carnation available.
The newest cologne from Guerlain in a long time is not very typical of the historic EDC type fresh citrus scents. Instead, it is a modern cologne interpretation based heavily on the Orange blossom note. It is very lovely. It is one of the most polite scents I've come across in a long time. I can't imagine anyone but the most scent sensitive people, or cynical powerhouse frenzied dolts finding this scent objectionable. As such it is one of the most perfect office scents available. CdP is a fragrance that is obvious and present while blending into the background seamlessly.
Although the orange blossom and citrus notes are prominent at the opening, the citrus subsides and the orange blossom persists well for a very long time into the middle bitter notes of herbs and orange peel which are quite addictive and pleasing. The long extended dry down is very clean and soapy, quite modern and minimalist... think Jean Claude Elena, but even more linen white and clean.
It is one of the few scents that actually works as a true base for other perfumes (although many scents claim to be layering scents, this one actually works as such almost universally). When applying another scent after the top and middle notes of CdP have burned off, CdP seems to charge any other perfume with an intensified carrying power and sillage. It's really an amazing scent when used in this manner: a polite office scent by day and a base for other scents by night. I have even worn this scent as a base by applying other fragrances directly on top of it immediately after application, without waiting for any dry down. The effect is absolutely stunning.
Thierry Wasser has really shown himself as a master parfumeur with this fragrance, and Guerlain has revealed that they knew what they were doing when choosing him to take the helm.
Sagamore smells at first like Tiffany for Men and Chanel pour Monsieur were locked in a room and told to fight it out. It starts out rather sweet and oriental. After things settle down a bit it shows us its true nature, which is more of a chypre than an oriental. As the initial sweetness subsides it reveals a lovely lavender, citrus and aromatic herbal element which is blended on top of both a floral and spicy heart. There is a jasmine, geranium, rose, muget and carnation center blended with cinnamon, ginger, geranium, clove and pimento notes. The ever present base is a sensual accord of vanilla, musk, benzoin, styrax, sandalwood, patchouli. Sagamore is one complex and elegant scent. It's easy to over apply. I don't understand the reviews which call it a light citrus scent at all. It is a real serious oriental/chypre, and an excellent one at that.