Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Kaizen1972

Total Reviews: 380

Curve Kicks for Men by Liz Claiborne

Another Curve flanker that I was impressed with!

Curve Kicks, with its dizzying array of scent notes, is actually quite pleasant overall. It starts with a noticeably strong citrus kick, which dries down to a powdery, minty, pungent quality reminiscent of Hugo Boss Soul.

Longevity is pretty decent. I find this to be great for casual occasions, day or night, all year round.
21st April, 2017

Hugo by Hugo Boss

Very pleasant leather and pungent citrus scent from Hugo Boss!

“Hugo” feels friendly and safe, fit for informal occasions. It has a warm, masculine sensation that stays pleasant to the very end (it doesn’t last too long on me, though).

Great go-to scent for on-the-go casual occasions. Unbelievable number of fragrance notes in this one, but it doesn’t smell contrived nor synthetic…just smooth and predictable. Invictus Aqua really resembles this.

The intense version is even nicer, taking what's so nice about Hugo and turbocharging it!
20th April, 2017

Hollywood for Men by Fred Hayman

Fred Hayman’s Hollywood is a very sweet, floral-spicy scent. It leans towards the informal side, and maybe it’s meant more for younger wearers.

But I get a dated, slightly overdone feeling from Hollywood that may beckon the contemporary wearer elsewhere. Can be found for dirt cheap both online and in local department stores, so a blind buy won't break the bank if you want to check it out.
20th April, 2017
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Pure Vetiver by Azzaro

Pure Vetiver is an ordinary, fairly basic vetiver scent with a dubious label. Other fragrances out there seem to live up to such a “pure vetiver” standard, such as Guerlain, Gendarme, Carven, Lalique, et. al.

Nonetheless: The opening has a strong hit of tanginess that soon dissipates into a spicy mixture of ginger, mate and nutmeg, tucked inside a green layer of herbal vetiver.

The overall result is an aromatic fragrance resembling a dialed down version of Lagerfeld’s Photo, or of Max Deville’s Camera 600. As such, Pure Vetiver feels surprisingly dated, which I ultimately find to feel average. My suggestion: Look elsewhere for a vetiver scent that is more memorable.
20th April, 2017

Eau de Cartier Relaxante by Cartier

Decided to get a bottle of this rare gem recently. Being a huge fan of several of the Eau de Cartier "models", this one seemed logical to get.

Very nice! It has the DNA of the original Eau de Cartier without question (although this one seems to only have three total notes, compared to EdC's nine). Relaxante is not as peppery as EdC, and overall feels quite simple, linear, and pleasant. The longevity isn't profound, nor is the sillage; I elect to compensate for this with applying a second layer not too long after the initial one.

I'm fascinated by the relaxation element that this flanker has: It can be worn as a regular Eau de Toilette, sprayed directly on; or, as the package says -

"...mist it over your body and gently smooth into your skin. Its delicate texture invites you to enjoy an exquisite moment of relaxation." I tried that, and there is definitely a smoothing effect of the liquid when rubbed in.

I believe that Aroma d'Orange Verte by Hermes has the same idea, that this scent can be worn like a
dual-purpose, specially formulated body spray as well as a fragrance proper. I like it even if I don't utilize this "feature" at all: A muskier, smoother version of the wonderful original, quite wearable as a simple Eau de Toilette.

20th April, 2017

Prada Candy by Prada

As a guy, I was curious to check this one out, being a fan of several of the men's scents from Prada.

The opening showed promise, with the characteristic camphor-like benzoin note and interesting caramel rich and sweet note. It smelled like a decent, balanced oriental lady perfume that I'd not recoil from. But...

The musk in the drydown has the smell of, well, slight lady's body odor. It didn't come across as pleasant, but more so animalic in a somewhat undignified, unwashed way. Too bad: At least from my pov, the musk could have been dialed back more, and the other elements could have stood out better.

Granted, my experience is purely from a male perception, coming from a sample vial sprayed on my hand. Take it for what it's worth.
20th April, 2017

L'Homme Libre by Yves Saint Laurent

L'Homme Libre by YSL is a remarkable flanker of the wonderful YSL L'Homme.

L'Homme Libre, as was pointed out in another review, reminds me of Christian Dior Fahrenheit. It's long lasting, deep and pungent, with the sweet note of the original YSL L'Homme nestled nicely within.

This scent stands on its own, but it happens to be a great retake on the YSL L'Homme mystique.
18th April, 2017

Exceptional Because You Are for Men by Exceptional

I got several free sample vials of this one from an online fragrance vendor. My impression: It bears a resemblance to Perry Ellis 360 Degrees Red for Men, being a fresh, citrus and spice formulation that is pleasant.

