Reviews by Grottola

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    Grottola
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    Vetiver pour Elle by Guerlain

    Out of all the fragrances currently available from Guerlain, this one is probably the best way to direct your dollar. Take the original Vetiver for Men, add some neroli up top, and a smooth, non-indolic jasmine note. This makes it sweeter and more inviting. The combination works perfectly, and from what I observed, lasts longer than the original on my skin (I get 8-10 hours out of Vetiver Pour Elle). The original does have its own charm, yes; however, for what it's worth, Vetiver Pour Elle is probably my favorite vetiver out there.

    Oh, and don't worry about the name - this stuff works perfectly on men and women alike. It's a classy treat worth splurging on.

    It's apparently discontinued now, so get yourself a bottle while you can. Definitely the best vetiver I've ever smelled.

    One of my top ten favorite fragrances.

    25th September, 2012

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    H.O.T. Always by Bond No. 9

    A skanky-ass camphor/patchouli combo that brings to mind vintage Givenchy Gentlemen and Giorgio for Men. Has monumental sillage and I can still smell it on my arm after one spray that I put on 24 hours ago, and I've even taken a shower since then.

    I'm definitely getting this when I get the chance. If you want to intimidate people, look no further.

    25th September, 2012

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    Envy by Gucci

    Probably the greatest green floral ever made, except for maybe Chamade by Guerlain. This one isn't harsh at all, and it's not too powdery or heavy on galbanum like many of its ilk. It's simply a smooth, grassy-green lily fragrance that pumps out decent enough longevity and still smells pretty natural. While Envy is a pretty "safe" fragrance, it doesn't really need to be obtrusive or make a huge statement. It takes some talent to be able to create a green floral so pleasant yet natural and soft-spoken. If you can find it, then get it, at least for reference. Even if you're a dude.

    25th September, 2012

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Definitely still one of the best masculine fragrances of the past ten years. I find the pure parfum to be more satisfying, but I definitely have enjoyed the Eau de Toilette as well. Terre d'Hermès is a well-made, enjoyable vetiver/Iso E Super fragrance with the signature Hermès "house" note of oranges. It lasts a good while, projects well, and at times gives off the aroma of warm bodies after sex, and maybe even good weed. If you haven't tried it already, then do so. If you wanna buy a bottle, I recommend getting the pure parfum so you can enjoy it in the best way possible.

    12th July, 2011 (Last Edited: 25th September, 2012)

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    New York by Nicolaï

    Ah, the coveted New York by Patricia de Nicolaï. For a niche fragrance, this one seems to have quite the cult following and a reputation preceding it - Luca Turin even admitted to having worn it for ten years, which is quite a feat for perfumisto's and perfumista's always searching for their "Holy Grail". So, does New York really live up to the reputation? Not for me.

    The good: New York is pleasant and pretty, simply put. If you're a fan of the long-gone Ungaro II, but can't find it (or you don't like the civet note), then New York makes a fantastic alternative. It's rich, refined, and noticeably well-made with good materials; the powdery, ambery orange and peppery pimento, when combined, are smooth like a creamsicle. Unique but still civilized.

    The bad: The "civilized" part is perhaps where New York's downfall is, for me. It's nice but it's not fun or free. It's too damn stuffy for me, very formal. I'm reminded also of Tiffany for Men, which is about as powdery as I can tolerate a fragrance. There's no doubt that New York is refined but it feels watered down and lacking in character, like something unfinished. The longevity of New York is good (the city itself will be around until the end of the world, I know that much), but the sillage is lacking - New York is very much a skin scent on me.

    The ugly: I don't really find there to be anything ugly about New York, despite its flaws.

    Bottom line: Despite New York not working for me, I'd still say try it, given the hype. It may very well work for you, but it doesn't for me. The closest fragrances I would compare New York to are Ungaro II, Tiffany for Men, Minotaure by Paloma Picasso, and Heritage by Guerlain. I don't really see as many similarities between this on Bois du Portugal, which I find stronger, more masculine, and less powdery. Nevertheless, New York is a quality fragrance that would probably smell great on someone else but it's not something I'd wear. Don't blind buy it, either.

