Perfume Reviews

Reviews by tvlampboy

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Total Reviews: 697

Gucci No. 3 by Gucci

Gorgeous frag -- bone dry and ever so tailored. Can't believe that a) it turns out to have been discontinued and b) I'm the first to post any kind of review.

This is (or should I say was?) one of those frags that could easily cross the gender gap. Pity to hear about its discontinuation.
12th January, 2008

Ginger Milk by Thymes

A handsome scent in both the frag version and the candle/air freshener versions. Ginger without the sharp edges -- just bright and sparkling and sweet. Unisex? Yes, IMHO. Some guys might have a hard time pulling it off, but only if they're the hardcore, Yatagan/Aramis only types.
11th January, 2008

Marc Jacobs Autumn Splash Ivy by Marc Jacobs

Papery and green, indeed. A really pretty, definitively unisex eau de cologne that makes up in beauty what it lacks in longevity and sillage.

I think that benbenrn has the right idea -- why limit this stuff to flesh wear only? At $40 for 10 oz. bottles at Marshalls, you can certainly afford to use this as linen spray, air freshener, eau de cologne -- whatever you like.

11th January, 2008
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Opoponax / Impérial Opoponax by Les Néréides

Vibert's posted a top drawer review of this baby below -- I especially like his description of the "sandalwood and vanilla pillow" on which the opoponax rests.

Rich, Byzantine stuff -- the kind of warm and sweet fragrance you can curl up with on a cold winter night. It has a real Eastern incense vibe going on, and also something vaguely gourmand (must be the vanilla).

I for one can't imagine wearing this stuff in warm weather -- it's the olfactory equivalent of winter comfort food.
11th January, 2008

Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

A handsome Continental fragrance with top quality ingredients and possibly addictive qualities. (Perhaps the aoud/oudh in the heartnotes?) Whatever it is, I've not been able to stop sniffing my hand all day!

Interesting use of pepper here -- I almost mistook its slight piquancy for cedar at first. As it dries down, though, it mingles with the vetiver, the oudh and the balsam in wonderful harmony. Grassy, spicy, woody all at once.

A definite keeper.

11th January, 2008

New Haarlem by Bond No. 9

I have to agree with Randolph314 on this one, folks. As much as I like New Haarlem, I like Rochas Man much better, esp. for the vast price difference.

Stow the snob appeal and grab for Rochas Man.

I'm going to give this puppy a thumbs up rating, but only out of deference to its almost identical fraternal twin, Rochas Man.
11th January, 2008

Cyprès-Musc by Creed

Green and musky and slightly medicinal all at once, with a strong sillage that isn't to be believed from a non-Millesime Creed.

I'm very fond of cypress-heavy frags, but know that not everyone will be as enamored of them. Do yourself a favor and order a sample of this one first.
11th January, 2008

Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

Good? Yes. Great? No. I really can't help but like this take on tobacco and ginger, but the original Tabarome is simply so much better. The folks at Creed oughtn't have tried to tame Tabarome -- they should have just made this new one and called it something else.

It's a good frag, yes, but it pales in comparison to the manly British original.
11th January, 2008

"Vintage" Tabaróme by Creed

Not a tobacco lover? Steer clear then, my friend, steer clear.

This is some masculine, tobacco-laden, commanding juice here, and far better than its modern Millesime namesake -- far better.

Definitely a try-before-you-buy kind of frag, though. I can't see but maybe one in ten liking this frag, especially in this age of aquatic hermaphrodites on the frag market.
11th January, 2008

Royal Scottish Lavender by Creed

A far better blend of vanilla and lavender than Caron pour un Homme, IMHO. Where Caron's rendition can easily become cloying, RSL remains beautiful and complex throughout its dry-down.

The clove adds just the right amount of spice to balance things out, and the amber and sandalwood in the base notes ensure a warm finish.

Damn near perfect.
11th January, 2008

Royal English Leather by Creed

If Knize Ten is all gasoline, Teutonic sweat and raw leather, then REL is all gorgeous tanned leather (saddle quality) and beautiful English florals. Creamy and snobbish and luxurious stuff -- I can easily see how it's weathered two centuries plus.
11th January, 2008

Racine by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Very old fashioned but straightforward take on citrus and vetiver, and (blessedly) free of that MPG "green" house note that so dominates and often ruins many other MPG frags for me.

