Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Mike

Total Reviews: 39

Windsor by Creed

I recently sampled Windsor at Bloomingdale's in the US, as it is not available here in Canada. To put it simply, this is a much more rounded, refined, and well-blended version of Burberry Brit for Men! At 6 times the price of Brit, and due it only being available in the 250 mL flacon, I cannot see myself ever owning this, though it is quite lovely.
14th August, 2011

Baie de Genièvre by Creed

For those who love the House of Creed, but dislike the current and somewhat formulaic trend of a lot of the Millesimes (codeword 'fresh'), this fragrance should do wonders! Indeed, Baie de Genievre is firmly entrenched in the 'old Creed' period, if we might term it as such. And as a result, it is composed in the somewhat astringently eccentric style of the older Creeds, aka the Eau de Toilette range. Whenever I try to describe this fragrance to someone, I often say that it is a cross between its predecessor Epicea and its successor Bois du Portugal, in that all three share a similarly distinct woody and spicy character. However, Baie de Genievre differs from Epicea in that it lacks the overarching pine note of Epicea. It is similar to Epicea by way of its use of spices (clove in particular), and the coniferously-tinged aroma of the titular juniper berry found within also makes it similar to Epicea's pine-dominant aroma. It is similar to Bois du Portugal because of its Old World masculine qualities and strong personality, though it is different because I find Baie de Genievre to exhibit more of a sweetness and a slightly more 'earthy' quality than BdP. I wholeheartedly agree with others on here who say that Baie de Genievre is one of the most underrated Creeds. Its spicy and somewhat barbershop-esque character speak volumes to those who afford it the time, and provide a somewhat nostalgic retreat to an era long past. Very different from the modern Millesimes, but much more rewarding than them in many aspects (as Acier Aluminium, Epicea, Vetiver, and company are).
30th May, 2011 (last edited: 05th June, 2011)

Vétiver by Creed

This is definitely one of the most 'off the beaten path' Creeds (in the sense that very few people own it or discuss it), but make no mistake...Vetiver is one of the most versatile, masculine, classic, and refined of all Creeds. In my opinion, it is not as soapy as the much newer Original Vetiver, and definitely this one is a different fragrance altogether. While the popular Original Vetiver is a very green-oriented fragrance, this Vetiver is much less green, but extremely well-blended and rounded. Perhaps more interestingly, it is firmly rooted in the style of a mossy/chypre fragrance, although from the listed notes this may come as a surprise. As others have mentioned, neither of Creed's vetiver fragrances are heavily reliant on the ingredient of vetiver itself. This makes the names somewhat misleading. Nonetheless, this is a wonderfully clean and uplifting scent, with a barbershop-esque quality to it. It hearkens back to a time long past, and it is certainly one of the most versatile Creeds in terms of the number of different occasions it could be utilized for. In fact, it could be argued that this Vetiver ties with GIT as being perhaps the most versatile of all Creeds. Never overbearing, and classically debonair in a subtle and unassuming way. It is no wonder that this was a favorite of JFK!
30th May, 2011 (last edited: 05th June, 2011)
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Original Vetiver by Creed

Ok, so this is a really soapy fragrance! Everyone who has sampled it knows this, so I will not address the issue here. Simply put, Original Vetiver is an unflinchingly green fragrance... extremely green! It does not attempt to disguise this (even the bottle color gives it away!) lays out its greenness, and simply says it is what it is. The opening is a citrus blend of bergamot and mandarin with ginger added for some spice. The heart is composed of authentic Haitian vetiver leaves (as opposed to vetiver root), Florentine iris, and sandalwood. The base is the traditional Millesime base of musk and ambergris. In short, this is an incredibly light, fresh, and vivaciously effervescent fragrance, which is the perfect summer scent for those who prefer green fragrances over more aquatic-based scents such as Millesime Imperial. Original Vetiver is very much in the vein of Green Irish Tweed, but with more citrus influence and the green quality of the titular vetiver, whereas GIT relies more heavily on its floral elements.
16th May, 2011

