Perfume Reviews

Reviews by The_Cologneist


Royall Muske by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

Muske is a classic barbershop style fragrance. To me, it has a very close resemblance to Old Spice, only better. Less rough around the edges, smoother, more refined. The dry down is muskier too. Although personally this fragrance isn't my style, I will say that it renders tons of compliments.. I guess women like the smell of musk.
25th September, 2015

Monsieur Eau du Matin by Jean Paul Gaultier

Take Mugler Cologne.. take out most of the vetiver, add a ton of citrus.. cut the longevity in half, maybe even less, and voila! Not that Monsieur Eau du Matin is lacking depth, because it definitely isn't. It's an EDC, meant to wear light and feel more transparent. Well made, but just not for me, as I have come to expect much more from my fragrances.
24th September, 2015

Royall Mandarin by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

This doesn't smell like orange juice. Orange Sanguine smells like OJ. Royall Mandarin does smell like candied oranges though. Sugary, sweet and synthetic after about a minute. The first minute though, it actually smells quite natural. The dry down is a bit musky.. similar to the dry downs from Lyme and Muske. The dry down also smells very much like Drakkar Noir's, uncannily similar. Like others have said, longevity and projection are both very poor. Save your money and buy something from Hermes.
24th September, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Cannabis Flower by Demeter Fragrance Library

God this scent is so strange. First off let me say that it does smell like pot! Upon the opening though, I really don't get anything. I was actually a bit upset because all I smelled was a very faint patchouli like aroma. I have to let it creep up my nasal passage before I smell pot, but man does it smell great! It's a very deep marijuana smell. It's also a very faint fragrance with extremely soft sillage.

Thumbs up though for being unique, and double thumbs up for smelling just like pot. You need to sniff around a bit to pick it up though, but believe me, it's there.

It's just so weird because at first when I sniff it, it smells like strawberries or something creamy and sweet.. and if I take my nose away too fast, I won't get the pot smell. But when I take a big sniff, it comes in at the end, and ya it smells like a very natural pot, the type grown outside in the soil.. I guess you could say mids lol. Reminds me of the old days!
18th September, 2015

Comme une Evidence Homme by Yves Rocher

Buysblind review got me to blind buy this lol. When he mentioned Rose 31, a fragrance I adore.

Comme un Evidence without doubt has some Rose 31 in it, though very faint. Overall, the fragrance is nice and versatile for a man's rose based scent, but it is very very faint, with poor longevity and projection on me.

I am glad to own a bottle though, since it appears to be discontinued and prices are rising.
18th September, 2015

Steel Sugar by Aquolina

This is supposed to have a gingerbread note in it which is primarily why I bought it. Aquolina, both men's and women's fragrance are notorious for having stellar performance, for very reasonable prices, the other reason I purchased this.

This one though, for me, isn't the best performance wise. Open the initial spray, ya I guess I get a gingerbread vibe, but it's very short lived. It quickly transitions into a mostly vanilla powdery type of smell, with a coconut undertone. It does smell delicious, but not what I was expecting based on the reviews.

To be honest, this to me is like a more wearable Lolita Lempicka au Masculin.. not that I did like LLaM, but the anise in there can be overwhelming.

I do feel Steel Sugar is very unisex. The opening immediately reminded me of Bvlgari Black, without the rubber note.

This reminds me of so many other fragrances too. Le Male, and Midnight in Paris EDP without the iris. The thing separating this from the others is this unique foody aspect, although it may be labeled as gingerbread, to me it smells more like a coconut cookie. Imagine that with a powdery vanilla, then a slight tobacco and musky dry down, and I think you get the idea of this.

This isn't something you can really sample, you just gotta blind buy a bottle. I would say it's blind bottle worthy, but a little redundant too.
17th September, 2015

Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens

Pine??? Where? This is mostly dried fruits. It's sweet, it's resinous, but pine? So misleading. I get virtually no pine here, which is unfortunate, because it's the reason I bought it. I ended up getting rid of my bottle, plus longevity stinks.

