Reviews by The_Cologneist

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    The_Cologneist
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    Allure Homme by Chanel

    I totally agree with Shamu, though I don't hate this stuff as much as him. But for those looking for something that smells ultra special, you might wanna look in another direction. People claim this stuff smells a little like something from every genre, and arguably so. I get a little bit of citrus, creaminess, fruity, a little leather accord, some baby powder or a baby wipe smell as it dries, tonka bean, vanilla, vetiver and patchouli, along with a grape accord that's there from start to finish; which may seem like a lot to muster up, but it's really not too great. It's super generic, and basically a cheapo with a high price tag.

    Though there's no denying in my mind that it smells good, and I may have been a bit more enthused about such a fragrance back when it first came out, but as for now, with all the other stuff out, and the hundreds of fragrances that I've owned or tried.. this is hiding in the shadows, and deservingly so, it isn't very special to me, and certainly isn't bottle worthy.

    As for Chanel fragrances in general. If you're like me, you know your stuff a bit more than the average Joe, but you're not too familiar with some of the more respected houses such as Chanel and Dior, take my advice and avoid this one. I own a decant of Chanel No. 5 for women, and the comparison of quality is just astronomical. No. 5 is a beautiful, well composed, thick, rich and expensive fragrance, stunning! Very much a woman's fragrance, and even if you're opposed to wearing such, there's no denying that No 5 is a masterpiece. Allure on the other hand is just boring; it's hard to believe that these 2 are made by the same company. I'll keep my hopes up for trying Allure Sport, Egoiste, and some of the flankers, but thus far, as far, as Allure goes, all I can say is zzz...

    29th August, 2010

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    Hermèssence Vanille Galante by Hermès

    First time I tried this, I liked it, but it wasn't too special to me. Second time I wore it, I hated it! Afterwards I wrote it off, yet still had this 15 ml decant in my possession. Eventually I mustered up the courage to give it another try, and this time I enjoyed it much more, and every time thereafter. Although, I don't see myself buying this again in the future.

    What Vanille Galante does that no other vanilla fragrance does is it extracts the sweetness from the vanilla, and really makes it earthy, with that Hermes touch. But, then the earthy like smells are less earthy than others made by JCE, because of some added synthetic and chemical notes. I pick up a strong rubber/latex note that stays in the fragrance for a while. I think this is what initially turned me off the most, but it's like, the more you smell it, the more you like it. I think rubber notes are actually quite nice in many fragrances, if done right they give a certain ruggedness to them.

    Vanille Galante is an unsweetened vanilla (though naturally sweet), slightly herbal, rubbery, cooling, and medicinal fragrance, very unique but doesn't jump off the wall, because it's quite subtle. A must try though for those looking for a different type of vanilla. JCE proves that there can be vanilla fragrances that aren't syrupy, overly sweet, or cloying. Even if you hate vanilla, ya may wanna give this one a try.

    28th August, 2010 (Last Edited: 09th April, 2011)

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    Uomo? Moschino by Moschino

    For me, this fragrance is more of fresh scent than a soapy one. It starts off very fresh, green, and vibrant, then fades into a more lemony, spicy and slightly sour (I think from the lemon) scent. As it becomes more lemony it reminds me of a less attractive version of Purple Water (Asprey). Once the lemon dies down, so does my enthusiasm. The lemon kept it alive for me, and although I'm not a huge lemon fan, I enjoyed the lemon note or accord in this very much; all 15 minutes of it. Afterwards, it's just your typical run of the mil fresh fragrance, with some floral, and woodsy notes that are very common, synthetic smelling, and unappealing to me. As for those who find this unique, umm.. lol. No disrespect, but this is about as generic as generic gets.

    Just smells like a typical chemical Claiborne fragrance, pass..

