Reviews by carlos-uk

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    carlos-uk
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    L'Occitan by L'Occitane

    Seldom does it happen that a fragrance will sweep my mind away to somewhere calmer and more beautiful but that's what happens with this. A totally accidental find for me and my first Lavender dominated scent.

    I've always steered clear of Lavender. I associated it with old ladies for some reason (nothing wrong with old ladies of course but I'm not in the market to smell like my, as it turns out, wrongful association of one).

    Some words already mentioned in previous reviews here are spot on: airy, fresh, romantic, natural, classy, addictive, soothing.

    Never one to follow the crowd, far from sweeping me away to Provence, this has a watery quality too it that reminds me of clear blue water and clean air with a beautiful white sandy beach thrown into the bargain. In a peculiar way, I'm also reminded of the Chlorine from municipal swimming pools and, as if that weren't odd enough, in this bottle it's actually a good thing! Probably just my odd associations but this is gorgeous.

    It makes we want to lie down, close my eyes and get lost in stunning places. What a find for me. I was in the market for something vaguely different from Cartier or perhaps finally give Boucheron a try but I'm glad I went for this.

    Spray it on and get swept away in the calm, soothing tranquillity that it will enfold you with....and perhaps others too ;-)

    With each breath out comes the delight of another breath in.

    01st July, 2014

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    West Indian Lime by Crabtree & Evelyn

    My second C&E fragrance (my first being Sandalwood). I rather like this one. When I tested it my initial reaction was "Hairspray!!". I wasn't too enamoured of it but having worn it proper for a couple of days now, I've rather come to like it.

    If you would prefer sweet, straight on Lime you'll be better off gong with Trumpers Extract of Limes which is beautifully sweet and fruity but gone in minutes.

    The C&E on offer here is a little more refined and described on the website thus; Fresh limes and vetiver blended with nutmeg, ginger, coriander, and juniper.

    The fresh blast of lime you get initially soon settles down to a clean, effervescent sort of smell that rests nicely for several hours. Never over powering but just present enough. The lime remains but takes a lower presence after a short while. What remains is an individual scent that stands apart from the bland crowd but in a cool way.

    Finally, it is supported by a full range of complimentary products; shower gel, balm etc and for the price is a nice offering.

    Fruity, clean, different, fun.

    06 March, 2014

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    1881 by Cerruti

    One of those "unremarkable" fragrances that I realised I was buying my fifth bottle of last week and therefore perhaps not "unremarkable" at all.

    This does have a minor resemblance to Eau Savage too it but it's a passing nod rather than the full on 'yes, I showered then pissed myself and let it go stale' smell that I can't handle about Eau Savage. Equally, the current formulation reminds me a little, initially at least of YSL Jazz.

    I always associate this fragrance with Indecent Proposal (the movie) as Robert Redfords wardrobe was from the 1881 collection for that movie. This fragrance was doing the rounds at the time. It has never been a BIG thing, certainly not in this country but it's still there on the shelf. I'm inclined to say the quality has slipped a little. The box isn't as detailed as it once was and the scent, close though it is, isn't the same but them, what from that time is?

    I can really add nothing more other than to say, I love it. I would have been 13/14 years old when this came out. I liked it at the time but it was too old for me then. Not so anymore. Love to wear it and long may it continue.

    An unsung hero.

    05 January, 2014

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    Ted Baker Skinwear by Ted Baker

    My friends, this really is a wonderful fragrance.

    Out of the bottle, this fragrance is bright, sharp and zesty. It's the combination of the Lemon and Lime top notes working in synch.

    In the middle is a warmth and roundness to the scent. There are Oceanic notes here that will bring to mind Aqua Di Giorgio amongst others.

    In the base a really warm, almost creamy mix.

    The whole together is like the combination of the old-school French perfumery style (Eau Savage, Givenchy Pour Monsieur, Chanel Pour Monsieur) all of which feature a defined Lemon edge alongside the warmth of classic “old guy” scents and given a “current” twist with an Oceanic/Aquatic angle. Really nice stuff.

    It settles down nicely but the classic combination of the Lemon on the top and the Woods on the bottom alongside the quirky Oceanic twist work so well and create a sporty feeling fragrance that wouldn't be out of place with a Suit, a Tux or a pair of Jeans/Chinos (delete as applicable).

    I catch myself walking round in circles (like a nut-case) just to catch the scent as if it were on somebody else and it really is great in an understated but confident sort of way.

    For those of you who can't be bothered with all the rambling above: It smells bloody great!

