Perfume Reviews

Reviews by suburbanites

Total Reviews: 33

Sartorial by Penhaligon's

I don't know anyone still around that might recognize what a Savile Row tailor's shop would smell like, let alone turn that into a fragrance. Nonetheless, there are a couple of issues to address in Sartorial. First, is the opening is quite harsh, very metallic and ozonic, and a bit difficult to break through as it is completely dominant for the first 30-40 minutes. Second, is that I think that it's trying much too hard to be something more than it really is. Finally, despite the ingredient list longer than a box of Twinkies, this manages to still be rather linear in its transformation.

I don't get aromatic fougere from this at all, but I feel transfixed from the opening on this as a Barbershop-like clean scent, which isn't a bad thing. That remained from the top -- where it was most overpowering -- to its base several hours later , when it became tolerable, sedated, and a bit more refreshing, and certainly more powdery in the dry-down. Again, it seemed analagous to a barbershop visit from my childhood where you open with that very strong after-shave aroma, calmed later by talcum powder. The scent is simple, clean, fairly unpretentious in the final outcome.

So why did it take more than 24 different elements to resurrect what otherwise would be a turn-of-century, classic experience? The outcome seems too spare for the elements in the composition, many of which are beyond detection -- for instance, I don't sense wood or leather in this at all, though I'd say it was over-the-top if I noticed those as well.

I don't dislike it, though compared to my other scents, this isn't one I'd find myself wearing much. It's not quite my personal style or profile, despite it being both jolly well-executed and jolly pricey.
06th October, 2011

I Love NY for All by Bond No. 9

Both figuratively and quite literally, this scent "appeases the masses by offending no one" and it is truly a linear experience. You can name that tune in one note, and that dominant note is vanilla. Wearing this begins with an experience of a sharp and fresh bergamot to awaken the senses, along with citrus, pepper and lily of the valley. The experience then becomes much more linear as coffee, cacao and maron glace are added. Base notes are quick to open, those consisting of sandalwood, other leathery-woody notes, patchouli, and...oh, we almost forgot! Vanilla.

The opening is sharp yet somewhat dirty, owing to the pepper and lily of the valley. All too quickly, and in my case that was about 10 minutes, the scent transforms right past the heart notes as if it were the uptown express bus missing a corner full of riders. It careens directly into the vanilla base, and this is where it becomes familiar. Too familiar. Too common. Too much like every other vanilla-based scent that's come before it. New Haarlem comes to mind, except that New Haarlem contains more noticeable and better blended competing notes of coffee, cream, caramel, and a completely different vibe altogether. The vanilla there is a complementary note. Here? It overpowers everything.

It does very little to engage the olfactory or capture that essence of an iconic city as Bond has attempted to do with all of its other fragrances (some very well). Seven hours later, the vanilla finally extinguishes leaving little of the sandalwood and patchouli to pick up the pieces. But by that point, the damage has been done and you're left with the feeling of having spent almost the cost of one hotel night in a tourist class hotel and walking away with a simply a saccharine sweet confection rather than the essence of a city that two people could share.

For All missed the mark. And that's a pity because Bond has done so well at creating good unisex fragrances that they had an opportunity to grab this bottle by the collar and show the world some New York chutzpah. Instead, they've left us with a not-so-cheap souvenir.
23rd September, 2011

New West for Him by Aramis

I was surprised yet pleased to find that Estee Lauder had returned the Aramis scents to wider availability, since all of them were classics, albeit inexpensive. What confounds me is that the Calone note automatically classifies it as an aquatic for most people. For me, it doesn't conjure that feeling to the degree where it was overdone for too many years and simply became a dead common industry staple. New West was always a little different in that the notes were organized in such a way that you'd truly get the spice palette -- the rosemary, sage, oregano almost Bistro-like -- and the dry-down into a and Sandalwood/Cedar base to create a unique character.