Does it smell good? I would be lying if I said it didn't It smells amazing, but not 70-110 bucks amazing. It doesn't smell overly unique; and considering there's no smell of pine to me, it makes it not worth owning.
12th September, 2015

Chergui by Serge Lutens

It really took me a while to like Chergui. People kept recommending it, and I just wouldn't go back to it, as I found it overly feminine. But, I felt the same way about Dior Homme Intense, and now I love it. I think the note in question is iris.. it can either go the route of smelling more like woods, or it can go the route of smelling more like makeup, and here, it goes the makeup route, as it does in DHI. I saw a bottle of this on fragnet for 60 shipped, and I figured ehh why not.. if I dislike it again, I'll sell or swap it easily, since everyone else loves it. Man did this stuff grow on me. Now.. it's easily one of my favorite niche fragrances.

From the top, I get a ton of iris.. and yes the powdery feminine makeup type, but it does so well with honey, amber, and hay, the other main notes I really pick up on. Overtime all of the notes sort of intertwined into one big iris/sweet/woodsy accord, and remains this way for a good 8 hours on me. Projection, is perfect, not too much, not a skin scent. Longevity, great. Quality, outstanding. No cheap alcohol smell anywhere in this.

I also love the simplicity yet elegance of the Serge Lutens bottles. I plan on getting more from this house, as I have tried quite a few and loved them. Chergui is certainly the centerpiece for Serge Lutens, a must have for any connoisseur.
12th September, 2015

Perfume Calligraphy Rose by Aramis

It's weird how we associate brands with quality. When I think Aramis, I would never think they could make such a high quality fragrance. Then again, I am a designer fragrance type of person, so I associate quality with brands all the time. Perfumery has come so far that any brand can use the best quality ingredients. Even if you're like me, and you think Aramis, you think the original, and you think "eww", you have to look past that now.

So that was holding me back from diving into this one, regardless of the reviews on Calligraphy Rose. I was able to get a really good deal on it, and blind bought this for under 50 bucks shipped. I believe the majority of the reviews are a bit misleading. Yes this is a high quality fragrance, but it really isn't rose dominated. While rose is there, saffron is the major note to me. Saffron has a very distinguished sort of chalky smell, and it sticks out like a sore thumb in Calligraphy Rose. Although not my favorite note, it blends nicely with rose, myrrh or incense creating this chalky, smokey rose smell. Not as masculine as I was expecting from the reviews.. in fact maybe even a bit more feminine; but that's a risk you always take when you're a man seeking a rose based fragrance. The powdery factor isn't too bad, and eventually tones down, that goodness.

Although this isn't my favorite in my collection, it garners a lot of compliments, always by women. I guess it smells familiar to them, and that's what women like. The projection on this isn't too much, as some others have alluded to. Maybe with more sprays I could get more projection, but the smell itself is heavy, and I wouldn't wanna overdo it.

All in all, I would say if you're sick of the same old designer crap that keeps getting released, and you want something a little more daring, and high quality, give this one a try. Hard to find samples now, and I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued already. If you have 50-60 bucks extra for a blind buy, and you love saffron, incense and rose, this would be a good option.. and even if you hate it, you can sell this one easily since it's low in stock and high in demand.
12th September, 2015

Kenzo Pour Homme Boisée / Woody by Kenzo

I used to own a bottle of this, but recently sold it. I can see it being fitting for somebody, but it just isn't me. First off this fragrance shouldn't be called "woody", it should be called "herbal".. by far one of the most herbal, if not, the most herbal designer fragrance I have ever smelled. The dry down I get more of the woods, but this is dominated by basil and rosemary. It also projects pretty big in the opening, so be careful, because you will smell like a spice cabinet.

