Perfume Reviews

Reviews by jrntnlead

Total Reviews: 13

John Varvatos by John Varvatos

Yeah, the names on the pyramid are as pretentious as they are silly. But really, aren't all the items listed on most of the pyramids. They generally help me anticipate a fragrance.....not one bit.

This is not a masterpiece, but it is good enough to have inspired me to get back into fragrances after a long hiatus of more than 15 years. A while back I went to the counter at Nordstroms and tested a boat load of...ho hum to downright wretched things. I was looking for Egoiste, which I had liked in the early nineties, and nothing smelled remotely interesting to me (certainly not Platinum Egoiste --Yick!). Except this one.

Some of the top notes remind me a bit of egoiste but deviates from then on. Has maybe some sweet pipe tobacco, and there is never anything unpleasant about this one. However, it does seems to have some pregnant pauses that occur throughout the day, as if some things that were supposed to meld and sauté together didn't. So it is a bit disjointed. It is not cloyingly sweet, yet still could benefit from something giving it a sharper of darker dimension.

The perfumer was onto something here, but this remains an early draft.
11th March, 2010

Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

This is all snare drum and treble, and slightly cacophonic. Not much of a melody here, think Kronos quartet without the viola and cello, rather than live jazz. I just dont like the fraction of mint and the fraction of grapefruit that are used in this one.
29th January, 2010

Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

It started off intriguing, albeit a bit greener and sharper than I would have expected. Within about 30 minutes of applying this, it went sour on me. It reminds me of the very worst of rank body odor that I find most unpleasant.
17th January, 2010
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Royal Bain de Caron / Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron

Hmmm, I have read in many places that this is not what it once was, I wouldn't know. All I know is that I really really like the bottle I obtained about a year ago. I also have read in multiple places that much of its uniqueness is successfully tapped in the much newer Kenzo Flower. Of this, I totally agree, although I find this one more unisex.

This is fun, I often like to put on a little bit on the back of my hands before bedtime. It has pleasant fuel oil and resinous top notes that takes the edges off what might be otherwise be perhaps too cloyingly sweet and floral. For me, this conjures up a freshly baked, buttery, almond-paste-filled croissant, sitting out on a plate in a cafe, bunches of diverse fresh flowers on all the the tables. On me, no citrus of any sort whatsover. It has a very nice floral-vanillic basenote.

I just like it, it seems totally unisex, and I am comfortable wearing it out.

On me, it lasts for hours. Curiously, even 12-24 hours after application, when it has seemed long, long gone: it gives one last triumphant gasp the very moment I am hit by the hot shower water.
17th January, 2010

Pour Un Homme by Caron

Really nice, easy to describe. This is NOT a pitchy, screechy lavender. This is NOT a cloyingly sweet Vanilla. Warm lavender, rich yet soft vanilla, with a light touch of wood smoke. I dont detect any of the other notes. All elements are present at all times, and one accomplishes a nice even transition from being mostly lavender to being mostly vanilla. Many have said it, and it is true. The progression is fluid, with no stops and starts, no fits or hiccups or coughs, and no seams or rough edges: everything has been melded together nicely.

I prefer this in the late Fall or Winter, as an evening scent.

On me, it lasts 8-12 hours.
17th January, 2010

Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

And I was so hopeful about this one. To me, it has that screechy, lemon-lime aroma that I tend to run as fast as I can away from. If you find that you also dont liek this, perhaps try Eau de Caron Fraiche for a totally different take on a uplifting citrus....
17th January, 2010

Number 3 / Le 3ème Homme / The Third Man by Caron

When I first tried this, I found this to be too complex to wear comfortably, with too much geranium. But it has really really grown on me over the past year, it was well worth trying out a number of times.

One of the top notes reminds me, in a pleasant way, of the smell of a fresh new vinyl shower curtain. Later, things move onto....can something be both buttery and powdery? With these aforementioned elements, and with some potted flowering plants flowers in the windowsill: I find many similarities with Chanel pour Monsieur, a few more with Azzaro pour Homme. In warmth and pitch, it sits between the two (ApH has too much treble for my tastes).

It is quite a long lasting fragrance, easily hanging on for 12-15 hours, leaving behind a pleasant residue of light musk and a hint of a easy going fraction of patchouli.

Many of the notes are hard to describe, this one is so symphonic in its complexity. With that said, I do not pick up any of the noted lavender, anise, or vanilla in this one.

Excellent in searing hot, dry weather. Excellent in cold and rainy weather. More formal than dress-down or sport.
17th January, 2010

L'Anarchiste by Caron

The second I first smelled this one I let out a whoop of joy. Very few scents have elicited that instant sense of “bingo!”.

L'Anarchiste is a complex scent, and changes with ambient temperature, humidity, and elevation. Most often, I smell a wonderfully rich, slightly (not cloyingly) sweet baked apple, orange, and mixture of cinnamon and other spices overlaying a lightly mentholated ceder and vetiver. Other times, it is a more animalic in undertone, with an overlay of dry spice that progresses straight to a sharper vetiver.