Overall, it's very pleasant. It's masculine. It would be unfair to call it the first of a genre or suggest that it brought about the over-emphasis on aquatics for years to come. To me, what comes across more are the combination of simple spices and simple woods that play well without competing. It's very balanced. I can't speak to longevity quite yet, nor can I say it's superb. It's a basic cologne that serves its purpose well, is inexpensive, and isn't offensive. Definitely worth a try.
19th August, 2011
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Cruel Intentions by By Kilian

I really didn't care what the intentions were, but my nose found this to be a fragrance most vile and crude. For the ingredients listed, I'd have expected a much better blending and balance than this witch's brew portrays. On paper, it is a thing most foul. On skin, it carries that theme -- for me, at least -- to a further extreme.

'Pungent' best describes this experience for me. It's not a scent that engenders itself to me as wearer, and the composition of ingredients seems to show a promise that doesn't translate in practice. Bottom-line for me was that it felt absolutely toxic and intolerable. Not that I'm ordinarily a huge booster of Kilian, but for its price point I expected the scent to carry more elegance and balance, or to make a statement of elegant understatement. This screams at me and is challenge more than enjoyment.
18th August, 2011

Original Vetiver by Creed

So I could write that Original Vetiver isn't necessarily 'original'. I could state that it's very soapy, or that it's very 'green', or that it's a very light fragrance that's best for summer wear. I could do that, but it would simply be redundant.

Creed's Original Vetiver, on its own is a nice fragrance, if a bit light and suffering from the same issues pervasive in any current generation Creed: Short on longevity, minimal sillage if any at all. In a word, it's innocuous. It's barely noticed, even by the wearer. It does have that 'fresh-out-of-the-shower' feeling, and the notes of sandalwood finally do peek through when the base reveals itself, albeit all too quickly.

My wife finds the smell nice, comforting, 'green' and very fresh, though not in a way that overpowers the wearer. Calming is the best description. Is it a good Vetiver? Yes. While there's a lot going in here and it isn't linear, it also isn't stifling and a very good summer seasonal scent. Is it a "great" fragrance? I'd stop short of saying that it has that "X-factor" that separates it well as a signature fragrance. Good for daily wear, but it falls short of a scent that I'd use to make an impression, nor would I describe it as a truly unique vetiver scent. All things being equal, Le Labo's Vetiver 46 is more intriguing but less of a summer/green/fresh/light vetiver and more of a woody/smoky/mossy combination that surrounds the key-note. If you're seeking the former, Creed's OV is a very good choice. It falls just short of being "great" in my view.
18th August, 2011

Lauder for Men by Estée Lauder

This was among my favorite 80's fragrances, and one I recently rediscovered.

Say what you will about "powerhouse 80's fragrances" that announced your arrival in a big way. This certainly did that in its day, and I regretted its seeming lack of availability as the 80's genre gave way to the trends of the 90's. Lauder was still a favorite in a not-too-obtrusive way. It's floral yet animalic, yet it's also woody, spicy and mossy. There's a lot going on, but the surprise of the lot is the longevity of Lauder in a cologne strength. There are EdP's that I wish had this level of staying power and sillage. It's bold, it's rich, it dries into a very subdued and luxurious leather/tobacco/oak moss/amber mixture.

By modern standards, the florals in this are bound to induce the under-40 set to think of a visit to that rich old Aunt from whom they stand to inherit someday. They fail to realize that it's the same notes that are also so captivating to those of us with an appreciative nose. As others have observed, don't overdo application or the sillage will be quite overpowering.

Lauder was (and still is) more a fragrance for the board room, the suit & tie crowd, the over-40 bracket who still recall the sheer quality of the fragrance and appreciate the complexity. Unlike other scents from the 80's, this has aged well and is perhaps as timeless today as then. I'd strongly recommend.
17th August, 2011

New Haarlem by Bond No. 9

Coffee and vanilla. I have visions of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing "Ebony & Ivory" in the background.

Kidding aside, it's a little more complex than that, but it has this caramel note to it that feels as if you'd rather lick it than wear it. The top notes aren't around long enough to make a statement, therefore the cacophony is left to the heart notes to take over. It's coffee and woody with a healthy shot of vanilla cream thrown in. I liked it overall, but for me it's not a keeper and tends toward being almost linear from start to finish, it never quite varies from the theme.

