Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Poppinj

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Total Reviews: 45

Oleg Cassini for Men by Oleg Cassini

Ripe fruit + Oily, rich patchouli = Perfect gift for an Eleven year old Poppinj back in 1977!

Haven't experienced anything similar, but it's luscious fragrance has haunted me for 40 years!
02nd January, 2018

Royal Bain de Caron / Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron

I first noticed Royal Bain de Champagne in 1985, when it was featured in a GQ Magazine photoshoot of a medicine cabinet full of products. It was photographed by Helmut Newton back in the mid 1980’s, and I had to find that bottle! Something about it was just so very cool and so different from all the others!

I located a bottle at this really old perfume shop in Wilmington, DE and the nice lady who owned the shop was equally as ancient. She had treasure beyond belief! I couldn’t really afford all that I wanted, but I did buy a large bottle of Royal Bain de Champagne and also a small bottle of Patou Pour Homme. I was hooked from then on....

Thick, rich, resinous scent full of a melange of various deep woods and crisp floral notes.
The vanilla and musk base are particularly intoxicating and the projection and longevity are outstanding. Maybe a bit too cloying if over-applied, so be careful....

I dare say that this a precursor to Faberge’s Brut and in some ways I’m reminded of a thicker/stronger Helmut Lang Cologne. More masculine than feminine, but equally draws compliments from both sexes the few times I wear this in a years time.
14th December, 2017

Boy Chanel by Chanel

Oh Boy, I don’t see anything particularly exciting about Boy Chanel, and that saddens me since my expectations were high considering the famed house, hype and pricing. I wanted to love this so much, but it just doesn’t love me back.

To be perfectly honest, I get a tad queasy on the dry-down from Boy Chanel, which is something I also get from only a few other fragrances (ie: Obsession for Men, Dolce & Gabanna Pour Homme, Habit Rouge...)
All of these share something in one form or another, but Boy seems much more synthetic to me. Perhaps given the new era of shared status non-offensive skin-scents?

Having purchased a 200ml bottle from the 2016 launch at the Chicago Chanel Store, I’ve worn this but only a few times. It’s rather bland and a tad too sweet/powdery for my taste. This could have been so much better with less vanilla and a bigger citrus twist. I just expect more from the House of Chanel....
11th December, 2017
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Fracas for Men by Robert Piguet

Purchased this many years ago and wore it a few times. Didn’t strike me positively or negatively. Huge lavender heart note mixed with a very light floral. Soapy in a vintage barbershop way. Similar to original Dunhill for Men and Worth Pour Homme. Basic....

Was curious about this recently, so I pulled this out from my cool climate basement storage and sampled again. Surprisingly, Fracas for Men has indeed survived the years.
In fact, I would venture to say it’s even better with age! It’s a moderately light fragrance with a soft but sharp sillage.The oakmoss base adds depth to a mostly lavender based scent, while still emitting a soapy/fresh feeling. Longevity is average at best. Enjoyable but still nothing really special worth seeking unless you are a hardcore Piguet fan.
09th December, 2017

Coriolan by Guerlain

Coriolan was my signature scent (along with Le 3e Homme de Caron) for many years. I rarely wear it anymore since it’s discontinued and my stock is getting low.

Although listed as a chypre, I’ve always likened Coriolan as more of an aromatic fougere. It is a subtle, refined, elegant fragrance along the lines of Chanel Pour Homme Concentre and Tiffany For Men.
Most suited for business and formal wear;
It never fails to draw compliments from those surrounding you.

Of particular note; the original bottle is absolutely fantastic and I’m sure Guerlain spent a fortune on production and packaging.
30th November, 2017

Booster by Lacoste

An underrated gem! I have worn Booster for many years and for me, this is just about the most perfect casual sport scent. Fresh, clean and energizing with excellent projection and longevity. You can tell that this was developed by master perfumer Jean Kerleo, because the blending is so smooth and well thought out.
Jean is truly the virtuoso of lavender!

