Perfume Reviews

Reviews by tvlampboy

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Total Reviews: 697

Shaal Nur by Etro

Powdery opoponax, touches of Shalimar and its exotic vanilla-laden goodness and the citrus crispness of Eau du Coq, or perhaps another early, unisex toilet water. There's just enough cedar here to balance things out without making the whole affair too woody.

Completely suitable for men and women alike.
A wonderfully tailored fragrance. One of Etro's very best -- no doubt about it.
25th January, 2009

Kenzo Power by Kenzo

I had expected to be "underwhelmed" by this Kenzo release -- I won't fib to you. But WOW was I pleasantly surprised! CoL has it spot on -- this stuff is (for want of a better term) downright "fizzy" in the nose. (Think of a grown-up version of lemon-lime soda, only with lots of coriander and soft florals and pleasant wood notes mixed in.) Very, very pleasing juice with a long and surprisingly powdery dry-down.

Terrific longevity and astounding sillage. Many compliments for me, too -- and that's always a nice bonus. :)

Try it.
16th January, 2009

Fuel For Life pour Homme by Diesel

This one's taken a lot of flak, and I've no doubt that much of the flak in question comes as much from derision for the aggressive marketing campaign and youthful demographic as anything.

Really it's just an updated cousin to Clinique's Happy, with anise notes (a tad off-putting at first, granted) thrown in for good measure.

All in all, a very likable citrus frag with decent longevity and modest sillage.

Thumbs up, yes, but I don't think I'll be clamoring for a bottle any time soon. It's just good stuff for what it is.
16th January, 2009
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Happy by Clinique

First off, let me say on an "off note" just how much I loved the original ad campaign with Judy Garland singing "C'mon Get Happy" in the background.

That said, on to the fragrance itself. :)

Delicious white florals and grapefruit here -- almost effervescent. This is the kind of thing I could imagine on a young Audrey Hepburn: sparkling, fun, crisp and never cloying.

Many hate this one because it was among the first in a long line of "fresh" women's frags in the Nineties. But don't shoot Happy down simply because inferior clones came behind it. Revere it instead for the lovely scent that it is.
16th January, 2009

Wrappings by Clinique

An odd beastie, indeed! Crisp, coniferous and almost shocking at first -- you'll think the Christmas tree was wrapped in garlands of roses and jasmine but tipped over and fell into your gin.

Soon, though, you can expect a warm and musky surprise in the dry-down. Sexy? No, but cozy and inviting nonetheless.

To be perfectly candid, I'm really surprised that Clinique hasn't discontinued Wrappings, as it's just unusual enough to be outside the mainstream of today's often confining market. (Beyond Paradise it ISN'T.) I'm damn glad Clinique HAS kept it out there on the market, but -- again -- I am surprised all the same.

A must-try, especially if you like cold weather frags which are different from all others. Easily unisex, btw.
16th January, 2009

Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

Earthy, heady complex green, old fashioned yet sexy . . . so many adjectives apply to this now timeless Clinque chypre.

AE does an amazingly good job as a unisex frag, too, although (that said) one could just as easily say that Aramis 900 is so close to AE as to be its male counterpart. (Just amp up the herbal notes and tone down some of the roses in AE and, for all intents and purposes, you'll have Aramis 900.)

Amazing edp longevity and sillage with this frag.

A must-have for any fan of the truly "green" frags. BIG thumbs up.
16th January, 2009

Original Santal by Creed

Very, very similar to Joop! pour Homme -- make no mistake about it. The difference, though, lies in the quality of the ingredients used. Whereas Joop! relies upon a great many synthetics, Creed obviously uses top quality (and probably mostly natural ones).

As a result, OS goes on and stays on without the chemical nightmares so often induced by Joop! I myself have a love/hate affair with Joop! I wear it because a) I get so many compliments on it and b) I like it. That said, it wears best when it's been applied VERY LIGHTLY.

As much as I love OS and praise its high quality ingredients, I can certainly see why anyone on a budget would eschew OS in favor of Joop! (LIGHTLY APPLIED, that is.)

Still, a big thumbs up for this cinnamon and sandalwood beauty.
15th January, 2009

Esprit du Tigre / Spirit of the Tiger by Heeley

Tiger Balm it is, if only for the first five minutes of development. After that initial time has passed, the camphor-laden top notes warm and grow into a lovely, clove-y woodsy fragrance that stays very close to the skin. Still, this one doesn't develop much more beyond the "clove-y woodsiness" already mentioned.

A noble effort, but hardly worth a hundred bucks a bottle.

