Perfume Reviews

Reviews by perfaddict

Total Reviews: 54

London by Tom Ford

Looking at the note pyramid it would seem that the perfumeurs tossed in ingredients from some existing popular Private Blend editions to produce London. References to some PB frags in some of the reviews here also indicate same. What i get immediately is a peppery and very smoky Amber Absolute, with an oud a bit more assertive than in Oud Wood showing up later. I only smelt Tobacco Oud once but i immediately recalled it when i first smelt London. Oud is not my favourite note, but Amber Absolute is one of my top 3 TFs. This makes London a frag i really enjoy wearing.

As has been well observed before, London is not a beast like Tobacco Vanille or even Tuscan Leather. Someone must have whispered into the ears of someone in TF to make their new scent a bit more conservative (or maybe cheaper to produce per ml). However, London is no wimp. It still needs to be applied with respect in order to have a nice, clear-headed day.

Thumbs (and big toes) way up for London.
15th July, 2016

Acqua di Lavanda Ambrata / Amber Lavender by Santa Maria Novella

First off, the gender classification of this fragrance is utterly wrong. Lavanda Ambrata is as unisex as they come.

The opening of Lavanda Ambrata is similar to that of Caron's pour un Homme, with the smell of high quality lavender oil prominent to my nose. Where Caron went with vanilla with a musk base, Santa Maria Novella paired the lavender with only amber and not much else. The name of the fragrance seems to be the ingredient list as well. From beginning to (the quite long) end, both lavender and amber are equally balanced. Longevity and projection are impressive on my skin.

I am surprised that LA is not discussed more in the fragrance boards. Such must be it's under-the-radar characteristic. Lovers of Caron's Pour un Homme should pay LA some attention.

Beautiful fragrance, IMO.
05th June, 2016

Eau de Iceberg pour Homme by Iceberg

Advisory: please do not take this frag at first-sniff value. I did at the shop i visited, thinking it was one other nondescript release. Then i got back to my office and was assailed by wafts of loveliness. Few hours later i purchased a bottle.

Eau de Iceberg pour Homme (one of the 74 Series), a shape-shifter bottled, is basically a light vetiver/labdanum fragrance, laced with lemon and other supporting citruses, with clean musk in the drydown. It is not a room-filling fragrance but remains quite noticeable, playing close to the skin at low volume. With less-than-parsimonious application (4+ sprays) it is long-lasting in this manner. Sometimes this is what i want in a scent.

As an aside, an amplified, floral version of EdIpH exists. It is Arabian Oud's Arabian Fasion London, one of the house's contemporary releases.

Eau de Iceberg pour Homme is a competent release and will get lots of wear from me, i am glad to report. Enthusiastic thumbs up!
15th April, 2012
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Duro by Nasomatto

Medicine. Beautifully fragrant medicine of the cough-relieving kind. That is the initial impression I get from Duro. More so than the similar medicinal association attributed to YSL’s M7 (which, to my nose, is more of what they have in common than outright smell). This impression stays with me for about 2-3 hours before the real beauty of Duro begins to emerge, without much evolution however. There must be something in the oud and its interplay with what resins are in Duro, that give off the mineral-like medicinal accord. Duro is woody and at the same time leathery and, with ambient warmth, slightly animalic. At times I get accords similar to wood-smoke doused by a very light drizzle. This is one frag I really love.

Duro is the brute it is widely said to be. Its longevity is phenomenal (18-24 hours). Certainly, being extrait strength, a little goes a long way and needs to be applied with slight trepidation. I do not think the nose(s) behind Duro, or any Nasomatto for that matter, had mass appeal in mind when it was conceived, blended and bottled. It will only appeal to a niche of fragrance users. I feel privileged to belong to that niche.

This is one very good scent. Quirky, but good.
17th February, 2012

Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

Oh my goodness! This is such a beautiful scent. "Mature" and sedate, it oozes understated class. Ormonde Man is certainly not a powerhouse, yet it is not a timid frag eithel. I agree with some reviews i have read which opine that OM is not a flamboyant fragrance, as well as coming across "too perfect". I just interpret the views to read "genius" - whether by design or accident, i do not know.

I have no idea what hemlock smells like but have smelt all sorts of ouds. Oud as a note does not jump out to smack my nose so, if it is in OM, it must be doing an excellent job of balancing other ingredients out to produce the green, slightly piney accord i mostly perceive in OM, which i guess are accords mainly from juniper and cedar as well. I have given OM full wearings and over 7 hours later could still perceive lovely whiffs all around me (disclosure: while i don't douse, i also do not spray economically) and i suppose OM was made (by design, or accident? I dont know) to perform best in humid tropical climes, as ambient moisture kept stoking the OM fires on my skin.