    Buy it, enjoy it and enjoy the compliments.

    31st August, 2012 (Last Edited: 13 September, 2012)

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    It has been a while since I had a bottle of this in my collection so I splashed out today (no pun intended!) on a 100ml bottle.

    Sadly, gone are the silver caps that framed the top and bottom of the bottle itself. Replaced instead by the white parts of the bottle that would have originally sat underneath the silver caps. The spraying mechanism on top remains as it ever was. The absence of the silver metal bottle caps gives it a more “flask” like look which to my mind is more suggestive of a 120ml Creed bottle (had they decided to do things a bit differently).

    So what of the scent itself? Can I add anything further to the already extensive list? Well, probably not but I can give you my take on it.

    Like many on here, my first experience of this was during my mid-teen years. One of the more adventurous guys in my class showed up to a club night wreaking of it. The girls were all over him and I won't deny, I considered having a go myself. It was the middle of Summer and it smelled incredible.

    Kouros (apparently meaning Male Youth) is a polarising scent as can be seen from the hundreds of reviews here on Basenotes. Even today it reminds me of far away places. You see, having first experienced it that one night when my friend was wearing it, I was too young to afford my own bottle. So on a holiday to the Canary Islands many months later, I was bought my first bottle and there the love affair truly began.

    Over the years, undoubtedly and unsurprisingly, it seems to have changed. Whether this is due to reformulation or different stock ingredients, it's as if it is missing that something that it once had. Perhaps though, my more mature nose and lack of raging hormones doesn't pick it up in the same way.

    I don't really get the Semen/Piss/Faecal comments, personally. What I would say is that this scent is King of making you smell a bit unwashed but in a clean way. At this point people separate off into one of two groups; they are either totally not down with that sort of thing or, on a basic animal instinct level, they get it, breath it in, thrive on it and frankly, find it a turn on. I'm in the latter category in case you hadn't guessed.

    The blend of ingredients assist ably with the dirty undertone of this fragrance and it really is a testament to the skill of the perfumer to take so many dark ingredients and boldly blend them into this classic scent.

    I'll say this is better for warm weather and go out on a limb and suggest that this mixed with some of the body’s own chemistry and sweat is borderline pornographic.

    The big give over (regarding reformulation) with this is the dry down which takes is VERY close to Ted Lapidus Pour Homme. It never used to be like that and in truth, it was better for it.

    I find myself getting frustrated with people who say that fragrances are over powering. Are they overpowering or are you simply going trigger happy with the bottle? Remember, often, less is more! I'd find pretty much any scent over powering if the wearer has hosed themself down in it. I've commented in other reviews on how I've only ever met one person who knew how to wear Le Male by Jean Paul Gautier; one spray! Kouros is no different. One should do it but two is your maximum. Any more than that and you deserve all the looks, comments and self loathing you get. Be gentle with Kouros and Kouros will be gentle with you.

    I'm proud to wave the flag in support of Kouros. Even today I think it is awesome. No it's not pretty or conservative or aquatic but what it lacks in current trends, it makes up for in originality, provocation, impression and impact. When all is said and done, it stands alone, strong and proud in it's own little niche. You won't fully appreciate this until you've encountered it on somebody else and only then if they are wearing it rather than letting it wear them.

    All hail the mighty Kouros. My love affair of 19 years and counting!

    24 April, 2012 (Last Edited: 27 April, 2012)

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    Burberry for Men by Burberry

    Warm, Debonair, Engaging. I think that sums it up. My first Burberry purchase was Brit (and at the risk of committing blasphemy) I really can't stand the stuff. Just before Christmas I was shopping, went for some Dior and whilst the checkout girl did her thing, I noticed this on special offer. I put the sprayer up to my nose and thought "hmmm, that's nice". I very nearly bought it but stuck to my guns and got the Dior instead.

    I went back today and acquired it for myself. The Lavender reminds me of Lagerfelds Photo and the Mint gives it a sporty feel but in just the right style. The woods provide a comforting, smooth base that harmonises perfectly with the symphony around it.

    Everything about this fragrance is balanced to perfection. Not one for the younger crowd I'd have to say. Maybe 25+ to pull this off with conviction.

    Notes from Burberry site:
    Top: bergamot, lavender, fresh mint and thyme.
    Heart: moss, geranium and sandalwood.
    Base: amber and cedar wood.

    31st January, 2012

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    Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

    A living testament to the true art of the Perfumer. This is one of the those fragrances that you know, but you don't know you know it.......if you know what I mean.

