Reviews by mrclmind

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    mrclmind
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    Arsène Lupin Voyou by Guerlain

    Voyou was my first purchase choice from the Newly Launched Arsène Lupin duo. Voyou is the quieter of the two scents. It starts out with an aromaitc opening of sage and absinthe (wormwood) camphor, pepper and coriander. The opening tugs at my heart, but the real beauty of Voyou lies in its heart and base notes. The heart of Voyou is its sandalwood. This is a soft, refined sandalwood blended with rose petals warmed gently by the base notes of benzoin, patchouli, vanilla and amber. The whole effect of Voyou is very beautiful, warm, inviting and elegant. It's not a loud scent at all, but it does project well. The longevity is about average, not bad, but I wished it lasted longer. Overall, Voyou does not come off as a thug or even a rascal, at least not overtly. It behaves like a true gentleman, and is one of the best releases of 2010.

    15th November, 2010

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    Guerlain Homme Intense by Guerlain

    Having been in the seeming minority, I actually really like the original version of Guerlain Homme. The Intense version is a bit of a departure, but not by far and is equally as satisfying as its predecessor. It opens with a similar fresh, fruity rhubarb mint accord, but is at once a heavier fragrance. The mojito has been spiked with a few more flowers, geranium and dark rum in the heart, and the base notes (being much more pronounced in the intense version) lean much more toward the tonka bean although they are rounded by the woodiness of patchouli, cedar and rooty type vetiver.

    All in all, a hit for me!

    03rd November, 2010

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    Guerlain Homme L'Eau by Guerlain

    L'eau is much more distinct from the original Homme than the intense version. It really built around a grapefruit note. Unfortunately grapefruit has become a bit of a redundant note in modern perfumery, but in L'Eau grapefruit is used in a very transcendent manner. The basic Guerlain Homme accord of mint and geranium is still present, but with a much bigger splash of bergamot, lime and lemon and with the rum note being taken down a few decibels. Much like an Eau de Cologne, L'eau is not very pyrimidical, being instead more of a bouquet; but L'Eau is much more tenacious than an EDC. All in all this is a very satisfying fresh summer scent that lasts a decent amount of time, and gives off a respectable amount of sillage.

    03rd November, 2010

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    Dior Homme Intense by Christian Dior

    In Dior Homme Intense, I smell the same lavender/sage/lime opening from the original Homme, but with a much more immediate heart of an iris/cardomon,/chocolate accord which is very pronounced. The chocolate/cocoa accord stays very present into the drydown which is accompanied by vanilla/ambergris/soft leather/vetiver. Dior Homme Intense, like the EDT is a very striking, and complex fragrance that has been masterfully composed with great depth.

    I often hear this scent described as gourmand; although the chocolate/cocoa and vanilla combination can lean a bit foody, the iris and ambergris combination keeps it from becoming a true goumand in my opinion. This scent is also described often as being completely different from the original EDT; although Intense is very much its own perfume, there is no question that it is based firmly on the concept of its predecessor. Dior Homme Intense is a fine fragrance that, along with the EDT will remain relevant and continue to be highly wearable for many decades to come. Let's hope they keep it on the market.

    03rd November, 2010

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    Silver Cologne by Amouage

    Silver is another very big scent from the house of Amouage. It's a wonderful creation. The citrus opening is very brief. The floral heart is quite complex and lasts for quite a long time before turning to powder (which in this case is a nice transformation). Amouage uses very arbitrary gender classifications for most of their scents. I could see women being more comfortable wearing this floral oriental than most average western male fragrance consumers. However, applied with a light hand I find it quite wearable. The closest man's cologne that even comes close to what Silver is attempting which I have smelled is Aramis 900. Silver has both the floral elements, and the elegance factor turned way up, which gives Silver a much more "wealth in a bottle" vibe over 900. The word for this one, as with many scents from Amouage is "opulent."

    31st October, 2010

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    Epic Man by Amouage

    Epic starts out as a rather dry, herbal fougere; but within moments the opening dry herbal element begins to be subdued in favor of the richness of frankincense, myrrh and spice. The presence of oud and the leather/animalic base becomes most prominent within about an hour and lasts for the better part of 10 hours on my skin. The is one of the more "polite" oud scents on the market. The oud is obvious but not overbearing, being so beautifully blended with the animalic warmth and leather components of the base notes. The spices and fruits that barely are perceptible at the opening take a seat with the rest of the drydown which lends a type of sweetness that is neither cloying or ubiquitous. I appreciate and enjoy smelling most of what Amouage releases, but there are only a few of their creations that I find to be actually wearable for myself. Epic is definitely one of those scents. It is elegant, opulent and very wearable.