It can be worn year around, but I think it is at its best as a winter scent. It evokes the winter holidays, that period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year's, when one might wear a nice comfortable sweater, and be enjoying a lot of freshly baked pies with family.

I dont smell blood. I dont smell copper. I also dont smell Cool Water (which I despise), which is what it was compared to in the Turin/Sanchez book.

For me, there are some common elements with eau de Caron Fraiche, but that is a much lighter, zesty lemon take on somewhat similar ceder-vetiver theme.
17th January, 2010

Équipage by Hermès

Throughout much of the late 80s, I splashed on the light, short lasting apres rasage (aftershave) version a few mornings a week. After nearly 20 years, I recently became reacquainted with the fragrance. The EdT is exactly as I remember the aftershave, but of course it is quite a bit stronger and long lasting.

Does no one think of egg nog with this one? It starts of with a strong, freshly ground nutmeg, and transitions seamlessly into a nice vetiver (in much the same manner as Caron pour un Homme transitions from lavender to vanilla, i.e. with elements of both at all times), with a touch of ceder and black walnut throughout. Bone dry, from start to finish.

It is a really pleasant scent.
17th January, 2010

Yatagan by Caron

First things first, I have learned that the g is silent in this Turkish word, it serves as an accent and pause: “Yatuh Ahn”.

Yatagan is the non-identical twin of Halston Z-14. The family resemblance is unmistakable. Both came out the same year and share a perfumer, Vincent Marcello. For me, both are influenced by the aromas of dry herbs and the kitchen, and were designed by someone who likely adored one or another of one of the classic Italian bitter aperitifs.

In the case of Yatagan, the similarities with Campari are quite evident. The wormwood in Campari tastes exactly as one of the topnotes in Yatagan --go figure, wormwood-- smells. Several of the other unidentifiable nuances of Yatagan are evident when tasting a specific Italian vermouth called Punt y Mes. Make yourself a room temperature Americano with these two, and tell me that I am wrong! But make sure you do so while sitting by someone's fresh Christmas tree, with celery, lots of celery, and carrots sautéing in the other room.

Yatagan is a great and complex fragrance. The top notes are very much influenced by the prevailing weather conditions, so it seems very different with each wearing. Often it is the wormwood which dominates, but on other days, a strong aroma of either sauteed celery or pine rises to the top. Similarly, on any given day, the dominant basenote varies between the leather, patchouli, and animalics.

As a side note, I have never picked up even a hint of the lavender, vetiver, or styrax listed in the notes above.
15th December, 2009 (last edited: 23rd February, 2010)

Halston Z-14 by Halston

This is inexpensive, available everywhere, and my female cat loves it when I wear the stuff.

Halston Z-14 is the non-identical twin of Caron's Yatagan. The family resemblance is unmistakable. Both came out the same year and share a perfumer, Vincent Marcello. For me, both are influenced by the aromas of dry herbs and the kitchen, and were designed by someone who likely adored one or another of one of the Italian bitter aperitifs.

In the case of Z-14, Mr Marcello was likely enjoying a variant of the Negroni, but one made with Luxardo Bitters instead of Campari (much less wormwood, and smokier, in my opinion), and finished off with a burnt zest from a fresh Meyer lemon, instead of from an orange. But what is baking in the kitchen? I don't think I have seen this noted by others, but for me, the topnotes of Z-14 are all about a nice loaf of Russian Rye Bread that has just came out of the oven. Rye, Rye, and more Rye! Perhaps a single, dampened cigarette butt is sitting in a glass ash tray distantly on the side --but only to give things a bit of an edge.
15th December, 2009 (last edited: 23rd February, 2010)

Eau Fraîche by Caron

This is a very pleasant, easy to wear unisex fragrance. I own all three of the Les Eaux de Caron scents (Fraiche, Pure, and Forte), and like them all.

"Fraiche " is an effervescent, sharp, tangy lemon zest, -- yet is not even remotely similar to any of the cloying, dreaded lemon pledge scents. The fragrance is deepened with a dried apricot aroma, melded seamlessly with a light, mentholated cedar, with a touch of vetiver thrown in. It is fairly linear and has excellent lasting power.

The opening has some similarity to the taste of a decent sour lemon drop, and from start to finish "Fraiche" evokes several themes of Caron's l'Anarchiste (which, despite some reports to the contrary, is nothing remotely like Cool Water, which I dislike immensely).
15th December, 2009

Cool Water by Davidoff

Ugh, I could not get this off me fast enough. Fresh? Not in the least. It reminds me of taking the compost out to the heap as a kid. My parents seemed to always be flooding some tap water into the compost container. It would sit in the sink and ripen over night. Everything, especially the orange rinds, would get especially funky in the summer. Cool Water is the after rinse, but a few days later. Cheap, rotten, and stale.

I just dont get it! So many wonderful fragrances out there. That this one is even remotely popular just confuses me. Maybe it is genetic, similar to some people disliking Brussel sprouts and broccoli.
15th December, 2009 (last edited: 23rd February, 2010)
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