Reviews by shamu1

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    shamu1
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    Lime a Basilico / Lime and Basil by Gandini 1896

    A total delight to wear in every way. "Lime and Basil" is right - the two blend beautifully, so you get the bright and sunny citrus of the lime blended with the green earthiness of the basil. Patchouli and vetiver in the base are perfect for this kind of fragrance; the patchouli adds earthiness, which complements the basil, and the bright vetiver has the effect of extending the life of the lime citrus.

    Most importantly, the fragrance stays brightly green and dry from beginning to end. The patchouli isn't heavy, but rather complements the basil, and you barely even notice that the top notes have faded. Good longevity for a cologne too, at about 5 or 6 hours.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    24 October, 2012

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    Cuba Green by Cuba Paris

    Like a cross betwen Escape For Men and Horizon, Cuba Green is an early 90's styled herbal and woody aromatic fougere that is quite good. I find it lacks the fruitiness of Escape, but it has a similar subtle sweetness mixed in with the herbal notes. It all dries down to a dry, charred wood smell very similar to the drydown in Horizon.

    Not particularly unique, but very nice indeed, and a bargain to boot.

    MY RATING: 7.5/10

    25 August, 2012

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    Ocean Song by Auric Blends

    This is a very nice powdery,musky lavender scent with a slight watery/aquatic texture. It smells a lot like Roger & Gallet's Lavande Royale. It's smooth and light, delivering nice airy wisps of scent throughout the day. I like Ocean Song especially for its transparency.

    This makes a good summer scent for either women or men.

    MY RATING: 8/10

    15 August, 2012

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    White Musk for Men by Body Shop

    I'm amazed I like this, since I hate white musk. This is a great one, linear yet complex. It does not smell like shampoo or laundry detergent.

    The musk is very prominent from beginning to end, but there are green notes, woody and spicy notes very carefully blended in with the musk to make it crisp and aromatic. Smells almost identical to the drydown in Creed's Original Vetiver. A great fragrance for a great price.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    12 August, 2012

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    Urban Edge by Avon

    The bottle is great but the fragrance isn't. Totally generic in every way, this is a metallic, sour suede and violet leaf woody fragrance, like a million others. The violet leaf adds nothing of value to this scent, and when it combines with the so-called suede note, the fragrance smells like gasoline and metal. I smell none of the patchouli that Avon says is the showcase note in here.

    The one good thing I can say is that it's somewhat pleasant to wear if you apply it lightly.

    MY RATING: 5/10

    08 August, 2012

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    Eau Sauvage Parfum by Christian Dior

    This new Eau Sauvage is not awful, but it's very disappointing. For about five minutes in the opening I can smell similarities to Eau Sauvage, but after that, it's an almost pure vetiver scent. And it's a pretty boring vetiver scent.

    I'm not one who bitches any time a flanker differs from the original fragrance. Flankers are a chance to expand on an original idea, as well as a chance for cashing in big time on the original's fame. But when a flanker is given the same name as the original scent, with only "Parfum" being the difference in the name, I expect the original scent, only much more concentrated. I don't think it's unreasonable for a customer to expect that. However, that is not what you get with Eau Sauvage Parfum.

    I can't imagine buying this. When I smell Eau Sauvage, I expect something bright and cheerful. With this Parfum, I get something bitter and sour. Not what I expect at all from an Eau Sauvage flanker.

    MY RATING: 5/10

    06 August, 2012

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    DKNY Men (New) by Donna Karan

    Imagine a handful of silverware, just washed with dishwashing liquid, but not rinsed. Imagine jostling and grinding all those utensils in your hand, so that it creates an annoying, ear-shattering din of metal-on-metal. Imagine licking the utensils, still unrinsed, with the dried soap still on them. That's what DKNY Men smells like. Why on earth would anyone want to smell that, never mind smell LIKE that?

    This is quite simply the worst fragrance I have ever smelled to date.

    MY RATING: 1/10

    05 August, 2012

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    Aramis Cool Blend by Aramis

    Unlike most of the other fragrances with "Aramis" in their names, Cool Blend is a true flanker. The underlying basic Aramis accord comes through clear as day. With Cool Blend, imagine Aramis with a much crisper, drier edge. It is also a little bit lighter.

