Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Uzkalnis

Total Reviews: 51

Aramis Always Him by Aramis

Fantastic citrusy opening, much more sophisticated than Aramis Life, and a very dignified drydown. Average staying power. I think I am going to get it.
07th June, 2006

Silver Shadow by Davidoff

Bought Pure Blend because it seemed special. When I realized it was just the cinnamon and it was too similar to that Diesel in red bottle, what's it's name, it was too late. Poor lasting power and unimaginative drydown. Neither exclusive nor otherwise special. AND ON TOP OF THIS silver foil started peeling off from the bottle neck on the third day! Advice: when you sell a perfume for $65, can you not perhaps try spend a few extra pennies on a bottle? Look to Gucci Pour Homme for inspiration in that area, if you must.
07th June, 2006

Safari for Men by Ralph Lauren

1992 produced few exciting fragrances and practically no "classics", unless of course you consider Nautica a classic...

Safari IS a classic, but I can see the point of those who argue that it is not too exciting or unusual. This is because it has been imitated so often and so widely that it is easy to overlook the trend that it set.

Quite simply, Safari did not put citrus on top, and therefore the fragrance starts with spicy notes which are more habitually seen in the middle or in the base of the olfactory pyramid.

A complex and very solid base (esp. oakmoss and leather) achieve that distinct feeling of "grown up" fragrance and yes, it gets you thinking of leather armchairs, colonial verandas and plush carpets. This is a nice 'capitalist' fragrance: this is what Business Class feels like.

The bottle is one of the best in business, although one may argue that it looks slightly dated today.

Overall, it would be on my top 20 list if there ever was one.

(Andrius Užkalnis)
26th November, 2005
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Dior Homme by Christian Dior

I think the comparison with Gucci PH is accurate inasmuch that the design aims to make the same statement (unashamedly "old money" shape and message of unapologetic elitism and general arrival in life), and also because of the woody-sweet tones. The similarity probably stops here: Gucci PH is very bold, unforgettable, trend-setting, and the smoky tone in the topnote, melting into whiskey-brandy hints, is a very unusual solution. This CD, meanwhile, is classy, it is well-balanced, but it lacks a hook which separates monumental scents from merely very good ones. This one is merely a very good scent.
(Andrius Uzkalnis)
23rd November, 2005

Very Irrésistible for Men by Givenchy

Let me start with what's not impressive: it's the bottle. I find it pretentious, even if it is eye catching. The fragrance itself is refreshingly original. The opening sharp and pungent grapefruit note is SO unlike the run-of-the-mill citrusy opening. Mint? I'm not sure about that. Maybe I need to smell it some more. But I am generally not very good at detecting mint in fragrances (save for Black by Kenneth Cole). Moccha is there alright. Now I have no idea what hazelnut wood smells like, but I would say that there is a complex composition of aromatic woods and sandalwood is not among them. Which is just as well - because it is present all too often these days. Overall, big thumbs up Givenchy on this original, stand-out creation. And of course, since Liv Tyler is on the ads, it gets extra two stars from me.
(Andrius Uzkalnis)
23rd November, 2005

Ungaro pour L'Homme II by Ungaro

1992 - a year of many releases but sadly few ground-breaking ones. I bought it, paying some serious money, after being completely stunned by both Ungaro I and Ungaro III, and now I am under-impressed. Too powdery, too old-lady-ish for my taste; yes it is distinct, but so is Lagerfeld; you have to be larger than life in self-confidence to wear it. It does smell of "old times", but not in a sense of old Montblanc pen or old good quality paper - the imagery evoked is more of artificial teeth and worn-out granny's slippers. The opening top note is quite nice, bitter orange bite of quite unusual dimension, but then it evolves into powder which just does not go away. Superb staying power, though.
22nd November, 2005

Ungaro pour L'Homme I by Ungaro

I bought Ungaro III "blind", based on reviews found here - and then I ordered Ungaro I. It is now very expensive to buy, if you can find it at all. I found it extraordinarily enigmatic - I cannot put my finger on it in any way except I would say it is a classic oriental fragrance. If I say it is citrusy on top and the drydown is musky, I would not do it any justice. There is that hint of rose and jam (maybe rosehip jam?) on top, and as it dries down, it is sweet - yet sweet not in a syrupy, but rather in an expensive, sophisticated way. That sugarcane sweetness (rum, maybe? but very very subtle note of it) lends a certain guilty decadence, a sense of privilege, to the classic musty drydown. Is it autumn fragrance? I'm not sure. Maybe Indian summer. It is so sad that this fragrance is now firmly history.
09th November, 2005

Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

I bought it mostly because of nostalgia. Hey, I thought, late eighties, must be good. But I find that although it starts off very ambitiously (yes, the mint note is good), very soon the drydown becomes uninsipiring, soapy in a "free-hotel-soap-bar" kind of way. Cedarwood? Maybe, but too sharp and too synthetic, and a warm hint beyond that is barely noticeable. Yes, it is a reflection of the era, but not the best reflection of it. If you want late eighties in style, try Ungaro. Jazz, however, is decidedly time travel in Economy Class.
09th November, 2005

Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

Green botanics? I thought it was cucumber. The top note is good, the drydown is quite distinct even to an untrained nose. It must be that hint of rosewood. The fragrance is simple and comforting, but I am not sure whether it is because I loved the year when it was born or because the fragrance itself is distinguished. It was certainly marketed well, and at that time the consumers were not yet tired of Calvin Klein going through the entire dictionary of nouns. One thing it lacks is statement. It is not a fragrance of presence and confidence - but as such, it may be acceptable for someone who is a bit reluctant to make a statement.
09th November, 2005

Bleu Marine by Pierre Cardin

I cannot believe THIS is still in production and the stuff like Aramis Havana has been discontinued. There is nothing impressive, although you may say that drydown has a delicate raisin and/or Christmas pudding notes, but they are too subtle and too weak to be noticed. Overall - yes, an unsuccessful, half-hearted marine fragrance. Better luck next time.
09th November, 2005

Ungaro pour L'Homme III by Ungaro

This fragrance is SO early 90s - don't touch it if you have objections to the imagery of red BMWs and if the pale green color of money does not connect with your heart. The combination of citrus on top and sandalwood in the base has been tried by many since, and the worst thing that can be said that, unfortunately, it has been imitated by supermarket brands in the nineties (think Black Denim perhaps). But those who know the difference will be aware that it's REAL stuff very quickly. The complexity of Ungaro III is amazing, and it is indeed best suited for evening wear and for refined surroundings.
15th October, 2005

Axe Phoenix / Lynx Phoenix by Axe / Lynx

Phoenix does not smell of anything connected with a desert or for that matter anything connected with Phoenix, AZ... but it still is a nicely structured, very masculine fragrance, with good earthy/salty tones and a brilliant leather base. Do not worry that it comes from a supermarket. It is an interesting, memorable smell.
06th October, 2005

Axe Africa / Lynx Africa by Axe / Lynx

Lynx is, essentially, a line of unremarkable supermarket toiletries, but Africa does stand out with its distinctly sweet/fruity and spicy tone, balanced by sweet-smelling woods (I think). In Britain, it does define the end of nineties very well.
06th October, 2005
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Brut by Fabergé

Its only fault is that it is omnipresent and inexpensive to buy, and to many people it smells of their dads and grandads (not necessarily the most romantic connotation in the world). A fine fragrance, which in 1964 was well ahead of its time. Beautiful herby concoction, very well balanced. It is still selling - for a reason! (Andrius Uzkalnis)
06th October, 2005

Black by Kenneth Cole

In a way, it continues the fine job started by Aqua di Gio: killing of any imagination and creativity in perfumes. The most interesting thing? Possibly that mint in top note. It's gone before you know it. Insense smoke? Sounds interesting, but it's not there. Rather cheesy bottle with cheesy "artistique" script. As fake as any pretentious 'fusion' restaurant in London with 'contemporary' cuisine, designer interior and no soul.
05th October, 2005

Présence by Montblanc

I disagree that it is simplistic. Yes, it is sweet and I agree that mint note is very tipical for the year of it's launch, but I would argue that it is quite distinct too. The bottle is nothing to write home about (I, for one, always want to keep it upside down); and the association with MontBlanc... I don't know. I could name a few fragrances that I much, much closer spiritually to all that MontBlanc stands for: Louis Azzaro, Gucci pour Homme, Quorum, Obsession. Come on, if BMW would launch a fragrance, you wouldn't expect it to smell like Aqua di Gio or Tommy?
05th October, 2005

Laguna Homme by Salvador Dali

The drydown is more interesting and sublime than the top notes which are, well if not common, then definitely not unique or ground-breaking. Yes, this is all about summer. This is a good stuff, but it lacked proper marketing and self-belief.
05th October, 2005

Lagerfeld Classic by Lagerfeld

It is very warm, very old-smelling; not in a bad way, but in the way of an old house or an old theatre smells; a smell of faded beauty and gentler times. This is talcum powder galore. This is the smell of a world without mobile phones and definitely no internet. Not everyone will like it and not many people will dare wearing it (I don't think I would dare, for that matter), but it is a distinct, powerful classic fragrance, bold and expertly structured.
05th October, 2005

