A lot can change in 5 years.
This is the first review I have been compelled to leave here for a very long time. Through my years I have tried the original M7, owned a bottle of the reproduction, and, most recently have purchased a bottle of the Oud Absolu reissue.
My review of the original M7 was based on a sample I had which was great. I then went and bought myself a bottle to find it was a newer, reformulated (colourless glass with brown sticker), version. It was nice but too sweet and cloying.
I had the opportunity recently to try the Oud Absolu version which supposedly stayed truer to the original formulation. I can't remember the original sample I had but what I will say is that I feel that all the cloying sweetness if the reissue is gone in the Oud Absolu version but it holds the value of the original fragrance. Once again upon trying a sample this turned heads and this time I genuinely love everything about it too.
Warm and sensual without any overbearing synthetic notes. This lead to a full purchase.
Tastes can change over 5 years but YSL did a great job on this and have allowed me to say that I finally "get it".
Maybe I'm all romantic about Full Incense because it is currently winter but I simply cannot find anything not to like here.
Full Incense is another Montale that does exactly what it says on the tin. It has it's similarities to other fragrances, notably Avignon,however I find Montale's offering to be more rounded and less synthetic than Comme des Garcons'.
I don't really get much more out of it than incense but I love incense. I get images of burning frankincense when wearing this so I can agree with the "Church" comments. With so many incense fragrances you have to get past some overbearing nonsense in the top and middle notes to get to the warm incense basenotes. This skips that and goes straight to the incense and it remains there for a long long time.
Santal Wood is Montale attempting a mainstream male fragrance. It is inoffensive in the opening and has a very generic woodsy/ambery/iso E super thing going on.
It's woody, fresh, sporty, aquatic and my guess is that the majority of people will like it.
It doesn't challenge and feels out of place in the Montale line.
Where it does tie in with other Montales is it's longevity. It lasts forever and this made me bored of it.
What a lovely blend of spices and incense................. and then.........
Cumin and sweaty armpits
Dark Aoud, along with Black Musk, has quickly become one of my all time favourite fragrances.
The oud note dominates this scent but it has a dark, smoky and burnt feeling to it. It is extremely medicinal (not chemical) in the opening and remains linear throughout most of it's wearing. Got compliments from other guys the very first time I wore it. Not "you smell great" compliments but more like an understanding nod of appreciation.
There are no "rose petals" or "white musks" in Dark Aoud it simply does what it says on the tin.
This will split opinions and you will never hear "Yea, Dark Aoud. It's ok I guess".
Like many Montale fragrances Black Musk is a challenging wear for some. It opens up with an explosion of the medicinal Montale oud house note however this didn't last too long on me before I found myself sniffing my shirt over and over to try and identify what was going on.
Black Musk is complex and is not as linear as some other Montale fragrances. I agree with comments about it being dark and futuristic. To me it had a sharpness to it with almost metallic/inky qualities.
This has huge longevity and after the initial burst of fragrance I find it stays quite close to the skin however still projects enough to have people notice how great you smell.
In a sea full of aquatics and department store "woods" you'd stand head and shoulders above the rest.
I can appreciate this fragrance for what it is and what it is meant to be. I get the oud and I get the leather however unfortunately I also get a giant fecal note that I just can't shake from this regardless of how long I've been wearing it.
Is it a bad fragrance? Absolutely not.
Is it for me? No
I had originally written off Aoud Musk as upon my first smell on a card I felt that an earthiness overpowered everything else in this fragrance.
I had bought a sample so I thought I'd may as well wear it and I'm glad I did. This opened up to be a wonderful fragrance full or warm woods and musk with a very masculine feeling to it. It remains quite linear for most of it's lifespan however this is not a bad thing as it feels comforting to me.
I was worried about this having animalic characteristics however it is much more earthy. The longevity of this is great and anyone who is close to you will be sure to notice.
This is on my list to get in the future.
Well this is something else. A big loud opening of medicinal oud, harsh lime, and for me, a soapy undertone. The soap prevailed to my nose and I likened this to many lime scented shaving soaps. A very clean and clinical smell.
I loved it and my wife hated it......... until the next morning. After 7-8 hours the harsh soapyness had gone and I was left with a wonderful aromatic woody smell.
Aoud Lime, as with many other Montales, can be very challenging but it is certainly worth trying at least once. Under no circumstances should anyone every buy this blind.
I've worn the Peau d'Espagne now for a couple of days from a sample and simply, I'm blown away.
I find it hard to describe how I feel about it. It's old yet has a modern abstract feeling about it. Very much un-mainstream. I absolutely love the birch tar note in there and that adds a real "old world" woody aspect to the fragrance. The whole time this is going on you have faint floral/herbaceous notes floating about in there and they are sitting at the side on a pillow of talc.