OM attracts significantly polarised opinions on various aspects; smell, longevity, sillage, etc. I believe the OM "lore" gives rise to disappointed expectations when the frag is finally encountered. The much touted high quality and kind of ingredients, together with the rep of the perfumer/house create such high expectations (i had mine too) so much that when i first smelt OM, i am glad i was immediately ensnared by the smell, before realising that i had expected a more "earthmoving" experience. I love OM, and think it is very well blended, and should be approached on its own terms, not biased by what we think it ought to smell/wear like.
26th October, 2011 (last edited: 27th October, 2011)

Vetiver Ambrato by Bois 1920

Vetiver Ambrato - my first Bois 1920, and a brilliant introduction to this house.

It may just be my nose, but Vetiver Ambrato smells like a very refined, vetiver-tinged Old Spice (original Shulton edition). Comparison of the Old Spice pyramid here on Basenotes and the Vetiver Ambrato pyramid elsewhere confirmed my hunch: many notes in common.

Vetiver Ambrato, a barbershop scent, is a slightly clovey (carnations?) amber fragrance laced with vetiver. Vetiver is not dominant in this frag but it is there, especially in the sillage of the first hour after application. Vetiver and galbanum temper the predominantly sweet notes of VA, and i guess this, rather than as a signature note, is the primary purpose of the vetiver.

Sillage is modest, but can fill a small room if liberally sprayed (personal guilt admitted). Longevity is surprisingly significant. Easily 8+ hours after application i still smell it wafting of my chest.

I have always loved Old Spice since childhood. Vetiver Ambrato will now be my new and more refined Old Spice.

Great frag.
28th May, 2011

Impact Pour un Homme by Caron

If you like Caron pour un Homme mainly for the nose-hair singeing lavender intro, then avoid Impact. However, if, like me, you do not care for the astringent initial lavender but love PuH because of its amazing dry-down, then Impact was created for that niche of parfumista. Impact goes straight to the heart and basenotes. The basenotes are, in my opinion, better balanced than in the original, and much longer lasting.

I learned over a while to appreciate and eventually came to like CPuH very much. I loved Impact immediately.
22nd February, 2011

Azzaro pour Homme Elixir by Azzaro

Azzaro pour Homme Elixir does not smell like the classic ApH but is just as substantial. It introduces itself with a lavender blast tempered by well blended citrus and berry notes. ApH Elixir is mainly about berries and pear, as the colour of the bottle hint visually. The berries are so natural smelling, not the excessively sugary sweet type in Paco Rabanne's Black XS. There is a suede accord in the heart to base which recalls SL's Daim Blond, but in a richer(??!!) more masculine way.

ApH Elixir should not be approached expecting a reinterpretation of ApH (which will only result in negative reviews of an otherwise very good frag). Rather, it seems to be a reinterpretation of the concept of ApH. Most likely, those who were interested in ApH but got turned off for some reason will like this modern take. An Azzaro for those who think they are too young for the original, or that the original is too mature for them.

Elixir is not a powerhouse but is not a shy scent. It projects pretty well and is quite long-lasting.

Elixir is another very good Azzaro.
12th February, 2011

L'Essence de Cerruti by Cerruti

I really must say i am surprised that this frag hasn't had the exposure i believe it should here on BaseNotes.

This is a beautiful, mild, musky leather scent. Perhaps a leather for those who do not like strong leathers. It starts off with the published top-notes of bergamot and white pepper and mild cardamom, the the latter two adding a spicy piquancy to the citrus. This intro is sustained for a pleasantly long while before the leather, saffron and musk notes begin their symphony in among the other notes which i truly cannot make out. The saffron (perhaps in the heat of where i live) adds some sensual allure to the scent. At the dry down stage (+2-3 hours) the woody cedar note begins to make its voice heard in the still wonderful chorus.

LdC has respectable yet understated sillage that projects for quite a long while. I enjoy 8+ hours of LdC wafting off my skin without having to dig-in with my nose.

After 1881 and all its flankers, together with Image and Cerruti pour Homme, LdC is a brave new direction by Cerruti. I would hesitate to "age" it, knowing the snowball effect that has with us BaseNoters , but this frag may help bring a lot of us who knew the older Cerrutis (Nino Cerruti and Fair play) back to giving the brand more of the respect it deserves.

This may just be a good/great scent waiting to be given the accolades, IMO, i think it deserves. Or maybe i am just biased because i love this frag.

