Reviews by mrclmind

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    mrclmind
    United States United States

    Showing 91 to 120 of 195.
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    99 Regent Street by Hugh Parsons

    I find this scent to be very well made. It is classified as a woody floral. Although the listed pyramid includes notes of Mastic, Violet, Geranium Leaves, Jasmine, Freesia, Orris, Musk, Amber Seeds and Ambergris, it could almost be called an orris soliflore. For those who are looking for a dry masculine floral, you may have hit the mother-lode with this one. I find that orris as a fragrance note becomes both boring and irritating after a time. I do think I will find occasional rotation in my wardrobe for this scent, but only on those days when I want a wistful hit of orris.

    20th October, 2008

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    No. 88 by Czech & Speake

    I used to own a very small fragrance house. We had a formula that was very popular, but prohibitively expensive to produce. It was based on an accord of Bulgarian rose absolute and henna absolute. There is something in this blend that reminds me so much of that accord that it's uncanny. I smell henna flower absolute. Who knows if it's really in there or is just an illusion based on the accord of notes from other sources. At any rate, I love it. I had no idea it was so powerful. I sprayed myself three times prior to a fundraising event tonight. I was rather self conscious most of the evening with the billowing clouds of sillage pouring off me. But is was so intoxicatingly gorgeous, I ultimately didn't really care!

    18 October, 2008

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    English Lavender by Atkinsons

    Beautiful, fresh lavender top note that lasts longer than most of its competitors. The rosewood/clary sage middle notes truly extend the lavender and prolong it rather than fighting against it. I particularly enjoy this scent's very extended long-lasting dry down of tonka bean, moss and musk. One of the best lavender scents I've encountered.

    18 October, 2008

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    JHL by Aramis

    Top: Orange, Bergamot, Pimento (allspice), Aldehyde, Lemon, Fruit Accord
    Middle: Carnation, Cinnamon, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang, Fern Accord
    Base: Patchouli, Amber, Labdanum, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Olibanum, Benzoin, Musk

    I completely understand other reviewer's comments about JHL smelling like "old lady perfume," but I love it just the same. JHL is a very strong oriental which has a somewhat bewitching sillage. It has a very spicy/fresh opening that is not my favorite part of the scent. The heart is a gorgeous spicy floral which is quite compelling. The extended dry down continues the spice-fest and adds a balsamic and sweet anchor. Worn in moderation, JHL can be quite intoxicating and beautiful. Over-sprayed, it is just obnoxious.

    07 October, 2008 (Last Edited: 21st December, 2009)

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    Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I am not a huge fan of the Serge Lutens line. I appreciate them, but they are not my style at all. As a whole I find that their compositions tend to have sharp edges and are composed to be very bold, with very discernible delineations of each note, rather than seamless integrations of accords. This is the style of this house and they do a great job with that particular aesthetic, but they are not generally to my liking.

    Having said all that, Muscs Koublai Khan is a masterpiece. Anyone who has spent time with actual animal musk tinctures knows that many animalic notes in modern perfumery are far away from their natural counterparts. MKK is a massively successful recreation of true-to-nature animalic perfume notes. Although there are also non-animalic notes in the composition, they are purely ancillary to the 4 note accord of Musk, Civet, Ambergris and Castoreum. It is quite an accomplishment given that no animal products were used in the making of this perfume. This is a scent that many will like and others will find difficult to wear; however no one who is familiar with the natural notes that are recreated in MKK can argue with the fact that this is a masterful creation. My hat's off to this house. Bravo.

    23 September, 2008

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    Vanille Tonka by Nicolaï

    On my skin this is a beautiful frankincense fragrance, my favorite frankincense scent in fact. The vanilla and the tonka are subdued. This is not a gourmand scent at all, nor is it appropriate to be labeled as a "feminine" fragrance, as it is truly unisex. The vanilla is dry and blends seamlessly with the tonka and frankincense allowing the incense note to be in the forefront. This is another winner from Patricia de Nicolai.

