Reviews by Scentsational

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    Scentsational
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    Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This scent screams of conquest in battle and then some serious For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in celebration.

    05 October, 2005 (Last Edited: 14 December, 2010)

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    Comme des Garçons 2 Man by Comme des Garçons

    From the house with 1000 different and strange scents, comes this most mainstream creation. I remember thinking if you mixed Gucci pour Homme in a three or maybe four to one ratio with L'Artisan Pasage d'Enfer, this is about what you'd come up with. Granted, I only tried what was two wearings I could squeeze from a purchased sample vial, but still. Though I've never purchased a CdG created scent, I've always respected their dare to do anything sort of flare. For those who like metaphors, imagine Tim Burton churning out a Spielberg.

    11th August, 2005

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    Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein

    My first year of college, this was my signature scent. I wore it a lot, probably more than I should have since I think I finished the bottle in a year. This was the first oriental I was ever exposed to and it still holds a special place in my fragrance memory. I love the soft opening of citrus, like lightly shaven orange skins, neither sweet nor overly citric. Then, it gets a bit soft with this muskiness, with slight hints of lavendar. I almost get this slight hint of baby powder, but not enough to turn me off like other scents do. The only negative thing I have to say is my current mini doesn't have nearly the strength I remember. I'm not sure if its just old or they weakened the formula. I've since "graduated" to more interesting and better orientals, but nostalgia still gets the thumbs up.

    10th August, 2005

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    B*Men by Thierry Mugler

    An inferior product to both A*Men and Cologne. The opening sweet notes are a bit too much, but wear off quickly enough. Once you get past that part, the woods and spices are nice, but not nearly as interesting as the predecessor. If this were release by another label, perhaps I wouldn't be as harsh. But if you launch a ground breaker like A*Men, your followups better be good. Especially if you continue with the naming convention. This one feels more like F*Men, where F is the failing grade. Sorry Thierry, better luck next time.

    04 August, 2005

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    Vera Wang for Men by Vera Wang

    This scent feels half finished. From top to bottom, it whispers, never truly revealing itself. It has a good structure, with a pleasant blend of orange and leather, perhaps a pinch of tobacco. The problem is how faint it wears. You keep taking these deep whiffs and it stays elusive. Perhaps the elusive bride was an inspiration for the most famous bridal gown designer in the world. I'd say there are too many other excellent choices to spend money on this one.

    04 August, 2005

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    1881 Amber by Cerruti

    Start off with the ever popular best seller Acqua di Gio and build some oriental elements on top. That is what this reminds me of. It has that underlying ozonic melon tinge that brings AdG to mind, but the amber and floral notes definitely take center stage. The amber is used sparingly, but enough to make it sexy and a good date scent. I also enjoy the fact that it drew little attention and is rarely mentioned. This was one of my first acquisitions when I started collecting and its still a favorite.

    04 August, 2005

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    While not as good as Azzaro Visit, I still like the new Gucci. I feel like I've spent a weekend outdoors, camping and cooking hot meals over an open fire. The campfire smoke scent is what I enjoy most about this scent. It isn't as sleek or urban as Visit and it has no intention of being so. This is definitely a throwback scent and in that regard, Tom Ford hit his mark. Plus, it has one of the finest bottles in the men's market. Strong and simple, like a great whiskey glass full of your favorite bourbon.

    04 August, 2005

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    Truth Calvin Klein Men by Calvin Klein

    This could have been so much more, but once again, I feel let down by Cavlin Klein. The green notes are quite fresh and bright, like something I imagine fresh cut bamboo might smell like. Or maybe the sap from fresh young green stems in a rainforest. The sappy sweetness isn't overwhelming and quite pleasant. The problem is the duration. A mere two or three hours into it and it disappears. If the duration were more akin to something like Obsession, I'd still have this in my collection. Alas, I'm still searching for that sweet green scent missing from my collection.

    04 August, 2005

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    Ungaro III by Ungaro

    This is the scent Dracula would wear as his signature. Gothic, dark, but still alluring and sexually brooding. There are a variety of flowers, woods and other things growing in the dark forest floor. There is also this amazing use of rose, like they've been crushed underfoot on the moist ground. This is one long lasting scent and fantastic for cooler evenings out, leaving a great deal of sillage.

    04 August, 2005

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    T for Him by Tommy Hilfiger

    For an inexpensive and most refreshing scent, Tommy T is hard to beat. There is a bright sparkle to the opening, full of citrus and synthetic clean, as if you just walked out of your own laundry dryer. Once the chemical smell dies down a bit, you really get this aroma of clean t-shirts. This heartnote carries the simple scent the rest of the way. It softens a bit later on, but never disappears. Amazing duration as well. I'm wearing it today and 13 hours later, I can still faintly smell it. In winespeak, this is a QPR scent.

    04 August, 2005

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    Happy for Men by Clinique

    I know of no other scent that is more appropriately named. The tanginess of the opening is a bit synthetic and sweet, but give it about 15 minutes and you'll get a true sense of where this is going. The tangy citrus blends with sweet oranges, tiny bits of west coast beach surf and some very soft woods. Yes, the duration isn't the best in the world. I definitely recommend that other grooming products in this line for adding extra duration. The shower gel is my second favorite one. So, when you need a pick me up or want to blow the gray clouds away, wear this one. I do and it works.