The star of this scent though is the medicinal/balmy/ambery binding in the base which along with the dryness of this scent, brings all the notes together. "Leather " fragrances can be cloying (GFT Spanish Leather) and can sometimes be over the top (Knize Ten). I agree with one of the previous reviews saying this is stronger than the above but it is much more perfectly balanced than any other leather I've worn before.
I had previously started a thread in the forum here about finding a scent which was the smell of walking into the entrance hall of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. A lot of answers came back but this is that scent (maybe adding in a little of SMN Pot Pourri), this is alchemy, this is Santa Maria Novella.
The smell of a perfumer in a centuries old building with surrounds just as old. Old oak which has soaked up all the fragrances past and holds those scents as memories for everyone to smell in the future.
This is simply wonderful.
Now...... to try and source a bottle.
Well I've only had my Bottle of Ambre 114 for about a week and man what a fragrance.
I knew what I was getting myself into with it when I had been trying it from a sample but I had no idea what it would become.
Nothing else I have worn, ever, has had that many comments (note comments not compliments). People in work have actually stopped when walking past me to ask what it is that I'm wearing and how different/strange it smells. Someone said it smelt medicinal but had a lovely warm smell to it and someone else just badgered me for 10 minutes with the "what are you wearing?" line.
I mean it's nice to get attention and all but this fragrance is just so much more to me. It is certainly in holy grail territory but from a frag/fume-head point of view. I have never smelt anything in my life that keeps giving the way Ambre 114 does. Every time I have worn it, I get something different. Obviously there is quite an oriental kick to it and it can sometimes overpower just after application but even though it has an opulent almost "thick" smell it always stays light on the skin. You get florals through it, and once, only once, I got a fabulous birch tar note for about an hour after wearing it for about 5 hours.
You can get a clear 15+ hours out of this and wearing it is like reading a story or going on a journey.
My only concern about it is................ can it be too nice to wear every day?
I really really love Égoïste as an EDT and I use the aftershave version also. It is one of those scents that just blows me away every time I smell it. It was hard enough (a few years back) to even find a bottle of the EDT available in the UK. Now, fortunately, we have a few Chanel Boutiques so are able to get our hands on Égoïste and all the Les Exclusifs too.
To get the general scent of Égoïste check out the review for the EDT. I can't add anything more than what has already been said above. Cologne Concentree Égoïste is richer, thicker almost. It exudes opulence. They say Égoïste was originally Bois Noir (Dark/Black Woods) well I'll be damned if Cologne Concentree doesn't fit this description. I get a little trace of Égoïste in Bois des Îles but nothing, I mean nothing, comes close to Égoïste Cologne Concentree.
It's rarity has become stuff of legend and even recently in the forums here, a member who said that Égoïste was his favourite ever EDT also said he had never heard of Égoïste Cologne Concentree. I told him that I'd rather not describe it to him to save him the same pain I feel (a little over dramatic I know but true nonetheless).
I have the smallest amount left in a Chanel sample vial and EVERY TIME I smell it, my heart genuinely aches that this is no longer in production. If it were, I'd sell all my scents and use Égoïste Cologne Concentree exclusively for the rest of my days.
**Update: I managed to snag a full bottle of this.... WOW!**
26th February, 2012 (last edited: 03rd March, 2012)
There was once a thread on the boards here asking people if they liked the products that accompanied the fragrances, in this case Black Pepper EdT is actually the accompanying product to the body wash.
I bought this on the strength of the scent in the body wash which Molton Brown claimed they had managed to put in an EdT. In my opinion Molton Brown didn't even try.
If this genuinely smelt like the body wash then this EdT would be a contender up there with some of the great power scents of the 80's and if it had some longevity it could quite easily have been my holy grail of scents.
As it turns out it is a poor version of what was supposedly copied which turns cloying on my skin, even once the scent has gone.
Get the body wash instead and on a day off have a bath or shower with it and enjoy it's scent for as long as it lasts.
Right, firstly, I know a lot of Creeds come under scrutiny for being like/being worse than a smell-a-like but I tried this on today and all I smelt for the majority of the day was Joop!. Not a smell like Joop! but a smell that is so similar to Joop! I couldn't tell the difference. Joop! is very loud and tenacious and you can smell sillage from miles away, similarly with this.
Longevity issues? Are you kidding? Currently at 10 hours and still going strong, now just smells like Joop! layered with the Creed house note of amber.
Other Creed smell-a-likes I have been able to pass because I consider the Creeds to be of a greater quality but I can't let Creed have this one.
I wish I had "longevity issues" with this but I don't.
I smell like a pre-pubescent teen at a school disco.
Not much leather in the opening of this cologne and to be honest not much leather at all. I sort of agree with the_good_life when he says it should be called English Barbershop as it does contain a soapy note.
