Reviews by maccus

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    maccus
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    Allure Homme by Chanel

    Pleasant but not amazing, a quality fragrance upon which one might rely for several hours of understated and possibly underwhelming performance Allure Homme is worth having. I keep it in the car for incidental use; consequently, the interior of my car smells very pleasant. Ultimately, it is a demure fragrance featuring tonka bean and a smattering of restrained versions of powerful elements.

    02nd April, 2013

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    Fendi (original) by Fendi

    A distinctive fragrance, a compelling fragrance, an artificial concoction which induces headaches if over used. I cannot sense anything organic in this lovely, sexy composition and, inevitably, it causes me a sinus headache. Still, it's lovely until unless I discover I've run out of aspirin.

    19th March, 2013

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    Cuba Red by Cuba Paris

    There is a starkly matter of fact quality to the tobacco and cedar that seems to evaporate or vanish quickly but reappears over several hours. It is one of a number of fragrances I like to wear together because each offer different elements which I like. I team Cuba Red with Quorum Silver and then, hours later, I spritz a little Yatagan. Cuba Red woulld work well with any of the fragrances I enjoy. I know the melange approach is boorish but I don't care; after all, it's the outcome that matters.

    03rd March, 2013

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    Cuba Grey by Cuba Paris

    An odd and disappointing fragrance that is overpriced. It's as if it features third rate synthetic fragrances that lead to a cloying metallic twang. Cheap lavender can be very a toxic component in any assembly of fragrances. The best that can be said is that it is not literally nauseating.

    03rd March, 2013

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    Madness by Chopard

    At first the exuberance of the fragrance is cloying but this intensely raspberry, musk and floral burst lasts only a short time before... I realise that Blue Coyote perfectly describes the fragrance. Please see previous review. Spray it on someone you love and then embrace that person an hour later to best appreciate the dry down and the qualities of this creation. This has a dynamic reminiscent of YSL's M7. Do not over use as it might cause a head ache.

    13th September, 2012

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    Acteur by Azzaro

    Initially, it worried me that I might smell like a rose and jasmine home-ware pot-pourri but the rose made me start to worry about attracting aphis. This is for rose fragrance zealots. I am not one of them. Santos Concentree is as rose as I like to project. It didn't give me a headache nor was it nauseating; for several moments, I worried about both. Once the top notes evaporate the typically Azzaro qualities emerge and these are very pleasant. They come about the time one realises one has avoided reacting more theatrically to the Acteur.

    This is an entire revision of the first review because I was far too hasty.

    06th February, 2012 (Last Edited: 25th February, 2012)

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    Lalique pour Homme by Lalique

    Lalique pour Homme is an elegant fragrance featuring the best lavender I have experienced. The melange is warm and potent and offers surprisingly impressive projection and longevity. It seems confident and unyielding but never boorishly so. I can imagine this to be a reworking of Caron pour un Homme in which Lalique offers the definitive composition but perhaps that goes to the nature of lavender which recalls its use in other fragrances. The lavender, here, qualifies the other components without itself being qualified thus the rise and fall of notes are like echoes that cascade from the roiling haze of lavender. It's as if these other notes have been chosen to manage the lavender and stop it from becoming cloying and stale. It never does. It shines through the pulsating presence of the basenotes. I cannot smell jasmine - which please me - and the iris and red cedar present themselves together and go on to manage the sweeter notes - the amber and the vanilla. They seem to dominate them and blur the woody notes leaving the impression of a summer garden bordering a woodland. The image is patrician and so is the fragrance.

    05th January, 2012 (Last Edited: 06th January, 2012)

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    Santos Concentrée by Cartier

    Usually, I enjoy identifying the different components in a fragrance as if discovering threads in a tapestry through mist. But this is so dense and tightly 'woven' that I cannot be sure the 'mist' isn't part of the projection of the fragrance, itself. What's more, I don't care. It's enough that something this potent is swirling about me. My nose seems more alive - more sensitive and attuned than it was. My mood is equally uplifted. This fragrance is in a league of its own. This sets a standard by which supposed powerhouse fragrances might be measured. The quality of its ingredients is unparalleled. My nose is tingling and the front of my forehead is tingling, also. Only essential oils cause me to feel this. I cannot stop smelling my arm where I spritzed a little over two hours ago. It is no less potent over that time and has lost nothing from my nasal vacuuming and I remain utterly distracted. This is sublime - a kind of oriental and gourmand concentration with concentrated herbal astringents and a little green element that create a sillage that warrants its own distinct classification.