UPDATE: 9/23/11 -- Ok, admittedly, this fragrance has a habit of growing on you and each time I've worn it, I pick up the deeper vibe on it. The caramel outcome is nice, but I'm also feeling the wood notes more once I've become accustomed to the coffee/vanilla notes. It does tend to flip to and fro for me which keeps my interest. Changing from a neutral rating to a positive one.
15th August, 2011 (last edited: 23rd September, 2011)

Coney Island by Bond No. 9

Imagine yourself in a "meet market" bar with a Key West sort of theme. You're chatting up someone that you find attractive, both drinking margaritas, though this stunning blonde passes by you a little too closely with a wink and a gleam in her eye and a come hither look that makes you take your eyes off the 'other' woman you were trying to impress moments ago. She lets you know what a pig you are by tossing a full margarita on you before she walks away, leaving you in embarrassment.

This is Bond No. 9 Coney Island. If you wanted to smell like a margarita...granted, wearing this would be far less embarrassing and you'd lack a good story, but someone would likely ask if you'd done the Jimmy Buffett lunch. It's fruity fresh in a unique way before it becomes a candy-coated confection, then a musky wood. There's a lot going on here, but it all seems random and difficult to describe, as if there's a personality conflict with the fragrance. I sense that the perfumer was looking for an essence of what a day on the boardwalk would resemble.

This isn't something I'd wear, not does it suit my age bracket. This one would be best left to "Snooki" and "The Situation", though I might be insulting the Jersey Shore on one more count by so doing.
15th August, 2011

Wall Street by Bond No. 9

Cucumber. It's all you smell, and I don't mind eating them. Wearing them, however, is a much different story.

I don't get a "Wall Street" banker's vibe from this at all. This is too salty, green, and cucumber laden to really get past. I've sampled, and felt as if someone left me at a Korean salad bar. While I'm told that people like it, it just feels and smells dead common or like any other fresh/light fragrance du jour, not an upscale/upmarket feel to it. Not for the price.

South Street, perhaps. Wall Street? No. For my money, this is no different than any modern fresh top-note wonder that never seems to transform in the dry-down, so I don't ever get to the musk or ambergris, and barely smell the vetiver for being so overwhelmed by cucumber. This is use the wrong mix of notes for my palette, as I'd rather not walk about wafting of kale, sea salt, and...oh, did I mention cucumber?
15th August, 2011

Original Santal by Creed

This is a very nice, gourmand-like scent as many others have aptly defined, with a good dry-down into the heart notes of Sandalwood and a base of Tonka Bean and Vanilla. If you approach this as less of a Woody Chypre and more of a sweet and citrusy floral, you'll no doubt appreciate the scent. Nonetheless, it's a very pleasant if light fragrance that is not at all cloying and even tolerable in warm weather in opposition to many Santals.

It's a nice scent, it gets compliments, and I find it comparable to Joop or Varvatos Artisan Black. My neutral vote is not an indictment of the scent, but rather a disappointment with longevity, a seeming quality plaguing all modern Creeds. Once on my skin, it will last two hours before requiring reapplication. I'm not necessarily seeking a heavy and cloying scent, but as a Santal this is a bit too sheer and lightweight for something of EdP strength at this price-point. For everything it does well -- being a sweeter versus woodier version of a Santal for those who dislike a heavy and stifling wood for warm weather wear -- it lacks the staying power that should be expected.

For my tastes, I'd prefer less of an end note of vanilla where the sandalwood should have been with the florals left intact, and a slightly higher concentration. This is a Creed I was happy to regift to someone who prefers much sweeter scents, but at a similar price point, I felt Le Labo's Santal 33 more captures what I would expect for a Santal fragrance in both longevity and composition. Original Santal is not a bad scent. It's just not a superior one either.
10th August, 2011

X for Men by Clive Christian

In a word, intoxicating, which is intended as a high compliment. The fragrance has a nice level of complexity that isn't as challenging as "C" (full disclosure, I own "C" and love it), and from start to finish, the transformation is very subtle, rich, and elegant. This exudes a level of confidence and warmth that would be best suited for more formal occasions or colder weather, as those conditions will allow this particular scent to fully open and blossom. This is not for those faint of heart or not committed to its luxury price point. Some will argue that this is far too expensive, though it's comparable to other pure perfumes. As for longevity, it will last well into and though the next into the next morning -- you'll be awakening to the smell of "X" on your pillow.