    26th August, 2010

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    Hermèssence Brin de Réglisse by Hermès

    I get a very strong black licorice note in the opening accompanied by a boatload of herbs and some pepper. The lavender kicks in after some of the herbs diminish, which isn't for a good hour or so. Although it seems very strong when you smell it up on the skin, it actually didn't project very much for me, especially when comparing to others from this line. The dry down is more or less the same as Paprika Brasil's only less enjoyable and more dull. I do get anywhere from 6-8 hours longevity, however it's very very dull for more than half of those hours. This one is just so&so to me, I might buy it if it were 90% off :D

    21st August, 2010

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    Black Diamond by Canali

    Way too many notes to break apart what specifically is noticeable. But, I can confidentially say that the opening is reminiscent of Polo Sport, then as it dries a little, it becomes less boring and a little more distinguished with its noticeable leather note/accord along with the violet. These are which stand out the most to me, but as others have said it's blended together very smoothly so that you can't so much break it into individual notes. It's like a fruit punch mixed with leather and a little bit of florals, then some spice, then some woods.. You get a little bit of everything here. Quite nice, but ultimately boring and generic. Seems copied a million times, and surely will be, a million more. Worth a try but not bottle worthy imo.

    Update: Black Diamond is very similar to Usher for men, only more potent. If you like Usher, but it doesn't last on you, go with this, you won't be disappointed.

    18th August, 2010 (Last Edited: 12th February, 2013)

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    Givenchy Play by Givenchy

    Generic? Ya. Boring? Maybe. But, I'm a sucker for fragrances like these. With its zesty lemon, bergamot and grapefruit opening blended smoothly with the sweet patchouli and a little vetiver. Along with the pepper, creates the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. Never too sweet or cloying and never too spicy. In fact, barely spicy, just a little bit of pepper to let ya know that Play is here and kicking. I also get tons of vanilla which aren't listed in any of the notes on any site, but I can assure you, there's vanilla in this stuff.

    This stuff is very versatile and very safe. Ya it's boring, ya it's common, Ya it doesn't project much. Longevity isn't bad though, I get anywhere from 4-6 hours which is ok and expected with a fragrance like this. In the majority of that time, it stays pretty close to the skin, however it can be confusing because after about 20 minutes when you think it's gone completely, it's just very mellow. Hold your breath and take another whiff, it's still there, and others will still smell you. But once the 2 hour mark rolls around, this stuff is pretty delicate, Play doesn't want people to know it's on your skin. I do not recommend this scent for warmer or more humid climates because it will evaporate on the skin. The smell itself is suited for hot weather, but given its quality, it will not work. This is best if used in fall or even winter.

    Play comes in a unique mp3 player like bottle, that's pretty cheesy in my opinion, but still has a nice appearance. If I could compare the scent to another fragrance, I would say Beckham Signature Story. Many probably haven't tried this or even seen it, but Play is basically a far more tamed version of the overly cloying Signature Story.

    Is it worth it? This fragrance lacks in quality, is thin and somewhat watered down, and is a common olfactory fatigue terrorist. The fatigue problem may be more a problem for the noob noses out there. I am pretty good with avoiding it now since being more novice, but sometimes it's inevitable. Worth the price? Nah.. not for what you get. 53 bucks at Macy's for 1.7 oz of this is a joke. I wouldn't drop more than 20 on it.

    18th August, 2010

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    V pour Homme by Valentino

    Now discontinued and pretty hard to find is V pH. A very "love/hate" fragrance to say the least. Pink pepper is the dominating note in the opening to me, and actually bares a very strong resemblance to A*Men: Taste of Fragrance. Pink pepper, and gummy bears. The sweetness from the vanilla is pretty beast, and it kind of unbalances this one. It goes from spicy to sweet, to spicy, to sweet. There's incense in the background, and other unique spices (I get a sort of cumin or curry note). Longevity could be better.. I get around 4 hours usually. Projection is well throughout.

    Usually I write off unbalanced fragrances like these, but there's something appealing about this one. Also gets me a lot of compliments.

    16th August, 2010 (Last Edited: 11th April, 2013)

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    Boss Soul by Hugo Boss

    Ahh, a great example of too many notes pushed together. The opening of Soul to me smells like neroli, lime, and leather. Kind of reminds me of CK Contradiction in the opening. Then I get this fish food accord. This is no exaggeration.. it smells like fish food to me. It stays this way for the most part during the middle, where I also get the anise coming through which is listed as a top note, but I definitely don't get it until about 20 minutes in. I also get the nut meg and cinnamon, and it reminds me of a loopy more earthy version of Tommy. I also get the vetiver in the middle and even in the top a little even though it's listed as a base note. If you take the time to smell this on your arm from top to base, and look at the notes provided, you may pick up on everything, I piked up on most, but I'm sorry, this just doesn't come together well. On top of that, it smells quite cheap.