It does say on the box however that "It has often been assumed that the preparation includes leather in it's make-up but the name actually derives from the fact that leather, usually tanned kid or chamois, is immersed in a special perfume. Once treated this "Spanish Leather" will retain it's distinctive fragrance for a considerable time. Trumpers adhere faithfully to the traditional preparation when producing Spanish Leather Cologne."
So they have stated that it is based on a liquid used to treat leather. I can smell some leather in it but it isn't till the dry down which to me hangs around and smells like a leathery-talc.
All in all this is a very pleasing and sort of light cologne which I feel will see me through summer and winter.
With Millésime Impérial I'm in with the camp that love it. In fact, I'm pretty much 99% sure that if I could only ever use one scent again then this would be it. When I first bought Millésime Impérial I was taken in with the top notes. It is a little fresh and very aquatic but not in a modern trendy way. I grew up on a seaside town and to me the aqua in Millésime Impérial smells like the smell of sea air on a warm summer night. It also seems to have a little fruityness in there, not citrus but an almost melon like accord. Spraying this on makes me feel like a million bucks.
However the real beauty in Millésime Impérial, for me, comes about 8 - 10 hours after I've applied it (longevity naysayers be gone, this lasts). To me the basenotes in this just shine, its that lovely far away dry down that even after the day at work, Im sitting having a glass of wine or a beer, I stretch out to put my glass down and even that little muscle movement is enough to trigger a little heat which triggers the drydown again, a lovely warm but crisp amber. I go to bed and I still smell this and the next morning I get up and go for a shower and the first drop of water that hits my skin makes it smell like Millésime Impérial.
There are a lot of smell-a-likes both averagely priced (Unforgivable) and highly priced (Bond No9 Wall St). Unforgivable wears away to nothing in seconds and Wall St, while it has the longevity it doesn't have the development.
I would happily wear this every day for the rest of my life if it weren't for the price. However, excellence never came cheap.
This along with Mandate, to me, is the ultimate "Fathers Day" cologne. It just reminds me of that "smell that the kids can afford for dad that isn't Old Spice or Brut" and I still know some gents, my own father included, do wear this.
I think it works fine for what it is, however it takes me back to being a boy, not a young man, a boy, and trying this on to make me smell nice for the girls at school discos etc. Oh the shame and failure.
Im sure some will love this for the nostalgia but for me this belongs in the same ether as Hai-Karate etc.
Certainly one I would not buy for myself, or my father.
One of the negative reviews here said "this smells like barbasol". My point is, what's wrong with that? This is meant to be a masculine scent and it is. It does smell like barbasol and it does smell like an old fashioned barber shop but that's the thing which Rive Gauche does best.
Apart from being taken aback that this comes in an aluminium container and not a bottle, I can't fault it.
You wake up in the morning, you have a shower and get dressed. You go to your fragrances and say "What shall I wear?" You choose Knize Ten.
For the rest of the day, everywhere you go, you will be turning heads.
A lot of people will be curious about what they are smelling, others will turn in disgust.
You won't care though because you're wearing Knize Ten
This isn't too bad a fragrance (is smells pleasant enough) but neither is it good. It's a typical generic mass market fragrance faced by someone who is about as sincere as the liquid in the bottle. Yes Mr Millionaire, Ewan "Im so down to earth with my Scottish roots" McGregor, Im sure you wear this because you "love the sense of adventure".
The only adventure faced in this bottle is the journey from your house to the store where you are sure to soon find this in the discount bin.
Oh yea and it doesn't last more than half an hour either.
Surprisingly, I really quite liked this scent, especially after feeling so let down by AdP Colonia. I tried this and was instantly taken aback by the Cypress/Green notes but after about 5 minutes this was really proving to be a joy on my skin. I smelt a little lavender in there as well as the sage. On the very hot day which I was testing this, it started to blossom wonderfully and I could easily detect this scent moving through top-middle-base notes.
I'd liken this to an evening sitting on a mediterrianian beach, early evening its sunny still and bright, half an hour later the sun is starting to set and things are cooling down slightly, an hour later night time is almost upon you and the embers of the beach fire and smouldering but dissapointingly about to sputter out and signal the end of your night. Which brings me to the downside of Cipresso di Toscana. It just doesn't seem to last long enough on me.
This will get a thumbs up though because it is a thoroughly good scent and not too expensive either so I wouldn't mind over applying to have it last a little longer.
This could be seen as my first "major purchase" bottle. In 2004 when this first came out it was still pretty expensive being about £45 GBP for a 50ml bottle. I was in a store and was asked if I'd like to try the new Giorgio Armani scent called Black Code. I had been a fan of all 3 Emporio Armani fragrances released up to this time (He, He White and He Night) and had invested serious money in them over the years having owned at least 2 FB's of each one. My only experience with Giorgio Armani fragrances was Acqua Di Gio which I didnt like much as it reminded me of 18 year old boys with too much testosterone hitting on any female with a pulse. However I had been sold on the "this is a much darker fragrance" thing. I tried some on a tester and went for a walk for a while.
