Perfume Reviews

Reviews by cytherian

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Total Reviews: 26

1776 Russian Leather by Elsha

When I first found Elsha 1776, I was impressed. I found it to have echoes of CHANEL's Cuir de Russie. I've got an older bottle, but I'm not sure what year... because the Elsha people are notoriously inept at their bottling practices (no batch code). It's a light leather, if there's anything to be said about leather here. It does have a "barbershop" vibe as well. I like it and I'm glad to have a bottle, but I would not say it's "repeat buy worthy." Longevity is lacking, but because it's so cheap you can liberally apply and layer.

From what I've read, Elsha 1776 had better days. There may have been a reformulation or different sourcing of ingredients. It's a shame, as I can see how this fragrance could've been terrific if they only tweaked the formulation a bit.
06th September, 2017

Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

I didn't care for Fahrenheit in the beginning. And I'm talking vintage, 30 Avenue Hoche. Very peculiar use of violet. I didn't quite get the "gasoline" accord many have commented on, but more of a "clinical green." I think it's closer to turpentine than gasoline, but in a good way. There is something in turpentine that's pleasant. A highly astringent woody green. I almost let go of my bottle, but decided to keep it. And I have to say it has grown on me. I must give it a thumbs up for the principle of it. It's a very unique fragrance and was done well initially. The later version is OK. But the vintage... is something special. I give it a 3/5 rating because I wouldn't want to wear this much, but I'm glad to have it in my collection.
16th August, 2017

Dunhill Edition by Dunhill

There is a rather prominent difference between production releases. The "Dunhill" without the dot and "EDITION" printed right below Dunhill on the bottle is the newer release.
I managed to obtain the earlier release and find this so easy to enjoy, nicely composed, with woods nicely accompanied by a swirl of herbs. I don't get very much basil, but more nutmeg and sage. No sharp edges on this one, that can typically be experienced with nutmeg and cedar. Everything is smoothed over. Longevity is about average, but the aroma is well worth it. I had to get backups and the aftershave too. :-)
15th April, 2017
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Santos by Cartier

Sandalwood is still one of my most favorite notes. I cannot get enough of it. And it's just astounding how many fragrance variations can be made with sandalwood in the base.

I thought I'd wrapped it all up when I found D&G By Man and Gucci Envy. But then a vintage bottle of Santos de Cartier fell in my lap. This is the dressed up version with brushed silver metal casing and gold accents secured with flush faux screws. The very high end luxury presentation in Remy Martin like padded red faux leather box does not disappoint for what is inside.

Sandalwood and lavender go so well together. Add on some peppery spices, herbs, richness from amber, patchouli, vetiver, and a little sweetness of coconut and vanilla, and something magical happens. Bold and beautiful. I sampled the recent version and it's so sad what Cartier did to it. Definitely make a point of trying the vintage if you can.

Fragrance 9.2 / Value 8.5
06th April, 2017 (last edited: 07th April, 2017)

Granville by Christian Dior

I'm not a big fan of pine notes. I guess I have too many childhood memories of pine air fresheners and scented cleaners that associate a cheap, overly accessible scent. And while Granville leads with pine, the supporting notes of lemon, herbs (rosemary/thyme/mint) and soft woods transform it into something wonderfully fresh and inviting.

I really enjoy Diptyque Hesperides, which was my very affordable version of Granville before I even knew it. But after discovering Dior discontinued it, I decided it was time to explore this fragrance. Longevity is rather like an EDC than an EDT, so one may find reapplying is necessary. I don't mind that, because not every fragrance has to be a powerhouse or bold enough to last 24 hours. This is something very office safe and yet, different from so many other fragrances. It comes somewhat close to being "mouthwash scent", but stops just short of it. A little more mint and it would smell terribly cheap. Ironically, retail prices are rather high for what you get, but it isn't the most popular fragrance from Dior's Couturier Collection so slightly used bottles can be had for very decent discounts. Get it before it starts becoming scarce!

Fragrance 8.1 / Value 7
06th April, 2017

Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein

Many of the negative reviews are very likely based on the reformulation. I have smelled both original and current formulations and there is a keen difference. The current is a shadow of its former self.

