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Hai Karate by Healthpoint Ltd

Yesterday at my local supermarket I discovered Hai Karate (by pure accident) semi-visible on the display shelf... Without thinking I snapped it up at an RRP of only £3 GBP!

Hai Karate was a happy find as I've been meaning to try this classic aftershave again after not seeing it anywhere since the late 1980s! Back then it was well marketed and popular with a decent reputation. My father used Hai Karate in a rotation of Old Spice, Brut and Quorum.

I'm currently sporting Hai Karate and simply put: I like it. Firstly, it brings back childhood memories. The scent in the bottle is completely different in comparison to the drydown scent. On opening the bottle top it smells very pleasant like a fresh, sharp, medicinal citrus tonic. It's beautiful. In contrast, the drydown most certainly has a Brut feel to it but moreso Brut 33 than original Brut... it has that watered-down quality but nice all the same...green and powdery... it's kind of like a green tea scent with a bit of amber in the background (Denim by Faberge amber nostalgia). Hai Karate is a nice fragrance, I can't see how anyone can dislike it - it's fresh, clean and smells good. It is without doubt part of the '80s classic scent family; if you enjoy Old Spice, Brut, Denim, Blue Stratos, etc then add some Hai Karate to your collection, it's almost amazing.
05th April, 2015
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Portinari by O Boticário

During a trip in South America I visited an outlet of O Boticário. I was reeled in by Portinari's display because
of its colourful and attractive packaging. I sampled the fragrance there and then and was impressed so I made a swift purchase. I was delighted with Portinari's light and crisp scent; to my nose it's like a fresh citrus and tangerine blend with a musky base. Definitely a fragrance for the spring and summertime. What I also found interesting about this fragrance is it was named after the famous Brazilian painter Cândido Portinari and the packaging depicts one of his colourful paintings.
11th March, 2015
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Gold Man by Amouage

On the beach in the Middle East...the essence of lavish sunscreen projects from the skin entwined with the scent of sandalwood cologne; warm wooden decking meets the sand with Jasmine flowers nearby.
The sun is almost unbearable. An Arab passes by smoking a tobacco pipe; behind him in the distance a spice vendor stands at his stall. White marble steps with a gold balustrade lead up to a luxury hotel terrace at the beachside...
11th February, 2015
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Quorum by Antonio Puig

Great value for money in terms of quantity and scent. The most I get out of this fragrance is pine, leather, white soap and Marlboro cigarette tobacco/ash. Some days I get a pine forest in winter feeling and other days it smells like an old worn leather jacket impregnated with cigarette smoke. A smoky, clean, green fragrance. Definitely for the fall season; decent sillage, projection and longevity. Quorum is certainly a classic; I remember it being popular in the 1980s and it conjures up memories of Pye televisions with wood-effect casing next to the fireplace at home during a white Christmas. Quorum is masculine, homey and stimulates self-confidence.
05th February, 2015
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Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

I like this scent.. truly fresh, creamy and barbershop! On wearing Rive Gauche I find that I can't really smell it on myself but other people can smell it on me... then the following day I can clearly smell it on my shirt collar! It's as if the scent comes in waves. I don't know why this is? Maybe because Rive Gauche is so clean and fresh?? But when I do smell Rive Gauche full on it is wonderful - like a barbershop shaving cream with a mellow herbal touch akin to sandalwood - maybe a tad minty too? The bottle design is well done; looks like a can of shaving cream, a perfect design to match the scent. I'd say Rive Gauche is fairly versatile: office, date, social occasions... but bottom line is: It's clean, fresh and creamy like the aura of a well groomed gentleman at Savile Row.
26th January, 2015
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Bergamotto Marino by Gianfranco Ferré

Beautiful and comforting scent...I enjoy the marine dominance in this cologne. It takes me to
summer days at the coast; out in the sun, fresh sea air, grass and orange trees...then later on heading back home and having an ocean fresh bubblebath. In the opening I get fresh bergamot, lemon and blackcurrant; very fresh and fruity, then it turns a little salty and the sea rolls in harbouring the perfect dosage of seaweed. It is reminiscent of standing on grass, near some orange trees next to the beach with a fresh salty-seaweed breeze. BM changes again and remains at a clean artificial aquamarine scent like a bar of seaweed and loofah soap in a pure white bathroom.
22nd January, 2015
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Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