    The problem with Cool Blend is the middle and drydown stages. The Aramis scent is still there, but over time it gets overpowered by a weird, semi-dirty chemical smell that I truly cannot describe. What results is an unpleasant mess, like a fragrance that's trying too many things at once, and doesn't know what it wants to be.

    Aramis Cool Blend isn't quite terrible, but it's confused, and in the end it smells overly synthetic.

    MY RATING: 4.5/10

    05 August, 2012

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    Black Suede Leather by Avon

    Good fragrance, but where's the leather? I have to knock a couple of points off this one because there are no leather notes in this at all.

    Having said that, Black Suede Leather is a good knockoff of D&G's The One Gentleman. It really does smell almost identical to it. This means you get a dark, woody and spicy scent that smells manly, but won't offend anyone either. Dominating notes are ginger, tobacco, patchouli and cedar, with everything rounded off with some warm amber to finish it all off.

    Nothing spectacular or groundbreaking here, but it's inexpensive, comes in a cool bottle, and smells good.

    MY RATING: 7/10

    05 August, 2012

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    Animagical Man by Puma

    Totally boring, lame-o sport fragrance, like a million others. I bought this because I'd heard there's a strong basil note in it. Forget it. It's eviscerated by sour , shrill synthetic citrus notes that scream like a banshee for hours. Everything else is piled on top of boring synthetic cedar.

    I can't say this is totally terrible, but I can say it's a complete waste of money.

    MY RATING: 4/10

    27 July, 2012

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    Cuba Royal by Cuba Paris

    A cheap smelling, sweet, synthetic disaster, this fragrance smells like grape flavored hard candy! This is what Cuba Royal smells like when I wear it.

    Actually, this smells okay when you spray it on paper. That way, the room becomes filled with a rich, sweet tobacco smell. On my skin, however, the fragrance is a chemical mess, with no redeeming qualities.

    I can't imagine many cigars smelling like this, unless we're talking about crap like Swisher Sweets. Cuba Royal is a disgusting fragrance.

    MY RATING: 3/10

    21st July, 2012

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    Deauville pour Homme by Michel Germain

    A light, transparent spicy tobacco scent that is very refined. I agree that it's similar to Arpege Pour Homme, albeit a much lighter take on that, and I think it's the iris that makes them similar.

    This really is lovely, and very complex, changing all the time during the day. I get herbal, peppery, powdery, anisic notes all in this, drying down to a great spicy tobacco scent. The tobacco is noticeable throughout its development, but becomes dominant in the drydown, though not heavy.

    Not the most unique scent in the world, but smooth and sophisticated, and much better than its low price would suggest.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    20th July, 2012

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    Kanøn Agarwood by Kanon

    A modern day powerhouse, if there ever was one. This is dense, thick, heavy and overpowering in the long haul. I smell the oud (synthetic, obviously) overlaid with a LOT of rosewood, with heavy amber, moss, labdanum, sandalwood and patchouli in the base. There is a lot going on with Kanon Agarwood, like a maelstrom of smell.

    I like this scent, but unfortunately by the time the drydown arrives, the synthetic quality of a lot of the ingredients becomes evident, and the scent develops a kind of annoying plasticine smell. Luckily it's not so bad as to completely ruin the fragrance for me. Maybe I need to go lighter on the number of sprays, since this is an overpowering fragrance.

    Very, very 80s in style, and macho. It even reminds me of some of the brutal powerhouse perfumes for women from the 80s, like Fendi per Donna. This is not a refined scent at all. This is all power, power, power.

    MY RATING: 7/10

    19 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 20th July, 2012)

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    James Bronnley Gentlemen's Eau de Toilette by Bronnley

    "Gentleman's Cologne" is right - this is an extremely refined scent. This is simply a lovely dry, very green floral cologne that smells like a light green floral chypre.

    What I particularlly love about this is how it manages to sustain the green essence of lime, well past the opening. It dries down to a gentle dry base of oakmoss and coumarin. Very subtle spicy and wood notes can be detected in the background throughout it's development, like a smell that is way off in the distance.