If you needed to pick an elegant, tasteful, luxurious fragrance for a connoisseur, this would be high on my list. Someone suggested a comparison to Penhaligon Opus 1870, with which I struggle -- 1870 lacks the longevity and overall quality, and has no silage, while X is the polar opposite. I honestly prefer this to "C" and have no qualms about a strong recommendation.
07th August, 2011

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

I'd been wondering about HR for some time now, especially since it lists the base components including leather and amber. I was initially intrigued by the reviews describing it as a more mature fragrance - I simply needed to see for myself. I'd gotten a small sample of the EDP, which these days is no small feat, along with finding a bottle of the EDT. I tried each.

There's no good way of saying this, but the difference between the two is so vast that even at the heart and base, there is no way of telling that they're the same fragrance because, frankly, they aren't. My first try was the same of the EDP, which I not only "loved" but would also highly recommend. The dry down to base is true to form, and the amber/leather combination is very well done. I was intrigued and interested.

I'd found the EDT at a later time, so I purchased it despite noticing it wasn't 'exactly' the same scent even as it broke from the top notes. For those reading the truly negative reviews, I'm pretty willing to bet that the worst of those comments were from the EDT and not the EDP. Where the EDP was strong yet subtle and pleasant, the EDT was very piercing with sharp citrus that never quite left the scent through the dry-down. It felt like a different fragrance, and although your own body chemistry might suggest a different result (i.e. your mileage may vary), more than likely if you've hated the EDT you may have a much different response to the EDP.

My neutral review is a balance between the EDT that I personally found sharp and offensive, versus the EDP that was the masculine, subtle, mature scent I'd attributed to HR. My advice is that the EDT is something I'd avoid in favor of the EDP...provided you can find it.
07th August, 2011

Coriolan by Guerlain

I've been a fan of this for over 10 years, and was beside myself when it was discontinued (seeking any available stock to hoard so that I'd still have it). I still have 2 half-empty 1.0 oz atomizers and just got my hands on a 100ml recently. Coriolan is elegant, bold, and dries into a wonderful combination of oak moss and patchouli that dries and lingers on the skin without cloying. Longevity on this is excellent for something of EdT strength, and I've never lacked for compliments upon its wearing. Not to mention the thought put into just the bottle design was daring, and it's simply nice to uncap a fragrance and not need to place a cap down and back on.

Sadly, I'm disappointed both that they've discontinued this wonderful scent, but that they've reincarnated it with some differences in L'Ame du Heroes (which is far less available, and to my nose, just more a feminine scent), leaving only Heritage and Vetiver as Guerlains in my collection. If you can simply find a sample, do so. The citrus top transforms quickly into a wonderful chypre worth experiencing.
06th August, 2011
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Elixir by Penhaligon's

Rather than repeat what's already been said in droves about the composition of the fragrance -- it's clearly something about which you have strong feelings -- I'd much rather focus on what this particular fragrance is and is not.

It IS rather nice. They've done a wonderful job on combining the components into a very nice melange that blends well and seamlessly transitions through the various elements. Incense, sandalwood, tonk a, all blend well in a surprising way with the eucalyptus and florals, striking a very god balance with a refined scent that is charming, alluring, and very pleasant to wear.

It IS NOT durable. Being an EDT, it's among the weakest EDT's I've tried. Within 2 hours, it's vanished such that you actually wish that it were a more cloying experience. To quote Harold Melvyn, "The love I lost was a sweet one," and this would be the fragrance that I'd certainly love if it had better longevity. The notes are all there, but they play in too subtle a manner for anyone but the wearer to enjoy, and only then for the shortest of duration.