Top cologne! Very good indeed! Intense fresh green soap followed by a humble vetiver/grassy dimension. The opening is like what many say...straight out of a hot shower; steamy, fresh, clean vibe. The drydown is warm grass on a breezy summer's day. Reminds me of the south of France. Robust longevity, sillage and projection - lasts 8 hours, projects well and no doubt lingers. Delightful!
18th January, 2015
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Gendarme by Gendarme

Fresh, out of the shower, clean linen, a bit of gin and tonic; a chamois leather cloth in warm soapy water. The subtle leather note is definitely there at the base. Simply beautiful!
15th January, 2015
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24 Gold by ScentStory FZE

Lush! 24 Gold is amazing for the price! Low price but quality-wise, up there with Tobacco Vanille; rich and gourmand. In 24 Gold I detect raspberry, vanilla, tobacco, white chocolate, cream...It's a rich and fresh fragrance captured in a bottle that Francisco Scaramanga would own! Good sillage and longevity. Overall very impressive. A+
12th January, 2015
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Lacoste (original) by Lacoste

Fresh and invigorating; best worn at summertime! Gin and tonic on the rocks, lemons and limes, grass in a meadow...I always feel like a game of tennis when I wear this! Charming and classic '80s fragrance; always brings back the good times...
23rd December, 2014
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Bogart by Jacques Bogart

Remarkable old skool bouquet packed with leather and macho vigor. Redolent of Denim by Faberge but with extra fortitude. The aura is in-between a lowrider biker and a conservative in suit and tie - rugged/sophisticated. Dust, amber, leather, slightly floral. This is an evocative and timeless piece of art which always gets compliments.
30th November, 2014 (last edited: 23rd December, 2014)
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Halston Z-14 by Halston

The finest I have ever owned, I cipher. Rigorously utilized in the course of winter. A bewildering fougère for masculinity. A classic aromatic of the Punk rock era, initially convening a fresh citrus and sherbet lemon aperture; a modest and rapid drydown to a serene cypress incense balanced with leather, amber and cedarwood. Based with violet Coca-Cola. Conjures up images of an ancestor's 1979 wardrobe; dark and dusty,
housing a bouquet of accustomed classic male fougères. Economical yet superlative.
19th October, 2014 (last edited: 28th October, 2014)
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Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

I found this fragrance "OK" - not one I would use regularly. Too sweet and musky...reminded me of a female teacher from school or an elderly woman. Saying that though, I do respect this fragrance and I don't mind the scent. It's just I found it too overpowering and sickly on my body.
14th October, 2014
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Denim by Denim

A classic which was trendy in the 1980s and one which I sported at school discos. About 2 years ago, to my surprise, I came across a shelf full of Denim aftershave at a local department store! Cheap as chips too! Only £3 GBP for 100ml so snapped it up there and then. Denim is certainly evocative; its appearance and aroma [for me] mirrors moments in the 1980s. It acquires a comforting scent: light, fresh, musky. I get amber in this fragrance with a talcum powder feel to it; I think it would serve well as a barbershop splash as it ticks all the boxes for the generic barbershop scent: cheap, masculine, powdery and fresh. The bottle is the business too...glass, chunky with a screwtop. For the price you cannot go wrong!
13th October, 2014
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Agua de Colonia Concentrada by Alvarez Gomez

I enjoy this very much! Probably my favourite cologne for the summertime. Zingy lemon throughout, refreshing and uplifting. Good longevity, lingers all day on me and excellent sillage - you can detect it about 2 fathoms away - and loiters thereafter. Drydown smells wonderful (lemon and herbal). If you like fresh, crisp, lemon scents...Agua de Colonia Concentrada is the best. To me it's like 4711's robust cousin.
13th October, 2014
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Florida Water by Murray & Lanman

This cologne is one to be respected...considering the cost it is certainly good quality and value for money.
To the nose I find it quite mineral with notes of lemon, bergamot and Coca-Cola. The scent reminds me of orange and cola sweets with a hint of fizz and Fireball gobstoppers which sometimes got too hot to hold in the mouth! There's actually a lot going on in this mass-produced budget cologne; I find it very refreshing and uplifting when splashed on the face. The opening is fresh lemon, bergamot and tangerine which turns fizzy then an orangeade and Coca-Cola vibe emerges. It is quite unique and interesting. The closest splash I would compare Florida Water to would be 4711 Eau de Cologne with added fizzy candy. Most definitely a unisex cologne.
13th October, 2014
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Michael Jordan by Michael Jordan