    This is beautifully crafted, and I'm impressed with how everything is handled with a light hand, resulting in a truly lovely scent. This is the definition of timeless and classic.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    18 July, 2012

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    Michael Jordan by Michael Jordan

    Granted, this fragrance has gotten some respect here, but I don't agree that it's only a decent scent. I think this is a marvelous fragrance, with some of the best uses of spicy and woody notes I've smelled in a long time!

    Michael Jordan is dry and intense. Like all so-called sports frags, it does smell fresh, but that's where the similarities end. I've never smelled any sport scents that make such strong and aggressive use of spicy, evergreen and woody notes as this. It's like getting a can of peppercorns, cloves, incense cones, juniper berries, pine needles thrown in your face! I love this!

    It all dries down nicely to a very masculine incense, patchouli and sandalwood base, with no silly vanilla or sweet amber notes anywhere to be found. Hooray!

    This Michael Jordan fragrance was such a pleasant surprise for me. It's crudely constructed, but this is so much more than just another fresh celebrity fragrance. I'll be buying backup bottles of this.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    15 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 16 July, 2012)

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    Sandalo by Lorenzo Villoresi

    I'm on the same page as The Good Life on Sandalo: this is my holy grail sandalwood.

    I don't find this unusually dry or aggressive a treatment of sandalwood. I smell the sharp, dry woody aspects of the note, but I also get the creamy, milky qualities usually attributed to Mysore sandalwood in this too. I suspect the milkiness comes from the Ebanol synthetic sandalwood, not Indian sandalwood, but who cares?

    Sandalo is the perfect sandalwood because it combines the sharp, creamy, rich and deep qualities of the various types of sandalwood all into one seamless whole. It is also great value for your dollar, since it projects well and lasts all day.

    A perfect score from me!

    MY RATING: 10/10

    15 July, 2012

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    Signature by Avon

    You need to let this sit for awhile so your skin can absorb it before you judge it, because it is pretty unique. Starts off with a pretty generic sweet apple and cinnamon opening, but after a few minutes it starts getting interesting.

    It's hard to put a label on this because it's sort of a melange of woody, spicy, oriental, leather and green scents. It gets less sweet as time goes on, and you can smell the light wood and spicy notes flitting in and out for hours, on top of a smooth leathery, oriental base. The base notes are silky and oily, but not very sweet, and I like that.

    What's best about Signature is how transparent it is. It projects very well, but the cloud of scent around you is never heavy; it's more like small wisps of wood, spicy and dry fruity note float around you.

    Longevity is also very good, so this is good value. Thumbs up!

    MY RATING: 8/10

    13 July, 2012

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    Aramis Life by Aramis

    Not bad, but boring. I bought this because I thought it would be a bright, sharp green scent, based on the cucumber and violet leaves that are supposedly in this, but no go.

    I don't smell any green fresh notes whatsoever. I smell an interesting creamy fruity note in here (kumquat?), which is interesting, but there's nothing else in here to make this an interesting scent. This is a sweet, bland fragrance, that smells mainly like the kumquat on top of boring powdery tonka bean. In the drydown, I can smell some glimpses of a sharp wood note, but it's just cedar. Big deal.

    It's pleasant, but that's all I can really say about Aramis Life. I'm disappointed with this fragrance.

    MY RATING: 6/10

    09 July, 2012

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    Timberline by Dana

    Swanky is right - the bottle you see online being sold for dirt cheap has an "MEM" sticker on the bottom, but I too can't believe that what I'm smelling is the same 70s classic everyone seems to like.

    No, what I get is a semi-sweet, semi-spicy, semi-everything, boring-ass woody oriental, with no sillage and about 30 minutes hang time. This a truly characterless and lifeless scent.

    Don't be lured into even spending the $6 I paid for my bottle. Timberline truly sucks.

    MY RATING: 2/10

    08 July, 2012

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    Marbert Man by Marbert

    A blaring, crude bastard from the 70s with a hairy chest and a hairy ass, Marbert Man is Brut's younger, uglier brother who swears a lot and farts at the dinner table. Aromatic fougeres don't get any louder or more abrasive than this. Marbert Man is all about full-on power, with the accelerator pressed to the floor.

    Dark, bitter herbs are the highlight of this frag, with a ton of leather and patchouli to make it all even more masculine. This is like the father of Quorum. There's an underlying smell of oily rags in the background, added for full macho effect.

