Reviews by rach2jlc

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    rach2jlc
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    L'Interdit II by Givenchy

    Enjoyable and fun; imagine the original with less aldehydes, more sandalwood and fruit (strawberry). It's not terribly sad it was discontinued; the original L'interdit certainly is better. BUT, if you find a bottle for a fair price and loved the original, you'll also love this fresher/lighter/crisper spin.

    01st November, 2013

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    L'Interdit (original) by Givenchy

    Lovely floral aldehyde. Warmer, softer, and sweeter than the "big" aldehyde (Chanel no5), it's also more durable. Best in early spring and early fall, it's a soft and delightful fragrance with a distinct fruit note (orange/peach/strawberry).

    01st November, 2013

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    No. 22 by Chanel

    Superb, but in its original form.

    My favorite Chanel. I've been lucky to have the original EdC, EdT, and Parfum (not to mention trying the new "les exclusif" edition).

    While it's worth it in any form, the new Les Exclusif is but a pale, watered down shadow of its former self. If you appreciate n5, but feel it was always a bit stark and cold, then n22 is the answer. I'm amazed it isn't more popular than the other, and isn't available anywhere and everywhere Chanel is sold. It's simply gorgeous.

    Pros: Beautiful
    Cons: New EdT Les Exclusifs Very faint"

    01st September, 2013

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    Dior Dior by Christian Dior

    Perhaps the most "Roudnitska" Roudnitska

    One of the great Roudnitska scents, now sadly discontinued. For those who love the master's scents, this one will immediately be a hit, and immediately reminiscent of his work.

    I won't comment too much on the notes or character; other posters below have done that well. It's got all the Roudnitska trademarks... overripe melon, dark fruit, and some animalic funk beneath the base.

    It's perhaps the MOST Roudnitska Roudnitska... if this makes any sense. It's got the crispness of Diorella, the spice of Eau Sauvage, the funk of Eau d'hermes, the class of Parfum de therese, the freshness even of the late Ocean Rain. At the same time, it stands apart from all of these, with a character and backbone all its own.

    I understand why it wasn't popular, and why it is discontinued. It is a Roudnitska-lover's Roudnitska.. a scent that is hardly versatile, and one that will polarize. You'll absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it. Nothing in between.

    I was lucky to find a full bottle of the parfum, and loved every use of it. Random aside: I made friends with an elderly japanese parfumeur, who in her younger days worked under Roudnitska in paris. She now does bespoke scents in her own atelier in Nagoya. She knows everything there is to know about parfumery, and even more about her teacher Roudnitska. Her all time favorite scent is "Dior Dior." That alone is worth the price of admission.

    Pros: Depth, projection, quality, distinction
    Cons: Versatility, discontinued"

    01st September, 2013

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    Bellagio for Men by Fragluxe

    This one is really awful. A sharp, acrid, citrus that somehow is cloying, musky, and badly synthetic all at the same time. Generally citrus aquatics are easy on the nose and pleasant, even then they aren't great... so it's really something when one makes your nose go, "NO WAY!"

    This one is obtained VERY cheaply and it's obvious why. Nevertheless, it's not even one I'd take if it were given to me.

    Staying at the Bellagio Hotel may be nice, but it's fragrance is worse than a Budgetel.

    30th April, 2009

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    Jil Sander Stylessence by Jil Sander

    A very unique, subtle, modern scent very reminiscent of Jil's fashion innovation. It is muted and it doesn't project much, but is very comfortable and subdued (just like Jil's fashion). As well, it has a blend of something futuristic (via an interesting, dry synthetic note) that connects it well with Raf Simon's directorship over the past few years.

    I enjoy this one and find it to be dark, dry, and light... almost like a 23rd century version of Costume National Scent Intense. It's sweet, but not cloying, dry but not arid, musky without being too animalic OR powdery. And, I've always loved the smell of Hinoki (Japanese Cypress) and was thrilled to catch this on the drydown.

    Created by Bernard Ellena in 2007 with top notes of freesia, orange leaf, petit grain and cardamom; middle notes of orange blossom, violet, jasmine and neroli; base notes of amber, hinoki wood and musk.

    Longevity via EdP Intense strength is great, but it does stick quite close to the skin.

