Reviews by decillisjl

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    decillisjl
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    Wild Fern by Geo F Trumper

    Sometimes simplicity can wear a beautiful face, if only for a moment. Such is the case with Wild Fern. I can't say I'm a sucker for green notes, green clothes, leprechauns, martians, or baby poop, but this one speaks softly and carries a big stick... of basil. WF embodies the color so well I couldn't see Kermit the Frog wearing anything else. Fougere? duh... how can anything with both oakmoss and mossy in the notes be considered anything else? Starts off with a brilliant opening of basil, basil, some thyme, some moss, some more basil, and a bit of freshly cut grass. You would think that with an opening like that it would be extremely dry and astringent, but there is abundant moisture, almost as if you threw the whole herbal lot in the rain for an hour before digging in. As everything settles and the alcohol evaporates it does, as mentioned before, take on a heady lye note. Not quite Irish Spring but relatively close in its sudsy thick heart. Basil is still very much at the forefront, but it is a dry and viscous basil paste, a bit like dried herbal pectin or two day old cement. The closest representation I can come up with would be to lather yourself with a glycerine bar spiked with the herb, then let it dry on you as you sit naked out in the springtime sun. It has long since lost its "refreshing" factor, and although the melody of the top has faded there is still a bit of high percussion keeping the pulse moving. As the drydown completes there isn't really much left of the sparkling topnotes... It has actually become quite boring. This isn't to say that the fragrance has completely abdicated, it has just become content to "be there"... sitting quietly in the corner, minding its own business, and perfectly happy to be unnoticed and alone. I would ardently throw a thumbs up if the first hour was representative of the entire composition, but the joyful smiles of the opening quickly turn into the bored faces of the commuting workforce. Their clothes are still nice and pressed, but their energy left as soon as the exited the house, and probably won't return until they get home. Wild Fern I just wish you would have called in to work and stayed here with me.

    24 July, 2009

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    Scent by Costume National

    I've owned this for a awhile, but haven't worn it in a couple of months. Tonight the air is damp and warm, so I figured it would be a perfect time to review... Scent
    I must say not the most dramatic or imaginative name, but for some reason I have yet to swap this one off. It definately carries a more feminine feel, and I would put this at the far vagina end of the "unisex" marketing, but like all fragrances it really is all about the wearer and not the semantics. At 6'3" and 240 lbs I can pretty much get away with whatever the hell I want to wear, so comments about gender dynamics never really affect me. Scent is extremely lovely albeit a bit subdued. I don't have a "note" pyramid handy so I can only go off of what my marginally trained nose says, and this is what it tells me. The top is extremely heavy, even for an EDP. The ripened, almost rotting, berries are completely smothered in intense white floral, so intense that you can almost feel sunlight bouncing off of thousands of blooming tuberose with the pinks and purples of hibiscus barely peeping through the blinding light. After about ten minutes the light starts to dim, and the floral element melts into a juicy, sweet, berry experience. This is the part of the journey that I really love. These are the sweet berries that melt in your hand, not the acrid berries that stain your mouth, your teeth, and most often your clothes. The floral element is still carried in the wind, whispering through your hair and crinkling your nose, but the precious fruits are on the main stage at this time. The heart continues on and on and on and on for at least a couple of hours, until it gently fades into a faint incense tinged aroma that, as strange as it is, reminds me very much of a newborn baby. I don't think there is a person on this planet that hasn't kissed the head of life's greatest miracle and been blown away by the purity of the smell. The drydown isn't substantial... it doesn't offer massive sillage or extreme sexual motivation, but it is entirely comforting. I find that whenever I wear it I just have to smile and let the trivialities of life pass me by, because two hours or more wrapped up in the subtle beauty of 'scent' washes away any of the numerous stresses in life. Sometimes you just want to smell "new"

    23 July, 2009

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    Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

    I love aquatics... Condemn me to basenotes hell for saying so, but the truth is... I grew up in Central Florida (Daytona Beach). Although I prefer many of the more "substantial" and "heavy" scents, it is just not logistically possible to wear them in 90 degree heat and 90 percent humidity, which we (enjoy?) for almost ten months out of the year. The climate, coupled with the fact that you are never really further than 100 miles from some sort of expansive body of water, no matter where you are in the state, gives you a sincere devotion to the smells of the sea. I adore Bulgari Aqua, respect Creed Erolfa and MI, and pay due credence to so many other "oceanic/beach" fragrances (except CSP Aqua Motu which makes me sick every time I attempt to wear it). I had been admiring Kenzo from afar for quite awhile, and had the opportunity to pick up a bottle in a swap with my buddy Bryan. I have worn this now for four days straight, and I am still respectfully confused at how such a strange amalgamation of notes has delivered such a spot-on representation of a thousand days spent lingering under the whispers of the ocean. I have operated restaurants for a third of my life, and have been nose deep in every representation of the herbs present in the note pyramid, and yet I cannot pinpoint a genuine expressive quality from beginning to end. The top is synthetically green out of the bottle. At first I thought I was going to detest it, as it laid on my skin like some chemical warfare agent, but as the alcohol evaporated the brilliance really started to emerge. As I cannot relate to any of the "notes" presented here, I will try to paint a metaphorical picture of my experience... Imagine wandering through a dense forest of rain drenched and sun dappled trees... The air around you feels "green", but you cannot discern whether it is the boughs wafting down from above or the undergrowth welling up from below. As you move forward through the foliage you begin to sense the piquant smell of salty air, and before you know it you are blinded by sunlight glinting upon a massive beach stretching from reality to imagination. The hot smell of saturated growing plant life is behind you, still a presence, but it is joined by a cacophany of baking silicon, iodized sea spray, and animal matter (living and dead). The enormity of all the incongruent smells is almost overwhelming, but somehow completely peaceful. You cannot help but feel as if you could spend the rest of your life just laying by the shore, breathing deeply the aroma of a land virtually untouched by human hands. Forgive my poetic justice, but this will forever be a staple in my wardrobe. It is not the most amazing thing I have ever smelled, it does not have the best longevity of anything I've ever sampled, and it does not push monster sillage throughout a room, but it takes me far, far away... to somewhere that I will probably not ever have the chance to visit, and for that I give it two thumbs up!