Get the vintage! You will do yourself a favor. And because of subtle bottle differences, it's actually pretty common to find a vintage bottle not listed as vintage and get it for a very good price. 120ml for $25 is not bad!
06th December, 2016

Haitian Vetiver by Ermenegildo Zegna

When I first sampled this, I instantly thought of Guerlain Vetiver. It's VERY close, however, deceptively so. Is there "real" vetiver in this? I don't believe so. The "Haitian" name is a misnomer. "Spirit of Haitian Vetiver" perhaps. But in any case, this is a clean minded fragrance exuding a very refined vetiver accord. There's something about it that is smooth and refined, with the iris note giving it a feeling of "class" and the carrot seed adding vegetal character. It dries down fairly linear. Predictable, honest, and enjoyable. The bottle is really nice too, with its magnetic cap. I'm happy to have it!
16th November, 2016

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

To those who looked down on M7:
Perhaps your expectations were way too high, you didn't sample it long enough, or the note associations from your experiences colored your opinion.

M7 was a major milestone in perfumery. Alberto and Jacques had experienced Arabian attars blended with oudh and wanted to find a way to introduce this kind of composition to the West. And they did just that.

M7 has an unmistakable oud note, mixed with amber, vetiver, and musk, plus some other notes. It produces a somewhat cherry wood accord. Some equate it to cherry cough syrup, but that's more of a visceral knee-jerk reaction. Intro the drydown the "cherry" subsides a bit.

This is a wonderful fragrance. It was reformulated a few years after its release (the notable visual change was the bottle, where the brown glass what changed to clear and a brown translucent sticker applied to the front side). The start is different, not quite as rich, but into the drydown it is hard to tell the two apart.

Unfortunately, YSL discontinued M7... then once interest rebounded, they released M7 Oud Absolu. That's a nice fragrance in of itself, but for me it's not a replacement for M7. If you enjoy oudh and are curious about M7, get some while you can. Prices just keep going up, making acquisition more painful to the wallet.
19th November, 2015

Royall Lyme by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

Royall Lyme Bermuda Ltd sold off its licensing to the Clarecastle Group, sometime in the early 2000's. The telltale sign of the change is on the box and bottle, where it now reads "Made in USA" instead of "Made in Bermuda".

I corresponded with someone from the Clarecastle Group about reformulations and they admitted some had to be done for Lyme and Spyce. They claim it's a nominal difference, but I see too many people say otherwise. However, Muske has not changed much (still pretty much as-is).

The original Royall Lyme is a great fragrance, but yes... it wears more like an aftershave or cologne than an eau de toilette. Longevity is light. So I imagine with the current release it's ridiculously short. Try to find the vintage. I have two bottles of it now (refreshed my original) and I'm still enjoying it. Not the best lime based fragrance, but for the price it's worth owning. Kitschy bottle too, with the pewter crown cap. :-)
10th July, 2015

Minotaure by Paloma Picasso

I blind bought this, because a few Minotaure reviews seemed to strike a chord with me. I couldn't find any reasonably priced samples so I went with a 75ml bottle.

Paloma Picasso Minotaure... not that it's some ground breaking scent everyone should be clamoring for, but you can get it reasonably priced. One of the most pleasant, easy going and wearable fragrances I've come across having an interesting character -- not a bland aquatic modern fragrance by any means. I've worn it sparingly in warm weather, as it can get cloying if you apply liberally.

Paloma Picasso is Pablo Picasso's daughter. Apparently she had Minotaure produced in homage to her father, who had featured a mythical Minotaure creature (half man, half bull) in some of his art work. This is not a beastly fragrance... and so I wouldn't say it matches up with the theme. The bottle has the bold lettering of "Minotaure" raised out of the glass, giving it a wonderful old-world charm. I'm not one to be into heavy vanilla fragrances, but despite the high quantity of it in this fragrance, it works well. It doesn't come off cloying or gourmand. I'm one who is keen on sandalwood and this note does appear into the dry down, nicely paired up with the resins, fruits, and vanilla. A little soapy from the aldehydes, but manages to stay modern. Overall, a scent worth having if you can pick up the 75ml bottle for around $35 or less.
09th July, 2015

Gianfranco Ferré for Man by Gianfranco Ferré

This was one of my earliest vintage acquisitions. I lucked upon a 125ml size of the 1st release, in box. Having little to compare it to, I enjoyed it right away. In time as I broadened my fragrance experiences, my fondness for Ferre For Man only increased.

