Perfume Reviews

Reviews by clamnole

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Total Reviews: 392

154 by Jo Malone

Reminds me faintly of Houbigant Fougere Royale, with the operative word being "faint". 154 seems to be made mostly of water, with a little alcohol and a hidden touch of actual fragrance. Smells nice for about 5 minutes. Jo Malone needs to rethink their formulations. Their fragrances smell nice but the sillage and longevity is the absolute worst of any line I'm familiar with. I wouldn't dream of paying $120 for this. I've never panned a fragrance just on performance, but 154 doesn't deserve any better than a Thumbs Down.
27th May, 2018

Divin'enfant by Etat Libre d'Orange

Divine Infant is quite a nice scent concoction, but not something I would want wear often enough to warrant a purchase. For me, I don't care for the opening's candy-like orange and rose. It's interesting, but way too gourmand and sweet. It improves dramatically when the amber, tobacco and leather come forward and dilute the candy opening. It's a soft, sweet floral and leather with underhints of a gourmand amber until finish. Good sillage and longevity. This is quite a avant-garde fragrance, so I'd say it hits the mark it was aiming for. I really like ELdO creations and if I were 21 years old, I'd buy this in a heartbeat. Thumbs Up.
22nd April, 2018

Polo Ultra Blue by Ralph Lauren

A toned down version of the original Polo Blue, which was a mainstay for me in the 90's. Ultra Blue loses the melon-cucumber of the original's opening and adds herbs - mostly basil, in combination with a salty, ozonic element. It has an ocean air vibe that is appealing and clean smelling. It's lighter than the original and wears more casual IMO. The Polo trademark base is still detectable, so it's not very far off the reservation of the original Polo line. I like it and think it will do very well this spring-summer season.

Thumbs up.
14th April, 2018
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Infusion de Vétiver by Prada

A very nicely constructed, mild vetiver from Prada. Bright tarragon and pepper on the opening, with the vetiver really somewhat hidden. The middle has a very sweet, almost floral like ginger that brings forward the vetiver lightly. The middle of the fragrance is really rather special as far as vetiver goes, with an excellent brightness, making it a great day wear option. Sillage is mild and longevity is close to 4 hours on skin, much longer if sprayed on clothes.
I enjoyed wearing Prada Vetiver, and want to wear my sample on a warmer day as I feel it will really present itself. I'd consider a bottle of this over many more expensive vetiver fragrances. Quite nice and a thumbs up.
09th February, 2018 (last edited: 10th February, 2018)

Route du Vétiver by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

A different style of vetiver fragrance. RdV does indeed open with a deeper, heavier tone of vetiver. Unorthodox in a genre that is typically sweetened or sharpened by citrus elements, RdV feels raw by comparison. There's no mistaking the vetiver in the first hour, as it's pungent and bracing. Some may pan the fragrance at this point, which would be unfortunate as RdV begins to mellow, turning into a buttery middle, revealing hints of wood and floral as the vetiver sheds it's raw elements. RdV does have aspects that conjure the tone of oud wood, playing through the heart phase, as well as hints of sandalwood and plum. I've always understood vetiver to have multiple dimensions and RdV presents a range uncommon to the market. Better than average sillage and longevity and in my opinion, a must have if you enjoy vetiver. Thumbs Up for me.
09th February, 2018

Black Collection : Book by Commodity

Bergamot opening leads to lavender, sandalwood and something musty. I'm not getting amber or vetiver at all. Balsa? I can't be sure. Book smells like a cola soft drink that's gone flat. It's not offensive, but nothing likeable either. The sillage is equally dull. I wouldn't wear it, but wouldn't be put off by anyone who did either. Truthfully, it's not a fragrance that would be noticed by many people, which is maybe the point and the appeal to a some few. As neutral a fragrance as it gets.
09th February, 2018

Givenchy Gentleman (new) by Givenchy

Don't be fooled. This is nothing remotely comparable to the original Gentleman. This is dank, horrid iris note over synthetic woody calone. Unfortunate performance.