    The comparisons to Parfum Sacre are quite understandable.

    Top notes: basil, lemon and mandarin
    Middle notes: carnation, orange blossom, pepper, cinnamon
    Base notes: frankincense, vanilla, tonka bean

    23 September, 2008

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    Givenchy III by Givenchy

    I'm thrilled that Givenchy III has been reissued. I'm also very happy that the list of ingredients on the label includes oakmoss.

    Givenchy III's animalic component is quite subdued but is strong enough to categorize it as is a dry floral/animalic chypre.

    The opening is a green combination of galbanum, aldehydes and some dry fruit notes and bergamot.

    The heart is a white floral centered around jasmine with notes of muget, rose, orris, carniation and jonquil.

    The base is an excellent warm, woody and mossy patchouli/oakmoss with some amber, betiver, castoreum and myrrh.

    This is a fine chypre for both men and women.

    23 September, 2008

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    Rocabar by Hermès

    Chypre/Coniferous

    Rocabar is quite nice actually. I don't know where all the neutral ratings come from. It is an excellent coniferous chypre which is laid over a very balsamic/vanilla base which is where it gets its sweetness. It's not "green," its "coniferous." It's resinous and rich. I find Rocabar very wearable. Many of these coniferous chypre types of scents start to smell like pinesol, or nature walks through the forest; it can get a bit too much. Whereas Rocabar, on the other hand, is subdued and elegant. My only disappointment with it is the very last stage of its dry down which becomes an almost linen-clean musk on my skin. Not a bad smell, but completely random and having nothing whatsoever to do with the concept of the fragrance. The rest of the dry down is a beautiful, creamy balsamic and rich experience. I'm quite happy with pretty much all the men's fragrances from this house.

    18 September, 2008 (Last Edited: 25 February, 2010)

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    Montana Parfum d'Homme (original) by Montana

    Montana Parfum d'Homme
    Coniferous Chypre.

    Top: Bergamot, Aldehydes, Synthetic green accords, lemon, lavender and tarragon
    Middle: Pine, Rose, Jasmine, Carnation, Cinnamon and Fern accord
    Base: Cedar, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Amber, Labdanum, Tree Moss, Leather and Vanilla

    The opening is fresh and spicy and I prefer it to Havana's opening. The heart notes are spicy and floral and quite sensuous. The Base notes present themselves rather quickly and are slightly sweet, woody and amberic, with a hint of leather. The perfume does have much in common with Havana, but without the obvious tobacco notes. It's a gorgeous and sexy fragrance that is priced very nicely, I picked up a 120 ML bottle from a local discount perfumery for about $18.00. My one ounce bottle of vintage Havana cost me about $70. While they aren't exact duplicates, the similarities are rather striking.

    13 September, 2008

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    Devin by Aramis

    Devin is a lovely green chypre with a bergamot and green top, a spiced floral heart (I detect a definite basil note that is not listed in any pyramid I've seen) and warm leathery/moss base. It smells dated to some, classic to others. I tend to agree with the latter. I have heard it be compared to Guerlain Derby, but I honestly do not get the connection. It does have very much in common however with Halston Z-14, although to my nose Devin is decidedly the more sophisticated of the two.

    13 September, 2008

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    Tiffany for Men by Tiffany

    Talk about a classic! Tiffany for Men was one of the first colognes I bought; and was also one of the first I ever used up and had to replace. It is sophisticated gentlemanly oriental. I know some people claim it to be a chypre and we can all just agree to disagree.

    The fresh opening is a gorgeous bergamot with further citrus, lavender, cardamom, and a bit of a great leafy note.

    The middle note centers around cedar, patchouli and carnation which is highly refined by the floral notes of Rose, Orris, and Jasmine, plus some spicy notes of cinnamon and anise, and some sandalwood

    The dry-down is extended due to the vanilla/tonka/amber accord. There are traces of labdanum, moss and olibanum underpinning the base.

    Tiffany for Men is the epitome of elegance and sophistication.

