Reviews by uxf

    Showing 1 to 22 of 22.
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    Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Starts like Myrurgia's Maderas de Oriente, turns into Knize Ten.

    14 November, 2012

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    Shalimar Light by Guerlain

    The vanillic lemon, the hint of spice. This sure makes me think of Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree. Like a more balanced version of it.

    10th January, 2012

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    Le Maroc pour Elle by Tauer

    Nobody else said leather? This is one of the rare scents that actually smells like real leather to me.

    22 July, 2011

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    Infusion d'Iris by Prada

    I haven't done a side by side but boy does this remind me of Voyage d'Hermes and the mineralic citrus note in a number of scents from that line. Infusion d'Iris is a bit more rounded and slippery and seems perfectly suitable for men. The iris in here is fresh and slight and doesn't step out much from the backup florals and citrus.

    15 April, 2011

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    Wonderwood by Comme des Garçons

    My current nominee for most suitable replacement for my first love, Gucci Rush for Men. In addition to the woods, (woods, and more woods,) it has that candied iris & violet element that is the linch-pin of Rush for me. Wonderwood does have some juniper and pepper notes that I don't detect in Rush, but these don't last long on my skin and when they're gone, I'm left with something wonderful and virtually identical to Rush.

    10th April, 2011

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    Sandalwood by Caswell-Massey

    This is a very "woodsy" sandalwood, with a far-away, exotic splendor that brings to mind lost monasteries and palaces. It opens with slightly dissonant citrus and spice (cinnamon, clove) notes but quickly gives way to a rich, potent sandalwood, though more resinous than "creamy" to my nose. I also get a major blast of patchouli, especially in the dry down, and possibly some vetiver of the dark, earthy kind. In fact, it has some resemblance to L'Occitane's Vetyver. Beautiful intensity and endurance. Can't believe it's so affordable.

    03 March, 2011

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    Odeur 71 by Comme des Garçons

    Okay, I get a bit of the electrical short but frankly little else from the list of sci-fi "anti-perfume" notes. To me, this has an opening burst of sharp, tart, herbaceous aromatics and dries down to a cloud of fuzzy musk. This is a combination I just love. Horrors! Is Odeur 71 just another 80's powerhouse men's fragrance? Oh wait, I like 80's powerhouse men's fragrances.

    09 February, 2011

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    Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

    Smells to me almost exactly like Dzongkha. Pepper (capsicum or bell, not black), a handful of bitter-green herbs, and something rooty which must be the same iris I can barely smell in Dzongkha. Smoother and more long-lasting than Dzongkha. Not at all sweet or flowery.

    02 November, 2010

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    Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

    There is obviously something bizarre going on with this fragrance, probably some synthetic aromachemical that is registering wildly different sensations in people's systems. I have rarely seen such divergence not just in opinions, from Turin's top 10 accolade to the thumbs-down plurality here, but also in basic olfactory descriptions. How could the same fragrance be, as reported by various people, sickeningly sweet, and like cucumbers, and barely smellable? This really disproves Turin's thesis that we don't smell differently, we only react to smells differently.

    As for myself, I don't get any fruit or sweetness. All I get is an eerie presence in the room, something powerful and perhaps unhealthy, that I can't quite locate or really smell. Like a petrochemical, or paint thinner, or cucumber that's just beyond my spectral range. Like hearing a dog-whistle. I've eaten jabuticabas and there's nothing that smells like jabuticabas here.

    Which reminds me: I'm always amused by "notes" and people's reverence for them. Clearly there's nothing fixed or scientific about them. There's no jabuticaba molecule, and who knows what "Eden's mist" is. These are either a perfumer's best effort at describing the composition, or some marketing person's exercise in creative writing. Perhaps Eden's mist is that eerie, fluorescent presence I sense (which I also sense in Pleasures for Men, by the way).

    Nevertheless, I'm giving it a neutral for being an interesting experience. Everyone should at least sniff this to see what they register.

    14 October, 2010

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    Arcus by Amouage

    I mostly get neroli with hints of green pepper, vetiver, and spices.

    20th September, 2010

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    Ocean Pacific for Men by Ocean Pacific

    To me this smells like a less refined Gucci by Gucci for men (citrus, hint of incense), but with a sweaty patchouli & rose funkiness, with almost animalic undertones. Somewhat interesting.

    23 August, 2010

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    Notre Flore Cedre / Cedar by L'Occitane

    Some people might get confused by this scent. This is about the cedar leaf, which is also very fragrant, not the wood (though that's in the mix too). I remember as a child being told that people used to press fresh little fans of cedar leaf in books to imbue it with the scent. When I first spray this on, it doesn't have a strong smell, but I definitely feel, for lack of a better word, a presence of some kind - a transparent, high-toned freshness that pervades the room.

    This is similar to the reaction I get from Beyond Paradise for Men. I must be anosmic to whatever's in there that Luca Turin loves so much, but I feel its presence. In BP for Men, it's an eerie, ghostly, synthetic presence. In the L'Occitane, it's a much more natural, healthy one. Indeed, L'Occitane seems to have actually delivered on its marketing schpiel about capturing a breeze blowing over a cedar forest and out to sea.

    This lasts surprisingly long on me, and like with other L'Occitane products, it seems to get stronger after the first hour or so. The dry-down contains more wood and darker complexities.

    I guess there's another way to describe this fragrance. One day, while walking around with its "presence," I thought - Christmas tree.