Really nice cologne. Smells wonderful. Remindful of a forest.. grass and fir needles in the summertime topped with a fresh sporty edge. The top notes of lemon and grapefruit tend to bonk me in the opening then I really enjoy the drydown of wood and grass which dawdle for hours. Evocative of Drakkar Noir which I experienced to be too robust and dark green whereas MJ Cologne is less punchy, more on the light side, and has more notes at play. I applaud the bottle design as it fully reflects the sport of basketball and the price is superb value for 100ml. Projection and longevity are good on me; lasts all day and can still smell it at night. Bijan launched this fragrance so personally it's one to respect as I'm a fan of Bijan Men EDT. I also admired Michael Jordan when I played basketball at school in the early '90s so this cologne has been a good discovery and it's just earned an enduring fixture in my fragrance collection.
22nd May, 2014 (last edited: 21st May, 2014)
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Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani

Really pleased with Mania. It was a blind buy though well worth the risk! Many reviews I've seen have put Mania down saying it's nothing special but I disagree - I really like it. In the opening I get a sweet hit of what I can best describe as fresh lime and vodka with a tad of aldehydes. Soon it calms down to a persistent velutinous fabric and leather vibe; reminiscent of a brand new car interior with leather seats or a new tailor shop full of new suits. Mania evokes images of virginal luxury cars, a modern gentleman in a suit an tie, a very new office suite. This fragrance holds the Armani signature that takes me back to the mid-late 1990s, maybe it's the amber note that attains this mawkishness. Yes, the notes in this fragrance are simple but in terms of wearing this fragrance I regard it as sophisticated, interesting and suitable for use at the office or during a night out. Would I use it for a date? Yes I probably would. Longevity is decent, minimum of 5 hours and sillage is not tenacious but modest. Bottle design is awesome, modern and minimal, adequately suiting the fragrance itself. Overall I give Mania 8 out of 10.
21st May, 2014
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Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Beautiful. Rich, smooth and a little dark. Opening reminds me very much of vanilla extract for cooking with notes of cinnamon, some dark raisins, berries and even more complexity is present...leather, polished wood? Some notes I can't fathom but are interesting and delicious to say the least. Tough to articulate but I'm reminded of velvet and silk...This is top quality stuff. During the drydown, the gourmet aspect leaves and the vanilla changes to a pipe tobacco, a quality mild vanilla pipe tobacco with a touch of ash. I own l'Occitane Eau des Baux which some have said is twinned/similar to Tobacco Vanille...I disagree - Tobacco Vanille is certainly deeper, richer, more complex and smells different to my nose. Eau des Baux for me is a more straight forward vanilla pipe tobacco and incense blend with an overall drier edge to it. I reckon Tobacco Vanille is worth the money... It is robust with outstanding sillage and longevity...a couple of sprays maximum and it projects rich and strong - and lingers the following morning.
28th March, 2014
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Knize Ten by Knize

Oil, leather, turpentine, floral... robust masculine fragrance

I am impressed with Knize Ten. It reminds me of 3 things: A car tyre shop, a mechanics garage and original Zoflora disinfectant. Whilst wearing this fragrance... rubber, oil, turpentine and hints of leather keep coming into play with a floral note exactly like Zoflora. For me, it's definitely been an exceptional find and special experience. Knize Ten also has an affluent background, emerging in 1924 in Austria from one of the best tailors in the world with stores in New York, Paris and Bad Gastein.

Pros: Masculine, good longevity, decent sillage
Cons: Expensive"

28th August, 2013
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Eau des Baux by L'Occitane

Nice warm vanilla tobacco scent

Really nice tobacco vanilla scent, works well on me. Reminds me of fresh vanilla pipe tobacco packed in a leather pouch. A cheaper alternative to TF's Tobacco Vanille; Eau des Baux is supposed to be just as good and at a 1/3 of the price. One of the best fragrances I've ever owned.