    12th July, 2011

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    Bel Ami by Hermès

    This review is for the vintage Bel Ami in the vase-looking bottle.

    The vintage formulation of Bel Ami is one of the best masculines ever, period. Bel Ami is a chypre by smell - not so much structure, but it definitely has a chypre feel. No bother, as it's done flawlessly and I guess could in a sense be called "MItsouko Pour Homme".

    However, another thing I have to add is that the vintage Bel Ami is extraordinarily close to Patou Pour Homme. Now, Patou Pour Homme is richer and denser with an oriental character, but they both share a spicy leather chypre smell, which is essentially the central accord to Patou Pour Homme. Seeing as how Patou Pour Homme is probably the most perfect masculine in existence, I could roll with Bel Ami as a replacement so I don't have to take out a loan to buy the last drops on Earth of Patou Pour Homme.

    I haven't tried the current formulation yet, but the vintage version is something I'd definitely recommend for anyone interested in classic masculines or chypres.

    Love it.

    12th July, 2011

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    Patou pour Homme (original) by Jean Patou

    Patou Pour Homme.

    I honestly hesitated writing a review of this for a long time because I needed to get to know it. I needed to be able to decipher Patou Pour Homme and eliminate, if necessary, any comparisons. I had to find the right time to wear it, places to spray it, and all sorts of other things.

    Well, now I'm going to review it from my own perspective - not from the hype or praise of some of our other excellent reviewers.

    For me, Patou Pour Homme is an extremely rich and decadent oriental fragrance for men. It opens up on my skin with noticeable lavender and tobacco (yes, I smell tobacco) notes complimented by spices, pepper, and a cooling petitgrain note. The oily tobacco note reminds me of Havana by Aramis, sort of. There's also a dark leather note thrown in the mix. Overall, the feel is sort of like a big, oily, masculine Mitsouko. There are no unpleasant or "pissy" notes to turn people away - just raw, strong masculinity at its finest.

    After an hour or two the top notes settle down and Patou Pour Homme gets drier and a little spicier. The patchouli and clary sage rear their heads and echo the top. It's a smooth transition. At this point I'm somewhat reminded of *vintage* Bel Ami by Hermès.

    Then, soon enough, the base kicks in - my favorite part. Oakmoss, sandalwood, and a BIG labdanum note set off the grand finale. Overall, the transition from middle to base and the lasting base takes a while, and it is SO enjoyable. The usage of chypre and fougère elements are part of what makes Patou Pour Homme so fucking good.

    Now, that being said, is Patou Pour Homme the best men's fragrance ever? I dunno, but it's definitely my favorite fragrance. It definitely belongs in the top ten. At first when I tried it my expectations were somewhat let down. It didn't make me swoon and I hadn't found my "holy grail". Go figure, Patou Pour Homme is a fragrance that grows on you over time. I discover something new every time I wear Patou Pour Homme, and it's most certainly in my top 10.

    As a final note, I don't find Patou pour Homme to be worth the astronomical prices on eBay and Basenotes, but every guy should at least try it. If you can find a decant, get some - it should last you a while.

    23rd June, 2011 (Last Edited: 01st October, 2011)

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    Sand & Sable by Coty

    Bah, nasty.

    I smell watermelon, aldehydes, and a faint banana-type note. One of a few fragrances I actually rushed to the sink to wash off immediately.

    13th June, 2011

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    Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior

    Hypnotic Poison is delicious. Yes, it's totally unisex, and to me it smells like amaretto/cream soda, giving off a "Dr. Pepper" vibe. This is a good thing, because Dr. Pepper is my favorite soda, and any fragrance that smells like Dr. Pepper is fine by me :)

    As sweet as Hypnotic Poison is, I find it totally tolerable and completely pleasant, but it's quite easy to apply too much; even in the EdT form. So, just go easy on the sprayer. The combination of soda-like heliotrope and subtle moss is a match made in heaven. Even if you're not a gourmand fan, you should try this one. It projects like a beast and lasts all day for me, and I love the bottle too - straight out of a Disney movie.