Very clean, very pure, very unisex, very refreshing.

Not a frag I'll be pining for, no, but one I'll gladly enjoy when I encounter it.
11th January, 2008

Castile by Penhaligon's

A rose heavy (but not rose dominant) frag for those who generally hate rose heavy frags. No, the emphasis here is a clean and fresh neroli that bursts out of the bottle and puts a smile on your face. This is sunny Spain, soft and warm and romantic -- don't go in expecting Catholic gloom and doom in the Escorial.

n.b.: This one wears very close to the skin and produces relatively low sillage; furthermore, its longevity is lower than that of other Penhaligons frags. Still, a big thumbs up for classic, balanced composition.
11th January, 2008
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Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

Austere? Exactly the adjective I was going to use! Along with Yatagan, Barbier des Isles and Greyland, this is one of those sweet-free, spice-heavy frags that epitomizes masculinity. (No Lutens-esque sugar cones and treacles here!)

Citrusy, dry, coniferous . . . pure stiff upper lip stuff here. Little or no warmth, though -- this frag remains as cool and reserved on the skin as almost anything I can imagine.

Big thumbs up for an English classic.
11th January, 2008

Ambre Canelle by Creed

Ambergris and cinnamon together -- yum! This is a rich and old fashioned frag that -- more than any other Creed I can think of -- is definitively a "love it or hate it" number. (And I love it.)

The ambergris is so strong (think Youth Dew) and the whole effect so animalic yet ancient that I really can't effectively describe either in a few words.

The amber, btw, doesn't come in until considerably later in the frag's progression. The cinnamon (canelle) you smell throughout, but more so later on.

Try before you buy. Try before you buy. Try before you buy.
11th January, 2008

Intimately Beckham Night Men by Beckham

I agree with Vawallpa -- this is remarkably similar to Obsession Night. As he pointed out, though, the longevity's better. Also, the tonka bean is deeper and the longevity better.

To be honest, this one surprised me a little bit with its lush romanticism and its sexy use of tonka. I had expected pure mass market crap and instead ended up sampling something much, much nicer.
10th January, 2008

Opus 1870 by Penhaligon's

The only cedar-heavy frag I've ever encountered that can best be described as opulent. This is a rich Oriental, but without the usual heavy florals and sweet vanillas so commonly encountered in that family. Appropriate for both office and formal wear, with very good sillage and marvelous longevity. Probably not the best casual frag in the world; however, that may be just my own judgment that doesn't work for you.

This frag has many detractors; however, I am not among them. While I won't be rushing out to buy a bottle anytime soon, I certainly have to sing its praises.
10th January, 2008

Essential by Lacoste

White bread indeed. Why spend the extra $ for this one when so many good drugstore frags still abound?

Granted, there's nothing offensive here. Come to think of it, there is no here here. Just some pseudo-scientific drivel about "time release technology."
I've got your "time release technology" right here, Lacoste.
10th January, 2008

Endymion by Penhaligon's

Creamy, sweet and spicy all at once, very much along the lines of Gucci's Envy and Ricci's Ricci Club. A frag better suited for romance than business, though. Excellent sillage; average longevity.

10th January, 2008

Givenchy pour Homme Blue Label by Givenchy

Those who are familiar with my tastes in frags will know that I usually deride almost anything labelled an "aquatic." Along with Erolfa, though, this is an aquatic I could love.

I've yet to buy a bottle (or even swap for one); however, I have to admit that I nursed my decant as long as I could. Fresh and clear and almost metallic top notes that (in feeling, if not in composition) put me in mind of Perry Ellis Reserve and also Egoiste Platinum.

An aquatic that (to quote another review, however casually) doesn't suck.
10th January, 2008

Scent Intense by Costume National

Sickeningly sweet hibiscus and jasmine throttling poor amber with all their might.

I've tried desperately to love this frag but cannot, at least not on my own flesh.

I like the amber and am crazy about the tea notes, but they're so obscured by the over-abundance of tropical flowers that it's hardly worth the bother.