    I tell you this reminds of Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene which is top heavy with Violet. Sure enough, on checking the Dior website, the pyramid is listed as:

    Top: Sicilian Mandarin
    Mid: Violet
    Base: Leather

    That said, Fahrenheit is a more predatory beast. Grey Flannel is sweet in a clean way. Fahrenheit is the sweet edge of unclean. It speaks to a more primeval sense of the human Psyche and by God, it does it well. It is not reserved or polite and does make itself known but in such a brilliant way.

    Just catching this off guard at the back of the nose, it is devastatingly provocative in the right way.

    Looking forward to road testing this one as I have avoided it all these years. What a revelation!

    15 December, 2011

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    Héritage by Guerlain

    04th August 2011 - 20:50
    Had my first brush with this classic today. I was disappointed to see reviews mentioning reformulations but never-the-less, the 100ml/3.4 Fl Oz Tall Bottle EDT that I have is rather nice. Strangely, it's what I'd hope Givenchy Gentlemen was going to be like.

    It's not Sporty, Aquatic, Fresh or any other similarly "youthful" qualities but it is refined, self-assured and distinctive. I'll take the latter any day of the week.

    It does go on a little scary but only a few minutes in it settles and begins to unfold. It doesn't dominated (2 Sprays) but occasionally reintroduces itself gently to remind you it's there.

    There are echoes of Gucci Envy in here, undoubtedly but dare I say, Envy done with more class and without that oddly artificial quality that always used to bother me about it.

    I'm still adjusting to Heritage so will update my review later. For now, let me say it's a nice Fragrance. It's not remarkable or sexy and would take a hell of -30 year old guy to pull it off with any degree of sincerity.

    05th August 2011 - 17:49
    The Dry-Down on this is sublime. I had two sprays before work this morning and it has kept coming and going all day. I go back to Givenchy Gentlemen, it's not a mirror but it has hints. I'm also getting echoes of Van Cleef's Tsar, in the early stages.

    I'll bet this turns heads in colder weather. Warm, clean, subtle but interesting enough to want to know more.

    04 August, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 August, 2011)

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    Joop! Homme by Joop!

    This sure is an oddball that seems to have increasing popularity with the 50+ age range. My school friend used to where this when I was about 15 and I kind of hated it/kind of liked it. I've revisited it over the years but recently come to a greater appreciation of it.

    Like Le Male by JPG, this requires 1 Spray only! Any more and you may as well be wearing a sign that says "I want a fight right now!".

    I can't add anything to the many comments already made other than to reinforce my above comment that, here in the UK at least, this seems to be growing in popularity with the older generation and strangely, it kind of works.

    Personally, I like it and wear it in moderation (as indicated above). It's always there for sure but in just the right way. It doesn't dominate or over exert itself, but it's there (if only 1 spray is used).

    For some reason, this is what I imagine somebody stupidly rich, successful and famous to wear. Maybe it's the loud, extravagance of it?

    The official pyramid:

    Top Notes: Mandarin, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange Blossom.

    Heart Notes: Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Heliotrope, Cinnamon.

    Base Notes: Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Patchouli, Sandalwood.

    31st July, 2011 (Last Edited: 27 September, 2011)

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    The terribly sad thing about this fragrance for me is that it is seldom worn correctly. So, what is the correct way to wear it?

    ONE SPRAY!!

    You do not need more than that, I promise you. Just have one spray and it will work magic for you.

    Sadly, every time I smell this, the person wearing it is usually a considerable distance away from me as they approach.....and as they pass. It is badly misused by the majority. When it's applied as above, it really is very good.

    I do like it but not when it's worn with such ferocity as many seem to do.

    31st July, 2011

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    Intuition for Men by Estée Lauder

    I'm a little surprised by all of the negative reviews here. Somebody summed it up as "nice" and I think that's an apt description. No, it's not going to rock your world but then, where in the rule book does it say a fragrance has too? Can a fragrance not just be a pleasant, enjoyable scent?

    I like the way this works on my skin. It's not a heavyweight. It goes on light and stays light. I found myself earlier standing there, having a think about something or other and then noticing this scent. I thought "is that me??" and sure enough it was. I thought "you smell pretty good!".

    It is on the sweet side of the spectrum, clean and romantic in style. I read talk of Pheromones but I'm not sure that's strictly true. I remember the same was said of YSL's Kouros but it was never the case.

