Perfume Reviews

Reviews by The_Cologneist


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
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

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

Rose 31 by Le Labo

Easily the best wearable rose fragrance for men. I don't get much of the cumin which is a good thing; but I do get the spice, which is a good thing too, because without it, it would just be boring. The rose note is green and "dewy", like roses, mixed with the morning air, after a rainy night.

By far the best rose fragrance I have tried thus far. High quality, natural smelling, long lasting, and somewhat unique. I have yet to find a cheaper alternative though, but the journey continues.
25th February, 2015

Bijan VIP for Men by Bijan

Spicy, woodsy, cheap, body odor. Want something better, try the original Tommy Bahama for Men. VIP is too unbalanced, too much pepper, not enough woods. Has the smell of nail polish remover in the background. Got rid of my bottle, and it won't be missed.
20th February, 2015

Navigator by Dana

I used to own this when it first came out, I think I was in middle school. Either my nose has changed, or its definitley been reformulated. The original had a much better dry down, long lasting citrus, and much more tart.

With that tart smell in my mind, I bought a small half oz bottle on Ebay for 5 bucks shipped, so I could reminisce.. but to my surprise, something different than I remember.

Opening, pretty similar to how I remember, although less tart, and slightly powdery now, a little bit of Dana Canoe in there, but mostly a citrus blast in the opening, dominated by bergamot and like a combination of orange and maybe neroli. It kind turns into this spicy citrus within a minute, but not spicy from spices, spicy from the cheap perfume oils and composition used to make this fragrance, while at the same time, the smell intrigues me. It's like, it smells could as it projects, but when you stick your nose right into it, that's when it smells cheap, and spicy, and even a little chemical. After a few more minutes it gets a little powdery, and after about an hour it gets much darker. What I felt was oakmoss appears to not me a note in the fragrance, but I get tons of oakmoss, may just be a dirty vetiver note too. There's sandalwood and patchouli more so after that, with a slight musky feel. I think the note that's throwing everything all over the pace is the lavender, it just doesn't fit in. This should be a citrus fragrance, with a woodsy base, it would have been more generic, but it would have turned out better in my opinion.

This reminds me of Azzaro pour Homme L'eau, only L'eau is way too heavy on the bergamot, so I actually prefer this to it. Though neither of these fragrance are worth more than 3 stars.

The best part of Navigator is the cool sleek bottle, although cheap once you take the cap off. There's a point about 10 minutes into the stuff where it smells damn good though, after the chemical spicy accord fades off, it leaves me with this subtle blend of citrus and sandalwood.

Surprisingly for such a cheapy, this one goes back and forth, which is something you usually don't get with drugstore fragrances, they start off with 2 bold notes, and finish with 1 smell in the dry down. Navigator to me changes a lot, and I give credit for that.
19th February, 2015

RSVP by Kenneth Cole

I don't agree with all the negativity on this one. Sure it smells synthetic, but what did ya think, it's Kenneth Cole for Pete's sake.

I'm not gonna write up a huge review on this one, I just wanted to give my thoughts. It smells like Ck Euphoria, without the nasty suede note. It smells even more so like Daddy Yankee for Men, but not as good. So it falls somewhere between the 2 for me. There's an interesting leafy green note in here, maybe papyrus? it's the same note used in Kenneth Cole Signature, and in Cereus #4, although it's masked mostly in RSVP with an array of synthetic sweet and woodsy notes.

It's been rereleased recently, so I got a bottle for like 30 bucks. Not worth more than that though. Get Daddy Yankee instead, it's much cheaper, bottle is tacky, but who cares.. it's cheaper with a much better dry down.
18th February, 2015

Déclaration d'Un Soir by Cartier

Ehh, I'm not sure I really like this stuff. First off this is nothing like the original Declaration, except maybe a hint of pepper.

D'Un Soir opens up with an awesome rose note, that lasts a whole 30 seconds. After which, it turns into an overly synthetic accord, that smells pretty much identical to Raid roach spray. Finally, hours later.. 3-4 hours later, a nicer base settles in.

The majority of the time this is on my skin, it is unenjoyable, I will probably sell or swap my bottle soon.
13th February, 2015

Queen by Queen Latifah

I usually don't review women's fragrances, but this one is fairly simple, and familiar to me. I used to own a bottle of Vanille Patchouli by Molinard, and they smell almost identical.

Here In Queen, I get an equal blend of vanilla, and patchouli. It's very well paired, it smells even a bit natural, more so the patchouli than the vanilla. This is definitley a unisex fragrance. This has much less projection than Vanille Patchouli which I like too, because with how sweet it is, I don't wanna project so much, as it can become cloying.

I can't say that I pick up on any notes other than vanilla, patchouli for the most part. Hours later I smell more tonka than vanilla. I also began picking up on tonka more toward the beginning. Not that obnoxiously sweet tonka either, which is a plus for me. I don't get any of the florals. Maybe a little musk and sandalwood in the base.

I've seen this for as cheap as 10 bucks a bottle, for a bigger bottle. A great buy in my view, and a pretty nice bottle too.
02nd February, 2015

Tabaco Latino by Monotheme

I kind of see the correlation with B*Men, only Tabaco Latino smells more like piss. This is probably my least worn fragrance in my wardrobe, but it does dry down pretty nicely. Either way, I got a big bottle for like 12 bucks or something, so it's not like I lost much.
01st February, 2015

Rainforest by Silvestre

Not at all what I was expecting. The opening is pretty harsh. There's a heavy synthetic tonka note, citrus, and an overdose of either sage or thyme. Eventually it mellows out into something slightly better, but nothing special. The first 2 hours of this smell horrible. Returning my bottle. BTW this smells nothing like a rain forest or a forest.
28th January, 2015

M Génération by Mauboussin

Somewhere in the same group with Interlude Man, and Bentley Intense, only much better, and much more wearable. Upen the opening I get a lot of incense, but it quickly mellows into a heavy dose of iris and sweet woodsy notes.. probably the combination of sandalwood and cinnamon. It has a incense feel more than an incense smell to me. No stupid annoying fruity notes here, just pure manliness. Modern, conservative, and niche quality for sure. Great price too. Would love if they made smaller bottles, like a 1.7 oz or even a 1 oz, 3.3 oz of this will never get used in my collection.

This also reminds me of Versace Man, without all the saffron.
27th January, 2015 (last edited: 13th February, 2015)

Krizia Uomo by Krizia

Pine? Where?? I just don't get it. This is a review of vintage Krizia Uomo.

The opening strongly reminds me of Havana by Aramis.. but within minutes I get a slightly soapy quality and huge blast of aldehydes. Still no pine. NONE. A shame, because this was recommended to be a pine monster, and I literally smell none. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions too quickly, this is only my second time wearing this.

As it dries down it reminds me of a mix of several old school scents, notably Giorgio Beverly Hills. It has that weird plasticy smelling soapy quality, very "aldehydic", with a sweet and dirty moss note in the background.

Still on the fence with this one. Nothing unique or groundbreaking.
08th January, 2015