Main complaint is the poor longevity.

I'll personally stick to 360 Red to achieve a MUCH longer-lasting version of what Exceptional for Men wants to do.
15th April, 2017

L'Homme Idéal by Guerlain

Was fascinated with the whole concept of L'Homme Ideal, so I went ahead and tried a sample.

This fragrance by Guerlain starts out with an unmistakable sweet and floral hit of orange blossom, cut moderately by the citrus head note. There is a tiny wisp of rosemary in there as well, adding a subtle spice in the opening. This slowly makes way to the interesting shiny, boozy nuttiness of almond, present in the "amaretto accord" as listed. Tonka and vetiver add a stable familiarity to this otherwise innovative composition. Lasts all day, and never turns sour...a comforting scent for casual day or night wear.

L'Homme Ideal reminds me remotely of men's scents like Vera Wang and Marc Jacob: Simple, sweet, sensual, and smooth overall. And the most striking resemblance I found is to Chanel Allure Homme...except L'Homme Ideal is less "loud" and feels more rounded out.

I personally like L'Homme Ideal and give a strong thumbs up for this "fun" composition.
14th April, 2017 (last edited: 15th April, 2017)

Cedre Atlas by Atelier Cologne

What do you get when you take a fresh cut piece of cedar wood, then smother it with orange sherbet? Behold, Cedre Atlas!! (I know that the note is Apricot, btw.)

Anyhow...I am a huge fan of scents that prominently feature cedar wood in their fragrance triangle (and is composed well). Gucci pour Homme II, Hanae Mori HiM, Lalique Equus, Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico....these are the scents that have been such a pleasure to wear because of the artful inclusion of cedar in the mix.

However, Cedre Atlas is a bit out there for me both in construction and price: The fruit and wood thing is just done so daringly outside of my usual expectations - without being altogether nasty - which is why I give it a neutral rating.

This fragrance is marked unisex, but I believe it can REALLY be worn to good effect on a woman.
14th April, 2017

Zirh by Zirh

A nice, basic, fresh citrus-musk fragrance. Can even be worn by women, as it has a unisex quality to it.

Zirh for Men used to be present in most cologne tester counters in the DC metropolitan area. Now, it seems to be relegated to kiosks, discount fragrance stores, and online. Nonetheless, Zirh is nothing earth-shattering nor unique; it tends to have a generic, universal vibe which may explain the really low prices online. It's safe and non-offensive, but definitely smells pleasant and great for casual wear for most times of the year.
13th April, 2017

Armani Attitude by Giorgio Armani

Top Notes: Coffee, Sicilian Lemon
Heart Notes: Lavender, Cardamom
Base Notes: Patchouli, Amber, Opoponax, Chinese Cedar

A peppery, moderately powdery, potent masculine scent that I, as a gazillion others, wonder why it was discontinued by Armani.

Fragrances like Gucci pour Homme II, Prada Amber pour Homme, Zino by Davidoff, Lalique Faune, and Hanae Mori HiM come to mind when I wear this one, most likely because of the cedar in the base. Armani Attitude is altogether sharp, bold but not overwhelming, and overall well-crafted scent. I like the gourmand notes in the fragrance profile, although I'd liken this scent more to an A*Men Pure Wood than to the original A*Men.

Longevity is okay on me, which I compensate for with refresher spritzes over the course of the day.

Prices are OBSCENE online for Armani Attitude! If you really are curious about trying this great scent out but don't have a fragrance counter nearby that can let you sample it, I'd highly recommend getting the widely available, fairly inexpensive .17 fl. oz. chukker that is online. That way, you can decide whether or not to splurge LOTS of your hard earned money on a full-sized bottle.
12th April, 2017

Roadster by Cartier

Cartier Roadster is a fragrance that is conspicuously missing from most, if not all, department store sample counters in the metropolitan DC area. A shame, as it is a legitimate outing from the house of Cartier!

Roadster has an earthy, mellow musk sensation that pays homage to the mineral fougere-type scents of yore. It remains fairly close to the skin, but projects just enough to be more than a skin scent.

I found Roadster to be a long-lasting, warm fragrance that shares a healthy dose of mint and subtle lavender-patchouli. The mint is not loud like, say, Lacoste Booster; rather, it is a nice touch of freshness that helps to round this mature scent out well.

This one can be an all-day casual fragrance, as well as a formal one, though the sillage is not tremendous compared to fougeres like Paco Rabanne pour Homme. Overall, Roadster is a surprisingly pleasant scent worthy of a sample spritz for the more mature wearer.
11th April, 2017
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Cavalli Man by Roberto Cavalli

Barely a thumbs up: Not crazy about Cavalli Man, but I think it's ok.