Wonderfully different compared to virtually everything else on the fragrance market, and masterfully crafted of high quality ingredients. The menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender work very nicely together and does not become a cloying mess. I recommend this as a casual sport scent for those that appreciate uniqueness.
30th November, 2017

Altamir by Ted Lapidus

This one is really interesting....

I’m getting a very nice Gaultier2 and Gaultier Fleur du Male mixture that stays close to the body. Soft silage with medium projection, but with disappointing longevity. SSS Avon vibe after 15 minutes that lasts until base notes arrive.

Amber, tonka bean and orange blossom notes dominate. The underlaying sandalwood note is very calming and adds a nice depth.

Very warm and enjoyable especially for under $20.00 USD. Nice heavy bottle w/fantastic accurate spraying nozzle!

If you’re a Jean Paul Gaultier Fan then you should like this one!
18th November, 2017

Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

In your face masculinity at it's finest. A rich, bold, assertive powerhouse from a bygone era; where hairy chests, gold chains and designer velours ruled the nights at the disco.
Deep, dark and very mysterious!

Perfumer Louis Monnet created a stunning masterpiece of perfumery that has remained tried and true for nearly forty years. My vintage bottle from circa 1987 smells (and wears) exactly like my 2015 bottle. Outstanding for a any fragrance of this caliber, since nothing truly has remained the same from that era without major modifications!

A spicy resinous formula enriched with woods, leather and aromatic herbs. So perfect for cool Fall-Winter evenings, although with a very slight hand; as since the initial application developes into enormous projection in about fifteen minutes later. Absolutely unique and relatively unknown by the masses. Besides, it’s a real bargain for the money of a fragrance of this quality!
12th November, 2017 (last edited: 18th November, 2017)

Sleeping by Elsa Schiaparelli

This is absolutely stunning! Schiaparelli dared to dream and created a nocturnal essence to whisk you away to dreamland. Captivating spices, dreamy vanilla, amorous amber and sensual musks intertwined with bergamot and orange and a hint of lavender. A brighter, less moody Shalimar in my honest opinion and of superb quality!
17th September, 2017

Paloma Picasso / Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso

Epitome of the 1980's. Deep, dark, mysterious and sensual. A resinous liquid of euphoric delight. Deep rose offset with wooded smoky nuances and a candied honey. Oakmoss and patchouli add depth and sensuality while citrus and coriander add sparkling elements throughout this ethereal creation. Perfectly suitable for a man or a women, and it draws compliments from many. This ranks up in my top ten of all time scents, and the newest version is as faithful as it was when launched. *Also a real bargain on the wallet in this world of overpriced same-same fleeting scents.....
21st May, 2017

Desire for a Man by Dunhill

Bermuda Cruise 2000....

A wonderful fragrance that I obtained onboard a cruise ship while sailing to Bermuda with my family. The packaging was novel at the time and made for easy and quick application.

Fresh apple and lime notes dominate the opening and rose/patchouli/vanilla/musk notes work in unison for a truly memorable dry down. Longevity and projection are outstanding at nearly 8-10 hours.

I've probably purchased about ten bottles of Dunhill Desire since that 2000 cruise and I have not noticed any discrepancies in quality. It's a very well crafted fragrance and considering the affordable price; it's pretty much a no brainer addition to your scent wardrobe if you want something fun but classy. A word of caution is to go easy on application, since this can be a monster if overapplied....
23rd February, 2017

51.3N by Dunhill

I really wasn't expecting much from this considering the extremely low cost that I obtained from a discounter; however I'm pleasantly surprised by the overall experience!

Grapefruit, black pepper and sandalwood are the most detectable notes to my nose, over a light bed of spicy lavender and a touch of vanilla. I can't say I detect rhubarb since I'm unfamiliar with that particular note. It's fresh and green whatever it is, and I mean that in a positive way.

The quality of Dunhill 51.3N is actually really good and the projection and longevity are excellent! I'm reminded of both Floris Santal and Coriolan Guerlain to a certain extent, as this too would make for an amazing business scent.

