Perfume Reviews

Reviews by smith

Total Reviews: 15

Black by Bulgari

A new love! That quick slap of burning rubber rocks us back. Smoky black tea promises to keep us up and in tune all night. Yes, the acrid rubber and the black tea drift off soon enough, leaving behind a generic vanilla coziness. So what - isn't love just like that? We're hooked by the torching tires, even if we're dead certain it'll simmer down to virtuous vanilla all too soon. But we plunge right in, don't we? Bring on the flames, again and again and again.
24th February, 2009

Infusion d'Homme by Prada

It may be an infusion "of" a man, but not necessarily "for" a man. The dominant floral in the middle basically rules it out for me. Perhaps there once was a floral type of man who was otherwise secure enough in his masculinity to pull this off. Perhaps that man is not me.
16th February, 2009

Encre Noire by Lalique

Randy! Am I just crazy about this scent. It is so rich, so ripe, so sexy! Most people commenting on Encre Noire emphasize vetiver, but to me this is just an entirely different animal from most vetivers (like Guerlain's), which I found highly powdery - the old-lady smell, truth be told. Encre Noire is an animal, period. Whenever I drop by my favorite perfumers' I give myself a spritz of this, and when my current dark & funky scent (Sables) runs out, it will be replaced by Encre Noire. There are many, many things here rudely bumping in the inky night. And it will last 'til morning.
16th February, 2009
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Duel by Annick Goutal

Thoughtful, highbrow, playful, naughty and refined. Returned again and again to a miniature of this one and was all set to go plunk down for the 100 ml when at the last moment I was swept off my feet by Duel's brute of a brother, Sables. When Sables has worn me black & blue and no longer cares if I see other scents, I'll come crawling back to Duel. Will it take me in?
16th February, 2009

Eau de Campagne by Sisley

Given the pitiful suckup to newness that has got classic companies churning out mediocre new scents year after year and cannibalizing their own best work (Guerlain, anyone?), you've gotta love a company with the self-confidence to come out with a new perfume every 15 years without fail. They really mean it.

Eau de Campagne is a wonder. For me it fills the bill as a light, refreshing citrus (replacing Eau d'Orange Verte when that ran out), plus of course the "greenness" for which it is justly renowned, and lots of other complexities.

I especially like the sour/bitter undertones, which some attribute to tomato leaves. To me it's more rosemary and okra.

There isn't space enough here to do justice to this true modern classic.

Speaking of the fewness of Sisley's releases, I must say that Eau de Soir is gorgeously feminine (held in reserve as a gift when I decide there's a woman who's worthy!) and a total foil to Eau de Campagne.

Unisex? Most assuredly, but let's just call it "butch."
16th February, 2009

Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

Bold and glorious scent. So hot, so strong. The cinnamon, cedar and pepper carry me off. But to wear it in public would be downright rude.
16th February, 2009

Vetiver by Guerlain

Given the fulsome praise heaped on this cologne over the years from otherwise highly reputable sources, I have given Guerlain's Vetiver every opportunity. I have tried it on numerous occasions, and inevitably it is dominated by ghastly powdery tones - the 'old lady' scent if you know what I mean. The result is unmanly while not even being womanly, either. On top are some high-pitched lime tones. All in all I have to say thanks, but no thanks. For some great green juice, try Sisley's Eau de Campagne instead.
16th February, 2009

Number Six by Caswell-Massey

Correct and masculine, this is a scent that can safely be worn by a distinguished City sort of gentleman who by constitution would pass up scent altogether. A good Waspy reliable that America can rightly be proud of. Years later I first encountered Jicky and there was a certain affinity there - even though I always regarded as a women's scent (then I learned that Jicky was Proust's favorite, but maybe that doesn't change all that much, ehh?)
16th February, 2009

Essenza di Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna

Well-suited to the line of Zegna clothes for men - classic cut with excellent tailoring and modern sleekness; for discriminating men Zegna is unrivalled for quality when buying off-the-rack. The scent is a good one for everyday, business wear. Refreshing top notes, with a little leatheriness that adds masculinity (particularly as there are no floral elements that stand out). My only objection is that it dries down to a powdery note which I am not a fan of (the same is true for Guerlain's Vetiver, among many others). The packaging is sharp. I admit that I was on the fence whether to buy this or not, but what finally decided for me was my long-standing admiration for Zegna as a fashion house for men.
16th February, 2009

Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

Every man needs a citrus in his scent wardrobe, and this is one of the great classics, alongside Eau Sauvage, Eau Imperiale, 4711 and such like. The green orange on top is a welcome shift from the more usual lemon/lime, and it's grounded by some earthy notes underneath that add complexity and just a whiff of sex. Great for day, after a workout or ... before a "workout." I love it.
16th February, 2009

Cool Water by Davidoff

Why do I despise all these "blue" scents? The only thing you can for Cool Water was that it started the trend and the others piggybacked on it. There's just something sickly sweet and powdery about them that gags me.
16th February, 2009

Chaps (original) by Ralph Lauren

The first cologne I ever owned, back in college. It was leathery and musky, and I thought it would go well with jeans for a fraternity party ... add a splash of luck. The image then, in the early 1980s, was closely tied to western wear, as compared to Ralph Lauren's more urbane and upmarket Polo brand (with its sickly-sweet original green Polo cologne). There are concerns on the Web about the continuing availability of Chaps. My research indicates that the Chaps brand in general has been spun off or disassociated from the rest of the Ralph Lauren world and is now sold only through discount chains. Apparently Chaps cologne is available only at Kohl's, and it has been repackaged, so goodbye to the leathery brown bottle with decorations alluding to longhorns, cowboy tack and the like. I haven't tried the reissued product, so I don't know if they've doctored it. If not, you will find the scent very similar to Halston Z14.
16th February, 2009

Poison by Christian Dior

This Poison is my poison. Pure sex. To pull it off you've got to have think black hair, inflammable eyes, purple lipstick and a soul that just does not quit.

Instantly and ever fixed in my mind (nose) with memories of a certain creature of such hue and hew.

What is Poison made of? How does Poison do it? Perhaps, like femininity itself, I'd rather remain in the dark.
16th February, 2009
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Diorissimo by Christian Dior

This is pure lily of the valley. Perhaps the loveliest smelling of all flowers, so I admire Dior for going straight up with this. It was a favorite of my wife's until for reasons unknown turned against it. And me.
16th February, 2009

Burberry London for Men by Burberry

They should call it Earl Grey. It's all bergamot all the time. Or so I thought until I acquired a bottle and pondered the scent more thoroughly. There was something beneath the bergamot that was nagging at me ... something also in the B's ... until it hit me: blueberry! The fruit crowded out the original association with the whimsical Englishness of Earl Grey tea in a scent. From then on Burberry London gave me blueberry on the brain, and I just couldn't take it.
15th February, 2009