    22 July, 2009

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    Sugar by Fresh

    well.... not to continue the booze associations from last night, but this smells incredibly like a lemondrop made with some highly prized russian vodka. On first sniff I thought "wow this is a pretty substantial lemon with a lot of creaminess and oomph behind it". After about three minutes I started losing my teeth and after ten I felt the onset of a diabetic coma. Underneath it all there is the slightest bit of "pledge" note, but it is masked by a monster simple syrup sillage that goes so far as to leave a viscous trail on the skin you sprayed it on. The top notes of lemon and acid dissipate rather quickly, and the heart/base (there really is no middle ground here) takes on a splenda spiked floral foundation. I don't get any vanilla, at least in the modern benzoin/extract form found in so many fragrances the last decade or so, but the floral element could very well be pod flowers before they begin to bud. The longevity, I can already tell, is going to be poor if not forgetful, but for a short ride it undergoes a pretty decent transition. I would consider this to be a warm weather only fragrance, as wearing it during the cold would not do it any justice whatsoever. If the weather is hot, the beers are cold, and the vodka has spent the last day in the freezer please break it out. Simple, yet massively capable of fulfilling its purpose.

    18 July, 2009

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    L'Eau des Hesperides by Diptyque

    I will whole-heartedly agree with the summation of each of the previous three reviews, but my stance is quite different. There is definately celery... from beginning to end there is a translucent and fibrous effect that could possibly be the combination of certain herbal traits, but in the end you get a mental picture of....... a wonderful bloody mary! This could possibly be the closest olfactory equivalent to playing a round of golf with a couple of your closest friends. There is a hint of freshly cut grass, a hint of salt, and astrigency that could easily be a metaphor for the acid in tomatoes. I can even detect a bit of earth loam seeping up through the bottom. The opening is extremely citric and clean, but as it wears off there is a dirty edge that is both gorgeous and a bit repulsive at the same time. As it dries down the dirtiness becomes even more succinct... I am now on the ninth hole, with a couple of salty cocktails in my belly, splashes of pond water creeping up the hems of my pants, and quite a bit of turf scattered about my arms and chest. I might not be the best golfer on the course, but damn am I enjoying myself. I could never lend it the credence to make it an everyday scent, but it is fun in its unique dirty/freshness and peculiar approach with herbs. Definately worth a try, and I will surely edit once I actually wear it out for a round and can guage experience next to illusion.

    17 July, 2009

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    Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

    Welcome to the olfactory equivalent of a citrus flavored energy drink (I'm looking directly at you Monster). The opening is magnificently stimulating, with a blast of neroli and citric acid that clears your nasal passages and opens up your eyes. If this lasted more than a couple of minutes I would swap the rest of my summer collection away, but alas, with every sharp spike there is a sharp decline. The citrus hits the mute botton, and a vague peppery soapiness takes over. The contrast is a bit unsettling, as I really REALLY wanted the opening to hold on, but like so many things in life the good times just don't keep on keepin on. It's not that the drydown is bad, it is just incredibly reminiscent of "clean" skin, with nothing substantial, besides a slight capsaicin undertone, to make it memorable. I have nothing against Mugler as a house, as there is a time and place for his more bizarre concoctions, but I really feel a bit of "blue balls" on the tail end of this... why would you entice me so much in the first few minutes only to leave me hanging for the rest of the night? Shame on you Thierry you little whore
    -edit- 09-02-09
    I still think this a bit fleeting, but I am totally addictive to the opening and now have two full bottles... Yes indeed you only get an hour or two most out of this, but it is a prime candidate for a little decanting for numerous "pick me ups" throughout the day.

