Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Pollux

Advertisement

Sr. N (new) by Natura

The opening is citric, lemon-like to be more precise, without any the subtleties you can find in hesperidic notes when well blended - Balmain pour Homme comes to mind. The opening note is so strong it makes the wearer think of some lemon-based cleaning product, it feels completely unnatural; the typical crispiness found in lemons is absent, nor the souerness that make them attractive. This kind of lemon feels dense, heavy and because of this, sort of nautious, pretty much like a lemon-based molass you can't get rid of because it is glued to your skin. So annoying you feel you have to scrub it after realizing you have made a mistake seconds after application.

There are woody notes lurking around but they are left behind because of the initial boldness. From then on the evolution is pretty much consistent whith the opening, citric, not se heavy but still annoying.

I don't like writing bad reviews (better spend time in more positive things), but this is among a list of EdT's I have to get rid of in order to gain shelf space for my wardrobe. Moreover, it is part of a group of failed blindly bought scents that could have given way to much better options: a cheapy, yes, worth including in your wardrobe, heck no. Not all inexpensive scents are like, say, Brut.

Final reflection. The brand's name "Natura" derives from "natureza", nature. The company always stresses the use of native and non native organic raw materials marketed under sustainable practices. OK, let's give Natura the benefit of the doubt and let's assume they use true lemon essential oil. If such is the case, the blend is not well crafted. Just an example: oakmoss smells awful, not to speak of camomille. When blended, they bloom: in this case, the lemon is... unbereable. I imagine that wearing lemon essential oil would be analogous to wearing Sr. N.
09th August, 2015

Dior Homme Parfum by Christian Dior

I always thought how a classic cuir for men like Knize 10 would smell like if upgraded according to present day tastes. I even mentioned this to a nose asking Base Notes members for suggestions for a project.

I got the answer.

The flanker is misleading, there is something in common between Dior Homme, Dior Homme Intense and Dior Homme Parfum, the iris and the leather. In this case, the gourmand accords are absent, maybe in favor of a more masculine character - in a game played with family members consisting of a blind test, Magie Noire was described as a masculine and Dior Homme Intense as a feminine. In the case of the Parfum, the lack of gourmand accords are the reason why I perceive it as serious in character: the leather plays a central role, but it lacks much of the fuel-like attributes of its past versions. In this case, it is much more alike to the smell of cowhide. No femininity in this case, something that is crystal clear in the mid and basenotes.

On the other hand, if fulfills the expectations of the "longevity / sillage" clubmembers, which might be the reason why it can be a bit exhausting in the case of those who favor more subdued kinds of scents.

I planned not buying anything after completing a very large collection of vintage scents or their present day renditions, some still available in stores, other discontinued. Sometimes it went out of hands for I included contemporary ones that still had what was needed in order to consider them off the generic league territory. Well, this came as a pleasant surprise.

Yap, I could not avoid adding one more bottle to my wardrobe.
18th July, 2015

Smalto by Francesco Smalto

Not an easy one to get, but not to that difficult to understand.
The opening is bitter, I wonder it is due to the prevalence of absynthe, I can't detect the bergamoth - I would expect citric notes, which are absent. As to the lavender, there is hint of mint in it, maybe what is left of it.
As to the rest of the notes, yes, there are woody accords among which sandalwood plays a central role, a very restrained sweetness and a floral yet indolic note -it is not jazmine, we can blame it in the camomille.
The drydown comes very fast, vanilla being the central theme in it. Some describe it as powdery, I can't detect any of it.
Yes, it is a fleeting EdT - this does not mean it is light, all the contrary.
I assume the right descriptor would be "masculine"; Foetidus calls it "rustic", however rustic, I can sense a formal character in it; bitter, animalic or civet-like, lacking sweetness, serious.
I can take that Smalto is a "honest scent", it is true to its pyramid, which is an asset when compared to blends that, although described through it, one comes to realize that notes described do not pay any kind of reference to the blend: I call these "faux scents", it synthetic character is expressed in the fact that notes relate to non-existant smells, however it is being described.
I would not consider this a bad scent, it is quite original if we take the date it was launched. I don't wear it that often, but it would suit certain occasions when seriousness commands.
30th June, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Juan Manuel by Fueguia

The usual rose accord is pungent to the nose - the end product of blending three different kind of alcohols, or because phenethyl alcohol has been used.