The glass bottle is also a keeper; which touts quite a heft and a machine drilled magnetic cap! Nice job, Dunhill!
23rd February, 2017

Boucheron pour Homme by Boucheron

Boucheron Pour Homme has been a mainstay in my fragrance wardrobe since 1991 and I've always relied on its sharp elegance to assure that I'm dressed for the occasion.

Many reviews have mentioned a reference to the classic Dior Eau Sauvage, and I cannot see it at all. Boucheron Pour Homme is much more akin to Chanel Pour Homme, Tiffany for Men, Coriolan by Guerlain and it even shares some similarities to Le 3e Homme de Caron.

According to Fragrantica:

Top notes are orange, lavender, mandarin orange, basil, lemon verbena, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are carnation, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose; base notes are sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, musk, benzoin, oakmoss, vetiver and incense.

Silage and longevity are outstanding in both the edt and edp versions, but do go easy on application since Boucheron Pour Homme can be a monster if overapplied. A formal, dry citrus woody aromatic masterpiece of the highest quality!
17th February, 2017
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Sortilège by Long Lost Perfume

Sortilege by Le Galion is a high quality essence of femininity. Strikingly beautiful soft floral notes elevated to the surreal with the use of superb aldehydes over a base of fine musks, sharp woody notes and subtle fruits.

Created by the brilliant Paul Vacher in 1937, Sortilege soon became Le Galions signature perfume and was soon adopted by the American elite with great enthusiasm. In fact, Sortilege was the house fragrance for the famous Stork Club in NYC, who had their very own immense supply of specially packaged Sortilege perfume as giveaways to special guests. Many photographs still exist online of numerous celebrities with their "free" bottles of Sortilege perfume while dining at the Stork Club.

By today's standards it's a very old fashioned floral-aldehyde perfume that recalls a bygone era where women wore gloves and hats while out in public, lunched with other ladies, awaited a man to open the door, etc...

I have not tried the "Long Lost" version nor have I tried the newly relaunched Le Galion Sortilege. This review is based on several vintage bottles collected over the years from the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's which have marvelous longevity and is a testimony to the excellent quality of Le Galions perfumes and products.
17th February, 2017

Monogram by Ralph Lauren

Aggressively sharp and biting right from the start. Like an enthusiastic greyhound at the start of a race, as it madly dashes out of the gate. Alas this is not the winner. It mellows and tires before finishing, with noticeable baby powder notes in the dry-down. Projection and longevity are beyond belief, but after the first few hours you're fatigued from wearing.

This was my best friend from High Schools signature scent back in the 80's. It drove me crazy for some reason, and induced sneezing when applied. I tried on many occasions to wear (and understand) Monogram by Ralph Lauren to no avail.

Slightly sharp citrus bergamot/aldehyde ladened opening, very dry lavender, punjant incense, cyclamen, heliotrope over a mildly musky base with a touch of synthetic woods.
*Envision Helmut Lang Cologne and Gucci Rush for Men having a love child.....

This fragrance was advertised heavily in magazines and department store circulars, and the bonus gift with purchases were very lavish and generous. Free engraving on the bottles was virtually unheard of at the time!

Why did it fail? I've always suspected that this fragrance was toxic. Don't ask me why, but there was something quite unsettling about wearing it, and a general feeling of discomfort with your breathing. Of course nobody will ever admit to that now (for fear of lawsuits), but at the time it was really mysterious how this disappeared from the marketplace so fast; especially knowing all the investment by RL and Warner-Lambert into the packaging and promotion of Monogram. I don't ever remember a fragrance disappearing from stores and being sent back to corporate after less then a three year run, without explanation nor going to a discount chain. Very odd....

I still have a few deluxe sample vials, and occasionally sniff them. I still sneeze and laugh at myself for trying again to like this after nearly thirty years. Some things in life just weren't meant to be....
16th February, 2017

Programme Homme by Lancôme

Of all the fragrances that I own, Programme Homme by Lancôme draws the most compliments while wearing. My Mother absolutely adored this one on me and my entire staff follows me around like a lost puppy.