    16 July, 2009 (Last Edited: 02 September, 2009)

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    Bois d'Argent Cologne by Christian Dior

    wow... for once in my basenotes life I don't have too much to add to previous reviews... I unloaded a full 3 ml on myself and............... not too much to write about. Iris? check. transparent incense? check. dusty old furniture? check. I know that it is only cologne strength but this is the equivalent of someone showing me a picture of a great steak they ate at a fancy restaurant, only the picture was in black and white and taken from a cell phone. I get the idea that it was awesome, and I can almost stretch the experience enough to warrant thinking about how the steak would taste, but there just isn't enough substance to capture my attention and make me want to go out and buy the meal... Even while I am wearing it I get the feeling that someone just passed me by smothered in the juice, but it was so bleh that I would forget the sniff in a moment. The topnotes vanish into thin (or thick) air, giving you a slight tease of floral iris that dissipates immediately upon hitting the skin... there is a very rapid transformation from cheap gas station incense into a rubbery note that reminds me of a newly opened package of dog chewy toys before fulling developing into a quiet patchouli drydown. This isn't a cloying hyperbole of a monster, but a whispering ghost of notes that probably could have played well together with better blending. If you could imagine Ben Stein reading War and Peace in a slow cadence, you would have a decent projection of how exciting this is. I'm not a huge fan of loud ostentatious fragrances, but at least let me know I'm wearing one. Oh well at least it was just a sample.

    20th June, 2009

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    Winter Star by Michael Storer

    Oh God this is the 23rd of December over and over and over again....Usually around the first of november big box retailers start rolling out all of their Christmas offerings... placing the greens and reds everywhere to be seen to get the "ignorant" public ready to start spending their december income on ridiculous extras to make their holiday "special"... It isn't until mid-december that the rest of the selling public earnestly promotes the holiday spirit, but they make up for their procrastination in superfluous fashion. This fragrance is the embodiment of "forcing" the Christmas spirit upon everyone in your wake... I don't dislike it at all, it just seems strange to be sampling this in the beginnings of a hot Florida summer.
    If one had the desire to take a very expensive potpourri, throw it in the blender, then slowly seep it through a sieve you would most likely end up with something very similar to this fragrance. I'm sincerely trying to identify singular notes, but this appears to be a complex linear assimilation that circumvents my olfactory sensibilities. There is definately a strong floral element, but it is completely astringent and darkly indolic... it soon is coupled with the powdery effect of the "amber"? that reeks of balsam, and some sort of "barky" wood elemen that makes this bitch really take off once it reaches the heart. I'm still beleaguered in trying to catch the notes in the movement onto the drydown, but at this point I really don't care. The potpourri is beginning to dry down a bit, a lot less "HEY" and a bit more "come over here baby"... whatever this is going to be locked away in the closet until the end of December... I think pairing this with a strategic mistletoe will be the best "unveiling" of a new fragrance I've ever had

    19 June, 2009

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    Purple Water by Asprey

    yes... out of the bottle it is pledge or any other industrial strength cleaner, but wait.... it might take a few minutes, but wait... go fold some laundry, check your email, take your dinner out of the oven... now take a DEEP whiff and call your mom because she loves you and misses you. This is a scrubber for the first few minutes, and then turns into something quite sublime, even gorgeous. The top is a synthetic chemical lemon mess, but it only takes a few minutes to turn this ugly duckling into a swan... The floral jacaranda note quickly pulls the cacophanous opening into a serene canoe ride through a glorious indolic white foamy dream. This is definately not a winter scent, nor is it a "I'm going to the club and I'm going to score" sillage bomb. The heart is a succulent and juicy soft citrus parade mixed with orange blossom playing the part of the drum major, while behind marches droves of carnation, lily of the valley, honeysuckle (yes I finally found my chevrefeuille), and lemon blossom, with grapefruit following behind playing a high tempo snare. At the end of the parade, once you think everything is over and people are packing up and ready to go home, a very simple soft vetiver is left standing on the side of the road wishing he had the chance to march with the band. The orange blossom, seeing the vetiver standing all alone, returns to keep company, and the two of them stare off in the distance until the sun sets... Anybody that judges this offering based on the opening act is really missing the headliner.

    15 June, 2009

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    Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

    please excuse me for a moment as it is very hard to type with both wrists buried in my face... this is so deriliously sexy it is taking me a minute to collect my thoughts... I cannot fathom how this is labeled or even marketed to les femmes, because it is unisex at best, and although I would love to smell this on a female it has a decidedly masculine characteristic (not quite a magnum p.i. moustache but definately some chest hair)... The topnotes are an effervescent burst of booze and savory herbs (although cinnamon is in the notes I get more of a clove/mace astringency). The heart of the beast pushes forth within a few moments with a very dry cumin pushing the coriander to the back burner (thank god) with the smoky notes of unbrewed tea leaves providing a beautiful contrast to the descending salty booze and ascending incense. I do not honestly know what grey amber signifies but lord does it begin to make a pronounced entry very early on in the drydown... Tactile and syrupy, it rounds out the bitterness and tang of the early notes while creating a luminous base for the incense to rest upon for the rest of the 8+ hours of wearing. I swear that I get a pretty decent helping of sandalwood somewhere in the end result, as after about 4 hours I am immediately reminded of my MPG angel Santal Noble... as this is my first foray into the offerings of Parfum d'Empire I cannot vouch for the entire line, but this has got to be one of the sexiest amber scents I've had the fortune to try. Luckily I've got another 3 or 4 wearings out of my decant, but I'm going to save those for "business time"
    Thumbs up for the nasal erection

