Reviews by The_Cologneist

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    The_Cologneist
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    Voyage d'Hermès by Hermès

    Quite glad to see this hit this section. Hopefully it won't get bashed so badly. I find VdH to have more great things than flaws, and while it isn't TdH, it's still a well made fragrance that deserves respect.

    First off, the bottle. It's different, but it matches well with the name, and the juice inside. It spins around, but is well constructed, so I don't see it breaking.

    The juice though is what matters.. This reminds me of a stripped down TdH. Lots of cardamom in the opening; as it dries a little bit it smells slightly saltier than the original -- kind of reminds me of the salt around the rim of a margarita along with a little lime.

    Similar to TdH, but instead of the orange and grapefruit in TdH.. replace it with like a light salty lime and tonic. I also get much less cedar out of this one. Doesn't project as much as the original, but is still nice. Longevity is about 6 hours.

    I can't really compare it to anything except for TdH. Those of you who haven't tried anything from Hermes, and may be just getting your feelers out, reading reviews and such, I must recommend checking out the entire Hermes house fragrance by fragrance to understand the structure and feel that all of their fragrances possess.

    I don't consider VdH to be worth the retail price, but I would likely buy it if it were on sale.

    19 July, 2010

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    Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    Live Jazz opens up with and AMAZINGLY authentic spearmint note. Very natural, smooth, cooling and fresh. A little bit of grapefruit there behind it, but mostly the more unique lemon accord from the lemon peel. It's not as lemony, a bit more natural. Very awesome opening.

    Unfortunately, it's gone within 20 minutes, but the middle notes are quite nice as well. I get a little bit of coriander, still some mint (though far more toned down), a little more of the lemon peel and grapefruit, and some soft floral notes. After a while, the coriander pretty much takes over the fragrance, it stays this way for a while. I wouldn't quite call it the base notes, more of a long phase of coriander that is stuck in between the middle and base notes. The cedarwood is pretty noticeable in the dry down, it's a bit spicy as well, and backed with just 'a hint of vanilla' as very well stated in the note pyramid. The spearmint weaves in and out of this fragrance as well, comes and goes.

    For me, longevity isn't what I want it to be, I get about 5 hours usually, and that's on a good day. It projects nicely for the first 30 minutes or so, but if you apply it to your clothing, you can almost guarantee longer projection with this one.

    For what it's worth though, aside from my small complaints on longevity and projection. This is truly an excellent fragrance, and probably one of the best 'bang for your buck' scents, that you will find. It's unique for the warmer months, Spring and Summer, but can be worn year round for sure.

    We have an herbal garden here outside, and grow spearmint leaves, and I gotta say, Live Jazz's spearmint note is very very natural when comparing it to the actual spearmint. One of the best takes on spearmint in the industry.

    17 July, 2010 (Last Edited: 18 April, 2011)

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    Horizon by Guy Laroche

    Two words: herbal aquatic. This best sums up Horizon. Though I didn't find it to be as different as others did. This barely makes the aquatic category imo, but just calling it herbal would be too vain. In ways it's a powerhouse, because it does have that 80's smell and feel, it does project well, and last long. It's also kind of soapy as well as a chypre.

    To those who get that sort of dark feel from Cool Water as I do, you'll get that from Horizon as well. It reminds me of an herbal Cool Water, not smell wise though as far as the comparison to CW goes, rather feel, and structure. As CW smells and feels a bit dated sometimes, so does Horizon.

    If I had to pick another powerhouse to compare it to it would definitley be Drakkar Noir in its current formulation. They are nearly identical in how they project, sillage as well as longevity. DN may last a little bit longer.

    As for the notes, I pretty much get everything listed in the pyramid, but very little black pepper, maybe even none. My mind wants to tell my nose that the black pepper is there sometimes, but being a pepper fanatic, I just don't get it. The mint is there but it's a very atypical and medicinal mint. Everything blends together pretty smoothly and what we get is a soapy/herbal/aquatic start with a little bit of chypre as it dries down. Hard to categorize and explain, yet not entirely unique, as I stated earlier. Your best bet is to just try this one, or buy it blind if it's cheap enough. If you dislike it after, sell it in the marketplace forum, I guarantee somebody will gladly take it off your hands.