Appalling.
31st January, 2018

Platinum Collection : Vetiver by Commodity

Commodity Platinum Collection Vetiver is a clean-fresh scent centered around the vetiver note, rather than a straightforward vetiver fragrance. For a vetiver lover, this is going to come across bland and flat smelling. There's no rooty or sharp elements in this and the vetiver is only exposed in it's softer elements and in combination with other feature notes. The opening has a hint of citrus and jasmine that gives way to a vetiver-sandalwood-patchouli accord through the heart. The later dry down seems to be mostly patchouli with perhaps a remnant of cedar. Below average sillage and 6+ hours of longevity. All of the Commodity line strikes me as office safe and gender neutral with Vetiver being barely distinguishable from the rest of line. Overall, Commodity strikes me as a line for people that don't typically wear fragrances. It's all flat and dull and generic. The packaging even reflects it as well. Vetiver is such a great note, well done and ubiquitous in perfumery. Why opt for overpriced and boring?

I'll give it a neutral because its fresh and doesn't offend, but I wouldn't recommend it as a vetiver fragrance.
26th January, 2018 (last edited: 09th February, 2018)

Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre d'Orange

Interesting fragrance that has taken several sample wearings to catch on with me. The feature theme is a soft citrus-leather shaped by a less prominent, yet equally persistent clove and cinnamon. In the opening it's a citrus-leather, cinnamon and clove, which turns into a ginger-leather, cinnamon and clove, and then ends with a patchouli-leather, cinnamon and clove. Each of the combination accords are nice in their own right, and I would have been content had Jes Suis Un Homme been designed as a strictly linear fragrance in any of the aforementioned accords. However the development of the supporting note combinations make this one an absolute winner for me. Highly masculine without being punchy, but you have to like clove, cinnamon and leather, as they each own a major part of this fragrance. High quality with an excellent 8 hours longevity and a soft lingering skin scent of leather and spice that carries through to the next day. Adding this to my wish list as a future purchase. Thumbs Up
25th January, 2018 (last edited: 19th February, 2018)

Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules

No, I'm not getting any of the hype associated with M1. I received a 5ml sample in the mail and have tried it 3 times, spraying progressively more with each wearing. Each time I get nothing for about 20 minutes then I detect a very light cedar that tends to fade in and out for about 5 hours. It's very strange and unpredictable. My wife wore it with slightly different results, in that she couldn't detect any scent for an hour and then got a celery like note that layed close to the skin for several hours, even after a generous application. M1 is a coy experiment that I would call more annoying than enjoyable. Thumbs down.
23rd January, 2018

L'Homme Sage by Divine

L'Homme Sage by Divine is probably one of softest fragrances I've ever sampled. It wears like a big fluffy pillow, very light on the skin and to the nose from beginning to end. It opens with saffron and light hints of flower, but nothing very distinctive. The saffron dominates in a friendly, benign sort of way, with a patchouli and wood undertone in the heart phase. Incense breaks through late, but it never goes very intently in any direction. It's a pacifistic fragrance that just wears too light for me. While not feminine, it's not very masculine either. Smells nice but in the end I found it altogether boring and extremely fleetingly. I like the opening saffron but lost interest beyond that. A neutral is all I would give this.
23rd January, 2018

Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

Tabac Original. If you were born in the 60's you've known this scent pretty much your entire life. It's what your favorite uncle smelled like when he picked you up as a little kid. When your Dad took you to his barbershop for your first haircut, this scent was on the apron that went around your neck. When you were in 7th grade, and you got your first razor and were taught how to shave, this scent was in the air over the bathroom sink. It's the fragrance all the priests wore to Friday night dinner parties at the Knights of Columbus social hall. Things change, but some really special things stay the same. That's Tabac Original.