    I enjoy wearing this as it's a pleasant change to some of the heavyweights and aquatics that I normally go for. I have had compliments and no complaints. I can't sum it up any further than saying, as has already been said, it's a nice fragrance that has an edge of romanticism about it thanks to it's sweet edge. There is a very lite amount of spiciness too it that just gives it a boost of warmth.

    The pyramid is:
    Top Notes: Sage Absolute, Cucumber, Nutmeg, Cardamom.

    Middle Notes: Patchouli, Cedarwood.

    Base Notes: Amber, Myrrh, Labdanum.

    03 July, 2011

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    Patchouli by Molinard

    Thought I'd reviewed this but is seems not.

    OK, so, as the name suggests.....PATCHOULI!!!!! Molinard list the Pyramid as

    Neroli, Orange, Geranium
    Patchouli
    Musc, Santal, Vanilla

    I would hazard a guess you will be hard pushed to pick most of those notes out however. I believe their real purpose is just to take the edge of the heaviness of the main ingredient to make it palatable. This is heavy, moody stuff but in a proud, wafting sort of way. Rest assured, it does waft! It also makes you appreciate something like Givenchy Gentleman which I've never really liked but having worn the Molinard, I can understand the Givenchy better.

    I rather like this though I can't comment about head shops and such. I do my shopping online. After all, why have a Dog and bark yourself?

    If you're a Patchouli nut, you can't go wrong with this, it positively reeks of it. I would say though, as a personal preference, it's a very warm fragrance and probably better suited to cold weather. A bit like a good Brandy warms the throat, the Molinard has a warming effect...if that makes any sense.

    Spray, be proud and enjoy!

    24 May, 2011

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    Bijan Style Men by Bijan

    My first Bijan! It arrived today. Not all that easy to come by here in the UK but there are a few places doing the range. To clarify, the Bijan site quotes the Pyramid as:

    Top Notes:
    Sea Mist Accord, White Grapefruit, and Fresh Green Accord

    Middle Notes:
    Violet Leaf, Brazilian Rosewood, Provencal Lavender, Clary Sage, and Coriander Leaf

    Base Notes:
    Musk, Cedarwood, Tonka, Sandalwood, Amber, and Italian Orris

    The Lavender rules throughout. There's also a dominant Soapy quality too it. This is "clean" but not "squeaky-clean" more like "wealthy, super rich-clean" (does that make sense?).

    The oversized, cool Blue box is fun as is the novel bottle and cap which reminds me of a Pearl. The colour of the juice certainly reflects the "Sea Mist Accord" in the top notes. There's a lot in this but it blends together really well.

    I reckon this warms in Winter and sizzles in Summer. I do love it I have to say. I really want to get into the rest of the Bijan line off the back of this. I did three spritzes on my chest this morning. It wafted powerfully but gently. Two would have been enough for normal use. One thing is for sure, this will be the smell of Summer 2011 for me! This is such a great Casual scent but you know, I can also see it with a killer Suit, crisp shirt and Silk tie as well.

    I can't say I notice much development here other than a calming down of the initial cloud and a slight recess to the Soapiness. As I say though, the Lavender remains present and obvious but it's just so well supported by the other ingredients. I'm surprised there are not more reviews here since Bijan Frags seem to be a favourite of a lot of decent Celebs' of above average taste (I'm not talking Britney here OK?)

    So taken am I by this that if anybody asks me what I'm wearing, I'm not going to tell them. After all, why share the secret? What I noticed today was people coming and standing next to me and noticeably inhaling deeply and repeatedly. When what you're wearing has that effect, you know you're on the right tracks.

    I'm slightly confused by the price. On the Bijan site it's $120.00 yet it seems you can get it from many other places for a fraction. How does that work?

    No matter, I'm a happy man. Thank you Bijan. You've opened a new road of discovery for me today.

    10th January, 2011

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    Caractère by Daniel Hechter

    Well, this one has eluded me for many years......until today!

    The phrase that springs to mind with this is "well groomed". It has a clean, mildly soapy but heavy smell to it. To me, it smells "expensive".

    Now, God help me for saying this but it reminds me of Black Suede by Avon (and I hate Black Suede by Avon) yet I really like this. I can pick out the lemon in this and it's of a Givenchy Monsieur style. It's a bit old school. A slight hint of YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme as well but nowhere near as raucous.

    This kind of demands a nice Suit or a Tux as it is formal but in a warm, friendly, inviting sort of way.

    Let me sum it up by saying "I love it!". I'm so glad it's available in the U.K. This one will stay with me for as long as it's available.

