A no-frills no-nonsense sparkling citrus and vetiver, that about sums it up. Good value for the money, but nothing special really.
14th January, 2016 (last edited: 22nd January, 2016)
I have recently acquired a miniature and a full bottle of this (black box with a yellow and gold geometrical pattern in the lower right corner; black bottle with ribbed gold-colored upper and lower sections), and here's my two cents. I don't find this a powerhouse, and it definitely is not a Cacharel clone or an aquatic. To me, J Casanova pour Homme is a quiet Christmas party in the woods next to the local parish church – serene woods (could be conifers or cedar or both), flowers, whiffs of abstract church smells, sweets and waltzing spices and aromatics, all somewhat tranquil and reserved and with a slight off note that I can't really put my finger on lurking behind it all.
Technically, this is a rather dense and sweet (but not heavy or cloying) aromatic fougere, too well mannered and close to the skin to qualify as a full-tilt powerhouse.
Notes according to Parfumo:
Top Notes - Thyme, Watery notes, Floral notes
Heart Notes - Water lily, Osmanthus, Spices
Base Notes - Sandalwood, Musk, Mandarin, Frankincense
A closet vetiver. The opening is sort of fresh/herbal (if you're lucky enough to discern it), and what you get in a couple of minutes is a classic vetiver of the husky/smoky variety, but one that stays very close to the skin. I love vetiver yet this one, nice as it is, doesn't stir any movement in my wallet given an inexorable supply of much more interesting vetiver offerings on the market. Should be a good choice for those who'd like their passion for vetiver to remain a non-public affair.
To my nose, the initial tobacco note is that of unscented roll-your-own pale tobacco, acquiring a more aromatic, pipe-tobacco quality as the scent progresses. The accord is very nice if a tad too smooth - I find it not as masculine as the tobacco in, say, Aramis's Havana, C&S's Cuba or Davidoff's Zino. Other prominent notes are leather and a heavyish sandalwood/amber combo which the folks at Sonoma seem to have an affinity for. All notes blend well into a full-bodied and well-done scent, but the drydown is perhaps a bit too heavy and too close to the skin. I wouldn't mind more tobacco in the drydown. Oddly, during the first 5 minutes Tabac Aurea comes across as a mix of Annick Goutal's Duel and Sables, with some of the citrus replaced by tobacco.
Delicious in a good way (meaning not gourmand, just plain yummy). A perfectly balanced oily masculine fougere that has it all: lavender, herbs, conifers, leather, smoke, soap, moss, cloves, spices and much much more. A less spicy, softer version of Acteur meets a bolder Burberry's No. 1. Excellent!
A noble and comfy sweet aromatic fougere that feels like a mix of De Viris, Antaeus and Revillon pour Homme. The best of the Burberries in my book.
A detached and austere chyprey fougere of impeccable quality, De Viris is very natural, very dry and is devoid of any sweetness, coming across as a sort of a minimalistic (think Joy Division) Jules, Leonard Pour Homme or Ted Lapidus Pour Homme with the floral/spice component amputated. Not that it explicitly resembles any of them (the only scent I can think of that is somewhat similar to De Viris in certain aspects is the Baron), but it does have the same dry and pensive autumnal air about it, sans sweetness or other unnecessary trimmings. Extremely stark, this is a scent at the end of scents, something Samuel Beckett could have come up with if commissioned to create a fougere. In short, a great and unusual scent that is definitely worth a try (although I don't think it's worth its current prices on eBay).
Excellent wet forest top. Unfortunately, on me it only lasts for about 3 minutes. The drydown is nothing spectacular, with the forest accord smudged and muffled down (either by atmosphere or my skin chemistry) to a sweetish close-to-the-skin base with very little sillage and longevity. This can't even be regarded as a perfume, it's more of a scent exercise/experiment.
One of 'em spicie-freshies for the upwardly mobile crowd. And what a name! Too bad they stopped short of Crotch or Cleavage - Crave somewhat dilutes the marketing message. This one has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
One part Kanon, one part One Man Show's musty spice, a dash of vanilla in the base, citrus rind. Not awful but not on par with Bogart's better offerings(OMS, De Viris, Signature).
A very well-done glossy high-society leather that could pass for a Guerlain (think Derby) or a Hermes. My main grumble is its gender indecisiveness - starting off leathery and manly, M ends too much on the feminine side for me.
He's done it again! This is Lutens' standard fare, a sugary oriental base solution with a powdery ambery drydown, this time with some (very little) pine, franinsense and spice notes thrown in. Mediocre longevity for such a stifling conconction.
