Perfume Reviews

Reviews by LiveJazz

Total Reviews: 215

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

AlthaeaSoaps said it smelled of burning brake pads. I was trying to think of what the top smelled like, and that's actually a very close comparison. It fades to, as others have said, more of a circus smell. Like cotton candy/animal stall/generator engines. When it dries, it's a bit more grounded and "normal"...more of a subtle sweet/spicy leather. I like it because of it's unique imagry, but I don't think i'd wear it regularly.
30th September, 2006

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

Geranium, Carrot seed, clary sage

Birchtar, cistus, jasmine, cedarwood

Myrrh, tonka, vetiver, sandalwood

To me, it smells like an old hut in the middle of nowhere. Allow me to explain: I recently lived in New Zealand, and being the fan of the outdoors that I am, I went on some backpacking trips. Some of the huts here basically avalanche shelters. Some were so big they could almost have been hotels. And some were literally abandoned trappers' huts. In them were rusted old wood stoves, dented up ash buckets, some half burned wood, maybe a few wool blankets, lots of dirt, and the smell of decades of use by weary, dusty travellers. After tramping through mountains, sleet, rain, mud, rivers, grasslands and snow (usually all in the same day), the sight, smell, and feel of those huts caused a combination of emotions that I still can't totally identify. For dinner, we usually made some variation of vegetable soup and baked beans. Soon, that aroma mingled with the background smell of the hut, and THAT is what Lonestar Memories smells like. If our backpacks had been made of leather, it would impossible to tell the two smells apart.

I've always appreciated the added quality of niche scents, but this is the first that has truly shocked me. I didn't know scents were capable of this kind of depth. Andy Tauer puts some real soul and emotion into his creations.

If you like leathery, natural, rustic, and "unplugged" scents, Lonestar is going to absolutely blow you mind. Even if you aren't a fan of richer leathers, you will appreciate the sheer artistry of this one. Incense and leather sound like an overpowering combo, and usually they are, but Lonestar's leather is comforing and old, and the incense is gently smouldering birchtar laying in a bed of myrrh and tonka. The effect is warm and soothing yet assertive and very manly.
26th September, 2006

Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

The opening simply sparkles and fizzes. I think of a freshly squeezed, icy cold glass of limeade, with some pepper - a note I like. It's a really nice opening.

But for me, it goes downhill from there. The accord seems to "bloat" on me somehow, getting heavier and oppressive. I generally like mineral/earthy notes, and Terre d'Hermes does start in that direction, but that facet is dominated by a massive industrial soap accord that reminds me of Comet.

I just get sick of smelling it...and again, it's an absolute nuclear sillage monster on me. So, it might be my skin, or sensitivity to an aromachemical lurking there, but it's a thumbs down.
18th September, 2006 (last edited: 21st October, 2016)
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Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

Good scent. Pencil shavings do not come close to describing the quality of the woody ambience of this cologne. No other scent has conjured up such vivid images: I envision a small but lively campfire creating a warm, happy ring of light in the middle of a vast, empty desert. A few people are huddled in fuzzy wool blankets, lost in their thoughts. If i'm feeling less impassioned, it reminds me of my childhood winters. I would run around outside until I was too cold to bear, then come inside and plop in front of the fireplace, which was almost always lit, and just stare at it. Then I would go back out. Basically, it smells like a campfire, but in the very best way possible. The very definition of a comfort scent for me.
05th September, 2006 (last edited: 21st June, 2011)

John Varvatos by John Varvatos

Meh, it smells of fruity syrup to begin with, then dries down to a creamy vanilla. I was very surprised by how heavy this one is. It reminds me of the women's CK Euphoria, which is also too sweet. Perhaps a good clubbing scent, but I wouldn't wear it for much else.
05th September, 2006

Rush for Men by Gucci

I don't find this to be sharp or bitter in the least. It's certainly very woody, but I get a soft powdery background. It isn't bad or unpleasant, but it definitely lacks depth. Rush lasts no longer than 3 hours on me though, which really surprised me because woods normally stay around forever. I see no reason to get this when jems like Gucci PH and Visit are around.
05th September, 2006

Must de Cartier pour Homme by Cartier

This is one of the very few orientals that I like. While most are sillage powerhouses with annoyingly sweet bases, this one features a perfectly subtle (but not unnoticable) mixture spices, wood, and a tasteful amount of tonka. Very versatile and very classy. Thumbs up.
05th September, 2006

Bel Ami by Hermès

This scent makes me feel like I can take on the world. True, the topnotes are a little overpowering, but about around 20 minutes, you have a spicy, leathery, manly aroma with just a hint of lemon to make it more wearable. The trick is to wear very small amounts, and definitely apply to skin.
05th September, 2006

Swiss Army by Swiss Army

Swiss Army was literally the first fragrance I ever owned. At the time, I just don't think I was prepared for it, as non-threatening as it seems to me now. I bought it because it said Swiss Army on it, and I'm the outdoorsy type. But the bitter greens, brisk lavender, and sharp woods were simply too much for me.