    If this all sounds like I'm criticizing this fragrance, sorry, but I'm not. I like boisterous, strong fragrances, and Marbert is no exception. Despite its ham-fisted approach to perfumery, Marbert Man's countless notes come together and blend very well, so this is quite wearable.

    An aquatic fan's worst nightmare.

    MY RATING: 8/10

    07 July, 2012

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    Marbert Man by Marbert

    A blaring, crude bastard from the 70s with a hairy chest and a hairy ass, Marbert Man is Brut's younger, uglier brother who swears a lot and farts at the dinner table. Aromatic fougeres don't get any louder or more abrasive than this. Marbert Man is all about full-on power, with the accelerator pressed to the floor.

    Dark, bitter herbs are the highlight of this frag, with a ton of leather and patchouli to make it all even more masculine. This is like the father of Quorum. There's an underlying smell of oily rags in the background, added for full macho effect.

    If this all sounds like I'm criticizing this fragrance, sorry, but I'm not. I like boisterous, strong fragrances, and Marbert is no exception. Despite its ham-fisted approach to perfumery, Marbert Man's countless notes come together and blend very well, so this is quite wearable.

    An aquatic fan's worst nightmare.

    MY RATING: 8/10

    07 July, 2012

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    Jaguar Vision by Jaguar

    Vision is a light gourmand that smells like something else I've smelled before but can't identify. Starts off smelling like sweet apples, then dries down to a woody caramel smell. The woods and patchouli in the base provide a little tartness, and breaks up the sweetness a little bit.

    Overall, Vision is a good fragrance, but it's a little too simplistic for my tastes, and it's too sweet for me to want to wear very often. Luckily it is not heavy. This would be a really good scent for a younger guy, in his late teens to twenties. I'd think this would be appropriate as a nighttime scent to wear at a nightclub or a party. It's a bit to cool for a guy my age to pull off well.

    MY RATING: 7.5/10

    04 July, 2012

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    Claiborne for Men by Liz Claiborne

    I don't know why everyone says this is discontinued. Like Halston 1-12, you can't walk into a Marshalls or TJ's anywhere in this country without finding a bottle of Claiborne For Men on the shelf.

    Having said that, I'm giving my full endorsement of this scent. I don't find it cheap or synthetic smelling at all. Rather, this is an excellent strong citrus fragrance that has amazing longevity. It is excellent value and smells great. I could wear this every day.

    Claiborne For Men smells like an dry, green citrus chypre, but it also smells like an 80's scent as well. That's because there's leather and oakmoss in this, and they give the scent some richness and weight, Eighties style, though I wouldn't call this a heavy fragrance or a "power fragrance". It strikes a nice balance between dry, transparent citrus and rich leathery chypre. What more can you ask for in a fragrance?

    MY RATING: 8/10

    04 July, 2012

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    Basile Uomo (original) by Basile

    The version I have is in a 100 ml. splash bottle, so I'm assuming this is the "orignal" version. Whatever version it is, this is an incredible herbal powerhouse fragrance.

    The list of notes in Basile is enormous and is pretty typical of the heavy hitters of its era (the 80s). However, it's different from most power scents in that the dry green herbal qualities, rather than the leather and patchouli, are the focus. This is an herbal and green fragrance lover's dream! Delightful green notes like basil, artemisia, and pine are front and center, and give this a sharp, brisk edge from start to finish. I can certainly smell the usual 80s bruisers like leather, moss and patchouli all in here, and they give the scent the requisite muscle for the era, but they don't overpower.

    If you love green, 80s or powerhouse fragrances, Basile Uomo should be on your sampling list.

    MY RATING: 9/10

    03 July, 2012

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    Legend by Michael Jordan

    I didn't like this at first, but having worn it now a couple of times, I've come around to liking it.

    It starts off ultra-sweet, like the opening of AMen or BMen, and is too sweet for me. It smells like caramel blended with capuccino, and very much like Rochas Man. If Legend stayed this sweet the entire time, I'd throw in the towel, because it's way too sweet for me.

    The drydown is where it's at. It's extremely heavy on the amber, and I don't like amber, but there are also aromatic notes like patchouli and cedar that break up the sweetness and make the amber smell spicy and masculine. Together, they create a wonderful accord that smells just like good quality sandalwood - rich, deep and masculine.