    30th June, 2010

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    Coconut by Body Shop

    Top notes: - Coconut, coriander and coconut milk.
    Middle notes: - Coconut
    Base notes: - Coconut, vanilla and milky sandalwood.

    As you can see, it certainly contains Coconut. The Coriander, Vanilla and Sandalwood give this a beautiful, sweet, creamy twist. Think of holidays in the sun and Hawaii'n Tropic Sun Tan oil and you've got it.

    Now I suppose I should deal with the fact that I'm wearing it (I'm a guy). Let's be clear, this is a Female fragrance traditionally but I'm a sucker for anything that reeks of Coconut which means I wear this, I love it and I just don't care ;-)

    It comes in a tiny 15ml bottle and is Perfume Oil. I promise you, one dab behind each ear and one dab on either wrist and you will be set for the day! The price belies the strength and quality of this. It's so economical. My method of applying fragrance is the usual 3 spritz chest routine so doing the dabbing thing was new to me. I did it and couldn't really smell anything. Then I left home for work and on my way in, suddenly it appeared out of nowhere. Not in a dominating, fanfare-ish kind of way but like the tide of a clear blue sea coming in very slowly.

    It comes supported by a range of great products including Shower Gel, Body Scrub, Body Butter, Moisturising Lotion. All smell incredible and all have a great price.

    I think Men can actually pull this off but it needs to be done with care. Apply very sparingly so it's just in the background and I think you'll not only get away with it but also notice a very different, strangely interested response from the people around you.

    For the ladies, you can go mad with it and you'll smell beautiful regardless.

    This to me is summer holidays overseas in a bottle. To try it is to fall for it's tropical, sun kissed, cocktails by the beach style charms. It's so good, you could almost pour it over Ice and sip it.

    Seriously, give it a go!

    07 June, 2010

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    Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

    I do get the comments about Kouros. It's a fleeting resemblance that occurs immediately but soon fades out. I would say it is a remotely similar note as opposed to the whole thing being similar. I also get the comment about Jovan Musk. They are similar but Kiehl's is more refined and a little more restrained. Jovan is a full on military assault when first applied whereas Kiehl's is much more subdued.

    In spite of the Kouros/Jovan reference I actually find this to be closer to the Body Shops White Musk for Men fragrance launched a couple of years back. The Kiehl's is slightly darker but the two are very close. There is a mild 'skankiness' to this, it's only slight and it's actually rather good in a down and dirty sort of way.

    I can't smell the Rose that strong on my skin. The sprayer reeks of Rose but it's ever so politely sitting quietly in it's place on my arm. The Musk is present from the get go. Even after I opened the box for the first time, took the cap off and put it my nose (something ritualistic I do with new purchases) I could smell the Musk even though it had never been sprayed. It's there from the start. The whole thing is a little bit soapy in one aspect, reminds me of Imperial Leather soap.

    In closing I would say that it would be madness to suggest you save your money and go for the Jovan as the Kiehl's is a better class. If you can however grab a bottle of White Musk for Men from the Body Shop, you'll get what I mean about the two being close. I would say though that the Kiehl's is again more refined and on that point alone, it wins over the other two.

    10th April 2011
    Just wanted to add some further comments to my previous review. I have a friend who never wears any kind of scent. He also never really comments on anything I'm wearing (and I wear quite a carousel of different scents). The first he commented on was Freshman by Truefitt & Hill. The second is Keihl's Musk. I think I'd been sitting next to him for a good hour before he said "are you wearing something??" I couldn't detect whether this was a positive enquiry or a pissed off one!

    This does have a dark almost Chocolate angle to it. I notice the florals more now but also get a sense of washing powder/detergent. Just as certain flavours resonate with certain parts of the tongue, this resonates with the very top of my nose. The bottom of the nose picks the florals but the top gets this full on smack of something piercing. Yes, there is a B.O/Sweaty aspect to this for sure. I wear this only on occasion and when I do, it presents itself from time to time.

    I have to say though, this is surely one for the hot weather.

    02 March, 2010 (Last Edited: 10th April, 2011)

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    Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

    I like this one. It's actually a relatively new addition for me but it's kinda nice. Reminds me of the now discontinued Dolce & Gabanna 'By Man' in some ways.

    I tended to avoid a lot of the main streamers in the 90's so for me, a lot of these are new territory. This isn't a remarkable, stunning scent but it has got some richness and a kind of sophisticated aspect to it and that's fine by me. Again, if you over apply it's going to piss people off but I think gently sitting in the background, this is perfectly charming. It could be worse. It could be CK1.