    15 July, 2010 (Last Edited: 05 January, 2011)

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    Cuba Gold by Cuba Paris

    Shamu's review is quite excellent and on the money. This does smell less powdery than Le Male and the vanilla is toned down but still noticeable. I also agree with the "barbershop" vibe, it's there, and so is a little bit of that 80's feel.

    This beats 360 White which is just an overly powdery/cloying Le Male wannabe with everything crammed into the opening. Not a horrible fragrance, but if you're looking for a less expensive Le Male alternative, and are in a bind between 360 White and Cuba Gold, then go with the GOLD! You won't be disappointed, and at 6 or 7 bucks (sometimes even less) for 3.3 ounces, you have little to lose.

    06 July, 2010

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    Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger

    Sort of a spicy aquatic that for some reason smells like ketchup to me sometimes. Pineapple is a note I don't really care for in fragrances unless it's done in a very natural way like smelling fresh pineapples, but I have yet to see this in a fragrance. Take Avatar and Silver Shadow for example, both which I dislike mostly because of that overpowering synthetic pineapple note. Tommy has it as well but it's much more toned down which makes it tolerable.

    One thing about Tommy, is that it is distinctive, there aren't many things that smell like it, and there aren't many that try to. Hummer H2 is a little similar, as is the base of Paris Hilton's Just Me. Sometimes I regret selling my 3.4 oz bottle, but it was mostly sitting there collecting dust. I may look for a smaller bottler soon to reminisce.

    In a nutshell, Tommy is pretty much a spicy aquatic with a very warm feeling to it. It has some interesting notes and is blended together quite remarkably that make it complex and hard to break it down into individual notes. (I can say that I smell cranberry, grapefruit and pineapple.) One of the better ones from the Tommy house indeed, but wearability may be an issue sometimes.

    29 June, 2010

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    Kanøn by Kanon

    Smells like a poopy diaper drenched in baby powder. Old and outdated and a little bit like Zino. Pass!

    25 June, 2010 (Last Edited: 05 July, 2010)

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    Lucky You for Men by Lucky Brand

    I'm quite glad my original review didn't get published yet, leaving me time to do a more intense review of this. Lucky You brings those nasty chemical odors to the table, as only Claiborne can do. I'm not 100% sure the Lucky house is part of Claiborne, but I've been told it is, and judging by the structure and smell of most of their fragrances, it certainly feel this way.

    If you get that harsh chemical note from Curve, you'll get it here, only much more magnified. Strangely enough, I find it tolerable in Lucky You because I enjoy the notes more than I do Curve. both are fairly similar, but Lucky You has a more complex dry down. the opening is a citrus blast, but it's not at all tangy like you get from many citrus fragrances, it's not entirely sweet either which leaves it with this rather natural smell. I'd say if the chemical odor weren't there, I would believe that somebody cut up fresh oranges, lemons, limes, and mandarins and jammed them into the bottle some how. Another plus about this fragrance, especially for being cologne strength is that it projects quite well, and not just during the opening, but for the middle and base as well. The middle becomes a little more floral, and the base becomes more woodsy. Longevity is anywhere from 4-6 hours, but sometimes you may get 8+.

    I just can't get over this chemical smell, I'm beginning to think they put it in there on purpose because it's so dominating here. I find that unlike Curve though, when Lucky You gets applied in moderation, the chemical odors aren't as noticeable. At the end of the day we get another generic citrus fragrance, but slightly more recognizable than others. I do like the bottle very much, but I won't be purchasing this again.

    23 June, 2010 (Last Edited: 27 July, 2010)

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    Animale Animale for Men by Animale Parfums

    For a while I was wondering if it was actually chocolate that I'm smelling in this stuff. The reason it smells different than most chocolate notes or accords is because of the way it's blended with the moss. It gives it kind of a bitter/moldy smell, but in the best way possibly.

    When you first spray it on, you can smell the chocolate, moss and the vanilla behind it. The vanilla is very creamy and almost smells berry like. The vanilla doesn't get much of the spotlight until the chocolate dies down a bit, and even then.. it's not your typical vanilla.. it's a chocolate and vanilla combination. This along with some nutmeg and what smells like raspberry and rose make for a surprising and unpredictable middle that sort of smell like some kind of chocolate/raspberry truffle. The middle is very nice and long lasting. The base has traces of sandalwood, maybe even oak wood. The moss dies down but is always there until the end.