12th January, 2011

Acteur by Azzaro

As has been observed already, this is an unsual one. Acteur is basically a spicy rose scent with some leather, patchouli and un-IFRA’d oakmoss in the base. However, the stand-out note which gives Acteur its unique character is mace. Lots of it, and just healthily short of overwhelming. The mace is instantly recognisable upon application, with cardamom playing a minor role. Rose is also almost immediately detected and the interplay between the rose, mace and cardamom makes for an almost unmatched opening accord. Acteur takes the mace of Moschino pour Homme , mixes it with the rose of Amouage Lyric Man (yes, I daresay, such is the quality of whatever rose was used here) and together with mainly leather, patchouli and oakmoss, produces an almost linear accord which lasts well into the drydown.

Acteur IS strong. Stronger, I would say, than its better known classic brother, Azzaro pour Homme. This is one frag that I actually respect strength-wise, liberal spraying powerhouse fraghead that I am. Longevity? This is an 80s power-frag. What do you expect? Seriously, with Acteur a little goes the proverbially long way.

Is Acteur an excellent product of perfumery? Are the notes balanced? I don’t know and, frankly, i don’t care. I just love Acteur and it gets many thumbs up.
06th January, 2011

Léonard pour Homme (original) by Léonard

“Strong, dark and brooding” are the words a certain sage used to describe this scent. Leonard pour Homme is an exemplar of 80s scents – scents of a period when disco was king, when Christmas was called by its proper name, when letters were still the main medium of communication and the acronym “IFRA” would have been thought to be for a lethal exotic virus or neuro-toxin.

Leonard pour Homme, leather chypre par excellence, introduces itself with spicy olfactory fanfare – basil and thyme prominent in the fore. When the lovely screeching recedes a bit, wormwood/artemisia attains prominence. Smokiness also emerges, i guess, from patchouli and cedar oil among other ingredients of the frag. Perhaps because I live in the tropics and naturally exposed to direct heat sometimes, it is not long into the wearing that the animalic castoreum and leather ingredients ascend into my conciousness. Resinous labdanum sings in harmony with the smoke-sodden leatheriness to deliver an accord that may be a bit scary to the Acqua di Gio crowd. There is not a smidgen of sweetness in this frag. Baroque pipe organ music and the eerie sound of ghosts and crazed bats seem to be the appropriate sound track for LpH.

LpH is similar to Van Cleef and Arpels pour Homme, but less flowery. It also reminds me of Francesco Smalto pour Homme, but is a bit more herbal and oily; Trussardi Uomo without the tobacco notes, or a more resinous Bel Ami. In all its darkness LpH is not a room-strafing powerhouse like Trussardi pH. Lph has mazing longevity. 9+ hours after applying I still get authoritative whiffs of leathery darkness.

I came upon this frag late, but with it in my wardrobe now the rest of my life will surely be fragrantly richer.
13th December, 2010

Hummer by Hummer

Why on earth was this beauty named “Hummer”, after one of the ugliest and pointless automotive creations I can think of? For some, the name invites instant preconceptions, mostly negative and derisory. It appears that only the curious and the olfactorily adventurous will give this fragrance time of day. Naturally, not many would want to admit they were wrong. However, some will be haunted by the reality of what they smelled and would grudgingly admit they need to give Hummer another try. This, ladies and gentlemen, is myself. And I am glad and humbled that I did. If the creators of Hummer carry out a market survey, they may find out that the frag would have a very high ratio of Eyeballs-to-No Sniffs/No Buys. The name, the name….

Hummer switches on the ignition and burns its highly aromatic wheels with one of the mintiest (almost eye-watering) top notes I have experienced. I am surprised that mint is not listed among the notes. I wonder if it is the listed thyme playing a part here, or misinterpreted. Strong lavender (as observed by Shamu1, another note not listed) kicks in and anchors Hummer as a predominant note. The amber in this frag is a dominant player in tandem with lavender, and it joins the chorus early. The spices, however, add an interesting dimension to the theme. At this stage, when I first smelt Hummer, I started having a nicely disturbing feeling of déjà vu. Where had I smelt this before? Francois Blais below alludes to its similarity with Sung Homme. Hmmm… yes, in the sense that they both have this high-treble metallic, obviously synthetic vibe. But no, that wasn’t it for me. Then it clicked: Jo Malone’s 1995 Amber and Lavender. Admittedly “lower quality”, but spicier and lower-priced. Therein is the value proposition of Hummer. We have very good niche scent now available for cheap.

Hummer has significant sillage and would be the monster the actual vehicle is, if over applied, both to the wearer and those unfortunate to be around him/(her?). It is a long-lasting fragrance, especially in full wear. Hummer will enable me have the Jo Malone experience cheaply, stretching my 30ml bottle of Amber and Lavender longer.

Ignore the silly name, overcome any bias against its cheap price and you could find Hummer to be a very nice aromatic scent. I do, and I love Hummer (the scent, not the box-on-wheels).
29th August, 2010

Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger by Prada

Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger is a beautiful simple fragrance.