Easy to find, inexpensive and smells fantastic. You should own a bottle.
19th January, 2018

Azzaro pour Homme Intense (new) by Azzaro

It's Azzaro, but with the bite of cinnamon and something bitter underneath that isn't listed and I can't quite discern. Nice enough, but another unnecessary flanker of the far better original. The best flanker is L'Eau IMO. This is just ok. Additionally, this is far from "intense", as it loses power very fast. A kind neutral.
13th January, 2018
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Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme by Gucci

Wow, Guilty Absolute is actually pretty good! (Pick myself up off the floor) A leather and dirty patchouli concoction that has some originality and can perform. It opens with an almost Fahrenheit like asphalt quality but settles into a nicely balanced dark leather that lasts forever. It seems better suited for a 20 something guy than me in my 50's, however I'm impressed none the less. Maybe Gucci has turned the corner, as they have put out nothing but rank swill since forever. Thumbs Up.
13th January, 2018

L for Men by Clive Christian

L is Clive Christian's entry into the ubiquitous Oud category of male fragrances. When it comes to oud, it's rarely about the oud and more about the notes shaping it. CC does a nice job with this adding grapefruit, cedar and vetiver to the composition in a highly blended fashion that seemingly goes on forever with very little development. I don't detect much rose, so it differs from the traditional middle eastern concept, but in a good way. It's as good a quality oud fragrance as you'll find but not entirely distinctive. I bit heavy, so better for cool weather wear. Price notwithstanding, it's a Thumbs Up. Similar quality oud fragrances sell for less than half the CC cost though, so it's value is subjective to your bank.
28th December, 2017

V for Men by Clive Christian

My friend and sales agent at Saks gave me a bag full of CC samples and I'm slowly working my way through trying each of them. CC is a interesting line that uses creative techniques and high quality ingredients. But for me, the line is grossly overpriced, so I always find myself thinking "what does this remind me of that I can purchase for much less?"

V is a fragrance I knew I would like from the very opening. It's mainly pepper, cedar, benozin, vetiver and amber- in that order of prominence. The pepper and wood stand out the most with woods, benozin and amber playing support roles. There's really no development beyond that, and it doesn't project as boldly as other CC fragrances that I've tried, but stays above a skin scent for about 8 hours. It's very easy wearing and has a nice masculine tone. Easily the best CC I've tried to date as most of their fragrances seem dense, rich concoctions that could smother a lion. V has a nice volume to it and is well engineered.

For me, V reminds me slightly of CdG Black, but with more prominent cedar and no burnt note. There's also a similarity to Marc Jacob's Bang, but with far better performance. I wouldn't pay the retail price to own V, but to each his own. I like this one and will enjoy wearing the samples I have of it. Thumbs up.
22nd December, 2017 (last edited: 23rd December, 2017)

Aoud Cuir D'Arabie by Montale

Not my cup of tea at all. As Francolino described it in his review; "skanky cheesy". This has a leather component, but it smells too artificial to my nose, and the oud is a rude and sour background element. Cuir D'Arabie needs something to freshen it and sweeten it up. I can understand why so many Montale's Aoud fragrances have a floral or honey spice element. Typically Montale fragrances open harsh, and then settle into something nicer for a long duration. CD'A does not. It stays pretty awful for a long time. I washed it off after three hours. A thumbs down.
14th December, 2017 (last edited: 16th December, 2017)

Basil & Neroli by Jo Malone

Jo Malone Basil & Neroli smells like a bathroom soap dish in your Grandmother's house. It's got a lot of musk in it that makes the basil note sweeter than a man should ever want to wear. The neroli provides the soapy tone. I get no vetiver at all. Beyond that, it's as tame as Grandma's house cat. A pleasurable scent on Grandma, but a thumbs down on me.
12th December, 2017

Bogart by Jacques Bogart

One of the great quality fragrances of the 70's that has stood the test of time. I only got turned on to the Bogart house a few years ago, but absolutely love wearing their affordable masculine classics. While I never tried any of their original juice, the current formulations are excellent. Bogart is a leather fougere with a dash of warm spice and a light floral dancing through the background. It amazes me that Bogart fragrances sell for only about $20 in the US. Put a modern name on this and it's selling for $100. Blind buy it, you'll be glad you did.
07th December, 2017

1872 for Men by Clive Christian

Received an assortment of CC masculine samples from my friend at Saks - Thank You! The first I tried was 1872 and it honestly is a disappointment. I've never been very interested in CC as a line simply because they are priced well above my comfort zone, and that may have something to do with my review. However, 1872 really isn't anything I'd want at any price. There's a lot more ingredients than what's listed in the note pyramid. Its a sweet citrus aromatic that is driven by some more astringent herbs such as petitgrain and clary sage. Aside from that there's a spice rack of other notes mixing in with the citrus that delivers a slight industrial cleaner nature. It's very herbal-balsamic toned. Almost vinegar natured. I don't particularly find this comfortable to wear and it would be overwhelming if not lightly applied.

