Reviews by robyogi

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    robyogi
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    Boxeuses by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I'm going thumbs-up here, but only because it changes face so many times. It starts off smelling like a slightly softer version of Cuir Mauresque with powdery accents, and then very quickly changes into something in between Daim Blond and Tabac Blond, and then moves more toward Daim Blond. Finally, it seems to settle into a doughy iris fragrance. All of this happens within the first hour or so on me, maybe less. The doughy iris scent lasts a good long time. It's not really my thing, as I already have and love CM and TB, and find Daim Blond too powdery and soft for me, and don't care much for doughy iris fragrances. That said, it is kind of interesting and I always like development in a scent. So, thumbs hesitantly up.

    15 June, 2011

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    La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    I'm running out of words to express disappointment and disgust. Ditto what alfarom and Off-Scenter said. Seems to me to be a fragrance made to impact the balance sheet more than the world of perfumery.

    03 June, 2011

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    Bulgari Man by Bulgari

    Maybe I'm just having a bad run. Maybe my nose is shot. Maybe I should avoid department store runs. Maybe I'm just entering curmudgeonliness a few decades early. Or maybe, just maybe, there is something really, seriously, radically wrong with masculine perfumery. My god is this boring! Holy crap! The only way that I'm impressed is if they were aiming for the creation of an olfactory nighttime sleep aid, you know, to give everyone's livers a break. Yes, it's inoffensive. So is Tide, All, Gain, etc., all of which share qualities with this juice. So, just use a little extra detergent if you want inoffensive, or toss an extra dryer sheet in the machine.

    Personally, even when I want inoffensive, I want more than just inoffensive. I want inoffensive but interesting or unusual, at least in some way. I just reviewed Heeley's Cardinal. I can't see that offending anyone, unless one were to apply too much, at which point, anything will offend. While Cardinal is inoffensive, it's also interesting. It's not like everything else that's been bottled for the last 30 years or so. Let me put this another way. Kenny G is inoffensive. That said, I'm with Pat Metheny in saying that there should never be a time or place when Kenny G is accepted as part of normal life. Are we really that scared? Are we really that afraid to offend? Or, can we really not tell we're being sold the same thing over and over? If not, why bottle and market and pawn this nonsense on men? Why buy it?

    03 June, 2011

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    Cardinal by Heeley

    I read the blog Bois de Jasmin frequently. The writer seems to be very well-versed in perfumery. In one of her recent posts (June 1, 2011, to be exact), she described the smell of frankincense as a perfume note. Rather than try to paraphrase, and subsequently butcher, her description, I'll provide a quote:

    "The smell of frankincense oil in its pure state is fascinating. At first, it is reminiscent of freshly ground black pepper, with a twist of lemon peel in the background. As the oil dries down, it reveals its dry woody character, which lies halfway between balsamic richness and flinty mineral crispness."

    As I thought about it, that pretty much describes Cardinal. I'm not sure there's a whole lot more than frankincense going on here. Maybe just a touch of something a bit sweet to smooth it out, maybe just a tingle of vetiver in the very deep base to give it some oomph. However, for most of the life of the fragrance I smell something that could very easily be described using the words above from Bois de Jasmin. It's quite discreet, longevity is just okay. Still, it's captivating in a way, and even though it's simple, quiet, and not all that long lasting, I can't help but give it a thumbs-up. As for comparisons, it seems to me to be somewhere in between Avignon (though not as heavy/woody as the CdG), Messe de Minuit (though not as musty/dusty as MdM), and Passage d'Enfer (but not as floral as Pd'E).

    02 June, 2011

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    Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel

    Lemons and wood
    Lemons and wood
    How I wish there were more
    How I wish this was good
    But wishes can't mend
    What this is in the end...
    Nothing more than lemons and wood

    Pedestrian poetry for a pedestrian fragrance.

    02 June, 2011

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    The One Gentleman by Dolce & Gabbana

    I'm with Kaern on this one. What a snooze fest. It's nice enough, but, there are hundreds, if not thousands of similar "nice enough" men's fragrances already on the market.

    Anyway, I'd read a review somewhere that gave me somewhat high hopes for this. I searched out a tester bottle. The disappointment set in at first sight. You know the feeling. Your friend set you up on a blind date, or perhaps you met someone on an online dating site. You go to the rendezvous point, your hopes and hormones afire. She walks in. The closer she gets, the more your heart sinks. How will I get out of this without offending her!? What am I to do now?! Am I just a cold, shallow prick?