I really love the initial experience of the trademark Infusion metallic tang, combined with the orange blossom. Half an hour after spraying on, things calm down a bit, and a somewhat indolic vibe comes into play. 3+ hours afterwards (varies a bit, depending on temperature) IdFd'O becomes a bit powdery, but in a nicely balanced way, IMO, as the tanginess of the top is still present.

This frag is quite long lasting on my skin. I really do not think Fd'O is smartly targeted to women. There is nothing in it that would make men who really appreciates fragrances need some chutzpah to carry wearing this beauty off.
28th August, 2010
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Pure Vetiver by Azzaro

A very nice one from Azzaro. The only problem i see is the name. It is not a pure vetiver in the Guerlain, Givenchy, Malle, MPG, etc sense. The Clarins/Azzaro marketing suits must have had a tongue-in-cheek moment naming this scent.

PV starts of with a bracing melange of tangy grapefruit, cardamom and pepper, as well as the best ginger accord i have ever experienced so far in my limited exposure. No vetiver in olfactory "sight". A few minutes after spraying on i believe i feel an aquatic vibe which fortunately does not last very long, but adds an interesting dimension. Lavender, which has always been sort of "there" then comes on stronger, but not so much as to make PV a lavender frag. The eponymous vetiver note begins to raise its voice about an hour into wear. PV at this stage begins to smell like Mugler Cologne and Creed's Original Vetiver, except that the cardamom and ginger are still in the mix, albeit mutedly. No hint of the earthier vetiver not a few would have expected to experience here. The vetiver here is "ozonic", if that makes sense, and i guess the aquatic note earlier sensed has something to do with this feeling. PV is a scent peppery/spicy woody scent with lots of ginger and lavender as well significant non-earthy vetiver in its base. This is the kind of fragrance i like more than the vetiver heavy-hitters. I must be part of the target market for PV - those who like vetiver as a cast member, but not an A-list star.

My first full wear of PV was to the office and, to my extreme pleasure, i kept sniffing this gingery ozonic vetiver all working day long. I want to submit that this scent is an unsung scent by Azzaro. Its name distracts away from the beautiful woody aromatic that it really is.

Nice one!
28th August, 2010

Silver Scent by Jacques Bogart

This is one of those scents which got the "what on earth is this!" reaction from me. The last was Salvador Dali pour Homme, which i ended up loving to bits. I have come to respect my "WOE" reactions. I bought Siver Scent blind because the collector in me is building up on the J Bogarts.

Silver Scent introduces itself as a wood-smokey, intriguingly oily Fleur de Male, due to the strong orange blossom note they share. Several minutes afterwards, when the inebriated and newly-introduced orchestra members get their musical act together, the star player comes into play: litchi. And Silver Scent contains dollops of litchi in the base. I guess this fruit note is responsible for the rather appropriate "jelly-bean" association. I discovered that Silver Scent is (perhaps one of) the only litchi scents marketed to men. This was a risque move by Bogart, but for me it works. Silver Scent is a straaaange scent. Remove the litchi and SS could have been something else entirely, and perhaps for the better. SS is also spicy, but is so strong that i honestly cannot identify the spices. I just know there are some heavy-hitting suspects in it.

SS is a sillage sledgehammer. Nothing sedate or even civilised about it. Its longevity is phenomenal, and would definitely be a fitting form of punishment for someone naughty (and who doesn't like the scent) to have to spend its entire longevity-span with.

Synthetic? Definitely. It smells more aromachemical than fragrant, if that makes sense. Yet that does not disqualify it in my books. Once again, this is a straaaange scent. Industrial-cleaning-productish? Its not difficult to understand the association. Is it a safe scent? If Salvador Dali pour Homme is considered safe, then yes, and pigs would fly. It will not be a raving success in Western markets, that's for sure.

Do i like Silver Scent? Funny enough, i do. A lot.

For the first time in a review, i will advise that you try, with respectable trepidation, before you buy.
15th August, 2010

Altamir by Ted Lapidus

Altamir is about Orange Blossom. Also noticeable in the intro of Altamir is the (Lapidus house note) pineapple. The neroli accord in Altamir is similar to that of Fleur de Male, although the two scents do not smell alike. Altamir is also quite spicy, adding allure to the neroli. Altamir has a creamy woody drydown, with a good dollop of sandalwood and amber in the base.

Altamir seems to be quite rare and may not be convinient to sample. However, smelling the relatively available TL pour Lui will give an idea what the top notes of Altamir are like, albeit comparatively muted. Very long lasting and with moderate to good sillage.