    30th November, 2008

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    Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

    Only Guerlain could take a "safe" citrus like grapefruit and make it both fascinating and a little dangerous. This one starts off VERY sharp and softens a bit on the drydown. BUT, as it keeps going, the patchouli comes through and it becomes citrus with some definite funk thrown in for good measure. It never quite gets into the "dirty" territory of something like Malle Bigarade Concentree (another Citrus stinker I love!), but it definitely falls into the same family of citrus scents that "you don't take home to mother."

    A wonderful addition in summer, but a unique one with depth in winter, too. I love it and find that along with Winter Delice it is my favorite of the Aqua Allegoria line.

    28 November, 2008

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    Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain

    I've been searching a long time for the "right" incense scent and FINALLY I found it. L'aP Passage d'enfer left me feeling a little cold, LV Incensi was better and yet something just didn't click, the CdG Incense were very nice and ALMOST there, but when I found this Guerlain, it all fell into place.

    The Incense isn't as smokey, dark, or harsh as some of the others and the bits of sweetness (especially the gingerbread note!) give it a wonderful warmth and character. As well, in cold winter months, it also adds a bit of nostalgia for anybody who had gingerbread during the winter/Christmas holidays when growing up.

    A beautiful scent, good longevity and sillage, and the 125ml bottle means that you probably will never run out (it's definitely only good for cooler weather). All in all, yet another fun and wonderful creation from Guerlain.

    16 November, 2008

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    Musc by Keiko Mecheri

    An excellent, dry, very subtle musk. Light and crisp without any animalic notes; this is a "clean" musk. Starts off very muted, but warms up with body heat to give a slightly sweet, ambery note with some light woods.

    Longevity is excellent, though it sticks very close to the skin. One of the better light musks on the market, especially for summer. Nevertheless, if you are an MKK fan, this is probably the polar opposite in the genre.

    14 November, 2008

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    L'Instant d'un Eté pour Homme by Guerlain

    If you love L'instant PH (like I do), then you'll love the d'un Eté version.

    In fact, my ONLY complaint with the original L'instant was that it was a bit heavy to wear in warmer weather... that problem is now solved with this one. As others have noted, the character is not fundamentally different with this one from the original, only the top is fresher and the bottom less deep and heavy, which allows it to play well and be a little crisper, and easier to wear in the heat.

    Definitely a must to round out the wardrobe of the L'instant fan... the original for all purpose day wear, the EdP Extreme for evening or cold weather wear, and d'un Ete for the hotter days!

    08 November, 2008 (Last Edited: 16 November, 2008)

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    Cubano Silver by Victory International

    Amongst cheap fragrances, Cubano Gold is an instant classic... deep, rich, warm tobacco with good longevity at a great price.

    I expected Silver to be something in the same line, perhaps fresher and crisper, but keeping with the theme of tobacco or cigars.

    Instead, I got something minty, spicey, and a little fruity/citrusy without tobacco that I can find. In and of itself, this might be good, but the combo doesn't work too well here. It feels powdery, dry, a little metallic, and not too pleasant, almost like a cheap version of MPG Centaur.

    27 September, 2008

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    Apparition Homme by Ungaro

    This is a review for the INTENSE version, also by Polge and released in 2007. It's a little more "oriental" than the original, playing up a little more vanilla/amber instead of the fresher, crisper notes.

    Nevertheless, this doesn't make it any less generic and ho-hum than the other reviews of the original. It's not a BAD fragrance, by any means, it's just not something that sticks out on one's shelf or to one's nose.

    It feels something like it wants to be Gucci PH II, but isn't as sexy, deep, or fun. Instead, it feels like PH II's shy cousin, hiding out in the corners at the dance.

    Definitely not one to scour the earth in search of, but a safe, decent one if you find a bottle at discount.

    26 September, 2008

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    Sandalsliver by Montale

    Technically, my bottle is labeled "Skin," but I believe this is just the older name for Sandalsliver.

    I'm surprised that nobody yet has commented on the similarity to YSL Nu EdP. I find them both very similar, though the YSL is a little more velvety and syrupy. The Montale is a bit more sultry and sticks closer to the skin.

    This is a strange scent overall, as is the YSL. Very unisex, it stays close to the body and yet has a certain sweetness that is not at all "skin" like. I can't say amongst Montale scents this one ranks terribly high, but it is a very interesting one for others who like deep, slightly dark, skin scents.