After buying it again (years later) on a whim, I have done a complete and total turnaround. In a world of so few quality fresh fragrances that seem to be dominated by citrus -> sweet -> bland evolutions, something like Swiss Army is indispensable. Those sharp, minty, long-lasting green notes seem quite natural, and a fresh-clipped lavender note compliments the woods deep into the drydown. It's always noticable, but never cloying. You just keep thinking, "Wow, this is really nice!"

Even when we are left with just the woody base, there’s just something nice about it. It isn’t the same “blah” powdery woods we have all grown used to, but rather green, fresh woods. I particularly like the cypress note in the base, deepened with a hint of musk. Longevity is great…about 9 hours for me. This is a high quality, versatile and relatively interesting fresh scent.
04th June, 2006 (last edited: 03rd September, 2009)

Bulgari pour Homme by Bulgari

Bulgari Pour Homme has so much more depth than it often gets credit for. It's taken me a full 15 years to fully appreciate it. Hundreds, possibly thousands of scents later, I understand how amazingly well constructed and unique it is.

Starting with a pointed but translucent whipcrack of citrus, tea and (primarily) pepper, it quickly morphs into something softer - particularly the watery muguet and grey/white musk scent enter the scene. The citrus moves the background and eventually fades entirely. We're now in an amazing, soft floral/pepper/musk accord - offset with just right dose of tannic black tea bitterness (almost the exact smell of slightly overbrewed black tea) to offset that softness and keep things from getting too watery.

This accord is just perfect. Elegant. Masculine. Beautiful and soft - but at the same time bone dry. Tender and austere.

The problem with reviewing Bulgari Pour Homme is that it's so hard to articulate what makes it unique and special by describing the notes. It's hard not to make it sound like a slightly peppery aquatic. It is SO not that. Someone else called it a "unicorn" of a scent, and that's absolutely right.

You just need to smell it. I'm convinced this is one of the true masterpieces of modern perfumery.

Oh, and I get all-day longevity from 4-5 sprays - but it does wear close to the skin. Which is fine. This scent doesn't want or need to be loud.
25th May, 2006 (last edited: 10th October, 2016)

Echo by Davidoff

Well, it SMELLS good. Unfortunately, it makes my mouth taste like rusty pennies (hey...curiousity got the best of my when I was a kid). I guess it doesn't do this to anyone else though, so it might be good for others. Still, I can't give a thumbs up...or even a a frag that makes me want to spit all day.
25th May, 2006

Gendarme by Gendarme

Meh. I like Mugler Cologne better for the soapy thing. This is too sharp and cold. It really just isn't all that pleasant. And, as you have undoubtedly heard, it doesn't last.
25th May, 2006

Givenchy pour Homme Blue Label by Givenchy

I like it, but there just isn't anything there to distinguish it from anything else. It does what it does VERY well, but I just have no desire to smell like this (fresh, aquatic, sour with a some spice) anymore. At this point, it doesn't even matter how well made the fragrance is...there just don't need to be more of them. If I smelled this and Bvlgari Aqva next to each other, I would barely be able to tell a difference...but this one is slightly better I think. If you want a fresh aquatic, this is probably the best out there for the price right now.
12th May, 2006
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Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

I love it. There really isn't anything not to like in it. You either love it, or you don't mind it. It might seem not to last, but the white musk (but still with a hint of citrus) stays around for quite awhile. Comparable to Gendarme I think, but sweeter in the base. It'll get a lot of play this summer.
12th May, 2006

Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

Ok, I will edit my review. When I was a relative newb I rushed to buy this during the Great Rive Gauche Craze of 2006. I received a few negative comments on it and was a little wary of the uncompromising lavender and herb topnotes. I traded it away and gave it a negative review.

Over the years, it kept pecking away at me, and I started wonder how I might react to it with a little more experience under my belt. I bought it again, and while I do still think it's slightly overrated, I appreciate it for the important role it can play in just about any wardrobe: the versatile, refreshing, and clean scent that has a distinctive personality, is not citrus-based, and shares many characteristics with the brash old-school powerhouses while remaining very wearable. Whew! Not surprisingly, there are very few scents that fill this niche and don't cost much, so I understand why it is so universally appreciated.