Altamir is a beautiful frag, IMO.
08th August, 2010

parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Carnation by Comme des Garçons

CDG CArnation is, literally, a very good quality reformulation of an iconic 1959 classic called..................... Tabac Original EDC. Yes, you read me correctly. I say this with all seriousness, and as a devoted lover of TO. Wear the two side by side and the similarities are stunning. CDG Carnation is TO with the carnation, cloves and pepper ramped up a bit, and TO's aldehydes attenuated. This reconfiguration follows Carnation through to a drydown that anybody familiar with TO can already imagine, except that the pepper note also common to both scents continues in Carnation to the drydown.

The sillage of Carnation is (to exaggerate a little bit) just a class below weapons-grade. An unabashed liberal sprayer, even i need to apply Carnation with a careful hand. Longevity is, to understate, impressive. 10 hours on now and i still get nice whiffs from my chest (and i am wearing a knotted tie!).

Honestly, there is no way i can comment on Carnation without reference to TO. So, that's the objective of this review met. Do i need the two scents in my wardrobe? Rationality says no, but the collector that i am welcomes them both. TO i have known and used for about 33 years and will always keep. Carnation is, to me, a refreshed version which i will resort to when i want the scent of TO with amped-up cloves.

Carnation is a wonderful scent.
05th August, 2010

Voyage d'Hermès by Hermès

I bought this new and yet-unsong scent purely out of curiousity, thinking that being an Hermes the risk would be well worth it. Many have preliminarily compared it with Cartier's Declaration and Mugler Cologne. On first wearing it did smell like the aforementioned scents, but only just, to my nose. Rather, it reminded me MORE of another scent which i could not remember. This bothered me for quite a bit, till my wife fortuitously wore "our" Bulgari Eau de The Vert Extreme. Bam! That was it! Vd'H reminded me strongly of the Bulgari. Further research yielded the following commonalities they shared:

Nose - JC Ellena

Common Notes - Tea, Pepper, Cardamom and White Woods (Whatever it means)

The woody floral musk scent that is Vd'H goes on skin with an almost nose-tingling blast of citrus. Shortly after (or when my nose recovers, i am not sure which), the distinct cardamom and pepper comes into play. This is where the Declaration and Mugler Cologne associations start. After about 30 minutes when the tart citrus top-notes are less strident, the tea note take prominence, the pepper and spices still singing their harmonious chorus, but with voices slightly lower in volume. Much later (i have no good idea of the timeline) V'dH settles into a rather beautiful but linear white musk drydown. This is the part of Vd'H that won me over completely. It may just be me, but there is something ever so slightly animalic about the musky drydown.

Various posts in the Forum threads alluded to lack of longevity and not much sillage. I am far from being a JC Ellena authority, but i would have thought that would be par for the course about the scent made from a nose noted for minimalist constructions. However, i no longer judge the performance of scents from the back of my hands but from full wearings. This is how my experience has been: Two healthy shots to my chest and two to my neck gave me 9 hours of full-on whiffs off my chest even, at one time, after changing shirts 4 hours after application (actually removing any chance of perceived longevity due to attachment to fabric). Initial back-of-the-hand tests almost had me believing the no-longevity reviewers. I think significant shots are needed on application in order to attain critical "mass" for the long-lasting musk drydown. The sillage, however, is close to the skin most of the time, yet not insignificant. Vd'H will not be a popular scent for clubs or the like, nor was it created to be, i want to believe.

In my opinion, this scent will do better in the heat and with some slight skin moisture. It actually does bloom when there is ambient heat. I have worn this scent enough times going in and out of air-conditioned environments to know it is one of those "bloomers". But then, most scents are like that.

Does the scent evoke travel or journeys for me? I would just say i know it smells lovely. That's what i bought it for. I now know i took a good risk buying it blind (note: do not try this at home ;o).

Voyage d'Hermes is a beautiful fragrance. A winner in my books.

03rd August, 2010

Preferred Stock by Coty

If all scents to be reviewed had to be collected at some central point, in unlabelled vials and reviewers zapped with a temporary-memory-loss taser, i wonder how the review statistics of Preferred Stock will be affected. But what do i know?

PS is, IMO, which opens with a sweaty lavender intro is a fougere-like scent rich in patchouli and some tonka bean and amber in the base. I want to believe there is something representing labdanum in the mix as well. This note is probably what gives it the sweaty/BO/whatever smell alluded to in several reviews below. This animalic tinge is actually what makes PS quite attractive to my nose.

Preferred Stock is a delightful, cheap and cheerful scent. It smells quite substantial without being overpowering. Yes, with most cheapies one cannot totally escape certain olfactory realities. PS has a synthetic/perfumey phase a la Sung Homme (rogue links or territorial skirmishes within the synthetic aromachemical chain structures?) but this is just for a very short while before the accords make peace and recalibrate with eachother.