    27th October, 2010

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    Chamade pour Homme by Guerlain

    I too have done a side by side comparison of Chamade pour Homme and Coriolan. They do belong to the same family, and have some things in common, but the difference between them is significant as far as I'm concerned. I find CPH to be much more refined and elegant than Coriolan. Whereas Coriolan is a bitter spicy chypre, CPH is a much more green floral chypre.

    Coriolan opens with smack in the face of lemon leaves and petigrain on top of a plethora of spices beneath a base of austere leather and patchouli (which notes are evident from the opening).

    CPH, on the other hand opens with a very elegant black pepper and bergamot. The heart is green floral: A perfect blend of hyacinth and violet notes with a hint of nutmeg and green aldehydes. The leather in the base of CPH has none of the rawness of Coriolan and it sits on a bed of sandal and vetiver rather than the patchouli of Coriolan.

    Are there some similarities between the two fragrances? You bet. How similar are they? Well, unlike many of my friends, I actually happen to like Coriolan, but it has none of the refinement or elegance of Chamade Pour Homme. CPH is a green floral chypre, whereas Coriolan is a bitter, spicy leather chypre. Is CPH worth a trip to Paris? I think so. In fact I just got back home with a bottle!

    12th July, 2010

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    No. 18 by Chanel

    No. 18 is definitely unique. I can understand why so many people dislike it. I think it is quite remarkable, personally. This is a fragrance that is built around the ambrette seed, along with rose and iris. This is a scent that is very difficult to describe, and I can imagine a good many people wrinkling their nose upon testing it and dismissing it out of hand. I find it a very intriguing, beguiling and completely original scent. It starts out somewhat green and strident, and softens into a hauntingly familiar floral/botanical musk scent that dries down into a somewhat calyx like petaled musk that must be experienced to understand. It is an acquired taste to be certain, but this is an exceptional work around the ambrette note.

    25th March, 2010

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    Lyric Man by Amouage

    Lyric is a very floral fragrance. I was at first quite surprised that it was marketed to men, as it really smelled like a rose-based floral fine fragrance for women. It took about 4 or 5 wearings before I finally got my head around it.

    A dry rose/musk is present throughout the entire scent. On the top the notes are a bit greener and only slightly citric. The galbanum, angelica, neroli and citrus notes give a brightness to the rose. As the top notes burn off a bit the rose is joined by a bit of saffron (subdued and not at all foody) and some slight spicy notes (ginger/nutmeg as published in the pyramid sound about right) give the rose a slight bit of warmth. The musk which has been slightly present from the opening really starts to reveal itself more and more as the frankincense and sandalwood appear. Lest you think this is a resinous and woody experience here, I must comment that the sandalwood/frankincense in the base add only a slight hint of incense to the very fine musk accord which deftly houses the omnipresent rose.

    Overall, this is a dry, rose based floral. It is a very fine scent, but may not be to many men's liking due to the somewhat feminine connotations often given to a rose-based floral fragrance such as this. For me it is a very enthusiastic thumbs up.

    20th March, 2010

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    Versailles pour Homme by Jean Desprez

    This is a very complex classic old style masculine spicy/woody oriental.

    A sharp galbanum/bergamot/allspice opening leads into the herbacious green top notes with just a hint of lemon. The heart notes are at once coniferous, floral and woody (I'm smelling carnation, cinnamon, geranium, pine and cedar). It takes quite a while for the heart notes to completely bloom but they do so with a very pronounced sillage. There is much going on here. Once the basenotes take the reins, the scent veers into a very rich, sweet and balsamic/animalic drydown that lasts for many hours. The base is frankincense rich with a good dose of oakmoss over storax, leather, vanilla, labdanum, ambergris and animalic musks.

    This is a spicy oriental in a similar vein as Patou pour Homme; although it is not quite as satisfying to me as the Patou. I can't imagine this scent would do very well in the current market, but it's really a luxurious scent that would find its place if it weren't for the fact it's discontinued and very difficult to obtain.