Top Notes: Ginger, Bergamot, Lemon
Heart Notes: Cedar, Lavender, Wormwood, Leather
Base Notes: Musk, Sandalwood

As other reviewers have described, Cavalli Man is peppery and tangy. Once upon a time, I really liked the bright, clean vibe. Somehow, I now find that same quality a bit much (I'm in my 40's, if that makes any difference 8^>), bordering on cloying. That may have to do with what time of year I wore it last (winter)...will verify later.

Anyhow, Cavalli Man has a fairly classy, contemporary young wearer quality that does catch my attention. It's worth a sample, and then the potential buyer can decide.

10th April, 2017

Luna Rossa Carbon by Prada

I'd already been a fan of the original Luna Rossa and other flankers: Luna Rossa Sport & and Luna Rossa Eau Sport. All really capitalize on a freshness using peppery and sweet elements that I find to be clean and highly wearable.

Enter in Luna Rossa Carbon for 2017. It takes the oriental sweetness of the Luna Rossa line and adds a surprisingly bright, soapy fresh sensation: Not loud nor pretentious, but reminiscent of very fancy milled soaps. The end result is like stepping out of the shower, with the residual soap scent remaining in a tasteful, non-cloying way. It remotely reminds me of YSL Body Kouros, without the sharp eucalyptus and camphor notes. Also, LRC reminds my of another scent that resembles luxury French-milled soaps: Gendarme V.

Luna Rossa Carbon, like its predecessors, won't please everyone...wearer or smeller alike. I definitely recommend sampling this fragrance before deciding to buy it.
08th April, 2017 (last edited: 11th April, 2017)

Ombré Leather 16 by Tom Ford

Not bad. My impression of Ombré Leather 16 is of a newly tanned flap of polished leather: Slightly sweet, with a moderate amount of spiciness. This is not a dark, in your face leather experience, as it fades out after an hour or two.

I personally would choose Tuscan Leather, also by Tom Ford, for a deeper, richer leather feel.
08th April, 2017

Tobacco Nuit by Atelier Cologne

Remarkably well-crafted scent from Atelier Cologne!

Tobacco Nuit is a genuinely balanced, even-wearing tobacco and leather scent (though leather is not mentioned, it is alluded to greatly in this one).

A deep, dark, gourmet cigar leaf and musk scent that lasts over 12 hours on my skin. I can't stop sniffing this scent, a natural and comforting presence!

This is one of the first Atelier Cologne scents that I have really been drawn to; I am just exploring their collection, and so far this one just connects with me so strongly. Big triumphant thumbs up. ;^>
08th April, 2017

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

A bottle of Black Orchid was somehow sitting among other men’s fragrances by Tom Ford at a local Nordstrom. I’d never heard of it, and proceeded to give it a sample spritz. Yipes! Definitely not what I as a man would want to wear; and it turns out that this aromatic monster was indeed a women’s Eau de Parfum, which makes sense! That being said…

Black Orchid is a wild, deep, and rich monster that unashamedly announces itself to the world when worn. It's loaded with a potent combination of florals, spices, citrus, and gourmand notes that radiate wildly in a potion that must be smelled to be believed. Heavy, sharp, loud....these qualities come to mind when I sniff this potion.

Some men may consider this a unisex or even moderately male fragrance, as it may have a "metrosexual" daring and boldness to it. Not my cup of tea, as I prefer masculine elements to be present in what I wear, and this one waxes very feminine overall.

08th April, 2017

Kokorico by Night by Jean Paul Gaultier

Very thoughtful rethink of the already wonderful Kokorico original by JPG.

The spray-on hits me with a surprising fruit blast, reminiscent of Xeryus Rouge by Givenchy. That subsides a bit in several minutes, and the cedar rich dna of Kokorico appears and remains. This flanker definitely feels layered and richer, while keeping true to the dark and smooth sensation of the original.

Great fragrance for day or night.
07th April, 2017

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Fraîche by Issey Miyake

Being a lover of the original L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme, I just had to give this one a try.

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Fraiche takes the essence of the original (there are traces of cinnamon, saffron, and vanilla) and hits with a classy, bright and fresh vetiver sensation that hearkens back to men's colognes of yesteryear (most notably - IMO - Boucheron). There's a wall of clean floral and citrus, unbridled and quite bold, lasting all day.

Excellent flanker of the now legendary original.
04th April, 2017

Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme by Gucci

Just sampled Gucci Guilty Absolute at a local Lord and Taylor store. Man oh MAN this thing is distinct! Imagine wearing freshly applied Bactine antiseptic and sniffing it: That's just how GGA smelled to me!! I was both confused and intrigued by this hospital room sensation, yet I was constantly smelling my wrists all day long after application!