I enjoy wearing Preferred Stock, and have even worn it to a black-tie dinner. It held its own among the identified Creeds and Guerlains. Then again, maybe it was just the wearer.
30th July, 2010

Jacomo de Jacomo Deep Blue by Jacomo

Jacomo, IMO, has done it again. One word review: Sublime.

For olfactory reference, if you have smelt Cool Water, Wings and Green Irish Tweed, you will feel that JdJDB is quite familiar. DB takes all that is good from them and blends them very well. DB is another interpretation of the violet theme. This time it is given a certain allure with the pepper. The colour of the bottle and the name of the scent alludes to an aquatic scent. However, believe DB is primarily a spicy woody scent, with aquatic nuances (does this make sense? If not, please pardon me). DB dries down to a nice woody musk accord.

DB has respectable sillage. People will definitely like the trail left by it. Longevity-wise, i smelt DB directly off my chest while changing after a day at work. At work i was delighted by the constant beautiful fragrance. That makes longevity on my skin 12+ hours before fade.

I like DB very much, and over the years i know i will love it a lot.
21st July, 2010

Cigar by Rémy Latour

I was surprised to come across Cigar at a domestic airport kiosk and, of course, bought it cheap on the spot.

While Santa Maria Novella's Acqua di Cuba is one of the most authentic tobacco frags i know, and while it smells like cigars in their presentation box, Remy Latour's Cigar smells like cigar smoke in a club filled with cigar-smoking BaseNoters, lovely smells and all.

Cigar goes on with a slightly screechy blast of aromachemicals (its not expensive, so what could i expect?) but immediately calms down and begins to exhibit what it was meant to showcase: a very nice cigar accord, garnished with mild floral notes as well as detectable sandalwood plus substantial, cigar-box cedar. To me, this is a beautiful masculine and evocative scent. Cigar smells like a cigar box which has contained well cured unrapped cigars for quite a while. I smell mainly cigars and cedarwood. A short walk in the blazing heat (a usual part of my tests) works olfactory wonders! It tells me what it will be like walking through a cigar rolling shop with nice-smelling workers, the florals blooming beautifully, sweetening the experience.

Cigar is one very long lasting (12+ hours) scent, with moderate yet substantial sillage. People will not choke near a Cigar wearer but, believe me, (mostly positive) questions will be asked.

Thumbs way up!
17th July, 2010

cK be by Calvin Klein

CK Be is a beautiful, minimalist, discreet and iconic floral white musk scent, IMO.

Analysis of the fragrance that is CK Be has already been very well done by other reviewers, so i will focus on the experience of wearing it. CK Be is one of those scents i use in the unusual instance when i dont want to wear a frag that has noticeable presence, and yet one i can privately enjoy. And enjoy it i do for a very long while, because as i write i still get sometimes appreciable, sometimes subliminal whiffs of this lovely frag. And that is 12+ hours after a working day's wear, and after changing clothes. The predominant white musk garnished with vanilla, and sandalwood is a beauty to experience.

I love CK Be.
14th July, 2010

Habit Rouge Sport by Guerlain

Habit Rouge Sport is a beautiful floral oriental (i think: i am not to good at categorising scents). It starts off with a citrus burst, with spices joining the chorus quite soon after. The definite jasmine notes also arise in the first few minutes of application. I really don't know what bamboo would smell like in a frag and i am sure i am missing it here. HRS is mainly floral, IMO. And a beautiful floral it is. I tried to sniff out any indolic or animalic accents, even taking a walk in the heat. I did not get any (sadly). HRS settles into a base of subtle leather and light vanilla. It certainly is not a powdery dry-down. More like the dry-down of Coriolan, feel-wise. Why the "Sport" appellation? Goodness knows.

I write this review exactly 12.5 hours after application and i still catch wafts of HRS rising from my chest, so HRS has no longevity issues on my skin. I applied HRS a tad liberally, but did not bathe in it. I know the sillage of HRS is good. Not a room-clearer though.

My only complaint about Habit Rouge Sport is the name, and Guerlain's making it a flanker of the successful Habit Rouge, rather than a stand-alone release. This will naturally cause people seeking after HR references, finding little, feeling disappointed and thereby missing the bigger picture. I believe HRS should be judged on its own merits and not with reference to the other Habit Rouges.HRS is a new direction for Guerlain. A direction towards a new demographic of user, which i think one should welcome since one cannot avoid the constancy of change. There are Guelain frags for Guerlainistas. Then there are (mostly new) Guerlains for those who just like nice-smelling scents. HRS may not be to the satisfaction of the purists, but it is a very good scent which i intend to enjoy for a long time.

I like! Thumbs up.
12th July, 2010

Captain Molyneux by Molyneux

The lovely Captain Molyneux!

I recently became reacquainted with this old love of mine after a hiatus of about 20 years. I first used CM in 1982 when it was one of the hottest frags in this part of the world (West Africa) then several more bottles up till 1990.