    16th August, 2010

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    So well blended that it's nearly impossibly to pick apart notes. This here is the epitome of a woman's perfume, this is what perfume is, plain and simple.

    15th August, 2010

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    Halston 1-12 by Halston

    Starts off kind of deep and bold, similar to Grey Flannel but without the violet note, but within minutes it transforms into something pretty disgusting. Harsh, toxic, chemical, ewww, pass. Get a sample of this from fragrancenet and see for yourself, it isn't very wearable.

    13th August, 2010

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    Black Orchid by Tom Ford

    The smell itself is excellent, kind of a cotton candy and tropical fruit thing going on. The fragrance however, being marketed toward women, should stay this way. This stuff is very very very feminine imo. I can't see a man wearing this unless he's very flamboyant. This fragrance is not only marketed for a woman nd should be worn by a woman, but it's very loud and in your face too. Smells gorgeous, but I can't pull this one off.

    12th August, 2010

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    Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé by Hermès

    Oatmeal raisin cookies. This is an easy way of describing it. Though it's more complex; with nutmeg, cinnamon, hazelnut, apple, honey, vanilla. This stuff is so awesome, and it never gets too cloying like a lot of gourmands do. If I had to pick something to compare this to, I'd say the closest would be Banderas Spirit and Spirit VIP, but other than that, it's pretty much in a league by itself, at least for now that is. As its popularity grows, so will knockoffs of this product, which hopefully a few will succeed, because I'm not too thrilled with paying 250 a bottle. As with all the Hermes frags, you can expect that Hermes appeal that brings a lot of people back to them.. longevity - excellent, projection/sillage - perfect, and of course that natural smell/feel that you get from most Hermes frags.

    12th August, 2010

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    Very Cool for Men by Tommy Bahama

    I'm glad my original review wasn't published, which gives me an opportunity to explain this a little better. I'm still not a big fan though so I wont get too into depth. The opening is very fresh and lively. The middle turns pretty bad with light animalic and metallic accords as well as chemical accords. It simmers down some when getting into the base, less animalic, more metallic , and interesting. Closest to the skin out of all of the TB fragrances imo. Soapy throughout. Pretty tough nut to crack here, still my least favorite out of all the male fragrances from TB but not horrible. This should be adopted out of the house though, it doesn't really match.

    10th August, 2010

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    Purple Water by Asprey

    I definitley get the Pledge out of this, but it's not so bad. This is by far one the zestiest lemon fragrances I've ever owned, but before the lemon gets so dominant, it reminds me a lot of L'eau d'Issey. Once the zesty lemon dies down it becomes more of a synthetic candy lemon, like lemonheads candies. In comes a big fat orange blossom note as it moves into the middle which is about 15-20 minutes after initial application. The combination of the lemons and orange blossoms go together very smoothly. As if a lemon banged an orange blossom, their offspring would be the beginning of the heart notes of Purple Water. I also get the clear smell of an actual water note in middle, like a very pure spring water. I also get some violet and lavender notes out of the middle, which isn't listed in the note pyramid; but to me, those 2 notes would definitley make a fragrance "purple". As the middle fades, it becomes more soapy and floral before it takes on a vetiver and slightly musky base. I also get a grape accord that weaves in and out. The middle and base are more feminine than the opening. Projection is better in the opening, then anywhere from 4-6 inches from the skin in the middle, then just dies down more and more with time as many fragrances do. Longevity is about 5 hours for me on a good day.

    Not bad at all, Zesty opening with high hopes of a more thorough lemon fragrance; that ends up being a completely different middle and base than the opening. I like the middle and base more and more though as I wear it more, it's actually a thing of beauty. Definitely tricked me though, not what I was expecting.

