Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JonB

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Total Reviews: 91
JonB Show all reviews
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Patou pour Homme Privé by Jean Patou

Lavender, patchouli, a neutral sweetness (coumarin?), sandalwood.

I am not a huge fan of lavender, but here it's done so smoothly that it is absolutely wonderful. The patchouli makes a nice counterbalance to the slight sweetness from the coumarin. This is just a wonderful blend. Very smooth, and with a slight barbershop vibe from the lavender. This is one of only a handful of fragrances that have held my attention over the years. Not pretentious; you could wear this every day.

Every time I smell it, I like it more, and that is rare.
21st March, 2016
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Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

Mugler cologne and Creed Original Vetiver small virtually identical. They are both reminiscent of Eau du Cologne but with a synthetic twist. Both have a citrus/neroli top, and a white musk base. In addition, these two fragrances have a very long lasting green note that helps add to their refreshing characters. The white musk base makes for a long lasting clean soapy character. All of this comes together into a very refreshing, clean, soft scent that lasts a long time. Yes, in a way they come off as being synthetic, but it really is a very nice, soft synthetic "cologny" type of smell. I love, love, love these two fragrances. The difference between Creed OV and Mugler cologne comes from the fact that the Creed is EdP strength, and Mugler is an EdT. In addition, Creed sprayers give a very large volume per spray. So it seems the Creed is significantly stronger and longer lasting. To me, the smell is virtually identical with only the strength being slightly higher with Creed OV. If this difference is worth the difference in price is up to you. For me, the Mugler is a better deal. Creed is at least twice the price (if you buy a tester).

Mugler cologne has very good longevity on me, lasting at least 6 hours (and as a skin scent for well over 12 hours). The scent is just so pleasant, I never tire of it. Projection is moderate, and you definitely leave a soft, pleasant trail behind you. Mugler cologne would probably lend itself best to office or casual wear. It's probably best used in spring,summer,fall.

The drawback of Mugler and Creed OV is a bit of harshness from the white musk they use. This is a personal thing for me, and not everyone will react the same way. After several hours, I get a slight scratchiness in my throat (this is especially evident with the Creed).

It you haven't sniffed Mugler cologne or Creed OV, they might be worthwhile. This is one of the fragrances I will always have in my wardrobe.
15th September, 2015
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Kouros Tattoo Edition by Yves Saint Laurent

I don't know if this is still available, but just in case:
The bones of Kouros are still here; the civet is still easily detectable. What has happened though is that some florals have been added on top. I assume this is the "calone" aromachemical.

The "Kouros" component is lessened by half, though the skank is still there.

In addition, there is a dry woody note (also a synthetic I'm sure). This woody note, along with the reduced skank, really makes for a pleasant drydown. So even though KTE smells a bit artificial, it's a pleasant fragrance. What works particularly well is the interplay between the civet and the woody base. It's amazing how civet can be made into something that smells so clean.
08th September, 2015
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Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

I've owned a bottle of this for about 5 years. My stream of consciousness thoughts were: Strong, chocolate, rubber, slightly powdery, Rochas Man. It was a bit much at the time due to it's strength, sillage and longevity (all great). Now, after letting it sit in the closet for several years, it has grown on me. If you already own Rochas Man, you probably don't need this, but if you are looking for a gourmand chocolatey, almondy, rubbery fragrance, go for it. It does come in one of the butt ugliest bottles ever devised though.
07th September, 2015
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Terre d'Hermès Parfum by Hermès

Most of you already know all about TdH, so I won't talk too much about "notes" here. I will just make a couple of observations. This is a pretty linear scent, and I'd bet that TdH consists of very few ingredients. In fact, I would guess that there aren't as many ingredients as there are notes in the pyramid. The second observation I will make is that there's very little difference between the EdT and the Parfum except for projection. Yes, the Parfum may be a tiny bit smoother (and I stress "tiny"), but the main difference is how the Parfum wears closer to the skin. It's a bit strange that you need at least twice as much of the parfum to equal the EdT. I see very little advantage in spending more for the parfum. Overall, this is a great fragrance, earthy, spicy, orange.
01st September, 2015
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L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

You need to like gourmand fragrances and sandalwood in order to enjoy this. I am not the biggest sandalwood fan (unless the scent is light and dry). At the open, the citrus top notes counterbalance the sweetness, but upon drydown, there is only very sweet musk and strong sandalwood. This combination just is not attractive to me. One thing I've got to admit though is that this is a masterful, smooth concoction. Longevity on me is more than adequate; it's just that I sometimes wish it would go away. I am going to be generous and give this a neutral rating.
29th August, 2015
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Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Gallet