The reviews here are rather surprising. It seems as if another Captain Molyneux is being described. Captain is an aromatic fougere, not a marine scent in the "aquatic" genre sense, although i guess "captain" connotes a mariner and thus the association. However, if this scent was made to evoke the sea then some brilliant perfumery was effected by the house of Molyneux. Captain starts of with a very aromatic, clovey and spicy lemon accord with strident treble notes. This is one of the frags which evoke a nose-tingling feeling with me, which i quite enjoy. After about 15+ minutes the fragrance calms down a little bit and then, together with coniferous and spicy notes, a certain infamous note which has not been mentioned in previous reviews enters the stage: Civet. Yep, ye good old civet. Captain is actually an animalic frag with a good dose of civet and i guess that is where the "sea", notes observed by other reviewers is derived. I need to disclose here that i live in the tropics where heart- and base-notes are usually (nicely) amplified by our almost year-round high temperatures. The civet, though well balanced by the strong spices, really comes to the fore in the heat.

Another surprise is the consensus that Captain has below-par longevity. I have always enjoyed good (8+) longevity with Captain, but again i only gauge longevity from actual wearings and not back-of-wrist sniffs. It does stay close to the skin most of the time, but its still significantly present. I admit i spray liberally, but not even half as much as naed_nitram's anecdotal captain.

Captain is indeed a beautiful and iconic fragrance. Foetidus, as always, is right in saying that it belongs in a collector's wardrobe. It is here to always stay in mine.
11th July, 2010

Trussardi Uomo (original) by Trussardi

Trussardi Uomo! One powerhouse i knew for years only by its hairy-chested, metal-chewing reputation, till i bought it recently. I must say that it seems the young thug many have talked about miraculously found stability and got an education, culminating in a Doctor of Letters, and now likes wearing (at least) 180-grade wool suits. This reissued TU is an ear-studded and tattooed gentleman of a powerhouse (or my nose has become jaded).

TU starts off with a complex green/smokey/aromatic accord, which at first wearing i thought would pulverise me, but never did. Rather it almost immediately(!) calmed down into an animalic leather/tobacco accord which i could enjoy sniffing forever and a day. The whole complex of accords then settles into a (relatively) soft mode which reminds me of several scents all at once: like Van Cleef and Arpels pour Homme, Versace l'Homme, Aramis, and a bit of Iquitos all blended nicely together. Its mellowing-down is similar to that of Bijan for Men after its screaming-Banshee intro.

Trussardi Uomo is a powerhouse scent, no doubt. Masculine to the hilt, but then not more butch than Lancome's Magie Noir (go figure!) It may have been a thug of a scent in its initial incarnation, but what i have experienced recently makes it, to me, a beautiful man's-man frag with loads of gravitas. Longevity is of respectable proportions. Sillage? I smell it on myself almost all day, so it must be projecting "quite a bit". Not exactly a room-clearer, but people will sit up and notice.

No complaints whatsoever about this magnificent gem.
10th July, 2010

Guerlain Homme Intense by Guerlain

Guerlain Homme Intense is a delightful surprise from Guerlain. I believe its main problem will be that it is a modern scent from a traditional house. Human resistance to the new will be its bete noir for a while.

Its opening rhubarb and mint accords are just great, IMO. An aromatic delight. I really wished they lasted longer. My consolation is that the fresh yet woody accords which follow are such a joy. It is a sweet scent, but not in the toothache-inducing sense. Here, the woods counterbalance the sweets so well, yet they do not cancel eachother out. Rather, the balance creates a dynamic (perhaps what some reviewers call "tension") that adds gravitas to the blend.

GHI is one of those frags that make me twist and turn in order to catch a whiff of it. It makes me feel good all over. GHI has substantial sillage and is serious longevity.

I dare say that if this frag was released under a different name and from a new house it would receive more favourable acclaim. However, it is a Guerlain, and we will all be looking for Habit Rouge or Mitsouko or (fill the blank) references from it, and our sore disappointment will result in negative reviews. GHI is a new direction, and i am glad it is a direction i like very much.

Thumbs up!
20th June, 2010

Salvador Dali pour Homme by Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali pour Homme seems to attract a lot of metaphors, derision and the like. It also gathers good praise from those who appreciate (smell) its virtues. It is like Hugo's Quasimodo of Notre Dame, outwardly ugly, despised and derided, yet to those who really appreciate Hugo's story and the character of Quasimodo, a being with a beautiful and loving heart. His beauty had to be appreciated by his acts, putting aside the "negatives", giving him a fair chance in spite of his unappealing "externals" and reputation.