Original Santal by Creed

I remember smelling this upon its initial release several years ago, and finding it far too sweet and cloying. However, after revisiting it several times since then, it grew on me, so much so that I recently acquired a bottle to add to my collection. The opening is a spicy melange of cinnamon, coriander, and juniper berry, which is quite loud and attention-getting. This segues into a central section dominated by sandalwood (typically used as a base note), lavender, orange tree leaves, rosemary, and ginger. The base is a soft amalgam of vanilla and tonka bean. For those that do not like heavy scents, I can understand them being put off by the top notes, but be aware that these do fade quickly. The heart of the fragrance I find to be very soothing and calming, definitely sweet but not overbearing, given that other notes temper the sweetness. There is a lot of masculinity to this fragrance to be sure, but it can easily be classified as unisex as well. Overall, it may not be one of Creed's most memorable or enduring creations, but it is still a quality fragrance. It is slightly on the sweeter side of the spectrum as I have already iterated, so beware if this is not to your liking.
16th May, 2011

Royal English Leather by Creed

I have always adored and vaunted this Creed as one of the best leather scents on the market, niche or otherwise. My opinion of it has never changed. The odd time that I wear it now for more formal occasions, I never fail to marvel at the accuracy and quality of the leather in this fragrance. As a few others have noted, it has an incredibly authentic 'buttery' leather aroma akin to a saddle or other fine leather items, softened by a slight tangerine note (which fades quickly). Some have said that this fragrance is extremely dated...I disagree. Just because it was created three centuries ago should not take away from its relevance and wearability now...a scent should always be judged by how it was made, not when it was made. Creed's first, and certainly one of their finest. I hope that they never discontinue this one, as it has a tremendous amount of history behind it.
24th April, 2011 (last edited: 12th May, 2011)

Aventus by Creed

Wow!! I was one of the first to sample Aventus last summer while I was down in Miami, during its initial release solely at Neiman Marcus. I was absolutely blown away right from the get-go, and bought a bottle on the spot! This fragrance is lofty, invigorating, fresh, masculine, sensuous, jubilatory, and also slightly dark and mysterious. The opening can best be described as a simply delightful fruity concoction, which gives way to a heart of rose, birch, jasmine, and patchouli, which is what truly makes this fragrance soar!! The heart of this fragrance is sheer divinity, deftly composed, and is what makes Aventus completely unique even by Creed standards. The base is equally lovely, an interplay of oakmoss with the standard trademark Creed base of ambergris, musk and vanilla. Truthfully, this is a knockout punch from of the absolute best of the modern era, right up there with Green Irish Tweed, Bois du Portugal, Millesime Imperial, Tabarome, and Himalaya. My hat is certainly off to Olivier and Erwin! I look forward to their next masculine fragrance with great anticipation.
24th April, 2011 (last edited: 25th April, 2011)

Himalaya by Creed

It is not hard to see why this is one of Olivier Creed's personal favorites! Himalaya is a magisterial scent, at once imposing yet sensual, warm yet cold, sweet yet firm. It really is a fragrance of extremes and dichotomous relationships. There is a great deal of citrus in the opening, which quickly segues into a heart of sandalwood and pepper, and then a base of cedar, ambergris, and musk. As with almost all of Creed's fragrances, the simplicity of the composition (that is to say, the low amount of individual notes) belies the sheer brilliance of the scent itself. I find it very difficult to describe this fragrance in words, so perhaps I will simply say that the name is truly a propos, for when one wears this, it is easy to envision trekking high atop an enormous snow-capped mountain. Despite the frigidity associated with this fragrance by many, it has a remarkable sweetness to it as well. Primarily characterized as a fresh and woody type of fragrance, I am stupefied by all of the negative reviews that complain that Himalaya is a blatant copycat of Paco Rabanne's XS--hogwash!!! Himalaya is an absolutely exquisite scent, with extreme amounts of sensuous energy. It truly is one of the best of the modern Millesimes, right up there with Bois du Portugal, Green Irish Tweed, Millesime Imperial, Tabarome Millesime, and the recently released Aventus.
24th April, 2011

Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

I first sampled this fragrance years ago at a dear little boutique in Toronto that sadly no longer exists...which is even more disappointing given that it was the only one here that carried Lorenzo Villoresi's brilliant masterpieces. Fortunately, I was able to pick up a bottle of Piper Nigrum while in Italy last year, and there is an interesting story behind it. I travelled to Lorenzo's headquarters on Via de Bardi in Florence, expecting it to be a sales boutique. What I did not know was that it was more akin to his private office space, where he has a workshop and also a sitting room for his customers with a stunning view of Florence proper and the Arno River. It was one of the most unique perfuming experiences that I have ever had! I also bought Alamut for my mother. With respect to Piper Nigrum, it is certainly one of his best, although it must be said that all of his fragrances are pure genius! This one opens with a hit of herbs and spices, settles into a heart of more herbs and spices, and dries down to an incensy-ambery base. It truly does provide the mental imagery of being in an Arabian marketplace when one wears this fragrance...extremely exotic! It is also very subtle, as opposed to loud or overpowering, which I appreciate from this genre of scent. At times, I detect a faint aroma of being in a sauna, with the steam emanating from the rocks creating a unique scent, but more often I am provided with that wonderful Arabesque market vibe, or of being in a very old church with incense being dispensed. A true work of art in perfumery--utterly timeless!!!
24th April, 2011

Style In Play by Lacoste

I wore this in my younger years, and repurchased it recently, recalling positive memories of it. I wish to echo some other reviews, which note that this fragrance is very linear and simplistic. It is not an 'artful' fragrance by any means, but it is completely fresh and pleasant smelling! I particularly enjoy the vibrancy of the green apple opening, which quickly gives way to a base of cedar, white musk and patchouli. Despite the woody elements, this fragrance is quite light, and can be applied liberally without worry. It is perfect for summer.
24th April, 2011

Dior Homme by Christian Dior

I can see why many of the reviews on this fragrance are so polarized--my own opinions on Dior Homme are equally polarized. I do own a bottle, and half of the times that I wear it, I completely detect the unpleasant 'lipstick' accord (which I attribute to the cocoa note). The other half of the times, I am absolutely in love with its uniqueness. The powdery iris juxtaposed with velvety cocoa over a leathery base is quite novel for a men's fragrance. To be sure, I cannot recall any other mass-marketed men's fragrance that had such a soft, delicate, refined and yet still masculine aura to it. Some have said that Dior Homme is a hallmark of a fragrance, in that it paves the way for a new era of men's fragrances. It is bold by virtue of its unusual qualities. That being said, I cannot give it a thumbs up, primarily because of the times when the feminine 'lipstick' smell overrides my experience of the fragrance.
24th April, 2011

Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

I first smelled this fragrance years ago, and I remember enjoying it greatly back then. It had a particular quality that I found very alluring. Although I have been amassing mainly niche fragrances for some time now, I picked this one up on impulse. Simply put, it is a very straightforward woody-fougere fragrance, and not a bad one by any means. The main notes that I detect are initially the star anise and rosemary, which quickly subside. The heart is dominated by lavender and geranium, creating a pleasant and clean accord. The patchouli-vetiver base is very rounded and smooth; not harsh at all. I agree with the many reviewers who have termed this a 'barbershop' scent; indeed, the fragrance is nostalgic in its depiction of the smells of an old barbershop. It is a mature and well-developed fragrance, but is very versatile to wear, regardless of age or attire. I tend to prefer stronger "Old World" fragrances, and in this day of so many fruity, aquatic, citrusy, light scents, Rive Gauche manages to recapture the uniqueness of the classic fragrances from past eras. Yes, it is simply crafted, but I would rather have a fragrance that exhibits simplicity done very well, than a jarring mess of a fragrance that has resulted from the combination of too many poor notes and ingredients.
06th December, 2008

Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

The funny thing about this one is that it is not an amber-dominated fragrance as the name would suggest. With the saffron, neroli, and orange in the base, it is slightly reminiscent of Armani Mania for men, and also smells a bit like a barbershop fragrance of old. It is an attempt to hone in on the traditions of classic perfumery, and it achieves this to some degree, whilst bringing a modern tone to male fragrances. Some may find this 'metrosexual', which it likely is. It is not cloying despite being somewhat soapy, and has a pleasant and seductive air about it, though it is by no means the best fragrance on the market.
14th September, 2008 (last edited: 25th April, 2011)
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Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

Marine/aquatic fragrances comprise the smallest part of my collection, and while Acqua was once one of my perceived favorites, I quickly became bored of it. The first few times that I wore it, I was intrigued by the persimmon note, which I had never smelled in a fragrance before. However, after more and more wearings, I found that in the drydown things began to take on a sour odor, sort of like rancid fruit. Its longevity is also subpar; even with multiple sprays, it lasts around 4 hours and then disappears entirely. Not to mention that everyone and their uncle wears this and douse themselves in it so liberally that you can pick it out on a crowded sidewalk! Once I started making the transition over to niche and added Millesime Imperial to my wardrobe as my new aquatic (and a far better one at that), I quickly got rid of the ubiquitous Acqua di Gio.
14th September, 2008 (last edited: 24th April, 2011)

Armani Code / Black Code by Giorgio Armani

What a sensual, unique beauty this fragrance possesses! Easily my second favorite Armani offering, right behind the original Eau Pour Homme (1984). The olive flower note is very calming, and merges deftly with the woody base notes. It is a departure from Armani's previous offerings (particularly the Emporio Armani fragrances) as it is classified as a woody-oriental, but this is in no way a bad thing. Wearing this, one can expect to receive many compliments indeed. Longevity is quite strong for me; 3 or 4 sprays last close to 12 hours! Also, some reviewers have expressed that this fragrance is more of a formal evening scent, but I find it versatile enough to wear in any occasion!!
14th September, 2008

John Varvatos by John Varvatos

Wow! I remember purchasing this within a week of its release in 2004, and as a summation of this scent, I will say that it is completely innovative and unique! Furthermore, unlike most mainstream releases in the 21st century, a lot of thought and careful attention to detail was put into the development of this fragrance, and this shows in the creative character of the fragrance itself. Approximately 80% of the notes used in this fragrance have never been used before in perfumery; this may seem dissonant to some. However, it really strikes a chord when you first apply the fragrance and especially if you begin an analysis of it. You begin to realize that many of these notes are unfamiliar to you, and that you have never come in contact with their aromas before, which is a wonderful feeling to have when smelling a fragrance. The fragrance is fairly heady, and could get cloying or overbearing if one overapplies, but in just the right amount, it is very seductive and alluring. It is unabashedly masculine, but remarkably sweet for a male fragrance. I can handle the sweetness though, because it is tempered by the black leather notes and auramber and eaglewood in the base. Longevity is fairly strong; 2 sprays (not to be overdone) will last around 8 hours, or possibly more. A new classic for the 21st century...I cannot help but wish that more new fragrances being released now were as well thought out and innovative as John Varvatos!
14th September, 2008

Emporio Armani Night He by Giorgio Armani

Not bad, but not an earth-shattering experience either. A nice enough blend of citrus top notes, with a spicy heart and a woody-incense base. Some find it very sensual, but now that I have moved firmly into the niche market, I actually find it very synthetic as opposed to sensual. Decent longevity of around 6-8 hours.
14th September, 2008

Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

A throwback to the 70s and 80s powerhouse 'macho' fragrances, Gucci pour Homme (redux) is a winner in all respects! It is the best offering from Gucci, and a welcome breath of fresh, woody air amongst a sea of poorly made marine/citrus/light/airy synthetic fragrances. This is an unflinchingly strong, masculine concoction, consisting purely of spices, very dry woods, amber and leather...there are no citrus or other fresh notes at all, so it is definitely not for the faint of heart! But, it is very nicely blended, and for those who like more traditionally rugged masculine fragrances that focus on woods and leather, this is an exceptional fragrance! I agree with some reviewers who mention that this one smells somewhat like pencil shavings at times; I get the smell of pencil shavings at times as well, but it is not the most obvious association to be made with Gucci pour Homme, and might be construed as a 'cheap shot'. Instead, this fragrance reminds me more of a lumberjack hard at work in the forest, with smoke billowing out of the chimney of a log cabin in the middle of a densely wooded forest. It really is a must-have if you are looking for a scent that is exclusively composed of dry woods, spice, and a good dose of leather and incense. And the longevity must be mentioned too; 2 sprays will last you close to 24 hours!
14th September, 2008

Brit for Men by Burberry

Yuck! I cannot believe that I once owned this. It is a cloying, hazy woody-oriental, but also very much a gourmand, and not a pleasant one at that. It is essentially a ginger overload, with a heart of some sweet spices, and a base of generic woods. It reminded me somewhat of urinal pucks used to control the smells in public washrooms. Despite this similarity, it is still not a particularly great scent. Perhaps it is innovative and different from most mass-market men's fragrances, but it is simply too cloying and sweet for my tastes.
14th September, 2008

Ultraviolet for Him / Ultraviolet Man by Paco Rabanne

This one is a guilty pleasure for me. As an earlier reviewer said, it is deliberately and wholly synthetic, which I normally detest. However, if you can get past its synthetic qualities, it can actually be a fun wear from time to time. UV Man is an oriental-gourmand fragrance, yet the synthetic nature of it must always be kept in mind and acknowledged. The fragrance opens with a 'liquid mint' note that some have accurately described as a menthol aroma or eucalyptus, and then settles into a heart of 'organic' vetiver and 'moss crystals' (wonder what those are!). The base is an entirely technological recreation/rendition of ambergris, purely synthetic and not smelling at all like the ambergris used famously by Creed. The fragrance is very sweet and it can be cloying if overapplied, but it is a fun one to me for some reason. I sort of associate it with a futuristic world (as silly as that sounds, and probably based on the original print ads for the fragrance). The bottle itself is very nifty, and suggests futuristic impulses. It is not one of the best fragrances ever made as it can get a bit overbearing and sickly sweet (think of those rubber alien toys some have mentioned, perhaps). It is nowhere near my personal favorite, but what it lacks in smell it makes up in ingenuity. It certainly is one of the more adventurous and creative releases in recent years so it gets my thumbs up for that, and although I will not repurchase it when I run out, I will definitely keep the intriguing bottle as a memory.
14th September, 2008

Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

Tabarome Millesime is another of Creed's finest, and as a Creed purist I can say that it is a lot more traditionally masculine than some of the slightly atypical and fresh-inclined Millesimes (I speak of the recent Himalaya, Original Vetiver, Original Santal, and Virgin Island Water). To be sure, it hearkens back to the older Creeds from the pre-Millesime era. This makes sense, since it as an update on the equally magnificent Vintage Tabarome. However, this Tabarome marks a stark departure from the Vintage, as it adds some citrus notes (Bergamot, Mandarin, Lemon) and a much stronger, darker tobacco note, as well as adding woody notes of patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver. In fact, the only notes retained from the Vintage are green tea and tobacco! As I have said, the tobacco is much stronger and not as smooth in this new Tabarome, but this is not the most significant change. There is one note that I have not yet mentioned which has been added to new Tabarome: ginger! And lots of it. Sometimes this annoys me about new Tabarome, as the ginger is so central here that it cancels out some of the other fine ingredients that have been used. But if I can overlook the prominence of the ginger, I find a scent that is so supple and masculine, reminiscent of cognac or a fine DOCG wine, mixed generously with strong tobacco. In closing, I would say that if I want to project an old-world radiance and elitism, I will wear the more historical Vintage Tabarome. But, if I am looking for a modern and slightly more bombastic and heady tobacco-based fragrance, I will look no further than Tabarome Millesime. A class act, and one that I will never be without.
14th September, 2008