    Fortunately, despite what the US Supreme Court might have to say about it, D&G is a corporation, not a person, and I don't have to give a turd about their thoughts or feelings. Clearly they do not care about mine, or they would never have produced something this ordinary, bland, and, well "okay," and then blasphemously attached the "Gentleman" name to it. Even the bottle and juice looks amateurish and cheap, like something some junior high kid produced in shop class. As for the smell: soft, slightly woody, slightly spicy, somewhat sweet, oriental-ish. Let me think...Where have I smelled this before? Hmm...oh yeah, from about one-half of the last two-million men's fragrance launches. AKA, "Envy Light." Please, can this long nightmare of mediocre, me-too men's fragrance production come to an end? Please?!?

    02 June, 2011

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée by Chanel

    I wore this for years. I found it to be appropriate primarily for formal occasions. It reminds me very much of Tiffany for Men, but with added nutmeg. I'd call this an oriental, as the base is full of vanilla and, what to me smells like civet. It's loud, it lasts forever. It's too much of one-trick pony for me to love it, though. That, and I've come to not care much for wearing loud oriental fragrances. That said, I still have it in my collection and don't plan to sell it off because it just plain smells good.

    31st May, 2011

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    Kenzo Power by Kenzo

    Slightly powdery fruity-floral on an ambery base. It definitely shares some DNA with Dior Homme. It also reminds me in some ways of Prada's iris for men. Ultimately, I've got to agree with Off-Scenter in his observation that the "fruit" is too "frooty." Froot Loops. Ha! Seems like an uninspired fragrance for girls, to be honest. (I'll refrain from social commentary here.) Sweet, fruity, floral. Also, very familiar in that I've smelled this often, and at high volume, in places where 20-somethings hang out. If you want sweet, powdery, and somewhat floral, try Dior's Cologne Blanche. It's got some class to it. I'm going with neutral because it's not horrid. Personally, I can't wait for this sweet-fruity trend to end.

    27 May, 2011

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Interesting how folks perceive fragrances so differently. I am a little shocked to see so many references to the sweetness of Chergui. I don't find it all that sweet...resinous for sure, but not sweet like so many of today's fragrances. Likewise, it's interesting to note how many different - and very strong - reactions this fragrance has elicited! It's so beautiful and so well-blended that I can't imagine having to scrub this off. Jaime B's analogy to a dissonant chord resolving to the tonic is apt - both are beautiful executions of tension and resolution. But, perhaps most surprising to me is that in all these reviews - 108 to date - no one has mentioned immortelle! To my nose, one cannot understand Chergui without noticing the immortelle sitting in the middle of this mass of scent, providing a substantial bitter-herbal balance to the heaviness of the resins, the sweetness of the honey and vanilla, and the softness of the floral and hay notes. In fact, more than anything, I'd call this probably the best use of immortelle in an oriental fragrance. It's there, and noticeable, but not out of place, as it can so often seem to me. All-in-all, Chergui seems to hover right near the edge of becoming too...something...you name it. But it holds together, retains its balance and presents a wonderful blend of resins, honey, floral notes, and hay that really does remind one of a hot wind, heavy with the scent of the miles of land it has blown through. One last note, for something that's now 10 years old, it still smells remarkably current. One of the undisputed greats of the oriental genre!

    26 May, 2011

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    Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    As others have said, patchouli, cocoa, and camphor stand out. The patchouli in Borneo is one of my favorite renditions of this note that I've yet encountered. It's dry, earthy, even a little dusty. There's no amber or vanilla to soften it or smooth it. The cocoa, likewise, is all grown up - no sweetness here. The camphor-like note seems to provide a little lift, keeping this from being too dark and heavy. I have come to think of this as a grown up and warmer weather alternative to, of all things, Angel for Men. The tarry heaviness and sweetness of A*men is just too much for warmer days, and, frankly, becoming more challenging to wear with every passing year. Borneo provides similar notes presented in a very different - and IMO more mature - way.

