Hideous. Cloyingly sweet, vanilla-ish, candy-like. I can't wash it off my skin fast enough. Somehow it got on my cat, and now my cat stinks like John Varvatos' vat of displeasure. I can't GIVE this away. Well, I could. Many people would find this a quite delightful concoction, after all. It smells, though way too sweet for my tastes, like something I could imagine many men might want to smell like. Though personally I think it smells very feminine. But I won't give it away because like John Varvatos' clothes, the bottle is too awesome, with its neat little leather sleeve and scoopy old-timey drugstore bottle. It sure looks like it should be filled with a magical, dark, and dusky liquid. Unfortunately: FAIL.
This smells exactly like Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme and/or La Nuit de L'Homme, minus the spicy, mysterious, sexy, and more expensive/well-crafted vibe. Which is to say, pretty darn good for a nice, cheap bottle. Kind of like a steak at Norm's or Denny's compared to a good old-fashioned steakhouse (not Ruth's Chris or Las Vegas' Nine, mind you -- I'm not saying YSL L'Homme is the be all end all -- just that Azzaro Onyx smells somewhat like it in a cheaper way).
Overall, it smells good, but it could smell better. In fact, Azzaro Onyx finally schooled me on why the snobs on this site so utterly detest L'Homme -- it dries down to a very generic "vanilla" base that does smell good, but seems, after you've tried different scents, to be somewhat boring. It's odd why something that smells good -- vanilla! -- should be so very bland and dull in the end. I guess that's the definition of vanilla! Perhaps Azzaro Onyx and YSL L'Homme are merely stepping stones on to something better and more interesting. Still -- not bad for what it is! Save your bucks and buy this instead of YSL L'Homme.
Personally, I rather love this. It does not smell anywhere near as cheap nor as old as you'd expect. Especially since I bought a 0.5 ml bottle for 99 cents at the 99 cents only store. Yes, you heard me, 99 cents. It smells well-formulated and delightful to me - happy, fresh, limey, lively, clean, and simply yummy. Unfortunately, it literally lasts about a minute or two on my skin, if that. But at that price, I just keep splashing it on. It's nice for an at-home "I want to smell clean but I don't want to waste a nice scent" day. I used to splash some on after a particularly smelly lunch, too. Made me feel as if I'd just showered. Very simple. Complex? Base notes? Nyet. It's lime in a cologne. End of story.
This is one of the few scents I instantly hated intensely, so much so that I lived a cliche and ran straight to the tap to wash it the hell off of me. Off, off, off, foul stench! Unfortunately, I sprayed it on in the car in a fury of excitement-- fueled by the many positive reviews on Basenotes, I might add! -- and had to suffer through the nauseating olfactory extravaganza that is Obsession all the way home. Spicy, insouciantly creamy, musky, oriental, with huge dollops of vanilla and incense and musk and ambergis and what is that godawful smell and why do I keep sniffing it in an attempt to figure it out or see if it's gone yet, dear god?? Will a fragrance doctor please school me on what makes this so hideous?
Contrary to many of the reviews here, it did not smell old to me at all, mostly because my father never voluntarily wore fragrances, and when he did at my mom's insistence, is was CK Be shower gel. Obsession just smelled WOMANLY to me. I can't imagine how this would smell on a real, true, honest to god man. Probably amazing on the right man, now that I reflect....it's so heady and spicy, and did I mention creamy? This is the smell of an old lady covered in gold and diamonds and a vintage Chanel suit with hat and gloves to boot. Gah! Get its mothballed splendour off of me!
I will say this, in an effort to inject SOME objectivity into this review: It is excessively well crafted. It smells distinctly refined, expensive, luxurious, and mysterious. It is a heady bouquet of oriental musk that lasts forever, projects to the nth degree, and develops into different stages...stages I admit I was unwilling to follow till the end. Which is a lot to say for something plucked from the discount bin at Ross.
Overall: CREAMY. SPICY. And on my skin, HIDEOUS.
To me, Grey Flannel's initial two-hour blast is like the craggy cliffs of Dover. And I do mean craggy. Actually, more like a craggy old man with greying whiskers and a smelly driving cap mournfully standing above the crashing waves of the freezing cold cliffs of Dover. Yes, that's more like it. Then the old man creaks home and relaxes into his rocking chair, at which point Grey Flannel loses its metaphorical old man association and smooths out into a more sophisticated and balanced green scent...with just the slightest whiff (to my nose) of something very dirty. It's probably just my undeveloped nose and skin chemistry, but do I detect a note of feces or urine? Or something equally harsh and...off? Every once in a while a vague sense of that wafts up to me. Or maybe I've just popped and peed myself without noticing...again. I've worn and tried many men's colognes, but this the only cologne that seems, in the end, simply too manly for this lesbian. This is definitively a MAN'S cologne, period. Overall, it is a very well-crafted and well-rounded, as well as definitely unique, scent. Not to mention cheap -- I bought this at Ross for $9.99.