    05th January, 2012

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    Azzaro pour Homme Elixir by Azzaro

    Azzaro pour Homme Elixir is an alternative for those who like masculine rose notes. Well, for me, anyway because those rose notes, tones and hues are invariably too sweet for me and too dense but there is nothing dense about this fragrance. This is a delightful melange of gourmand and restrained oriental elements that presents as a rather sweet but never cloying lavender and geranium accord before metamorphosing into something akin to a confectionery musk. This stage lasts for around 20 minutes on my skin before the journey rounds out in entirely satisfying sweet gourmand notes that are defined by the tonka bean and restrained accordingly. The vanilla seems implied as if hinted at. This is the most satisfying use of vanilla I have experienced; generally, I find vanilla overwhelmingly, nauseatingly sweet. Azzaro conains it, defines it and bends it to its urbane and chic will. The effect over all is wonderful. It is reminiscent of M7 by YSL but it is more mannered, less strident and never even vaguely like a cough syrup. Rather, it is a demure and confident fragrance. It is nothing like Azzaro pour homme except that both fragrances are timeless and deserving of acclaim. It reminds me of Jacomo de Jacomo Rouge.

    03rd January, 2012 (Last Edited: 07th February, 2012)

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    Catalyst for Men by Halston

    Remember smelling the spicy pot-pourri and thinking you could almost eat that or infuse it with boiling water and make chai. Once you've quenched your thirst, why not moth proof your world with this spicy treat? It starts off with a boisterous homage to bay rum- well, boisterous but safe. It doesn't assume a you-asked-for-it attitude but the suspicion that one might spritz a room, a linen press, a spouse, each of the wardrobes and the interior of the home and improve one's quality of life immensely begins to dawn.The cloves are restrained and the nutmeg is even more contingent upon the will of the sandalwood. This is the only note that doesn't appeal to me but I won't complain since it dominates the musk and keeps it from becoming too saccharine. When I think of powerhouse fragrances, I think of a series of cascading elements that rise to prominence and dwarf what went before, and then develop an altogether new quality through creating a kind of aesthetic story telling, or a journey of sorts in which fragrance dictates terms to the mind, the memory and the emotions. This is no powerhouse. It is a composition of well balanced elements that serve to create a unified and harmonious liquid pot-pourri for you to use to terrify the pets but improve their waft and your own altogether.

    03rd January, 2012

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    Dirty English by Juicy Couture

    Entirely misnamed... This doesn't connote 'dirty' tones or notes. Rather than be burdened by civet or animalic elements or discordant, shrill components like heavy handed clove or astringents, it is civilized and modest. There is an element of smokiness which I enjoy but it is not a threatening or defiant or divisive statement. It assists the development of the woody heartland of the fragrance which reinforces the base and wears close to the skin. Being a thrill-seeker, I wanted all the animalic bravado I could find. I love civet. I adore arid fragrances and love the pulsating strength of powerhouse fragrances but Dirty English is a well educated and courteous visit to refinement that awaits in an enveloping leather armchair. It is self confident and resolute without needing to strut or fret. Look closely and you will realise it doesn't smoke or drink cognac because it's too sensible. It is too busy being successful and enjoying the sounds that various types of leather make. It's actually a fragrance about coming of age. Accordingly, it enables us to measure the failings of so many contemporary offerings.

    03rd January, 2012

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    Yatagan by Caron

    All too soon for my liking, Yatagan reduces to a stylistic caprice in which Artemisia Absinthium, masquerading as masculinity, supported by a measured pine dominated by patchouli and brooding elements luscious with resinous attitude fades leaving only a dusty memory of a fragrance as elegant as 'earthy' and 'herbaceous' can be. Perhaps, it is the quality of its ingredients which make its arid depth and beauty so short-lived. I love it and find over-use compulsive because I crave the initial impact.

