Perfume Reviews

Reviews by tearoad

Total Reviews: 13

Banana Republic Classic by Banana Republic


Clean and fresh like a lemon mist after a morning shower, Banana Republic Classic is the perfect eau de toilette for summer weekends on Nantucket, the Vineyard, and the Hamptons. With notes of citrus, honeysuckle, and bergamot, this is the fragrance counterpart to crisp linen and espadrilles, white handkerchiefs and straw hats—and tall gin tonics. Girls in summer dresses and the hissing of summer lawns. In other words, BR Classic evokes the icons of summer. Even the streamlined bottle with its matte nickel top evokes another classic: Chanel No. 5—and yet, BR Classic is as American as Gatsby and Daisy on a summer porch in West Egg.
03rd June, 2010

Desire for a Man by Dunhill

DUNHILL DESIRE by Alfred Dunhill: Like the candied apple at the carnival that always looked so good, tempting you with its glossy red hard candy coatingonly to break your last baby tooth when you took a bite, Dunhill Desire has a bottle equally hypnotica ruby red hip flaskand a bite equally alarming. One spray and I felt I was in a public toilet with the cleaning staff. Another spray reminded me of a child getting sick in a school hallway. Too much undigested fruit after nibbling on rose petals and wood. Theres something nauseatingly cloying about this fragranceas if this juice were the topcoat, a cover for something horribly nasty underneath. Someone had an accidentand I think it was Dunhill.
28th January, 2010

VV Man by Roberto Verino

VV MAN by Roberto Verino:

With a gorgeous Eighties-era bottlean orange glass flacon encased in an amber plastic container, all very hard-edged and transparent in shades of cinnabar red, orange, and roseVV Man harks back to an even earlier era, when Pierre Cardin and Courreges ruled the catwalks with festive fun and space-age energy. Roberto Verinos VV Man has an allure not unlike one of those Richard Neutra homes in Palm Springs: everything old is new again, and better for times passage. The juice opens with a heavenly burst of melon cut by cardamomthen passes through a kind of Sixties floral bouquet, before settling into a peaceful patchouli and amber base. Theres something Studio 54 about this fragrancea kind of mash-up of scents that evokes the upstairs of that fabled club where Halston, Andy, and Calvin are snorting lines amidst a profusion of candles, flowers, and incenseand general hilarity. Given VV Mans unfamiliarity to the masses, a person could easily make this his or her personal fragrance.
22nd January, 2010
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Balsam by Agraria


One year, while vacationing in San Francisco, I found myself in Gumpsand promptly fell in love with Agrarias Lemon Verbena Cologne Spray, which, fortunately, was also carried by Bergdorfs in my hometown, New York. For several years, I lived for that crisp, fresh lemony-lime scent, with a touch of jasmine. Fast forward to the New Recessionand Im shopping at TJ Maxx, where I find, surprisingly, several Agraria candles and one bottle of Agraria cologne, which I promptly snap up. This spray is Balsamand highly evocative of winter, specifically the holiday season, when hunting for exactly the right Christmas tree: the fresh cut on the trunk, the resin, the wood chips, the pine needlesand then stopping at the house of the Christmas tree farms owners, for a cup of hot mulled cider, fragrant with cloves and cinnamon. According to the Agraria website, this fragrance was named Best Home Fragrance of the Yearwhich might prove unsettling for some. But, for me, Im happy to be back at that Christmas tree farm, warm and toasty, with those two strapping boys who were always so willing to help load the freshly-cut tree onto the back of the car. Winters bouquet in a bottle.
20th January, 2010

Calvin Klein Man by Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein MAN: The man who transmuted plain white briefs into designer underwear has always been a master of marketing and packagingand Calvin Kleins skill at presentation is no less apparent in the sleek and beautiful bottle that contains his elixir MAN. As if sandwiched between two perfect sheets of black glass, the juice (colored a lovely mauve) is glimpsed only from the bottles slender sidesand in keeping with Kleins signature minimalism in all things, the fragrance comes across like a monochromatic ensemble. As an eau de toilette, MAN is as unobtrusive as the well-groomed guest at a party who has yet to meet his host. Peppery as he walks in the doorbefore absorbing some of the partys spice and mint. Later, he might head home through a wooded park. MAN is a mans own projections upon commonplace scents.
17th January, 2010

Essenza di Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna

ESSENZA DI ZEGNA by Ermenegildo Zegna: At first, sparkling and effervescent, like a bottle of Pellegrino with a slice of lemon on a crisp April day in Milanoand then gradually, as the myrtle heart and woody base notes emerge, its autumn, with leaves underfoot as you wander the Piazza del Duomo, heading for the train station and a weekend in the country marked by funghi et tartufo. From spring to autumn in a graceful segue, Essenza di Zegna charts the passage of time, amidst the bounty of Italys classic scents. And yet as richly refined and truly Italian as this fragrance feels to meis that a hint of Diors Eau Sauvage, a bit of the French, in its shadow? As evanescent as a memory, Essenza di Zegna leaves the merest trace of its presence.
18th November, 2009

