Reviews by frug

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    frug
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    Showing 1 to 27 of 27.
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    Diorissimo by Christian Dior

    Diorissimo is one of the only two women’s perfumes I wear. Its lilly of the valley is so singular and evocative it’s as if, while hiking in a wood, I snapped off a wild stem and stuck it in my shirt pocket. There will always be a place in my wardrobe for this lovely creature.

    18 September, 2012

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    Passion for Men by Elizabeth Taylor

    This could be a guilty pleasure. A softer Azzaro with a touch of Jaipur. Not bad. Not bad at all. Three stars and an air kiss for Liz.

    20th May, 2009

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    Red for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills

    Retro and glamorous. I find it odd that it was released in 1991, as it’s strikes me as a power fragrance from the previous decade. But more than that, it has the ambience of what I imagine the late 50s were like… white dinner jackets in a paneled country club bar, Sinatra, scotch and soda, babes in fur wraps. It’s mélange of notes is rather dense; I’d call it a chypre… Hollywood style.

    07 March, 2009

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée by Chanel

    This fragrance, for me, inhabits a world apart. Both modern and classical, enfolded in its sophisticated construction seems a summary of the history of male fragrance. It’s Alan Rickman reading a sonnet. Never shouting, it smoothly unfolds, from a cultivated lavender smile, through a breathless cardamom aria, to opoponax, vanilla, and natural oakmoss. It grows slowly but never precipitously deeper, with enchanting nuance, calm, and distinction. Perfection at last? No, but pretty close. Polge’s flair for combining masculinity and class rarely fails.

    27 February, 2009

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    Eau Sauvage Fraîcheur Cuir by Christian Dior

    Instead of an irrationally-named and irrelevant flanker, this edition is a true variation on the Eau Sauvage theme. You’d be hard pressed to tell them apart from the renowned opening citrus. But soon after dry down begins Fraicheur Cuir goes its own way, without renouncing its pedigree, revealing a soul of elegant soft leather and amberish tobacco instead of its daddy’s spiky basil and peaty vetiver. I like them both, for different reasons, but find Fraicheur Cuir the more amiable companion.

    19 February, 2009

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    A transparent orange and woods that is something of a paradox - distinctive yet equivocal, hasn’t much sillage, yet is frightfully tenacious, obvious but mysterious. It’s very linear; the orange keeps unpeeling throughout its life cycle on the skin. This fragrance is rather cloying and may be the most melancholy scent I’ve ever tried.

    19 February, 2009

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    Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

    Mojito, mint, lime, rum...? Buy Tommy Bahama instead and get the real thing. Guerlaine Homme is a lime concoction that seems to be trying to emulate Set Sail St. Barts, but isn't nearly as entertaining.

    Dang if Bahama, which hasn't produced a clinker yet, isn't actually setting the pace these days.

    18 February, 2009

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    Tommy Bahama for Men by Tommy Bahama

    Outstanding. Wonderful smoky spice, with a heart of woody resin, patchouli, and golden rum. Warm, elegantly dry, opaque, my favorite cool-weather fragrance. Tommy Bahama hit it out of the ballpark with this, their first try, and hasn’t struck out yet.

    18 February, 2009

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    M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

    Say ahhhh... This is what your dentist would smell on your breath after you swallowed a slug of cherry cough syrup.

    18 February, 2009

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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    Gaak. Smells to me like the vile antibacterial liquid in a hospital bathroom soap dispenser, with a heavy dose of RAID to improve the smell. Or to put it another way, like the aggregate odor of cleansers and insect sprays under a kitchen sink.

    18 February, 2009

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    Dirty English by Juicy Couture

    Woodsy, smoky, masculine… a refreshing throwback to the pre-unisex days, smells like a campfire on which some fragrant woods, incense, have been thrown. There’s even a touch of tangy rich soil in there. Dirty English is Heathcliff’s notion of a pretty fragrance. There’s a nagging sweetness here, though, that puts me off, and pushes the fragrance in the decadent Z14 direction, rather than toward Tommy Bahama’s elegant triple-dry smoke.

    28 January, 2009

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    White Shoulders by Elizabeth Arden

    I had an aunt who always wore White Shoulders... I loved being around her when she got “dolled up” and perfumed. The fragrance is a classic white floral, very girly. I've read it's been reformulated since Elizabeth Arden took over from Evyan, others say it’s the same as always. Some classic women’s fragrances, Shalimar for instance, are as good as unisex these days, but not White Shoulders.

    28 January, 2009

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    Thallium by Jacques Evard

    Lightly toasted, caramelized vanilla. Not much else going on here, but nicely done. Makes me wonder if it could be lightly layered against some other scent…

    24 January, 2009

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    Halston Z-14 by Halston

    Decadent and doomed. Orange and incense lingering in a cathedral-turned-night club. And yet... it's morbidly fascinating. I'm still puzzled that Roy Halston, whose breezy simplicity and elegant lines made his clothing famous, could produce this smoldering bacchanalia of a scent.

    24 January, 2009

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    Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

    I was in Dillard’s the other day and thought I’d try a spritz of Fahrenheit; I haven’t smelled it on me in years. You have to hand it to Dior – it seems utterly indifferent to trends, sets its own course, and more often than not produces a wildly popular, and often controversial, creation. And claps for this great house for being a rampart against the relentless androgynizaton of male colognes.