Again, I'm sure it has a purpose for some people, as it caters to a specific crowd. If you're looking for an inexpensive herbal fragrance, and don't wanna spend all that money on niche, this could be for you.
07th September, 2015

Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

Like woods, like pepper? Hinoki is for you then. After a quick intense spicy woodsy opening the camphor molecule quickly emerges giving that smoldering burning wood note, an element I get in Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille. Although here in Hinoki, don't expect any sweetness. This fragrance smells like some Jean Claude Ellena would make, since it's pretty heavy on the Iso E as well.

Overall price for value, this stuff is a bit too boring and one dimensional for my tastes, but if you know CdG, especially some of their series, then you know how they make simplistic fragrances. I just don't think the mark up is worth it. To me, this is worth about 30 bucks. Longevity is also pretty poor at 4 hours or less.
21st June, 2015

L'Eau D'Issey Pour Homme Summer 2013 by Issey Miyake

Although not to hyped on Basenotes, L'Eau D'Issey Summer 2013 got really good reviews on other sites, so I thought I'd check it out.

Intrigued by the bottle, and theme, I thought, kiwi could be something great in a fragrance. Unfortunately, other than the artsy kiwi on the bottle and the box, I get no kiwi in this. I wanna believe I get it in the opening, but it's just not there. Tons of grapefruit, lots of pepper, and basically for the most part, the same fragrance as the original, which I'm not particularly fond of. Although this one does smell better than the original, its theme is misleading. Longevity is very poor as others have said. Projection is ok, but there are much better in its genre.

I got a big 4.2 oz bottle for like 42 shipped on Amazon, which in my opinion is overpriced, and that's about the lowest price you can get it for. I wouldn't pay more than 25-30 for a bottle of this, which you just won't find anymore since it's already 2 years old. I do hear the flankers for 2014 and 2015 are the exact same as this though, with just different bottle art.

Overall, I don't recommend this. Unless you can find it for a price below 30 bucks, it's just not worth it.
13th June, 2015

Interlude Man by Amouage

Not as bad as the first time I tried it. I got a real good 4 spray wearing out of my sample the other day, and I do think it's a nice fragrance.

The opening is a bit confusing. Cotton candy.. seriously, yes Amouage does cotton candy. Actually a few Amouage's I have tried have surprised me with very synthetic candy-like openings, and this is one of them. Within 20 minutes or so it settles down into more of a birch tar, smokey incense. I pick up on the oud later on in the dry down, especially when I spray it on clothing, that's where the oud really shines.

Overall, I give it a hesitant thumbs up, because of its unique style, power, and longevity. It takes risks, but it doesn't go too out of bounds with it, like another fragrance that's sort of in its same league, which is Jeke by Slumberhouse. They mouth have this weird "barbeque meat/old tea bag" note, but in Interlude Man, it works well!

This is would be a sure thumbs up if the price was lower. I understand niche is a luxury item, but some of these companies really gouge you for what you get, no bottle of any fragrance should cost more than 150 bucks direct from the manufacturer. I've dabbled in fragrance making quite a bit, and have made some good high quality stuff that smelled comparable to the high end niche stuff, and it didn't cost me more than $20 to make, and that's for 10 oz worth. Unfortunately sometimes a fragrance is just that damn good, and there's no way to avoid the cost, and while I should practice what I preach, I myself have succumbed to the gouging, for fragrances that I really wanted.
26th April, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Porsche Design Essence Intense by Porsche

Thumbs down was in the works for this, but that's only because I love the original so much, so I had high expectations for this one. I got a 2 sample pack off Ebay for like 5 bucks and change from a seller. I really hate ordering samples sometimes, especially in 2 packs, because usually if they're in sets of 2, it's because they're filled half way or less (in my experience). That rant aside, onto the fragrance. If I had to guess, I would say the Intense version is a perfume concentration, based on how it performs. The top notes last longer, and it sits closer to the skin, contrary to other reviews, the Intense version has much less projection. In the original, the blueberry note is very prominent in its opening, where as in the Intense, the blueberry note is subdued and a sweet almost resinous incense note overpowers it.