Cost constraints obliged the industry to substitute traditional natural rose oils with the above mentioned blend or with other aromachemicals, sometimes with good results - you can check Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose out, a very inexpensive rendition of roses lacking the usual attributes of low-quality synthetics, that of needles in the nosetrils or notes that just cannot be identified with anything, or if able to, are biased in some way, usually for the worst (vervaine comes to mind when it smells like lemon candy, which should not be the case).

In the case of Juan Manuel I can trace an effect I experienced when smelling natural high quality rose oils, distinctive organoleptic properties that are analogous to those of food: it has a creaminess that feels extremely tasty, in such a way it makes me crave for a bite of an edible that simply does not exist. This sensation is somehow similar to the one I get from high quality sandalwood, or else, a feeling I can experience when sniffing many vintage formulations (Bijan, VC&A and Balenciaga pour Homme come to mind).

From then on the blend is not very complex, I'd say it is roses all the way down; this might be a disapointment to many since, after all, the way a scent morphs and the perception of the evolution of notes and accords are what makes a scent worth being smell. In the case of Juan Manuel the lack of complexity makes perfect sense for there are two kind of roses listed in its pyramid, their role in the blend being so pervasive that the pink pepper is placed nowhere to be smelt, it is hidden, actually: to my nose it is impossible to detect.

I'd say Juan Manuel is odd in the sense that is a rose-based blend with gourmand properties around roses; let's say it is a perceptual tautology, somehow like a rose-based plate that is covered with roses. Now, albeit this attribute could signaled as a failure by part of the nose behind the blend, the fact is that Juan Manuel is very far away from being a boring scent.
20th June, 2015

The Voice of Reason by Gorilla Perfume

I regard TVOR as a concept rather than an EdT or EdP or whatever its concentration may be: apparently a blend of roses, sandalwood, tonka beans and woody notes, what I get at first, literally, are huge amounts of olfactive molecules akin to those of smoked meat - to be more precise, BBQ sauce.

A very deceptive beginning, indeed, that mellows down into more appropriate accords along the ones found in orientals blends. I said mellower, but the lack of balance is hard to pass bye, feeling, somehow, lacking complexity: it is the kind of scent one revisits in order to give it a second thought, which in my case ends up with the feeling that is a challenge when it comes to wear it - the bottom line being that it feels like a reinterpretation of what gourmand scents are like, no chocolate, no vanilla, no coconut, I'd way say gourmand of the meat-rich kind of diet. This is right across the sweetness alley.

From then on I imagined it to be the perfect counterbalance of very floral, feminine or musky of the galaxolide kind of scents. I was not wrong, layering it improves some of the former ones, like Bvlgari Black; it provides the bold character this ones lack.

It is not refined, it is not gentle, it is not comforting: it would be the perfect option if you want to make a statement of the I-play-according-to-my-own-rules kind, the voice of reason for one's standing in the world, I'd say.

Do I like it? Yes I do; blame on my bias, a consequence of this hobby and as such, a (I hope humble) prove of my fragrance snobbery - readers, be aware of this, please sample before buying, blind buy is not even a remote option. It is a creature of its own among all the ones in my collection; after all, my voice of reason and only mine.
07th June, 2015

Pine Gems Essence by Silvestre

I won't be redundant, for a sound technical description please read his review for it is crystal clear.

I will only add to Ody's review that the blend is amazingly complex: take the regular one and blend it in a such a fashion it will evolve through layers, to a point after some hours from application you will be getting whiffs of what I might describe as "unrelated" notes, i.e. notes that are not the ones one might expect from a pine-based (green) blends.

Moreover, after the surprise I got from the first time I wore it, I decided to compare it with the regular one; they share the same top notes but they end up being completely different versions of the same blend.

In that sense, unique. And at as such a price, it makes for an outstanding deal. And as usual: it would be the rave of snobbish aficionados if it were branded after a promissing yet unknown nose widely aknowledged in Exsence's latest, sold under a hefty price and in corresponding specialty stores.
05th June, 2015

Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

Unjustly bashed, methinks.

Yes, it resorts to most of what is in fashion nowadays - in other words, it smells "contemporary". But, well, these are the aromachemicals around so it should not be a surprise.