    With its chocolate and mossy opening, unpredictable and unorthodox middle of chocolate, creamy vanilla, raspberry, rose and nutmeg, and its well done slightly woodsy base, Animale Animale is a very nice one for the price. While it is different, it isn't quite unique. It resembles Rochas Man and A*Men in many ways, but it does have its own take on a gourmand. Projection is nice, and longevity is decent. Unlike many.. I get about 4-6 hours with this most of the time, but I have gotten up to 10 before, so it is temperamental.

    Is it worth the price? Hells ya. Absolutely; and for something different, I'd say it's a perfectly safe blind buy. Just make sure you like the chocolate, vanilla and moss, as those are the most noticeable notes. Being that you can get a 1.7 oz bottle for about 12 bucks, and a 3.3 for under 20, you can't go wrong. I think this stuff is even worth the retail prices between 35-55 bucks. Reason being.. it has great notes, it's appealing to most, it's a little different, and best of all (at least to me) it has no nasty chemical odors. It does smell synthetic, but not as entirely as many others in its genre. B+ for Animale Animale!

    23 June, 2010

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    Stetson Fresh by Stetson

    Stetson Fresh is a bit of a late bloomer in its category of fragrances. Since this was released in 2008, and falls very much along of the lines on CK One and Chrome, it's a little bit past its time. Fresh is a fitting name though, this stuff falls dead center between Curve Chill and CK One. CK One has too much citrus, and Chill is too soapy. Fresh is right in the middle.

    As for the factors about the fragrance itself, well.. its projection is about average, maybe a little above. It starts off with more citrus, then gets soapier. I much prefer the opening over the drydown as the drydown reminds me of Chrome which is a fragrance I cannot stand.

    I got .75 oz spray for under 3 bucks on clearance, and at that price, it's worth it. As for retail, ehh.. I think the retail price of the .75 oz is somewhere around 10-12 bucks, which isn't worth it. It may have good projection, but the sillage isn't as good, and the longevity isn't great either. For one to love this stuff, I'd say you'd have to love Chrome, Chill, Jordan (blue bottle) and CK One. I despise both Jordan and Chrome; while Chill and One are just okay to me. Stetson Fresh is also just okay.

    16 June, 2010

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    UR for Men by Usher

    Not bad. Has a nice peachy opening, synthetic smelling but not chemical or harsh. Kind of reminds me of Mambo in the opening, but Mambo is so chemical smelling that it makes me sick to my stomach.

    I had a .5 oz bottle which I just finished, so I'm pretty confident with my results for longevity. I get no more than 4 hours tops, but usually it's around the 2 hour mark. Projection is below average in the beginning and close to the skin shortly thereafter. It starts off peachy and turns into more of a slightly floral, slightly fruity, and slightly woodsy very very subtle fragrance with just a hint of vanilla.

    Is it worth it? A bottle of UR in Macy's is gonna run you about 65 bucks, you'd have to be a mad man to pay such. I wouldn't pay more than 20 bucks for a 3.4 and that's a stretch. That's if you really like the juice. This stuff won't turn heads, and you may not even get any compliments at all because of its poor projection which can go unnoticed. What UR is, is a safe, clean, easy and versatile scent, good for the less enthusiastic buyer, who doesn't have such high expectations from a fragrance. Overall I'd give this a D+

    12 June, 2010 (Last Edited: 26 June, 2010)

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    Usher for Men by Usher

    Kind of a tough nut to crack in means of smell. What am I smelling exactly? Well, at least it smells good.

    What I get out of this that are noticeable are lavender, violet, suede and some fruits. Mostly dominated by a sweet and synthetic lavender opening accompanied by a lot of violet as well.. blended together nicely. I think the violet may actually be more in the top notes along with some sweet fruits while the middle is more lavender and suede. Though a pretty linear fragrance until the base which turns more woodsy, but becomes very soft and sort of drifts away from the opening and middle. Still not bad. Without looking at a note pyramid, I can confidentially say that you're going to smell lavender and suede for sure, these are the legs of Usher, this is what holds it up. Longevity it actually not bad, I usually get 6 hours. Though in humidity this will diminish very quickly. Projection is nice during the opening notes, as with most fragrances that project the most in the opening. The projection on this stays much closer in after about 20 or 30 mins, but it still doesn't become a skin scent until the base. The base is boring but not horrible, it seems to be a very faded lavender and suede accompanied with some lighter woodsy notes. Most notably sandalwood. If you're looking for something unique though, you might as well turn around now, Usher is quite generic, but not entirely boring. Safe, inexpensive, and most importantly smells nice. As for comparisons.. I think it smells like a mix of a far less powerful Drakkar Noir and Guess Suede, being about 75% Guess Suede. But, with a much more toned down suede smell.

