Perfume Reviews

Reviews by tvlampboy

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Bois Rouge by Tom Ford

I'm with SirSlarty on this one -- I picked up Bois de Portugal. Actually, I picked up quite a big of Habit Rouge in the opening, but the drydown was almost identical to Bois de Portugal. For the price difference, I'll just buy testers of Bois de Portugal.
19th October, 2009

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Chergui wth more tobacco and slightly lower quality vanilla. For the price difference, get the Chergui and then smoke a pack of cigarettes.
09th September, 2009

Happy Heart by Clinique

Crisp, almost sharp opening, with the conifer and cucumber dominating for the first three to four minutes after application. From there, though, it softens up into a wonderful, soft white floral. Very demure, very feminine. Is there ginger here? I want to think there is, but it's not listed in the pyramid. Oh, well. Very nice stuff.
13th May, 2009
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273 Rodeo Drive by Fred Hayman

Loud and beautiful and affordable all at once -- imagine combining the fruity peach notes of Trésor, the white florals of Sung and the warm, powdery notes of White Shoulders.

Big thumbs up, especially for the embarrassingly modest price.
28th April, 2009

Curve Kicks for Men by Liz Claiborne

Acerbic and grating mint bomb that dries down into generic, semi-musky, somewhat woody nothingness.

This churned out bilge is Insense Aquamarine with less charm. (And Insense Aquamarine didn't have much charm to begin with.)
18th April, 2009

L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

An odd but beautiful Oriental from Guerlain, strong in powdery amber and strong carnation. In many ways, this frag seems to be a fusion of three or four different scents, from Mitsouko (the smokiiness and slight "dirtiness") to Bellodgia (it's the rich clove/carnation thing) to Shalimar (that's the vanilla-heavy Guerlain base I notice) to Royal Scottish Lavender (the powdery/"perfuminess" of it all).

Very dated and yet very cutting edge at the same time. Lovely dry-down that lasts for an easy 12 hours, especially from the Parfum de Toilette formulation.

At the price, though (I pd. $90.00 plus shipping for my bottle of Parfum de Toilette), do try before you buy, as this Guerlain classic is not for everyone.
17th April, 2009

Armani Privé Éclat de Jasmine by Giorgio Armani

A very soft, somewhat fruity take on jasmine. Nothing cutting edge here -- for all intents and purposes, this could have been formulated in the Thirties or Forties. While I far prefer Creed's various jasmine frags to this one, I really can't say that there's anything (save the retail price) that's unpleasant about this Armani juice.

For the life of me, though, I've yet to see just how (if at all) this frag qualifies as unisex. I find it very soft (though not weak), fairly traditional and unmistakably feminine.
08th April, 2009

Soul by Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

A bland, inoffensive offering from the "crank 'em out, churn 'em" house of Claiborne.

Fruity opening with green heart and woody dry-down. Good for the "under 20 years and 20 bucks" crowd that (for some odd reason) wants most of its members to smell exactly like everyone else in that age bracket and budget.
08th April, 2009

Claiborne for Men by Liz Claiborne

Claiborne for Men stands out for several reasons: a) it is one of the few bergamot-heavy frags I really like, b) it receives little attention on Basenotes, probably because of its modest price,c) it has superb longevity, d) it has wonderful sillage (strong but not "crazy strong"), e) it always garners me tons of compliments and, finally, f) it's the only offering from Claiborne that doesn't bore me to tears and/or make me want to retch.

A very nice late Eighties/early Nineties cheapie -- snarf it up before it all disappears from the shelves forever.
08th April, 2009

Curve Wave for Men by Liz Claiborne

Harsh chemicals mixed with grapefruit and masquerading as a cologne. (And just what the hell IS "liquid oxygen scent," anyway?)

In other words, Curve Wave is definitive proof that you can probably market even cat piss so long as you put it in a "cool" bottle and make it affordable for the masses.

Yuk.
07th April, 2009

Spark Seduction for Men by Liz Claiborne

Never have I so thoroughly agreed with an analysis as I do with SirSlarty's review below.

Spark Seduction just takes the boozy, synthetic amber-iness of the original Spark and slathers it in a fairly pleasant grapefruit.

Too little, too late, though.
07th April, 2009

Spark for Men by Liz Claiborne

A boozy spice concoction that could easily have been Escada pour Homme's gourmand little brother had Claiborne not used such cheap, synthetic ingredients.

