Perfume Reviews

Reviews by sjohnjay

Total Reviews: 128

Sienne L'Hiver by Eau d'Italie

Reviews (elsewhere) had built this one up high; I half expected a misconstrued, ahead-of-its-time masterpiece. Upon trying it, I see no originality, alas there is still nothing new under the sun. Its iris is a carbon copy of Dzongkha, with very little to differentiate, throughout the drawn-out opening. I'll downplay the "olive/truffle/celery" accords...maybe I was expecting it too much based on other reviews (it's there, although I didn't find if off-putting or over the top). I enjoy the dry down most; I get a tastefully austere amber and wood, and this part seems to last, yet not project much.
15th January, 2017

Floriental by Comme des Garçons

Nothing groundbreaking from CDG, but one could surely do much worse than Floriental.
Yes- it shares the same DNA as Wonderwood, with an added plum/floral. Very unisex.
What I like most about Floriental is the "Play-doh" note I get from it.

29th December, 2016

8 88 by Comme des Garçons

My personal bias dictates 888 is hideously offensive, nauseatingly rich and cloying, and smells like an 80 year old woman. It may be interpreted as smelling like "gold," IF you hate gold, and the aforementioned "gold" has a tendency bludgeon and suffocate you when in its presence.
Trying to be (more) objective, it smells like loudly amplified and obtusely generic floral, and synthetic saffron (neither note is one I would actively seek in a fragrance). I have never been repulsed by any fragrance in the way I am repulsed by 888; I dry-heaved upon smelling it, and that's NOT an exaggeration.
While I love MANY of CDG's releases, and consider them a house of multiple masterpieces, I feel they proverbially crapped the bed by releasing this.
Of course everyone has different tastes/opinions, but I see no redeeming value in this towering abomination.
Moving on...
29th December, 2016
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Blackpepper by Comme des Garçons

As a long time fan of (at least half of their releases) CDG, and after reading so many positive reviews (on other sites) about Blackpepper, I had high hopes for this one.
I though it was going to be the first oasis in a sea of mediocrity, in regard to the oval bottle CDG line, in several years...after enduring the mundane stuff like the "Blue series," Amazingreen, Floriental, Wonderoud, etc.
Although my hopes may have been high, I kept them grounded in as to shun unrealistic assumptions.
Basically speaking- I WANTED to like this, and then I TRIED to like this. But I find it a disappointment, given others' rave reviews, as well as my affinity for black pepper as a note.
I'm underwhelmed.
The top notes share Wonderwood/Oud's DNA; that's fine and dandy, and to be expected. Black pepper (as a note) DOES announce itself, but with a certain lackluster, and a definite deja vu and feeling of over-familiarity.
It may have had a bit of uniqueness to it, if I hadn't experienced the same thing years ago...
Back around 2003 or so, Diesel, of all brands, released a "Limited Edition" version of its super-sweet juice called Diesel Green. I purchased it accidentally at a great price on clearance at TJ Maxx. I was stunned by it back then, and searched high and low for another bottle of that anomaly until I finally had to order one online from Germany. And soon enough, the jig was up, and I had grown tired of it.
Well- Blackpepper's top notes immediately transported me back to memories of Diesel Green Limited Edition.
For a few minutes, at the tail end of the top notes, the ghost of Tar (Synthetic Series) shows up, and I consider it a short-lived treat...
Until the heart, which has a certain foodiness to it that really rubs me the wrong way. The best way I can describe it is celery and onions. Or chicken broth/soup.
All the while, Blackpepper is very moderate and dignified, insomuch as it's not a sillage beast, nor does it hover an inch over the skin. I find its projection level to be nice and balanced.
This juice's saving grace comes when the heart notes of chicken soup evaporate, leaving a long lasting base of tarry, dry, semi-smoky (as opposed to "dirty/earthy"), and tastefully executed patchouli. As far as a base/dry-down goes, the moderate projection is maintained at a decent level the entire time. I get a good 12 to 18 hours off this.
Bottom line- for such a good base, it's a shame this stuff goes through some jarring phases to get there. When it gets to the good part, however, it lasts, and it projects at a perfect level.
It could be much worse, but I can't give it a full thumbs up.
18th December, 2016 (last edited: 22nd December, 2016)

Clean Ultimate by Clean

Even though I don't hate this stuff, as it's not BAD per se, I just can't give it a Neutral rating due to how synthetic it smells (just like all the others in this line).
It may be moderately 'clean' smelling, and appropriate for office-wear because it's sure to not offend.
On the other hand- it's SO redundant, and smells like 100 other mediocre modern masculine fragrances.
Bottom line: even considering its low to midway price-point, one could could easily find a similar smelling, yet higher quality EDT for the half the price at Marshall's or T.J. Maxx.
16th October, 2016

Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Soapy, smoky, woody, sweet, and vegetal...all at the same time. Best worn casually (i.e., hemp, linen, denim, etc...), during one's leisure time, as I'm not convinced Timbuktu is a great choice for office wear (unless you work abroad as a Swahili professor, or for the womens' liberation foundation..whatever...).
Not just sexy, Timbuktu smells OF sex.
This is about as unisex/gender-nonspecific as they come.
09th September, 2016

