Reviews by ifconfig

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    Set Sail St. Barts for Men by Tommy Bahama

    The other Tommy Bahama scents have an ice pick effect on my nose: very sharp, although paradoxically good. It must be what meth feels like, sharp but good.

    But St. Barts is in another class altogether. It's fresh, like its brethren, but understated. This instantly puts me in a holiday mood, and what with all the "greens" in this one, it's no wonder. Now I got this impression from a sample so I won't make a call on its longevity, but who cares? Put this one on, step out in your Hawaii shirt and flip flops. Or better yet, stroll the deck of your yacht and don't forget to have fun, fun, fun!

    17 January, 2008

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    Gucci Pour Homme II by Gucci

    GPH II reminds me of other fragrances, but that could be because of the top notes--not that this is a bad thing! On the contrary, I really liked GPH II's top notes. They are a wonderful introduction to this 2007 creation, not to speak of the tremendous bottle!

    The color combination of the solid square bottle filled with blue liquid topped by a brushed Gold cap is inviting and pleasant and, of course, somewhat unusual. Aren't the best things always?

    As time passes, the other notes make their appearance, but at a gentle pace, almost reluctantly. That, or my nose was a bit stuffy today (it was, but not badly). Either way, it was still delicious. The amazing thing I found was that the initial citrus--bergamot--never did quite find its way out of the picture and exerted a nice, easy presence. I know I could definitely smell the spice of the pepper intermingled in there and that lent a certain sharp quality that made you take notice every so often.

    With even more time, a calm, almost melodious accord appears. This happens rather quickly, I suppose; more on this. In general, GPH II stays close to the body, but I could tell it's got good sillage and should please anyone who cares to smell you, voluntarily or otherwise.

    This is a great perfume, I believe it's one of the best traditional citrus fragrances I've tried to date. In fact, I like it so much, I'm assigning it five stars. The one drawback: longevity, but it's nowhere as bad as you may think. With a good six to seven hours (and longer, if you care to sniff close), it scores a four out of five. The reason it gets a five even though I usually don't give that score to a perfume which doesn't last at least eight hours is because I understand it's chemically tough to create a citrus perfume with much longevity. The molecular weights of the chemicals involved is just not that substantial.

    If you like a sprightly, definitely interesting fragrance, there are worse things you can do than invest in a bottle of Gucci Pour Homme II.

    21st April, 2007

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    Millésime Impérial by Creed

    Millesime Imperial was a strange progression for me: when I first wore it, I was suitably impressed but not overly so that I felt I had to buy it immediately.

    One of the more important points in liking for perfume for me involves my wife. The chances of buying a perfume is directly proportional to her love of the fragrance. She really liked MI.

    That was the first step, so to speak. The second, which pushed me over the edge, as they say, is time. It's been a few weeks now and MI has really grown on me. I really, really like this fragrance, one of the best aquatics I've ever smelled.

    Incredibly good.

    27 February, 2007

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    I have a problem. A big problem.

    Tauer raised his prices on L'air du desert Marocain unceremoniously and I took umbrage at this practice. After a certain amount of discussion, I remain unconvinced at the bait and switch pricing tactics he employed with this perfume.

    Luckily, this review isn't about Mr. Tauer's deplorable pricing strategy, it's about the quality of the perfume and intellectual honesty requires that I give a review on that basis.

    That said, L'air du desert Marocain is simply great! The light citrus topnotes are accompanied by an Amber overlord that asserts its presence throughout the perfume's progression along the time line. It's a gentle Overlord and cushions this perfume's initial presentation to the nose. It then takes over and bathes the wearer in a shimmering glow, much like a heat wave bouncing off faraway desert sand dunes.

    Technically, this is a perfect blend of ingredients and the longevity is incredible. The sub-par packaging belies its origin as the product of a one-man operation but that is quickly forgotten after a few sprays.

    29 January, 2007

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    Silver Cologne by Amouage

    Powder and a certain type of skin cream or pomade is how I'd describe this one I sniffed from a sample. I don't dislike it, but I am not ga-ga over it either.

    The floral notes are interesting but I find the lack of a base a little disconcerting, by which I mean something musky, if that's the correct term here. It's strong and the sillage is excellent, but that's about all the positives I care to lavish on this one. A solid three star effort out of five.

    21st January, 2007

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    Patchouli Patch by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I've been struck dumb by the subtle beauty of this L'Artisan. This is easily the best of the bunch. I'm so happy because I was beginning to think I would never find a L'Artisan I recklessly loved, but I absolutely LOVE Patchouli Patch.