    16th June, 2011 (Last Edited: 20th June, 2011)

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    This begins pleasantly enough and then quickly degenerates into a cloying experience. Essentially, Le Male is a synthetic, melange fragrance with a sweetness that lingers like an unwanted visitor and, ultimately this defines one's experience just shy of a headache, at least. Considered by some to be a fine starting point for young men discovering fragrance, it's a costly introduction especially when one considers the availability of several inexpensive and similar and better creations - indeed, almost anything would do. Used discretely, it mightn't induce a migraine but I would be very cautious by which I mean one quick spray on the socks one is about to wear - obviously, before putting them on - and leave it at that. On second thoughts, don't - put on some other socks. It's not vile, it's just sickly sweet, tediously linear and unsophisticated - essentially, unmemorable

    27th March, 2011

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    Perry Ellis for Men (original) by Perry Ellis

    The slight galbanum of the opening blends seamlessly with the bergamot initially to create a very pleasant composition until, suddenly the rose and the carnation and the vanilla erupt and cascade dominating what is to prove a protracted almost indefatigable longevity the accumulative effect of which is nausea and a headache. The dry down is equally cloying with waves of nausea giving way to simple regret but perhaps that is the moss note which dilutes the syrupy lingering tones though not nearly enough. It reminded me of Habit Rouge where a similar vanilla sweetness rises up from the middle and dominates the development entirely

    18th March, 2011

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    Chypre Green by Pecksniff's

    Imagine spending a day in the large and lovely garden trudging through dewy grass past wild citrus groves that have been left to their coiling, barbed fate as large dark glossy leaves having collected droplets of morning sunlight shimmer gently. Notice how your mood is elevated by the clean, clear green miasma surrounding you as you seem carefree and refreshed? Here and there flowers emerge from neglected garden beds where strident succulent plants cascade over old wood and stone. Their waft introduces a different sense of time as you realise it's later than you thought as the sun casts longer shadows. You make for home through the wooded areas where familiar warm and scented fragrances dance upon the dappled light and shadow. The cuffs of your trousers still carry the smell of the morning's moist grass but it is more mellow now as they've dried smelling of the garden with something spicy lingering. In all, a fine fragrance to create a particularly fresh and light mood.

    28th February, 2011

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    Quorum Silver by Antonio Puig

    Thoroughly enjoyable fragrance. It makes me wonder whether some fragrances are either created for, or by smokers; devised to mask the odious pungency of cigarette smoke.
    This is a largely linear fragrance owing to what I presume is the synthetic nature of the cedar. This is not headache inducing despite the seemingly synthetic tones. It begins with a well modulated cedar which might be an amalgam of synthetic ginger, bergamot, lavender and Artemesia. The melange asserts itself as warming notes emerge from the heart but these are subtle and indistinct. I imagine cinnamon and a different tone of cedar which might be a mild patchouli rising from the base. The dry down is the most comforting experience of the fragrance although the 'twang' which I guess is the eponymous 'silver' seems to linger. It might be the lavender. Fortunately, it isn't metallic but it is ever so slightly discordant but not to the extent that I don't enjoy the fragrance.

    06th January, 2011 (Last Edited: 06th April, 2012)

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    Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

    My signature fragrance since 1974. Heady, intoxicating, sophisticated yet atavistic. The composition defines mastery and is one of the great creations. I have not tried the reformulation because I was uneasy about what I'd discover. I cannot understand the desire to reformulate this at all much less the need.

    06th January, 2011

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    Versailles pour Homme by Jean Desprez

    Just as the bottle design presents a compartmentalised view of the fragrance, each element seems to present itself clearly without being subdued by a melange of tones and it is without peer. Or, perhaps, the golden lines that cross the bottle vertically and horizontally reflect something like the bars of a cage that contains a beast of a fragrance whose intoxicating power requires containment and limitation? Unleashed, this fragrance is magnificent and sophisticated and raw and powerful and elegant and uncompromising. This is one of the greatest creations - a shooting star that burned brightly but not nearly long enough. Please Jean Desprez bring it back.