    26 May, 2011

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    Aventus by Creed

    As one of those folks belonging to a rare breed of human that neither genuflects at the mention of the name "Creed" nor spits in the direction of Creed headquarters, I am always a little apprehensive to review any Creed. More so with newer fragrances, which obviously don't have the mystique of classic, discontinued scents. That said, I'm not wowed by this. Honestly. I don't get the hype. It smells to me like a decent designer fragrance, and if this were offered at 1/4 the price, I would give it a thumbs-up. Unfortunately, it's very expensive. And the packaging is as tacky as can be. The pineapple up-front is nice, and very good, as far as pineapple goes. The middle and base are Himalaya-like, and so not all that original. Like all Creeds, it lasts forever on me. But never does it wow me, which at these prices, I expect.

    21st May, 2011

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    Story by Paul Smith

    The opening is nice and promising - citrus and vetiver, reminding me a bit of Mugler Cologne. The mid and base lose me a bit, as it moves into clean, contemporary "musk" territory (Iso-E maybe?) with some vetiver hanging around. All in all, it's okay, but doesn't really wow me or compose a unique enough narrative to make a statement.

    21st May, 2011

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    Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

    Well, it's interesting, that's for sure. Starts off with a VERY synthetic plastic-like note that, on me anyway, lingers for hours on end. I'm guessing this is what Kenzo is calling "ozone." Once that fades, I'm left with a quiet woody and slightly floral scent that lasts for many hours more. I can smell this on my shirt days later. This seems like a precursor to Beth Terry's Mare. But, Mare is more "natural" smelling, even if it sacrifices some "marine" character in being that way. (FWIW, I've always thought Mare was more lightly floral than marine.) I like this for what it is, and it seems like a daring sort of fragrance in opening with the plastic note the way it does. This willingly, intentionally synthetic vibe makes it very 90s in my view. That said, I can't say I love wearing it because I don't necessarily want to spend 3+ hours smelling like melting plastic before I get to the very nice basenotes.

    12 May, 2011

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    Gaiac 10 by Le Labo

    Gaiac and musk - lots of musk. I don't have longevity issues at all. In fact, over a day later I can smell this at the spot of application on the skin or clothes. My guess is that many folks are anosmic to one or more of the musks in the base, leading to perceived longevity issues for some. My understanding is that these musks are the most likely chemicals to go undetected by many. [FWIW, for me, they always stand out, usually a bit too much, so it's possible that I'm a little hyper-sensitive to the smell of these. That might explain why I avoid scented laundry detergents and tend to think everyone in the US smells like cheap detergent.]

    Anyway, what's it smell like? Bright wood and clean musk. The musk softens the wood element, and in my opinion, somewhat drowns it out. One thing this reminds me of, a bit anyway, is Gucci Rush for Men. It's not "the same," but there are some shared notes and elements, and I think, the overall feel or effect is similar. Also, Kyoto from CdG. Again, it's not 100% the same, but it's in the same ballpark. Kyoto might be a little more complex than this. I'd probably take either of those over this. All-in-all, Gaiac 10 features lots of bright, twangy wood, lots of synthetic, clean musky elements, and something of a generic "incense" - though not frankincense - vibe. It's not bad, but for the money I expected more.

    09 May, 2011

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    Derring-Do for Men by Ineke

    I am not a big fan of aquatics. They have their place, and I find myself using them most when it's very hot, in weather conditions that would have the rest of my wardrobe choking me out. That said, Derring-Do was an unexpected and pleasant surprise! I liked it at first, and it's only grown on me with every subsequent testing or wearing. Yes, it starts off fruity-citrusy, with an obvious aquatic note. But, it's got more body to it than most aquatics. It has a fougere-like oomph to it, and ends in a light, woody, musky, slightly powdery base. Throughout its development there is a stony, almost concrete-like smell or feel that's hard to relate in words. This note or accord brings an air of aloofness or seriousness to what could be an overly light-hearted scent (FWIW, this lack of seriousness is what has ultimately made me tire of Creed's MI). It's an EdP, so unlike most other aquatics, I get good longevity.

    I recently wore this on one arm with Kenzo Homme on the other. Derring-Do easily smelled deeper, richer, more ''natural" (of course), more complex (of course), and lasted longer. The only point at which I preferred Kenzo Homme - and by the slightest margin at that - was in the deep base where Derring-Do still had some sweetness and Kenzo Homme seemed to have a nice, subtle woods, florals, and light spice thing going on. That said, the Kenzo was much too light to smell at that stage from any distance further than nose-on-skin. [Of course, this comparison is not really fair, as they are two different scents in two different styles. I'm sharing the comparison only to give a sense of what Derring-Do smells like as compared to a more familiar standard-bearer.]