The 2 are very similar, it would be pointless to try and seek out a bottle of the Intense version, because it's much harder to find, and you won't get a great price when you do find it. Though the intense version does have better longevity, the projection is weaker.. it is however a bit smoother, and darker. Surprisingly, it's a bit more generic too, I feel like I've smelled it elsewhere, and not just in the original Porsche Essence.

In the end, I think it's a good solid fragrance, but its availability makes it pointless to really seek out, especially if you own the original. I plan on eventually testing this entire house, as I feel they make some pretty good fragrances.
20th April, 2015

No.032 Bay Rum by C.O. Bigelow Apothecary

The reviews here are quite misleading on this one.. so let me set the record straight. I blind bought this based on the unanimous positive reviews. I paid something like 32 bucks for a 2.5 oz bottle, which isn't a bad deal, but it's money down the drain when you don't wear it.

So the top notes are pretty nice.. sort of a more tropical bay rum. There is definitley little to no clove in this one.. lots of bay leaf, and spices, along with these cheap synthetic woodsy notes. The good top notes fade off pretty quick, and I am left these horrible plastic woodsy synthetic notes in the base. Total waste.
13th April, 2015

Violet Eyes by Elizabeth Taylor

It's mind boggling that nobody has compared this to CK Be. They are extremely similar. Whether on basenotes, fragrantica or any other site, I have never seen the comparison. CK Be is one of my all time favorite "safe" fragrances. Peach, white musk, the fresh metallic vibe that isn't a note, but some sort of combination of notes, or even a smeical compound that creates this accord. Bottom line, Violet Eyes is CK Be, with a more floral heart, with better projection, and sometimes better longevity. CK Be is temperamental on my skin.. sometimes the longevity is great, sometimes it's horrible. Violet Eyes is pretty consistent with its longevity though, at about 6-8 hours most of the time. Violet Eyes is safe for a man to wear, as long as you don't mind some floral notes. But on a woman, this smells beautiful.
10th April, 2015

Bulgari pour Homme Extreme by Bulgari

Pretty damn good Bulgari!

Let me start by saying that I thing this is one of the most underrated designer houses.

Onto pour Homme Extreme though. I am not really keen on citrus fragrances, but this one is well worth owning. As expected in the older Bulgari stuff, you'll get the tea note that is their signature. Here, the tea is greener and herbal. Lots of grapefruit, although it isn't listed as a note, that is the main note I pick up on. There's a pretty heavy dose of pepper here, but it isn't sharp at all. It blends with the green tea and citrus to create this grassy accord, similar to what is done in the original Michael Jordan Cologne.. I get this here. Mmm the smell of a fresh cut lawn. don't get it twisted though, this smells nothing like Michael Jordan. This has that old school Bulgari charm, that quality tear note they used to use so much.

For a citrus dominated fragrance, Bulgari pour Homme Extreme has exceptional longevity. Projection is pretty good, but you may not get noticed after about 2 hours, as it sits pretty close to the skin. It also has a similarity to Banana Republic Classic.

This isn't something I can wear a lot though, or I will begin to hate it, and sadly the reason being, is because it smells so natural. "What! You don't wanna smell natural!!?" Well honestly, with citrus fragrances, I'd rather them be a little less natural, a little more sweet & synthetic, like on the style of Lacoste White/Blanc, Clinique Happy, Chrome, etc.
06th April, 2015

24 Platinum by ScentStory FZE

Not bad! The opening, I get a burst of alcohol. It dies off quickly though and rose emerges from the start. A nice red rose, with some other notes around it, but mostly rose. I really didn't pay attention to this drying down, but I smelled my hand about an hour later and was left with nothing but rose and vanilla. Then I smelled my hand again about 3 hours later, and still rose and vanilla. The rose in the dry down isn't overly floral, there are no other stupid floral notes clouding the rose, and the rose overpowers the vanilla to perfection. Just the right 75% to 25% rose to vanilla ratio that I desire. My only complaint.. I wish this fragrance was a little darker.
02nd April, 2015

Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

There's already over 100 reviews of Guerlain Homme, so without getting long and technical, I will just throw my 2 cents in.