Others have commented thoroughly on the feel of the scent. After the sharp, dry herbal opening, it does indeed smell like a traditional creamy shave foam with a bit of a sweet patchouli accent, especially has the base gathers strength. I honestly can't pick many of the heart and base notes from the pyramid out of the scent, other than the patch and maybe some subdued clove. Mostly, I get a nice, fuzzy, ambiguous gentleman's grooming product vibe.

Just one problem. I notice faint plastic-synthetic note in there, right when the topnotes start to mellow into the creamy base, that lasts a few hours. It seems to stand apart from the creamy shave foam and patchouli, as if that part of the fragrance was indeed well executed, but someone accidentally spilled some Eau de Party Balloons in the formula at the last minute. Sometimes this is especially prominent, and I even get a funny taste in my mouth. Sometimes I don't notice it at all.

All in all, I will continue to wear and appreciate the scent, but I don't think I can give a thumbs up, as something is askew on me. Borderline thumbs up, but not quite.
02nd May, 2006 (last edited: 12th January, 2011)

Millésime Impérial by Creed

I would like to revise my earlier review. Maybe I was testing from a faulty batch (Creed and their batch issues!), but in recent tests from a different decant, and from various bottles at Nieman, Imperial has demonstrated respectable lasting power for a fruity aquatic, and sports some serious hidden depth, what with the ambergris and all.

But don't want to go into a detailed notes discussion. That's been done accurately below, and I'm not so great at that anyway. Yes, it's a melon-floral aquatic...done perfectly. Yes, this is a played out theme. But MI is the alpha and omega of that theme - the pinnacle, even though it predates the theme's emergence. There comes a point when you just have to say, damn, this smells good.
01st May, 2006 (last edited: 08th December, 2010)

Dior Homme by Christian Dior

It is indeed very subtle. I don't find it to be very fem, just a little sweet and edible. I love the seems to offset some of the potential cloying qualities of the caramel/chocolate heart and base. When i wear it, I feel classy and calm.
01st May, 2006

Geir by Geir Ness

I'm joining the thumbs up squad. While it's certainly not perfect, as many here make it out to be, it's very pleasant for the most part. That's the word that best sums it up: pleasant. True, it isn't terribly unique, and it even borders on being too sweet much of the time, but it never bothers me or anyone else.

It starts out with a fruity fresh smell mixed with a few dabs of honey. When it starts to dry, you get less fruit, more wood, and still that sweet vanilla/honey thing. As it progresses, I get more and more wood, with a grassy smell that I don't like too much creeping in. It might be the only scent that I own that I find has a worse base than top. It's not bad by any means, just a little bitter and sour smelling at the very end (could just be my skin). Still, the vast majority of the evolution is great, so it gets a hearty thumbs up!
01st May, 2006

L'Eau Bleue d'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

My best friend used to live on a dairy farm. I have a lot of memories from that place. This scent brought them all back. Unfortunately, I do not want to smell of wet hay and granulated cattle feed. Yes, wet hay and granulated cattle feed. We used to play in barns full of the stuff, and I clearly remember the smell. I think someone earlier said that this is "agricultural", and I think that's a perfect description. It's not bad, but I don't think it's for me.

I enjoy the unique opening a lot, actually, but as the base evolves, it comes harsh and grating, with a kind of turpentine-ish quality. Thumbs down for the evolution, but respect for the creativity it goes for.
18th April, 2006 (last edited: 26th September, 2018)

Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons

It's so unique that i can't give it a thumbs down, but I just don't think its good for much other than spraying on your wrist and sniffing for fun. It reminds me mainly of a dentist's office...very plasticy and sterile. I can also see how people smell drying laundry. Maybe if laudry was drying in a dentist office it would be something like this. Anyway, it's unique, but I don't know many people that could pull this off.
13th April, 2006

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

This is a huge, sweet scent. Ultimately, it is too sweet for me, with a base of dense ambery vanilla and sweet musk. I thoroughly approve of the route Musc Ravageur takes to its sweet base, though.