    All said, thumbs-up for a well-constructed fragrance, an aquatic with some character and lasting power.

    04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 12 May, 2011)

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    Vintage by John Varvatos

    I feel pretty much the same way that Live Jazz feels about this one. I tested it without paying attention to reviews, notes, press releases, or anything like that. The word "vintage" caught my eye, as did the leather on the bottle, and so I figured I'd give it a whirl. The opening seemed a little boozy to me. Like the fruity sweetness of tobacco with the tingle of herbs and spices. I have a small bottle of Croatian Rakija that has this herbal, slightly sweet smell, something like that. An okay start, but nothing groundbreaking. (And, frankly, looking now at the notes above...good lord, where are they coming up with these notes? Have they just taken all reigns off the marketing team - "write whatever you think sounds like it will sell, guys! Dudes like juniper and fir and tobacco and suede...don't they?...and santolina sounds so exotic!") And then, generic male base #2. I give up.

    04 May, 2011

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    Artisan by John Varvatos

    Interesting bottle, certainly puts one in mind of summer, picnics, casual outdoors activities and so on. And the top notes don't disappoint: lots of nice, round orange. And then the fun stops. I just don't see the point to these mainstream designer releases anymore. Even the saleslady at the counter couldn't keep from rolling her eyes and nodding her head in approval when I said it smells like generic "fruity-fresh." It's like all the manufacturers use the same vat of generic "masculine basenotes" and then use marketing materials to lead consumers to "smell" what they, the marketers, would like them to smell. [Actually, it's not "like" this. Trust me when I say from experience it is exactly this. The amount of money and research that goes into packaging design, marketing materials, ad campaigns, and even juice color dwarfs what goes into the smell of the juice. And it's that way for a reason.] As with so many men's fragrances, the heart and base are bland, boring, generic, the same as everything else out there. What gives? Why do people continue to fall for this ruse?

    Neutral because, after the bottle and top notes, it's not even noteworthy enough to find bad. And I can't be angry at the manufacturers when it's the buying public that's ultimately responsible for this state of affairs.

    04 May, 2011

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    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

    The 80s powerhouse that I most enjoy wearing right now. Out of all its beastly brethren, I find it most similar to VC&A PH. But, it's not as over-the-top, especially in the soapy-floral sense, as VC&A PH. It's also the least "dated" of the bunch, I think. This could be due to its relative informality when compared to VC&A, Lauder, Jules, Trussardi, et al.

    The aldehydes and floral notes make this seem almost feminine when first applied. (It's funny how all of these - the most masculine of masculines, masculine to the point of being referred to as "hairy chested" and "brawny" and "dated," as if they epitomize an anachronistic Cro-Magnon version of masculinity - all of them have prominent florals at their respective hearts. The same florals that now seem so avant-garde in a men's perfume. Just something to think on.) Anyway, as it starts to dry down, leather emerges, as well as patchouli, along with the clovey, carnation spice others have mentioned. And every now and again, I swear I smell something green, like pine.

    Most importantly, though, there is an openness to Pour Lui that is rare amongst the 80s powerhouses. It is loud, and strong, and heavy, but somehow, despite all its notes and complexity it's not overly "dense." When applied with a light hand, it doesn't wear me like so many other 80s powerhouses. I feel like it engages with my skin, mixes and melds with it, being ever-so-slightly different every time I wear it. When worn lightly, it is, dare I say, almost clean and fresh. The leather-floral-spice combo comes across as a high quality soapy smell. And of course, it stays with you all day.

    [BTW, I have a vintage splash bottle of this, so that's what I'm reviewing here. I have not smelled the reformulated juice.]

    04 May, 2011

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    Field Notes from Paris by Ineke

    Well, first off, this is definitely unisex, probably even leaning to the masculine side. Ineke says on her website that she does not ascribe to the notion of gender designations for perfumes - wear what you like is her motto. So, I'm not sure where the gender designation given above came from.