    29 September, 2009

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    Wings for Men by Wings

    I'd previously written this one off. I bought it awhile ago, didn't think much of it. Today however I found myself rummaging through my box trying to find it. I tried it again and I've changed my opinion. Cool Water is in there but this stuff simply commands hot weather. This is no good in Winter but in the throws of Summer, it's really quite nice. Kinda smells like overseas holidays. I love it.

    26 June, 2009

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    Freshman by Truefitt & Hill

    02/01/13: I revisited this today. I was in a rush this morning and looking for something to spray and this was sitting there looking all forgotten and insecure. I think it's the dry down of this that marks it out from both GIT and Cool Water. Initially it sits in between both. It doesn't have the richness or wow factor of GIT or the more aquatic side of Cool Water. It's like a strange hybrid. That settles down however to a more floral theme that honestly I feel is rather unisex. It's still pleasant never the less. I might give Floris JF a spin as that seems to be lumped in with this lot as well.

    28/04/09: Journeyman has hit this one square on the nose with his review. This is VERY similar to Cool Water (though it smells better than the current formulation) and VERY close to Green Irish Tweed (which is my all time favourite). This is my first Truefitt and Hill fragrance and one of the things that has impressed me is the ingredients listed on the side of the box. It's the most honest list for a fragrance I've ever read on a box and it simply says; Alcohol Denat, Aqua, Bergamot Oil, Lemon Oil, Rosemary Oil, Petigrain Oil, Menthol. That's it! What's remarkable about Freshman for me is that it may in fact pre-date Green Irish Tweed and that meens that Creed's No1 selling men's fragrance is in fact.....an expensive copy!! I've owned Green Irish Tweed and fell head over heels in love with it and I do believe that Freshman edges slightly closer to this than it does Cool Water. Whatever it's date of birth, I'm a massive Green Irish Tweed fan so Freshman is a winner for me. I recommend it to all!

    28 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 02 January, 2013)

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    I have a real love/hate affair with Cool Water.

    On the one hand there is no way it's current formulation is the same as it originally was. It has changed, not beyond recognition but there's something in it (or not in it) that didn't used to be/used to be there that makes it wrong somehow.

    On the other hand, it's the one fragrance I have bought continually and used every last drop of without getting bored of it!

    Then I discovered Green Irish Tweed by Creed. Smelling that for the first time was a revelation. It was like the original Cool Water but so good, it became apparent to me that Cool Water was in fact an imitation of Green Irish Tweed that's so near and yet so far. I still think Cool Water works well on the right type of skin, it's just a shame that it's not my type of skin. Is it dated? I don't think it is 'dated' but it's so well known that it does make you think of years gone by. Having said that, I feel it's a perfectly pleasant fragrance in it's own right. I've just ordered a bottle of Freshman from Truefitt and Hill on the basis that many are comparing it to Cool Water and Green Irish Tweed. The general opinion is that it smells like Cool Water used to smell which is a big plus. And if it bares a passing resemblance to the prohibitively pricey Green Irish Tweed, I might have found my middle-man.

    I say, go for Cool Water if you like the smell of it but do check out Green Irish Tweed if you can afford it or perhaps go for the Truefitt and Hill which is about the same price as Cool Water. There's some happy memories for me and Cool Water and I think it still smells good today, just not as good as it used too.

    26 April, 2009

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    212 Men by Carolina Herrera

    My first experience of 212 was so memorable I can tell you where I was, what I was doing and who was wearing it. I was in the Midlands having been dispatched by my company to do some recruitment. I met up with one of the Regional Managers who was there that day to help me with interviews. It was my first trip to the new Bull Ring in Birmingham. Whilst it is my home city I was not pleased to be back as I frankly don't like the place and moved away years ago vowing I would never return.All day long there was this smell that sent me spinning but I didn't want to ask what it was at risk of creating a bit of an uncomfortable situation.

    Fast forward to today, it's Christmas Eve and I've just been shopping for some last minute gifts. Saw 212 in a box with a free watch for a bargain so I thought, what the hell? Got it home, opened it up and took the lid off.

    There it was, that smell!

    It's taken me almost 5 years to discover what it is and I am smitten! I think it's just fantastic. I've never been a fan of sweet scents and I think 212 is perhaps the arch-nemesis to Le Male by Gaultier. I can't stand stand Le Male, I often smell it wafting past me, massively over applied. 212 however, sweet though it is, is the right kind of sweetness to this nose. I think it's heaven and whilst I doubt it smells anything like New York, what I do know is that this is a gift I don't want to give away!