This opens up just like a mojito, and I don't mean the synthetic mojito smell, and overly minty and lime-y. This actually evokes the smell of an alcoholic mojoito.. yes you can smell the alcohol here, but not a perfumers alcohol, the smell of alcohol in the drink, so A+ for that. It could be a bit off putting to come, but in my opinion, they nailed the opening for a natural mojito. Within 30 minutes though, I am left with a boring, light rose smelling, airy, and slight bit of woods dry down. Hard to smell, no sillage, and boring. This fragrance shines in the first 15 minutes. In the opening after the natural alcohol mojito dries down, the mint really overpowers everything. It's just not very well done. Maybe some of the flankers do it better.
02nd April, 2015

Halston Man by Halston

A surprisingly nice fruity/cinnamon/incense fragrance, that just didn't get any publicity. Where Halston Man has gone is a mystery, and if it will ever come back remains to be seen.

I got a miniature of this with my Amber Man gift set, and I gotta say, as much as I love Amber Man, this little devil was getting more wear than Amber was, once I got it. I instantly fell in love. The combination of cinnamon, and passionfruit is astonishing, fantastic, niche quality all the way. There's a heavy dose of mint, but it remains behind the cinnamon/spice notes. As it dries, there's a strong eucalyptus like aroma, which I assume is the artemisia I am smelling. The more I wear it, the more it reminds me of the super cheap Everlast for men, only this one is done much better. Not sure what the other reviewers are thinking, but this stuff is outstanding. Give it a full wearing.

Conclusion. A full bodies very masculine fragrance that isn't afraid to take risks, the added passionfruit note, the use of mint, and other citrus notes in the background, make this one stand out from the rest.. as I said very niche like.
28th March, 2015

I am King by Sean John

I am King is a bonafide fruit punch. The opening is a short blast of cranberry, but after about a minute it really just smells like Kenneth Cole Black, which is a mango fruity dominated fragrance. It smells like a better version of Kenneth Cole Black, as Black gets too synthetic in smell, with chemical accords causing it to just smell bad. I am King actually smells good. Another thing that comes to mind is Spree candies. Ya guys remember those? They had a hard sweet shell and a sour inside. That is what I get here, a sweet outside with a sour inside. Usually sour in perfume doesn't work for me, but it actually smells pretty good here.

Longevity is about 4-6 hours for me, usually on the higher side of 6, which isn't too shabby. Projection is just right, not too little, not too much. Perfect scent for an office setting, or just running errands.
27th March, 2015

Rose Noir for Men by Giorgio Valenti

Everybody who has tried this seems to say the same.. roses and berries. I just don't get it. In the opening I get a quick blast of a darker rose, but it quickly fades into what mostly smells like anise or licorice to me. This smells like a cross between English Leather Black, Cuba Black, and Zino (Davidoff). For a fragrance released in 99, it smells much more dated. Not my thing. Although I am sure it appeals to a certain crowd.. likely good for the mature men, 50+ crowd. I'll have to give my bottle to my father.
25th March, 2015

Debonair by Smell Bent

Sorry, but this stuff is disgusting. Smells like fresh neroli, which is the plus, but it smells like it fell in an ash tray, or it caught on fire. This is probably one of the smokiest smelling fragrances ever. I don't mean the good smokiness that incense gives off.. this just smells like something is burning or got burnt. There is a TON of neroli in here. Projection is beast mode, longevity is stellar, but seriously, how can anyone wear this stuff? One of the few fragrances that literally choked me out, and made me wanna vomit.
21st March, 2015