"Vintage" Tabaróme by Creed

This is one of the top 3 Creeds ever produced, along with Bois du Portugal and Acier Aluminium! I am undecided however on whether VT or Bois du Portugal takes first place, but perhaps they both can. Owning Vintage Tabarome is like owning a piece of history! It was originally commissioned for King George IV in 1875, not by Sir Winston Churchill (since he was an infant in 1875, though he did wear this later in his life). But the reason that this is a historical fragrance is that it is very much of its time; indeed, no company would dare to make a fragrance like VT in this modern day mass-market era of cheap, synthetic designer fragrances. Its potency and power lie in the simplicity of its composition and individual notes: green tea and pepper on top, with a heart of tobacco leaves over a base of ambergris. Today, fragrances pride themselves on having at least 10 (if not more) distinctive and individual notes, but one can barely detect any individual notes through all the synthetic chemical fireworks occurring. In Vintage Tabarome, one can clearly detect each of the four notes, bonding cohesively and effortlessly to create a warm and extremely masculine aura that truly and totally envelops the wearer. Tabarome offers a truly sublime experience each time I wear it. It is a very mature, older, elitist smell, so it certainly will not be to everyone's taste. As a young gentleman in my early 20s, I am sure some would say that I am too young to pull this off, but I care not. I wear fragrances above all for myself, which I believe is the golden rule; too often I hear other young people talk about bathing in their cologne in the hopes of 'scoring', with no independent thought going on in their heads. I am proud to be young and nonetheless able to appreciate such a mature and robust and elegant creation, and to wear it with the respect and integrity that this masterpiece deserves.
14th September, 2008

Rocabar by Hermès

Rocabar is a first-rate fragrance, and I find it mainly intriguing because it blends coniferous and 'forest' notes with a beautiful base of balsam and vanilla. The coniferous and forest-like notes remind me of a combination of Creed's Epicea and Creed's Baie de Genievre, but with Rocabar you get the unique addition of a vanillic-oriental base, which I have not found in any other fragrance. The fragrance opens with juniper berry, cedar needles, lavender, and spicy nutmeg and cinnamon, which reminds me of Creed's Baie de Genievre. It is fairly strong and bracing, like the smell of a beautiful forest, but the heart gives way to a smoother accord of cedar and smoky cypress, which is quite an elixir of its own. The drydown is wonderful and oriental, with just a hint of the earlier woods intermingled with a strong combination of vanilla and balsam. A truly "oudoor" fragrance, yet it works extremely well in formal situations or for a romantic evening. Occasionally, I will wear it out during the daytime, but it really is more of a formal/romantic fragrance, and is also best suited for fall and winter. The longevity is amazing as well; 2 sprays will easily last 16 hours or more! Rocabar is another fine addition to the exceptional fragrances of Hermes.
14th September, 2008

Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

This is another of the finest 80s powerhouse scents, with all the amazing qualities of others such as Antaeus. Pour Lui (as it is now called) is a wonderfully strong and masculine chypre, with a great deal of oakmoss in the base. The opening is somewhat sharp, but things calm down to reveal a heart of floral elements (carnation and geranium, among other things) and spices (cinnamon), balanced out with some wonderful patchouli. The base is primarily vetiver and oakmoss, and possibly leather and amber. It is essentially a traditional chypre scent, although there is a slight fougere element to it as well. I always love wearing this out during the day or for evening ventures, because it does tend to project quite well and is very distinctive; people will certainly notice your presence when wearing this refined and very macho scent. Longevity is fairly high; 2 to 3 sprays should last at least 8 hours, if not more. I am aware that this new "Pour Lui" (which is the version that I own) is a reformulation, and having never smelled the older original, I cannot compare the two. Nonetheless, Pour Lui is a heady and traditionally masculine scent that is well-crafted and exudes a certain flair for the dramatic.
14th September, 2008

Millésime Impérial by Creed

This is one of only two aquatic/marine scents that I own (the other being Creed's Erolfa), as I tend to favour darker, dry, spicy, woody scents, but I do not have any regrets about picking up Millesime Imperial. It really is in a class of its own, which can be said of all Creed fragrances. This one is no different...another winner from Creed (surprise surprise)! It is a welcome break from all of my heavier fragrances, and is an absolute joy to wear for any occasion, casual or formal. The opening notes of melon and sea salt (or whatever it is; Creed bills it as a 'marine note') are addictive! Just ask any person who has smelled this fragrance...I do not know what it is, but the first few minutes when the fragrance commences are just so edible and delicious! Quickly though, the top notes fade and the heart reveals a combination of lemon, bergamot, green mandarin, and Florentine iris, in a delightful citrus accord. The base is "tropical forest notes" juxtaposed with the standard Millesime ambergris/musk base. I am not sure exactly what Creed means by tropical forest notes, but there is definitely a woody character in the base. In short, it is a masterful aquatic fragrance and the quality alone is far above and beyond the plethora of mass-market synthetic designer aquatics like Bvlgari, and Acqua di Gio (please, let us not even go there). I will mention that wretched Unforgivable cologne that has been out for a couple of years, and yes, some people you pass on the street who are not perfume connoisseurs might think that your Imperial is the cheap Unforgiveable, but you in your heart will know that it is the supreme aquatic, Millesime Imperial! It is a Creed, so as always, wear it with pride and distinction!
14th September, 2008

Michael for Men by Michael Kors

Views on this fragrance are quite polarized, with half of people dismissing it as a cheap and overpowering drug store fragrance, and the other half raving about it as a classic. I happen to fall into the latter camp. Michael Kors is a distinguished scent, if you can get past the top notes. Yes, for the first 10 minutes, it is an almost unbearably acrid medicinal smell, due to the combination of bitter herbs and spices. It will overpower your nose for the first few minutes, but once the terrible mess of the top notes subside, the heart is very sensuous indeed with tobacco, suede, and incense notes. It is not overbearing tobacco either, but rounded. It is very masculine and quite debonair. The base reveals a very refined patchouli note, not a harsh patchouli accord at all, and the patchouli is enhanced slightly by dried fruit (plum) and sandalwood. Yes, it is not as cultivated as the somewhat similar Tabarome Millesime, which I also own and prefer more because of better blending and higher-quality ingredients. Nonetheless, Michael is a great offering when compared to many other mass-market designer fragrances that use the same boring synthetic ingredients and money-making language such as "fresh, clean, sexy." In closing, I would suggest that for those who do not feel like spending around $200+ on Tabarome Millesime but want a similar effect, Michael Kors would be a more-than-acceptable substitute.
14th September, 2008

Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

I am indifferent to this fragrance. It is a pleasant enough smell, albeit very synthetic. It is also very cloying if over-applied, and unfortunately, the multitudes of men who wear this tend to bathe in it! I was once in a crowded movie theatre and pegged a man sitting five rows in front of me who was wearing it! It is a very popular scent for clubbing and is excessively popular with both young and older men, but for me, it is just too overdone and synthetic, and it is also somewhat too sweet and feminine for my tastes. Another detractor as I have already mentioned is that so many men own this (probably 1 in 3), so that the infamous "you smell like my ex-boyfriend" will become an all-too familiar refrain. It may be fun to wear once in a while, but I tend to steer clear of it, and once my bottle is finished, I highly doubt that I will re-acquire it. Ultimately, I have many more superior fragrances in my collection that deserve far more of my attention and respect.
14th September, 2008

Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

This really is a truly beautiful fragrance; it is just such a pleasure to wear. It is masculine, but there is a great deal of softness in the base due to vanilla and the 'Guerlainade' accord as people call it. I would say that it is somewhat stronger than Habit Rouge, but this is a great thing! Whereas Habit Rouge dries down to more of a powdery vanillic-amber base, Heritage maintains a woodiness in the drydown thanks to cedarwood and patchouli. Heritage is very rich and powerful, and might give some a headache if overapplied, but utilized in moderation, it projects a very seductive and confident and refined aura around the wearer. It is one of those scents where you just have to stop and admire the quality of the blend. I have the utmost respect for Guerlain as a house, as over the past decades they consistently put out perfumes of extremely high quality and character, with only a couple of flubs or weak offerings (L'Instant and the new Homme come to mind). Despite being a mainstream house, most of their products have as much character and eccentric personality as Creeds do, despite Creed being a niche private company. Guerlain belongs up there with Creed among the best of the best in perfumery. Heritage is another in their long list of classics. It is authoritative, sumptuous, and very refined, and has exceptional longevity as well; a spray or two should last well over 12 hours!
14th September, 2008

Green Irish Tweed by Creed

While this is surely the most popular and touted of all the Creed fragrances, and the one that the masses are familiar with, it is not my favourite Creed. Despite that, I must say that it is a truly beguiling green blend, at once fresh and masculine and clean, with a slightly woody base. But really, a green character is what this fragrance is about, and it does it superbly. The quality of the natural ingredients is again unsurpassed, but really, this is to be expected from a Millesime. I enjoy the brief citrus opening of lemon and verbena, but the heart of authentic Parma violet leaves and Florentine iris is sublime, and is where the fragrace really speaks its magical volumes! The base is the typical Creed Millesime base of Mysore sandalwood, ambergris and musk. It is a fabulous, beautiful scent that is a joy to smell and wear anytime, whether during the day at work or out for a nice formal evening (very very versatile), and also works well regardless of the weather. I know that there are a lot of Creed skeptics and haters who feel that it is just a more expensive version of Curve or Cool Water, but they should be honest with themselves. You get what you pay for, for one thing. If you want to buy a 40$ synthetic chemical 'designer' garbage fragrance that was produced with no thought or originality, then Cool Water or Curve would be the way to go. They are thoughtless imitators (which were produced after GIT, by the way, so they are the copycats), designed to appeal to the masses who just want a quick feel-good fragrance for a quick buck. If you have the money and the interest, then buy the superior GIT, as it is one of the best 'green' and fresh fragrances around, and you really do get your money's worth. Longevity is alright too, with 2 or 3 sprays lasting around 8 hours on my skin.
14th September, 2008

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

Gentleman is unquestionably the finest of Givenchy's male offerings, and the most traditionally and classically masculine as well, which I appreciate. Certainly, they have produced nothing else worthwhile for men; just look at the modern offerings: Xeryus Rouge, the abhorrently cloying Pi, Very Irresistible, the new Play, etc. I have not found an accurate listing of the notes in Gentleman, as they all vary on websites, but we can be sure that it contains some citrus up top with tarragon and cinnamon, heart notes of patchouli and vetiver, and a base with honey, moss, leather, civet and possibly some vanilla. It is not rugged because of the leather and civet, despite what some say. In fact, it is very refined and polished despite its potency and strength, and suited for mature gentlemen. The longevity is fairly decent; 1 to 2 sprays lasts around 8 hours on me. As I said before, a classic and truly beautiful men's fragrance, and the only one worth exploring from Givenchy.
14th September, 2008