    04 August, 2005

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    cK be by Calvin Klein

    I love the smell of this one, but literally have to bathe in it to make it last for even a few hours. Perhaps I got a bad batch. The juniper is a total delight, along with some other black berry type notes that fade much too fast. The hints you get from the white musks (whatever those are) are wonderful, but full of holes like swiss cheese. Pump up the strength and this would be a winner. As it stands now, its purely a before bedtime scent since that way, I won't be as disappointed with it's disappearing act.

    04 August, 2005

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    Cuiron Pour Homme by Helmut Lang

    Like his clothing, this fragrance uses a minimalist approach. There is not a lot of development from beginning to end. It is a three act play that never gets far from the opening. I imagine starting off with a vat of clean musk oil. Placed inside this vessel is the softest piece of suede imaginable. Add dashes of plum and white pepper, then let it marinate for about a month. When you remove the suede and squeeze the oil from it, Cuiron is what emerges. The supple leathery notes don't change much and as the wearer, this is a good thing. Like your best decades old bomber jacket, this one does nothing but offer comfort and consistently enduring charm.

    02 August, 2005

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    Santal Noble by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    When it comes to men's fragrances, few artisans have mastered the art as well as Jean LaPorte of MPG and L'Artisan fame. Of all his creations, Santal Noble is his Mona Lisa or Sistine Chapel ceiling for those who prefer Michelangelo. Its a scent that doesn't reveal its magic until about 15 minutes after application. The understudy top notes are chaotic, running around to find their positions and headlining heart note companions. Once the stars take stage, it's absolutely brilliant. Notes of amber and sandalwood dominate, with wafts of vanilla providing a velvety background. It is the silk tuxedo at a black tie affair. Everyone may look nice and similar on the surface, but look closer and this one outshines all the rest. In simplest terms, this is seduction captured in a bottle.

    01st August, 2005

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    The Dreamer by Versace

    Imagine a tootsie roll flavored pastry with sprigs of flowers that was baked inside a pipe tobacco shop and this might give you an impression of what this scent is all about. The duration is amazing and the scent mesmerizing.

    28 March, 2005

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Musc Ravageur leaps from the bottle, a stealthy tiger whose opening roar of citrus and cinammon alerts you to its presence. Passing soon into the camoflauged background of ambery musks with faint whiffs of chocolate, the scent beckons you in closer. It wears comfortably close to the skin, as if the epidermis were magically made of silk. People will notice it, but not from a great distance. A minimalist composition with maximum effect. This is the reason I see perfumers as artists of the highest order.

    11th February, 2005

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    Philosykos by Diptyque

    The crown jewel in the Diptyque family, this one is excellent for warmer weather. Its sweet and juicy, but not cloying. It settles quite nicely into aforementioned hints of coconut and very soft wood. Its the best fig scent on the market and wears well for both men and women.

    31st December, 2004

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    Brit for Men by Burberry

    The ginger and cardamom notes create an olfactory profile similar to a spice cake, which is a good thing. I find this aspect of the scent most unique and comforting. It isn't overly sweet, but isn't dry and totally woodsy either. The rose notes are very pale, but still make their appearance in a dry fashion, as if their petals were ground up for the "cake batter". The woods are more prominent than any musk notes to me, but the spices seem to linger forever. My favorite release in 2004.

    28 October, 2004

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    Visit by Azzaro

    This was my favorite designer release in 2003. I pick up a lot of incense and pepper, with fantastically dry woods coming later as the pepper dies down. I think a Tibetan monestary in New York City might smell like this. The opening sharpness is very refreshing for fall and winter, equating to the often eye popping citrus notes found in summer scents. Only in this one, those opening salvos get your attention and never lay down. Wear this one when you want some attention and are looking to heat things up.

    28 October, 2004

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    Inis by Fragrances of Ireland

    I love marine scents and have many of them in my collection, all of which I like. I find Inis very similar to Issey (the original one), only without the sourness. The muguet (lily of the valley) softens this one and carries it quite well. I remember driving home one day with the window down and the rain droplets just started to fall. Just as I drew my arm inside, I smelled this scent on my skin resurfacing from an application 8 hours earlier. The rain had "re-activated" it and it was a wonderful surprise. My favorite and most wearable of the marines. I'm glad so few know about this one. If I'd smelled this first, Issey would've never found a home in my cabinet.

    28 October, 2004

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    Yang by Jacques Fath

    I bought this under similar circumstances as Dave. It was Ruslan's review and 8 or so positive reviews at perfumeemporium that convinced me to buy this blindly and I've no regrets. I think it is the finest and most masculine of the green tea scents, a note that is very middle of the road in being clean, fresh and unisex. The addition of spices gives this just the right zing and allows it to be worn in cool weather. The best $20 I ever spent in fragrance dollars.

    03 August, 2004 (Last Edited: 14 December, 2010)

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    L'Anarchiste by Caron

    The most satisfying blind purchase I've ever made. The metallic tingle upon first spritz is very prevelant, but quite interesting and unique. The blend of mint and orange is a great eye opener, with a wonderful clove note emerging later in the drydown. It has great lasting power, is very unique and the bottle is magnifique!

    01st August, 2004

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    Route du Vétiver by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    This smells like scorched earth that is still smoldering after a torrential downpour. It wasn't created, so much as it was forged. For true lovers of vetiver only and those who don't mind the strange looks or squinched up noses they may encounter. Wear it proudly.

    17 July, 2004

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