Vetiver Geranium by Creed

Simple, as stated. Solely vetiver and geranium. Longevity leaves some to be desired, but it's a safe scent for any occasion, dignified, and smells great in summer heat.
And you can find it for a steal on eBay.
24th May, 2016

Creed pour Enfants by Creed

I just HAD to smell this at the store.
This smells like fruity baby-powder, but that's really beside the point, anyway.
I can't say I'm "offended," or even "appalled" by such a dumb concept...that's correct- this really IS a fragrance for infants.
The fact that Creed would waste time and resources on such a jackass product, without being stopped LONG before hitting the market, is just mind-boggling to me.
Unless anyone can offer me reasoning to the contrary, I predict this will be a colossal failure, and assume it will be phased out from their line-up before any further embarrassment.
27th November, 2015

Chrome by Azzaro

A good, cheap workhorse of a fragrance.
Go easy on the trigger, and others won't know you're wearing a ubiquitous bargain-bin scent.
CONS- tends to be harshly synthetic and bleachy if over-applied.
PROS- smells fresh and clean, and is suitable for all seasons, day and night, and is safe for work.
AND- it gets lots of compliments.
21st May, 2015

Eau des Baux by L'Occitane

Let's keep this short, sweet, and highly unoriginal-
This is nothing more, and nothing less than a poor man's (smart man's) Tobacco Vanille.
That is all.
07th April, 2015

Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons

Smells like my cat after coming inside, from being out in the snow.
03rd July, 2014

Aubépine-Acacia by Creed

It's a shame this is not available anymore, but I can see why. The ingredients are obviously of superior quality, thus making it difficult and expensive to source.
AA is sophisticated and nonchalant. By far the greenest of the old-school Creeds, with an immaculate and long-lasting lemon note that endures for several hours.
24th November, 2013

1725 Casanova by Histoires de Parfums

Invasion Barbare's drier twin

If Invasion Barbare gets a 10/10 score, then I would give this 9/10.

Very similar (in vibe and actual scent) to IB, but drier.

It also differs, in that it seems a tad more powdery, "diffuse," and lacks the perfectly 'pointed head' that makes IB a total masterpiece.

Recommended for those who do OR don't own IB.

Pros: A perfect classic masculine barbershop EDP
Cons: none

08th June, 2013
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Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI

I'll start with my disclaimer: I typically don't wet my pants because of my fondness for a fragrance.......This is different.
I found my "Holy Grail." I have spent almost a decade (and several thousand $$) in this hobby, yet I have never been moved or inspired by any scent, anywhere close to this.
After having it for a couple weeks, I am actually a little bit tempted to sell ALL of my endless sea of bottles on Ebay....So I only wear this one for the rest of my life.
This truly IS perfection, and it makes everything thing else seem undesirable to me.
This is understated, but not necessarily conservative. This can be worn anytime and anywhere.
Is this actually worth the price tag?
It must be, since I purchased it voluntarily.
10/10......Masterpiece among masterpieces.
03rd March, 2013 (last edited: 05th April, 2013)

Aqua pour Homme Marine by Bulgari

It seems that Bvlgari is actually a safe/mainstream fragrance line worth exploring.
A relatively classy aquatic scent, and a tasteful compliment-getter.
Of course a good summer fragrance, as well as something to wear to work.
26th February, 2013

Liquid Night by A Lab on Fire

Good....but not spectacular.
The initial hour or so reminds me of Cacharel's NEMO (if this is a sufficient reference point).
Starts out very sweet; never truly loses all the sweetness, but progressively develops from top notes, all the way to the remaining base notes 36 hours later.
Slowly morphs into something wild, and toward the masculine end of the "unisex" spectrum.
A creative and intoxicating hybrid of Hinoki and Vanilla.
Great buy for a reasonable price.
10th February, 2013

Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse

Quality stuff- sure; just not well suited for a man (my opinion, of course).
The pear is obvious, and it then turns really fruity-sweet, almost coconutty.
My 2.5ml sample will last me plenty.
04th November, 2012

Norne by Slumberhouse

This could be a Holy Grail, IF it were just a tad more versatile.
Utmost quality and purity of is with all Slumberhouse offerings.
Certainly coniferous/resinous, with olfactory memories of the original Polo from 1978.
I love the Name NORNE, as it is perfectly fitting with the olfactory concept.
Associations with year-round winter, Scandinavian Black-Metal, and Norse pagan mythology.
I might add that this, along with all Slumberhouse fragrances, is more than worth the retail value.
04th November, 2012

Hindu Grass by Nasomatto

The best variation/hybrid of Patchouli I have EVER smelled...and that IS saying a lot.
Takes a few wearings to understand; well-blended extrait with mild nuances of amber and sweet tobacco.
Masculine leaning, yet many females could pull this off without any trouble.
My only issue is that longevity could be better, as this is an extrait.
22nd October, 2012