    Is it worth the price though? This stuff is pretty expensive, usually around 70 bucks for 1.7 oz.but I have seen this online from 30-40. Even if I wasn't on a budget with my fragrances, I wouldn't pay such. It is a good smelling fragrance, that seems pretty high quality, but it just doesn't do enough for me to wanna pay that much. I would buy this for sure though if it were under 20 bucks. It's different than most of the stuff I own, and just brings a smile to my face.

    07th August, 2010

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    Hugo Energise by Hugo Boss

    Maybe one of the worst Hugo's I've tried. That doesn't say much, since most of them are pretty generic and boring. This one is generic, boring, and lacks in longevity and projection. Smells chemical with a very synthetic pepper note. Opens with a little citrus and various spices... stays linear more or less. Doesn't project much, doesn't last more than 2 hours. This being a good thing though. Hugo was good, Hugo Energise is just garbage, don't waste your money.

    06th August, 2010

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    Photo by Lagerfeld

    Photo by KL reminds me of a confused 80's aromatic fougère. The opening just screams lavender, which is a note that I happen to love, so I have no problem with its opening. The lavender dulls shortly after though, and the fragrance becomes more floral and soapy.

    When I say "confused 80's" I mean it's got that 80's vibe, the smell and everything, but it doesn't have that powerhouse projection. It actually sits about 2-4 inches from the skin for most of the time, HOWEVER, the sillage is good. I used to want something that everyone could smell, no matter where I was. Now I prefer something that people can only smell when I walk by them; this is what sillage is. Photo does a good job of rising off the skin while in motion. Not too much though either, which makes this even better for a day at the office.

    Back to the middle notes though, I do pick up on some chemical odors up close, but it also kind of smells like lillys and orange blossoms. These 2 notes I notice to often give off a certain soapy aroma. Floral yes, but also more feminine. At this point though, being in the heart notes, Photo is sitting pretty close to the skin, and still staying well balanced with the lavender, bergamot and spices, it never once jeopardizes its masculinity. The final drydown incorporates some musky tones and and woodsy notes as well as thyme. Thyme being a quite distinctive spice, adds a lot of character to Photo's base. This thyme note reminds me of that in Horizon's. And, overall this fragrance reminds me of a mix of Drakkar Noir, Horizon, Azzaro pH, and a little bit of a barbershop scent.

    Photo is actually a little harder to get now, so I can't quite say if it's worth the money, because I haven't seen the prices. I can say that I purchased an 8ml decant for a low price from somebody, and enjoyed it. If you like those powerhouses, and the common smell that a lot of them bring to the table, you may enjoy Photo; but don't expect all that projection.

    06th August, 2010

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    Apparition Homme by Ungaro

    I get a sweet and soapy pear/papaya opening. Very synthetic too; the opening is decent but once it fades a little it starts to get more chemical in smell.. the result being something that smells like glue for about 25 minutes before the base notes kick in. For me, I picked up on the base notes about 25-30 minutes after having this on my skin.. at which point, I picked up on the woods and vetiver. While at the same time, the base still smells soapy as well. Dare I say, that between the middle notes and base notes of this fragrance, it smells a little bit like Green Irish Tweed.

    Definitely not as bad as others have made it out to be. Longevity is 2-4 hours, and projection is below average, but not entirely a skin scent. However, I feel the way this projects is adequate because it may be too cloying if it projected more. Good scent for the office, granted you like it enough first. To me, this fragrance reminds me of Usher UR. Synthetic fruity opening, soapy, woodsy drydown, but not really very woodsy. This isn't bottle worthy for me though.

    05th August, 2010

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    Signature pour Homme by S.T. Dupont

    I agree with SirSlarty's review on this. It definitely opens up with that incense and inky smell along with some pepper. About 5 minutes into it, I pick up on the basil leaf a little bit, but I get no grapefruit at all. The incense though is extremely recognizable in this stuff, it smells like the cheap powder that flakes off of those incense sticks. The fragrance itself though doesn't at all smell cheap. It's deep, rich, spicy and oriental.