    I'd heard this was the Patchouli hater's Patchouli and whoever said that is correct. Love this scent, a 5-star fragrance through and through.

    21st January, 2007

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    Story by Paul Smith

    The top notes of Paul Smith's Story starts out with fresh citrus and evolves into something else that reminds me vaguely of Mugler's Cologne.

    There is no more perfect summer fragrance than this one, promise. Picture an afternoon at the beach sipping a tall glass of Gin and Tonic on ice and you have Story.

    14 January, 2007

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    Santal Noble by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    To me, "sophisticated" doesn't quite apply to MPG's Santal Noble, as does "formal." Don't get me wrong, I can see how this incredible perfume can be described as such, but to me, I get: warmth and an iridescent brown, a rich, glorious Sandalwood, fast becoming one of my favorite note accords.

    I can and will wear this one anywhere, it's completely appropriate everywhere.

    5 very richly deserved stars!

    05 January, 2007

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Intriguing scent, smelling as it does of dirt, at once dry and wet. And heat, yes, shimmering heat off the desert floor. Strange, but lovely, a definite must-buy.

    27 December, 2006

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    L'Homme de Coeur by Divine

    H'm, yes! I smell the Woody Iris that Turin described in his long gone blog. He also described it as unusual, and that's the truth of it.

    Homme de Coeur immediately expands into my sinuses and give me a piercing ache--the wood pencil shavings and graphite lead note--which is too bad because I think this is a very good fragrance after this initial burst quietens down.

    There may be some issues with longevity as well.

    I prefer L'Homme Sage from the same house.

    24 December, 2006

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    Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

    This indeed does start out sweet and that may (and does) put a lot of people off Beyond Paradise Men. This reaction would be wrong, I assure you.

    That cloying sweetness lasts a bit longer than most top notes, granted, but when it settles down, a very easy and thoroughly enjoyable accord shows up and guides the wearer the rest of the way.

    Thumbs up!

    23 December, 2006

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    Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Dzing! is misnamed, although I cannot come up with a suitable alternative. This is not a frantic perfume, bursting through stage curtains. It's much cleverer and more subtle: it begins slowly and soon grows to fill the room with an airy smokiness such as one would get from burning flowers.

    To me, this is the best offering of the L'Artisan line.

    23 December, 2006

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is my favorite Amber, edging ahead of Donna Karan's Black Cashmere.

    Terrific in every way, it's a warm envelope of gently shimmering browns and muted reds, like a sunset in Key West in a deserted Mallory square. Perfect!

    22 December, 2006

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    Bois du Portugal by Creed

    Thanks to a fellow basenoter, I was able to get my hands on a sample of Bois du Portugal. It is surprisingly very similar to Patricia de Nicolai's New York.

    New York is a harsher, more effervescent perfume so I can say I think I prefer Bois du Portugal. I can't really tell what the notes are because I don't want to take the time, but I will say this is a good, interesting fragrance. A thoroughly confident scent. Four stars out of five.

    21st December, 2006

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    Dior Homme by Christian Dior

    I have to agree, somewhat solemnly, that after reading some of the references to makeup bag smells, I made that connection with Dior Homme as well.

    That said, thankfully, it is not enough to put me off this most excellent fragrance! This stuff has quality written all over it. The sillage is wondrous and I feel very nice and sated when I wear it.

    The longevity can be a problem, from experience, and the first time I wore it, it disappeared from my wrist within a few (3) hours. However, later on that evening, I continued to get the amazing drydown of Homme more than eight hours after! I cannot explain it, but longevity is no longer a problem for me at this point.

    Love this one wholeheartedly! High marks indeed.

    20th December, 2006

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    L'Homme Sage by Divine

    Divine's L'Homme Sage is overwhelmingly good. Frankly, I don't know if it's worth the $120 for a 50ml bottle, but I'm terribly and sorely tempted. Brilliant, and simply so.

    16 December, 2006

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    Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

    This is really good! I'd expected a fragrance produced for the 1960s market to be a bit passe, but BaV is anything but. It is a bit heavy on some oft-used notes but that is most definitely not a detriment. I can see why BaV was a success; a classic, for sure.

    04 December, 2006

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Chergui. What a name! What a fragrance! I searched high and low as, for some reason, it is now scarce, but the effort was worth it.