The lavender/citrus opening seems to have a good dose of civet in it, but that could just be the opening fireworks of the musk. It's very sharp and sour. More interesting than attractive. This phase fades gradually into strong cloves and cinnamon, and what seems like opoponax, still with a detectable note of medium-dirty musk. This is my favorite phase, but it descends into ambiguous ambery vanilla creme puffs all too quickly (about an hour or two after application), and it loses me. Diptyque's Eau Lente has many similar spice notes, but cuts out much of the overwhelming sweetness here, so I prefer it.
12th April, 2006 (last edited: 12th July, 2010)

New Tradition by Etro

I smell the tradition, but not the new. Smells like some old cheap aftershave that my grandfather used to wear. Reminds me of Old Spice, even though it really doesn't smell the same. Its really musty and lavendery, and I just don't like it.
11th April, 2006

Eau de Cartier Concentrée by Cartier

Acidic smelling. One of my friends has it and it burns my nostrils. People say this without it being true all the time here...but this really does smell like some kind of bug spray. Maybe it calms down a little after it dries, but I didn't want to stay around long enough to find out.
04th April, 2006

Aqua pour Homme by Bulgari

One of the more realistic marine fragrances on the market in this price category, though objectively it's still quite sharp, and it gets tiresome for me to wear after awhile. If you like very bitter and uncompromising takes on the marine genre, get it. If you want something softer, avoid it. Simple as that.
16th March, 2006 (last edited: 05th June, 2018)

Présence by Montblanc

Presence is a synthetic but pleasant and versatile fresh apple/spice oriental. The ginger and cinnamon notes really jump out at me in the opening create a nice spark to set things in motion. An apple note shines through in the heart - but doesn't smell foody or like an apple pie against those spices. Neat trick. Finally, we it lands on a light and benign but pleasant faux sandalwood ambery base.

I'll give it a thumbs up because it smells good, and I think it was intentionally crafted to fill a unique spot in the fresh/light/sweet masculine space. Versatile.
16th March, 2006 (last edited: 22nd April, 2018)

Individuel by Montblanc

I've come full circle with Individuel. It was one of the very first fragrances I tried when I started this hobby, and I loved it. As my knowledge of fragrances expanded, I went through a phase during which I rejected un-challenging designer scents and insisted on esoteric niche specimens. I purged Individuel from my collection and gave it a negative review.

Over the years, I've relaxed in my appreciation of scents, and I saw Individuel for cheap. Nostalgia took over. I bought it, and am reminded why I liked it in the first place - only now I have the experience and knowledge to understand what made me like it, and what still makes it a unique and wonderful find.

Does it often smell synthetic? Yes. Is it sweet? Yes. However, it's also incredibly smooth, and really quite fun to dissect. It moves in unexpected, almost surreal directions at times. The opening is a bit twee, with a short blast of berries and chocolate. This is the most blatantly synthetic, and to me, least enjoyable phase of Individuel. However, it quickly moves from childish to suave as a lovely juniper berry/cinnamon (leaf) combination moves to the foreground. Imagine my surprise to smell a whiff of Creed's outstanding Baie de Genievre - a solidly built and serious green-cinnamon and juniper scent - kicking back and letting loose among the young partygoers here. This accord acts as a solid and respectable center of gravity for individuel, giving it a certain necessary gravitas despite the general sweetness.

And about that sweetness: it's really quite nice. Instead of a nostril attacking nuclear sweet-bomb, this is a refreshing, cool, clean, rather spare take on sweetness. This is synthetics used with a purpose and a plan. Bravo to Bourdon.
16th March, 2006 (last edited: 20th October, 2014)

Magnetism for Men by Escada

Yes, the opening smells of grape soda with a metallic twang. This is not an entirely pleasant top accord, but you have to give it points for being quite unique in the modern fragrance environment.

Luckily, the opening fades quickly enough and is replaced with a steadily growing melange of spices, musk and leather. The drydown really is quite sexy (and a little animalic!). Bottom line: while the opening puts Magnetism dangerously close to cheap-teeny-fruit-punch territory, the unusually interesting and attractive development keeps it safe.
16th March, 2006 (last edited: 28th August, 2009)

Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc by Bulgari

I'm usually not a big musk fan, but i like this. The tea balances with the musk and pepper and makes it totally unique. Awesome alternative to aquatic summer frags. It just plain smells good.
16th March, 2006

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

It reminds me of Dr. Pepper right when its sprayed, and for about the first hour, it smells really "thick" and medicinal. It put me off at first, but its so unique you almost have to like it. The drydown is just great. Warm and unique and intense. Pretty much has to be worn at way around that. I always feel really suave when i wear it.
16th March, 2006

Visit by Azzaro

Review update. There's too much nutmeg in this. I've started to feel that it dominates the scent for too long. The drydown is still nice, but i've grown tired of the nutmeg. Make sure you like nutmeg before you consider buying this.
16th March, 2006 (last edited: 20th September, 2006)