I'm definitely going to pass on 1872 and have to give this a thumbs down.
04th December, 2017

Cuir Cannage by Christian Dior

Cuir Cannage is a fairly common worked theme, that although rich in quality, is a replay of more iconic leather fragrances. It reminds me mostly of Knize Ten, maybe a bit like the 90's Mochino pour Homme, but with a more rose centric floral. Knize is the leather fragrance I've worn for many years, so I'm most familiar with it. The floral in Cuir Cannage is mostly a spice rose, and I feel like there might be a hint of cinnamon or saffron underpinning the spice in it. I don't detect orange blossom or jasmine, but I also don't doubt they're there because the fragrance is incredibly well blended. CC has a stronger leather emphasis IMO than Knize Ten as well. A very nice fragrance that I might even consider owning if not for the price. It's different enough, but not anything special enough to spend $200+ on. Neutral for me.
01st December, 2017 (last edited: 02nd December, 2017)

Bois d'Argent by Christian Dior

Bd'A is an iris and wood scent that I found intriguing for about ten minutes, then it began to fade rapidly to where it was completely gone within thirty minutes. I even tried it on clothes and it disappeared there as well. I reapplied the sample again and same result. I'd say more if I could, but it didn't last long enough. Seemed nice, but then???

Grossly unacceptable at Privee prices. A deserved Thumbs Down!
01st December, 2017

Volutes Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

Volutes by Diptyque is one of those fragrances with some well done common notes that initially reminds you of another fragrance in your olfactory memory, but then the more you wear it the more you begin to realize Volutes is actually fairly unique. The opening is a strong honey and spices with a rich tobacco playing underneath. As the tobacco warms forward the fragrance takes on a Serge Lutens like character, with styrax providing supporting body. The tobacco is a rich Turkish bazaar type that is quite alluring when paired with the spiced honey. In time, a soft iris emerges, which takes off the styrax edge and steers the scent into a floral, honey and tobacco dry down. The later stage feels slightly powdery and typical of iris. While not a sillage bully, the styrax portion leans a little artificial in tone. Longevity was 8+ hours, but at an acceptable low volume. I like the honey and tobacco notes in this and was addictively sniffing my wrist through the day. A certain Thumbs Up.
01st December, 2017

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

Ridden hard, dusty, trail weathered leather with a large dose of clary sage, cinnamon and cistus. Lonestar Memories is the predecessor to Lonesome Rider. I recently sampled LR and found it easy wearing and smooth, LM is hard and weathered by comparison. It's a very interesting, well executed concept that Andy Tauer deftly employs in both scents and they both are equally derivative of the other. For me LM is just not anything I could wear often and I much prefer LR over it. Powerhouse sillage and longevity. I'll give it a neutral, probably deserving of better.
27th November, 2017

Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka by Hermès

For me, VT stands out slightly in a crowded field of creamy, modern vetivers that includes Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire, and Diptyque's Vetiveryo to name a few. In this vetiver genre the feature note's sharp or pungent edges are smoothed over by supporting notes. The perfumer's hand is what creates the fragrance's essence and Elena does a great work here. VT opens with a warm vetiver that is smoothed of it's bite by a pecan cream-tonka bean accord. From the start each note is present, but seem to be searching for their rightful balance with the sweetness at it's greatest height from the beginning. After about 30 minutes, the tone soon finds itself settling into a fantastically, smooth, creamy vetiver that has a touch of dry sweetness lingering beneath the heart. It's admittedly intoxicating, with light to average sillage, yet excellent longevity. Could easily be worn by either sex and would beautifully counter the more decisively masculine Bel Ami Vetiver in a Hermes wardrobe. A sure Thumbs Up for me, but I'm not certain if I prefer VT to one of the other similar fragrances in the field. Price is a bit beyond my typical budget, however it is one that I would wear often. I'll slowly work through my samples before buying.
25th November, 2017