Together with its persona, its complexity, extraordinary sillage and its remarkable longevity, I am surprised I can't get whiffs of it among men heading to the office, the way it happens with bestsellers like 1 Million (real or faked) or Terre if the bunch proves to cater to less ubiquitous options. It looks tastes linger more on the side of the fruity and sweet side of things, rather than the spicy ones a la Guerlain Homme or Bvlgari Man (to which you might find analogies).

I like it, really. However, it can be somehow tiring if not applied lightly for its notes will linger for the whole day. After a 12 hour long working day it can be dreadful once back home. So, go lightly, problem solved.

I think Polge did a really good job, regardless of how similar Blue can be in respect to the ones (Guerlain and Bvlgari) mentioned.


28th June, 2014

Voyage d'Hermès by Hermès

It is so magnificently synthetic that all you can feel is is a melange of spicy and earthy notes. Yes, it does smell like a take on Terre, maybe with the idea of making a lighter version of it or whatever.

I am not ignoring other facts: it is complex, very complex. As to silage and longevity, I can't give an account on these because this review is based in a test done on skin.

It gets my attention that Hermes men´s classics are still in demand, Terre being a bestseller. Add to these the ones sold in their stores.

As to the rest... time will tell.

25th November, 2013

Bond Street by Long Lost Perfume

OK, I got it wrong: I thought Bond Street was the place were high-end haberdashers have their stores and where taylor-made suits were bought, but upon reading about "Bond Street" in Wikipedia I realized that it is an ungendered high-end shopping street - you'll find suits and purses alike - yes, I owe myself a trip to London.

Further search in the local E Bay showed me that it was offered in Pan American's flights for passangers using the plane´s toilettes - it was, maybe, a unisex.

Perfume Encyclopedia told me it was launched in 1917 as a men's and a women's scent, later discontinued, to be re issued in the 1950's.

And finally, the verdict: it is classified both by BaseNotes and Fragrantica as a lady's scent. Thus, I am reviewing a scent for women that I bought thinking it was a scent for men. That can give you a sound idea of how this vintage is / was like.

As to the blend, I can get clear honey - like notes in the top notes, some aldehydes alas not a la Chanel N° 5 (no so prominent) and then a generic - leather feeling that stays for the rest of the olfative journey, which is fleeting.

It feels mildly flowery and quite run of the mill if compared to other bottles of cuirs I heredited or got as vintage scents: nothing groundbraking. Mind you, this is not "haute parfumerie": no Guerlain, no Caron, no Molinard, not even high-end designer's scents, like Weil - forget Shalimar, Secret de Venus or L'Heure Blue. Yes, I can get traces of Vigny's Heure Intime and Geldy's Cuir de Russie without their quality, albeit, as mentioned, in a less flowery fashion, much less complex.

I might be dead wrong, but it makes me think this was some sort or safe / run of the mill template widely in fashion during the time it was launched. Common, as the rest of the inexpensive cuirs sell like.

Besides, it does smell dated, as previously mentioned. My Daugther told me she gets whiffs of Grandma and Grandpa - mind you, my parents are in their eighties but the her account is further away in the scale of time - she actually likes Crystalle and 19, which are the ones my Mother uses.

A "Love it" / "Thumbs Up" for memory's sake. Besides, I can stay calm, after all, I've got all the cuir de russies availables.

Off topic: I'd love to work on a present day rendition of these classics. I can't get why it has not been done, except for Polge's work.

PS: If you got anoter impression, please do us a favor and discuss this review, that would be def. fun.
17th November, 2013

Vetyver Lanvin (original) by Lanvin

As for vetiver-based scents, there are many types of them: the complex ones, a la Guerlain, or straightforward ones like Carvin. Or soft, ones, like R&G. Or rooty ones, like Encre Noire. Or the new kind of, like Adolfo Dominguez' and Thierry Mugler's. Or the complex, rooty and genlte ones, like Chanel's Sycomore.

Lanvin's belongs to the first ones, however, without much complexity: citrics with vetiver in the base note, as simple as that. In that sense, it resembles many of the decade: I have in mind Dior's Eau Sauvage, Givenchy's Monsieur de Givenchy or Myrurgia's Alcurnia - they all open with strong hesperidic notes morphing into animalc undertones, which, by the way, were not that notorious. Of course, nuances play a role in these blends, like Hedione in Dior's and oakmoss in Monsieru de Givenchy but in all these cases their proposal have in common a family air with traditional Eaux, which is quite logical of the times when they were released and the role of masculinity at that time.