Yes, it is a dark fougère of the dry kind, with a brilliant blend of leather, oakmoss, herbs and florals, all the while maintaining a smooth quality. Nothing harsh. Unfortunately, Gianfranco reformulated this wonderful fragrance twice. The second version is still quite nice, but I prefer the first. The latest version... well, I wouldn't say it's as off the mark as the latest KOUROS, but if you know the first it'll be all you want. :-)

I would say its one of the most civilized and modernized fragrances of the 80's powerhouse era. And fortunately for those who enjoy it, it is not talked about much, leaving more chances to find it for reasonable prices.
08th July, 2015

10 Corso Como Uomo by 10 Corso Como

Yes, this is a pretty predictable scent. It's a woody oriental with a mix of ginger and pepper. I find that there is a striking similarity to Gucci Pour Homme (2003), but lighter, without the graphite pencil note. It's easier to wear in the warmer months.

I find value is an important qualification to a fragrance. This is one of those fragrances that you pick up if you find a bargain. I wouldn't pay more than the going rate for a bottle of Guerlain Homme.
11th June, 2015

Gomma by Etro

I really was surprised to find how similar Gomma is to the current release of Knize Ten. Close enough that you may wonder which fragrance you just applied. However, Gomma feels more refined, more complex. At least compared to the latest formulation of Knize Ten.

I have no idea if Gomma has been reformulated (if someone knows, please post about it). I have an earlier version of it, which comes in the paisley patterned box. It's a wonderful fragrance, perhaps a bit toned down from its aromatic cousin (Knize Ten). I find it quite enjoyable, though.
05th June, 2015
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L'Eau des Hespérides by Diptyque

I'm perplexed by the negative reviews I've read here by members whose opinions I usually agree with.

For me, this is a great fragrance. Citrus mint, without smelling like toothpaste. It has a very "fresh and clean" characteristic. On first impression, it could be considered simplistic and linear, but there's some depth going on with this light fragrance. Perfect for warmer weather, or when you just want a fresh and easy going fragrance to wear. The quality of composition is really quite good, approaching Acqua di Parma quality.

I wouldn't pay full price, but if you keep an eye out you can periodically find this on discount. Definitely worth it if you can get $1/2ml.
01st March, 2015

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Reviews written by people who share similar taste in fragrances to you can be very useful, helping you to appreciate what fragrances you might like or dislike before trying them. I'd read a few reviews about Kouros describing it as "urinal cake", "body odor", and "men's locker room", so that I dismissed it from consideration. Then a Basenotes friend of mine insisted I try the vintage version. I managed to get a sample and when I sniffed it, I was immediately reminded of a cologne I smelled back in the 1980's. The impression was very positive for me.

There is a pungent animalic quality about Kouros, no doubt about it. But there's also a sweetness in there that pulls the aroma away from being a fetid unpleasant raw smell. I'm firmly convinced that each of us smells things differently. While the same molecules impress upon our olfactory senses, our reaction to them is different based on our biochemistries. That's why you find certain odors pleasant that others might find unpleasant, and vice versa.

My olfactory memories are orchestrated in such a way that makes Kouros more than approachable. I love it. I haven't sampled the current formulation, but I plan to despite being assured by several people that it has been "ruined." I do trust the advice I've been given, and expect I'll prefer vintage over current.

Thanks to a friend, I managed to obtain a bottle of Kouros Eau de Sport and I must say that it is more approachable than the original. Unfortunately, it is also a little harder to obtain. But for anyone who finds original Kouros a bit too strong, the Eau de Sport and Fraicheur flankers are well worth getting.
24th April, 2014

Knize Sec by Knize

Knize Ten is a legendary fragrance. It set the bar for smoky leather-bound fragrances. However, ownership changed hands and then allegedly things began to slide downhill for Ten. I had a full bottle of it for a while, then sold it. I liked it during my ownership, but found it lacking somehow. A bit too "chemical." I'm thinking that the older formulations are better, but they're next to impossible to source these days.

However, Knize Sec is a fine alternative. As others have stated, it is polite and more wearable. I do find the fruity/citrus notes struggle with the leather a bit. It's not a completely settled composition, at least in the beginning. Thankfully it smooths out into the drydown.

While I appreciate Knize Sec, if I had to pick one flanker it would have to be Knize Gold.
20th January, 2014 (last edited: 11th June, 2015)

Exceptional Because You Are for Men by Exceptional

Is it any wonder why FragranceNet is sure to include a free sample of this (or the women's version, depending upon your gender) anytime you order from them? They probably can't sell it and the perfumer is probably desperate to make some sales.