    I shall be buying myself some in the New Year having finally discovered what 'that' smell was all those years ago that left me in a semi-hypnotic trance.

    24 December, 2008

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    Monsieur de Givenchy by Givenchy

    Have I finally found my signature? I approached Monsieur with a degree of caution based on my experiences of Givenchy Gentleman which whilst having the potential to be stunning is to my mind an affront to polite society in its current formulation. Such caution was not necessary.

    I have a slightly strange habit with new fragrances that arrive mail order. After unwrapping the outer packaging I smell the cellophane wrapping and then after taking that off, the box itself. Then I go for the inside of the cap and the hole on the spritzer just to see if there's the slightest suggestion of what's inside. I think it has something to do with anticipation being half the fun! I got a slight hint from the spray hole of what was inside the Monsieur bottle and excitedly started pushing away on the top of the bottle.

    Well, what can I say? If Gentleman was designed with the Englishman in mind and Monsieur with the Frenchman in mind, I have to say (as an Englishman) I'm insulted. Monsieur far outclasses the stinky and wafting Givenchy Gentleman and is eminently more wearable. Its lemony but subdued and makes me think of a toned down version of the original Armani Pour Homme (in fact I'm surprised nobody has yet made the comparison). I'd say its closer to Armani than Eau Savage as others have suggested. There is a slightly dry quality to this fragrance that is also impressive. The dry down I can't particularly comment on as it doesn't seem to last that long on my skin which is a great shame. All I can note is that the initial Lemon in the face subdues rather a lot and leaves a delicate air of pure class behind. I'm smitten. Sod the CK's,Ralph Laurens and the YSL's. This is where its at, this is what fragrance is all about. In answer to my question posed at the beginning: Yes, I think I may well have done. Rule Britannia :-)

    05 August, 2008

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    Gillette Cool Wave by Gillette Series

    I'm genuinely surprised at the few reviews this one has received. Cool Wave is cool, icy, fresh, sporty and lots of other exiciting words :-) Here in the UK its about £5 for a 50ml bottle ($10 at the current exchange rate) and as such, its a total bargain. It has that well groomed smell but without the cloud of pretense that more expensive smells have. I've been through Givenchy, Guerlain, Chanel, Creed, L' Artisan Parfumeur and whilst I wouldn't even suggest that this beats them, it is at least as good as in terms of wearability. What you have here is a wearable everyday scent that leaves you fresh from the shower and smelling zingy and clean for the rest of the day. It doesn't have that cheap smell that can so often ruin budget fragrances (I'm thining Old Spice, Denim, Hai Karate etc). Combined with the matching Shower Gel, Deodorant and Balm you have a complete hygiene regime for the cost of 1 bottle of designer stuff. Sadly, Cool Wave seems to be the only one of the series available in the UK. Its good enough though.....by a long shot.

    15 July, 2008

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    White Musk for Men by Body Shop

    I bought this recently having always found the Womens White Musk to be totally distinctive and intoxicating (both in a good way). This is unmistakeably White Musk but done with a difference that makes it wearable for a man. I can't say that I find it to be totally different from the Womens version but frankly, I don't care. One thing I have noticed with this is its longevity is far greater than any Body Shop mens fragrance I have bought previously. I could smell this the next morning and it wasn't the worst smell to wake up too (hell, it beats the smell of Cat Food first thing in the morning). What I would say about this Mens interpretation is that it's actually to my nose a borderline scent. I feel it could just as easily be a Unisex scent as it has those original qualities but does not stray to far into the heavy masculine notes. What can I say to convince you other than give this one a try!

    12 July, 2008

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    Arber by Body Shop

    I find this to be an almost carbon copy of Santal by Floris. Perhaps without the Black Pepper notes making an appearance but it's almost identical. Mileage on this was always bad for me never lasting more than an hour! On the basis of the mileage, I have to mark this with a Neutral rating.

    12 July, 2008

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    Jovan Musk for Men by Jovan

    I bought this in lieu of Avon Musk for Men which has now been discontinued. The two fragrances are somewhat similar though on initial application of Jovan, Government officials should create a no go zone round the wearer. After a good half hour it does calm down and that Musk note so similar to the Avon version is definately there though a little heavier and stronger. We only seem to get the Aftershave & Deodorant version here in the UK, cant find EDT Spray anywhere so I generally only use this in its literal sense i.e after shaving. It's not drastically modern and does have the potential to offend but such is the way of many great fragrances. Yes its cheaply priced but I like it. It is a Musk and as such calms down to a nice clean, sweet smell. Give it a go!