    It does have this certain cultural feel to it. I think this would be something people in India would wear, or it would match with the surroundings. Signature projects nicely throughout, and lasts a good 8 hours. It's pretty basic and linear, after about 20 minutes, those ink accords subside, and we're left with basically an incense/woodsy/spicy fragrance. Later on the spice eventually wears thin too. Overall to me, this stuff is just bleh.. Bland, boring, old fashioned. I'm also not much into incense so that weakens my enthusiasm for this stuff.

    05th August, 2010

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    Minotaure by Paloma Picasso

    As soon as this came out of the decant ant hit my skin, I said to myself.. OH NO.. Versace V/S was running through my mind. The opening of Minotaure is very much similar. Smells like either thick glue or paint chips. Not very appealing. But I didn't just wash this one off immediately, I gave it the benefit of the doubt. After that nasty opening vanishes.. which takes quite a while, as this stuffs opening notes last a good 45 minutes. Or it may just be that it comes out together with the middle notes which is what I'm thinking, since I get more of the geranium and jasmine in the opening than I do the citrus.

    The base notes are what helps it out a little bit, if you can wait around that long. It turns into a decent geranium, jasmine, leather and some sort of woods.. I wouldn't say sandalwood though, and with just a hint of vanilla. I still don't find this to be bottle worthy. Projection is about average and longevity is 6+ hours. I find this stuff to be pretty much unwearable, chemical accords which don't ever go well with me. Glad I tested this one first, or I'd be selling this stuff for sure. Although the base is tolerable, it's still not worthy of even and indifferent rating. It reminds me too much of V/S, which I can say that I hate! This is just maybe one step up and away from it. WARNING -- Try before you buy.

    05th August, 2010

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    Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

    Not one of my favorites from Tom Ford, yet still pretty good. I just finished up an 8ml decant of Tom Ford Extreme, but I still feel kind of left with no result on how I feel. Allow me to explain... Tom Ford Extreme's opening is nothing like others from the private collection, or even Grey Vetiver. It has a very weak opening. It smells like something I've smelled before at first, then seems to get much more fruity. Then it fades and gets spicy, then woodsy. It has a little bit a of everything really, it's pretty complex, and hard to say what we're smelling. It just smells mediocre to me, but it could be a could office scent.

    This is one of the few times where I'm at a loss for words to explain the depth of the notes or accords. Seemingly making this remarkable, but TSE is really nothing special. I'm indifferent.

    04th August, 2010

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    Cool Water Game by Davidoff

    Revising an older and much longer review, I have once again changed my mind about Cool Water Game. This time I am writing it off indefinitely.

    Game opens up with what is supposed to be a watermelon top note, that really just smells like a cheap apple mixed with sour grapefruit and a hint of basil. It eventually turns into a lavender dominated middle, combined with leather or suede (although not listed) and a patchouli base. The quality of the notes separate are pretty bad, maybe except for the patchouli in the end; and the combination of them together are just horrible. It basically smells like apple juice spilled on a leather couch and sat there in the sun, not to be confused with Nicole Miller for men, which is an apple/leather fragrance that actually smells amazing, this smells nothing like that. Game is chemical smelling, smells like make up or nail polish at some point in time. Then again, I have smelled worse. This one is probably the worst from the Cool Water brand though, as most of the Cool Water flankers are very safe and inoffensive. Game is just all over the place, it takes risks, and they do not prevail.

    Save yourself the agony, and just avoid this one all together.. there is no watermelon here. Perhaps with Game, they were going for a mature man's aquatic. It didn't turn out that way.

    25th July, 2010 (Last Edited: 11th March, 2014)

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    Signature Story For Him by Beckham

    This stuff is at my local TJ Maxx.. I had the displeasure of buying it then returning it within the hour. It smelled pretty good in the store. Sort of like a mix of Le Male, Polo Double Black and the lemon notes from Live Jazz. It smelled similar on my skin, but very headache inducing, extremely cloying, and with that nasty papery smell. The smell is a bit exotic and captivating at first, sort of gourmandish yet somewhat sporty and citrus. The closest I can compare it to are Le Male, and Double Black, but with some citrus in the top. Actually, if you have ever tried a Le Male wannabe known as 360 White by Perry Ellis, this is very similar. They both share that beyond cloying opening that is just too over the top and powdery in feel and slightly in smell if you know what I mean. Bleh.. NEXT!