Gillette Wild Rain by Gillette Series

I said this before and I'll say it again: 1994 was the year of giants and everyone - EVERYONE - seemed to have scored. Listen to this: D&G Pour Homme, Havana, Roma Uomo, Insense Ultramarine, L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme, even Adidas Sport, for crying out loud! It is as if floodgates of creativity, boldness, imagination have been opened. It's a shame that the inspiration eventually ran dry. Wild Rain is fresh in a salty-sweety way. Think of a sweet ripe apple that you pick up on a cold autumn day, lying in cold rainy grass, with drops of water all over it.
05th October, 2005

Gillette Pacific Light by Gillette Series

Gillette may be thought of as a very common brand - almost like McDonald's - but they pull no punches when working out their scents. Not sure why it is called Pacific Light (sure sounds good), but the structure here is very assured and it has enough zing to be memorable.
05th October, 2005

Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

Today, it may seem simplistic and those who don't like 80s would not like Drakkar Noir either, but no-one should underestimate its influence in the structure of modern men's fragrance of late 20th century. And if imitation is the surest form of flattery, oh boy has THIS been flattered!
05th October, 2005

Diesel Zero Plus by Diesel

I tried it and I liked the sweet sharp note of cinnamon. I thought it was unusual. I would have stayed clear of this purely because of 'groovy' packaging and I am pleased I tried it nevertheless (lesson: do not pre-judge something on the basis of packaging or advertising. Except for iPod, which has its entire campaign structured in such a way so as to ensure I would rather be dead than seen wearing this soapbox). As for dry-down, it is much more common and I am still not convinced this has a place in my collection. A few more tries at airport Duty Frees, perhaps? Will update when I eventually decide what I'm doing with this one.
05th October, 2005

Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

I think IPaidForThisName captured the essence very well: yes, just as video killed a radio star, AdG lowered expectations of the buyers seemingly forever. There is nothing wrong with Aqua di Gio, nothing at all - except now there are dozens of similar ones on the market. There is nothing daring in it, for there are toilet air fresheners on the market that cost a couple of dollars or pounds and are more memorable. What a celebration of bland and generic!
05th October, 2005

212 Men by Carolina Herrera

Come to think of it, the name is probably the best and the most innovative thing about this fragrance. Packaging is nice, and the fresh grassy notes are agreeable. But overall, it is a true symbol of the Year That Imagination Died. I am not aware of any launch year more completely deprived of imagination than 1999.
05th October, 2005

Roma by Laura Biagiotti

Not for everyone, and the sweetness and fruitiness, despite the finely crafted balance with oriental spice, will not please those yearning for 'freshness'. No fragrance is further from marine scents than this one. Disctinct and confident, whether you like it or not.
05th October, 2005

Poison by Christian Dior

I'm not a specialist in female fragrances, but this is so bold and daring that I must say I admire it. It has a fantastic lasting power, and the top note of blackberry lasts forever and you then understand it's not even a top note - it lingers on with dry-down in a remarkably accomplished way. It takes a lot of skill to achieve this degree of elegance with fruity notes which are more often associated with 'cheap' and 'mass market'. A masterpiece.
05th October, 2005

Quorum by Antonio Puig

Like many fine fragrances, it does gain complexity with drydown. It may not be the most accomplished of tobacco fragrances (personally, I think that tobacco note is overstated here), and works of tobacco genius like Armani Havana or Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme eclipse it no doubt, but this is still a true classic. This is about unashamed, old-style masculinity; no political correctness or inclusivity here.
03rd October, 2005

Blue Jeans by Versace

Yes it IS very much like pipe tobacco with those jammy, fruity tones, but it does not stop it from being distinctly feminine. I fail to make a connection here with the whole jeans thing, but maybe it is just me. Andrius Uzkalnis.
03rd October, 2005

Gant Adventure by Gant USA

I bought it largely on the strength of in-magazine tester. I thought it was a relatively new marine scent. The real thing turned out to be much more lacklustre than I thought. The top note is so weak that the alcohol kills it off with no trace, and by the time the alcohol dries, you have arrived into dry-down, which is unremarkable except for a nice hint of old clean paper - not library dust, but expensive German paper in a draughtsman's workshop. It is just a hint, though. I would not buy another bottle.
22nd September, 2005

Soho by Gant USA

There is a reason why everything coming from Gant is discontinued very quickly. It is all generic, and the people who shop at Gant and easily spend $100 on a pair of trousers just don't buy a bottle of fragrance on a whim, like they buy a pair of socks. They have enough money and common sense to get what they like. The new Gant Adventure is, for a change, advertised quite heavily (well, WAS in summer 2005), but it's success is at best modest, too.
22nd September, 2005