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

Phew. I normally like vetiver fragrances, but Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance has me rethinking my affection for this note. At first I thought I may have mistakenly put on the wrong sample and had to check the label to confirm I had indeed put on Vetiver Dance. This starts off very green and sour, with a bushel of horrid clary sage and funeral like lily notes. It's frighteningly old smelling, like a nursing home or funeral parlor old. Lily of the valley always makes me think of funerals. Unfortunately, the fragrance is also devoid of it's namesake vetiver as well. At least in the opening hour vetiver is absent, leaving you waiting for something better than clary sage and lily to develop. Slowly and eventually an adulterated vetiver does kick in, but it arrives too late for me and it's entirely infected with sour toned cistus and tonka bean. Vetiver is supposed to be a clean, uplifting note that is fresh and earthy. Vetiver Dance is really quite the opposite, even depressing by half. I hot showered it away at 2 hours then splashed myself liberally with Guerlain Vetiver to cheer me back up, as well as ward away the Grim Reaper, who I'm certain smells something like Vetiver Dance. A huge thumbs down.
23rd November, 2017

Lonesome Rider by Tauer

A semi-sweet, yet dry, animalistic leather, iris, incense and vetiver that lays softly with a restrained application. The castoreum in the base makes this smell closer to newly tanned leather than the worn out seat of a tired Lonesome Rider, and that's probably a good thing. In fact LR reminds me of a leather that's been rubbed with linseed oil, or something of that nature. It's closer to the smell of a new saddle than a worn one IMO. The iris opens prominent then fades to the incense and leather, drifting in and out with a dry rose through middle background and giving way to a salty vetiver in the dry down. I personally think this is a very artistic fragrance, and trademark Andy Tauer. Good longevity, but I advise caution with the sprayer or it will overwhelm you and anyone close by. It's potent, high quality stuff. I really like this one a lot and could consider it bottle worthy. Thumbs high from me.
19th November, 2017

Furyo by Jacques Bogart

I remember really loving Furyo back when I was in college. I never owned it because I always felt the animalistic aspect would be off putting to females, yet friends owned it and would pull it off. I happened upon a open bottle in a discount store recently and it was like I was in 1989 again. However, aspects of the fragrance seemed quite different to my mature nose today. First, I recall a much greener scent, with a big bite of laurel in the center. I mostly get clove, cinnamon and perhaps a touch of jasmine flower, which is altogether lighter and smoother than what I can recall. Also the animalistic aspect is toned down and it seems to have a more common patchouli and amber base, which gives it far more balance than what I remember. I actually wouldn't be afraid to wear this today. I passed on the bottle in favor of some more modern scents that were available. Furyo really is still a great fragrance that for me is lost in time. I'm surely going Thumbs Up for it though.
17th November, 2017

Orange Bitters by Jo Malone

Aptly named fragrance from Jo Malone. Orange Bitters starts with a lush fragrant citrus that competes with a bitter version of the same citrus, with bitter citrus getting the dominant position. It's almost like the fragrance you would get from the leaves and stem of an orange tree. The scent develops minimally, with a hint of the amber and sandalwood coming through at the later stage. As with all Malone fragrances, it stays discreet for about four to five hours longevity. Reapply as necessary. Very nice, easily unisex and a good office professional choice. Thumbs up by me.
17th November, 2017

Pino Silvestre by Silvestre

Purchased Pino Silvestre in a bargain bin for $12 because I had never seen it before and I noticed that it is worn fairly frequently by several respected BN members. It's about what I expected for the money; a lemon, lavender and pine opening that's highly synthetic smelling and lasts no more than 5 minutes. The opening chemical concoction is then followed by a huge blast of untamed clove. While clove isn't listed in the scent pyramid, it's mostly all you get for the next hour. There's a faint pine like scent lingering in the background, but I was expecting more considering the bottle is a green pinecone. Late in the hour a cedar and musk faintly appears, and is probably the best stage, but it's barely above a skin scent. The whole thing is gone within 90 minutes. It's not terrible for $12, which is the main reason I'll give it a neutral. It screams 1950's lounge lizard. I'll probably just wear it whenever I'm in a kitschy mood.
15th November, 2017