    12 June, 2009

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    Monk by Michael Storer

    EDP review... have yet to try the EDT but will edit when necessary

    What a strange and clever little guy... comes out of the bottle smelling of freshly poured cement, frankincense (right off the bat?), and a very subtle floral. I get absolutely no bergamot or other acidic citrus at all. There definately is a bit of a cocoa note in the top, but it is drowned out in the dry smokiness that permeates the transition from top to heart. The viscosity on the skin reinforces the fact that this is an EDP, but the arrid nature quells its ability to push major sillage, although I can already tell that the longevity is going to be HUGE. As the beast matures on the skin into the heart notes the floral is gone, making room for a very interesting stage. The smoky residuals coupled with the echoing sweetness of tobacco bring to mind standing twenty five feet above a roaring fire of oil soaked logs on a brick base. The effect is almost ethereal in nature, as you don't smell the actual smoke... you only smell the transparent wash of soot that has lifted up in the air, landing sporadic and sparse yet still full of aroma. I am almost tempted to call this a "gothic" scent, because it does conjure images of extemely old architecture built on top of dry bones in deep earth, but the airyness and transparency in the middle and base keeps it from smelling like a tomb. This is the first and only Michael Storer I have tested (or bought) due to the apparent global dissatisfaction he has garnered in this community, but I am enamoured of this vision, and think that I'll probably be keeping the bottle around awhile longer to fully understand this fragrance.

    06 June, 2009

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    Aqua Motu / Motu by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    I must preface this by saying I am going through extreme discomfort writing this review. This is the fourth time I have worn this, and every single time I have gotten nauseous. This is the first time that I've ever experienced this phenomenon, and I'm trying my best to be "subjectively objective", but damn this makes me want to vomit.
    Aqua Motu might not be considered "niche", but I definately think this occupies an extremely succinct and certain "niche" in lifestyle and desired outward projection. This is not your everyday aquatic, in fact, this is not your any day aquatic. There is no inherent ocean, there is no inherent lake, there is no inherent retention pond... this is BEACH... This is the smell of tourists toting cheap plastic chairs down to the sand, as far away from the water as they can get while still feeling as if they're on vacation. This is a family of four smiling in a picture, with their kids wrapped up in swimmies and inner tubes, sunburnt faces reflecting the concrete and pvc piping of a landlocked waterpark. Is it sweet? yes, very much synthetically so... Is it salty? yes, but more inspired by the smell of sweatglands pushing moisture through a layer of 50 spf sunblock than the smell of still-drying brine on the skin of a tanned woman in the islands. There is absolutely no way that I can relate to the note pyramid, as either 1) this is such a "beautifully crafted?" fragrance that I cannot detect any of the individual notes, or 2) the synthetics used are of such poor quality that they don't resemble anything close to the natural elements. I can't give this a thumbs down due solely due to the nausea induced when I wear this, but I can't honestly give a thumbs up when all I really want to do is wash this off and replace it with the soothing Bulgari Aqua (IMHO the one aquatic that really feels like the ocean). My deepest apologies to all that enjoy this, but I have to put my thumb at 90 degrees.

    03 June, 2009

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    Trussardi Inside Man by Trussardi

    I've had this for about three months and have never reviewed it... Threw it on tonight due to lack of samples... I have to say that this one has grown on me... Forget the pyramid, no really forget it because as MMM says the actual scent is WAY different from what you would think given the four words displayed at the top. Lemon topnote??? not at all... there is no citrus to be found anywhere this is actually an extremely dry scent. If there is coffee it is an origin I haven't found yet, and the tobacco is much more a "smoked" note. This is not the bruised, fresh cut Virginia leaves found in alot "tobacco" scents, it is more the resinous char found at the bottom of a pipe used only for simple yet quality straight pipeweed. The real beauty in this is the melange of woods that make up the base yet are so prevalent even from the initial spray. I have smelled teak in various incarnations from marine vessels to furniture, and I can say that this definately does have that teak vibe, but the wood in TIM is more of a cedar driftwood laying by the shore that has had all moisture cooked out. There is a deserted beach saltiness that permeates this fragrance from the second it touches the skin until it passes quietly a few hours later. This is a dark, rainy day kind of juice, as the moisture in the air compliments the dust and bones qualities and makes for quite an interesting contrast. I'm not convinced this is a winner, but it is one that I will keep around for awhile longer for the "perfect" day.

    30th May, 2009

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    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

    Review is for the EE or EDP version

    The olfactory equivalent of a Los Angeles traffic cloverleaf... So many entrances and exits yet this still maintains an "easterly" flow. Very well crafted as the notes seem to meld into one another from spray all the way into drydown. I can feel almond, I can feel cocoa, I can feel some indoles but nothing prominently noticeable. I totally agree with Jenson this is definately a sillage beast as there is a radiant warmth that begins to surround you within the first five seconds and keeps pulsing and swirling around you as if you were wearing a sweet syrupy cloak... This is gourmand in a way I've never experienced, as I don't get the "taste" of a particular food, but more a melange of delicate pastries, reduced sugar compotes in various stages of production, and finely ground spices simmering in a steam bath... I can't get over the blending prowess, as individual notes are indistinguishable for any amount of time before getting lost in the cacophany that is the innate beauty of this scent. This is definately a tough to wear fragrance in high temps or high humidity, and I could never see it as a work scent due to its powerful sillage and pronounced "hello here I am", but nonetheless a treasure for certain moments. I haven't sampled the EDT version yet but I definately will soon. By the way I was able to steal this for 15 bucks on the "bay"... can't see how I was the only one to bid on it, but yay for me.