    14 August, 2010

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    Yatagan by Caron

    Interesting stuff, but I get the urge to slap myself onto a barbecue grill. Is this perfume or a spice rub? I'm getting the celery, coriander, patchouli, angelica, pepper, salt, other herbs, and (I might be imagining this) betel leaf. This smells a bit like the herb section of an Asian grocery store and has surpassed Angelica Sous la Pluie as the most savory fragrance I've encountered. I like to smell it but I don't know what to think about how it smells on ME, and I'd be nervous to sit next to someone who's really hungry.

    06 August, 2010

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    Euphoria Men Intense by Calvin Klein

    Put Euphoria Men in a ramekin and under a broiler until it develops a creme brulee crust. More interesting and long-lasting and, yes, intense than the original, but still doesn't stand out in any crowd.

    04 August, 2010

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    Euphoria Men by Calvin Klein

    This is the epitome of the safe, innocuous, middle-of-the-road, marketing-driven, committee-crafted contemporary scent. Not that such a process wouldn't create a pleasant, even well-crafted fragrance, which Euphoria for Men is (kind of). It's just that who can tell this apart from 20 other brands at the mall? Or even remember it 10 minutes after the scent fades, which it does rather quickly on my skin.

    But therein lies the brilliance of mainstream fragrance marketing. There are many men who go in search for a cologne, or are told to go or are dragged down to the department store by their girlfriend, and they don't have time for the unique or refined or interesting. They just want something that smells pleasant and not too girly and will buy the first bottle of that, especially if it comes stamped with a safe and well-known fashion brand. They're only out $40 and their shopping trip is done. It's kind of like buying jeans, where you can't tell the difference between one pair or another, so you go for one that seems passably well-made and has a trademark seal of approval.

    On a recent smelling trip to Macy's, a saleswoman, in a last ditch effort to interest me in something, held up Euphoria, saying, in essence, "nobody doesn't like this." So there you have it - the fragrance equivalent of a frozen cheesecake, which serves its purpose, though some of us would much prefer an Italian ricotta torta with a glass of vin santo.

    04 August, 2010

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    Obsession Night for Men by Calvin Klein

    Instead of pear, I smell fig. Sweet, creamy, and with the slightly ammoniac edge that typifies a good fig scent, though not the leafy freshness of something like Philosykos. For me, fig scents also convey a sandalwood vibe, due to the creamy sweetness, and I get a hint of that here too.

    Black suede? No idea what that is. As for cardamom, as with saffron, this is a scent that thrills me in any number of cuisines and that I can pick out even if there are 20 other spices in the curry/tagine/paella, but in a perfume, I can't find it with a microscope. I'm not getting enough of the vetiver or patchouli or any other dark, earthy, mysterious notes to indicate "night." If anything, this seems lighter and brighter than the original Obsession for Men, pleasant and relaxing enough to be called Obsession Saturday Afternoon for Men.

    Interestingly, I think ON for Men is more feminine than ON (for women), but they both are sufficiently unisex. More strangely, ON for Men is now probably my favorite CK fragrance, even though the original Obsession (a present from a romantic interest) turned me off to all fragrances for a decade until I discovered Gucci Rush for Men.

    04 August, 2010

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    Santal by Fragonard

    A complex scent that quickly turns musky in an herbaceous, mushroomy way, and not animalic. It recalls some aspects of Musc Ravageur. I'm not getting much of the milky, fruity, floral characteristics of sandalwood. The woods at the base of this scent are darker, heavier, and drier. This is quite a difference from the other Fragonards I've tried, which tend toward the bright, cheerful, and translucent. Rather fascinating.

    23 July, 2010

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    Vetiver pour Elle by Guerlain

    If vetiver could be made into a mouthwatering candy or pastry - the way other aromatic vegetal ingredients like mint, licorice, horehound, angelica, and anise could - it would taste the way Vetiver pour Elle smells. The layer of florals here wouldn't be out of place in a Middle Eastern sweet.

    23 July, 2010

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    L'Ombre dans L'Eau by Diptyque

    The first time I smelled this I sensed some comforting, familiar flavor, something herbaceous. The second time, I zeroed straight in to ripe, perfumy pineapple. Then it hit me. Pineapple, lemon grass, maybe tamarind? Southeast Asian hot and sour soup - fragrant, uplifting and perfectly blended. Maybe this was a foreshadowing of Diptyque's later Vietnam-themed fragrances (Do Son and Tam Dao). I'm not getting much rose, but I do get a dose of neroli and other tropical florals.

    23 July, 2010

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    Pour Un Homme by Caron

    lavender + vanilla = Play-Doh? Does anyone else get this in the dry-down? Not that I knock it, though I wasn't one of the kids who wanted to eat Play-Doh ...

    02 May, 2010

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    Insensé by Givenchy

    I like the idea of a masculine floral but the aldehydes in this are so bright and intense I feel like I'm being subjected to the third degree. An entire box of Tide bursts out when I open the bottle. Once I get past that, I can appreciate some of the golden splendor of this thing but until then it's kind of rough going. I guess you can divide the world into aldehyde lovers and amber lovers (or more accurately, aldehyde haters and amber haters) and you can tell where I belong.

    02 May, 2010

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    Touch for Men by Burberry

    The immediate and predominant impression I get is of leather. Maybe that's what others allude to as the warm and smooth sensation, or even the sour violet note (I get that too). To me, this adds up to one of the more convincing, organic leather scents, something that's more than the smoke or tar that passes for leather in other fragrances. I could be even more precise - this smells like lambskin.

    28 April, 2010 (Last Edited: 02 May, 2010)

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