The packaging and the artwork is so generic, that it's laughable... because it telegraphs the juice. Generic. Not bad mind you, but just so banal and uninteresting. Ideal for when you don't really care to wear a fragrance, but then just want to apply "something".

I will never buy a bottle of this and... I seriously doubt anybody from BN or other perfume forums would either. If I was given a bottle, I might use it... maybe as a base for a citrus focused fragrance that is light on longevity, if only to have more liquid to apply.
11th January, 2014

Version Originale by Jean-Marc Sinan

There are actually two versions of this fragrance. They both come in a black plastic casing but one has polished black metal trim and the other has gold trim. It has been noted that the gold version has a slightly darker coloration and is a little "deeper", but supposedly not a significant difference.

This is a rather green, musky woody/floral. While vintage Gianfranco Ferre for Men is similar, also touching on a rich earthy kind of accord, VO is more potent and floral. It's dark enough to almost impart a mossy character, yet there is no moss in this. There is also a semi-sweet side to it as well, that helps brighten it a bit. Very good sillage and longevity.

The flacon is housed inside a double rhombus shaped plastic casing that one might mistaken for a miniature garbage container. Very odd. One could purchase just the flacon as a "recharger" to swap into the casing.

There always seems to be some of this fragrance up for sale on that auction site, with prices generally up towards $200 per 100ml, but you can at times get it for half that if you wait long enough for a better priced auction to come along. A little patience netted me two of them. Fairly often there are mini bottles available for reasonable prices too.
06th January, 2014 (last edited: 27th April, 2014)

Royall Bay Rhum by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

I have the vintage version of Bay Rhum, by Royall Lyme Bermuda (not the atrocious reformulation at the hands of the Clarecastle Group that acquired it). It's really quite pleasant, a soft and welcomed light bay leaf fragrance. It is not a cologne, because it simply doesn't last. But while it's there, it's very soothing. I won't even touch the new formulation, as I've heard horrid testimonies about it.
06th January, 2014

Royall Spyce by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

When I heard about the rash of reformulations to the Royall Lyme Bermuda fragrance line, I didn't even bother to get the new version of Royall Spyce. Reading Amazon reviews that pound it into the ground was enough to warn me.

So I managed to grab a vintage bottle. This is VERY nice, if you like cloves, bay leaves, and nutmeg together. It's a really great cool weather fragrance but could possibly be used on a cooler summer day. I'd also take this over the Bay Rhum fragrance, as it has a little more complexity and appeal. Btw, the Bay Rhum reformulation is ghastly--don't even bother.

The only real trouble with most Royall Lyme Bermuda fragrances is that they don't last. They're more like soothing lotions or aftershaves. I have frequently used Royall Lyme as an aftershave, alternating with 4711. I wouldn't use Royall Spyce like that, because it's a bit too pungent, not lending itself to another fragrance being layered over.
06th January, 2014

Royall Muske by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

Unfortunately, Royall Muske suffered reformulation at the hands of the Clarecastle Group (the people who appropriated the recipes from Royall Lyme Bermuda). It's not a terrible reformulation. The notes balance is about the same. But it's notably weaker. You'll need to apply about 50% more to get about the same result. Thankfully into the dry down, it turns out about the same.

Regarding the vintage, it has a very pungent barbershop cream musk aroma that fills your nostrils upon application. It is DIVINE. It's not sweet, but very soft and bordering on gourmand. I love this stuff and have waiting to stock up on several vintage bottles before writing this... because I went after that stuff first based on reviews. Later on, I got a bottle of the new formulation, hence my comparison above. Once I exhaust that bottle, I won't be buying the new stuff unless I get desperate. It IS an OK substitute if the original isn't available. If there's one thing great about the new stuff is that it's cheap. You can often get a big 8oz bottle for under $30 shipped.
06th January, 2014

Basala / Basara by Shiseido

UPDATE: I no longer have to worry about running out, as I've stocked up a bit on this one after running into a couple of nicely priced deals. So now, I've given it a thumbs up. ;-)

Yes, this is a somewhat dry fragrance... but not as dry as your driest martini, that's for certain. Having lived with many, many great fragrances at this point (my collection has topped 100 now), I'd rank this up along side Gucci Envy, D&G By Man, Cacharel Nemo, and Etro Shaal Nur. If it was sweeter, the caraway and fir would be emboldened to dominate over everything else. Everything here is carefully attenuated. Very Japanese.