After having worn since it's launch back in 1987, I still don't completely understand it's powerful hold over others. The basic formula of lavender, geranium, carnation, jasmine, lemon over a oakmoss, laudanum, woody base is pretty much a standard classic woody fougere. The quality of ingredients and the masterful blending of composition is well above average fare and stands apart from a crowded perfume segment. Longevity is killer with 10+ hours with moderate to high silage, and this is obtained from a edt splash!

Why did this fail when it was so good?
Well, Lancôme launched an excellent men's grooming line called "Programme Homme" in 1987, and it was sold exclusively at finer department stores. This fragrance (of the same name) was launched with the new mens skincare products and was never intended to be sold behind any counter other than Lancômes. Despite advertisements in major men's magazines for both the fragrance and skincare line, most men never knew it existed since it was nestled in with the ladies cosmetics. It was sadly discontinued along with the excellent Programme Homme Skincare line around 1994.

A few years ago I stumbled on several boxes of vintage Programme Homme edt splash in an obscure perfume shop in Manhattan. The boxes were rather aged but the liquid inside was absolutely perfect! *Remember that in the '80s and early '90s the majority of mens fragrances were mostly splashes and the boxes did not have a cellophane wrapping.

If you are a fan of Chanel's Egoist, Sybaris by Puig or Le 3e Homme de Caron you should seek out a bottle of Programme Homme de Lancôme. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
16th February, 2017

Green Irish Tweed by Creed

This is another "old money" scent that recalls class and elegance. What sets GIT apart from the other 80's powerhouses is the use of Florentine Iris, a high quality Sandalwood from Mysore and real Ambergris extract; all masterfully blended in a rather simple formula. The Violet note adds just the right touch of sweetness and balances nicely with the touch of Lemon.

I can't say that this fragrance is particularly unisex as since I have never smelled this on a female. Green Irish Tweed has had many accolades over the years, but I've always purchased it because it's elegant and pretty much perfect for any occasion. Silage and longevity are outstanding as well they should be for the price of purchase.
16th February, 2017

Cool Water by Davidoff

I remember when in the late 1980's a new breed of men's fragrances were emerging. Aromatic aquatic fresh fougeres (AAFF) were led by New West, Cool Water and Eternity.

With this new class of fragrances, all of the previous traditional men's 80's powerhouse scents were considered old, heavy and suddenly out of style. The effect of these AAFF scents continues to this day and have been rigorously copied and campaigned by virtually every designer and fragrance house on this planet. Almost to the point of overkill in my opinion.

The extremely gifted Pierre Bourdon was the nose responsible for Cool Water. Just amazing that only seven years earlier he was also the creator of that 80's powerhouse Kouros; another fragrance the defined the earlier portion of that decade.

I like Cool Water but I'm also reminded that every guy back in the late 1980's and early 1990's wore this one to death, hence the neutral rating. Along with Eternity, you could not go anywhere in public without inhaling this from a stranger in a contained space. The subways, airports, malls, clubs and bars reeked of these AAFF variations for years to follow. It's almost as if in one fell "SWOOP", the dominance of New West/Cool Water/Eternity killed everything in its path between the years of 1988-1996. Gone were the heavy exotic creations like Patou pour Homme, Jean Desprez Versailles, Derby by Guerlain as manufacturers and fragrance houses rushed to join the AAFF bandwagon.

It's been mentioned numerous times by Basenotes reviewers that Cool Water is an "older guys scent", or perhaps what your "Uncle, Dad or Grand-Dad" wears. This makes me laugh, as perhaps all those "Club Kids" who wore Cool Water/Eternity back in the late 80's and 90's are now settled down with families and they are still sporting the same scent, refusing to let go.....
16th February, 2017

Montana Parfum d'Homme (original) by Montana

1989 Nassau, Bahamas vacation....

Shopping along Bay Steet I stumble upon a perfume shop that contains scented treasures from foreign lands that one can only dream about. Inside the rich mahogany cases are designer fragrances that I have never heard about, and one unusually beautiful bottle is calling my name. It's Montana Parfum d' Homme and its scent is as exhilarating as the bottle itself.