    Is it worth the price? Well, I wouldn't pay retail for this. You can find this online in the bigger sized bottle for under 25 bucks on a lot of sites. I think it's worth about that. I wouldn't pay more than 30 though. The longevity is good, the projection is nice, and the fragrance smells good, plus it's very safe and versatile. But make sure you like it enough first even if you're investing 20 or 30 bucks in it. If you end up not liking it, that's money that could have gone toward another fragrance. I say this because I find that when I wear this stuff more regularly I get quite bored of it.

    12 June, 2010 (Last Edited: 01st August, 2010)

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    Zino Davidoff by Davidoff

    Ya ever hear someone say "I tried to like this"? This be the situation with Zino for me. I didn't try once, I tried 5 times. I just don't see how anybody can tolerate this, nonetheless love it. It is powerful, so in the bottle it smells just okay, but once it hits my skin, it's all downhill. I sprayed it on some test strips as well to see if it was just my skin chemistry that disliked Zino and made it stink so bad, but the test strip seem to feel the same way, and so did my bro and mom when I asked them.

    I heard it was discontinued so I figured I'd grab a bottle when I saw it on sale (blind buy). Fortunately it was about 14 bucks for 1 oz, and thank god I don't have more than an oz.

    The smell itself to me smells like the rottenest fruits, and garbage. This is all I can think of, not to mention it projects significantly, so not only will you smell like a trash can full of old plums and apples, but so will everyone else around you. After about 30-45 mins it does settle down and become okay, but it's not worth the wait to me, BARF!

    10th June, 2010

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    Kanøn Norwegian Wood by Kanon

    I got a 3.3 oz bottle of this stuff @ Ross for 6.99 a couple days ago, and I gotta admit... it's good stuff. Me.. I'm a HUGEEEE sandalwood fan, and those of us who love sandalwood may be particularly picky on how it smells. I like my sandalwood to smell very natural and sweet. Tam Dao is a great example of what sandalwood in a frag should be to me. Kanon NW does a fantastic job on this one. I've seen Kanon online for low prices, but thought it was just some cheap crap, I bought this completely blind, knowing nothing about the house, the notes, or reading any reviews on here. I guess it's a new fragrance (2010). At first spray, all I can think of is Tam Dao, and a few weeks ago I was asking for a cheap Tam Dao alternative in the forums. My only complaint is that longevity is really bad. I get like 2-3 hours tops. It's a pretty linear scent that starts off like sweet sandalwood with a natural feeling and smell, then becomes a little more of a synthetic smelling sweet sandalwood and smells a little bit soapy. For the most part though, its a sandalwood and cedar fragrance. A hell of a deal @ 6.99 and an acceptable Tam Dao alternative.

    30th May, 2010

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    Antonio by Antonio Banderas

    Basically like a tangy rose and rosewood combination. Sweet while simultaneously pretty tangy; usually I dislike tangy fragrances, but Antonio's sweetness levels it out. This doesn't really smell like anything else that I've tried, so it gets an A for being original.

    It get's an A+ in the longevity department as well, as it lasts for 12+ hours on my skin. Projection and sillage are above average as well. My only complaint is that it smells kind of feminine, so it makes it less wearable for myself. I'm the type of guy who usually has to wear a fragrance marketed for men that only smells like it was marketed for men. Although there are always exceptions. This is one of those fragrances that I like less and less as I wear it more and more. A must smell though for anybody.