    17th March, 2010 (Last Edited: 20th March, 2010)

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    Back to Black by By Kilian

    There is no doubt that the finest fragrance materials were used in this formulation. The formula is quite good. It's a rich tobacco-like, sweet, honey-laden, slightly fruity scent that is somewhat linear, rather than pyramidal. I don't actually smell any tobacco essential oil or absolute, but instead smell a tobacco-like accord. Overall it's an exceptional fragrance that smells like a very expensive and luxurious version of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder on my skin. This is not meant to be a dig. It's very pleasant, but not exactly my cup of tea. I can understand why this honeyed concoction has so many admirers, but for the price, I'd rather buy something that I absolutely love.

    16th March, 2010 (Last Edited: 02nd January, 2012)

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    Jubilation XXV by Amouage

    I know it can be easy to grow cynical about fragrances after a while, so that nothing is really good enough; but I can't for the life of me imagine what anyone could find fault with in this scent. The development is seamless, the materials are golden, the fragrance concept is immaculate. Jubilation XXV is a true tour de force by Duchaufour.

    The pyramid looks similar to a number of men's scents on the market:
    Top: Orange, Berry, Coriander
    Middle: Bay, Cinnamon, Wood accord (read: iso e super)
    Base: Silver Frankincense, Amber, Vanilla

    It's not published, but I smell a bit of Agar Wood in the base, and some florals in the heart as well.

    But Jubilation XXV is a scent that is more than the sum of it's constituents. It is at once refined, sensual, effusive and comforting. Here we have a very expensive perfume that is worth every penny it costs.

    09th March, 2010 (Last Edited: 14th March, 2010)

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    Maharadjah by Nicolaï

    Maharadjah starts off with a very brief and loud blast of one of my favorite lavender notes in all of perfumery (Caron pour un Homme and a Taste of Heaven being my other two). The lavender is completely taken hostage by a searing, very natural smelling cinnamon which then just as quickly backs off, and is joined by a clove and carnation blend who herald the coming of the royal base notes. The base notes swell up to take their rightful place on the throne while the top and middle notes become more like a backup chorus but don't ever really disappear entirely (at least not until well into the drydown. The luscious base is comprised of some of the most deliciously sensual patchouli, sandalwood and vanilla (I also detect a nice balsam accord of labdanum, benzoin and opoponax as well). This is a spicy, deep, slightly sweet and balsamic perfume that sings a beautiful melody.

    09th March, 2010

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    Bogart by Jacques Bogart

    Bogart is a very nice, very dry leather scent. The herbal opening is brief and dry, the spice heart is brief and dry and the base is very opulent, leathery and dry, leaning toward the birch tar more than the oak moss. Bogart is a bit old school, and Baladin does this type of scent in a much more modern and pleasing way IMO. I like Bogart a lot though.

    08th March, 2010

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    Bandit by Robert Piguet

    I only own the reformulated EDP. It is a dark and brooding, dry floral/leather chypre that works well for me as a masculine scent. It can be a bit intense, so as long as I go easy on it, Bandit is quite exceptional, very unusual and captivating. I have yet to smell the vintage Bandit, but from what I understand the current formulation was the best that could be done given the fact that the original formula was built on perfume bases and specialties that are long since out of production.

    Top note: aldehydes, galbanum, bergamot, orange, artemesia, neroli
    Heart note: orris, jasmine, rose, carnation, gardenia, ylang, coconut
    base note: leather, patchouli, myrrh, musk, civet, amber, oakmoss, vetiver.

    08th March, 2010

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    Oud Wood by Tom Ford

    Tom Ford Oud Wood handles the synthetic agarwood note rather deftly IMO. I don't mind good synthetics in perfumes if they are utilized in a prodigious manner, especially when their use helps to keep some important natural resources from becoming more endangered. The rosewood top and coumarin base make for a type of fougere effect while highlighting the oud heart rather transparently. The notes of red pepper and cardomon give it an ever so slightly spicy edge. The amber, vanilla, tonka, sandlewood, vetiver base stays quite woody and not very sweet. The overall experience is rather stately and elegant. The longevity is very moderate at best and sillage is moderate. My first impression of this fragrance was that it smelled like scouring powder, but after giving it a full wearing, I was happy to realize that first impressions can be very misleading.