This is a fragrance my wife had gotten, noting the presence of incense, and recognizing her deep hatred of TFPC Amber Absolute. This was olfactory pleasing for the all too brief time slice it lingers, but it's too fleeting. If only this could have been done in an EDP strength versus a concentration that's barely EDT, they'd have a keeper for me.
30th July, 2011

Cyprès-Musc by Creed

I just had the opportunity to try this, and at first, it's a truly interesting scent. Off-Scenter's description of the fragrance notes and ordering are quite accurate. This dries into the heart and base within the first half hour where it stays for roughly the next couple of hours -- the musk and cypress are a nice mixture, and compared to the TFPC Italian Cyrpress, it definitely feels more authentic.

That's where the love for this wanes. If only it just stayed at the heart note and the juxtaposition of musk and cyrpress, I would have been content with the fragrance. Given the next couple of hours on my skin, it all turns pear-shaped for me: the cyrpress fades into what I can only describe as something resembling either "Ammonia" or "Floor polish". While I wouldn't quite term it "Pine-Sol", I'm hard-pressed for anther accurate comparison that conveys the essence of what this becomes. It feels more like a cleaning agent during its last gasps before it disappears entirely (and thankfully).

Longevity is less-than desired: Sillage is somewhat good. But deep at the base, I definitely feel as if I've tipped over industrial cleaning solvent. Your mileage may vary, so I won't entirely chalk this off, but whether this works for you will depend completely on your skin chemistry. Alas, it didn't mingle well with mine.
23rd July, 2011

Aventus by Creed

At first, I was challenged by this Creed until I realized the niche it fills.

First of all, it's not initially an especially deep or robust fragrance, and at first blush it might smell like any other cheap and cheerful designer fragrance one could buy at Sephora for a fraction of the price. Not so fast, though. If you thought that, you've not given the interplay of top notes the opportunity to blend and settle. It gives way cleanly to the heart layer of dry birch, patchouli and Moroccan jasmine. The blackcurrant still lingers just enough to make the mix interesting and fun to smell. The dry down to the base of musk and amber is long enough yet still light enough to be pleasant.

The other reason that Aventus finally appealed was that I really needed a nice summer-wear fragrance for those sticky and humid New York days that wend their way into sultry evenings. Aventus manages to be refreshing, clean and interesting without being overly cloying. Longevity is terrific, sillage is about right, and it doesn't become a stifling fog that merely sits around you. Simply put, this is the perfect summer Creed, bar none. It also has more appeal to a younger clientele than would a more heritage Creed. It's a nice balance between refreshment and longevity without stickiness, and that's really what makes it work. I'm not going to say "buy unseen/untried" but I'd encourage anyone to simply try, let it dry-down, then give it another smell perhaps an hour in and see if the differences between this and a Sephora-type scent du jour don't become more apparent.

This is a Creed I'd no longer hesitate to recommend -- I'm truly convinced after being a skeptic.
23rd July, 2011

Cooper Square by Bond No. 9

I've finally had the opportunity to give Cooper Square a thorough opportunity to sample and write a more comprehensive review. After sampling through much of the Bond No. 9 collection and narrowing down through several other choices, I narrowed to New York Oud and Cooper Square.

When I finally got to Cooper Square on skin, I thought to myself "I'm having an 80's flashback, but can't put my finger on it." A few minutes later, I realized the olfactory flashback I'd had: I'm smelling "Calvin" by Calvin Klein, circa 1981. Vividly, this was as close as I'd dare come, only in a Bond in EDP strength. Save for minor differences, the combination of woods, patchouli, musk and vetiver were as vivid as I recalled, slight updates with a few changes in the more inert ingredients. The cognac wasn't as present as I'd detected in the past.

Did I dislike it? somewhat. The promise of sharp cognac and other ingredients didn't quit deliver the goods in a way that stood apart from that Calvin moment. Moreover, the ending after several hours dries less into a subtle musk and more into a very sharp and green vetiver that seems more forced than a natural combination. The result is a very expensive impression of a Big-80's stalwart.
04th July, 2011 (last edited: 30th July, 2011)