Also, GGA resembles the scent of a very freshly cut piece of cedar wood that you bury your nose into and SNIFF like mad! I can't say that GGA smells like any normal wood aroma I've encountered, but rather it's like a concentrated formulation of a natural wood smell, accented sharply by the leather.

I went ahead and ordered a sample off of eBay just to give this one a try in my own time and place. Just like the way that the original Gucci pour Homme stuck out and smelled so DIFFERENT from anything else around (at least among the usual non-avant garde brands and scents), GGA is bold and just crazy like that! You be the judge whether GGA would be something you would want to wear, and what others may think!
04th April, 2017

Terre d'Hermès Parfum by Hermès

Terre d'Hermès Parfum, to me, embodies the ideal masculine - not in your face, speaking in sophisticated and simple terms that are easily understood (not necessarily loved...that's in the nose of the beholder).

As the name suggests, Terre d'Hermès is earthy, but not dirty nor avant garde. It strikes a great balance between citrus, spice, and woodiness, smelling like a classic men's fougere fragrance, yet made for the contemporary wearer.

Terre d'Hermès Parfum smells well-crafted and classy, not gimmicky, suited for most any occasion at most times of the year. The edt formulation is sharper and less rounded out; the "fresh" version is brighter and a bit hollowed out (though still pleasant). I don't mind either one, but Terre d'Hermès Parfum feels like the heart and essence of what they're all trying to communicate, and that's the one I chose to get.

04th April, 2017

Eau de Cartier : Zeste de Soleil by Cartier

A decidedly floral - citrus flanker in the Eau de Cartier series. Notes in this one include passion fruit, yuzu, and mint.

The usual Eau de Cartier vibe is there - the lemony-lime sensation of the yuzu is unmistakably present. The initial spray-on hits with exotic fruitiness, suggesting a tropical sensation. But compared to the other EdC flankers, this one leans more in the feminine direction, IMO, as there is some sort of floral note I detect. Could it be the mint?

Now in early Spring, Zeste de Soleil is proving to be weak in projection and present only with concerted efforts of sniffing it after spraying it on. I found the same issue with the so-called Eau de Cartier EDP; perhaps both of these, inter alia, are meant for warm weather occasions. (I noticed that when I my body temp was really high from a stretch of spring cleaning, the Eau de Cartier EDP application that I was wearing really BLOOMED, and it projected like a monster! Regular, cooler temp occasions = weak sillage and a need to reapply more layers.)

I don't think I'd wear Zeste de Soleil except out of novel curiosity around the house. I can enjoy the Vetiver Bleu, Concentree, and original flankers instead.
01st April, 2017

Fahrenheit 32 by Christian Dior

A really interesting, non-Fahrenheit resembling flanker of Fahrenheit!!!

This scent is echoed in newer scents like Azzaro Chrome Pure, Givenchy Pi Neo, and Kenneth Cole Mankind, as well as The One by D&G: Simple, fresh, a touch of sweetness with a sniglet of tanginess. Fahrenheit 32 is nearly in the same league as typical "sport" flankers (e.g. Dior Homme Sport to the original Dior Homme), although - in this case - Fahrenheit 32 bears NO resemblance to the original. And this scent lasts a LONG time on me - over 12 hours!!

The first thing that really caught my attention is that there is no typical gasoline tang to this one. It hits you with the shiny floral sweetness of the orange blossom, rounded out by a very laid-back vetiver that bears no sharp green / herbal kick. The vanilla in the base offers the oriental shimmer that sets this flanker WAY apart from the other Fahrenheits.

That may be a good thing, esp. if Fahrenheit in general doesn't connect with you. For fans of the original like me, this flanker is a shock to be sure, but I'm open-minded enough to judge it on its own merits...and it's a nice outing. I don't know if I'd make it a regular part of my "wardrobe", but for the occasional foray into a fresh, different direction.

31st March, 2017 (last edited: 03rd April, 2017)

Allure Homme by Chanel

A remarkable, bracing, dreamy fragrance from Chanel.

The formulation is clear, even, simple, and predictable from spray-on and forward. Chanel’s Allure Homme is a potent oriental scent, and its invigorating sweet-spicy profile is love it or hate it. The foundation blends seamlessly with the slight citrus and sweet and spicy top layers: Vetiver, patchouli, cedar and sandal woods punctuate the smoothness evident throughout.