    Highly recommended if you've got a sweet tooth. Annick Menardo is a genius perfumer.

    25th May, 2011

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    MCM 24 Morning by MCM

    Interesting! MCM 24 Morning, to me, smells like a mixture of Paco XS and Fierce by Abercrombie and Fitch. While that combination may sound lethal, it actually does smell kind of nice. There's a large chemical note, which is where I notice similarities to Fierce, and there's also a big musk note in the drydown. Alas, it's nothing too exciting, and if you already own XS or Fierce I really see no reason in owning this.

    Longevity and sillage are very good.

    23rd May, 2011

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    Set Sail St. Barts for Men by Tommy Bahama

    Damn! Tropical fruit bonanza!

    Set Sail St. Barts for Men is a super-sweet, sugary lime fragrance. Like, lime candy or Key Lime Pie. The lime just keeps going until the end, with a creamy (albeit faint) base of coconut underneath and a tequila smell. There's also a smooth amber kinda note (I'm guessing it's the Blue Agave) that rises to the surface toward the end. For its entire life, this fragrance is STRONG, but strangely enough the longevity isn't more than a couple hours. While it lasts, though, Set Sail St. Barts is a party in the tropics.

    I would recommend this one over Virgin Island Water by Creed, simply because it's more about lime than coconut. Oh, and it's $200 dollars cheaper, too. However, if you don't like lime or sugary-sweet citrus, then I would not recommend this. And DO NOT spray this on if you have a headache. It will make your headache worse.

    All in all, I'll be wearing this a good bit during the summer. Awesome bottle, too.

    18th May, 2011

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    Herrera for Men by Carolina Herrera

    Yup, this is a precursor to XS by Paco Rabanne, and Chic for Men. Herrera for Men is a bit fresher, with noticeable fougère elements and some aldehydes in the top. I actually like this one more than XS and the others of that ilk.

    Good longevity, and can be found for cheap - check it out!

    16th May, 2011

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    cK one by Calvin Klein

    While cK One may seem cheap, elementary, or even "wussy" compared to other men's fragrances, especially after my journey has come this far, there's no denying that it holds memories for many BNers.

    The fresh smell of citrus and balmy-dewy grass that makes cK One so distinctive from its counterparts can trigger a lot of memories for me: namely, the 1990's, as well as middle school and my first two years of high school. Not many other fragrances can accurately represent the smell of a warm spring morning in May where the air is clean, the grass is still wet, and there's not a cloud in the sunny sky.

    cK One is certainly not the best green-citrus scent, nor the most natural I've smelled, but it's pleasant, relatively long-lasting, and certainly gets the job done. I still wear it from time to time, and I love the summer flankers.

    16th May, 2011

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    Burberry Summer for Men by Burberry

    While it's not bad by any means, Burberry Summer for Men just smells like "generic guy cologne" to me. Like, something from Abercrombie and Fitch or American Eagle.

    Sorry, I fell asleep in the middle of smelling it....

    14th May, 2011

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    cK one Summer 2008 by Calvin Klein

    EXTREMELY refreshing cucumber-melon aquatic. Has a cool minty note and is great for those hot and muggy summer days.

    Lasts a decent time on my skin; 5-6 hours.

    13th May, 2011

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    cK one Summer 2007 by Calvin Klein

    Whee! cK One Summer 2007 is a fun, tart and fruity citrus fragrance. Just straight up citrus, fruity notes, a wee bit of calone (not too much), and a little hint of cinnamon/bay leaf. Nothing too special or surprising here, just a fun, happy scent that lasts a decent amount of time - 5 to 6 hours on me. If you can find it, by all means splash it on and have some fun!

