Perfume Reviews

Reviews by TropiRock

Total Reviews: 83

Sandalwood Cologne by Geo F Trumper

This is a sweet and sickening mess. If there is a trace of actual sandalwood in Trumper's "Sandalwood", it is quickly overpowered by the gooey sweetness of vanilla. Nauseating vanilla. Cloying vanilla. Oh, there are other trace notes here and there, but they are also overwhelmed by vanilla. If you're into sweet, cotton-candy colognes -- I am definitely not -- then this one's for you. If you're looking for good essence of sandalwood, there are plenty of better choices. Even the bottle is cheesy with its poorly-made faux gold crown. Bought it, tried it once, gave it a second college try - then dumped it on eBay. The only positive comment I can make is that longevity is good. But then, is longevity a virtue when a fragrance smells this bad?
13th April, 2011

Eau des Baux by L'Occitane

Yet another nice fragrance from L'Occitane. Spicy, woody (but not as much as I would like), amber/vanilla base. I normally don't like sweet base notes, but I find it acceptable in Eau des Baux because the ride from top to bottom was so enjoyable. Longevity is unbelievable - all day and into the night. Good stuff at a good price.
01st April, 2011

Sartoriale by Pal Zileri

Gucci Rush For Men, Act II. A fellow basenoter kindly informed me about Sartoriale and he was right: it is my kind of fragrance and very reminiscent of Rush. A nice combo of soft woods and softer floral. The list of notes is surprisingly complex:

Top: green apple, grapefruit
Mid: amber, sandalwood, musk, vetiver, oakmoss
Bottom: Bulgarian rose, lily-of-the-valley, violet leaf

My nose must be a little wacky, because I smell almost none of that shopping list! Sartoriale is a very nice, distinguished fragrance and I'll give it a thumbs up, but as pointed out by the esteemed SirSlarty, longevity is off the scale. The LOW end of the scale, that is. Also, this one stays very close to the skin and if you're a one-or-two spray person, you'll barely get a whiff.
14th February, 2011
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

A more soapy, less spicy, slightly more refined Old Spice. This one is a way-old-school barbershop fragrance. It gives me the impression of how someone's grandfather would smell in his well worn argyle cardigan. I enjoy some of the old-school colognes, but not this one.
09th February, 2011

Garrigue by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

I have become very fond of Jean Laporte's unique genius and the resulant daring creations which have come forth from MPG. Garrigue just doesn't impress. It seems to me a less inviting relative of a few other MPG creations, such as Jardin du Nil. I see little relationship with some referenced fragrances (Cool Water, GIT, Safari), but plenty of relationship with some of the other Laporte creations. It does, indeed, have a raw earthiness and even gives an impression of a handful of dusty scrubland soil that has been mixed with overripe fruit and rotting flowers. The end result is a little ho-hum, or maybe I simply set my expectations too high. Garrigue just doesn't measure up to the beautiful notes in Santal Noble, Parfum d'Habit, Ambre Precieux....

Longevity, as with other MPG colognes, is superior and sillage is about average.
09th February, 2011

Sport de Paco Rabanne by Paco Rabanne

I must admit, when I saw the "Sport" name I was completely prepared not to like this one. In the opening half hour, I rather smugly confirmed that this one is for college students and not for an older guy like me. But started to evolve from the initial rush of citrus and became a creamy, woody, sandalwoody fragrance. I must say, it was a pleasant, surprising evolution. Excellent. Both sillage and longevity are also excellent. Sorry for unfairly prejudging you, Sport de Paco Rabanne.
04th February, 2011

Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

Gucci creates some unusual scents and Gucci PH 1 is no exception. It's spicy and masculine, but not Neanderthal in nature. Just as cinnamon shines through in Gucci PH 2, so does the ginger shine in PH 1. In the first 10 minutes of application, it's clear this one is "dirtier" than PH2. Then the combination of ginger with white pepper becomes interesting, as does the development into a smoky, leathery base. Gucci was smart enough to add just the right touch of amber, without allowing it to dominate everything else (I really dislike the overwhelming amber in Ambre Sultan).