    21st December, 2007

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    Jasmin de Nuit by Different Company

    I didn't think Jasmin-based fragrances got any better than Creed's Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie, but TDC manages to do it with this one. Less heavy than the Creed, the TDC has a subtle, soft warmth that is quite unisex (unlike most jasmine fragrances, which feel too "girlish.")

    A description won't do it justice; just try it to see for yourself. Rich, warm, inviting, without being too sweet or heavy, this is Jasmin par excellence.

    10th December, 2007

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    Osmanthus by Different Company

    This one is quite light and unexpectedly pleasant, considering the punch that Rose Poivree and Bois d'iris pack. BUT, it isn't fleeting and it doesn't lack substance, but instead is very subtle and inviting, much in the same way that Creed Neroli Sauvage requires a lot of time and a lot of close sniffing really to get what's going on beyond the surface.

    It's my least favorite of the Ellena TDC Trio (Bois d'iris, Osmanthus, Rose Poivree), but it is still a wonderful fragrance and worth the time of locating.

    10th December, 2007

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    Bois d'Iris by Different Company

    TDC seems to me to cover all the bases and create "the best" with each type of scent it makes. Rose Poivree is easily one of the best rose scents available, Jasmin de Nuit takes the eponymous note in new directions, and Osmanthus is light, subtle, yet very warm and deep without being too floral.

    Bois d'iris follows in this trend and, quite simply, creates one of the most unique, interesting, and inviting iris experiences on the market. I've had Hiris, I've had Dior Homme, I've had Prada Infusion d'iris and enjoyed them all, but none of them come close to this one. It's got the crispness of the others, the hint of luxe, but also that tiny touch of quirk that Ellena puts in all his signature scents that takes them to a higher level.

    Simply a MUST for any fan of the Iris note.

    10th December, 2007

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    Vanille Cannelle by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    This one does feel like Christmas with the sweetness of vanilla balanced with the warm spice of cinammon. I'm wearing it today (in mid December) and it's getting me ready for the holidays to come!

    Of the four or five CSP Vanilles I've tried, I like this one the best. Definitely not as versatile as some of the others, given that it really works best in wintertime, nevertheless it does have excellent richness, depth, and balance.

    Definitely give this one a try if you are CSP fan, a vanilla fan, or a fan of cinammon.

    09 December, 2007

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    Vanille Peach by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    If you love peach, but lament the degree to which many "bath and body works" -esque shops create light, fleeting scents with poor quality synthetics, then this is the peach for you.

    It's not playful, light, or fleeting; instead, it is quite rich, warm, and deep. It's very sweet, but not cloying, and is balanced enough to keep from feeling too feminine or something you'd rather use as air freshener.

    Nevertheless, if fruit and vanilla turn you off, then this will still not satisfy. But, if you want a peach with punch, then this is it.

    08 December, 2007

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    Kiss Him by KISS

    You might remember the Phaeton, the car from Volkswagen that flopped massively in the US a few years ago. Oddly, it didn't flop because it was a bad car (everyone who drove or owned one loved them), but instead because it was completely ill suited to its intended market. Those who could afford the $75K price tag wouldn't even consider a VW, while those would consider a VW couldn't afford the 75K asking price.

    I think of KISS Him as the cologne version of the Phaeton, equally ill suited to its intended market. It's actually a nifty little fragrance, with plenty of kick and oomph, an oddly niche-like scent packaged in mass-market low-rent. I'm afraid those that will get the subtle oddity of the fragrance (through the cumin note mentioned in these reviews) will also be fans who like McQ Kingdom, Lutens MKK, or Diptyque L'autre. But, will these buyers even THINK to sniff a fragrance bottled like this and marked "KISS?" I doubt it.

    In fact, I only sniffed it because a fellow Bnoter whose nose I trust sent me some and told me, "give it a sniff." Otherwise, I'd never have tried it.

    Likewise, it seems to me that those who would be into a KISS scent, or into a mass-market designer/celebrity scent will NEVER get into the odd combination of notes. They'll be looking for the typical marine/detergent/"clean" vibe and this one has sweat and sweet in high doses.

    Sadly, like the Phaeton, I predict it will disappear before its time. I'm still pretty impressed with the scent, in all its stinky goodness, but I just don't see it making the grade.