    No, this is not a Montale Aoud fragrance. It is synthetic whereas the Montale scents utilize some natural agarwood; but I believe Tom Ford Oud Wood has its place too. Whether its worth the price is really up to the consumer. We don't only pay for materials, we pay for the composition. Paint and canvas themselves don't cost as much as the painting does. Beauty is in the nose of the beholder. I like many of the Tom Ford line, and this one is no exception.

    07th March, 2010

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Avignon by Comme des Garçons

    Avignon is quite a good frankincense scent . It smells like a burning thurible in a mass or ceremony. One of the best frankincense scents available. Avignon is linear, wears rather close to the skin and is very tenacious. Highly recommended.

    06th March, 2010

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    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Extreme by Guerlain

    L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme EDP really starts off differently than the EDT. It comes up with a huge dose of vanilla right from the gate. The cocoa comes up in just a few more moments and then hints of the woodiness of the EDT play in the background. The middle notes of the EDP and the EDT are very similar but the EDP stays much more gourmand, while the EDT stays much brighter and woodier and citric. The base notes of the EDP are evident through out much of the entire scent, but several hours into the drydown reveals a gorgeous interpretation of the Guerlainade with traces of leather, tonka, a good dose of the vanilla and cocoa that run through the whole scent, iris, heliotrope and subtle woods. It lasts a good 10 hours or more on my skin. This is an exceptional fragrance.

    04th March, 2010

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    Eau Sauvage Fraîcheur Cuir by Christian Dior

    Eau Sauvage Fraîcheur Cuir stays remarkably true to the original while still making its own statement. This is one of my very favorite flankers. The opening is almost identical to the original, the heart is a bit more modern and the dry-down of course moves into a new leather territory. The longevity is better than the original too. Francois Demachy did an exceptional job in formulating this composition. It's really a shame that Dior isn't giving this scent a wider release. I think it would find a fairly large audience if given the chance.

    04th March, 2010

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    Balle de Match / L'Eau De Sport by Nicolaï

    I love grapefruit scents when they are done well, and when they are not they can be torturous. Balle de Match is not only done well it actually has some legs to it. Nicolai does very well on straight-forward fresh scents, and this is no exception. There is enough going on here to keep things interesting yet elegant and well mannered. The notes have been discussed already (Lime, Grapefruit, Pepper, Olibanum, Musk, Cedar). This perfume is quite seamless and long-lasting. I know I sing the praises of PDN often, but here she goes again. This is a fantastic scent. Perfect for warm weather, and daytime wear. This truly is a "sport scent." Tennis anyone?

    04th March, 2010

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    Royal Delight by Creed

    Royal delight is a somewhat sweet and leathery floral oriental. The citrus top notes are very fleeting moving straight into the violet/jasmine center. If you like candied violets, you will love this heart note. The leather/ambergris base does take up the slack eventually before it all gets too cloying. It thus becomes a nice high-quality leather. Overall, Royal delight sits just barely to the feminine side of the spectrum, but is definitely wearable by a man. I was wearing this on the day that the roofer was out to fix my roof, and he couldn't stop talking about how good I smelled. RD is a well-done Creed that will "delight" those who have a passion for leathery florientals.

    03rd March, 2010 (Last Edited: 25th March, 2010)

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    Patchouli by Molinard

    This is an excellent patchouli. It doesn't smell like head shop patchouli straight up. There is an ever so slight bit of sweetening that has been done while keeping it a single note scent. Another winner from Molinard, my favorite single note house hands down.

    03rd March, 2010

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    Brit for Men by Burberry

    Brit is a very nice, inoffensive woody oriental. The spicy tangerine ("green mandarine in the pyramid") opening is a real winner. There is just enough spice to keep it lively without it becoming overpowering. The spice continues into the heart notes where the nutmeg and rose give some warmth, softness and character to the primary player which is cedar. There are no pencil shavings or cedar chest smells here at all; rather, its a very inviting, comforting scent that is quite gentlemanly. The musky, woody base is sweetened by coumarin rather than vanilla. This tonka accord is quite pronounced and it blends quite well with the woods. I'm a real tonka fan so this is a good dry down for me, but if tonka isn't your thing, than you will be disappointed with this phase of Brit's development. My only real complaint with Brit is that its longevity is a bit below what an oriental should be, which makes me wonder if the dilution is a bit light for an EDT. If you find that to be the case for you too, I would recommend spraying it on fabric to enhance the longevity. Longevity issues aside, Brit is a very lovely fragrance that I find quite pleasing. You won't make a bold statement, but you will definitely smell very good.

