Perfume Reviews

Reviews by WhosYerBob

Total Reviews: 14

Windsor by Creed

My decant of Windsor *finally* arrived this evening and I'm sucking in the scent of it from the back of my hand as I type this.

Now *THIS* is an example of scent craft. The recent Millésimes from Creed seem crude and heavy handed by comparison. Windsor is very refined, subtle and complex. Nothing loud about it - even the top notes don't scream. The mid-note of roses is surprisingly masculine and is beautifully blended with the orange and cedar base notes. Utterly unique in my experience, and I keep catching different aspects of the presentation as it dries down. Absolutely no trace of ambergris in this, nor any other heavy notes.

If citruses are light and orientals are heavy, this is in the mid to upper-mid range between the two, with a slightly warm tone. Not spicy, not floral - somewhere between the two. Quiet assurance. This would be THE scent to wear to a killer job interview.

Man, I could whiff this all night!
10th January, 2010

Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren

Smells nice! It really is a modern take on Polo - hence the Modern Reserve moniker - and has a modern green/woody/piney scent to it. Longevity is good and the sillage is not overpowering. Like it a lot better than the Polo Green.
10th January, 2010

Fou d'Absinthe by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Fou d'Absinthe is truly fir balsam in a bottle. If you like pine scents like I do, this one is a must try. Dullah had mentioned this great scent in another thread, so I picked up a tester bottle. WOW - awesome pine and fir balsam juice!

I get the absinthe very briefly at the beginning, some of the spices for about 30 minutes in the middle and very heavy on the pine/fir balsam in the base notes. It's like wearing a great smelling Christmas tree around. NOT Christmas in a bottle - which would include all sorts of other notes - but more along the lines of the best Christmas balsam tree you've ever smelled. Really good sauce with great longevity!

Compared to Pino Silvestre, Fou d'Absinthe is more complex and has a more robust pine/balsam series of notes to it, and also has longer longevity. Also much pricier than Pino Silvestre. I still like Pino Silvestre, but I think Fou d'Absinthe is a better pine/balsam cologne.
10th January, 2010
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Cuba by Czech & Speake

I've been very keen to try both Havana and Cuba since reading about them here. Fortunately I had samples of both arrive recently and have been trying them out.

I tried Cuba and found it to be the most repugnant scent I've ever encountered. I liked the first 30 seconds or so, then got a long lasting blast of swine fecal note that just wouldn't die down for over an hour and a half. It's now over 3-1/2 hours since I put it on and that nasty smell has finally given way to a really nice tobacco-leather scent. But I won't be wearing Cuba again due to the awful fecal middle note that occurred for me.
10th January, 2010

Woods of Windsor for Men / Gentleman by Woods of Windsor

Woods of Windsor is interesting in that it doesn't open with a sharp citrus blast like so many other fragrances. The citrus instead comes out fairly muted and quickly moves to the middle and base notes which develop into a nice dry woody/leathery scent. Not green, pine or citrusy enough for me, and too close to sandalwood for my wife. I'll pass on this one, but I think it would appeal to a lot of guys.
10th January, 2010

Royal Scottish Lavender by Creed

Royal Scottish Lavender opens with a bright bergamot and citrus top note, transitions into a moderate lavender and clove combination, which then segues into a soft, slightly sweet, lightly spicy woods and vanilla accord that has a clear lavender note in a subdued supporting role - at least on my skin. I also have some on a test strip as I'm writing this and the paper is retaining the lavender heart note *much* better than the sample on the back of my hand, so it's likely to vary widely with different skin types.

If one *doesn't* lust for a heady smack-you-in-the-face lavender scent, or feels that lavender is a bit too "pretty" to be the primary note in a male scent - then Royal Scottish Lavender may very well fit the bill. It is truly a wonderfully refined "barbershop" style scent that invites feminine company to come closer and get acquainted. The typical Creed house-note of cool ambergris is evident in the dry down - rising at one point to brief prominence - but is far more restrained than with many of their other offerings. It does not contain any of the rougher animalistic notes of other niche houses. There is clove in the middle note dry down, but it's not pungent and helps to carry the impression of lavender much longer than it ordinarily would. At the far end of the dry down the vanilla becomes more prominent with a lavender and woods tapestry that take turns weaving in and out of focus.

