Reviews by Bartlebooth

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    Bartlebooth
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

    Showing 331 to 360 of 446.
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    A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

    An clumsily constructed sugarfest, that offers the whole spectrum of confection from toasted vanilla, to cheap vanilla. Initially my wrist felt as if a vat of caramel had been dispensed on my arm, and this incredibly dense wall of all things sweet took hours to recede. It both astonishes and saddens me that this unwieldy, cloying mess should be lauded so often.

    21st March, 2009

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    1 Million by Paco Rabanne

    On application, one is instantly hurled onto a wet and juice soaked mattress, from which there is no escape for at least an hour. It does refrain from dominating entirely, but to be enveloped in this warm and potent oriental shroud takes some adjustment. The drydown is a much smoother and comfortable affair,and I was left with a dry chocolate accord that eased its way through to expiry. This is not a fragrance I would choose to use, but it was certainly a memorable ride.

    20th March, 2009

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    Vetiver Ambrato by Bois 1920

    A rather synthetic and cloying opening recedes swiftly into a warm and somewhat engaging drydown. There are similarities in tone to Miller Harris Noix du Tubereuese, but more muted and with less finesse.The slight almond paste sweetness ensures this remains wearable, but its contrived and cosmetic personality jars continually. One can only detect a suggestion of vetiver in the top notes, but as an ingredient, it is superfluous. A sweet and synthetic bore.

    20th March, 2009

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    Virgin Island Water by Creed

    For the four hours that VIW existed, I was intoxicated by its seraphic melody of tropical notes. The opening fusion of citrus and coconut sets the tone for its entire lifespan, and the only evolution involves the citrus gaining the ascendancy after the first hour. As a warm weather fragrance, this is almost peerless, but there are obvious caveats. Given its price and brevity, this remains a luxury item, an indulgence. Nevertheless, for its sheer joie de vivre, I lovingly applaud it.

    20th March, 2009

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    Antidote by Viktor & Rolf

    A pretentious, synthetic assortment of bum notes fused together for no particular purpose. It was vitually impossible to detect anything on my wrist for the first twenty minutes, and only a vague chemical residue was discernable thereafter. It would be an exercise in futility to try and identify any of the notes as there is simply no shape or direction to this whatsoever. It is clear from the surfeit of ingredients listed that this was an attempt to overload the senses and create something avante garde, but the reality is that everything gets cancelled out, leaving the wearer to enjoy a thin insipid residue.

    20th March, 2009

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    Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

    One of the better Blu Mediterraneo entries, but still handicapped by the longevity issue. The citrus elements seem rich and textured, never feeling contrived or unbalanced. A very natural feeling fragrance that perhaps has to pay the price of brevity for its undoubted organic charms. As a clement weather mood elevator this is a definite success.

    20th March, 2009

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    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

    An occasionally enjoyable blend of textures, that has most of its highlights in the first phase of wear. The opening is well balanced, and provides a fresh and animated phase that feels almost floral in construction.It was an interesting notion to have the creamy vanilla seam in the middle notes, but I am not entirely sure that this works.The drydown lacks impetus, and has little personality of its own to make this phase truly noteworthy. This fragrance doesn't quite pull off what it tried to achieve, but I enjoyed the attempt.

    20th March, 2009

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    Trafalgar by Truefitt & Hill

    The base elements of Cedarwood and Sandalwood seem to dominate from the outset, providing a dry accord with an air of expired medication. A formulaic and linear fragrance, this winds inexorably towards an uninspiring conclusion without deviation or inspiration

    20th March, 2009

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    A rather industrial and deliberately jarring assembly of components. The dominant feature of the opening is mint, and this appears to have been designed to sharpen the bum notes that one is exposed to for the first hour. This is fragrance by numbers, and these simply do not add up. The top notes are deliberatley mismatched, the middle notes designed to sweeten the mess, and the base includes all the usual suspects for a mainstream sweetened cliche.

    20th March, 2009

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    Classic 1920 by Bois 1920

    An overtly sweet,citrus and Amber fusion that will delight only those with the sweetest of teeth. The opening gave a strong sense of fruit flavoured sherbet, with the acidity increasing quite markedly in the first half an hour. Although the drydown is a muted version of this, I could never escape the feeling of confection that remained for the remainder of its existence. The Amber won out in the final stages, but the fat lady had sung quite some time before that.

    18 March, 2009

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    Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

    A totally misguided attempt to produce a heavily masculine fragrance. The imbalance was immediately evident from the first moments of its existance, bullying my senses for the best part of two hours. The presence of ginger and tobacco in these quantities created the illusion of being doused in leather tanning fluid which continued well into the drydown. If you were to gargle with the contents of a spittoon, you would get close to the pleasure of using this fragrance.