Somoene with a deep knolewdge the history of scents can shed some light on this, but Aramis and Givenchy's Gentleman seem to be radical proposal at the time they were launched.

12th November, 2013

Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

Classic to the point of becoming a reference

Finding Drakkar's smell alikes is fairly easy. Ceasar's and Lomani are the ones mentioned as being the best next to it, to the point a very enthusiastic reviewer and later blogger said thatthe first one was better than the original for it had what it lost in its reformulation; you can find close analogies to it in Gres' Cabaret, a now discontinued fragrance that is very enjoyable in its complexity, which I would say is better than Drakkar's; or maybe in locally manufactured versions sold by haberdashers that are, indeed, inspired by it. I imagine that this proves it is a classic, but I can't find in this argument the reason why I find Drakkar younger than it is.

Drakkar Noir smells classic, but not dated. It has a twist that provides for a contemporary feeling, a note that I associate with acquatics. Maybe many of these, a more recent group of blends, resort to dyhydromircenol, or its properties ("Powerful, thin, sweet, fresh, lavender-like, fruity, metallic, citrusy (linalyl acetate-like), clary sage-like, ambery odour." in http://perfumechemicals.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/dihydromyrcenol/ October 25, 2013).

Let my imagination or faulty olfative capabilities aside, the dry down is the best part of the olfative journey, characterized by a subdued character and limited longevity. It leaves you craving for more, at least in the version I have, which seems it has been improved lately.

The opening is spicy and citric, turning into a stingy balmy blend in a short period of time. According to the pyramid, what follows are more spices and some floral notes, carnation and jasmine: I can't get these for the stingy combo is still prevalent. Now, the base notes smells manly and powdery. The blend revolves around this stingy / powdery leitmotiv, which does not mean it is linear.

Strong? Olfative analysis brings a slight headache. Better enjoy it with a full wear. It seems it claims to be worn punishing reviewers when disecting it.

Long lasting? Not at all. Maybe overapplying might give wearers what they are looking for.

Pros: My formulation; understated and elegant
Cons: Common, almost what an aromatic fougere a la 1980's should smell like"

26th October, 2013

Carbone / Carbone de Balmain by Pierre Balmain

Cedar / Pencil shaving lover's kind of paradise

It does have a pencil shaving opening a la Gucci I, whoever morphing into fruit like mid notes. A skin scent with amazing longevity without much evolution. It does not fall into designer's oriental genericness, thus the reason for my 4,5 / 5. Blame the 1,5 on the fact it does feel synthetic.



As per its similarities with Rochas Lui, it lacks its sweetness. Well, as a matter of fact, IMHO I can't see any resemblances between both.

Pros: Cedar
Cons: Very synthetic feeling - needles in the nose and un identified smells lurking around those of pencil shavings</p>
23rd October, 2013 (last edited: 20th June, 2015)

Black Amber by Zara

I found some tiare in my soup!

What the heck is tiiiare? Tahitian Gardenia. I know how gardenias smell like. Well, it is in my soup. Really. Passion fruit? Sorry, it is in my dessert.

Fruits in the top notes. The generic kind, the sort you cannot tell what fruit is it. Tutti Futty? No. Bananas? No. Straweberries, apples, appricots, pineapple? No no no no. Fruits, the synthetic ones, the ones that noses use, synthetized by chemists working for big corporations. An olfative construct, so to speak.

Disgusting.

Where is the catch? Ir moves straight ahead to the base notes, musky a la B*Men / Avon's Woody Musk sort of musk, the ones widely used in the 1970's.

I like it there.

Wear it if you can get over the top notes. I can't, unless I prepare myself mentally for it. You can name it "olfatory masochism". Yes, this hobby deales with some sort of freakiness. In my case, this kind of Amber is a blatant proof of this.

BTW, I'd rather choose the one from 2008. But Zara is like this, continously on the move, so discontinued scents are part of their business. A pitty.

Pros: Musky basentes a la 1970's
Cons: Fruity top notes"

23rd October, 2013
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Weil pour Homme by Weil

An aromatic fougere halfway between the gutter and the sars

The group "aromatic fougere" might include shaving cream-like scents like YSL's Rive Gauche, powerbombs like Kouros, subtle blends like the vintage formulation of Rochas' Moustache, and chypre smell alikes, as Welil, sharing with this goup strong top notes. In this case, these morph into tradiional men's soap - like notes. It does remind me of One Man Show's and Krizia Uomo's opening in ts harshness, but the soapiness is there to stay for a fairly amount of time from the mid notes on.