Dry, exotic, spicy, leathery, potent; it's a most unique fragrance that I will never forget "when and where" I was when purchased. A time capsule moment in my life!

Now 28 years later, I still love and wear PdH. The quality and projection of this scent is rarely matched by anything else in the marketplace. The closest relative is Havana by Aramis, and although very similar; Parfum d' Homme is much richer and more complex. Like the island where purchased!

Sadly I have heard that PdH is now discontinued. This really doesn't surprise me since everything else that I really enjoy and love is now a fleeting memory and a brief review on a website. I'll have to "stockpile" a few extra bottles while I can, and although "Parfum d' Homme Light" is similarly nice and readily available online; it's lacking the original depth that made Montana PdH the standout of uniqueness back in 1989.
16th February, 2017

Versailles pour Homme by Jean Desprez

One of the great beauties of the early 1980's that defines elegance, reserve and understatement.

The bright citrus opening leads into a very complex heart filled with dry herbs and spicy florals, while the refined woody base mixes with leather, moss and amber fighting for dominance. I've always detected a somewhat dry tobacco in Versailles pour Homme, although there is no reference to this being verified.

One of the joys of wearing this well crafted elusive scent is that it's so rare and unknown that you'll be the only person in the room who is wearing Versailles pour Homme. An exclusive to you and you alone, especially now that it's been long discontinued.

I have always enjoyed wearing VPH with suits for business and formal. When it was discontinued in the late 80's I bought a surplus of various bottles that I safely stored away. Now 20+ years later, I'm down to about two bottles that I use very sparingly.

Alternatively I have found that Tiffany for Men and Corolian by Guerlain are the closest relatives to Versailles pour Homme, and they all share that dry, reserved masculine elegance. A reflection scent of a time when men dressed to impress and their selection of a fragrance was just as important as choosing the proper tie or the right pair of shoes. Sigh.....

16th February, 2017

Antaeus by Chanel

I have been wearing Antaeus for nearly 36 years and it still remains in my Top Ten Favorites.
This is one of the original 80's powerhouses that (for me) defined a generation; along with Patou Pour Homme, Kouros, JHL, Versailles, Polo, etc.....

After all these years Antaeus remains boozy, leathery and it downright reeks of old money and sex! It's certainly a fragrance that wears you and makes absolutely NO apologies about it.

I reserve wearing Antaeus now for special occasions, and most recently wore it to a very formal wedding. I had forgotten how powerful the projection of this is, and was accosted by various partygoers (of both sexes) all evening; telling me how incredible I smell.

While the IFRA guidelines have affected many fragrance houses and reduced many scents to a pale shell of what once was, the current formulation of Antaeus is still quite good. A bit lighter and a tad more floral then before, but still utterly beautiful and downright sexy. It still reminds me of old money.....
16th February, 2017

Musk Eau de Toilette by Alyssa Ashley

This has been around for ages and is readily available at most US drugstores for a relatively low price. Non offensive, clean, crisp and linear. Stays close to the skin with a very soft projection. Alyssa Ashley Musk is unisex, but has a tendency towards the feminine with a slightly artificial powdery floral note. The opening is perhaps my favorite part of the experience and I'm reminded slightly of vintage 'My Sin Eau de Lanvin', which is LOADED with various musks, although of much richer quality. It's an 'okay' scent, but not outstanding in any perticular way......
16th February, 2017

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

Oh how we do admire the House of Guerlain. So much so that we continue to fill their coffers with our hard earned money, just so that we can be rewarded with a fleeting half hour of fragrance bliss. Many of their landmark scents from yesteryear continue to be produced; alas in a much weaker filtration and modified format. A tease of what once was, that you cannot have.

Vol de Nuit is a stunning creation by Jacques Guerlain from 1933. Soft, powdery, mossy-green, slightly soapy and mildly spicy. Not dissimilar to Jicky, MdeM and Shalimar. The "Guerlinade" is clearly evident and is most enjoyable. Albeit too dissipatingly brief.

