Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Ken_Russell

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Total Reviews: 335

Déclaration Essence by Cartier

I may not be in tune with the general opinion about this or my nose may just be underdeveloped/touched by olfactory fatigue, but I just love this one. Citrus and spice may be a dominant here, but I also get a touch of "powdery florals", yet still very manly and even slightly dark in this one. Also, a very rich note of exotic woods towards the end, almost in tune with a powerhouse frag from an earlier decade, thus, so far I perceive this one as having a mature, yet not dated or overly heavy styled, in fact, it seems to gravitate successfully between something very ethereal and fluctuating on one hand, something very earthy, burly and masculine in an imposing, yet not overpowering, style.
12th December, 2010

Trussardi Jeans Men by Trussardi

I got this dirt cheap and was expecting some slightly gourmand, overly sweet casual frag along the lines of the Jeans range by Versace. Instead, I got a moderately casual scent with a lot of "powdery orange" notes, somewhat similar to Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermes, but with an extra touch of subtly bitter sweetness, even some florals and also fruity notes which fail to be unmanly. May come off as a bit too youthful, lighthearted and uncomplicated at first, but it develops that extra warmth, edge and depth just enough to be suitable for a mature and discerning customer base.
11th December, 2010

Elite X for Men Skill by Umbro

Here I am, already reviewing the third Umbro frag, but I felt I had to do this, since, just as correctly remarked in the previous reviews, this one is by far the best Umbro frag available.
I would even go a bit further and say that this one, without being necessarily a cheap imitation of the latter two, is for the mass market what Cool Water are for the designer segment and GIT for the niche segment of the market. Moreover, this one is one of the few aquatic which exudes class and manages to be, in certain ways, less obnoxious and less alcoholic-smelling than Cool Water (though GIT is harder to surpass), but I always get the sensation that this one is a lighter, smoother, more luminous and more suave version of the Davidoff Bestseller.
Skill starts out as a generic, bland, somewhat vapid aquatic, with hints of fruity notes, white florals and herbs, but then settles into something way more masculine, something making a lasting impression of elegance and good taste without trying too hard.
The only minus point, though understandable for this price, is its longevity, barely outlasting 2-3 hours at most. But this may work as an advantage too, should one intend to wear a simple, crisp summer frag, intended to cool and refresh, rather than be a long-lasting projection monster.
28th November, 2010
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Elite X for Men Power by Umbro

A far heavier and more synthetic version of Drakkar Noir, pungent and smoky to extremes from the first whiff.
28th November, 2010

Umbro Speed by Umbro

I never thought I will review an Umbro frags, but some testers in a local supermarket intrigued me, so I tested this one with curiosity and skepticism.
So, the result was bearable, especially for a mass-market frag, but uneventful. Nevertheless, this frag has some complexity, quite intricately layered in various notes taking one's attention from time to time, in a very erratic pace.
First, there is a burst of citrus, very soapy and astringent, but that lasts only for few second, closely followed by the impression of a quite faithful Givenchy Gentleman-copy, one could even feel the slightly "dirty", rooty and muddy patchouli and musky notes. Then I thought that I was going to smell all day a Givenchy Gentleman impersonator, but no, the final drydown took one more harsh and overpowering turn.
From Gentleman's leathery masculinity to the heaviest and of the most concentrated gourmand frags in the world, as if someone managed to extract the notes of AMen, Sculpture Homme and Le Male and magnified them to an almost unbearable strength. If someone likes undeniably, overtly sweet frags of a nearly unrealistic intensity, this one may be a deal.
If one does not find any liking in such notes, then this one will just be potent, but still forgettable.
28th November, 2010

Kate by Kate Moss

It may sound strange, by I never thought I would give a celebuscent such a good rating. A floral which is not sickly sweet at all - a rare quality nowadays. Plus, aside from the good lasting power, it tends to gradually turn into a powdery and mysterious final note. A soon-to-be-classic, also available at a fairly good price
16th November, 2010

Axe Instinct / Lynx Instinct by Axe / Lynx

Flesh, flesh, flesh, sweat, sweat, sweat, but once you manage to be patient and wait until the final drydown kicks in, some vapid notes of leather and winter spices become remotely perceptible.
Nothing remarkable, most likely a very commercial attempt to create a popular spiced frag.
01st November, 2010

Axe Vice / Lynx Vice by Axe / Lynx

Surprised by this one, actually noticing that, while not being groundbreaking, it is overall not a bad scent.
To my nose, I seem to detect some citrus and some soapy notes, in fact more crisp, much less offensive and dramatic, than its title promises.