    10th September, 2008

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    Dunhill for Men by Dunhill

    A classic floral fougere from the mid thirties.

    Top notes: begamot wih lemon, petitgrain, lavender and clary sage
    Mid notes: Rose, Jasmin, Carnation, Orris and Sadalwood
    Base Notes: Musk, Tonka, cedar, moss, amber and leather

    Too bad there aren't more men who love good classic fragrances; then there would be more buyers of them and they would be discontinued at a much smaller and slower rate.

    10th September, 2008

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    Minotaure by Paloma Picasso

    I love the fresh top and cool floral middle. The dry down is good until it gets to the very end. It smells a bit like a musty old cedar chest to me. I really do like the bulk of the fragrance, but the end of the dry-down is unpleasant albeit subtle.

    09 September, 2008

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    Aramis by Aramis

    The artemesia, bergamot and aldehydes open this fragrance gloriously. Then come the subtle greens and gardenia, with a very slight undercurrent of cumin. The heart is a deep patchouli lightened by a luscious jasmin with a bit of orris, sandalwood and vetiver. The Leather and oakmoss base cover the castoreum, ambergris and musk trio that give a tremendous animalic warmth.

    This is an amazing classic. The legend states that this was originally formulated to be a woman's fragrance. If that's true, I'm sure the formula was tweaked a bit for the masculine fragrance market. The basenotes pyramid lists some notes that I don't smell, but there you have it.

    09 September, 2008

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    Parfum Sacré by Caron

    I wasn't too sure about this one when I tested a spray of the EDT on my wrist at the store. I liked it, but wasn't sure. But the EDP was not very expensive, so I thought "why not?" and splurged. About 3 sprays to my chest and I was wondering what I had done! It was rather feminine. But the top notes burned off and left a gorgeous dry floral with warm, slightly sweet incense notes. I realized I really quite loved Parfum Sacre. Gentlemen, it actually works well as a unisex perfume. Just wait about 20 minutes for the somewhat feminine opening to burn off and you're good to go. The EDP lasts a good long time. It's not too sweet and very unique.

    Top notes: lemon, pepper, mace, cardomon and aldehydes;
    middle notes:orange blossom, Rose, Jasmin, Rosewood, Ylang-Ylang, Orris and Carnation
    Base notes: Vanilla, Mhyrrh, Olibanum, Amber, Musk, Civet and Cedar.

    07 September, 2008

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    Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

    Eau de Cologne Impériale is one of the oldest EDC's on the market, and in my opinion one of the finest. Like many EDC's, Impériale is a "top note" fragrance. It's basic character is based primarily on an extremely fine bergamot, neroli and lemon accord. There are slight undertones as well, but you have to really smell carefully to find them. The undertones include petitgrain, lemon verbena, a mild lavender and some slight tonka and wood in the base. People who complain about this having no longevity are not familiar with this genre of fragrance. A classical eau de cologne is based on the idea of a refreshing splash. This is the oldest fragrance type with the characteristic of being fresh and natural. Natural fresh notes are made from fine essential oils with extremely high volatility. This means that the fragrance develops very quickly and is finished. If you want the experience to continue, frequent reapplication is necessary.

    Top Notes: Bergamot, Neroli, Lemon, Verbena, Orange
    Middle Note: Lavender
    Base Notes: Tonka, Cedar

    04 September, 2008 (Last Edited: 28 January, 2011)

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    Bel Ami by Hermès

    Bel Ami is a leather chypre scent which opens with a citrus/herbal accord dominated by bergamot tempered with lemon, petitgrain and a slight orange (mandarin?), there is a hint of herbal green as well; the heart is a floral wood accord with a jasmine center and some slight orris and carnation overlaying the woody tones of vetiver, cedar and patchouli. Lest you think that Bel Ami is a woody floral scent be aware that this is a base-note dominated fragrance. The base is leather. The leather in Bel Ami owes its character primarily to a birch tar and castoreum accord which is lightly sweetened with labdanum, tonka and vanilla and a slight oakmoss/storax undertone.