Bleecker Street by Bond No. 9

After seeing the comparisons between Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Bond No. 9 Bleecker Street, I stopped and did a sample on paper. At first blush, it's 'similar' but by no means an exact replica. The top and base note likenesses were where the similarities ended. Which brings me to the more intriguing aspects of the Bond No.9 frag. First, the scent changed back and forth through all the notes, not simply a dry-down and transformation from top to base. The heat of the warm summer day on skin brought out a completely different personality; the coolness of an indoor location transformed it yet again. I found it pleasant and interesting throughout the continual transition. If I had to pick a fragrance that gave me cause to pause, this would be the one. Then there's the sillage, which I found to be far better than the Purple Label, which is logical since the RL is an EDT and the Bond an EDP, along with a hefty price differential. People would know some hours later that you were wearing the Bond, whereas the RL vanishes within minutes. Longevity is fantastic. My choice is very clear in that as much as I like Purple Label, Bleecker Street has more to offer as a woody oriental.
02nd July, 2011

Bois de Santal by Creed

I've now tried this fragrance, and yes it is officially discontinued since around 2008. Unfortunately, in my view, I cannot say that constitutes much of a loss. The opening note definitely contains more than a subtle hint of civet, though not in a unique "Kouros" type of way that one might enjoy.. It simply lingers in the background, barely there, finally drying into a very dry and floral sandalwood. By the time the transformation from top to base note is complete, you're left with something rather orange, floral, and hinting at sandalwood, though not very distinguished. It tends to lack the level of depth or character throughout that I've enjoyed in other Creeds. In a day and age of myriad scents, this comes across as common yet very dated in its feel. It lacks an identity that sets it apart and becomes significant to the wearer. It wouldn't be a favorite in my collection, and while intriguing at first sampling, it transforms very poorly for me over time. If collecting rare and vintages Creeds is a hobby or passion, it's one to seek out for historic value; its not one I enjoyed wearing nor could recommend.
22nd January, 2011

Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

This was a real surprise for me that I liked Terre D'Hermes despite an expectation I would not. The positives: It's very classic, not showy, not overbearing, just the right amount of sillage and longevity in the Pure Perfume. It establishes and maintains a rugged and masculine profile throughout the transformation from Heart to Base Note. The onset of Citrus/Orange quickly dissipates into a more subtle dry cedar with an almost linear metallic aroma becoming the core theme. The character of the scent is masculine, strong, and carries well. For a pure perfume, it's also at an accessible price point (200 ml for $196, 75 ml for $112). It maintains that character without a cloying feeling, and the profile against the skin is more one of cool steel than a warmer or richer fragrance. It's a Hermes that someone under 40 could pull off without trying to feel "stuffy".

The negatives: I don't enjoy it quite the same way as Equipage for my tastes, and the appeal skews younger. While the character is nice, it borders on being somewhat non-descript and very common to the 'light' and "Aqua de Everything" fragrances that dominate the market. Having said that, it's one I would still wear daily, and doesn't become as sharp and offensive as an Abercrombie & Fitch.

I would recommend minimally a try.
05th December, 2010 (last edited: 24th July, 2011)

Bel Ami by Hermès

This is definitely a fragrance worn by a more mature set, those who appreciate the subtleties of an artful mix of components to reveal a construction that equals more than the sum of its parts. Of course, being Hermes, everyone immediately invokes the thought of leather whether or not it's a part of the whole. On my skin, I get the hint of citrus at the top that fades almost immediately into a much deeper note that is pleasant and subtle in nature. It transforms very quickly to the base notes (less than an hour, you're there), and you'll immediately focus on the sandalwood base and the creaminess of the vanilla that all evoke the softness of a refined leather.

Now as to why a Neutral review, given that I liked the scent. Sillage and longevity are both quite poor. This fades to nothing after about four hours, and in order to detect any fragrance at all, your nose needs to be directly against it. So this isn't something that is bound to offend or be off-putting to an audience because they simply won't smell it. I've tried this about 3 times now, and each time has revealed the same result of inadequate longevity and low concentration. While I appreciate the complexity and subtlety of a fragrance, it's possible to be too understated compared to other similar fragrances.
05th December, 2010