    I find cK One Summer 2007 to be strictly unisex.

    13th May, 2011

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    Infusion d'Homme by Prada

    Infusion d'Homme: clean, starchy, white hotel soap. It's pleasant, but not my cup of tea. Definitely powdery, but in a soap sense. If I wanted a "clean" fragrance, I'd rather wear Gendarme EdP or Mugler Cologne.

    Still, Infusion d'Homme isn't bad. Definitely unisex and the longevity is good (6 - 7 hours).

    13th May, 2011

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    Joy by Jean Patou

    I was able to get a decant of vintage Joy parfum (extrait).

    My god, this is the most beautiful floral I've ever smelled. It really is a joy to wear.

    It's like running through a field of every fragrant flower in the world on a dewy spring morning.

    If you haven't tried this yet, please do. This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever smelled, and really fits the bill as to what a "fragrance" is - an enveloping, timeless experience. Jean Patou really is one of the best houses of all time.

    10th May, 2011

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    Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture

    One of my best female friends wears Viva La Juicy. It's very sweet, "pink", and VERY strong. It just screams "youth", in a more obnoxious-but-still-kinda-tolerable-way.

    10th May, 2011

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    Allure Homme Sport Cologne by Chanel

    Lemon done wrong.

    The lemon in Allure Homme Sport Cologne is too sour and invasive; its prominence clashes with everything else. Loud, annoying, and just when it finally starts to calm down, it's gone.

    Want a lemon soliflore? Try Monsieur Balmain or YSL Pour Homme.

    09th May, 2011

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    Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

    Vintage formulation of Fahrenheit:

    Green notes, (bitter) leather, oil stains and violet leaves. Not bad, but not my style.

    Current version of Fahrenheit:

    AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! Attack of the violet leaves! They're overpowering our leather/petrol forces! FLEE, FLEE!!

    09th May, 2011

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    Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

    I managed to score a vintage 30ml bottle of Eau Sauvage with the same box as pictured above the Basenotes description.

    Nothing too exciting or unique - just a quality, classic buttery-smooth citrus with a touch of herbs to give it a "natural" feel. Eau Sauvage is a fragrance for genuine men with genuine personalities that can see through all the bullsh*t. The kind of guy you can count on.

    What's nice about the vintage Eau Sauvage, besides the noticable oakmoss in the base, is the fact that it lasts all day. The vintage version is a little mustier and dirtier than the current version, but I love it just the same; Edmond Roudnitska took the classic Eau and gave it a jawline with stubble. Hell, even John Lennon wore Eau Sauvage.

    Really, any formulation of Eau Sauvage is good, but I think it's the vintage that has that little extra "something".

    08th May, 2011

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    Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

    A masculine floral of the highest caliber, The Third Man recalls Ungaro II and Tiffany for Men with its various floral qualities similar to the powderiness of Tiffany for Men and the floral/civet elements of Ungaro II. I prefer The Third Man, however, as I find it smoother and more accessible than Tiffany and Ungaro, because it's not as powdery and not as subtly fecal. The Third Man also has a smooth "masculine" note thrown in, giving it a certain warmth. Probably the lavender. This makes it warmer and more approachable than Ungaro II, as well, while Ungaro II seems cold and dissociative (not knocking on Ungaro II lovers; it just ain't for me). Tiffany for Men is good, but I can only wear it once in a while do to it being so powdery.

    Granted, The Third Man is not for everyone - it's still a wee bit powdery, but as it dries down it gets better and better. I think every guy with a Basenotes-worthy interest in fragrances should try The Third Man at least once to get an idea of what a quality masculine floral is (along with Ténéré by Paco Rabanne, Tiffany for Men, and Insensé by Givenchy).

    Projection and longevity are very good - this is a great fragrance for a formal occasion, and a great fragrance in general! It's unique and smells kinda..... "pink"! Haha.