I don't know if the current version (the one depicted) is a reissue of the original one or what: the only thing I can say is that it shares a family air with 1980's powerbombs. I can imagine it conveying a sense of creaminess lost in most of them, "rounded molecules" I call these notes. It does feel stingy to the nose. This does not affect its conservative aura, though.

Now, conservative does not mean delicate. Be aware of it - call my nose gaga, there is a note lurking around I can associate with one found in Kouros. Please, don't let me confuse you, they don't have anything in common. But the animalic - skankiness is there.

It does feel, mmm, boldy. The base notes save it from rudeness.

Pros: Strong if you like it
Cons: Strong if you don't"

23rd October, 2013

Balmain de Balmain by Pierre Balmain

A chypre as it should be

Well, the opening notes remind me of a floral Tiffany for men, while the mid and base notes diverge into manly skinkiness. It was a blind buy: a big surprise indeed, I never would have thought this could be that way. A woman wearing this? I cannot imagine for the sake of me blind-dating a woman wearing BdB. I would think she would be chewing me up in no time. Ladies, do your newly met boys a favor, don't ever wear this in a first date.

Pros: Whatever good you find in chypres in its not so fem version
Cons: If skanky puts you off, avoit it as the plague"

23rd October, 2013

Mr Blass by Bill Blass

Who said all recent launches are bland / generic?

Frankly, I don't understant why this is vastly ignored.

One has several impressions ater the first sniff:

- Many would consider it a masterpice should the House behind it be a well known niche one, like Creed, Amouage and the sort.

- However, it terms of its presentation, it lacks what many of these offer: a luxurious packaging, for instance.

- Ad of course, it lacks the price factor: USD 30 / 40 for 3.3 Oz of it? Too cheap. It should be on the USD 100 - USD 150 range.

- And the blend: amazing sillage and longevity, a must for many niche scents - a logical aspect after all, if one is going to pay USD 300 for Puredistance M, the least thing I'd be asking for would be two or three days presence after application.

Well, let's see: House behind it? Check, a historical one that is worn off. Price? Check, inexpensive. Sillage and longevity? Check, good, but not abnormal, of the kind that makes you think your are the subject of some strange chemical experiment. Packaging? Check, normal one (reminds me of Lorenzo Villoresi's).

As per the blend itself, it does not evolve much, but this does not have any consequence over its structure in terms of how I am enjoying it: top notes of the citric - spicy one gives way to the leathery - amber mid notes, the drydown staying close to the skin in a fashion that reminds me of the subdued version of Gucci's Envy mid and base notes.

If you want to have fun, make your favorite fragrance snob try it blind. I am positively sure you'll enjoy the results, or you might end up saying that is the last release of some obscure niche house from Prague, selling 1 OZ for USD 125, and only avalable in a very exclusive on-line shop with only one brick-and-mortar store located in Forest Hill, IL or Greenwch, CT.

Pros: A classic deserving more praise
Cons: I cannot imagine how it would be like if it would have oakmoss"

21st October, 2013

A*Men: Les Parfums de Cuir / Pure Leather by Thierry Mugler

A darker A*Men

OK, you don't like A*Men because the chocolate - spicy combo is too much for you.

Looking for an alternative? You might think B*Men might be one: A*Men divested of its gourmand notes because of the rhubarb or a kind of musk that was quite in fashion during the 1970's - there is a cheap cologne sold by Avon called Woody Musk that smells exactly like a bad quality B*Men.

What about this flanker? Well, I don´t get leather at all. What do I mean by leather? The smell of leather wallet, a brand new purse, a leather jacket or that of a dry waxed English country jacket that has been treated with some sort of deodorizer smelling like a leather jacket (and with such a sillage that the smell would be felt in the room after the jacket has been taken out), or the smell of classic leather scents like Cuero de Rusia - any brand, they share similarities-, Morabito's Or Noir or Knize Ten.

What I get is a bolder B*Men: yes, there is some chocolate and coffe and the rest of the notes of the original one, but in this case I get the feeling that these are kidnapped by the before mentioned rhubarb / musk in such a way the blend has the strength of a perfume or an absolute revolving around this last one, its longevity and sillage are really strong.