14th January, 2009

Baldessarini Ambré by Baldessarini

The almost tobacco-y leather base here is really pleasant, yes, but that's about all I can say for this one.

After the original Baldessarini, I really had my hopes up for something special. Instead, I got a watered down version of Escada pour Homme, with perhaps a little more amber and spice thrown in.

Mediocre longevity and sillage.
14th January, 2009

Roadster by Cartier

I have come, over time, to despise mint in fragrances, and this is why I gave up both Jazz and Pasha years ago. Still, the mint here is tempered by vanilla and woods, and doesn't come across with that vile "toothpaste" note that normally makes my stomach churn.

I was intrigued upon hearing that there was patchouli in this one, but -- to be honest -- I had to wait forever to encounter the patchouli it. (It finally came after the loud and slightly obnoxious labdanum blast.)

Thumbs up for a fragrance that a) is in a family I don't usually care for and b) uses mint without making me want to retch. (That's high praise coming from me.)
13th January, 2009

Cereus pour Homme No. 11 by Cereus

I detect a strong note of vetiver here, but perhaps it's just the wood notes I'm picking up on, or even something a hair grassier/greener than those. Like SirSlarty, I too pick up a distinctive anise-like accord in the opening, although I must admit that this dries down within a few minutes.

Rich, woody, almost creamy center in this bad boy, with just hints of pepper and citrus.

A definite thumbs up, yes, but I won't likely seek a bottle. (Not at Cereus' prices.)
13th January, 2009

Cefiro by Floris

A fusion of CKOne and L'Eau d'Issey, with more similarity to the former than the latter. Very strong, very crisp and clean. Still, there's nothing new or exciting here -- just typical of what dominated the market ten to fifteen years ago.

A stinker? By no means. I'll even give it a thumbs up for good construction and strength. All that said, i wouldn't buy it simply because the price tag isn't warranted given what you get for your buck. Get CKOne instead and save yourself the moolah.
02nd January, 2009

Flair by Revlon

Brilliant woody floral with rich, fruit-laden top notes. (Embarrassingly inexpensive stuff, too -- I saw this at a local Big Lots store for under $10.00 a bottle.) Massive longevity and incredible sillage with this little known Revlon gem.
28th December, 2008
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Eternity by Calvin Klein

A very dated white floral that always fails to wow me. Try as I have to like Eternity for Women, I've always ended up finding something in it cloying and synthetic. It should (IMHO) be light and airy and crisp, but it always seems to end up smelling very heavy and fake.

A failed experiment from CK.
28th December, 2008

Can Can Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton

A sweet gourmand I found to be surprisingly good. A tad syrupy at times, true, but the same can be said of most sweet, vanilla-heavy frags.

An awfully good choice for young ladies 21 and under, and maybe for some well over 21. Pity one has to give his/her dollars to that talentless Paris Hilton in order to get this affordable fragrance.
27th December, 2008

Silver Black / Onyx by Azzaro

A bland, inoffensive juice that opens with sharp fruity notes and soon settles into a woody middle with a masculine, musky vibe. Beyond that it's all musk and warmth, but never anything spectacular.

I'll give this one a thumbs up, but only with the proviso that Azzaro Onyx can't hold a candle to the original Azzaro pour Homme.
27th December, 2008

Set Sail St. Barts for Men by Tommy Bahama

Longevity's a bit of an issue, yes, but I for one really enjoy this powdery, musky lime concoction. It's not my normal cup of tea, no, but I'm awfully impressed with it considering its low price tag and wide availability. There is certainly a strong "cocktail" vibe here, with the coconut and lime notes (and, to a lesser extent, the "tequila" notes) clearly distinguishable

A good, casual choice for the under 25 crowd.
26th December, 2008

Rocabar by Hermès

Far more wearable than Eau d'Hermes, far less dated than the original Equipage (a classic though it is) and far less spicy than Bel Ami (my personal fave from this house).

A creamy, almost gourmand take on woods and spices. Very approachable, elegant frag with modest sillage and superb longevity.
26th December, 2008

Joop! Homme by Joop!

I just don't understand all of the vitriol here. I mean, either you like this one (and I do) or you don't. I think many hate it because they've either blasted it on in copious amounts or have been around others who've done the same. When worn like that, it's perfectly vile. I'll grant you that.

Worn in moderation, though, it's a gorgeous Oriental. (Although teflondog's right in calling it a possible gourmand.) Gorgeous use of vanilla and tonka here, friends. Some of the greatest longevity and sillage out there, too. Damn good buy if you wear it as it ought to be worn. And yes, it can be legalized chemical warfare if worn otherwise.
26th December, 2008

Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli

Easily one of the very best early Nineties frags. (You can really classify this one among Eighties power frags, truth be told.)