Chanel Allure Homme is one I HIGHLY recommend checking out if you like scents like Baldessarini Concentree, Dolce & Gabbana’s By Man and The One, and (most strikingly) like its near clone, Perry Ellis “m” (another huge favorite of mine, which happened to come out five years after this one).

Allure Homme Sport is definitely a watered down and "freshened" version of this one, but it's still a pleasant flanker that's also worth trying.
25th March, 2017

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Yuzu by Issey Miyake

Wow! L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Yuzu was a fantastic blind-buy for me.

I am overwhelmed by the intensity of the yuzu note - best way that I can describe the sensation is how a fresh cut lime would smell...peel, pith, and pulp!
The zestiness doesn't subside, yielding a pungent-powdery quality that is so pleasant.

Hints of the original L'Eau d'Issey are there, reflected in the spiciness of ginger and nutmeg. This wonderful formulation stands on its own as an all-year citrus-herbal fragrance that doesn't smell synthetic nor chaotic. An even, linear, and predictable "green" flanker that I am so glad to own!
25th March, 2017

Fahrenheit Parfum by Christian Dior

Says the inside of a sample card for Fahrenheit Parfum: “A pure dose of Fahrenheit enhanced with bourbon vanilla absolute. A vibrant and sensual oriental leather. Sicilian mandarin - violet - leather accords - bourbon vanilla absolute.”

Fahrenheit Parfum is curious: While it squarely wears the Fahrenheit label, it is by no means a clone, nor is it turbo-charged and reeking of gasoline.

It was not the intention of the perfumer, Mr. Demachy, to outright copy the EdT, but to make a new statement on its behalf. Instead, it is a deep, rich expression of violet, lavender, and pepper that evokes a more sophisticated fascimile of the original; mandarin orange / lemon do provide the requisite tang that the EdT has been famous for. The leather is very evident in this one, contributing to the darker, deeper experience of Fahrenheit Parfum. The oriental quality is also evident during the initial phase of wear, thanks to the vanilla, benzoin, and amber notes. The cedar, birch, and guaiac woods provide a solid, credible foundation in the base upon which the other notes blend.

In a nutshell, I’d say Fahrenheit Parfum is the refined, more mature uncle of Fahrenheit EdT. It isn’t merely an “extreme”/”intense” injection of strength into the original formula; but it is a new interpretation of the classic that still has its original DNA present in skillful ways. Definitely worth a try before blind-buying; beauty will be in the nose of the beholder here!
24th March, 2017

A*Men Kryptomint by Thierry Mugler

Right off the bat, Kryptomint announces the presence of mint. The usual notes of chocolate and Tonka bean are there, with a more-than-usual prominence of floral thanks to the geranium and patchouli. It's pleasant in the A*Men way, but not special nor memorable, IMO.

Being a fan and owner of several A*Men flankers, I would say Kryptomint is an okay outing to get mainly for these types of wearers: 1) the strict collector of all things A*Men 2) those wanting a decidedly toned-down version of the usually bold A*Men scents, especially those trying it out for the first time. I'd even call this "A*Men Fresh" or "A*Men Light."

Doubt that I'd buy a whole bottle, but it's strictly a matter of taste and priority whether one would get A*Men Kryptomint.
24th March, 2017

Noir de Noir by Tom Ford

Dark is what this one is!! Noir de Noir is a foreboding, intensely rich oud experience with lovely rose and mossiness within. NdN must be worn in moderation, lest you chase others away with the sharp sensation of this Eau de Parfum!

I detected this on a lady coworker who’d worn it so well. I don’t know if I could do the same, though this scent is presented as unisex.

As a man, I’d rather turn to oud scents like Versace pour Homme Oud Noir, Atelier Cologne Oud Saphir, Zegna Indonesian Oud, Kilian Incense Oud, Black is Black Modern Oud, Dunhill Icon Absolute, or even Ralph Lauren’s Polo Supreme Oud in order to experience a more relatable, balanced oud.
24th March, 2017

Mat; Chocolat by Masakï Matsushïma

Though it is meant for ladies, Mat; Chocolat has a gourmand quality that could work for men, though I’d noticed that it had lacked a workably masculine foundation (e.g. musk).

This scent is quite simple compared to multi-layered chocolate-note gourmands like Escada’s Casual Friday, Thierry Mugler’s A*Men, or Givenchy’s Very Irresistible; as such, Mat; Chocolat resembles fragrances along the vein of Demeter’s “fragrance library” that centers on one particular note. O

Overall, it is a decent, curious sensation of straight-up chocolate that sticks out noticeably and intentionally. It’ll be up to the wearer whether or not she (or he!) would want to smell like THIS (given the myriad of choices out there for chocolate-type scents).
24th March, 2017