Much more complex and interesting than most of the modern Creed's, and it contains one of the best lavender notes I've ever experienced.
10th January, 2010

Racine by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

I recently tried MPG's Racine (I'm assuming it's named after the French playwright of the 17th century, Jean Racine - but racine is also the French word for "root", so who knows?) and would like to report that it's a luxurious and well crafted vetiver scent with citrus and woods.

This scent is part of the Les Caprices du Dandy (The Gentlemen Indulgence) line from MPG, though I've seen it advertised as a woman's scent on some websites. I've also seen the scent notes completely mislabeled as well; make no mistake, this is a refined men's vetiver scent.

Racine starts out with a bright quick-moving citrus accord and transitions to a lighter version of vetiver - the brighter grassier notes rather than the darker rootier notes. Then it segues - with the vetiver still holding the focus - to mellow wood notes of oak moss and light musk. In that sense, Racine is linear in presentation - the vetiver is throughout the scent, from beginning to end.

Man, I love the green scent of a good vetiver! I can readily pick out it's unique note from a fragrance, and this one smelled very classy right out of the bottle. Racine is more of a cool scent, though not as cool as Creed's Original Vetiver. The vetiver is not as dominant in Racine as it is in Original Vetiver, but works well with base notes. No dirty, earthy or fecal notes at all here - very clean and refined. Perfect for office wear or an evening out with the wife to a nice restaurant and show.

This is my first scent from MPG, and I must say that I was impressed. A must try for any vetiver lover.
10th January, 2010

Polo by Ralph Lauren

I've always avoided this one, largely due to association with bad memories and experiences. But being a pine lover and all the positive reviews about it, yada yada, I decided to try it with an open mind.

Yes, there's pine - but there's also cumin which, combined with the musk, carries a fecal note I really dislike. The pine is nice, once the cumin dies down, but I can still detect the fecal note throughout and it gives me a low-grade headache as well as a wrinkled nose. Thumbs down on this one - the better bet is Polo Modern Reserve.
10th January, 2010

Néroli Sauvage by Creed


Very nice citrus top notes, with more of an emphasis on Italian pamplemousse (grapefruit) than the bergamot to my nose. All of that wonderful hesperidic goodness drys down very quickly - 5 to 7 minutes - to a far more muted néroli (bitter orange tree flower) and to a lesser extent verbena for the middle notes. This all smoothly moves into the base notes of sandalwood and ambergris, which later mellows into more of a light muskiness and oakmoss to me.

My wife really likes citrus top notes, but can't handle them when first applied - to her it's too much LIKE SHOUTING. So I waited until we were about an hour into the dry down and asked her to rate it on my arm. She liked it enough to grab my arm twice for really deep breaths of the scent and said it was "Very nice!"

I find this intriguing because she normally doesn't like sandalwood scents of any kind. However, in Néroli Sauvage the sandalwood is so smoothly blended with the other notes that it seems to accentuate them more so than itself, giving the base notes more of a light musky/oakmoss scent later in the dry down.

Néroli Sauvage is marketed by Creed as a unisex scent, but smells far more masculine than feminine to me.

With all my testing of fragrances lately, I'm finding that we both prefer the lighter Creed ambergris base note to the more animalistic, dirty, earthy, fecal notes of musk, castoreum, civet, hyraceum or amber of other houses.

Pros: Creed really knows how to lay on the citrus top notes.
Cons: Typical fleeting fragrance from Creed; I need to apply a LOT of scent for it to last throughout the day.

Ratings: She gives it - 10/10. I give it - 9/10.
Longevity: 5 to 7 hours for me.
Sillage: Pretty strong for about 7 to 10 minutes, then it begins to move close to the body by the end of an hour. Anything beyond that time is muted to others.
10th January, 2010

Epicéa by Creed

Recently - while being slammed by a winter snow storm - was the perfect opportunity to try Epicéa, which was described to me as Creed's effort to create a winter season pine-based scent. I think they have a winner here, folks!