It does feel synthetic: however, to my surprise, in this case the word does not have any derogatory meaning. Why? It feels "sticky", rather than an EdT, Perfume or Extrait or Absolute, it feels like a a bunch of molecule clinching to my skin for a whole day long.

I my case, it was a try and instant - buy experience. I don't regret it. IMHO, it is better than the original. Of course, as the former one, it needs to be applied with care.

Pros: No sweetness
Cons: Bombastic"

11th August, 2013

Jacarandá by Fueguia

Skinky Chypre

We all know what a chypre is: a blend made of a citric note, oak moss, patchouli and musk. In this case, Jacaranda includes a citric note (Bergamot), oak moss and patchouli. As a product of one's imagination, which at the same time is a by-product of extensive smelling of perfumes and raw materials, you come up thinking of the usual suspects: Mitsouko, Y, Aliage, Aromatics Elixir, etc.

Yes, it does recall the last one in its skanky persona, but to the extent if feels boldy masculine: the oak moss prevails at the expense of the rest of the notes. Forget the bergamot, forget the patchouli. I might call this one a perfect chypre for oakmoss lovers - I cannot attest if it is real or synthetic oakmoss: rest assure, it prevails in the base notes in the shape of its very bitter / root like / skanky green accords.

It is not an easy fragrance to wear, it is somehow a very bold version of a classic composition that originally was supposed to be lightly animalic. Not in this case. One might end up thinking Jacaranda is an extreme chypre, as chypre as you might get... or a failed one - let the wearer judge by him / herself.

IMHO, Jacaranda leaves Aromatics Elixir way behind in terms of a chypre's animalic notes, thus the five stars.

Pros: Complex
Cons: Unbalanced "

13th July, 2013

Thays by Fueguia

An aromatic infusion

At first there are cologne-like notes morphing into green - like traces. I cannot help thinking of the mate in its colour, not in the way their leafs smell when placed in a gourd: this is clearly balmy, while in Thays mid notes are quite sharp. The cologne - like notes are still there minutes after application, citrousy traces that are balanced by whiffs of very shy sweety notes, turning into a skin scent that can be only smelt when being close to the wearer.

I'd describe the blend as original, contemporary but still away from what is mostly in fashion nowadays. It may have a flaw in that the composition does not flow armonically, it feels sharp to the nose in most of its facets while at the same time it somehow lacks complexity - when appreciating it one gets the feeling that the blend revolves around a limited amount of notes and restrained accords. Thus, even though original, it is far from being a fragrance - breakthrough... you will have to search somewhere else if you are after such kind of blends. Now, conceptually, I'd say that it remotely captures the aromas you get from the trees Carlos Thays brought to Buenos Aires when he planned the city's parks at the end of the XIX century.

However, these flaws - to which I might add a very limited longevity and sillage for those that care about these attribute - are not something I particularly care of, for its short live accounts for subtlety and discretion, thus the reason I enjoy it.

Pros: Subtle, well-mannered and discrete
Cons: Not for the ones looking for sillage and longevity"

13th July, 2013

Tea Rose by Perfumer's Workshop

Never say "no" to roses

I bought this on a whim: blind and based on many good reviews. Once at home and after trying it all I got was roses, no tea at all, really - a statement of the obvious, indeed. So, I followed Shamu's suggestion, just one spray. It was enough, he was right. Then I realized it might be a good idea to use it as a layer, for the rose accord might be too much, so I decided to do it with a short lived scent, namely, Pour Un Homme. And yes, the result was worth the experience.

I read and was told that rose fragrances and oils are used by men in the Middle East, thus, our perception of rose-based scents is biased by cultural matters: as such, it can be seen either as an old woman's scent or, plainly, as a women's fragrance. Still, I'd suggest any fragrance aficionado to ignore these ideas and try it as a discovery exercise. Liked or not, you will have the chance of knowing what a good rose blend is without having to pay an excessive amount of money.

And if you think it is too much for you (soliflorals can be challenging), you might experience how it performs when layered with other scents.

I don't regret it having it in my wardrobe, besides the fact I keep on revisiting it frequently.

Pros: It will make change your mind
Cons: Handle with care

21st June, 2013

Must de Cartier by Cartier

Is it too fem for men to wear it?