    06th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 07th May, 2011)

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    Burberry Sport Ice for Men by Burberry

    LAME. Another boring grapefruit/ginger fragrance with some calone added. Lasts about an hour on my skin. Or maybe, it was me that lasted an hour before I dozed off....

    06th May, 2011

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    Azure Lime by Tom Ford

    Oh, c'mon guys! Azure Lime is not THAT bad!

    On my skin, Azure Lime is a wonderful, pleasant lime that holds out for 2+ hours. It's not too tart, and not too sweet - just well-rounded. While it does go into an "aquatic" phase, there isn't any calone abuse at all. It's nice and fresh with some driftwood to compliment the whole "beach" theme. Overall, I get 7 to 8 hours out of Azure Lime, which isn't bad at all.

    One of the best lime scents in my opinion; of course, the only downfall is the obnoxious price.

    03rd May, 2011

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    Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

    How to replicate the smell of Sécrétions Magnifiques:

    1) Eat a bowl of cereal. Don't drink the milk.
    2) Leave the bowl out on your kitchen counter.
    3) After at least 10 hours, whether you left the house or not, go smell the bowl.

    Now, I've certainly smelled worse things than Sécrétions Magnifiques, but I like my fragrances to be wearable, at least a little bit. More or less you have an "art" fragrance in the same vein as Christopher Brosius, or Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella (gasoline). I can appreciate fragrances like these from an artistic standpoint, but I wouldn't wear them.

    However, to each his own! You'll either love this or hate its guts.

    02nd May, 2011

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    Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

    The original "salty" aquatic. Captures the ocean in all of its murky, saline glory - kind of like a stormy night on the beach. If you want a "true" aquatic, look no further. The excellent longevity and use of oakmoss in the base make me enjoy this even more; definitely my favorite aquatic right now besides Horizon by Guy Laroche.

    25th April, 2011

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    Loewe para Hombre by Loewe

    Loewe Para Hombre is a bright (albeit bitter) Mediterranean-styled chypre/fougère hybrid that smells timeless and conserved, but still full of life. It lasts a while on my skin and actually gives off a "spa" sort of vibe. That "spa" vibe must be the combination of clary sage and lavender, because this stuff is all about a bitter herbs to exclude any hint of sweetness from this and make it as masculine and "meat and potatoes man" (conservative, if you will) style as possible.

    I have a vintage bottle, so I can't judge the current formulation, but the version I have is the bomb-diggity. It's very natural smelling and Spanish in style. Try it!

    24th April, 2011 (Last Edited: 28th April, 2011)

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    Sport de Paco Rabanne by Paco Rabanne

    Now THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is what a "sport" fragrance is all about. Fresh, grassy, invigorating, zingy, all kinds of other things and totally pleasant. I dunno why Paco Rabanne got rid of this, but it's damn good. In fact, Sport de Paco Rabanne is now my favorite "sport" fragrance. It takes out everything I hated about the original and makes it pleasant and youthful; at the same time unique and refreshing. I get mainly some subtle fruity notes, zingy citrus, and smooth patchouli and vetiver. Sport de Paco Rabanne also lasts a while on me - up to 7 hours! That's an excellent lifespan for a "sport" fragrance, and for a fragrance like this to be released at the apex of the powerhouse era, I'm really not surprised!

    Highly recommended.

    24th April, 2011 (Last Edited: 27th April, 2011)

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    cK one Electric by Calvin Klein

    While I was never really a fan of the original cK one, the Electric version is a whole different story. I found this guy tucked away in little perfume kiosk at my local mall, and I'm glad I took the plunge. It's excellent. Straight-up lime and zippy, zingy citrus that lasts for up to 5 hours on me. There is a slight cucumber-y "aquatic" note, but it never treads into the "calone" territory (calone being referred to in a negative sense). This is definitely a bit more masculine than feminine, in my opinion. Great fragrance for a young person, too!

    If you can find this, try it. It's now one of my go-to's for summer.

    24th April, 2011 (Last Edited: 26th April, 2011)

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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000