Gigli starts off very fresh and somewhat coniferous, but soon dries into a wonderful medley of spices, sandalwood and tobacco. This is a light and clean tobacco, by the way, not the ball-sweat "stank" stuff of Polo nor the pipe tobacco stuff of The Dreamer.

Other reviewers have been QUITE correct in asserting that this is not, though, a frag for a) twinksters who want the latest "fresh aquatic" frag, nor b) really for anyone much under 30.

Wear this one with confidence and marvel at its versatility.
24th December, 2008

Euphoria Men by Calvin Klein

Absurd terms such as "raindrop accord" aside, this is a synthetic mess which really wants to work -- yet fails. I like the fresh ginger opening, but the pallid melon notes and "blah" sandalwood dry-down really lack the oomph I look for in a frag. Also, sillage and longevity here leave a great deal to be desired.

Euphoria Intense is the far better fragrance, even in spite of its opening "melon blast." Do yourself a favor and pass over Euphoria. While not terrible, it's certainly not great, either. Get the Euphoria Intense -- it's by far the superior juice.
20th December, 2008

Eau de Guerlain by Guerlain

A polite, inoffensive fragrance that was really created for tasteful, late 19th century dandies. (Don't expect sillage or longevity -- this is an EDC deluxe.) Wonderful construction here, but about as useful as teats on a boar hog unless you just really want to splash on some EDC in the summertime.
19th December, 2008

Royal Secret for Men by Royal Secret

A pleasant but somewhat pallid reflection of the women's original. (Imagine the feminine version with slightly more sandalwood and lots more powder.)

I'm giving this one a thumbs up, but only because a) I'm so fond of its feminine predecessor and b) it's so darned affordable.
18th December, 2008

Royal Secret by Royal Secret

A rich and complex Oriental, and a real bargain for the price! If you like Tabu, this one's going to be right up your alley. (Same holds true for Youth Dew, IMHO.) In fact, I've always thought that Royal Secret smells very like a hybrid of the two, although it leans slightly more in Tabu's direction.

A warm and memorable treat (with great sillage and outstanding longevity, btw) for very little moolah. I'm SO glad that Monteil sold the formula to someone else so this juice could stay in production!
18th December, 2008

Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens

A soapy, musty, powdery old fashioned lavender that lacks any real punch (unlike the edgy and moody Gris Clair). I kept expecting incense galore, but have gotten only hints of it (mixed with a strong powdery vibe) in the warm drydown.

Great longevity? Yes. Quality of lavender itself? Superb -- as to be expected. Drydown? Pleasant enough, granted. All in all, i have to give this one kudos for quality, if nothing else. Still, Gris Clair is by FAR the better of the two lavender frags, and Encens et Lavande, IMHO, lacks the "oomph" it needs to merit its high price tag.
12th December, 2008

U by Ungaro for Him by Ungaro

A pleasant, inoffensive vetiver frag for very little money. If you like L'Homme by Lanvin, you won't be disappointed. (Very like L'Homme, only with fruitier notes and a woodier "heart.") If you're looking for something with some serious verve, though, look elsewhere -- this is office frag personified.
11th December, 2008

Perceive for Men by Avon

Light citrus that starts off much like Rochas' Aquaman but settles quickly into a warm but (sadly) generic drydown. Not too much cedar here, but just enough to give the whole affair some woodiness.

In a world filled with citrusy, "fresh" frags, you could do better. You could also do worse.
11th December, 2008

Latitude Longitude by Nautica

One of the best surprises I've had this year! I had always avoided this discontinued frag because I'd just assumed that it was just another boring aquatic clone from Nautica.

What I discovered when I actually sampled it? A very pleasant, spicy twist on the aquatic (think nutmeg and musk!) with a warm and rich sandalwood drydown.
06th December, 2008

He Wood by Dsquared2

SirSlarty nailed this one -- this is a sharp and rather monotonous wood frag whose longevity may be great but whose complexity (or, rather, the lack thereof) leaves a great deal to be desired.

For a truly great cedar-based frag, try Heritage or Equus. Even Tumulte's not half bad, and reasonable to boot. But this one? Hardly worth the bother, especially for the hefty price.
04th December, 2008

Mat; Very Male by Masakï Matsushïma

Fan of anise notes? This one's far more subtle in its use of anise than are Rive Gauche (star anise) and Lolita Lempicka for Men (traditional anise times ten).

Still, I would think twice about buying this one for a romantic frag or a "party" frag as it's got longevity, yes, but very little sillage. Nice office choice for colder climes.
04th December, 2008