    18 March, 2009

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    Royal Water by Creed

    A slightly sweet,Victorian hankerchief dampener, that beyond its somewhat powdery cosmetic opening, is an amiable accompaniment to a formal occasion. One would imagine that this will have limited appeal, given its rather antiquated and feminine characteristics, but once it has settled into its stride, it does become quite engaging. The opening feels oily and citric, but this is quickly dispersed by the unpleasant sense of some cosmetic additive. The heart of Royal Water is florally sweet, but never becoming cloying or overbearing. Not quite a thumbs up, but close.

    18 March, 2009

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    Diesel Plus Plus by Diesel

    A bargain basement,creamy fougere, that is pleasant to have around. The opening is clumsily alcoholic, but it swiftly recedes to provide a linear fragrance that appears to have a simple task in life, to remain smooth and sweet without becoming cloying. In that simple task it succeeds. This is an interesting take on an Amber based fragrance, remaining cool and dry on the skin, yet providing a warm engaging sillage. All things considered, including its modest purchase price now that it has been discontinued, this isn't half bad.

    18 March, 2009

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    Dunhill Edition by Dunhill

    The Dunhill fragrance releases prior to Edition, such as Blend 30 and Dunhill for Men, were fine conventional products, typically English, and typically conservative. Edition represents the first attempt at producing a more informal product, while still maintaining a link to its traditional heritage. It was repackaged and slightly reformulated a few years ago, but for the purposes of this review, I am using a bottle dating from the mid-nineties.

    Dunhill may technically be regarded as a fresh fougere, but the overriding sensation is a fragrance that is peppery, herbal and latterly sweeter and soothing. There are no huge shifts in Edition, and the bold peppery presence of mace in the opening sets the tone for the entire experience. It is underscored, albeit lightly, by a twist of lavender and citrus, which give the top notes just a hint of antiquity. It feels spicy throughout, but latterly, different elements are used to achieve this effect. Initially it was the peppery mace, latterly it is the presence of carnation, geranium and most importantly clary sage. For me it is the clary sage that makes Edition work. It adds depth, and a little gravitas to something that would have ended up being one dimensional, something akin to Cacharel Pour L’homme. The dry down is softer, sweeter, and soothing, but still retains a little of the earlier piquancy.

    I would like to make a claim for Dunhill Edition to be one of the great all-rounders, as I can wear this all year round and on any occasion. It projects splendidly, and has a consistency of output that I find enormously satisfying.

    16 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 23 May, 2014)

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    Mitsouko by Guerlain

    A supremely well balance fragrance, that is undoubtedly a candidate for unisex classification. The very early stages are camped firmly in the pink end of the spectrum, the rose in the top notes still has a little too much to say. An hour in, and I am beginning to get exposure to my own private dancer, and I can appreciate what all the fuss was about. The balance in the drydown is astonishingly accomplished, and nothing seems to be dominating and leading this astray. Mitsouko is the olfactory equivalent of the Everly brothers, smooth and beautifully harmonized.

    16 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 19 November, 2012)

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    Safari for Men by Ralph Lauren

    With a little more substance, this could have been an absolute winner. I wanted this to shove the leather gag into my mouth, to have the swagger and boldness to douse me in its juices, but it wore vinyl and read me poetry. Not so much a Safari, as a trip to the zoo.

    16 March, 2009

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    Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin

    For the first time I am using a fragrance that I simply cannot detect myself. Others around me have vouched for a warm, slightly sweet, and deeply pleasant sillage. Why my nose has chosen to filter out the prominent notes within Arpege, I cannot imagine, but I would be pleased if this new quality control would continue with other noxious fragrances. This is an inoffensive and personable oriental, that has the main virtue of being value for money.

    13 March, 2009

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    Noix de Tuberéuse by Miller Harris

    As expected, the opening was extremely heady, with Mimosa particularly dominant. My fears that this would remain firmly in the feminine camp were unfounded, as became clear once the dense floral weave was sweetened, and embraced by the Amber. The resulting warm, almond like accord, is truly worthy of the entrance fee alone. Although there was minimal evolution post top notes, there didn't need to be. Once in it's stride this was languid, smooth and a delightfully engaging.