    07 December, 2007

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    Antidote by Viktor & Rolf

    Flowerbomb is very nice, but Antidote leaves me wondering, "What's the point?" V&R's fashion is classy, reserved, but with a hint of zest and quirk. Antidote is classy, warm, and a little gourmandish/creamy, but where's the quirk? Where's the playfulness?

    It's also a little hard to make out what's going on, but looking at the scent pyramid, it's easy to see why. There's just TOO MUCH going on here, and as I've said of some other scents that seem to have too much going on, it's almost as if the parfumeurs decided that "if five classic notes together are good, then fifty will be great!"

    Sometimes, that's the case, but I'm not so sure it is with this one. Something that I'd put in the same universe, but that does the classy/mysterious vibe a lot better, would be L'instant de Guerlain PH. Save the extra $$$ and go with the Guerlain.

    25 November, 2007

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    Le Parfum by Viktor & Rolf

    I always thought that Helmut Lang's unbelievably expensive "non-scent" Velviona (a $300, limited release fragrance with a single synthetic musk that was barely perceptible on the skin) was the oddest conceptual art/fragrance creation ever done.

    Then I saw the V&R and realized that they had topped Helmut.

    Neat idea, but something that should have stayed on the drawing board. It's hardly one that can be reviewed here, as it can't be worn. It's more a piece of sculpture or conceptual art that fits into V&R's aesthetic of quirky, classic femininity... something like a postmodern French take on Comme des Garcons (which itself took a lot from French couture). I think V&R would get the appeal of being a copy of a copy of a copy... which in many ways is sort of what this "parfum" seems to be.

    25 November, 2007

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    Philosykos by Diptyque

    This one is one of the best figs out there, but could gain or lose appeal depending on how wet/heavy you like your figs.

    This one is very wet, very woody; it does for figs and wood what Voleur de Rose does for wet patchouli and rose.

    It is a little heavy to wear in warmer weather, but is so pleasant in the cooler temps that it hardly matters. It stays warm and close, but never gets too food-ish, as do many fig fragrances.

    For all around durability, I still like Anthosa Fig&Vetiver the best amongst the figs I've tried (and I was never really a big fan of the L'artisan), but this one is a definite must if you like the fig note.

    25 November, 2007

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    Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

    I'll be honest; I had much higher expectations for something with Tom's name on it. Yes, I understand it is intended for a mainstream audience... and priced accordingly. And, in that vein, it's heads and tails more interesting than your average Lacoste, Burberry, Kenneth Cole, or RL. But, again, this is Tom's signature fragrance and the one that will be smelled by the most people, so pardon me if I still had high expectations.

    So, yes, I was a little disappointed to get something that feels very soft/warm, very flat, and very fleeting. I kept waiting for it to do SOMETHING, to go somewhere, to give me some of the romance that Ford does so well (where is the sexiness of Gucci PH, M7, or YSL RGPH?) I didn't get any of that here... I just kept sniffing myself and... waiting.

    Black Orchid is wonderful and I loved it at first sniff, as I have several of the pricey private line. I wanted to love this one, but just don't think it's worth it. I'll try the Extreme, but if the initial EDT version is just an excuse to get Tom some free publicity by putting out an inferior product (while putting all his hopes in the $$$ Extreme version), then that just doesn't cut it.

    24 November, 2007

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    Frank No. 1 by Frank Los Angeles

    I'm with several others and can't find the appeal. It's not BAD, by any means, but it just never really rises to anything distinctive.

    There's a LOT going on in this scent, but the mass of notes seems to me to blend together into something rather dull and flat, much in the same way mixing fifty different colors together will give a dull shade of brown, or fifty different sounds will give a single dull tone.

    Each of the notes, individually, might be something nice, but a little goes a long way and more isn't always better.

    24 November, 2007

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    Coriolan by Guerlain

    I find myself at a loss to describe it, but I like it very much. It has less oomph than some of the other Guerlain men's fragrances (especially Heritage and Habit Rouge), but holds its own next to them and, in fact, ranks as perhaps my favorite men's Guerlain offering.

    This one is earthier, quieter, less business-like than the others. It works a little better for me in cooler weather, as in the summer it never really seemed to do much on me and its subtlety was lost. In fact, when I first bought my bottle, it was summer, and I was quite disappointed when I sprayed it on. Later that year, spraying it again reminded me that when I had first tested it (and loved it) it had also been in winter.