    02nd March, 2010

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    Salvador Dali pour Homme by Salvador Dali

    Salvador Dali pour Homme is a fascinating blend of contrasts. Out of the bottle it is deep and bewitching. The lavender and clary sage on top gives an unusual fougere treatment to the dark oriental depth that comes bubbling up as this scent first leaves the bottle. The florals in the heart lend a hand to the gothic sensation of this fragrance. The base notes are all woods, patchouli, amber and vanilla. For me, SDpH conjures up images of ancient castles, witches sabbats under the full moon, upscale occult stores, and Aleister Crowley, O.T.O. and A.'.A.'. Ceremonies. I really love this one a lot. Choosing the right setting for it can be a bit challenging however.

    02nd March, 2010

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    Aramis 900 by Aramis

    I was surprised at Aramis 900 when I first smelled it. I had expected a dry herbaceous scent. Instead, I found a lovely unisex woody, slightly green, floral chyphre. It is definitely geranium/rose heavy in the mid notes; the iris/spicy carnation make for a much more enjoyable experience than many so-called "masculine florals" (i.e. Insense) in my experience. The woody, mossy drydown is one of the best in the genre.

    Top: Bergamot, Green note, Coriander, Lemon, Rosewood
    Middle: Rose, Geranium, Jasmin, Muguet, Carnation, Orris
    Base: Patchouli, Sandal, Vetiver, Amber, Moss, Civet

    02nd March, 2010 (Last Edited: 04th March, 2010)

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    Rose by Molinard

    This is an excellent single note rose. It's very balanced and natural smelling. This is just one more example of the perfection that is Molinard when it comes to single note fragrances to be used for layering, or combining to create personal signature scents. These fragrances are basically high-quality industry "specialties" or "perfume bases" that have already been put into an EDT dillution so that you can combine them by decanting and blending, or layering by spraying directly on your person one after the other.

    02nd March, 2010

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    Windsor by Creed

    Windsor is a very pleasing scent. It starts out as quite a subtle fragrance which grows in volume as it blooms. The opening gin/pine accord is not quite as boozy as I was expecting; the rose heart is really quite lovely and the ambergris drydown has a higher dose of a coumarin note than I am used to from Creed. Overall it is a very enjoyable experience. I'm not sure yet that the experience warrants the price tag, but I may change my mind in time. The collector in me is definitely considering a full bottle purchase. The Fragrance lover in me feels my money is better spent elsewhere.

    01st March, 2010

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    Baladin by Nicolaï

    The birch tar centered leather accord is apparent immediately. It is rounded out by some citrus, lavender, herbal, floral, vetiver and fruit notes. The herbal dryness accents the birch notes beautifully. It's a wonderful old school leather scent that is at once bold and discreet (Nicolai is the queen of contrasts IMO). Baladin imparts a definite elegance with few if any challenging notes. If you like a masculine leather masterfully blended with few frills, you will enjoy this one a lot.

    27th February, 2010 (Last Edited: 03rd March, 2010)

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    L'Essence de Must de Cartier by Cartier

    This one is really up my alley; I'm not a huge fan of Cartier fragrances usually with the exception of Declaration and this one. Must de Cartier pour Homme is a little tough for me to describe, but I really find it pleasing from start to finish. I guess I would call it a spicy, woody, slightly herbal, animalic oriental/fougere. I don't notice any problems with longevity. It is very masculine, very elegant and just discrete enough without being a true skin scent.

    27th February, 2010

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    Vetyver by Nicolaï

    Nicolai's Vetyver is a completely different take on the vetiver concept from any other vetiver scent I've smelled. It opens with a citrus/cut grass/petitgrain/galbanum accord. A strobe type of effect of pepper, clove and coriander oscillates in and and out of the scent right from the gate. The floral/cumin heart stays decidedly masculine as the pepper/spice strobe keeps pumping through the entire development. The whole scent keeps a decidedly natural smell from the beginning right to its nouveau barbershop tonka dry down. This scent is to Vetiver what Nicolai's Patchouli Homme is to patchouli, in that the vetiver is persistent throughout the life of the scent but is markedly camouflaged by the structure of the composition itself. The result is a very bold, yet dignified perfume that is decidedly masculine to my nose.

    24th February, 2010

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