    1.7 oz of Signature Story is going for 16.99 at TJ Maxx, and that price is too much to me. This isn't worth more than 7 bucks at best.. and even if it were that low, I probably wouldn't buy it. While at the same time, Story doesn't compromise the quality ingredients, it does smell very rich and heavy, which at first made me ask myself if i was really sniffing a Coty fragrance.

    Coty.. Beckham..Get your sh*t together already! Try making a fragrance with a quality feeling like this one, but with a pleasing aroma. Dip into some of your Nautica's for advice, at least all from the Voyage lineup smell great. Signature Story is just another sad story.

    23rd July, 2010

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    Adidas Moves by Adidas

    Almost a perfect citrus fragrance. It's cheap, it smells good, it gets compliments, it actually does last long -- if you understand there is more to a fragrance than the projecting top notes. It's complete and versatile. The base notes are light creamy woods.

    One problem, however. There is a sort of onion like smell up close for a period in the opening. Hard to explain, but always there for me. I'd assume (like with numerous other cheapies) I get it from the clash in chemicals in this one. Fortunately, it goes away eventually.

    I have spent many many years with this fragrance in my collection. Gone through a few bottles, and find it to be a great citrus scent. Will always have a bottle in my collection. Sort of a comfort scent for a fresh zesty citrus blast. Also very similar to Versace pH.

    Between this and Curve, imo, the 2 best economical citrus fragrances on the market. Unfortunately, both have a problem with a chemical smell in their notes. So when recommending the perfect citrus fragrance, I can't go with either of these, because they have this flaw.

    Something a little pricier like Bvlgari pH Extreme, or Lalique White are excellent choices for that perfect citrus scent that just hits the spot.

    22nd July, 2010 (Last Edited: 11th April, 2013)

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    Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin

    Whoever made the decision to discontinue this is simply as ass, let's get that out of the way. This ranks up there with Gucci Envy amongst discontinued gems. Why you would cancel stuff like this and keep swill like most of the current designer releases out, is beyond me.

    Now that the rant is out of the way.. let's talk about this one. At first it's a tangy nectarine, orange and citrus blast, that quickly calms down into more of an sweet orange or perhaps mandarin, orange blossom, iris, and vanilla, pink pepper, and nutmeg. Undoubtedly a strong reminiscence to both Dior Homme, and Dior Homme Intense, and although many may say this is the lesser complex when comparing them, I have to disagree; there is a lot going on here. In ways the structure of this fragrance is very similar to Live Jazz, because it's light yet always there, it's very intriguing though not entirely unique. It just gets your nose a sniffing all over. It feels very mature and sophisticated, worth more than what you pay. It also feels unisex as well, but more so as it dries down, when more of the floral notes emerge and it stays near the skin. The base is actually my favorite part, unlike many others, although I wish it would project a little more. It's like oranges and cream with some vanilla and soft florals. The iris note is very prominent from start to finish, it's woodsy but also powdery. I don't much get the sandalwood in the dry down.

    There are some flaws though, none within the fragrance itself. It's quite a beauty. I mean, ya longevity and projection is debatable, but that varies person to person. The bottle's cap though doesn't fit on securely, which is bothersome for many. And, I was one of the unfortunate ones to have an oozing sprayer. It trickles down and all over the place, and I lose a bit of juice when using it. Although the bottle is a beauty, very much a modern and abstract design. I'll just hope for a better sprayer the next time I purchase it. Longevity is a problem on my skin, I can never get more than 4 hours, but I usually get 2 or 3.

    This is slightly similar to Dior Homme, but closer to Paul Smith Man, I feel, because of the tonka bean in the dry down. One of the better designer fragrances, that shouldn't be overlooked.

    If you come across this one at discounters like Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, etc. Don't think, just buy. Buy, buy, buy. If you like iris, you will love this. This is truly a masterpiece.

    19th July, 2010 (Last Edited: 06th November, 2014)

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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.

    19th 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.

    17th July, 2010 (Last Edited: 18th 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.

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

    rating


    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.

    06th July, 2010

    rating


    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.

    29th June, 2010

    rating


    Kanøn by Kanon

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

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

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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000