    29 May, 2009

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    Erolfa by Creed

    1998... Daytona Beach, FL... 3 great friends and I... Late March, and the humidity is matching the temperature somewhere in the 80's... we have just checked into our hotel room carrying numerous cases of beer and seven days with nothing to do but to finish them... apprehension? check... excitement? check... subtle jokes and "you had to be there" banter? check... A ratty bathing suit and a bit of the first sunburn of the year are the signature wardrobe, although at times you might slip on a pair of sandals to be "formal". The unpacking takes literally ten minutes, the first beer is opened, and a short walk to the pool deck makes the last year of planning worth every single moment... sun-kissed skin is visible a full 180 degrees, beautiful bodies filling the horizon glistening from the pulsing sun... knowing glances and sly grins are the only expressions exchanged between treasured friends... the wind picks up a breeze, a deep breath is taken, and the first steps onto the pooldeck begin a journey that will be remembered forever. That is Erolfa... While Bulgari Aqua is a dense, cold "rainy day in Northern California" fragrance, Erolfa is the antithesis... very light, very salty, very "you had to be there" sentiments that almost perfectly capture sand volleyball and bikinis in a bottle. There is NOT a lot of complexity there, but the quality of the ingredients allows the fragrance to be that, and only that, which it is trying to convey. Simple citrus, iodine rich salt, and the ever present ambergris foundation combine to make something as complicated yet simple as the ocean itself. I understand the opinions of those that do not think highly of this fragrance, because if you haven't experienced the actual environment you will never like the experience it is trying to portray... as for myself, I can always recreate '98 with a couple of spritz and a few minutes to enjoy the memories.

    18 May, 2009

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    Acier Aluminium by Creed

    oh god please have sex with me... bananas??? I don't typically think of the scent of bananas as "sexual"... but sugary carmelized bananas mixed with a bit of raspberry compote all diced with a stainless steel knife scratched across a metal surface = "I will lay down and you do whatever it is you want to me"
    I have absolutely no idea why this is so seductive, as none of the notes would ever individually make my knees weak or the hairs on my neck stand up, but the composition is flawless, and makes me yearn for "private time" with my better half. I could say with all honesty that I would much rather smell this on a woman than a man, but that could be chalked up to my predisposition with preferring an "innie" to an "outie"... Aura sillage (three feet, enough to draw those that you want in your personal space even closer), ninja longevity (the moment you think your skin has soaked it all in a shift in airflow reminds you it's still there), and a drydown that, although is reminscent of many Creeds, retains enough of the inherent personality that you know exactly what you are wearing. This scent knows no season, no climate, and no preferred event... It is entirely unobtrusive, entirely original, and absolutely bottle worthy. I will give some Creeds a thumbs up, some a thumbs down, but for AA I will donate my thumbs to a purpose better suited for the blinds closed and a hotel door sign stating "Do Not Disturb"

    16 May, 2009

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    Habit Rouge by Guerlain

    my shortest review ever... I love HR, but HR does not like me :(

    15 May, 2009

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    Sandalwood Cologne by Geo F Trumper

    this is a lesson in patience... Preconceptions given the blatant use of sandalwood in the name would lend you to believe that this would be a one man show, but this is very far from the truth. The opening spicy citrus kick is anything but the creamy soft texture you would think a sandalwood fragrance to be. My girlfriend, who has the enhanced olfactory sensitivity of a newly pregnant woman, thought it beautiful on the skin but had a bit of insect repellant sillage. As we lay down to watch American Idol (thank god for DVR) some mysterious changes came to pass. Within fifteen minutes the brutal acid of the citrus top started to quiet, and an extremely sweet (though not cloying) floral santal vanilla started to pulse and waft up from my chest. This is definately an "aura" fragrance, which projects only enough to be detected by those within a couple of feet from you. As everything settles down you are left with a very stark vanilla with just enough sandalwood to keep it from being too sweet. All in all at hour one I would give it a 7, hour two a 9, and hour three forward down to a 8. It definately does not fit the bill as a pure sandalwood fragrance, and after the last few months of smelling vanilla in most of the fragrances I sampled, I cannot give it an enthusiastic thumbs up, but a thumbs up teetering on neutral.