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

I've really struggled with this scent, having given it several samplings and all-day wearings to render a decision. There are times when I've been indifferent to the aroma, and others when it's really been terribly disappointing. Foremost, if your expectation is a warm tobacco aroma, it will be difficult to distinguish from the very overpowering influence of vanilla from top to base. This is not a subtle vanilla by any means, but a very cloying, confectionary vanilla that has exceptional longevity and dominates the fragrance. It is very linear, barely transforming over the course of hours, mild sillage but exceptional longevity. It would appear that the intent of the fragrance was to evoke a memory of scented pipe tobacco. Unfortunately, it evoked food to me and anyone around me who could smell it -- "cookies" was one word used to describe it, "cheap vanilla extract" another. Not what I wanted having really desired something closer to Creed Vintage Tabarome's very mellowed tobacco. There are a number of Tom Ford Private Collection fragrances that I enjoy, but this is one that I certainly wouldn't recommend both on price and its aromatic composition. This missed the mark for me.
02nd December, 2010

Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

I really hate to say this about the fragrance, but I'm completely underwhelmed with it after a few wearings. It's a liquid baby powder -- the scent dries down into such a light powdery note that still manages to be just obnoxious. This is one I definitely regret buying, since it lacks any masculinity in the top notes and dry-down. That it lasts through the day isn't good either because this is just a scent that, for me, I really wanted to be rid of as quickly as possible. Longevity, therefore is good. Sillage is moderate. But I really don't envy smelling like I just powdered my nose and the obnoxious top of this just doesn't go away enough for me to get past.
29th September, 2010

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

This is an EDT that I've had -- off and on -- for some time and rediscovered a couple years back. Occasionally, it's resided in the back of my fragrance cabinet until I recall it and pull it back out and suddenly rediscover once again how the scent evolves. So it was this past week as I tested this gem.

This is a scent about which people feel very strongly one way or the other. I once wore it and my fragrance was immediately noted with positive comments, even though it's a "big" fragrance befitting of the 80's period of its design. Sillage is strong, so is longevity. It transforms over time on the skin, and even though it's only an EDT, it tends to be very strong and long-lasting -- a light spray in the morning will take you through the afternoon, evening, and almost the following morning.

This is not something I'd necessarily wear into the office unless I wanted to make a statement -- there are enough people who enjoy it versus the sharpness and constant top-notes of modern fragrances, but there's more than enough chance that co-workers are going to find the sillage a bit strong to be around. By that, I truly mean that someone within 20 feet will know you're wearing it. There have been enough comments that compare it to a bathroom urinal cake or a very sweaty smell, and I attribute that to the chemistry of the wearer. On me, it settles and transforms very well and it's pleasant for me to enjoy all day. To each their own.

Would I recommend this? Yes, but you need to really give this a day on your skin to decide for yourself how it reacts to your own chemistry. It's a very bold statement to wear, it doesn't bespeak subtlety, and it's very easy to overdo.
27th September, 2010 (last edited: 24th July, 2011)

Windsor by Creed

I only recently had the opportunity to test this Creed, and it's truly one of these vintage fragrances that is so elegantly understated, complex, and pleasing that's it's truly intoxicating without being overpowering. This is a scent that unfolds into its simple components, and if you aren't initially stunned by its elegance, its transformation from top to heart to base notes will allow you to better appreciate the subtlety of the ingredients and formulation. This is what most perfumes aspire to being -- unique and understated as if to encourage those who smell it to desire it more. This is most definitely a masculine scent, despite the discussion about the Windsor Rose which does not come across as floral or feminine, but adds the right softness to balance out the citrus and woods in each of the stages. It maintains a high price point provided you can acquire it, which I strongly recommend for connoisseurs. If you are casually browsing for a new fragrance and find the high cost hurdle off-putting, definitely don't purchase as it'll simply be wasted.
06th September, 2010

Amber Absolute by Tom Ford

Amber Absolute is a fragrance that is evocative: You will adore and cherish it, or you'll find it a very suffocating amber from the mixture of all of its elements. I find it a very rich Amber with an almost incense -- think High Mass incense -- element that wafts just beneath the surface. It's simply delicious if done in small doses, which would be my only caveat. In small amounts -- simply pulse points, or in combination with an Arabian Wood or Oud -- it's very striking. If overdone, it can be very off-putting. This is a very deep and rich amber scent, one that evokes memories of a chilly fall day and warm fires and the smell of a rich herbal tea nearby to warm you. This is that fall/winter-esque scent that is a delicacy. But do not bathe in it unless you want to evoke the smell of a Sunday high-mass and sweet burning incense.
06th September, 2010