Reasonable sillage, unbelievable longevity, great scent.
04th February, 2011

Gucci pour Homme II by Gucci

I really, really enjoy the unique fragrance of Gucci PH 2. It is another fabulous blend from Gucci and I would describe as a rather sharp scent. I truly believe all our skin(s) and noses must greatly vary, judging by the host of diverse comments about this one. I get a strong blast of pepper throughout - from top to bottom - and I assume this is due to the pimento. The cinnamon remains throughout, as well, and when it intermingles with the pimento, black tea and violet leaves, the result is pure magic. I don't detect much musk at all and only a marginal trace of myrrh after several hours. The sillage is very good and, on my skin, this one lasts all day long. Did I say I really, really enjoy it?
03rd February, 2011

Balenciaga pour Homme by Balenciaga

Powerhouse Fragrance? Check.
Monstrous sillage? Check.
Outstanding drydown? Check.
All-day longevity? Check.

Oh, yes, and one more thing:
Smell good? Check.

Balenciaga PH is one of those "old school" fragrances that have been abandoned in the current mindset of so many parfum houses. It's an all out, full bore, pedal to the metal masculine scent - no mistaking this for some weak-kneed "fresh" fragrance. Right out of the bottle, it overwhelms with a multitude of spicy essences. (Careful!! Do not overapply!). Then it starts to settle down and becomes a gentler, sandalwood dominated affair, enhanced by just enough amber and oakmoss. Very distinctive annd certainly worthy of my upward-pointing thumb.
29th January, 2011

Le Boise by Ginestet

This is a delicious, wonderful woody fragrance which I would compare to, say, the discontinued Gucci Rush For Men. It opens with soft wood notes: at one time in my life I enjoyed woodworking in my home shop and when I first applied Le Boise, I swear I could smell an intermingling of cedar with little wisps of oak. Not everyone enjoys those woody smells, but this one is done in a gentle, sweet fashion. I wish I could smell the wine that others have referenced, but unfortunately I don't. Incense, maybe. Wine, nope. Then Le Boise quickly begins its drydown and the woody notes begin to give way to musk. It's all very nice, but when then the show ends quite abruptly. Maybe 2 hours and then it's just a memory. (Hmmmm, doesn't this also sound similar to Rush?). Still, I give a positive rating because those two hours are time spent in heaven.

The bottle is simply the coolest. It's a miniature glass wine bottle which is detailed to look quite authentic. The bottle itself is protected within a well made hinged wooden case. Very creative.
28th January, 2011

Chrome by Azzaro

I had nearly forgotten about Chrome until this morning, when I sampled YSL L'Homme. Immediately, it seemed familiar to me and then when I read the L'Homme reviews, someone else mentioned the familiarity. L'Homme and Chrome must be fraternal twins. Both are bland and very cookie-cutter. Fruity and floral. Modern. Fresh. Yawn. Azzaro has created some wonderful fragrances. Chrome isn't one of them.
26th January, 2011

L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

YSL L'Homme, as mentioned by many others, is uninspired and very generic. It isn't an unpleasant fragrance, but completely forgettable. Someone in an earlier review mentioned similarities to Azzaro Chrome and I agree. Fruity, flowery and too sweet for my taste. I realize a lot of folks like the current crop of modern colognes, many of which are done in the same vein as L'Homme, so I think a neutral rating is as fair as I can be.
26th January, 2011

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

This is a classic by anyone's standards; I can see how some might refer to Gentleman as an old man's fragrance. I like, but don't love it. It is surely rich and refined, with a beautifully constructed drydown dominated by patchouli. Gentleman closes in a near-powdery fashion, reminding me a bit of barber shop fragrances. Some have referred to GG as ultra-masculine, but my interpretation is not quite so macho. I would describe as classy and mature, not hairy bare-chested. If you like this fragrance, I think you would also enjoy Balenciaga Pour Homme (if you could manage to find a bottle, that is....).
26th January, 2011
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Parfum d'Habit by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Another wonderful, high-quality creation from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. Like so many other reviewers, I find the first 10-20 minutes to be a bit uncomfortable. A damp earthiness dominates those opening minutes and as observed by a few others, I would guess this to be a combination of leather and iris root. Iris is not listed as one of the notes. The opening is not quite fecal to my nose, but certainly reminds of decayed plant material. It brought flashbacks to my days as a boy, growing up in the country, and scooping up a handful of the rich, black humus from the forest floor. This raw earthiness then subsides to make way for a friendlier leather/sandalwood/amber/patchouli event. No incense is apparent to me. Overall, Parfum d'Habit has a very nice drydown and a much-appreciated transition from the opening notes. The result is mature, classy and masculine, the way one might envision Cary Grant or Aristotle Onassis would have smelled in their prime. On my skin, Pd'H stays timid and I think no one would notice the elegant fragrance unless they were standing very close. Longevity is about average for a high-quality EDT. MPG is a bold, amazing niche parfumery.
24th January, 2011

Façonnable Eau de Toilette for Men / Façonnable by Façonnable

I'll start with positives: Faconnable opens as a citrusy, slightly minty, rather masculine fragrance. Not bad. And it lasts a long time, offering above average longevity.