    04th January, 2011

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    Vera Wang for Men by Vera Wang

    Cuba Gold for those who prefer spending far more money on a fragrance. Whilst Cuba Gold offers great value for the price, Vera Wang for Men does not. It is quite a linear experience which risks flat-lining through its caramel or amber sweetness. The colour of the product and this caramel tone reminds me of developing different honeys through feeding bees different kinds of pollen. Fortunately, this caramel element is held in check by the tobacco note. Quite a pleasant note, it is supported by a little sandalwood and the leather. Altogether, the fragrance is restrained and somewhat pedestrian because it needs something to elevate it or ground it more vigorously and anything might have done - even some of the elements it claims which we must take on good faith. Longevity is not a problem except that the dry down does not develop anything more.

    23rd August, 2010

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    Casran by Chopard

    Astonishingly good, beautiful elements merged through a white spirit and made more subtle for it, I love Casran. As the fragrance warms with wear, different components emerge. I find a 'praline' which I expect is the melding of amber, vanilla and sandalwood. The chocolate, prune, and the aromatics serve to balance the gourmand components and not allow the fragrance to sweeten or cloy; despite which, it is sweet but mannered. No single component dominates although they seem to 'ripple' throughout the development and dry-down. This is like a colourless gemstone with facets that catch the light suddenly; it is transparent and magical. The more restrained the application, the more delightful the journey. Perhaps, the best way to enjoy this journey is to apply a tiny amount to the nape of the neck of one's partner.

    07th August, 2010 (Last Edited: 19th December, 2011)

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    FCUK Connect Him by French Connection

    Remy Latour's Cigar eloped with Zino by Davidoff. They disguised themselves at first with aniseed, lavender and what seems like a restrained amber but a hint of pepper was their undoing. Suddenly, the tobacco tones presented themselves disguised as patchouli and woodland spice and their earlier charade ended with a vigour that surprised everyone and then kept distracting them for hours and hours and they lived happily ever after. If you cannot afford Zino, Connect Him...

    02nd August, 2010

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    Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia by Guerlain

    Oh-my-mint, fresh-mint, dirty-mint, cloying-mint... it's a mint-fest all round, all over and for all too long. The growing mint aversion inspires a sponge bath or a moist toilette and the application of something oriental or something else - anything without mint - until, suddenly, one becomes aware of a rising jasmine and just the whisper of rose. Perhaps there is some cedar in the background holding these notes together and not allowing them to create a sweet and sour-mint melange with green tea vase water that is still fresh but will become awful tomorrow. There is much sophistication in this composition. It is measured and perhaps as good as mint can be. I prefer mint crushed under foot with its aromas rising fresh and pure. I consider this an experiment or a perfumery assignment. This is probably as good as mint can be but one cannot escape the thought that one might eat mint sweets and achieve a more pleasant minty waft.

    30th July, 2010

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    273 Indigo by Fred Hayman

    Try to ignore the overly sweet lemon pudding beginning if you can - it tends to linger as the gentle musk rises in counterpoint to it and then becomes the dominant note as a white pepper presents itself. There is the hint of aquatic notes but these serve to bolster the pepper until one realises that it was a journey perhaps ill advised unless one wishes to smell like one's nana's kitchen, with its lemon curd, flowers ready to be trimmed and placed in a vase and nana herself somewhere in the background laced with talc.

    30th July, 2010

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    Antaeus by Chanel

    Antaeus is one of those alluring fragrances that requires you to get a room for the sake of propriety. It's unseemly to be caught sniffing one's own wrist with such abandonment but those who understand that compulsion will welcome every opportunity to experience exactly that kind of heady distraction. It is less strident than I recall but I apply less, and less stridently; perhaps, we've both matured.

    14th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 05th July, 2010)

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    Samouraï Woman by Alain Delon

    Heady, sexy fragrance offering quite a journey as the fragrance warms on the skin finally enveloping its wearer in a miasma that is overwhelmingly sensual. The aquatic elements in the male version are muted, here and the vanilla is reined in. The cedar and sandalwood merge with the rose to create a very beautiful accord. Those who like Hugo Boss's 'Deep Red' are likely to like this, too. I love it.