    Chergui starts out beatific, and ends, hours later, even more so. There is simply no part of the Chergui perfume experience that I can disparage. It is perfection, the paragon of Orientals. It's sunshine on a warm Summer day, bottled. It is a smile on a beautiful girl's face.

    Chegui is beyond good, it is scintillating.

    03 December, 2006

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    Chez Bond by Bond No. 9

    The notes in Chez Bond are, in a word, terrific! Of the Bond no.9s I've tried (Riverside Drive, New Haarlem, and Bleecker Street), CB takes the cake.

    To those who denigrate it for being a copy of GIT, I say: so what if it is? It's a wonderful, heady fragrance that instantly provokes the idea of wealth and class!

    Highly recommended.

    02 December, 2006

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    Brit for Men by Burberry

    Brit is definitely a sensual perfume. I was lucky enough to get this at a bargain price and I felt like I'd just found gold.

    It is one of my fragrances I find is never wrong to wear, never out of place.

    02 December, 2006

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    Reaction for Men by Kenneth Cole

    For what it is--a middle-of-the-road, inoffensive fragrance--I think it deserves a thumbs up, but the construction itself and the tiresome citrus and (for me), the fact it's a Kenneth Cole, turns that thumb partway down.

    02 December, 2006

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    Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

    This just simply has to be a thumbs up for me. I'd started my experience with The Third Man on a bit of a wrong footing. The initial, and long-lasting blast of Lavendar was a tad offputting.

    After allowing it to settle however, what a fanstastic scent. The drydown is heavenly and I just love smelling myself as I take off my shirt in the evening after work.

    Highly recommended. For knowledgeable noses only!

    02 December, 2006

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    I had many a night spent in olfactory agony in the early 90s at college parties at which the boys had gone a bit crazy with the application of Cool Water. I had a pronounced recoil to this one for years afterwards.

    Then I bought a 5ml bottle on a whim at Wal-Mart and I am completely turned around on CW. This is a GREAT fragrance, one of the best in my collection. It smells absolutely wonderful, and that "chromatic blue" smell is terrific. I think this one well deserves the title of "Modern Classic".

    02 December, 2006

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    Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana

    This smells absolutely joyful. I think I remember someone saying that this is what people in heaven would smell like, and I simply have to agree. This fragrance, with its lemon batter scent, does it for me everytime.

    Thumbs way, way up!

    02 December, 2006

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    Polo Double Black by Ralph Lauren

    There was a Macy's "Fragrance Festival" I attended not too long ago at which I sniffed Polo Double Black. I have no idea what the sales associates manning the RL booth were thinking, but they had flooded the paper testing strips with so much fragrance, I was completely repulsed.

    I remember thinking that was strange because earlier that week, I'd smelled DB in passing and really liked it and now this ... terrible stench! I then completely wrote it off and bought some other cologne. The RL SAs completely screwed up because yesterday, I gave DB another chance and like the first time, I was once again enchanted. This is a quality scent, with a brilliant drydown. I heartily recommend this one.

    13 November, 2006

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    Euphoria Men by Calvin Klein

    This is an inoffensive fragrance, a bit on the tepid side. It is also fleeting in longevity.

    05 November, 2006

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    Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

    Wearing Black Cashmere is an poignantly smooth experience from the initial spray onwards and one can tell this is a well-crafted fragrance with a flair for the dramatic (pepper and incense) thrown to stir things up.

    I love the way it settles down into a spice-tinged conversation that lasts the entire evening. This is one of my wive's favorite perfumes and it's fast becoming mine as well.

    04 November, 2006

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    Cannabis Santal by Fresh

    This is one of my favorites, and I say this as a relative newcomer so caveat emptor.

    The feeling I get from wearing this is of a warm fireplace-heated room in the Scottish highlands. It's snowing outside, I'm drinking cocoa and someone's passing around a joint.

    This is a definite A+.

    30th October, 2006

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    Minotaure by Paloma Picasso

    One of my oldest and best fragrances, I first smelled Minotaure on a magazine ad strip. Even back then, my untutored nose recognized class and quality and I spent $60 for a small bottle, a great sum for a college student, but I didn't care.

    This is most assuredly a modern classic and I would not hesitate recommending it. With Minotaure, one simply cannot go wrong. I like this both for men and women.

    30th October, 2006

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    Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

    This comes across as a clean, monotonic perfume to my nose, such as it is. Nevertheless, it's absolutely wonderful, but I've changed my mind on this one: it's not as interesting and complex a scent as I once thought. Could this mean I'm growing up, I wonder?

    29 October, 2006

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