Sadly the current EDT is so weak that it seems a pity to even bother wasting your money on purchasing. It teases and taunts you for less than a hour and then poof, it's gone. Blame the IFRA and the greedy accountants at LVMH for this one. Bottled water is quite popular, no?

Hopefully I'll live to see a lasting EDP version of Vol de Nuit as well as others from Guerlain. I'm growing tired of being teased....
09th February, 2017

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

Vile artificial headache in a bottle. One of only three fragrances that have ever induced immediate nauseous reactions on me. More power to you if you can pull this one off, but alas I'll admire the bottle from afar.
08th February, 2017

Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

This was once a well kept secret that only those in the know were aware of. A wonderful surge of refreshing citrus, herbs and soft woods to awaken the senses are contained inside a lovely minimalist bottle. The sunny yellow packaging is handmade and adds to the luxury experience. This original Colonia never gets tiresome and considering its approaching its 101st Birthday, it's truly a must have in any fragrance wardrobe.
08th February, 2017

Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta by Acqua di Parma

Having worn the original ADP Colonia for ages, I had high expectations for ADP Colonia Assoluta. It's a quality scent that is very well blended, and the heart of the original is expanded upon here; although it is more floral. Personally I find this a tad shrilling for me, and although nice, I'll stick with the timeless classic original. I adore musky, dusty rooms....
08th February, 2017

Virgin Island Water by Creed

A luxurious tropical treat for the senses! Close your eyes and inhale, as you are transported to your favorite Caribbean hideaway. Rich blend of refreshing lime, coconut, rum over a soft bed of sweet musk. Lovely yet very fleeting. Like a dream vacation, it's over all too soon....
08th February, 2017

Midnight in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels

I've always liked the Van Cleef & Arpels fragrance line and I got really excited reading all of the positive reviews here for 'Midnight in Paris'; so much so that I sought out a bottle of the eau de toilette for my personal collection. The fragrance notes listed above come across as a win, WIN! What could go wrong with this fragrance; especially accompanied with such a great bottle?

Well....I do not get any of these listed notes except for incense. I also detect: Lavender, Black Pepper, Licorice, and a very heavy dose of Vanilla. To me it seems to be missing something? Perhaps a dash of Sandalwood and a splash of Juniper might help? Overall it's a nice scent, but not a great scent. Vaguely familiar as since this has been overdone for years (*see Zut de Schiaparelli). Did VCA approach Oliver Polge and ask for a formula that was ready for the market immediately, because they have this amazing bottle that's waiting? It seems like that's the case, and the fragrance here is an afterthought compared to the packaging.
07th February, 2017

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

I lived through the 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's without even owning a bottle of Azzaro Pour Homme.
Tested numerous times and always came to the same conclusion of mediocrity. It's a generic non-offensive scent that actually smells nicer on others. *I once had a very young client back in the 80's that was on deaths door, and he smelled divine wearing A.P.H. It's a memory that will forever be imbedded in my mind; to look that bad but to smell that great!.....

From all the positive reviews here on Basenotes, and the fragrance notes listed above; I decided to purchase a bottle and thoroughly wear test. It's nice but linear. I can't say that it's great, nor can I say this is a milestone in men's perfumery. I can say that Azzaro is an affordable fragrance that's wildly available to the masses, and those that enjoy it are passionate about it. I just need more 'oomph' personally for my tastes.....
07th February, 2017

Moustache by Rochas

I've always enjoyed wearing Moustache by Rochas. It's light but fizzy. Nostalgic yet minimalistically modern. I'm sure that the Roudnitska's have added aldehydes, since it sparkles brilliantly and tickles the senses. Mutated fruits, mild citrus, underlining moss, touch of pine. Goes great as a sporty outdoor casual fragrance. Not appreciated by everyone, but perhaps admired more by the barbershop genre. Prelude to Roudnitska's masterpiece Eau Sauvage.....
07th February, 2017