    06 May, 2009

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    No. 88 by Czech & Speake

    yes Yes YEs YES!!! I saved this for the last of my C&S sample voyage, and I am so happy that I did, as this is by far my favorite of the entire line. Ever since I received a sample of Montale Attar from Dimitri I have had a bit of clinical obsession with rose scents, and I never thought that anything would trump that glorious masterpiece... well I was wrong. This is, in my opinion, an absolutely perfect study in synergistic moderation. There is a bit of citrus, there is a bit of rose, and there is a bit of soapy buttery sandalwood, but the additive composition as a whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Due to previous reviews I was almost prepared for a nose wrinkling blast of geranium and herbal bergamot, but my sicilian skin soaked it up so fast it danced beautifully right into the heart notes, where the rose masterfully envelops the weaker florals without becoming too astringent or pronounced. I am a sucker for strong heartnotes, and through its development 88 might derive a bit of creaminess from the sandalwood, and a bit of earthiness from the vetiver, but the blend is so well contrived that the linearity is absolutely welcome. I'm four hours into this experience, and the waves of sillage are still pulsing as strongly as the initial drydown. Although it is considered unisex, I feel as if this is more a masculine fragrance, although I would love to smell this on my girlfriend (in fact I would probably love to smell this on a couch, a towel, a dog, a television, or anywhere else the overspray landed). My bank account was really hoping that I would be hohum about any new fragrances, but my water bill assured me that it wouldn't mind if I paid it a month late this year. Please sign up and get your free samples from C&S... you might have to wait a month to get your package, but I am very interested in your opinions, and it's FREE!!!

    06 May, 2009

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    Neroli by Czech & Speake

    You could spray this on a lifelong bum and manage to make him/her smell clean... I'd have to say that this fragrance is a complete lesson in moderation. The neroli is a bit strong for the first few seconds but then sits down next to the rest of the class with its mouth shut but eyes open. There is definately a powdery note but it merely softens the acridity of the citrus without smothering it as so many powdery scents can. The floral note is substantial and yet subdued... the only comparison I can make is if a traffic stopping beauty barely brushed her lips against your cheek... there would be the slightest tinge of her lingering lipstick, but the memory of the moment would far surpass the tangible mark left behind. I can definately see this as unisex, but I'm unsure if I would rather smell this on my girlfriend, myself, or just a stranger passing by... A brilliant composition whereas although the notes display themselves with enormous identifiable personality, there is no ego-stroking statements by any... they simply work in unison to create a magnificent effort. A true gem.

    03 May, 2009

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    Black by Pierre Cardin

    In fashion everything is metaphorically referred to as "the new black"... in fragrance anything "black" is just a moniker for "safe citrus standby"... when you don't really want to be noticed, but you don't want to offend either... After numerous wearings at home I decided to overindulge in P.C. Black one day for work to see what kind of comments I received... Let's just say that I got a couple of questions but most were in the line of "hey are you wearing this? or hey are you wearing that?"... Compared to most of the other generic "pseudo-aquatics" I would rate this as being decent, but if I really wanted obscure generalities from untrained noses I would spend my money on Axe body spray and be done with it... This might be the most warranted "neutral" rating I've ever given

    26 April, 2009

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    Mambo for Men by Liz Claiborne

    okay this might be the wine talking but this stuff just plain sucks... I'm not even going to give it the benefit of describing the scent pyramid because so many before me have said enough... I totally understand "value" fragrances and some people might have an extremely small budget for cologne, but when you can pick up Carven Homme for twenty bucks or a mulititude of others for a bit more I can't see the point in shelling out an hours worth of work for something this disastrous. I have two toddlers that I have just suffered through potty training, and to be honest I would rather clean up an "accident" than ever try this again... Yuck!!!

    26 April, 2009

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    MPH by Washington Tremlett

    I think that MPH is an acronym for "Mediocre Patchouli Here". I don't give too many negative reviews, as I try with all objectivity to get an "organic metaphor" for a scent. I believe that every fragrance has at least a semblence of anguished thought behind it, because as a parfumier releasing something subpar could spell disaster not only for your sales, but also in your respect in the field. The art of scent is becoming quite the flooded market, and as a "house", especially on the fringe of popularity (seven different fragrances with a total of ten reviews?), satisfaction with ho-hum could ring the death-bell for any continued success... that being said I had never heard of this perfume house until the wonderfully amazing Dimitri sent me a sample nestled in with a plethora of decants when I purchased a couple of amazing fragrances. This was probably one of the last of the lot that I sampled, and in the last three hours I have been everything but impressed. Citrus??? it laughs at you out of the bottle before falling dry on the skin without a shred of identity... Lavender??? The scented dryer sheets I picked up at Target today for 1.99 had more lavender, and the shred of pepper I got was enough to think about think about think about maybe wrinkling my nose to think about maybe, just maybe, affecting a fake sneeze... On the tail end I was so wiped out from the boredom that the very slight drydown comparison to A*men (or any one of a thousand patchouli/oakmoss dries) that I would really rather fall asleep than continue the observation... If, for some reason, I awaken to the most heavenly pulse I havfe ever had the opportunity to relish I might edit my review, but for now this will be classified under my "intense waste of three hours I'll never have the gift to relive" genre, and for that I give four thumbs down.