So much for positives. The opening is brief and within 20 minutes or so, this fragrance transforms into a flowery, herbal clash of scents that I find very objectionable. Someone recently gave me a bottle as a gift, and luckily I decided to spray a little on my arm as I was retiring to bed for the evening. Whew!! I'm glad I didn't sample it first thing in the a.m., before entering any public setting. Faconnable morphs into an aged, grandmotherly floral mess, "enhanced" by little undercurrents which remind me of rotting fruit. I could still smell it the next morning, before I showered for the day. This one's not for me.
21st January, 2011

Lalique pour Homme Lion / Lalique pour Homme by Lalique

I made a mistake when I purchased Lalique pour Homme. The bottle looks very, very similar to Lalique Equuus pour Homme and that's what I thought I was buying. The stylistic lionhead engraving doesn't look much different from the stylistic horsehead engraving on Equus. My bad, but it worked out just fine! I like this one -- a lot. It opens with a citrusy, smoky burst and over the next few hours, settles into a creamy, rich sandalwood base. About 5 hours into the drydown, I was having flashbacks of another fragrance: the delicious Santal Noble! I wouldn't call the two identical twins, but could easily pass for cousins. Both are wonderful. LpH doesn't offer monstrous sillage, but rather stays fairly close to the skin and that seems to add to its refined nature. Longevity is very good.

Footnote: I later purchased the original object of my desire (Lalique Equus pour Homme) and it is also a wonderful concoction - but very short-lived on my skin. I gave that one a Neutral rating because of its brief life. I suppose mistakes sometimes do happen for a reason!
18th January, 2011

Red for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills

The wildly mixed reviews on this one are astounding. I generally don't like colognes that I would qualify as "sweet" - i.e., I think A*Men is a too-sweet mess. Red for Men, by comparison, is not a sweet cologne in my book. It is, rather a spicy cologne with just enough sweetness to smooth an otherwise dry edge. I suppose the combination of cumin, wormwood, thyme and geranium help to give it a slightly herbal, dirty, masculine feel and dryness. I like it. RfM employs quite a large symphony of notes, only a few of which I can detect individually - so I won't even try.

As aptly written by our esteemed fellow basenoter, Grattola, maybe our noses are different. My nose likes Red for Men!
18th January, 2011

Feu d'Orange Intense by L'Occitane

Once again, the masterminds at L'Occitane created a beautiful fragrance. This is one of my favorite orange scents, along with Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte. Between the two, I would say the Hermes orange note is a little sweeter, a little brighter. Feu d'Orange Intense is still a rather bright orange, sweetened just enough by a trace of vanilla. The drydown is mildly spicy, but I don't perceive much in the way of a woodsy note. Between the Hermes product and the L'Occitane, I find that the FdOI lasts far longer and projects better. Citrus notes (particularly orange) usually tend to fade very quickly, but not so with this cologne. It lasts all day and that, my friends, is a nifty trick. Unfortunately, this was apparently a limited edition and so it's all but impossible to find. But if you like orange-based scents and if you were lucky enough to snag a stray bottle, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
15th January, 2011

Eau des 4 Voleurs by L'Occitane

Actually, I bought this one by mistake. I thought the name was Eau des 4 VOYEURS. Time to get those eyes checked.

Of course I'm joking! This is another superb, creative fragrance from L'Occitane, and a wonderful value. (Make that "WAS" a wonderful value - Ed4V has sadly been discontinued.) The opening notes are a rush of citrus (bergamot and lemon), wrapped around a little soapiness which is probably oak moss, and a hint of basil. The citrus fades rather quickly, leaving in its place a nice green, soapy, woodsy fragrance. Beautiful and clean. A little herbal, but not so much as, say, a few of the MPG fragrances. Just a touch! I really enjoy this one, but use it very infrequently because I doubt that I'll ever be able to replace it and so I'm conserving my one lone bottle. One final thought: other reviews have mentioned a pine note, but I don't smell even a trace of pine. Can't stand pine. I think the evergreen notes are more likely a combination of the clove, cedar and juniper. Eau des 4 Voleurs has good sillage, but not outlandish. Longevity on my skin is all day. I'm very fortunate to own this little masterpiece.
15th January, 2011