Royal Delight by Creed

I've had two unique experiences with this fragrance -- one piqued my interest, and the second dashed it upon the rocks. This is a Creed used very sparingly, a very intense floral/vanilla/leathery confection that you'll either find yourself loving as it dries down into a very rich and nearly overwhelming depth, or you'll simply find it too vintage and overpowering. Count me among the latter -- there was something about the heart and base that became far too stifling to be worn even on a cool day pre-autumn day. This is a winter candle fragrance that should slowly permeate a room; when worn on me, it takes a more effeminate turn and becomes far too suffocating. While listed as a unisex fragrance, this smells more feminine and yet tuned to an older demographic. Also, I couldn't help wanting to compare this to the base note found in Royal English Leather, and I don't mean that in a positive way -- though not as pungent as REL, it still rests on the nose on a way that doesn't react well for me. I applaud Creed for releasing something during this era that isn't solely a citrus top-note, but even in small doses, this Creed is a tough pill to swallow.
06th September, 2010

Acier Aluminium by Creed

There is definitely a metallic and fruity note to this Creed, and it's a masculine, spicy concoction. However, having worn this several times, I find it to be the least enduring of the Creed's I've tried -- I'm not sure how those who've reviewed have commented on the sillage as overpowering, I've found it quite the opposite. It literally disappears very quickly into the skin and one application barely lasts through the morning. I like the aroma for very casual wear, but it lacks endurance and quickly fades. It takes a very boozy character at first, but within minutes it's sobered and dissipated. Not unpleasant, but not a Creed I'd as highly recommend as a Tabarome Millesime.
06th September, 2010

Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

This was my introduction to the Tom Ford Private Collection, and it's still my favorite thus far. The notes in the fragrance are more enduring than some other posters seem to have experienced, even though it's an EDP versus a pure perfume. It does transform on the skin and tends to become a bit more leathery/suede within the first 30 minutes, along with the accompanying notes. It exudes the air of a gentlemen's library, with leather chairs, pipe smoke and reminders of a gentle atmosphere of "regality".

Another poster had made mention of Clive Christian's "C", and oddly enough, I agree though I found TL first, and an associate at Neiman's introduced me to "C", which I found to be nearly a perfect copy of TL with a bit more deepness in the berry notes, and perhaps slightly more stickiness (in a good way). While I was impressed with "C", I'm not one who needs a full perfume (a good EDP is just fine for longevity on me), and I could not justify the price point on the Clive Christian "C" (perhaps "C" stands for "copy"?). For another $90 USD I would be into a full flacon of TL, and that's exactly what I did (my Neiman's rep was nice enough to hook me up with an atomizer set).

This is a fragrance that exudes depth and character for me, and not simply a common 'top-note wonder' as I find most current scents to be. It's not for everyone, but it's a fantastic investment. If you believe my wife, it's downright classy and masculine.
27th June, 2010 (last edited: 13th September, 2010)

Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

It's clear that Tabarome Millesime aspires to be a fresher variant of the more "Vintage" Tabarome, and it's a nice if neutral daily wearer that has just enough masculinity. It's not overpowering, the dry-down definitely alludes to the tobacco base, though I find that if the goal was to inspire a tobacco aromatic in the scent, they've come up slightly short. Mind you that this is not at all a bad fragrance, and I still enjoy it on certain occasions, but there are some drawbacks to the formulation: Initial application is rather flowery and lacks a single character. Eventual dry-down yields more to the tobacco and green tea elements from the Bergamot/Ginger top notes, though I find it a bit weak and not long-lasting. Six hours is about all the longevity you should expect.

If you want a tobacco inspired fragrance, this comes about as close as you'll get short of Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille (which inspires more tobacco, but also a bit much vanilla). It's not the most creative entry from Creed's line, but worthy of a sampling.
27th June, 2010