    MY RATING: 8/10

    02 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 27 July, 2012)

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    Peau d'Espagne by Santa Maria Novella

    As a great admirer of leather fragrances, I can say that this is, without a doubt, the driest and darkest leather fragrance I have ever smelled. All other leathers, even Knize Ten and Kolnisch Juchten, smell like a hot fudge sundae by comparison.

    It's also got one of the most authentic smelling leather accords I've ever experienced. It smells black, smoky and meaty, without smelling like beef jerky. There are bitter, harsh herbs underlying the leather smell, and they only add to the perfume's dryness and austerity. Peau d'Espagne is so well blended, I find it difficult distinguish any of its individual notes. It just smells like hot black leather for several hours.

    The drydown is my favorite part. The leatheriness tones down quite a bit after about four hours of wearing this, and what you're left with is a stark, intensely aromatic herbal drydown with hints of leather and patchouli. This is awesome.

    Peau d'Espagne is almost ridiculously masculine. It belongs in the Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme class of brooding, unsmiling, cruel fragrances for hard-asses.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    20th June, 2012

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    Kapsule Light by Lagerfeld

    No, I don't like woody/citrus/spicy fragrances, and no I generally don't like light scents. And yes, this is both light and generic. And no, I've never tried layering this with the other Kapsule perfumes. Despite all this, I think this is a great scent.

    Even if a perfume is generic in style, I can sometimes enjoy it if it's done well. Kapsule Light is one of the best blended woody spicy fragrances I've ever tried. Every note, every facet is handled with great care and with a light hand, so that all its various facets work together beautifully. The woody notes are perfectly balanced with clove and other spicy notes. Everything is rounded off with a soft, creamy but subtle base of tonka and musk, giving the whole scent a buffed out sweetness, but never weighing it down.

    There are so many other fragrances just like this, but few if any are done as well as this. Big thumbs up!

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    19 June, 2012

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    Marescialla by Santa Maria Novella

    Marescialla is certainly a challenging perfume, and I suspect a lot of people will throw in the towel after five minutes. The opening can only be described as brutal, with its caustic, astringent scent of bay rum mixed with overwhelming piles of nutmeg and mace. It's probably the spiciest accord I've ever smelled, and I love it, but many will not.

    After about a half hour or so, Marescialla shifts gears in a major way. It remains very spicy, but it becomes creamy and earthy. The drydown literally smells like a dark, creepy and spicy shaving cream, and the longer you wear this, the patchouli in the base becomes a dominating note. It all blends together amazingly well, and is one of the most unique and unusual fragrances I've ever tried. I love it.

    I agree with those who say this smells more like a man's scent than a feminine one. It's the shaving cream-like accord which makes it hard for me to imagine many women wanting to smell like this, but for those who do, more power to you. It has room-clearing sillage and all day staying power, so a mere 5 or 6 drops from the splash bottle is enough to surround yourself with a cloud of Marescialla all day.

    MY RATING: 9/10

    10th June, 2012

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    Tricorn by Caswell-Massey

    I was going to give this a thumbs up, until the drydown came, so I give it a neutral. The opening and middle stages are great - super spicy, bold sandalwood and patchouli with a dirty, skanky touch to it. It's kind of like a sandalwood gingerbread. Great!

    The problem is the drydown, which is much too sweet for me. After hour two, the amber and gingerbread take over, and that's when I throw in the towel with Tricorn. No, it doesn't smell bad, but the drydown is a disappointment for me. Smells a lot like Obsession For Men in the drydown, and Obsession is not a favorite of mine, to say the least.

    MY RATING: 6.5/10

    04 June, 2012

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    Arrogance pour Homme by Arrogance

    A big hairy patchouli bomb that smells like a roughed up Givenchy Gentleman. Fans of dark, heavy powerhouse frags like Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui will love this. Great longevity with a nice brash, macho smell.

    The only thing wrong with it is its lack of uniqueness. If you have Oscar, Gentleman or Kouros, there's no reason you need to have Arrogane Pour Homme, no matter how good it is. I can't help but think, "Hm, I know I've smelled this before".

    MY RATING: 8/10

    01st June, 2012

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