    On to the fragrance...with the list of notes given you might expect this to be a little heavy, something that would be a fall/winter scent. But, as with all the Ineke perfumes I've tried there's a sort of light-but-substantial quality to Field Notes. Unlike Derring-Do, I have a tough time picking apart notes in Field Notes. It comes across as one big scent signature. Bergamot and coriander are sense-able in the topnotes. Patchouli, a dry but not bitter patchouli is present throughout, somewhat similar to the patchouli in Lutens' Borneo. The tobacco, vanilla, and beeswax seem to work together to add a natural sweetness, not too sweet, definitely not sugary or syrupy. Again, light-but-substantial sums up the sweetness, and again, I'm struggling to find the individual notes and am guessing at which ones provide the subtle sweetness. The fragrance ends in a typical fading-away dry down where it gets maybe a bit more ambery...a dusty amber, not a heavy, syrupy amber.

    This is a very nice, modern, well-constructed oriental for men who find most oriental perfumes too sweet or too overbearing.

    04 May, 2011

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    Chemical Bonding by Ineke

    This one is a little deceptive at first. The initial notes present an incredible citrus melange: at times, I smell orange; at times, lemon; at times, grapefruit. This is quickly joined by a tea note. But then, just as you think you've got another typical modern citrus fragrance on your hands (or arms, or torso) it's like Ineke said "let there be peony." And there was. And it was good. If you like peony, you'll love this stage. As the scent wears on, the musky, powdery, clean base shows up and merges with the peony for a while until the peony runs its course and you're left with the powdery, clean, musk and woods. It's very nice, it's clean and fresh in a non-generic way, and it's unisex, but probably on the feminine end of the unisex spectrum. Lasting power is very good on me, as with all Inekes I've tried.

    04 May, 2011

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    Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I think this is fantastic, start to finish. It's dark, moody, and leathery to start. At this stage, it might be a little challenging for many men, but if you can wear Iquitos or Lyric Man, then you should have no trouble with this. As it dries down, it gets crisper and greener, while retaining a leathery quality. It is much less opulent and less sweet than most other Serge Lutens fragrances. I agree with the reviewer who mentioned there are some similarities between this and Une Rose. They are both dark, both have an earthy quality, and of course, both are also rose-heavy fragrances. On top of that, I'd add that both are really good, really wearable rose fragrances for men. If you like rose, you need to try this.

    02 May, 2011

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    Opus 1870 by Penhaligon's

    Nice. Others have said it well, so I'll just add my thumbs-up to theirs. It starts off a tad sweet, with obvious pepper and rose, and as it dries down it becomes mellower, woodier (cedar & lots of it), and softer. There seems to be a touch of incense here as well. Overall, good, and enjoyable, but doesn't get me headed to the shop to pick up a bottle.

    02 May, 2011

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    Krigler America One by Krigler

    I recently purchased some samples from Krigler and have been experimenting with them, wearing them for a full day, and also spot testing them. I ordered Established Cognac, Cozy Cedar Wood, and Good Fir. Krigler also included a free sample of America One. Given the price of the individual samples ($7.50 each!), I was grateful for the freebie but not blown away by its inclusion. These are pricey samples. That said, they send a full vial and the perfumes are quite concentrated - a little goes a long way.

    Despite my explorations with these fragrances, I'm still not sure what to make of Krigler, or of their perfumes. I don't really buy their marketing angle of being original formulations from long ago. They are certainly high quality fragrances. The materials are good. The blending is solid, more like a well-crafted designer scent utilizing a number of materials than say a Creed or any of the natural perfumes that seem to be a melange of a handful of notes. That said, there is a distinctly modern "white musk" note that is prominent in the base of three of the four I have tried. You know the musk - the one that has the "laundry detergent" smoothness to it and is usually called out by notes such as "cashmere" or "clean musk." This makes me think that Krigler probably crafted new perfumes based on notes or samples of the originals rather than meticulously engineering them according to the original formulas.

    America One seems to have quite a bit of this musk note. It also has a lovely citrus in the topnotes, making it one of those warm-yet-fresh openings. I know that is an overused expression, but here it applies. As it dries down, florals become more prominent; not really heady feminine florals but more unisex, clean, and fresh floral notes. Again, I am reminded of a detergent, though at this point a highly fragranced one. One of the reviewers on Fragrantica said this perfume reminded her of growing up in another country and receiving packages of American clothing from relatives. I can see where she'd have this association.

    Krigler lists the notes for America One as "A Cedar vibrato with dry notes of black pepper and cumin. The energetic effect of Mandarin with voluptuous accord of Neroli and Vetiver. A mysterious, voluptuous and full of contrasts fragrance."