    29 May, 2010 (Last Edited: 18 November, 2010)

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    H2 by Hummer

    Not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's a bit of an aquatic with a spicy twist to it. Notes are hard to separate and pull apart due to its syntheticness, but it doesn't smell horrible. As it dries it becomes more floral and soapy and smells completely different from its opening. Then it changes once again into something completely different (and my favorite part of the fragrance) as it becomes a peppery/leather/grassy mix with a little vanilla -- rich, yet very soft and subtle. There is a metallic note or accord in the opening but it's not nearly as bad as Chrome or Jordan (both of which I hate)

    Surprisingly a complex fragrance, perhaps the reason people dislike it is because they can't understand it as it takes twists and turns. All of its phases are different from the next and astonishingly remind me of 3 totally different fragrances. I bought this blind and I'm gonna try and return it only because I don't see any use for it in my collection. I can use the 14.99 I spent towards something better I think. All in all though, it's not a bad fragrance.. more something for somebody who just wants one fragrance to make their signature.

    Is it worth retail? God no, it's barely worth 14.99 for 2.5 oz like I paid. To me it's worth 5 bucks for 2.5 oz. but that's subjected to my personal feelings towards it and how it fits into my collection. Looking at it in a less selfish way -- I think 15 bucks for 2.5 oz of H2 is a good price.

    24 May, 2010

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    Rykiel Man by Sonia Rykiel

    Today I went to my side shelf for my SOTD, I went with something called Rykiel Man. This is, hands down the most unique fresh fragrance I've ever smelled. EVER. I cannot break this fragrance down. The closest I can say is that it smells like limes, soda, rosewood, laundry detergent, and a little tea. It's not soapy, there's no spices, it's not oriental, but it is very green and fresh. I don't really care for it, but it is very very intriguing, in fact, I've never been so intrigued with any fragrance, ever. This must be smelled.

    22 May, 2010 (Last Edited: 13 October, 2010)

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    Cuba Black by Cuba Paris

    I'm leaning more towards a thumbs down with this one. Then again, as long as I don't have to smell it so often, it is alright. If I had to smell this every day, I'd get dizzy a lot and pass out. It has a very cloying opening that seems to capture the middle and base of ApH and then kick it up 80 notches. This doesn't smell "black", rather overly cloying, sweet, and ultra synthetic.. while at the same time it doesn't smell cheap, so kudos to that.

    I paid about 8 bucks for 3.3 oz of this, bought it completely blind based on nothing but positive reviews at the time, that's about to change though, because Cuba Black isn't that good. Definitely not worth my stamp of approval. Its title is misleading, as are some of these reviews. No disrespect to the reviewers though, but I feel that the next blind buyer should be aware. As for this staying close to the skin. ARE YOU INSANE!? This stuff lights up a room just a couple sprays. It actually makes ApH look weak.

    So I'd say if you like cloying, sweet, synthetic smells trying so desperately to mimic 80's powerhouses then go for it here. This can be a headache in a bottle indeed, and can project into next year. I like projection, but not when I dislike the scent for the most part to begin with.

    Is it worth the dough? Well, if all of the above appeals to you, then yes. But for less than twice the price you could get about half the amount of ApH; smell really nice, not offend anyone, and not be afraid to tell people what you're wearing either :)

    20th May, 2010 (Last Edited: 13 July, 2010)

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    Virgilio by Diptyque

    Apparently this has been discontinued. Virgilio reminds me of Zirh Corduroy; in fact they smell extremely alike in their openings. I did the test with one on each arm prior to concluding this. Virgilio surpasses Corduroy in terms of longevity, but it is a skin scent for the most part. It projects about 2 inches off the skin when it's opening/beginning of middle. It stays much closer through most of the middle and the dry down, but has about average sillage.

    What I actually get from Virgilio is like a greenish and very herbal concoction with some cinnamon.. maybe clove as well; it develops more into a light powdery vanilla. It doesn't project very well and doesn't have that same unique structure that Tam Dao and Philosykos have. It seems kind of expired, both smell and feeling wise. It's not by any means a bad smell though.

    Is it worth it? Well.. considering this is now discontinued (going by what the Diptyque rep told me, as well as other sources) if you do find it, you may be springing for more than the usual prices, maybe even more than retail. To me.. Corduroy surpasses this, and is like a 20th of the price. However there are noticeable differences -- they may seem/feel like clones.. but my philosophy as it pertains to the world of fragrances is that "no two fragrances are identical". Virgilio is a less vibrant version of Corduroy but ONLY in the first 20 minutes or so are they really reminiscent of each other. Overall Virgilio being an EDT/cologne with the same alcohol concentration of any other EDT isn't even close to being worth 150-200 bucks.