    14th June, 2010

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    Zizanie by Fragonard

    A strident fragrance that might have done well in the 1930's when people showered and bathed less frequently than now, or when they were exposed to acrid and rank smelling French cigarette smoke. But for non smokers who shower daily, this excessively potent and almost nauseatingly powdery fragrance is anachronistic.

    04th May, 2010 (Last Edited: 07th August, 2010)

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    Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone

    Almost hypnotic and almost cloying, almost overwhelming and almost too sweet, this fragrance is sudden and wanton and reminiscent of smelling something in flower - something breath-taking and beautiful one hot, summer's night. And whilst it's almost too matter-of-fact in its linearity, the shades and tones that rise and fall as it fades are quite lovely - spice and wood and that almost pungently sweet raspberry cordial. I think it best worn on one's stomach to allow its presence to inveigle itself as a kind of miasma wafting about one. This fragrance is best applied very, very frugally. It is one of those that people will crane forward to enjoy but, recoil from with equal vigour when over used.

    31st January, 2010 (Last Edited: 25th February, 2010)

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    Santal by Fragonard

    Lemon takes cousin, Bergamot to his first dance where he's hoping to meet Lily of the Valley. Sandalwood is expected to arrive with Amber but probably much later meanwhile Tobacco is burning up the dance floor and Lemon is smitten. It's all Lemon and Tobacco with only a few glimpses of Bergamot chatting awkwardly with Lily of the Valley. Everyone is surprised by how energetic Lemon turns out to be but Tobacco is starting to notice Lily of the Valley and Amber. Soon, all three are dancing together with Bergamot standing by holding the drinks when Sandalwood arrives in short pants with his hair neatly combed by his Nana. Neroli siddles up to Bergamot who's given up on Lily. Lemon is at the punch bowl. Amber slaps Tobacco for flirting with Lily but it's actually Lemon's scent that still lingers on Tobacco's collar. Tobacco reminds Sandalwood that he has to be home early or he's grounded but Sandalwood cannot find his scarf. Everyone searches for it and, sure enough, someone has used it to tie up Bergamot and Lily of the Valley. Amber looks guilty but blames Tobacco because she's still annoyed about Lemon. As the night fades, everyone starts whispering and saying unkind things about Sandalwood despite which they all walk home together carrying Tobacco and Lemon who are under the weather.

    21st June, 2009

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    Brut by Fabergé

    My first fragrance. The fragrance that taught me all about over use. The fragrance that earned me the nickname Le Pew. A fragrance I still over use occasionally as a kind of primal therapy without pain because I love being transported to other times and places. As a fragrance, I expect Brut informed parfumiers that vast change had come in the business of men's perfumery - that a vast market existed requiring various responses in promotion and in the construction of the fragrances. Specifically, more masculine names and packaging were required to broaden the commercial viability of men's lines. Similarly, woodier base notes and tobacco, heavy orientals and spices needed to augment the experimentation of women buying for their men who had never worn fragrance before. The sweet and unctuous tones in Brut somehow made the patchouli and sandalwood, the leather and civet of '70's creations seem reasonable and timely; perhaps, even, essential in the evolution of fragrance composition. Brut was the irresistible idea whose time had come. Now, burdened by its enormous success, it has become the greatest of all fragrance clichés. But climb into that wardrobe when next you're in a nostalgic mood and over use it, all over, again, all over again. You will be transported to another time and place; and you will moth proof your wardrobe. Weeks after the event, as you wear something from the wardrobe, a waft - rather familiar and warm and as welcome as an old love - will swirl about you and you will smile.

    15th June, 2009

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    Quorum by Antonio Puig

    Deft certainly, self-assurance and bravado underpin this wonderful fragrance which forgoes sophistication and nuance in its powerful embrace. Somehow, it seems to suit darker complexions, smokers and long hot summers notwithstanding that I'm blond, don't smoke and it's winter where I am. Quorum can warm a room, or clear it, and I don't mind at all sometimes.

    11th June, 2009

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