I expected to find a naughty, blatantly sensual, even "trendy antisocial", sublimely subversive fragrance and instead found something reminding me of an- oddly- not to generic casual frag, sporty but in a more upmarket way, very zen and also discreet enough to almost have potential for a solid day-by-day all-rounder.
01st November, 2010

Full Speed by Avon

Initially, I expected something far more in the tone of an "equestrian leather" or an "oldtimer leather", obviously mislead by the name, thus something edgy, tobacco-smelling, with an antiquated touch of old-world distinction.
Instead, I smelled an easygoing citrus-fruity frag, reminding me of freshly cut watermelons and zingy burst of orange, even with a touch of yuzu. Light, very refreshing during hot days, this will probably not become a permanent presence in my frag wardrobe, but it will nevertheless come off as a tolerable and easygoing summer scent.
05th April, 2010

Agua de Loewe by Loewe

Refined casual alternative to most citric scents. But much more than just the usual "clean" and/or "crisp" description, I genuinely sense in this one an sophistication that never becomes anachronistic neither with a certain casual simplicity expected of this particular kind of fragrance, nor with an almost mythical Mediterranean classiness.
05th November, 2009

Axe Marine / Lynx Marine by Axe / Lynx

A marine scent in the cheapo category, which actually smells tolerable. I have pleasant memories with this one. In fact, quite suitable for everyday wear.
30th October, 2009

Bergamotto Marino by Gianfranco Ferré

One of the best Eau de Cologne-style frags around. Light, faithful to its unisex potential, yet also with some unassuming, discreet and classy masculine notes. A treat for today's distinguished, discriminating yet modern wearer. The bergamot notes are just stunningly well put together, as with the very persistent yet never intrusive dry-down. Suitable both for casual wear and with high-end, semi-formal attire.
04th October, 2009

Solo Loewe Eau de Cologne Intense by Loewe

This one is for me even better than the initial Solo Loewe. It's fresh, relaxing, extremely icy, but in a soothing way. The almost perfect casual scent with one immense touch of distinction. I love this scent and would consider wearing it, especially during hot weather.
15th September, 2009
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Jil Sander Man (2007) by Jil Sander

Exquisite, but as with all Jil Sander frags, the lasting power comes off as a bit short and it would have been if it lasted longer, because the notes are just stunning. Discreet, elegant, clean cut yet with a slight, not overpowering touch of sweetness, quite a few classy leathery and smoky touches too, mingled with a certain showery freshness. This has truly some serious cult classic potential, if they could only make this one more long-lasting. Modern yet timeless at a time, doing this effortlessly and impressing through a very puristic and minimalistic sort of elegance. I never thought I would love any Jill Sander frag, but I was proven wrong, since now I've found something close to pure bliss (of only the strength of the fragrance notes would render me even more blissful...).
27th July, 2009 (last edited: 28th July, 2009)

CerrutiSí by Cerruti

Not bad, but slightly to sweet for my taste. The fleshy, animalic notes also found in Cerutti 1881 Amber are even more pronounced in this one. There's something about the spiciness of this frag that is a bit overdone to me. All in all, the overall impression is not an unpleasant one, yet something in this just seems not to "click" together with my fragrance taste.
27th July, 2009 (last edited: 28th July, 2009)

Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt

This fragrance also falls into the category of "female classics" I would love to smell on more of my female friends and acquaintances. Not for everyone, since, I presume, this one is targeted at a more mature audience, heavy floral, slightly aldehydic, almost leathery dry-down.
07th June, 2009