    14 April, 2009

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    Attar by Montale

    oh goodness... this is potentially the most "real" fragrance I've ever had the luxury of sampling. As a loving and devoted boyfriend I have probably purchased hundreds if not thousands of roses in my "man" career, and this has to be the most surreal but grounded rose fragrance I've ever come across. As weird as it sounds I can actually smell "texture" in this. Without even having to bring my wrists above chest level I can "feel" rose petals, albeit slightly wilted and crushed. This baby has got monster sillage and projection, as only a couple of sprays has completely enveloped me in a heavy aura. I knew that the concentration was high when two spritzes to the wrist left me with the feeling of fresh motor oil for at least an hour. I can't really vouch for any aoud in the mix, and if there is it was incredibly well blended. There is no medicinal sharpness, and besides the opening blast the only acridity is the realistic deep floral element. It is only upon full drydown that the sandalwood really presents itself, and to me it is more of a casual companion laying the rose in bed to sleep. I have yet to sample black aoud, but after this gem from montale I have to get a whiff... Laying here in this magnificent aura I'm hard pressed to believe that I will like black oud any better, but I'm damned sure that Attar is going to be my next buy

    13 April, 2009

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    It seems I can never stress enough how certain scents will force an immediate deja vu that conjures up memories so long forgotten you weren't sure whether you dreamed it or if it actually happened. I just got a bottle of GPH today, and excited as I was from both the reviews and the perceived pyramid I was not quite ready for the mental fatigue I've just gone through for an hour. Since I was already wearing my SOTD (creed chevrefeuille, although by this point in the day the relatively weak longevity had long since rendered it imperceivable to my nose) I decided to spray the back of my hand... just to get a feel for it before I showered and could enjoy a full wearing. The first couple of minutes I wasn't really impressed, as the weak capsaicin in the pepper mixed with the tiniest whiff of ginger didn't really do much for me... after five minutes I found myself absolutely entrenched in my own wrist (luckily the geriatric playing golf didn't notice me inhaling my arm from my balcony, but whatever I wouldn't really care if they did). Something in this kept stoking my memories... at first I went through every single fragrance I've ever sampled, worn, smelled on someone else, you name it... I was left with nothing. I started to get a bit angry that something that smelled so familiar was lost in my memory banks. Then, alas, a revelation. I was probably around ten years old visiting my Nana up in Connecticut, and we went to a "true" Catholic church... being a florida boy I was raised in a "progressive Catholic church", whereas everything was a bit watered down to compete with big boy Baptist right across the road. Anyways my first journey to the "real" church was incredibly intimidating for me, with the massive architecture, the massive ensemble of choral units, and the 3 story organ pipes that seemed to erupt from the organ and blast the hymns straight to heaven. Needless to say I was blown away by the sheer immensity of it all; the most intriguing part of the entire visit, however, was the priest wading through the crowd of pews with the ball of insence hanging from the chain, filling the entire structure with the most putrid, irritating, yet pleasurable fragrance I had yet known... After that whenever my family went back north to visit, all I wanted to do was to go back to that church. Not for the rhetoric, not for the incessant kneeling, standing, sitting and watching what everyone else did just so that you wouldn't make the wrong move. I begged to go because although the fragrance hurt my eyes, although it burned my nostrils, and although it left a pasty film on the back of my tongue it was the most exhilarating nuisance I had ever felt. After an hour into GPH I'm left with that same sort of irritated satisfaction. The scent pyramid from the middle down is absolutely worthless to me, because I have no idea whatsoever how orris rhizome smells in its natural state, and if there is amber in this I cannot feel it. What I do get is a tremendous amount of pew wood, leather from the "books of the lord", and that powerful incense that psychosomatically never really goes away. The irrational thing is that I can almost smell the top notes of Tommy Bahama in the drydown, which makes absolutely no sense at all, but somehow that which I loved in the latter is that which I love in the former... All in all I can't really make a solid recommendation for this fragrance, because so much lies in the subjective manifestation that causes me to love it, but I could never see this as getting a negative comment it is just too beautiful. Thumbs up for yet another unexpected trip down memory lane

    08 April, 2009

    rating


    Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

    I absolutely detest the taste of licorice, especially the "noir" version, but this is my favorite female fragrance BY FAR... If there is anise in this it is so subdued by the amazingly deep violet and earthy ivy that I cannot even detect it. I bought this for my girlfriend recently, and I say proudly that on every single occasion she wears it "business time" comes very early. In fact I have missed many episodes of American Idol, Family Guy, House, and whatever basically any show that comes on the television because when she comes out of the bathroom wearing this, nothing else really . Thumbs up for keeping the fire alive~!!!