    I can only say give it a try if you are a Guerlain fan to see for yourself. No description will really do it justice, because IMO it changes character more than the other Guerlains, as well. Sadly, it's no longer on the market, but it is quite easily obtained inexpensively online. A must for the Guerlain fan and perhaps one that falls directly into the "love it or hate it" category.

    24 November, 2007

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    Fougères Marines by Montale

    I'll admit that at first I was hoping for something with a little more kick (my two favorite Montales hitherto have been Chypre Vanille and Greyland), but the more I'm around Fougeres Marines, the more I appreciate it and what it tries to do.

    It's very classy and very much in line with the name. If Marine scents with a hint of fougeres weren't everywhere in the market these days, it might be a little more desirable, but overall this one feels very much like an expensive, natural version of many designer scents (or, perhaps like if Creed took a hand at remaking Tommy).

    Spending some time with it, though, there's a lot going on and the little hints of salt and seaweed help keep it from being TOO "clean."

    Nevertheless, for the price, it doesn't really hold up and I'd still recommend Erolfa or GIT before this one. For $135, there needs to be something remarkable to the combination that this one lacks. Many Montale's have this (not just the Aoud scents, but the regular line as well), but this one plays it all just a hint too safe.

    But, if you've been searching for a classy, well-made, very long lasting scent (longevity with the EdP strength is great) that is conventional without being too weird, then this could be a great choice.

    22 November, 2007

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    Embruns d'Essaouira by Montale

    I'm with Vadim; I tried this one for about a month and just didn't see what it wanted to be or what it wanted to do. Is it fresh, is it green, is it spicey? It is sort of all of them... and none. Nothing much sticks out, nothing much lingers, it's just sort of... THERE.

    If this were an inexpensive, easily obtained scent, it would be fair enough to wear on rare occasions, but for $135 and in such limited distribution, there are MANY others that should be tried first.

    Of course the Aouds get the most attention, but there are other Montales that are worth the effort. Patchouli leaves is wonderful, Chypre Vanille is odd but compelling, and Greyland has a citrusy kick that is very unique. Try those and leave Embruns on the shelf.

    22 November, 2007

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    Bois d'Argent Cologne by Christian Dior

    I love it. Well balanced, sweet without being cloying, with honey mixed in that doesn't become foul on the drydown (ala Lutens Miel de Bois).

    My favorite by far of the Dior trio and the most versatile (I feel). It works well for daywear, but could easily be done at night. Eau Noire is too dark for the day, while Cologne Blanche is a little too powdery to make it much into my rotation. But, this one works really well.

    For a "gentleman's" wardrobe, I think having this, Chanel's Pour Monsieur, and one or two of the Creed Classics (Green Irish Tweed or especially Bois du Portugal) just might be all that he would need to make his mark in the conference room or at the club.

    22 November, 2007

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    Virgilio by Diptyque

    Diptyque is an odd fragrance house for me. Some of their scents (Philosykos, Tam Dao) have a wonderful, deep richness about them that is very pleasant without being too conventional. Then, others (L'autre, Virgilio) are harsh to the point of being downright unpleasant. Whereas L'autre smells like an unwashed Indian Spice shop owner, Virgilio takes the Green element and multiplies it times 1000.

    Unlike Vetiver Extraordinaire, a very green scent which I love, Virgilio adds a sharp soapiness where the VE adds woods. So, instead of getting something warm, I get something oddly clean mixed with the green. It's hard to describe, but not terribly pleasant.

    I wouldn't ever recommend Diptyque as a blind buy. Philosykos is wonderful, as is Tam Dao, as are a few others, but there are definitely some sour stinkers hidden in there, too. Caveat Emptor!

    22 November, 2007

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    Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

    Egoiste is a definite classic and will have its fans no matter what. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. Antaeus and Pour Monsieur are in my top ten favorites of all time, so I REALLY wanted to like this one. I love sandalwood, I love tangerine, but the vanilla just makes it too sweet for me.

    I wish I could have tried the original limited release Bois Noir, because perhaps it would have had a little of the kick and less of the cloying element than Egoiste.

    Nevertheless, it is still worth a try to any fragrance fan just to see what all the fuss is about. But, for my money, I'll stick to Antaeus and PM.

    22 November, 2007

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