    17 May, 2010

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    Latitude Longitude by Nautica

    Smells like a mix of cat piss, moss, and mold. Nautica's worst for sure, thank god this has been discontinued.

    15 May, 2010 (Last Edited: 16 December, 2010)

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    Giorgio for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills

    Giorgio is a very strong barbershop scent IMO. It's extremely powerful and does not smell too good up close to my nose -- at least not in the first hour or so. During which time it's very sharp up close and smells extremely chemical. However, if I refrain from sniffing my wrists, or just smell them with my nose about 6 inches away, it's a wonderful scent. It has above average sillage and projection and very good longevity.

    The aroma itself.. all I get in the opening is a very strong Barbasol, as it dries a little I definitely get the patchouli and amber but I don't really get the vanilla. The dry down is the best part with the honey and moss both of which are noticeable.

    Not only is this extremely powerful but the sprayer shoots out a lot as well. About twice as much as the average sprayer, so one spray to the chest is all you really need. A 1.6 oz bottle could last me a couple years when I rotate with other frags too.

    13 May, 2010

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    Blue Seduction for Men by Antonio Banderas

    Blue Seduction starts off very tangy with like a sour melon note.. yet from the beginning it has this mint that quickly works its way to the front. Once the mint takes over it incorporates the cappuccino note which actually isn't very sweet. It's like a minty cappuccino with hints of apple lingering. It's really nice once you figure out what it is that you're smelling. The mint is very noticeable and it isn't a sickening sweet mint; the way the mint is used actually makes it feel medicinal. Three hours in, it fades into a nice subtle woodsy base. Projection is a little above average throughout, as is sillage.. longevity has been 6+ hours everyday I've worn this for the past week.

    It's very a soothing relaxing aquatic that stands out from many other aquatics. It did however take me a couple wearings to enjoy this, mostly because it smelled cheap and I couldn't figure out what was in there with the mint... it's clearly cappuccino though. The cappuccino note does seem to weave in and out of the fragrance, it comes and goes.

    Overall we have a different take on your typical aquatic, but it's nothing really special. I get like a menthol back rub, rubber glove feeling from it.. then I also get a laying on the hammock on a nice spring day feeling. You definitely wanna try this before you buy, it does smell a little cheap.. similar structure to a DKNY or Lacoste frag. It's kind of like a mix of Cool Water Frozen and DKNY Be Delicious.

    Is it worth it? The retail price on this is set lower because it's considered a drugstore fragrance. 1.7 oz retails for 30, and the 3.4 retails for 45. Is it worth these prices? If you're buying blind.. absolutely not, if you're already a fan.. no. It's a decent fragrance with a cheap feeling. I got a mini pack with this and Spirit -- both .5 oz for 7.99 @ Ross, to me that was a little overpriced. What I bought is worth about 5 bucks. But I took a risk because I figured they were mini's and it's not every day you find a less common mini pack. Spirit is a completely different fragrance of completely different structure, but Blue Seduction isn't worth more than 15-20 bucks for the bigger bottle. Ten bucks for the 1.7 is an ok deal as well.

    12 May, 2010

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    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    Fantastic slightly sweet and dry sandalwood. Dry, but not to be confused with animalic -- sometimes dryness can smell animlic like in Dirty English.. (which I hate) This is much different. I also get a bit of rosewood in the middle. Tam Dao is a nice fairly linear fragrance that emphasizes on the sandalwood note, longevity is 8+ hours.

    12 May, 2010

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    Jardin Clos by Diptyque

    This should be labeled a woman's fragrance for sure. It smells like flowers and soap to me. I get absolutely no watermelon in the opening; which was the main reason I ordered a decant of this, because I wanted to see Diptyque's take on such a note. I can't see myself wearing this, but it doesn't smell awful.

    12 May, 2010

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    Philosykos by Diptyque

    If you don't like the aroma that real fig leaves give out, then steer clear of this. This is probably the best fig scent on the market, but that's completely subjective. There may be an acquired liking for Diptyque; but it's definitely the most pure, most natural, and most basic fig fragrance around. If you don't know what fig leaves and figs smell like, you should start here, rather than finding some fig synthetic chemical concoction. As others have said.. you get the fig and the leaves from this. It's quite easy to differentiate the two -- figs smell somewhat sweet and fruity, while the leaves smell earthy or even dirty. They come together very smoothly along with the white cedar which smells much lighter than your typical cedar.