Herrera Aqua by Carolina Herrera

HERRERA AQUA by Carolina Herrera: A fragrance called Aqua implicitly connotes waterbut then, when was the last time that you drank a glass of blue water? Perhaps then, in coloring the juice a pale blue, Ms. Herreras parfumeurs were thinking of the oceanbut its the suns reflection that causes the ocean to appear blue. Even a pools water isnt blue (and who wants to smell like a pool?). Unless a fragrance smells of hyacinth or hydrangea, why should it be tinted blue? The truth about Aqua is that if you never saw the blue packaging, and if you closed your eyes when you spritzed, you wouldnt think blue waterinstead, you might think of an herb garden after a spring rainor a picnic in Grasse alongside a field of French lavender, early June flowers mixing with the sweetness of Indian spices from the food on your blanket (just this morning retrieved from a cedar chest)while at fields edge, a brook flows swiftly, the moss and ferns fragrant after the mornings rain. For me, Herrera Aqua is less the ocean than it is Seurats Sunday afternoon on la Grand Jatteand far more interesting for it being so.
12th November, 2009

JHL by Aramis

JHL: JHL lives in my FRAGRANCES I'VE WORN AND LIVED TO REGRET file. When JHL was introduced in 1982, my mother and I were in Sak'sand she bought it for me. As a gesture, it was lovelyas a scent, it was horrendous, though I persisted in wearing it, primarily because my mother chose it for me. I kept trying to tell myself that I enjoyed its heavy, cloying, clingy qualitiesuntil one morning a student of mine where I was teaching prep school came into my classroom, sniffed the air with a sneer and queried, "Is that you?" Not after that, it wasn't.
12th June, 2009 (last edited: 13th June, 2009)


IZOD by IZOD: Years ago, in a swag bag, I received a bottle of Cliniques Happy, and wore italong with everyone else in the worldand was happy. Theres something about Happy in IZOD, in that initial burst of citrus fruit, like a piata of fruits raining down all around youand just as with that piata when its smashed open, you almost cant help but smile at the abundance surrounding you. And then later, once all the limes, tangerines, and grapefruit are trampled underfoot, theres a faint smell of tobacco and lavender, as if the adults are now smoking quietly at the perimeter of the piata party. Loud and festive at first, and then settling into a sunny afternoon murmur: thats IZOD for me and I like it.
10th June, 2009

Boss Soul by Hugo Boss

BOSS SOUL: Rich and smooth, a bit like sharing a post-prandial cognac with someone who wants to take you to bed. Theres a kind of smoky quality to the air and a hint of what might or might not happen. Boss Soul is a bit like Diana Krall: seductive without being overbearing. Youre intriqued if not completely certain why. The night could go either wayand this fragrance represents that delicious tension.

09th June, 2009

The Dreamer by Versace

THE DREAMER: The fragrance that taught me complexity (and also the depth of knowledge of the people who frequent Basenotes, for which I remain in awe and grateful). At first squirt, I winced and thought, Not even for room fragrance. Frankly, it was alarmingand yet, at the same time, it was like pain that hurt so good, you had to return. Theres something slightly s-and-m about that first encounter, which makes me think of The Dreamer as a bit of a dominatrix/master. And it takes a while to warm to whats going onat least the first time. Thereafter, as with all good things, its worth the waitand then the rewards. This is a fascinating fragrance of seemingly myriad moods: a kind of leather and lace personality, both romantic and domineering at once. Hypnotic and addictive, once youre in The Dreamers grasp, theres no release.

09th June, 2009

Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka

LOLITA LEMPICKA AU MASCULIN: Wearing this, I feel like Fern on the ferris wheel in the middle of the summer carnival. That would be Fern from Charlottes Web. Theres something in this juice that evokes cotton candy and carefree summer nights and getting stuck atop the ferris wheel with the boy you love. Its sweet and youthful and innocent, a reminder of the girl in seventh grade who always smelled so delicious you wanted to lick herbut she was going with the football player and so you just smiled and she back at you, leaving a trail of something yummy in her wake. This is the kind of fragrance thats slightly elegiac, made for the gloaming hour and reveries of lovely girls and boys from your past.
09th June, 2009

Route du Th by Barneys New York

BARNEYS ROUTE DE THE: Conceivably my signature fragrance, in that for twenty years, I have repeatedly returned to Route de The. This was the fragrance that taught me scent was non-gendered. It was early in the Eighties when Barneys re-introduced this fragrance, and much of Manhattan got caught up in its clean, crisp smell: like spring narcissus in a rock garden after a rain, with a touch of wet macadam. I knew an interior designer who wore itand it was an epiphany to realize that fragrance had nothing to do with being male or femaleand soon thereafter, with earnings from tutoring students, I bought my first bottle of Barneys Route de The. Years come and go, and some years, another bottle of Route de The awaits me under the Christmas tree. To wear this fragrance anew always makes me happyand apparently many others, too, given the many compliments I receive.
07th May, 2009 (last edited: 09th June, 2009)
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