    I guess cedar is a possibility, but it is dwarfed by the white musk. Pepper, and especially cumin, I simply don't smell at all. Well, I guess if I use my imagination while the scent is in the heart notes, I can get a tinge of cumin. Mandarin and neroli, I can believe, especially in the topnotes. Vetiver is not really apparent to my nose, again, the white musk is masking it, if it is indeed there. If you go to the list of individual notes and corresponding perfumes on a different page of the Krigler site, you will also see they list sandalwood, bergamote, and coffee as notes in America One. Again, it's possible there is sandalwood here, but it's hiding behind the musk. Bergamote seems like a good bet. Coffee simply makes me tilt my head and raise my eyebrows wondering why they would list that as a note in this. It's entirely possible I'm just especially sensitive to the smell of the musk they are using (it does give me a headache), which is causing my dismay with this fragrance. Needless to say, it's not what I expected it to be based on the description and note listing.

    Krigler goes on to characterize this perfume as Fruity, Spicy, and Woody. I would call it a clean, musky, unisex floral. The lasting power is very good - days later I can still smell the musky base. The sillage is too high for my comfort, but then, I believe a man's fragrance should not project beyond a few feet. I'm giving this a thumbs-up because I think it is well-made and of a good quality, even if it did not meet my expectations of it based on notes and description. For someone who likes this type of fragrance, this might be a great find.

    [By the way, the same musk pervades Cozy Cedar Wood, which to my nose, does not smell at all like cedar, or spice, despite Krigler's categorizing it as Woody and Spicy. Good Fir comes closer to its note listing, but still has strong traces of the white musk in the base, which makes for an odd pine-on-white-musk smell. The best of the bunch that I've sampled, and the only one that didn't disappoint with the clean musk note is Eastablished Cognac, which has an incredible topnote that really does capture the smell of the nose of a good cognac - deep raisiny grapey scents combined with something almost chocolate like, on top of a dry, woody base that has only a tiny hint of white musk. The wood base in EC has a quality to it that reminds me of vintage Santal Noble - that resinous, almost dusty quality. Unfortunately it is also, by far, the shortest lived of the four. I guess I will likely do full reviews of these once they are in the Directory.]

    01st May, 2011

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    Vendetta pour Homme by Valentino

    Check out the reviews by Foetidus and Milamber if you want to know what Vendetta PH is structurally all about; those guys can really break a fragrance apart. My nose is nowhere near that refined, so I have to rely on drawing relations to other fragrances, triangulating in on what a fragrance smells like vis-a-vis other frags. Sometimes I pick up a note here or there, if I'm lucky.

    Anyway, Vendetta PH, to me, smells wonderful. I'm always a little surprised by at least some reviews for almost any fragrance, and this is no exception. Too sharp? Too sweet? Too spicy? I don't find it to be any of these. I mean, it's sharp, it's sweet, and it's spicy...but I don't think any one of those qualities is wildly out of balance, except maybe when measured against the focus-group formulated neutral and neutered fragrances of today. That is not a valid or historically useful measuring stick, in my opinion. To me, Vendetta PH is a sweet and spicy combo laid on top of a woody-ambery base. That said, it's not clovey to the extreme like Secret Melange or Trumper's Milk of Flowers. It's not sweet like almost any "masculine" fragrance you can pull off the shelf at Sephora or off the counter at Macy's here in 2011, where "masculine" has come to mean "orange push-up pop." It's more ambery than woody, but the amber is round and smooth and not the least bit thin or metallic like, say, Pal Zileri's Cashmere E Ambra.

    Unlike Foetidus, I don't get too much leather, maybe just a touch. A difference that is due to skin chemistry, I imagine. Somewhat differing from Milamber, I find this to be closer to Arabie than to Ambre Sultan. I think there's something about the sweet, spicy nature of Arabie that seems similar to the same combo in Vendetta PH, though Vendetta PH is not as over-the-top as Arabie. Still, it's pretty amazing that this designer fragrance reminds us both of a niche fragrance from a very respected house. You won't find many like this, especially amongst new releases. The closest I can think of to this overall smell is Jean Pascal PH, but Vendetta PH is more concentrated, deeper smelling, plumper, and sweeter. One more thing: if you are going to test this - and you should - please let it dry down before drawing any conclusions!