This pensive fougere includes a unique and nice bitter almond/cherry pit note but otherwise is too safe, sweet and uninspired. In more or less the same category, I'd opt for Smalto for Men instead.
Another pointless powderhouse exercise from the House of Lutens. On the feminine side
Opens with a blast of what seems to be mint, not unlike Lauder's Metropolis, then softens down to an unimaginative warm, sweet and musky middle. It's only by a stretch of imagination that you'll discern a faint marine freshness behind the powdery drydown.
An odd little number: to my nose, it's mouldy peaches spritzed with Chanel pour Monsieur sitting on Annick Goutal's base mix. Meandering, sprawling, moody, unfinished - but not that bad, all things considered.
Creaky wooden floors, sea breeze, coffee and spices in the hold, all very well-done and evocative - but completely gone in about ten minutes
Passes as masculine but is a bit on the soft side. Ten minutes after the initial fine smokey-spicey accord Grezzo turns into a veritable Martini Bianco, which in my universe is a thing best left for girls
Little more than heavily diluted unidentifiable conifer essential oil. No longevity.
A quality sparlking citrus which lacks that special sparkle. Fresh and sunny, but sort of vacuous and adding nothing new to the genre. Quite linear, with some musk and very tame vetiver in the drydown. Lemon candy for damsels.
A nauseating sweet'n'spicy syrup. Take any of the more cloying Amouages and remove the whatever finesse there is in it, and this is what you get.
16th March, 2011 (last edited: 06th April, 2011)
A copycat rendition of Montale's signature floral/oud theme. Given that Montale operates its own successful cloning business, I doubt there's much room on the market for this release.
Er -- nice, but this is mostly lavender. Done in the grand old British tradition but hardly adding much, if anything, to what we already have in the lavender department.
Opens up with the promise of a fresh herbal but turns into a sweet, watery and way too polite old-ladyish thing in a matter of minutes. Dated and on the feminine side. Stated notes - top: bergamot, mandarin, lavender, lemon; middle: jasmin, lily of the valley; base: cedar, sandal, vetiver, musk
A solid woodie in the sandalwood/amber department. Opens with a heady mix of sandalwood, guaiac wood & patchouli, with a hint of vetiver & perhaps a dash of spice. Quite soon, a welcome but short-lived tar/smoke note pops in, and in a matter of minutes the show is over to a subdued and close-to-the skin sandalwood/amber drydown. Winter Woods is well-crafted and appears to have quality ingredients but a stronger tar/smoke note and better longevity & sillage wouldn't hurt to make it stand out among the many other good woodies on the market.
28th January, 2010 (last edited: 14th January, 2016)
More "fresco" than "vetiver", and quite poor longevity on my skin.
Otherwise, a nice light feel-good citrus/vetiver, quite similar IMO to Fragonard's take on vetiver.
Success belongs to the same family of heavy-duty colognes as, say, Boss No. 1 or Aramis but makes both look like bell-boys by comparison. It just exudes authority – and too much of it for my liking. You'll find all the usual suspects here, including tobacco, patchouli, vetiver, leather, amber and musk plus a generous helping of honey and hard liquor, all somewhat overdone to my nose. Picture a post-meeting boardroom some place in Houston full of kempt unsmiling men in their sixties smoking cigars and sipping cognac (a nod to Lord Molyneux) and you'll get the idea. You will probably like Success if you're one of those.
My two cents' worth of dissent… As a lover of vintage chypres, I earnestly tried to develop a fully-fledged affair with Derby (both original and reformulated), but failed miserably. To my unsophisticated nose with a predisposition to full-bodied, manly, sensual and user-friendly chypres, Derby is rather thin and effeminate while also uninvitingly detached and indifferent to the wearer and others at best or smug at worst (given the name, it could easily make a great piece of tongue-in-cheek social commentary). I find the moss, leather and vetiver promised in the basenotes just barely perceptible, with Guerlain's signature vaguely floral / distantly sweet accord proudly floating above and muffling all other notes there are until the very end. Elegant and refined, no doubt, but hardly an outstanding men's chypre by my standards.
A truly boring sporty-fresh-aquatic-ozonic number. Save your money and get something from Boss or any other mid-market maker if you're into this kind of scents.
No surprises here – Lanvin Vetyver is the fuzzy, boozey, heavy and aromatic Lanvin Monsieur, only a bit (but just a bit) more dynamic and less calm owing to a vetiver note that starts off cheerfully but soon takes a somewhat (but only somewhat) darker, deeper turn, vaguely reminiscent of the vintage Guerlain Vetiver. Alas, little happens besides that as the scent progresses, or rather, hangs there like a thick cloud.