    Yes… I do get the notorious petrol/motor oil note in Fahrenheit, but soon after drydown begins, it gives way to a deep, heady moss. I know Fahrenheit is not a summer scent, but it evokes for me summer memories… the mossy docks at the lake, outboard motors, woods, some faint flowers, a campfire at night. All this while staying, like Dune, somehow unheavy. Even some fans consider it intolerable in hot weather, though… it doubles-down on summer and smoke rather than counterpoint it with citrus and chilly water. But for an intimation of summer in late spring, for a cool summer night, for fall’s leafy embers and a backward glance before the cold comes, for a midwinter flashback, Fahrenheit has the magic.

    24 January, 2009

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    Allure Homme by Chanel

    Smelling Allure Homme is like opening a cedar-lined box of fine cigars. The scent is masculine and warm, redolent of fine, aged leaf tobacco, brightened with citrus and softened by a little brandy.

    24 January, 2009

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    100 years old in 2025, and as beautiful as they come. You pay a premium for Guerlain’s commitment to natural materials, and worth every dollar. In my opinion you could dispense with the top altogether and get right to the ‘Guerlainade’, which on my skin takes about an hour. The body lotion gets there faster. After that it’s the moon.

    24 January, 2009

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    Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel

    The lemon in this fragrance is certainly tenacious. I deeply suspect it can keep mosquitos away. This misguided experiment makes CK One smell sophisticated.

    30th December, 2008

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    Very Cool for Men by Tommy Bahama


    Very Cool starts with an icy ethereal mint and never thaws. Even its warmdown, its hint of spice, somehow stays cool. Pure white rum. I admire this fragrance, though don't know if I could wear it. This is Tommy Bahama's most conceptual statement yet. The ether-clear bottle and wood cap are charming.

    30th December, 2008

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    Allure Homme Sport by Chanel

    The scent may be a tad generic fresh sport, but the quality, and its reference to Allure pour Homme, is pure Chanel. Longetivity, balance, the myriad of details and refinements, the smooth ride, add up to one of the best in the genre. Allure masculinity with a sunny face.

    30th December, 2008

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    Unforgivable by Sean John

    I had high hopes for this, after smelling the yummy sugared orange at the top. But then it dried down to a faint supermarket soap. Unforgivable.

    30th December, 2008

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    Essential by Lacoste

    Green, sporty, fresh, and paradoxically - a hint of stale beer. I like it.

    24 December, 2008

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    Set Sail South Seas for Men by Tommy Bahama

    Such a crisp, cool scent. It achieves a light, summery feeling with its innovative use of violets and without the usual citrus overkill or marine accords.

    Opens with a rumrunner, sweet and tart, then it's off to sea... the violet provides miles of open blue water. There's a touch of salt, but not as raucous as in St. Bart's margarita. There's an undertone of mellow wood on this vessel. The rum is a white, not the "dark, buttery rum", as Diego points out, in Tommy Bahama's namesake. This one is the south seas offshore, with a hint of flora in the distance.

    Significant development over the course of a wearing doesn't seem to be a feature of Tommy Bahama's scents. The fragrance makes a statement and stays with it.

    17 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 24 July, 2012)

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    Set Sail St. Barts for Men by Tommy Bahama

    The opening splash of lime is sensational. The tequila is there from the start and doesn't dry it out exactly, but gives the lime an acrid sweet twist that is very pleasant, and for me stays with this salty-sweet cocktail to the last drop. A freshet of fragrant leaves comes and goes. There is nothing urbane about this scent, it's a Florida Key, not Sutton Place. But it's terribly fun, audacious really, for a weekend at the beach, or an occasional pick-me-up if you happen to live there.

    17 December, 2008

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    Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

    I'm fond of Platinum Egoiste. In any other hands this fragrance would be delicious, but familiar. Chanel finesse polishes it to a fabulous luster. Intense and long-lasting, the scent of PE is "full of money", exuberant and almost crass, but even its crassness has an edge of gilt. It's friendly the way a guy who's on top of the world is friendly. I imagine Jay Gatsby's shirt, flung on the lawn, as he dives impulsively into the pool on a summer afternoon, smells like this.

    17 December, 2008

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    Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

    Old world, romantic, utterly distinctive, noble, and morose. It's the damask, methinks... powered, dangerous, and seductive, but too grave and refined to do anything but stand there being sumptuously clad in maroon silk. Smelling Egoiste makes me think of Chopin's Db nocturne.

    17 December, 2008

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    Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

    Nothing is beyond criticism, but I'm not very objective about this timeless fragrance. It was all I wore through my college years and for a decade after that. I once spent my last $20. on a two-ounce bottle of Eau Sauvage, that's all it cost back then, but that was a month's worth of cigarettes.

    The apotheosis of sweet citrus and fresh herbs, an uncomplicated and elegant men's classic, with a touch of grassy sparkle. Yes, there's a bit of dirty-minded uncouth, a gentleman's inner savage, in there. And there will always be a place in my wardrobe for this old friend, still serving aces after all those years.

    17 December, 2008

    Showing 1 to 27 of 27.