First: yes, it is true. It smells like CK's Obsession for women.

Second: yes, it is somehow different. Why? No idea. At first smell, it is not so brash, less bold, more complex, you name it, than CK's. Now, just compare Calvin Klein and Cartier, make up for qualities associated with these brands and you will find enough reasons to conclude that C is much better than CK. In terms of fragrances I cannot attest as to how true this is, I am in no mood, nor have the resources for conducting a blind product test that would, in a conclusive fashion, tell us if this is so or not. In the meantime, take my word (or bash it, feel free to do it) C's Must feels better than CK's Obsession.

Now, let's go to the point...

"Dear Basenoters, can Must de Cartier for Women be worn by men?"

- Indeed, ol' chap! Wear what you want, just make sure you feel comfortable. Cheer-ohs!

- Of course not, are you **** out of your mind!!! There are some notes in Must's blend that are widely used in women's perfumes that will make you feel you are in drag, unless you like that, which is 100 % fine if your are happy with zat.

- Of course you can, just make sure to layer it with some patchouli, dude. Peace and love...

- Yap, you can layer it with some old fashioned musk - not Galaxolide, please. It does not mix well with Bvlgari Black (which, BTW, is my Galaxolide heaven).

- Apply it two hourse before leaving home, the drydown is heaven. Besides, your maid will thank you for she won't have to air the rooms. Must will do it for her.

- Did you try layerin git with Men's Must?

Whatever. I enjoy it. No I did not try to layer it with Men's Must. But the rest of the suggestions did work fine.

Said drag? Sorry, not my cup o'tea. But it does feel like it... sometimes, ehem.

Pros: Not at all...
Cons: Yes, it is...

09th June, 2013

Krizia Uomo by Krizia

Difficult to make up your mind

A nightmare upon application: after the initial spray you will instantly say to yourself something like "oh, what have I done" or the like. You will picture yourself facing a crowd pointing and yelling at you, insults based on your lack of finesse when it comes to wearing scents. Yes, you will fear everyone will tag you as "Disco Stew", and if hitting the office, you will undergo the unnerving feeling you will be laid off because your bosses claimed that your olfative tastes are considered conflictive, thus paving the way to professional and later, affective failures and, ultimately, a lonely, yes, very lonely, sad, pathetic decline and fall amidst the kind of alcohol that is not sniffed, rather drank.

Nah, forget this. Just give it half an hour. What follows is a very classical, old school, reassuring virile drydown that is quite complex and long lasting.

A 180° turnaround, actually. Love'em this way.

Pros: Excellent drydown
Cons: Horrendous top notes

09th June, 2013

Ballena de la Pampa by Fueguia

Animalic top notes rapidly acquiring musky undertones, powdery yet modern, its complexity is revealed in the mid and base notes, which take a respectable amount of time to evolve - apparently, plain musks, but so many of them that you can perceive the way they change through time. Thus, the animalic traces don't vanish through the olfative journey, they express themselve from the grassy notes to the beforementioned musks. The end result is a powdery, subtle fragrance that lingers on the skin for a good amount of time.

I'd say is def a unisex scent in the full sense of the concept: femenine in its nuances, masculine in its subtlety - if you are among the ones thinking men's scents demand a restrained character, outruling bold blends.

I'd say it is among Fueguia's best.
10th March, 2013

El Mono de la Tinta by Fueguia

Cinnamon is what you get upon application, but the copaiba restrains the cinnamon's widely known spiciness. As usual, it is very difficult finding the right words when it comes to describe the way these two materials blend... the cinnamon softens and what we get is a spicy - creamy feeling. Interesting enough, one might as well say the blend feels like an alternative gourmand: this term usually makes us think of chocolates and candy, not here. In this case it'd rather be a "woody spicy gourmand" if we were to ignore the presence of sandalwood, which, at the end, makes the blend even more softer and mellower.

Of course there are many other fragrance were cinnamon plays a central role: JHL, by Aramis / Estee Lauder and YSL's Opium are my favorite. However, in this case, there is an originality not found in the rest of the bunch for the blend feels, if I can beg your pardon after failing to find a better word, wild. It really does. I cannot find the reason behind this observation, but I guess it must be the remnants of the above mentioned spice.

Wrapping I up, the originality of the fragrance's name translates quite well into the blend.