It's better than other Claiborne frags (save the original Claiborne for Men, which is still the best hands down), and Spark Seduction is somewhat better even yet. (But that's not saying a lot.)
07th April, 2009

Romance for Men by Ralph Lauren

Boring, insipid offering from the same house that gave us such greats as Polo, Tuxedo and Lauren.

Strong, synthetic wood notes with loud lavender over an annoying pine note that lasts and lasts and lasts to the point at which it outlives its welcome.

Thumbs down.
07th April, 2009
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Sunset Heat for Men by Escada

A bland, somewhat fruity aquatic, likely marketed toward those twenty-somethings who can't and/or don't yet appreciate Escada for Men.

In short: pleasant, but nothing to write home about. Modest sillage, decent longevity.
24th March, 2009

Pleasures for Men by Estée Lauder

Cool Water's cloying, annoying kid brother.
(Oh, and he's wearing a corsage.)

Ick.
24th March, 2009

L'Âme soeur by Divine

My new favorite among Divine's scents -- and I don't normally like fruity frags! (This is what Tresor could have/should have been.)

This is rich, potent, feminine, heady stuff -- definitely not unisex, and most assuredly not shy.

Explosive opening of aldehydes and ylang-ylang that soon dries down into a soft, powdery feminine seductress of a scent. (The longer it lasts -- and that's a long time -- the more powdery it becomes.)

By all rights, this uber-feminine, quintessentially aldehydic, remarkably powdery and terribly French frag should have been put out in the Thirties or Forties, not in the last decade.

Try before you buy.
19th March, 2009

Le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier

A kissing cousin to Coco, but with much more patchouli and (of course) the much discussed bitter almond/"amaretto" note.

This is a rich and syrupy Oriental-sliding-into-gourmand that defies easy description. (The best I could come up with is "Samsara meets Angei, almond, cedar and vetiver."

The sillage is huge for the first hour or two, then the frag becomes very "close to the skin." Longevity, alas, could and should be far better. (Especially for the price.) I haven't tried the parfum version -- only the edp.

Unisex? Perhaps, but this stuff goes on smelling very femme. (In short, guys, wait at least twenty minutes to leave the house after spraying this stuff on.)
18th March, 2009

Acier Aluminium by Creed

Amber and powder and incense and fruit and vanilla and civet -- who'd 'a thunk it would all ever work together? But it works. Yessirree, Bob, it works. Even the odd "metallic" note in the opening (and yes, it's there!) fits perfectly in this Creed classic.

Fruity, powdery, amber-y goodness here, with superb longevity and sillage.
17th March, 2009

Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé by Hermès

This is what Liquid Karl tried to be. (And failed.)

Warm, rich, sweet and gooey gourmand layered over leather and powder (and, of course) oodles of amber.

The benzoin can be a bit sweet for my tastes in the first two hours, but that's just me.

Expensive as hell. Masterfully blended. Still not my favorite amber, no, but a damn good one.
A must-try for every Hermès fan and amber aficionado alike.
10th March, 2009

Kadota by Michael Storer

So many of the fig-heavy frags out there are bone dry and just a little bit annoying. (PF by L'Artisan is artfully blended; Dune for Men is good stuff; I admire Ferragamo from afar. But, for the most part, none is my style.)

I like Kadota in spite of the fact that I don't normally like fig fragrances. I like Kadota even though I don't normally like sweet scents. I like Kadota even though I don't normally like many "green" frags on men.

Sweet. Green. Figgy. Good. Especially for Storer.

I'm stumped.
09th March, 2009

Monk by Michael Storer

EdP review:

I didn't care for the EdT version of Monk; I found it thin and wanting. The EdP version, though, is another matter altogether. Easily Storer's best work yet. (I'm not usually a Storer fan, by the bye.)

This is some serious tobacco territory, so I'll warn ahead of time those of you who don't care for Polo, Tabac Blond, The Dreamer and other tobacco-heavy fragrances. The tobacco stays strong throughout this frag's development, although it does eventually let frankincense come in and do its liturgical duty. Nevertheless, be advised that both the tobacco and the civet here render Monk EdP a somewhat "dirty" scent. I can understand why some compare Monk to the smell of unwashed clothes, as I get much of the same dirty, smoky vibe here as in Mitsouko (only with tobacco here -- and lots of it).

There's also a warm, pleasant gourmand feeling here, but it (thanks to a dry cocoa) is never cloying. The ambrette warms the cocoa up quite a bit as well.