Quite nice. I find it a bit smoother and a little more aromatic than 4711. For most of it's life, I smell neroli and rosemary. I never really get rose. As nice as this smells though, it's hard to get too excited due to it's short longevity. I know this is expected, but any nice smell deserves to last more than an hour. Try this before 4711.
09th April, 2011
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Eau du Coq by Guerlain

Nice citrus topnotes, but sorry, too floral and feminine in the heart notes. I don't feel comfortable enough to wear this in public, so I've got to give it a thumbs down.
08th April, 2011
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Derby by Guerlain

Derby gets a thumbs up rating from me, but I won't swoon over this one. It definitely smells like a different era. The opening is quite loud, and I find projection to be moderately high. Derby is too formal for me to enjoy; I just don't have the occasion to wear this stuff. The leather is very much under the radar, and really only modifies the patchouli base. I will use up the bottle I have, but I won't replace it once it's gone. I almost want to say "meh". It just doesn't capture my imagination.
05th March, 2011
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Costume National Homme by Costume National

In reading the other reviews of this fragrance, I see reference to many different spices. I can't believe no one has mentioned tobacco, because that's what Costume National Homme smells like to me. Spicy tobacco yes, but mainly tobacco. There is also a definite cedar aroma. It's like opening a cedar-lined cigar box.

It's difficult to understand why someone would dislike this, but that is the nature of fragrance. I find CN Homme to be very likeable, moderately strong, with very good longevity.

This is one of my better finds of 2010.
18th February, 2011
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Sartorial by Penhaligon's

Sartorial would be very difficult to describe in words; you will need to sample it for yourself. This is a non-standard fragrance that will probably garner plenty of negatives, but I love it.
14th February, 2011
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Acqua Classica by Borsari

I find Acqua Classica to be a fairly long lasting, somewhat earthy, musty lemon scent. Pretty simple, with little progression. I don't think Acqua di Parma has anything to worry about. It's inexpensive though, so it may be worth a try. For me it's too musty smelling to enjoy.
06th February, 2011 (last edited: 01st April, 2011)
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Aventus by Creed

I apparently have a slightly different experience with Aventus than the other reviewers. I do smell pineapple on top, but that note for me transitions quickly to fir resin. It smells just like my hands do after bringing home the Christmas tree and setting it up. This fir smell slowly fades over time to an ambergris base. So for me, Aventus is fir sap transitioning to ambergris. Definitely masculine, and a very nice smell throughout.

Aventus wears fairly close to the skin. I find the longevity to be very good; it will certainly get me through a work day.

This and OV are the only two Creeds that I like enough to buy. Whether Aventus is worth the outrageous price is up to you.
30th January, 2011
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JonB Show all reviews
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Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli

Unlike some of the other reviewers, I smell a somewhat simple fragrance. I smell honey with spices and herbs. Very, very likeable Oriental. Just the right strength, with very good longevity.
17th January, 2011
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Tuscany / Etruscan by Aramis

Polo-lite plus Mediterranean herbs. Smells great for a few hours, and then its gone.
17th January, 2011
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Agua Brava by Antonio Puig

A slightly smoother Pino Silvestre with a light leather note added. Quite pleasant. If you like Pino, and you also like leather (which is quite light in this fragrance), you will probably like this one. I can't imagine too many young guys liking this one though. I expect it will be more attractive to 40+.
17th January, 2011
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Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza by Acqua di Parma

You might ask whether Acqua di Parma needs to add another Colonia to their line up, but after smelling Essenza my opinion is that yes, this fragrance is an extremely nice addition. So what's different about this one? Essenza's citrus top is slightly different, having noticeable grapefruit notes. This is a perfect top to the heart of lily of the valley and jasmine. The combination of grapefruit, lily of the valley and jasmine works extremely well. The top and heart of this fragrance meld so well into one another that it's almost a misnomer to call citrus the topnotes, and florals the heart; jasmine and lily of the valley are evident right from the start, and citrus lasts well into drydown. As well, the muguet and jasmine domination of the florals gives a character substantially different than Colonia or Assoluta which have rose and neroli as the featured floral notes. What is also noticeable is that Essenza is balanced a bit more towards the florals than Colonia or Assoluta. You may also notice that Essenza is just a little smoother overall than it's predecessors. The perfumer has done a good job with the musk in Essenza ; I don't get any of the harsh feeling late in drydown as I often get with white musks.