The bottling just crowns the whole Basala experience. The deep ruby red glass bottle, shaped in a way abstractly reminiscent of a male body-builder torso, displays a nice art form with "plunger" shaped spray cap. This fragrance will always be in my collection.
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After owning nearly 50 fragrances at this point, many by well respected houses, I have a decent frame of reference to judge Basara. This was my 4th blind fragrance buy. I liked it as soon as I tried it and then over time fell in love with it.

It doesn't matter if I've just enjoyed Gucci Pour Homme, Gucci Nobile, Diptyque Tam Dao, MPG Santal Noble, or Amouage Epic Man... when I revisit Basara I can't help but consider it my prized fragrance possession. I am so saddened to see no other house able to closely reflect Basara. It's completely on its own and destined to die, because the bidding fervor on "that auction site" keeps raising the stakes.

So I give a thumbs up for the fragrance, but a thumbs down for the TRAP that it sets. Why fall in love with something that is destined to leave you? It'll only break your heart.
31st December, 2013 (last edited: 19th February, 2017)

Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée by Chanel

My first Chanel fragrance was Egoiste Concentree. I thought it was the best fragrance ever made, hands down. Nothing could top it and only some fragrances could only try to compete with it. Then I got a hold of Pour Monsieur Concentree and my allegiance changed. What PMC does is deliver a similar combination of notes but without the sweet floral accord. It is indeed more masculine. And after smelling both of these two greats one after the other, reversing the order and back, PMC wins. This is the fragrance I would take to the desert island.
31st December, 2013

Epic Man by Amouage

I tried a sample of this first before buying a full 100ml bottle. At first, I was a bit regretful that I did, because I had a different impression from a liberal spray. Very hard sharp cedar like aroma. I'd gotten a good deal on the bottle, so I figured I could decant it and recoup most of the money given how well regarded and in demand Epic Man is these days.

But I did the prudent thing and let the impression wash away for a couple of days. When I revisited Epic Man, my impression changed. I didn't spray it on as liberally. The complex confluence of oriental notes spoke differently to me this time. Epic Man requires restraint in application to really appreciate it. Longevity is quite good, so it all works out. I have repeated this a few times, convincing me my purchase was a good decision. Very good.

Incidentally, Epic Woman is also terrific and a definite unisex fragrance. In some ways I am more partial to it over Epic Man. I think once I've exhausted my current bottle I'll refresh myself with the EP. :-)
31st December, 2013

4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

The current incarnation of 4711 is different from its earlier formulations. The present day version is lighter and more bracing, with shorter longevity. What this does is sort of kill the power of this fragrance as an EDC. It's really more like an aftershave at this point. But that is fine with me, as for that purpose it works splendidly. The contents provide just the right amount of skin conditioning after shaving, to leave your face feeling clean and refreshed.

Longevity isn't more than an hour or two. But again, if you're using this as an aftershave then it's fine. In fact, the ingredients are benign enough to allow layering of another fragrance some 15-30 minutes later, without compromising it. So that is my routine--4711 after shaving, then my fragrance of choice to follow if I'm not going scentless that day. This all works very well given the rather low price point. Frankly, I think most of the negatives are coming from the assumption that this is a full fledged EDC, and it isn't.
28th November, 2013

Tactics by Shiseido

Interesting to see the parade of reviews starting in the beginning with mostly thumbs up but eventually drifting to neutral or thumbs down in more recent years. I thought perhaps it was reformulated. Well, I finally obtained a bottle of the EdT version (there are also cologne, after shave, and after shower versions). I've found the earlier reviews more relevant.

EDIT: Having spent a little more time with this, it has grown on me. Very refreshing floral/herbal aroma, quite unisex in fact. The discontinued EDT is much better than the weaker, fleeting colognes.

This starts out as a rather green and floral fragrance with a powdery quality. It is semi-sweet to dry in overall impression. It just feels like a very classic kind of fragrance, the type that has been made for decades and is a staple. But it is unfortunately very hard to find. I got lucky and snagged a bottle that happened to pop up on eBay with a rather low buy-it-now. The other weaker choices are available in abundance and rather pricey, compared to other fragrances of this ilk. I don't think a $65 spray cologne version of this is a worthy buy.

I was tempted to give this fragrance a neutral, for the weaker than average longevity. I was expecting it to last a bit longer for an EdT. However, the overall quality is very good. And the splash bottle is terrific, a rounded edge cube shape with striking white enamel coating. I will enjoy it to the end and probably not buy it again unless another good deal comes around.
26th November, 2013 (last edited: 20th December, 2015)