As I've posted before, I REALLY like pine-based colognes and have been testing a bunch of them in recent weeks. However, I was unprepared for the natural pine scent and complexity of the supporting notes in Epicéa. This one is nice enough to wear all year round and has a better rounded flavor of a fir forest to it than the other pine colognes I've been enjoying.

It starts off strong with citrus and lavender, which dries down in about a minute on me. Then a cardamom (sweaty? animalistic?) note rises for about another 3 minutes or so before it begins to rapidly mellow into the most wonderful pine forest scent I've encountered to date. It really reminds me of wilderness camping among the firs and breathing their scent deeply so I can take it home with me. Wonderful, wonderful juice.

Alas - it also has a downside. Like many other Creed scents, longevity is short and sillage may be too little for some folks. However, this one is perfect for my work environment where people are sensitive to fragrances.

My wife gave this one a 9 - an amazing rating considering she isn't the pine aficionado that I am. And what's more, she grabbed my wrist to smell it more carefully - something she hasn't done with the other frags I've been running by her. I give it a 9 as well and will be buying some of this.
10th January, 2010

Citrus Bigarrade by Creed

We've grown miniature citrus trees over the years for our own pleasure: miniature lime, miniature grapefruit and miniature lemon. When it gets cold, they are small enough to move into the house. So in the winter we usually smell wonderful citrus accords from the fruit that is slowly ripening, or the blossoms when they come on, or from the leaves and wood of the trees.

Citrus Bigarrade is a perfect distillation of the scent from lemon leaves, bark and wood. It has a wonderful citrus tang that's mixed with the earthier, woodier scent of the actual tree - rather than just the fruit itself. Truly a beautiful, delightful and special scent.

My wife was so impressed with Citrus Bigarrade, she asked me to apply a lot more so she could smell the top notes at full strength (!!!) . In all honesty, had it been Bois du Portugal she would have been submitted to a hospital, because I applied enough Citrus Bigarrade to drop a horse. However, even at that strength it never smelled over-powering; all it did was amp up the woodier heart and the lower basenote of ambergris. Like all citrus scents the brilliant top notes died away quite quickly, but a soft citrus note lingered.

The ambergris mellowed out at the 7 hour mark for me, mixed with the woody heart notes and dried down into a soft green scent.

I give it a 9 out of 10 (had the citrus lasted all day, I would have gladly given a 10). Citrus Bigarrade is the nicest, most complex citrus cologne I've ever applied. It has the initial citrus blast that I crave, followed by a beautiful dry down into an intoxicating soft green scent.
10th January, 2010

Bowling Green by Geoffrey Beene

I wanted to really like Bowling Green and eagerly looked forward to trying it, but now that I have it on I recognize it as a scent that I couldn't be around from the 1980's.

It smells good, but gives me hot flashes and a dull headache. My wife initially gave it tepid approval, then said it had a soapy dry down that she didn't care for.
10th January, 2010

Bois de Cédrat by Creed

Bois de Cédrat has an absolutely wonderful lemon citrus opening - but longevity is pretty much zilch. On my skin the citrus is wonderful for the 10 to 15 minutes or so that it lasts. Really reminds me of G.F. Trumper / Extract of West Indian Limes and how that one has a stunning lime note that's gone inside of 5 minutes. Bois de Cédrat lasts somewhat longer than GFT Limes, but not long enough for the top shelf price.

Love the scent, but not the longevity.
10th January, 2010
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Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain

I've wanted this for awhile because of all the positive comments about the pine scents it's known for, so I finally bit the bullet and picked up a sample.


This is supposed to be Christmas in a bottle? I smell either civet or dirty musk instead. Very heavy scent to my nose, and the animalistic note completely destroys everything else for me. And I can't believe it's considered a feminine or unisex scent, because it comes across so strong to me as a male scent. I'll pass on this one; it's awful.

Tried wearing it a second time and had complete revulsion with it. Had to scrub it off.
10th January, 2010