    In most of the reviews, nobody except JaimieB really mentions the coconut smell. It's definitley very very light, but it's there indeed (more so in the middle and dry down). But it doesn't at all smell like what we think of as coconut, rather.. it smells like the endocarp (inner shell)

    I wish some of the sweet fig notes from the opening lasted a littler longer.. it dries into of a fig leaf/ white cedar mix that's pretty linear throughout. Projection is pretty good in the first 2-4 hours; sillage is a little better. I only had a decant of this that I wore once (I did one big application with this) so I can't say 100% how the longevity is; but from the one time I wore it.. I got a good 5 hours.

    12 May, 2010

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    Carlos Santana for Men by Carlos Santana

    I went blind on this one, I usually do well when making blind buys, but this one was just ok to me. Then again I've only been wearing it for 3 days, so maybe it's too early for a review.. but I just don't see myself liking this much more.

    To me it opens up like apples & coconut, and actually smells like a uni frag. It's a very synthetic opening not nearly as delicious as the the apple opening in Nicole Miller. The apples in Carlos Santana quickly dry down and vanish within 10 minutes and it turns into a somewhat cloying and very powdery fragrance from there on out. As some others have said, longevity is 2-4 hours, but what's odd is that others can smell me still for hours to come, when I smell absolutely nothing. LITERALLY I smell nothing. The bottle is nice, but the cap is a b*tch to get off.. it's best to not close the cap to a snap, and just leave it staying on top and not actually snapped close.

    Is Carlos Santana worth it? It's definitely not worth the retail price. I got a 3.4 oz for about 16 bucks and I'm a little disappointed at that price. I think it's a cheap fragrance, highly synthetic smelling and the biggest bottle isn't worth more than 12 bucks. 15-16 is a push, do not pay more than this.

    Overall it isn't horrible, the dry down is a little better, my opinions may change, but as for now.. it's just an average cologne. This is not really a gourmand, more of a sweet oriental.

    10th May, 2010

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    Paradox for Men Green by Jacomo

    My first impression was "where have I smelled this" I looked back at the reviews and Soleil hits it right on the head with the comparison to Un Jardin en Mediterrane. Only difference is that it's not Hermes, so it's not as natural feeling or as earthy smelling. It opens up with a huge burst of energy and has GREEN written all over it. I try to compare fragrances that are less known to more common ones, so with Paradox Green it reminds me of Gucci PH II, Diesel Green minus the sweetness and a little bit of Tommy Bahama. It doesn't project incredibly yet has good sillage. Now realizing the dramatic differences between projection and sillage, I place my wrist 4-6 inches away from my nose to test projection, and I do the same for sillage only I wave my wrist and arm up and down and all around. With Paradox Green there's definitely more sillage than there is projection, longevity is at least 6 hours, but sometimes I get up to 10!

    Can't go wrong on this one, it can be found very cheap, and it's different than most stuff out there, especially stuff in its price range. As Soleil says, it's not entirely unique, but it is different. If you put this next to Cool Water, AdG and Curve.. this would turn the most heads. For its price.. yes it's unique.. but for fragrances in general.. it's nothing super special.

    More into the notes -- It's hard to say what's in the opening.. smells a little bit like seaweed or sea salt, but very subtle, lots of leaves for sure, grassy and very very green and fresh. As it dries it begins to remind me of Gucci PH II, I actually get a tea accord coming out of it, the pepper is also noticeable and it's not a very synthetic pepper like the stuff in L'eau par Kenzo. The rosewood lingers there behind it all, it's something you don't really notice until the end of your sniffing. Cardamom is very subtle, not overdone like in many fragrances, I smell a little nutmeg or possibly even ginger.. the only thing I don't get from the middle is the red berry. The base incorporates woods, moss and tonka bean yet still maintains much from the middle and that same green feeling that was so refreshing in the top. This actually makes for a pretty complex fragrance that still isn't all over the place. It's complex yet still somewhat linear, it switches phases very very smoothly which makes it seem linear. It's very precise at what it does and very well balanced, one of the best green fragrances I've ever experienced, and with a low price tag.