A*Men Ultra Zest by Thierry Mugler

For me, Ultra Zest disappoints. The opening is a combination of orange and those typical A*Men DNA gourmand notes, caramel, honey, vaniila, patchouli. Although the orange note is the big star in the opening, the combination almost smells like vomit. No where in my mind do I ever get this creamsicle vibe that others have alluded to. After a muffled opening and a mediocre mid/dry down, the base which is predominately caramel to me, is what redeems the fragrance. The base notes are comforting. Somebody else said, this is basally A*Men without the tar, and with an added orange note. I couldn't agree more. Honestly though, it's just played out to death. Come up with something new Mugler.. boring.
18th March, 2015

Legend by Michael Jordan

A cheaper, less sweet Rochas Man. For the price it's pretty hard to beat. Beginners need a good sensual gourmand? Look no further.
10th March, 2015

Choco Musk by Al Rehab

This is pretty nice, but "Choco" is misleading for sure. This should be called Tonka Musc, or maybe Tonka Slightly Cocoa Musk, lol. The cocoa in here is very subtle, like a light chocolate milk. This is mostly tonka bean, with an ambery finish, and musky base. It is nice though, very gourmand, the tonka is heavy but doesn't smell cheap. To be honest, I can't tell if it's tonka bean or vanilla that I am smelling (that's a good thing). Best of all this stuff is a projection monster, so be careful how you apply it. Oh ya, and CHEAP, thumbs up!
07th March, 2015

Aseel by Al Rehab

After several recommendations, I decided to blind buy Aseel.. boy was I led on. This basically smells like Dove bar soap with a cheap bleach like oud accord. Glad I only bought the pocket spray and nothing more.
07th March, 2015

Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

Mugler Cologne opens up as a carbon copy of Creed's Original Vetiver. Where OV stays green though, Mugler Cologne gets overcasted with neroli for the most part. Credit where it's due, to go from vetiver to neroli so smoothly, almost unnoticeably is outstanding. My problem is that I don't care for neroli. You like neroli, vetiver? You will love this. The vetiver in here is more soapy, more like Guerlain's Vetiver (current formulation), than it is green. I prefer a darker and earthier vetiver tone, which I don't get here.

Undoubtedly though, this is a clean gentleman's fragrance. Sophisticated and refined. This is John Varvatos Artisan, meets Guerlain Vetiver, or Creed's OV.
06th March, 2015

NeroUno by Montegrappa

Totally forgot to review this one. Unfortunately what I can remember about this one is cloudy. I do remember it starting off with an almost Fahrenheit like gasoline note, and then turning more into a Dior Homme type thing. The few reviews on this I have read, nobody seems to feel how I do though. I will have to sample this one again. It's harder to find in the US though.
04th March, 2015

Avant Garde by Lanvin

Add me to the other 10+ thumbs up. Now although Avant Garde isn't a projection or longevity monster, for the price, you really can't complain. Firstly, upon initial application, and I do mean like right away, it smells almost identical to Tobacco Vanille's dry down, ya know that burnt marshmallow smell, that we long for. However, it quickly develops into a more of a lavender, amber, and bergamot combination. Beeswax and honey become dominant notes, and I even get a little bit of Dior Homme in here, with an obvious iris note.

Avant Garde is really good, because, it reminds me of all the big favorites, Tobacco Vanille, Bvlgari Black, Dior Homme, and Eau des Baux without all the pepper. It's very versatile, despite having the notes that it does, which typically limits it to cooler months. Best of all, this won't break your bank. Bottle looks nice too. I have the 1.7 oz, but I don't think it's the right amount of juice, or the bottle size has been marked wrong. Based on my usage and how fast it's going down, I feel it's more like 1.4-1.5 oz, not 1.7. Although not a huge difference, definitley noticeable.
04th March, 2015