    01st May, 2011

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    Yohji Homme by Yohji Yamamoto

    A quiet, conservative take on gourmand notes expertly placed into a woody context. I agree with what Live Jazz has to say about this one. Most often, gourmand fragrances are too sweet or too bombastic for me to wear regularly. Every once in a while I might get in the nostalgic mood required for me to wear A*Men, but other than that, it's a genre I mostly avoid. Body Kouros, Rochas Man, Pi, etc. are just too cutesy, too sugar-and-spice for me to wear as personal fragrances. Yohji Homme occupies its own space in my mind.

    It's drier, woodier, and not nearly as sweet or loud as the fragrances others have mentioned in this thread. In fact, it's an altogether different take on gourmand notes and can't really be compared to them. The coffee and anise notes are fantastic - dry enough to be almost herbal, but rich enough to subtly change throughout the duration. The rum adds a subtle, natural sweetness. The base, to my nose, is mainly a dry patchouli with the coffee (almost cocoa at times) and an herbal tinge. If anything, it reminds me a bit of Lutens Borneo at the far end of its life span. Longevity is good, but it stays close, which to me is a god thing with this sort of fragrance. A very big thumbs-up. I'm glad I grabbed a bottle while I could.

    29 April, 2011 (Last Edited: 19 May, 2011)

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    Eau Sauvage Fraîcheur Cuir by Christian Dior

    Smells quite a bit like Eau Sauvage, but with a touch of suede-like leather in the base. Longevity is better than ES on me, but still only lasts a half-day or so. This is a good flanker, but I wonder if it's just a bit too close to the original. Definitely worth a try if you like ES and want a little more lasting power out of it.

    28 April, 2011

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    Lauder for Men by Estée Lauder

    A well-behaved powerhouse. This is complex and refined. Lots of notes - florals, spices, moss, leather, incense - vie for attention, leading to something akin to a VC&A PH "light" effect. This is not as flowery or leathery as VC&A's PH; not as loud or muscular as Trussardi's Uomo; more "conservative" and formal than Oscar's Pour Lui; not as skanky as YSL's Kouros; not as leathery-green-sweaty as Dior's Jules...it sort of sits in the middle of the spectrum of 80s powerhouses. It's great stuff, but usually when I'm reaching for a powerhouse I'm looking for a particular effect or mood and Lauder doesn't fulfill that need for me. It's almost clinical in its refinement - the scent of a bureaucrat or company man. I could see accountants and finance people in the 80s wearing this as a signature scent.

    23 April, 2011

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    Trussardi Uomo by Trussardi

    Big green sillage machine. A pine-like note really stands out at first, then a spicy floral tobacco phase, then a mossy, leathery base. All the while a bit of honey adds a natural sweetness. It's strong. It lasts. It throws off tons of scent. But it's also well-made and interesting, especially when the more settled base comes out. I didn't like this one at first. I think the honey-leather combo was off-putting. Over time it's grown on me and has become one of my favorite powerhouse scents.

    23 April, 2011

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    The Dreamer by Versace

    I wore this pretty frequently when it first came out. The opening notes gave me a head rush of sorts. The dry down was great for me at the time; I was young(er) and didn't mind sweet or synthetic as much as I do these days. Plus, sweet and synthetic usually equals day-long longevity and lots of volume, which were also things I looked for back then. (As an aside, if myself-of-today were to meet myself-of-then, myself-of-today would probably wonder why that douche wears such a high quantity of such a loud fragrance.) Plus, my roommate back then was a smoker and this really does do a great job of masking cigarette smoke. I can't say it's something I'd wear now...but I also can't say it smells bad. Thumbs-up for nostalgia's sake.

    23 April, 2011

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    Park Royal by Anglia Perfumery

    Wow, two fragrances from the same house that fit into my "stuffy floral clove bomb" category. Okay, so this one is not as floral, or as clovey, or as stuffy as Richmond, but it's still pretty clovey. The notes listed on the Anglia website differ from the note listing above. Top: lemon, galbanum, cedar leaf, rosemary. Mid: lavender, nutmeg, clove. Base: patchouli, amber, moss, and "precious woods." To my nose, clove and patchouli dominate the fragrance through the heart notes. Something sitting in the background smells a bit like violet even though there is none listed in the notes. The base gets mossier the further into the development you go, until the amber shows up at the very end, providing a lightly powdery sweetness. Like the other Anglias I have tried, this seems like a relatively simple and basic fragrance, a good way to train your nose in what certain notes smell like and how a top, middle, and base differ, but not all that exciting or interesting.

    23 July, 2010

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