    08 May, 2010

    rating


    T for Him by Tommy Hilfiger

    Time to revise another review.. my initial review of this was just sad, and quite off.

    Firstly, this is a great fragrance for a more mature man who wants a fresh, almost aquatic scent, because it has a pine/mossy dry down. While most aquatics have base notes with sandalwood and musks, this one has a more mature vibe.

    The opening, I get a citrus blast, not the typical boring bergamot, but a nice combo of clementine and lime. The middle is certainly green and dewy, (wet green notes) with its listed "green notes". The "fresh wet t-shirt" mid note is a bit silly though. Let's say for arguments sake, you have a new t-shirt and it gets wet.. it smells nothing like this, but I see the gimmick they were going for here, to match the bottle/name. The base is mostly pine and moss, with a hint of woods. I can smell the moss though from almost the opening notes, you can kind of tell that this one is going to go a different route. I can see why a lot of people are turned off by it, because the notes don't really match.

    Give it a try though if you can get a good price on it, this is not recommended to blind buy.

    04 May, 2010 (Last Edited: 10th March, 2014)

    rating


    Thallium by Jacques Evard

    When doing my reviews, I like to compare fragrances to others, it really helps greatly, especially when you're able to use 2 mainstream fragrances to compare. In Thallium's case, picture the middke notes of Joop! mixed with the top notes of Rochas. Thallium is a gourmand with a light fruity twist to it. The opening is comparable to that of Rochas, Animale Animale or Bod Heat by Bod Man. After its been on your skin for about an hour it may feel like a skin scent or as if the fragrance has vanished completely, but trust me, it's still there.. just very very subtle.

    Vanilla, cocoa, a little powdery, possibly mango.. it may sound gross to mix Joop! and Rochas, but trust me it works very very well. This is a light scent though, don't expect a lot of sillage, longevity is about 4-6 hours. Thallium would make a great fragrance for more intimate affairs, a date, a formal event, or even an sexual encounter.

    Try before you buy gets thrown out the window on Thallium, because for one it's hard to find in stores, and two it's one of the most inoffensive fragrance I've come in contact with. Pretty much everybody likes it, so if you've got an extra 20 bucks to squander, don't rule this guy out.. it's mighty good. B-

    30th April, 2010

    rating


    Adidas Dare by Adidas

    Dare is very similar to IZOD. In fact.. picture yourself putting on IZOD.. waiting 2 minutes until the top dries down a bit. At this point -- is where Dare starts off, but don't get confused.. it doesn't have an opening identical to IZOD's middle.. rather that same smell, with top note power. I think that's the best way to describe it.

    As it dries down though it turns more into like a Dunhill Pure or Azzaro Chrome Sport. Not bad at all, poor longevity little sillage, and overall forgettable. A fair grade would be a C-

    29 April, 2010

    rating


    Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

    Azzaro PH is quite a delightful scent. It starts off as a dark citrus, lavender, with the slightest smell of anise. Then quickly turns into a sharp pine -- this part I liked the least. Typically when something so sharp comes into play, it tends to last and last, but not on this bad boy.. it turns out to be a quick sharp pine note that quickly tones down into a nice middle of what mostly smells like vetiver, patchouli, and lavender. There isn't much of a difference between the middle and base except for some sandalwood. However there is a huge difference between the opening and the middle/base. The opening may turn off a lot of people, personally.. I enjoyed the opening just as much as the middle and base -- if not more. The only part I didn't care for was that turn to sharp pine a few minutes into the fragrance; but as I said it quickly dies down and from it emerges this amazing middle and base which can be considered a masterpiece. Excellent longevity and perfect sillage on this one. Typically I don't like the older fragrances from the 60's and 70's but this one is very likable and versatile. I'd say if you're looking for that "perfect old school" fragrance that isn't quite as powerful as stuff like Quorum and Kouros, and you enjoy stuff like Drakkar Noir, then this may be right up your alley. Unfortunately I had the displeasure of trying Chrome and Visit and other newer ones from their house first, which I found to be horrible for the most part -- which ultimately gave me a bad impression of their fragrance house. Wearing this one though was not only an honor but a privilege.

    26 April, 2010 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2010)

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