I personally won't spend the dough to buy Monk EdP, no. I might take a bottle in a swap, though.

Thumbs up, but only with all of the info above taken into account beforehand.
09th March, 2009

Oxygène Homme by Lanvin

Inoffensive? Maybe to some, but the cedar used here is -- to my nose, anyway -- sharp and piercing stuff. (Think pencil shavings times ten.) The cedar here is not only annoying -- it also gives me a bad headache.

The rest of the frag is about as "blah" as they come -- just another "fresh" frag clone with a mediocre, musky dry-down.

Headache. Snore. Headache. Snore. Headache. Snore.
09th March, 2009

Lanvin L'Homme by Lanvin

Warm, woody and surprisingly crisp vetiver frag. (A vetiver, if you will, for those who don't normally care for vetiver.) Wonderful use of bergamot here to lend just a touch of soapiness. As for the civet that's ostensibly here? I don't get it. Doesn't matter -- I still like it.

Lanvin L'Homme DOES tend to stay very close to the skin, granted, but I really don't understand all the fuss about it supposedly being a "weak" frag with no longevity. On the contrary, I find it to be a smart and sophisticated frag that's always appropriate for office wear.

09th March, 2009

Pique by Redken

Ubueandibeme nailed it on the head -- this stuff is damn near a dead ringer for Sand & Sable. Same powdery gardenia. I don't find it as synthetic as Junie did. No, in fact, I quite like it. (As cheap frags go.) Still, there's nothing special here -- it just is what it is. As with Sand & Sable (and Jungle Gardenia, and White Shoulders), it's just a soft, inoffensive gardenia bomb with lots of powder in the dry-down.
04th March, 2009

Samba by Perfumer's Workshop

Pleasant, inoffensive vanilla-covered fruit frag. I'd like to say more, but I really can't, as there's not much more here to say.

Expect the sweet vanilla in the opening notes to dry down into a powdery vanilla, with the fruit notes staying sweet throughout the dry-down.
04th March, 2009

Maxim's de Paris by Maxims

Chanel No. 5? I don't get the connection there at all -- not at all.

No, I find this to be a half-sibling of Paloma Picasso, only with more patchouli.

Loud, wonderful, earthy Eighties power frag. Closely related, too, to its male counterpart frag.
04th March, 2009

Tigress by Fragrances of France

First off, buy or swap for the vintage stuff only. (The new stuff is pure shite.)

What we have here is Shalimar's older, somewhat sluttier sister and Tabu's distant cousin. She is every bit as vanilla-laden as Shalimar, but not half so, eh, demure. She's every bit as sultry as Tabu, but sans the strong herbal/"root beer" notes of Tabu.

This is not a frag for young women, IMHO. No, this is thirty to fifty-something cougar material all the way.

By the bye: without a doubt, Tigress' fun faux fur capped bottle was one of the kitschiest in all of perfume bottle history.
04th March, 2009

Dark Season by Neil Morris Fragrances

An unsual mixture of Christmas tree and root beer and patchouli.

Imagine daubing on some old Tabu with its rich root beer notes and its sexy patchouli and then festooning yourself with Christmas tree boughs and cinnamon sticks before heading out for a long walk in a Finnish forest.

Interesting and fairly well blended, but not for everyone.

25th February, 2009

Cathedral by Neil Morris Fragrances

Not my cup of tea -- not at all.

I had been expecting a dark and mysterious incense fragrance in the vein of Black Cashmere, or perhaps a bright and cheery incense along the lines of Villoresi's Incensi.

What I got instead here was a real clunker -- a very heavy and (IMHO) poorly constructed beast made mostly of labdanum and smoke. I could occasionally smell the ylang ylang, yes, but it came through smelling very like the charred remnants of a florist's shop after a blazing fire had whipped through.

This, I reckon, is what's left in the bottom of the censer after Mass is over. Thumbs down, indeed.
25th February, 2009

Hindu Grass by Nasomatto

A rich patchouli that (yes, it's true) could easily pass for Red Vetyver's patchouli loving sibling. It's almost as though Red Vetyver had a love child with Fresh's Patchouli Pure. (Don't believe me? Layer them and see what I mean.) I pick up just a hint of rose, too, although Nasomatto won't tell us jacksh-t about the contents.

Awfully expensive stuff, though. As much as I admire both its complexity and its richness and its outstanding longevity, well, I won't likely be buying a bottle of Hindu Grass anytime soon.
25th February, 2009