Ungaro pour L'Homme I by Ungaro

Ungaro I, in a word, is refined. A bit dark, some might say because of the strong wormwood note, but stately and elegant nonetheless. Here's a replay of the notes:

Top notes: Lavender, Pine, Bergamot
Heart: Patchouli, Wormwood, Precious Wood, Jasmine, Geranium
Base: Sandalwood, Tonka, Honey, Amber

It opens with a definite citrus/booze introduction, but the bergamot (citrus) fades fairly quickly. Gratefully, I don't smell one trace of the opening pine note. ( Pine, in these nostrils, equals Not Good.) Darker notes begin to emerge (thanks to the wormwood and, probably, the geranium) and the wormwood remains into the drydown. I do get just a hint of amber, but I'm not a big amber fan and so the "hint" is okey dokey by me. Sillage is good and longevity is also good.

Very nice fragrance from Ungaro, but probably not so much for young guys. Ungaro I has been discontinued for some time, so any stock which might be floating around the world is now commanding premium prices. Ungaro III is superb, more powerful than Ungaro I, and is readily available. I sense little connection between the two, other than sharing the connective name. I haven't yet had a chance to try Ungaro II.
13th January, 2011

L'Occitan by L'Occitane

L'Occitane seems to have the knack at developing high-quality fragrances at reasonable prices. L'Occitan EDT Pour Homme is no exception. I really like this fragrance. It's a totally pleasant, non-offensive and masculine fragrance that stays close to the skin, but with above-average longevity. Quiet, understated and, well, just nice. I like unique colognes (the ones that you will seldom smell on anyone else) and this also fits neatly into that category. Good opening, nice transition through the middle, then settling into a soft, cedar-ish drydown with a hint of tonka. Cedar isn't listed among the notes on the L'Occitane website, but I'd swear it's in there - or maybe some close relative. A few earlier reviewers were kind enough to post the notes, but here they are once more:

Top Note: Lavender, Black pepper
Middle Note: Nutmeg, Cinnamon
Base Note: Tonka Bean, Musk

The review by manicboy is great and captures my perceptions to a "T". Read that particular review about 3 times and you will capture the essence of L'Occitan. (Really good job, manicboy!)

Just one footnote, as a few others have mentioned: the photo here on basenotes is incorrect and is a different L'Occitane product. L'Occitan EDT PH is in a purple box and the bottle has a purple label. Wouldn't want anyone to pick up the wrong parfum if they were to visit one of the L'Occitane en Provence shops.
13th January, 2011

Nobile by Gucci

I realize the classic status of this fragrance and as such, it would have been considerably easier for me to give a positive rating, but I just can't do it. To do so, I would have compromised my true assessment and would have betrayed the spirit of user reviews here on basenotes. Nobile is OK and yes, I do own it -- but it is not all that unique and even to my old nose, it smells very old-fashioned. One or two other reviewers mentioned that Nobile has a lingering essence of a dirty ashtray and I completely agree. The other notes (mainly green and woody notes) just aren't forceful enough to push that lingering ashtray odor aside. I'm wearing Nobile at this very moment and in my mind, I can picture someone's grandfather sitting in the den with that smelly ashtray nearby. The room smells like a blend of grandfather's flowery after-shave, smoldering embers in the fireplace, and....that ashtray. Better yet, make that SEVERAL ashtrays.
12th January, 2011

Desire for a Man by Dunhill

Unfortunately, the little wifey gave me a bottle of Dunhill Desire approximately 3 years ago. She loves the stuff. However, for me, this is syrupy sweet ad nauseum, vanilla-laden and definitely not to my liking. Some fragrances can be synthetic and still be likable. This one is synthetic and most UNlikable. I place DD in the same bucket with, say, Mugler's A*Men. I wish I could discreetly dump it or maybe give it to someone I don't like very much. This would clear one slot on the shelf for something I would actually enjoy wearing. But since it was a gift from mi esposa, can appreciate my dilemma. I'm glad the bottle is not as unpleasant as its contents, because it seems I'll be staring at it for the next decade or so.
11th January, 2011