Version reviewed: Perfume
08th March, 2013

Caoba by Fueguia

You might be mislead by the fact it is mostly made of patchouli, for although it is notably a predominant note, the cacao and the ambergris are combined in such a fashion the blend feels distinctive.

It develops quite fast, the opening signed by the patchouli is disguised in a way it smells somehow formal, thus usual connotations given by it are set aside. I can get a powdery feeling in these top notes acquiring a gourmand effect, obviously due to the presence of cacao. One may think of a powdery black chocolate scent that slowly turns sugary, finally turning somehow cozy. In other words, the olfative journey proposed by Caoba is somehow a lingering game between opposites, bitter and sweetness in this case.

Undoubtedly, one of my preferred scents among those made by Fueguia. In the case of men wearing it, be aware Caoba's strength and silage are notorious. As to women, I have no doubt it can be worn as a very sexy oriental that will draw many compliments.

Version: Absolute
08th March, 2013

Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

Baffling: it does smell "1990's generic".

I got a sample and tried it without many expectations, the top notes reminded me of many others launched during the same decade. However, after hours I realized that PE had what others of its kind lacked, namely, an extraordinary complexity - its base notes are radically different to those in the top notes.

Its "genericness" can be deceiptive, specially when comparing it to the House's classics for men - Pour Monsieur, Egöiste and Antaeus. Don't let this fool you: in my case, after the top notes faded, I enjoyed it enormously.
24th September, 2012

Mémoire d'Homme by Nina Ricci

Grapefruit? Pomelo? Nonsense, this is a mixture of tea and licorice. There is no denying, this is strong, longlasting, lienar and quite original, up to your tastes or not, but still, original.
25th June, 2012

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

Is this a joke? It is a pre reformulated version of Givenchy Gentleman, of which there are zillions of knock offs in Argentina. For those not caring about brands and price tags, go for the version by Laboratorios Wels, Tabac Black. Hard to find, look after it in small perfume shops in neighborhoods. It sells at 10 % of Bond's price tag.

Wear it and tell the world you paid USD 300 for it.

BTW, tha actual reformulation of Givenchy Gentleman is quite good. So you will be doing yourself a favor buying the original one. If you don't justify its price, go for the Wels knock off. And if you buy Bond... well, caveat emptor.
20th February, 2012

One Man Show Gold Edition by Jacques Bogart

"Bombastic" is a very cautious term when it comes to describe this blend, I'd rather say nuclear. 1980's powerbombs are nothing compared to this. When applying it one has the sensation people will react in an aggresive fashion, it is by far the most boisterous scent I have ever smelt or tried.

It does not have anything to do with the original OMSh, this is more contemporary in terms of notes in fashion nowadays of the kind found in Paco Rabanne's One Million, Carolina Herrera 212 VIP, Antonio Bandera´s The Secret and The Golden Secret and Ted Lapidus Black Soul (I did not try its Golden edition, but I bet they must share the same aromachemicals).

In this case, its originality lies in that the blend morphs into darker notes, thus turning it into a very interesting scent, maybe due to the spices and the base notes. In this sense I regret the fruity top notes.

Overall, I have the feeling that the nose behind this blend wanted to deliver an extreme value for money, or better still, accomplishing in a mass market brand what many niche scents do, without much complexity.

Be aware this must be worn with abundant hair in chest, an open silk shirt and some solid gold chains. Accompay with a set of sport-bars-type lightly dressed girls and a tuned American sports car, preferibly, red. You get the idea...
16th December, 2011

Domain by Mary Kay

For reviews on Domain, check those of Creed's Himalaya, Paco Rabanne's XS, Chanel's Allure, Montblanc's Legacy, Brook Brothers for Men, Ralph Lauren's Safari, Davidoff's Champion, Lauder's Intuition or the now discontinued Ô de Lancôme pour Homme (add to these Alliance, Kevin Black and Kevin Sport by Fragancias Cannon if you live around the River Plate area, namely, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay): they all share the same top notes, which I suspect must be some aromachemical named Bergamotol, Rhubarbex, Bergarubhol or Greenex.

Suggestion: make sure to replace the word "eau de toilette" with "eau de cologne".

If the above mention don't tell you much, it is a conservative powdery and subtle scent like many others which will bring compliments if, by chance, it is noticed.

I like it though, I am into conservative and subtle scents.
12th December, 2011 (last edited: 16th December, 2011)