Pros: Vanilla pipe tobacco, good longevity
Cons:

05th August, 2013
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Sergio Tacchini by Sergio Tacchini

Very nice! Clean, sharp and for any occasion scent

I first tried the aftershave version back in 1991 when it was widely available at every department store. I became a great admirer. Gorgeous scent. Over the years it became hard to find and ironically is still hard to find! I had forgotten about it until having a recent flashback which lead to spending some time procuring online, and then finally finding the EDT version (supplied by a UK company). When I received the bottle I removed the cap and had a smell...Wow!!! So subtle yet masculine...citrus, green and wood with a wash of fresh soap triggering memories from 22 years ago. There are floral undertones too. I think it was designed for the tennis player but I wear it at work and socially. Such a unique and pleasant fragrance. I like the bottle also, interesting in shape and design, half glass, half plastic. All in all - unique.

Pros: Clean and fresh, masculine, decent longevity, sporty, casual, formal
Cons:

23rd May, 2013
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Old Spice by Procter & Gamble

For the price, scent and longevity Old Spice has got to be one of the best
splashes out there on the market. My father always used Old Spice and to match the bottle of splash, he had an Old Spice shaving mug and brush (from the '70s). Occasionally, I will buy a bottle of this classic fragrance because it reminds me of my dad and I adore the fresh coastal notes it acquires. I can picture an elegant yachtsman wearing Old Spice.
14th April, 2013
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Alt-Innsbruck Eau de Cologne by Alt-Innsbruck

I am a wet shaver and AI is the best aftershave I've ever used. Primarily it has an amazing cooling effect from its menthol content which gradually calms and fades to a floral tobacco scent. To be more specific its scent is very close to a Cuban tobacco field. It also holds a slight dose of natural Nicotiana Tabacum. It's a unique Austrian splash and great value for money! It has a barbershop vibe and I'd say it best suits the cigar and pipe smoker.
24th March, 2013 (last edited: 25th March, 2013)
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Vetiver by Guerlain

Citrus, soapy, powdery, tobacco, woody, greenery. I adore Vetiver! Some have said it's an 'old man' fragrance but I disagree with that. I'd say Vetiver is masculine, fresh and sophisticated with an aristocratic or regal vibe; suitable for men aged 30 and over. I can see this fragrance being best suited for outdoor sports like hunting, polo, horse riding and for social activities such as family gatherings, a walk in the park, a drink in the beer garden. I'm not sure if it's for the office or a nightclub... it's more of a daytime outdoor fragrance. When I first sampled Vetiver I pictured myself in the countryside, dressed in tweed and knee high in tall grass, holding a shotgun in one hand and a pheasant in the other.
09th September, 2012
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Jicky by Guerlain

Jicky is a fine work of art which I love and treasure. The prominent notes are vanilla and lavender...more so vanilla which reminisces the smell of a warm creamy dessert served in an old Parisian brasserie (est. 1889). Overall Jicky has a highly idiosyncratic personality, there's a note in the bottle which gives me intense joy and delight; it could be the civet - not sure - it's like a dusty or soily note, but it shines out and mixed with the vanilla and lavender it's a case of: I've smelt this before and I love it but I can't put my finger on where or when. Timeless classic.
13th August, 2012
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Bijan for Men by Bijan

Bijan for Men is wonderful! A great masculine fragrance. When this 1980s legend is applied it starts off as a citrus and sandalwood scent. After an hour a pleasant asphalt-like note takes over, dulling the fresh citrus and fine sandalwood balance. Quite a remarkable fragrance in an interesting round bottle. Nice to wear in the summer and lasts all day. Classy and casual in one!
28th July, 2012
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Habit Rouge by Guerlain

Simply amazing. Reminiscent of the noble hunters on horseback, the eccentric from a gentry background, an old French drawing room with oak panelled walls and gold-framed oil paintings, decanter whisky and aged cigars, leather Chesterfield chairs and rosewood tables... floral arrangements on the tables. Perfect for a gentleman.
28th July, 2012
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Pour Un Homme by Caron

An impressive classic fragrance in an elegant bottle... not too overpowering... simple but sophisticated. The opening is a fresh lavender with a minute hint of musk. After 10 minutes or so, the lavender fades in to the background and sweet vanilla calmly emerges. 20 minutes later... CPUH settles for good with a perfect balance of vanilla and lavender. A nice bright, breezy buzz! This fragrance is amazing and has become a 'go to' favourite.
28th July, 2012