    12 July, 2008

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    Avon Musk for Men by Avon

    Well, it's back on sale in the UK as of 26th June 2010 and for the first time ever it's available in aftershave splash and aftershave spray versions. All good!!

    I can't help but think there's been a wee bit of an adjustment/minor reformulation here. It's as a I remember it but the leather seems more prominent to me. Perhaps it's just the same as it ever was but not having smelled it in such a long time my nose is playing tricks.

    Avon list the notes as Leather, Musk, Neroli, Bergamot. Nice and simple.

    As noted in a previous review of mine, this fragrance has some sentimental value for me though I do like it in itself. I was disappointed when they discontinued it and equally delighted recently when I saw it was available again. Thank you Avon.

    Do not be fooled by the low price! This is one of those diamonds that manages to dodge the spotlight. It is clean, sweet, refined and I think pretty suave. I don't often find myself writing such things about a fragrance at this price but credit where credit is due, Avon got it all so right with this one. I think anybody could get away with this and yet it would give a different account of itself on each person.

    It does require discretion in use. Too much and you will ruin it but just a little bit and I promise you, people will ask. I can't make out the Neroli or the Bergamot too well but the interplay of the Leather and the Musk are just so good, so well executed. For sure, it's a little bit old school but it is good. There's a little harshness when it goes on but it very quickly settles down (matter of minutes) and starts to let it's mellow charms develop.

    Let me do some word association; Warm, Inviting, Intriguing, Interesting, Refined, Sophisticated, Reassuring, Comforting, Beguiling, Provocative.

    I strongly believe you could re-bottle and re-badge this with a bigger name, sell it at 7 or 8 times the price and nobody would question it's quality. I've tried Jovan and even Kiehl's in the absence of this baby. Now it's back and I for one couldn't be happier.

    Again, to the peeps at Avon. Thank you. You have made me one happy customer :-)

    12 July, 2008 (Last Edited: 26 June, 2010)

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    Vétiver by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    This was my introduction to Vetiver and I would have to say that it was a baptism of fire for me.

    I wish I could agree with the previous reviews here but I found this fragrance to be dark, heavy, clying, acrid and generally unpleasent.

    In fact it was a blind buy for me and perhaps the only blind buy to date I've ever truly regretted. I do however acknowledge that it didn't work for me due to it not being my taste and perhaps not great on my skin type. I would suggest that you get a sample before purchase as this is Vetiver in a very raw form.

    I'll give it a neutral as it's hardly the worse thing I've ever smelt, I save that honour for Insense by Givenchy.

    31st May, 2008

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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    The second Guerlain fragrance in my collection, the frist being Habit Rouge.

    I bought this as a gift set which came with a 100ml Shower Gel, 125ml EDT and a rather nice Wash Bag. I bought it blind on the basis of the reviews here and I have to say, thanks everyone!

    My first Vetiver fragrance was by L'Artisan Parfumeur. As such it turned me off big time. I found it heavy, bitter and cloying. The Guerlain take however is nothing short of delightful.

    Yes, it is soapy and clean and I like that. Now, without wanting to risk being slated I have to say I am reminded of YSL Kouros Cologne Sport. That particular fragrance has been well and truly panned in the reviews on this site. The Guerlain is similar to my nose but with all the Heritage (apologies for the pun) that Guerlain represents.

    It's interesting to me how a single note can be interpreted in so many different ways. This fragrance couldn't be further from the L'Artisan Vetiver in that, for me at least, its wearable and enjoyable!

    I find Habit Rouge to be perfectly delightful but without the wow factor of so many current fragrances. When I spray it on it makes me feel comfortable for some reason. It is not something however I feel able to wear everyday. Vetiver is that everyday fragrance that I'm looking for. Its clean, slightly sporty tones keep my arm going to my nose to smell more. Its something I can wear without fear of offending but without making too bold a statement. Yes, understated but self assured this is.

    What a joy for me and solid evidence of the whole purpose and value of the Basenotes Review forum.

    31st May, 2008

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    Kouros Cologne Sport by Yves Saint Laurent

    No similarity to the original and a pretty bad effort in its own right. Neither remarkable or wearable.

    04 December, 2007

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