    08 April, 2009

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    Noir by S.T. Dupont

    Thanks to my dear friend Dimi I recently got a bottle... This isn't a knock your socks off your feet blow your head off fragrance, but I'm becoming quite a fan. The pyramid pretty much sums it up, but some notes definately take center stage... first blast to the skin reveals a very dry mint with a gentle backdrop of seche lavender. the mint clears out a bit as the warm spices and soft woods begin their ghost-like ascent. (as a sidenote I am extremely fond of Bois du Portugal, but I am beginning to think I prefer the wood note in StDN at a miniscule fraction of the price) I can't seem to discern vetiver in its final progression, but it does develop a bit of creaminess that could be attributed to the "cashmeran?"... this is definately a proximity scent, as sillage is moderate at best, but the longevity is amazing... after the first ten minutes this beauty is fairly linear, but how can you fault something for continuing to smell beautiful for hours??? I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for evening attire, but I would find it to be a high quality powerhouse for the office or daytime wear, especially in the summer when something heavier would come off as a bit "too much". Thumbs way up, and along with Carven Homme will be the best "value" scents that remains in constant rotation

    05 April, 2009

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    FCUK Him by French Connection

    I have to absolutely agree with mr slarty... if one decided to spray some 2$ lavender body spray on themselves, then felt it necessary to dump the old school pink bottle of mr bubbles on the top of their head, it would be very similar in nature to this disturbing piece of un-work... I am disappointed that shiseido's name was run through the mud with this one, but I've never been impressed with anything zirh, so I'm not shocked that I don't like this... the initial reaction from my girlfriend was... "it kinda smells like ivory soap that washed a dirty ass but never got rinsed off"... I guess I'll finish my sample one day but I'll be sure to get good and liquored up before I do so

    29 March, 2009

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    Comme des Garçons 3 by Comme des Garçons

    this might be my most difficult review yet... I have been waiting 3 weeks for this to arrive from kuwait, and the anticipation nearly ended my life... i had to refrain from tearing into the packaging on the way home from the post office, and had the shakes after I got home and tried to remove the hermetically sealed (or almost) bag containing this most lusted after juice... I have a strange fixation with anything labeled "ethereal" or "other-worldly"... Previous reviews prompted me to buy blind, and although I wasn't stricken by the "odeur" series, I just had to see what an "imaginary" or "ethereal" flower smelled like... This is my third wearing of the day, and I'm still at a loss trying to decide if this is a quick swap or something I want to have on me forever...
    For half a heartbeat out of the bottle I caught the plastic synthetics of the odeur series, but once it settles on my skin the confusion of trying to pinpoint the individual notes drives me absolutely nuts... The rapid descent from topnotes to middlenotes is as difficult to discern to the nose as trying to slow down the image of a lightning bolt to the eyes... there is the omnipresent "frootloops" accord, but that might just be the civil war of floral vs spice overpowering each other in 32x speed... The only image I can conjure up would be twenty ghosts jabbing at me in rapid succession, each and every one coming so close to manifesting an absolute image before being replaced with another fleeting whisp... As the avalanche of "WTF" rolls down into flat terrain the dichotomy of this fragrance is magnificently apparent, and yet the chaos continues to distort any real chance at fully understanding the experience... Try to imagine... Twenty people are running in one direction, but all the while they are weaving in and out of each other... some people fall down along the way, but they are quickly picked up and thrown back into the maelstrom that is the collective stampede... All of a sudden, without warning they all come to a grinding halt... you have roughly ten seconds to try and identify their shrouded faces, but before you can pinpoint anyone with certainty, their faces change, and they begin to run in the EXACT OPPOSITE DIRECTION... these new faces share the same random movement... it seems no one wants to draw attention by taking the lead... they are each content in the blurry exodus that is their raison d'etre. The worst part is by the time they have reached the finish line you are just too tired to congratulate the winner... even a couple hours after the race is over you are still contemplating what the hell just happened... all in all, while buying something blind based on the notion of an "imaginary flower", I received a generous helping of humility and yet another reminder that perception is absolutely subjective, and any attempts at generalizing a "scent pyramid" are useless... Another thumbs up for reminding me that I am a "noob"

    24 March, 2009

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    you stroll up to a rather dilapidated storefront... the sign in the door says closed mondays and weekends, but it's a tuesday afternoon and you are right on time... the cyclonic red and white cylinder is moving full blast as you open the door, and you are immediately greeted by cold dry air and wafts of rendered animal fat and various forms of lye... you take a seat near the old console television and take a peek at the magazine rack... although there are a couple of copies of vintage playboy you reach for a copy of a dated sports illustrated (you made love to your beautiful wife no more than two hours ago, and although the urge to look at beautiful unclothed women is high, you find that generic reading is more readily acceptable at this time)... in a matter of minutes you sit down in a comfortably worn leather chair fitted with well-greased hydraulics... a simple nod by the man behind you is all the communication you need... at once the fingers gifted with thirty years of crafted experience begin their work, with a swift diligence that is punctuated only by innocuous observations of politics and unobtrusive genialities of the last month of your life... within what seems like a few tics of the clock you are shown the product of the master's work, and a quick dip of the head and smile let's him know his work is almost done... a soft burring of a dated piece of electical genius is quickly followed by the tremendously warm and comforting sensation of foam enveloping your neck and around your ears... a potential weapon is whicked with surgical precision around your head in an almost nonchalant manner... a quick heated breeze and a towel off and you are back on your feet... the monetary transaction is a passing sense of gratitude, and you find yourself back outside with a renewed sense of masculinity... the wind picks up just a bit, sending a shiver down your newly shorn neck, and you realize that this was the best part of your week... that my friends is rive gauche... no need for elaboration of the pyramid... a simple trip to a 7$ barber and you will know what it's like

    18 March, 2009

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