    I find Bel Ami to be a very wearable and "friendly" leather scent, of great distinction.

    04 September, 2008

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    Opus 1870 by Penhaligon's

    Opus 1870 is definitely one of this house's best scents. Penhalligon's older fragrances remind me a lot of Caswell Massey's in that they tend to smell like recreations of older fragrance formulas, which end up becoming more like caricatures of themselves, and smelling rather hokey. Opus 1870 on the other hand is obviously a modern scent with traditional sensibilities, rather than a direct attempt at a recreation. From its lovely spicy opening you know that you are smelling quality. The rose heart note is lightly spiced with clove and cinnamon along with some olibanum notes. The base is a moderately rich woody musk. This is a very well done fragrance and the first one from this house that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

    02 September, 2008

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    Lavandula by Penhaligon's

    There is a lovely lavender opening that lasts about the blink of an eye and descends into a very boring light musk. If you like a light musk fragrance this may be your baby, but I was looking for lavender. It is a great lavender, but you will get a longer lasting lavender from just about every other lavender fragrance on the market.

    02 September, 2008

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    Havana by Aramis

    Havana is a masculine, complex and highly satisfying fragrance. The opening is not promising, it is a very typical Aramis type of masculine accord. It's not bad, but it is nothing terribly interesting. The fragrance develops to the heart notes on my skin in about 10 minutes. The blend of boozy, spicy, floral notes in the heart show the promise of the unbelievable home run base accord. The dry down is a long-lived woody, sweet, tobacco and balsamic treat that takes a good long while to completely develop. The sweet tobacco note lingers long after the rest of the fragrance has been spent. It is not surprising that this fragrance has been discontinued. Many of the best masculines have succumbed to the chopping block. This is up there with Patou Pour Homme as far as original, high-quality scents that have been discontinued. It is getting pricey, so buy it while you can!

    02 September, 2008

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    Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    Hammam Bouquet is a very lovely, light oriental. The bergamot/lavender opening is sparkling and inviting; the floral heart opens with in moments and is warmed by notes from the amber base peeking through. The musky sandlewood/amber drydown is rich and fulfilling. It's an excellent fragrance. It's old fashioned in every good sense; I wouldn't call it a classic though. It is not a scent I want to smell every day, but it is quite good for what it is.

    02 September, 2008

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    English Fern by Penhaligon's

    This is a stripped down version of the fougere accord consisting of the interaction of a lavender top and a coumarin base (coumarin isn't listed in the notes on Penhalligon's website, but it is definitely in there). If anyone is looking for a very classic fougere fragrance, you can't get any more classic than this. I have not smelled the old Houbigant Fougere Royale, but I can imagine that English Fern has much in common with it. This type of fragrance is not common in modern perfumery any longer. The modern fougere fragrances are much more built and composed. English Fern is a perfect depiction of old-style masculine fragrance. It is not loud, but it is persistent. It is fantastic! Modern noses may have to get used to the accord but it is quite delicious.

    02 September, 2008

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    Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    Strong and smelly out of the bottle. This one is a lesson in not trusting your first impressions of a fragrance. I do, in contrast to many reviews, smell a distinct relationship to the original Kouros. This one takes a completely different direction, but they are clearly related. The extended dry down of Body Kouros is worth its tedious opening and palatable woody/spicy/sweetish heart. The benzoin and camphor-wood base is a prize at the bottom this box of Cracker Jack; and is well worth all the trouble. If you don't like it, give it a chance. You may change your mind in 20 to 30 minutes (or longer depending on your skin).

    02 September, 2008 (Last Edited: 12 January, 2010)

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    Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    Blenheim Bouquet is an excellent lemon fragrance. This is a very minimalistic scent and is very refreshing. The pine is natural smelling; it's like sitting on a pine covered mountain sipping a glass of lemonade. Quite lovely, but nothing I want to smell like very frequently.