Dark? Nay. Cloying? Aye. I'll give this one a thumbs up (believe it or not) just because it IS very cleverly blended and it DOES work so beautifully on others. On Yours Truly, though? I'll pass.
10th January, 2008

YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration by Yves Saint Laurent

A sweaty man sucking lemons. How utterly uncharitable! (But how very true.) That said, what's the problem here? I find that succinct statement to be an homage, actually, not an insult.

There ARE dirty herbs here. There IS a slight BO vibe going on. There ARE tons of citrus notes to be had.

And the funny thing? It all works together beautifully to create a real Eighties power frag masterpiece.
10th January, 2008

Trophée Lancôme by Lancôme

A citrus frag with balls -- period. If you like Eau Sauvage but consider it neutered, try Trophée Lancôme. If you are somewhat fond of Bigarade Concentrée but find it lacking, give TL a shot.

This is bracing, crisp and daring stuff, with sillage for days and massive longevity.

Kudos to Lancôme for having had the common sense to re-introduce this gem onto the market.
10th January, 2008

Must de Cartier pour Homme by Cartier

Elegant, spicy Oriental with a bright herbal edge. Still, the L'Essence version (edp, if you will) is better in terms of both longevity and sillage. Be careful, though, with L'Essence if you're not a fan of sweet anise.
10th January, 2008

Monsieur de Givenchy by Givenchy

Crisp, classy, Parisian and formal take on citrus. But OH how deceiving the top notes are! Just below the polished surface lies a sexy creature ready to pounce. If you like YSL pour Homme and Chanel pour Monsieur, you'll love Givenchy Monsieur. If you don't, rest assured that you'll most likely despise it. (I for one am firmly in the former camp.)
10th January, 2008

Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords by Penhaligon's

A clean and staid British frag that would be as at home in a Victorian barbershop as in a 21st century boardroom.

Don't go into this one expecting sex appeal, and don't go seeking revolution here, either. This is a classic bergamot and sandalwood concoction -- very old school. If you like most Penhaligons and most Caswell Massey frags (the reformulated Greenbriar being a clear exception), then you'll likely go ga-ga for the stiff upper lippishness of Douro.
10th January, 2008

Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

I had expected a carnival blast of lively notes, something very like Jazz on acid. What I got instead was a curious melange of mint and citrus, with more mint thrown in for good measure. And then some more.

All in all, not a good match for me at all, as I'm NOT a fan of mint in most frags. (The "mentholated bay rum" notes I've noted in SMN's Pot Pourri are about as close as I come to liking strong, minty notes in my frags.)

I'm going to give this one a thumbs up, but only with the proviso that it stay away from me. It's lovely on others, I'm sure -- just too much mint for Yours Truly.
10th January, 2008

Globe by Rochas

A bright, fresh floral offering that opens with brilliant greens and dries down to a luscious musky base. This is a kissing cousin to Givenchy's Insense, really, and even more distantly related to Paul Sebastian's Brownstone.

Why Rochas discontinued this I'll never know. I assume it was an interim fragrance -- somewhere between the "big power frags" of the Eighties and the watery wimps of the Nineties.

A pity.
10th January, 2008

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

Hairy chested, grunting testosterone monster all dressed up in patchouli and a $500 cravat. A must have gem for any patchouli lover, yes, but try if you can to get the vintage juice (silver label, cheap looking bottle with silver lid). The new stuff has been tamed down and diluted for the hoi polloi, and (while nice enough) is a pale reflection of the hairy beast its predecessor was. Lots of civet in the old, so civet foes be forewarned.

Easily one of the best juices of the past centuries.
10th January, 2008

Duc de Vervins by Houbigant

Drakkar Noir? Perhaps a little, but far more along the lines of Loewe para Hombre and Lacoste -- very crisp, green fragrance with magnificent sillage and great lasting power. Not really a frag for jeans and tennis shoes, perhaps, but a fine choice for suits and ties and even black tie.

I just sampled the new Extreme version -- many thanks to Jock_With_Scents. It's a softer, more complex and slightly more powdery version of the original. It veers even more in the direction of Lacoste pour Homme than does the original, IMHO. It also wears a little closer to the skin and doesn't resemble Drakkar Noir half as much. Am debating a purchase of it, but haven't yet decided at $135.00 a bottle.
10th January, 2008