I love Salvador Dali pour Homme unreservedly and write this review surrounded the aura of its dry-down after 12 hours of wearing during a good day at work (coincidence? i dont really know) and yes, with a biased mind. The initial onslaught of leather-funked lavender and bergamot definitely requires a certain kind of wearer in order for SDpH not to be described as "hot tar and satan" and the other colourful metaphors here. My first sampling drew interesting looks from my 4-year old daughter and my wife. I initially thought: "what the blazes is THIS???!!!" I knew i was at a threshold of my fragrance experience and was glad i crossed it positively. Wifey liked it by the way.

To be honest, i still have not been able to get my nose around, by note, any of the florals i know are in this scent, but is the floral sweetness in it, apart from the vanilla, that makes this scent wearable. In about an hour into wearing, SDpH takes a turn into a much more mellow path, but all i can smell (and feel - strange!) is leather, leather and more leather. The notes do not indicate it but i always detected (subliminally?) castoreum, a lot of it. To confirm this, i have sprayed some AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo Castoreum (pure and natural as castoreum can be, with birch tar added) on one hand several times for a side-by-side with SDpH and yes, that is it. That "note" that has been described as blood, hades, smoke and what have you must be castoreum infusing itself into the other constituent notes. Sublime.

SDpH is one of those scents always in my nose while i wear it, yet it neither cloys nor wear me out. Rather, it keeps me thinking about it. In that sense one could say it is distracting, but positively and beautifully so.

As already indicated above SDpH's longevity is amazing. It is still going on significantly 12+ hours after!

Many thumbs up to SDpH and to the noses behind the scent. A fitting homage to the man Dali.
26th August, 2009

Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

Although i used the original Oscar de la Renta pour Lui in my university days and up to the early 90's, this review is of the reformulated edition. An admittedly weaker version of the very rich original, but a good scent in itself. Unfortunately i did not have this positive nostalgic identification with the new Antaeus and therefore do not feel too short-changed having to use the new formulation.

The new pour Lui is still a powerful scent and not for those who just want an aura of scent very close to themselves. In the opening "blast" my limited nose gets the aldehydes, lavender and anise, although lots more is going on. I will always remember my first sniff of pour Lui in 1983 in which i thought it smelt like no other scent i had come across. I still got that feeling in my "re-union" first sniff of this edition 17 years after last using it. pour Lui is a scent which i wish could retain its top-notes throughout its life on my skin, and THAT is unusual.

A few hours into the wearing, i perceive a perfumey quality in pour Lui which reminds me of Sung Homme (which i only came across last month). It may just be me, but it is not a bad thing at all.

Despite my wish for a protracted top-note phase, the drydown of pour Lui is yet another matter entirely. The (mainly) oakmoss and musk notes are an experience! An experience one has the luxury of enjoying for a while, as the longevity of pour Lui is significant. On me it is one of those scents that survive mere water and soap.

Oscar de la Renta pour Lui (reloaded) is a very good scent which i will not hesitate to recommend any day, especially to those who appreciate 80s scents.
23rd August, 2009

JHL by Aramis


My mother's Cinnabar of years gone by, but with a macho twist. This scent has gravitas. Certainly not for boys, but for the confident gentleman.

It starts off very strong (i like that) and would definitely overwhelm if not applied prudently. Like the ratings here indicate, this is a scent that will polarize opinions, depending on the demographic band the reviewer belongs to.

From my wearings to date, JHL is about cinammon and not too much else. The florals, patchouli and vanilla come to play later on when my nose has recovered from the cinnamon punch it most happily received on application. Fortunately, i have plenty of time to enjoy the latter phases of JHL because its longevity is pretty impressive. Living in the tropics i notice that slight perspiration (more like increased ambient temperature) turns up the aroma volume noticeably.

JHL is a sophisticated powerhouse which needs to be used with some respect. It is not for everyone, but i feel privileged to fall into the group who love it. Those who prefer scents that remain olfactorily invisible or silent need not apply.

Thumbs UP!
23rd August, 2009

Dark Rose by Czech & Speake

Dark Rose is a beautiful Rose/Oud fragrance. It starts of with a rather astringent oud note in harmonious accord with the rose and saffron. It does have a comforting berry accord in the dry-down.

DR has good sillage and longevity. I was impressed with its longevity, especially when i got slightly drenched in the rain, and it still smelled strong on my wrist.

I had always thought DR would be a darker, deeper scent than No. 88. I was proven wrong. The colours of the bottles should have been a good indication for me. Now i understand why DR is listed as a female scent, although its a perfect unisex.

I have only one "problem" with Dark Rose: I already have Micallef's Aoud Homme. As good as Dark Rose is, it pales significantly beside the Micallef. considering the relative scarcity of Micallef, DR is a very good alternative Rose/Oud/Saffron scent.

DR is a fine fragrance and earns several thumbs up.
01st August, 2009