    02 September, 2008

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    Aqua Allegoria Lavande Velours by Guerlain

    This is one of my very favorite lavender colognes. I love lavender with the addition of a violet note over a sandalwood base. It's very lovely. I only wish lavender was more universally desired so my favorite lavender fragrances would stop being discontinued due to lack of profit.

    02 September, 2008

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    Cabochard by Grès

    Cabochard is a classic green/leather chypre. Many people comment on Cabochard's similarity to Bandit. They do share many characteristics, but I find Bandit to be a drier, less floral composition which ends up smelling more masculine than Cabochard. Cabochard has a similar jasmine/ylang/leather/tobacco dance as Tabac Blond, but is more feminine and more polite than Tabac Blond. Although I can smell all three of these fragrances easily worn by a man, Cabochard seems the most feminine of the three to me. I can't see myself wearing it, but I'd love to be around a woman who does. It is a truly stunning perfume.

    02 September, 2008

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    Tabac Blond by Caron

    I'd like to bathe in this intoxicating magic philter. Tabac Blond is a supreme accomplishment. Even the reformulation is a masterpiece. To call Tabac Blond a leather scent is like calling Beethoven's 6th Symphony pretty. Tabac Blond rises above all stereotypes and labels as to scent gender. It is beyond merely being unisex; she is a lion of a scent who does not discriminate among any of her pride. Tabac Blond chooses you; you don't choose her. Once you are one of her initiates, you may never return again from whence you came. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Tabac Blond is without peers, but she is definitely in a very small club indeed.

    02 September, 2008

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    Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

    I purchased this at Saks the moment it was available. I actually am surprised that I'm enjoying it as much as I am. Perhaps the fact that Guerlain Homme has gotten some pretty bad press on the Basenotes boards made it easier for me to like it, since my expectations were so low. I admit that had this not been a Guerlain scent, I would likely not have given it a second sniff. However, I'm glad I did.

    This is definitely one of the best of this genre IMO. It is lovely. The opening is a very refreshing type of citrus smell. The citrus, mint accord (and I definitely smell the "mojito" accord that is listed in the pyramid) actually lasts well into the heart and dry-down of the scent. This in and of itself is quite an accomplishment. There is a light/white floral accord in the center and a subtle, woody/light musk dry down. The Guerlainade is actually present in this one as well. I was quite surprised, as I had heard others say the Guerlinade was absent, but it is there in a somewhat muted but obvious manner.

    Guerlain Homme may not be ground breaking, but it does break ground for Guerlain, in that it will quite possibly be a huge seller for this house. If indeed the goal was to create a best-selling high quality men's fragrance at a moderate price-point, Guerlain has succeeded on all accounts. I say Bravo!

    01st September, 2008

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    Straight to Heaven by By Kilian

    This one on my skin goes Straight to Hell -- Patchouli Hell that is. I don't mind patchouli, but this one on me is straight up, Haight Ashbury, hippies who haven't showered for weeks and doused themselves in patchouli oil, head-shop yuck. Not good on me. No rum, no nutmeg, no rosewood, just pure undiluted patchouli that lasts for ever, and cannot be scrubbed off with a brillo pad and a fire hose. Have I mentioned the patchouli? Bleah!

    01st September, 2008

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    A Taste of Heaven by By Kilian

    I tried this at Saks, and purchased it on the spot (something I rarely do). However, one hour after my purchase I noticed that the scent was disappearing very rapidly from my skin where I had sampled it. I turned around and returned the purchase. It is a lovely lavender fragrance. From the notes listed on the brochure it should smell like a fougere, but it was pretty strictly a lavender fragrance. It is gorgeous, but much too short-lived on my skin to warrant the price tag of $225. I can get my lavender fix just as easily from other sources for a much more affordable price.

    Bottom line: Great Lavender; Extremely overpriced.

    I have changed my rating to a very tentative thumbs up now that By Killian has introduced their smaller sized packaging with a more affordable price tag. Although I still feel that it is overpriced, the lavender is quite wonderful and for $130, I can justify the purchase.

    01st September, 2008 (Last Edited: 21st December, 2009)

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