Tommy Bahama for Men by Tommy Bahama

This was a total blind buy for me last year and as other reviewers have noted, I really didn't expect much. Generally speaking, I'm not impressed with the modern, mass market brands and so my mind was already in the "probably won't like it" mode before I took the first sniff. That'll teach me to be a perfumista elitista. This one is downright good, is long-lasting, evolves in an interesting way and has good sillage. Unlike other reviews, I get a strong blast of a leathery, somewhat boozey note at the very outset. (Hmmm, OK but not great).... I was reminded a bit of Dirty English. Then other notes began to surface, including the peppery essence and little wafts of fruit. I think the comparisons to Gucci PH are fair and if you don't like that one, I don't think you'll appreciate TBfM. I love woody colognes -- gimme those pencil shavings!! -- but unfortunately, any wood note is really minimal. Overall, this is a great cologne and I apologize to Tommy Bahama for my initial, undeserved snub. Nicely done, TB.

BTW, this is directly from the Tommy Bahama website: Men's fragrance rich in herbal notes and mild in fruit, while the scent focuses on sage, caraway, ginger root and patchouli.
09th January, 2011

Jack Black Signature Black Mark by Jack Black

Oh, my. To write an honest review of Jack Black Signature Black Mark is difficult. I sincerely enjoy the fragrance - it's my kind of smell. Refined, atypical, not overpowering, not "fresh", not aqueous, not citrus. More like a classy soft spice with a hint of cedar. It leather is in there, my nose isn't detecting it at all. So far, so good. But then comes the matter of longevity and sillage. This is an Eau de Parfum, not an Eau de Toilette and so I expected something with a little! Instead, I find Black Mark to be shy and short-lived. Maybe it's just my skin, I don't know. This put me in a compromising position regarding a Neutral vs a Thumbs Up rating. In the end, I pondered whether I would buy JBSBM again when the bottle has run dry. The answer was "yes" and so I think a Thumbs Up is appropriate. So it is written, so it shall be done.
08th January, 2011

Ho Hang by Balenciaga

"Ho Hang" -- interesting name for an interesting spicy oriental. Like others have expressed, this cologne is a pleasant surprise. It is perhaps a little dated now and I don't think the younger generation would relate so well to its "old school" nature. But for my "old school" nose, Ho Hang offers a pleasing sophistication and distinction. Sillage and longevity are both excellent. Careful, though, not to overdo or Ho Hang could easily become cloying.
07th January, 2011

Concentré D'Orange Verte by Hermès

Of the various orange colognes I have tried, this one is my favorite. Concentré d'Orange Verte is a bright, sparkling sort of orange and very realistically captures the sweet fragrance of, say, a freshly-peeled Spanish Clementine. The opening blast leaves no doubt that this is, indeed, an orange cologne. Sadly, the orange note disappears very quickly and a hint of herbal something-or-other begins to surface. Then the whole show is over and CdOV bids adieu. Sillage is good for a brief time; longevity is worse than average; still this is a wonderful fragrance that deserves a positive rating.

By the way, if any of you might prefer a darker, more bitter orange - perhaps test a spritz or two of L'Aromarine Orange Santal et Petitgrain. It's not easy to find, but is very affordable if it strikes your fancy.
06th January, 2011

Eau de Cartier by Cartier

Violet, citrus, safe....but pitifully weak in formulation. Almost no longevity and the sillage is barely a blip on the radar. I didn't expect this to be towering fragrance, but let's face it: we all buy colognes/perfumes to enjoy their nice smell. That's hard to do with Eau de Cartier because of its shy and fleeting nature.
06th January, 2011

Tam Dao Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

I'm a sucker for some of the woody fragrances, especially a well-executed cedar note. I smell far more cedar than sandalwood in Tam Dao, but it doesn't really matter: I truly enjoy this warm and soothing cologne. The sillage and longevity are both great. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I suggest you scroll to the review written by odysseusm. He very succinctly captures the essence of Tam Dao. This one's a keeper.
06th January, 2011

Nicole Miller for Men by Nicole Miller

I find nothing compelling nor inspiring about this fragrance. I get a little of the apples and booze that others have mentioned, but mostly I smell a darkish leather. Not in a good way, either, but more like a moldy, dank basement. If you can imagine what your 3rd grade baseball glove would smell like if it were stored in a dark, wet basement for decades -- that's a good proximity to the odor of Nicole Miller for Men. Sillage and longevity are about average, but this just isn't a nice smell.
03rd January, 2011