The white-flower feel of this eau de cologne puts it firmly into unisex territory. Colonia and Assoluta feel more skewed towards masculine in my opinion.

Longevity seems very good. I smell musk and muguet for 8-10 hours. Even the citrus seems to last for several hours. Projection may be a little higher than Colonia or Assoluta due to the higher use of florals.
16th January, 2011 (last edited: 27th February, 2011)
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Abercrombie & Fitch Woods by Abercrombie & Fitch

As Odysseusm said, this is not the woodiest log in the pile. In fact, any wood note in Woods has got to be synthetic; my nose doesn't detect any real wood. Although people mention citrus, I don't smell any significant real citrus. It's possible that any citrus smell is totally synthetic too. What my nose smells is a somewhat fresh scent apparently composed almost totally of synthetic components. Woods is also soapy, but the soapiness is not the more common floral-based soap, it too seems synthetic. My verdict on Woods is: Meh This is an OK fragrance, but certainly nothing to rave about. That it seems composed entirely of synthetic aromachemicals is fine with me, but may not be satisfactory to some. Woods is fairly strong, projects well, and is moderately long lasting. Test before buying.
30th October, 2010
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Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Musk Ravageur is more about vanilla, and cinnamon or cocoa than it is about musk. Musk is barely detectable in the blend. This should be advertised as a gourmand rather than musk. I find MR to be ultimately boring.
20th October, 2010
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No. 88 by Czech & Speake

I smell geranium (much more than rose), Oud, Sandalwood. Is there anything else in 88? It doesn't matter much because this comes across as quite nice. Thumbs up, but it won't be liked by everyone because of the Oud (or oud-like) note.
17th October, 2010
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No. 89 by Floris

Nice citrus on top that actually lasts quite a while on me. Once dried down, it's a nice soapy masculine rose. The rose it not so prominent that men should be deterred. More of a nice clean everyday scent. 89 seems quite versatile. Longevity is quite good. Sillage is moderate. Definite thumbs up.
18th September, 2010
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LP No.9 for Men by Penhaligon's

I must not be smelling the same thing as many of you; all I can say is "YUCK". This is right up there with the worst fragrance s I've ever smelled. I hope I never have to smell this again. Big, big thumbs down on LP.no9.
28th July, 2010
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Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

A big blast of lemon and grapefruit. Very nice; I like it a lot. Some think citrus-based frags are too simple, and yes they are simple, but what is more refreshing on a summer day. Big thumbs up.
26th July, 2010
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L'Eau Serge Lutens by Serge Lutens

Totally forgettable. Very disappointing for something like this to come from Lutens. I am sure there will be fans, but for the life of me, I find no personality here.
27th June, 2010
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03 Century by Odin New York

The drydown of Century is almost identical to Gucci pour homme I. The top though is very nice, and in total, this is more complex and interesting than GPH1. Whether that makes it worth 2X the price of the Gucci is up to you.
03rd May, 2010
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02 Owari by Odin New York

This seems mighty simple to me; it smells like tangerine peel. I really don't smell anything else. Thumbs up, but it could use more complexity.
30th April, 2010
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01 Nomad by Odin New York

Nice. I like it. Nomad wont be anyone's holy Grail, but it should have wide appeal.
30th April, 2010
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Racquets Formula by Penhaligon's

After buying and wearing this for a few years now, I've got to say that Racquets still holds up. I am so disappointed that it's been discontinued. This fresh, powdery scent is just so refreshing.
17th April, 2010 (last edited: 23rd August, 2015)
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Rose 31 by Le Labo

There's rose in here? Don't buy this expecting to find much rose. It's actually one of the strongest cedar scents I've tried. Cedar is about the only note I find for most of the life of this fragrance. Awfully expensive cedar. To each his own, but it's not for me.
17th April, 2010
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Armani Eau pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

Hmm, I certainly don't understand any comment that this might be harsh; I guess if you are extremely sensitive to citrus, it might be a tiny bit strong for the first 30 seconds. This is the Armani version of a traditional eau de cologne. You have the citrus top, along with some herbs. The smell is very nice, but once the top notes burn off, there is nothing left. I know the pyramid says there is sandalwood and oakmoss in the base, but it's so, so light that it is barely there.

On my skin, this is down to a very light skin scent in about 30 minutes. On fabric it might last about an hour. Very nice, but far too ephemeral. Another plus though is that it is very affordable. If Armani could bring up the base just enough to make it truly detectable for several hours without burying nose to skin, this could be a holy grail type of scent.
04th April, 2010