Black Afgano by Nasomatto

Actually I was hoping for this to be smokey, which it is not.
Incredibly classy, yet somehow a little bit barbaric as well.
Undeniably top quality extrait.
22nd October, 2012

Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons

I am not impressed.
I can't give this anything but a Negative, due to its mundane/trite execution.
A definite low-point for CDG.
My assessment: Take ONE part Terre d'Hermes and THREE parts Lanvin Vetiver, and you have an accurate equal to Amazingreen.
01st September, 2012 (last edited: 04th September, 2012)

Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

I can't give this a thumbs-down, due to the fact it is very high quality, and smells really good.
On the other hand, this is a foolish purchase.
Ormonde Man is nothing but a EDP version of Lalique's Eau de Lalique.
Identical except for the fact that Eau de Lalique is a tiny fraction of the price, and outlasts Ormonde Man by several hours.
07th July, 2012

Play Red by Comme des Garçons

Youthfully happy and mundane.
Linear with no significant development or surprises.
At first smells identical to the old peach-flavored Jolly Ranchers, lasting 15 minutes.
Then the sweetness fades to a dry and dusty cinnamon note, which lasts the 4 or 5 hour duration.
Ultimately this smells of potpourri.
16th June, 2012 (last edited: 23rd June, 2012)

Andy Warhol by Bond No. 9

The scent is sickly sweet and suffocating, yet fruity and bland. No big deal, and no surprise from Bond these days.......but THAT'S just my opinion of the juice.
I probably wouldn't have even noticed this stuff if it weren't for the offensively tacky bottle it comes in. Trash-art has reached a new low.
Old A. Warhol would probably be rolling over in the grave if he had any clue which sewer his image has been dragged through.
29th January, 2012

Andy Warhol Montauk by Bond No. 9

Yep, another EDP-strength shampoo/body wash scent from Bond.
To be fair, it smells OK...if you like Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise.
Do yourself a favor and buy Beyond Paradise; it sells for 1/10 the price, and you can wear it without suffocating yoursef and everyone in a 10 foot radius.
29th January, 2012

Original Cologne by Creed

Rice powder? Pfffftttttt (scoff, scoff).......Whatever!
All things considered (especially the $600 pricetag), this is abysmally insipid.
The best compliment one could give this stuff, is that it smells a bit like a weak and inferior rip-off of D&G Pour Homme (which is not exactly a firecracker in my book, either).
While I (honestly) am not picking Creed apart, or slamming their efforts just for the sake of doing so- I have to say that this has not ONE single redeeming quality.
If you fancy the idea of a "classic" EDC-type thing, Royal Water and Selection Verte have this genre covered already.
I was actually eagerly anticipating the U.S. release of this stuff several months ago. I was even half-minded to blindly purchase a bottle via the official Creed site. Thankfully I was able to locate some sample vials prior to making a $600 mistake.
By far the most half-assed outing from Creed to date.
Try before you buy.
05th September, 2011

Clean Shower Fresh for Men by Clean

You get what you pay for here, and I think the name says it all.
A good scent to wear to work.
Don't overdo it on the trigger; The first couple hours of wear tend to have a massive citrus/soap projection.
If you like the way Irish Spring soap smells, this may be a safe blind buy.

10/2016 Update:
The original formulation (as produced by Dlish) has been discontinued. Fusion Brand has reformulated a highly inferior version...and it smells cheap and synthetic, just like all the other CLEAN fragrances in that production line.
One CAN find the Old, original formulation if they were to seek it out on eBay (if willing to pay a much higher price).
30th July, 2011 (last edited: 16th October, 2016)

Joop! Splash by Joop!

This is not unpleasant, per se.
Also- it's a welcome and long overdue departure from the expected sweet/woody/resinous formula that Joop has been known for all these decades.
On the other hand, it is no less sweet and candy-like than all the other Joop offerings we have become familiar with.
This time, the ultra-cloying sweetness is centered around melon and saltwater.
Bottom line: Sure this offering IS different than all of its older siblings.............Just not different ENOUGH to make it necessary to own in 2011.
21st July, 2011

Wolfgang Joop! by Joop!

I am impressed and surprised; this one is very overlooked and underrated.
Far more mature than anything else Joop has released to date.
In my opinion the BEST Joop!
It starts out with a big blast of what I think is strawberry; this lasts for maybe 30 minutes strong, followed by a gradual tapering off into the heart and base notes, which are linear and indistiguishable from one another (assuming a "heart note" actually exists).
From here, it is warm, rounded wood and spices.
Lush and masculine.
It reminds me of Mont Blanc Presence, except better, insomuch as it is richly rounded, as opposed to the jarring and chaotic clashing of Presence.
Definitely recommended.
21st July, 2011

parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Avignon by Comme des Garçons

I don't know about the similarity to a catholic church, since I've never been in one.
One of CDG's best in my opinion; high quality, realistic, and ultra-rich.
Beautiful murkiness, and a great way to set a mood.
I am amazed at just how wearable this is (gothic garb is not requisite).
20th July, 2011