I really loved this scent so went and bought a bottle............. my first major schoolboy error. I got home and put some on and I liked it for a bit then it just went rancid on my skin. I persisted for a few weeks with it and nothing. It just kept disagreeing with me. I ended up giving it to my brother who has since gone on to buy his own bottles of this and still to this day wears what is now simply called Code.
I like the smell of it on him but we have totally differing skin types and as much as it smells nice on him, its not for me. Another case of try before you buy.
I have just a little of this left in my last bottle of this and I presume It will stay this way as I only feel like wearing this at one time of year, Christmas.
This fragrance, to me, is 100% Christmas in a bottle. Cinnamon candles, Frankinsence and Myhrr with some patchouli and a little woodyness.
Merry Christmas one and all.
I can't tell you why I like this because I dont't know why. It's a modern powerhouse fragrance and yes it does have a bit of the "cherry medicine" about it. It also has some sweetness to it too........... all things which I'd normally despise in a fragrance but M7 just does something for me. It works well with my body chemistry and it makes me feel amazing when I wear it.
It has a lovely woody drydown and all the parts of this fragrance are very well balanced. Yes it's loud and yes it will last for ages which again aren't normally what I look for in a fragrance but damn this is just so sexy for me.
It's also the first fragrance I've had where a girl has smelt it and all of a sudden looked at me with very wide "oh my god this is great" eyes. Hey, I don't give a crap about that though because of how I FEEL when I wear this.
Some people will read into this review as nonsense, but such is the difference in taste. The one note I'd add is ALWAYS try before you buy.
About 14 years ago when I was a young guy at school, I had a part time job in a jewellers as an engraver. I remember smelling this from a sample in a magazine and then also realised that my boss wore this when he was in work. It appeared to me to be a sophisticated scent, very grown up and very different from the "fresh and unisex" scents which were about at the time.
I remembered that scent right up till this year when I saw a bottle in a store for about £20 GBP so I decided to test it. Thank goodness I did. To my nose this is nothing like what it used to be in the mid 90's and I felt thoroughly dissapointed.
Neutral rating on the basis that the mid 90's one smelt really nice.
Hey Erolfa, how you doing? Been up to much late..................... oh don't run away from me. I was just starting to like you again. You don't smell bad at all, in fact I quite like you.
Ah well............ best go round and see Millesime Imperial instead at least he sticks around for a few hours.
16th June, 2009 (last edited: 28th September, 2009)
I disagree with all the negative reviews on here. I absolutely loved this fragrance it was unique and carried a little sophistication to it. I found it to be quite light and a little musky with some citrus thrown in for good measure. As it says at the top of this page, this was initially meant to be a limited edition and was always priced the same as the other Emporio Armani fragrances so I should have noticed the signs when they cut the price of it and discontinued all the other products in the "he white" line. Damn I wish I had bought more before they discontinued this fragrance. Yes you can still buy it online but it is usually overpriced because like a few others (i.e. Gucci Rush) people didn;t realise how much they liked this till it was gone.
If I could, I'd go back in time and never smell or purchase this fragrance. That way I'd never miss it as much as I do now.
Some complain that this fragrance smells too synthetic. To me it just smells very unique and I'd have a very hard time trying to describe it. This ALWAYS used to gain me compliments and for many years was my "signature" fragrance. I haven't owned this in a few years and am unsure whether they have changed anything abou the formulation of it. If not, Im sure I'd still love it.
For me, the bottle was always hard as nails too.
Something about the discontinuation of this fragrance dissapoints me. In my much younger days, you couldn't really pick up a fragrance like this for similar money. It was cheap.......... i mean like way cheap. I have bought 3 bottles of this on 3 seperate occasions for 3 seperate prices. First bottle I bought was at a discount drug store and cost me £5.99 GBP. Second bottle was bought at a chemist for slightly more money. Third bottle was bought a few years later because it was cheap again and I felt a little nostalgia towards it (having provided security for a Diesel store when I was 19).
Each and every time I have purchased this, the scent has been changed in some way and no it wasn't that I had picked up the feminine one. Just a real inconsistancy with the manufacturing process. The cheapest (and earliest) one I purchased was the best of the 3 which just reminded me that as the popularity of Diesel as a brand name grew, the less and less sincere they became about their products and customers.
They used to scent the store with this fragrance and If I could afford to wear a pair of jeans that cost upwards of £150GBP I certainly would NOT be wearing this fragrance. My nostalgia was looked back upon with rose tinted glasses and I got a headache.
Fresh yet musky. Affordable but smells slightly more expensive. Unique yet comes from a house which I sort of feel is the king of mediocrity and generic scents.
The only CK scent I'd still buy and wear.