    12 March, 2009

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    Blu Mediterraneo Capri Orange / Arancia Di Capri by Acqua di Parma

    The opening was an astonishing grenade attack of fresh oranges, and instantly suggested that this might be bottle worthy, and a staple in any summer wardrobe. Sadly, the achilles heel of most AdP fragrances was even more in evidence here, and this wonderful opening fanfare was curtailed all too quickly. Within
    an hour the enitire construction collapsed into insipidity. I doubt that I have encountered a fragrance that descended from hero to zero with such alacrity.

    12 March, 2009

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    Elite by Floris

    A fragrance by numbers that only briefly tweaked my interest. The balance in the drydown seemed poor, and none of the constituent parts really stood out, or indeed provided the stimulus for a noteworthy accord. The freshness in the top notes went straight into fairly bland, monotonous middle and base notes. This is by no means unpleasant, but it lacked an edge, and a personality of its own.

    12 March, 2009

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    Davidoff Adventure by Davidoff

    As this fragrance would require an expedition to locate anything conclusive to smell, the name Adventurer seems apposite indeed.Although I have dry skin,to have something disappear almost completely within an hour is breathtakingly inadequate.The brief accords that I could discern were a motley collection of feeble ingredients that conspired to achieve mediocrity.

    11th March, 2009

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    Despite the the often alluded to comparisons with Green Irish Tweed, they are about as similar as a Newton's Principia and Winnie the Pooh. The richness and depth that exists within GIT is sadly lacking in Cool Water, its rather one dimensional structure is a pale imitation, That said, it is a pleasant uncomplicated bottle to reach for when temperatures are up and you have run out of your better stuff.

    11th March, 2009

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    Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

    A very ordinary offering, that never at any time escaped the realms of the humdrum. A brief flicker of pleasure was induced by the introduction of the Grapefruit accord, but even this was fleeting and insufficient to rescue the whole experience. The drydown brought to mind the scent of magazine samples long since discarded in a doctor's waiting room. This had inadequate longevity, sillage and quality to be even vaguely worthy of bottle purchase.

    10th March, 2009

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    Armani Eau Pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

    A bouncy, citric mattress, infused with a deeply smoky haze. An effortless transportation into a sandalwood wonderland, it continues to delight unabated until it's untimely demise deep into the shadows of the evening. A perfect accompaniment to a linen suit and Panama hat.The lemon groves are calling me.

    09 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 03 December, 2009)

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    Équipage by Hermès

    A delightfully earthy chypre, with an opening that played my palate like a Zither. This was no segue into a clouded and fussy drydown, merely a triumphant and bombastic fanfare for the future pleasures ahead. I found the pace of Equipage to be wonderfully languid, providing ample time to enjoy each new accord. A compelling casserole of diverse components, each working towards the goal of producing a vibrant peppery chypre. Longevity and sillage are not prodigious, but adequate, and in keeping with this refined masterpiece,

    06 March, 2009

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    Grafton by Truefitt & Hill

    This is a prime candidate for layering. Working in unison with the other Grafton products available from T&H, this would work wonderfully. The citric top notes begin to burn off very quickly, providing a dry almost Rive Gauche feel. The warm and herbaceous middle notes provide a distinct warmth and ease that propel this effortlessly into the pantheon of excellent barbershop fragrances.

    05 March, 2009

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    GFT by Geo F Trumper

    Robust, yet rich lemon opening, that has sufficient sweetness to allow a pleasant and amiable descent into the drydown. The big cedar heart begins to pump, initially in unison with the citrus notes, then finally dominating the whole affair. A well balanced blend of diverse ingredients that succeeds in holding your attention for the majority of it's lifespan. Good longevity and sillage ensures that it gets a thumbs up from me

    05 March, 2009

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    Dark Rose by Czech & Speake

    A heavy, brooding and intoxicating blend, that although being linear, had tremendous longevity on my arid skin. I would consider this a contender for unisex classification, given it's rather rich and intense texture, and I could easily imagine using this in small dosages. This blood soaked floral salvo fired my imagination and finally made me embrace the rose. Nice work C&S

    04 March, 2009

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    Y by Yves Saint Laurent

    A delightful and discreet chypre, that provides a considerable impact without ever becoming obtrusive. An apparently simple construction, one can detect the pivotal influence of the rose, which provides the fulcrum on which this entire fragrance balances so beautifully. Having been formulated during a time where longevity was a necessity, this ticks every box that you can possibly put before it.

    04 March, 2009

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    Porsche Design Essence by Porsche

    Despite a bright, sweet and fresh opening, this descends into a creative vacuum all too quickly. There is woeful longevity, minimal sillage, and one is hard pressed to make a case for spending any time with this at all. A meaningless exercise in marketing and mediocre perfumery.

    03 March, 2009

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