Vétiver (original) by Carven

Simple, discreet, timeless. Will surely evoke great memories of classy past-by ages. The perfect scent for a conservative, somewhat restrained gentleman.
30th April, 2009

Cabotine by Grès

I must confess that I didn't like this scent at, when I first smelled it, but then, in an unexpected change, it became nearly a standard value in almost all of my gifts directed to female friends, relatives and acquaintances. Why? Because while the first impression was heavy and sweet, the dry-down increasingly develops wonderfully mature and distinguished leathery and woody notes. In spite of the presentation or the first impressions, definitely not an average female "green" or "floral", but a truly sober and refined creation, directed towards a discriminating and classy audience.
20th April, 2009

Bella Firenze by Tosca

Probably one of the most elegant and one of the best female scents I ever had the honor to smell on a lady- since a female friend has worn it, I was haunted by this scent for many days and months. Clean, bright, warm and extremely classy.
14th March, 2009

White Musk for Men by Body Shop

Along with the more niche oriented Muschio Bianco from Acca Kappa, this one has truly great unisex potential, although this one is a bit less elaborated and distinguished than the first. Nevertheless, the with musk, to be found in both fragrances, gives this one, just like in the case of the former, a certain soapy, solar and uplifting touch of cleanliness and softness, thus easy to be worn on informal occasions, in spite of the musky notes, which usually appeal to an elaborate and mature sort of fragrance taste. Also, slight (at least, to my perception) vanilla touches and sweetness... in all shapes and sizes. This one could actually be truly an olfactory treat, if only the Body Shop would not use no many generic notes, in affordable, yet quite one- dimensional (with the rare and notable exception of e.g. Kistna, in my opinion, a few degrees better than most of the male scents crafted by the Body Shop).
15th February, 2009

Arber by Body Shop

In my opinion, extremely spicy, leaving a quite sharp overall impression. The olfactory sensation might seem assaulted, at first, by a variety of peppery notes, as other reviewers correctly remarked, followed by a warm and quite sweet dry- down. Pleasant and quite good value for money, but not something I would wear every day and, also, not enough to become my signature scent.
15th February, 2009

Guerlain Homme Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

Left me with mixed emotions, could have been done much better. The Guerlinade note is here almost imperceptible and thus underused and I'm just suspecting that this scents is a desperate attempt by Guerlain only to capitalize on the craze of everything new, regardless if a novelty is truly an innovation or just a ripoff. While this fragrance is by far not repulsive to, it is no match to the classical male scents by Guerlain either, the few timeless masterpieces which wrote and rewrote perfume history. Too sweet and quite average longevity, combined with a desire to be trendy which could have been put to much better use in many other ways. Although it's by far no unpleasant scent and it's notes are good quality, it's just not my thing.
29th January, 2009

Revelation Energy by Pierre Cardin

Ok, maybe not the greatest male scent around, but pretty bearable (and not much more than this for a generic, summery scent. Oranges everywhere, a slight touch of sensuality and in spite of a very pleasant initial impression, the middle notes and the drydown lead the fragrance wearer, especially the discriminating and curious one, to a clean- cut but highly synthetic and sweet shower gel and cream note. Would have worked much better if these notes would have been put to use in a fruity mass market cosmetic product.
29th January, 2009

Solo Loewe by Loewe

I already had great expectations, entirely fulfilled, regarding Esencia Loewe and Loewe para Hombre, thus my initial reaction, before I ever tested this scent was like: "Oh, even the historic house of Loewe wants to compete two of its most flawless creation, symbolizing old- world conservative class and luxury (of course, the two aforementioned scents) with a heartless neoliberal, postmodern world-order, symbolized by a an androgynous, unimpressive, metrosexual teeny cookie- cutter fragrance?". But I could have not been more wrong and, arguably, the launch year confused me a bit. Sure, it is hypermodern anmd cutting edge, yet with a lot of style, warmth, manhood, distinction and creativity. All these "pillars of wisdom" more likely to be present in an old school scent, were, against all odds, carefully and stylishly used and valued even here, just in a very different manner and a different composition. Initial floral- fruity blast, followed by a hint of... both sharp, icy and fiery notes, a variety of aromatic touches employed in various unexpected ways. Finally, at least on my skin, a highly powdery and also Mediterranean drydown, reminding me of Roma Uomo and Minotaure (other sooo typically Latin creations) but both with an extra edge and an extra ease and slighly more musky and, as I previously remarked, fiery than these two. Well, if most Spanish scents are either brilliant or ghastly, as other rewievers remarked, with regards to other e.g. Loewe, Rabanne or J. del Pozo creations, then this one is just one of the few who belong to the truly better half.
29th January, 2009

Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

Distinction has hardly ever known a more worthy and dignified expression, as this olfactory creation is truly memorable. Smells a bit like Santos plus a more aromatic and citric opening, than Santos could ever achieve in its mysterious, but seductive ways, plus the chypre style refinement of some rather classic and formal male scents by Guerlain, Chanel, Givenchy and YSL from the past. Regarding the previous sentence, the suave smoothness, combined with the understated class of Monsieur de Givenchy, Gentleman, the original YSL pour Homme and Chanel pour Monsieur is present from the first whiff, but only as an opening, yet never copying these scents in any way. It then takes a very different approach, a twist regarding a persistent and highly aromatic woody background, which only adds more masculinity and sobriety to this already very well balanced composition. French- made extravagance, combined with outstanding, absolutely flawless technical achievements.
12th January, 2009 (last edited: 28th December, 2016)

Polo Black by Ralph Lauren

I was nearly fooled by a quite relaxing, easygoing and unspectacular introduction- with many "sweet", aquatic- ozonic undertones. But once this first impression has passed, a blast of spice and truly "dark", edgy notes take over. Seems like two very different perfumes in one, as the styles, the intensity and the suitability for formal or informal use are extremely different between the first impression the final drydown.
12th January, 2009

Jasmin Noir by Bulgari

Described by many of my female friends as the ultimate "seduction in a bottle"- fragrance, as THE flawless olfactory artwork, I was slightly surprised to find out that this scent was not that groundbreaking as I expected. Still, it was highly sensual, yet also distinguished and inoffensive, but a slight bit to flowery for what I consider to be a truly complex female scent. The sweetness seems to take over too much of the notes and it's also not as "dark" as some might suggest. Nevertheless, it's a safe and quite inspired choice for the female wearer ready to detach herself from the generic, commonplace trends dominating the fragrance world and trying to make a mature, dignified and stylish impression.
24th December, 2008

Chrome by Azzaro

It's so nineties, and I bet that this one must have been groundbreaking back in 1996, as it has, as previously remarked, strong similarities with lots of CK male fragrances from the same period. Maybe too watery and ozonic for my taste, yet some aromatic notes, combined with fruity undertones just make it the perfect casual scent, with that certain extra that makes this scent rise above the mass-market simplicity of (even designer and niche) casual scents. If the androgynous touches would be less developed and with more emphasis on spices and uncommon essences (maybe, but not necessarily, woods, herbs and the list may go on) this fragrance might have been something highly refined and extremely arty- but then again, one single note might change the whole mixture, with all the good and the bad and thus even annul that comfy, lofty 90's feeling.
24th December, 2008

Vetyver Lanvin (new) by Lanvin

I actually enjoy this scent, although not as much to turn it into one of my favorites. Nevertheless, it is crisp, light yet distinguished, sporting a more vibrant and easygoing, informal approach, in comparison to the almost hieratic opulence of the more classical Guerlain or Creed Vetivers.
27th November, 2008 (last edited: 09th September, 2009)

Bright Visit by Azzaro

How light, how vibrant and accomplished enough to impress a fan of rather formal, heavy and classic scents. So much more than a watered-down version of Visit. This fragrance is truly exquisiste and a genuine feast for my senses. Ozonic and watery... yes, maybe, but still so distinguished, silky, yet easygoing and even with the same spicy base found in the initial Visit-fragrance, but witha lighter edge.
02nd November, 2008