Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
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    Tweed by Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics

    A bright, very powdery, somewhat sweet fougere. Feminine in design.
    Cheerful, not profound. Quietly satisfying if you like this style (rather grandmotherly).
    Nothing to offend here.

    25th February, 2015

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    Black Absinthe by Crabtree & Evelyn

    I thought there might be a chance that this was good, given its green notes. It isn't dreadful, but I don't care for it. While it definitely has liquorice-like notes, they are rather synthetic and brash. The scent is fairly sweet, and the tonka gives a vanilla dry-down. Further, the longevity is very poor.
    Should be drier, greener, more herbal.

    21st February, 2015

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    Émeraude by Coty

    I have a mini of vintage juice, probably from the 1960's.
    The liquid is aged, a golden colour. I suspect that the top notes are largely absent now.
    Deep florals, especially jasmine and ylang-ylang.
    The base persists. Certainly vanilla and opoponax, along with sandalwood and amber. A dark, earthy quality here.
    Rich and powerful. This is a scent of a bygone era.

    Notes
    Top - orange, bergamot, lemon
    Mid - jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, rosewood
    Base - amber, patchouli, sandalwood, opoponax, benzoin, vanilla.

    21st February, 2015

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    Meerschaum by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

    A superb, dark green opening note: spicy, leafy, attractive. Melds well with the developing rich pipe tobacco chord including coumarin - mint - hay - grass. This is a beautiful combo. I'm normally not a big fan of tobacco scents but this is a winner. The amber gets a bit sweet in the dry-down, but is never problematic. Well done! Quite masculine in style.

    05th February, 2015

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    Vétiver (new) by Carven

    This is a very good reboot of the original. Here we have good citrus notes, followed by a solid rendition of vetiver which is grassy with an iodine note (as some vetivers have). Wears very well, quite satisfying. Looses the mossy goodness of the original but that is to be expected. If you want a very credible version of vetiver, this will fit the bill.

    02nd February, 2015

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    Bel Ami Vetiver by Hermès

    It is a pleasant scent, but I fail to see exactly what the point is. I guess it is a flanker version of Bel Ami. And I find Bel Ami to be so similar to Equipage that I ponder its point.

    So this starts as an attractive, slightly greener/grassier version of Bel Ami. It retains the gentle spice aspect of its predecessor, along with a touch of leather. This continues for a while.
    Phase two is an acceptable citrus-grassy vetiver, with the leather-spice lurking in the distant background.
    Nothing wrong with this scent. But I don't find anything significantly impressive in it to elicit more than a neutral rating from me.

    26th January, 2015

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    El Capitan by Hove Parfumeur

    It is an ok scent, old-school, more than a little sweet and vanilla-oriented.
    Bit of citrus, hint of woods, some robust spices (pepper and others). Settles into a substantial spice-fougere mode. When the vanilla subsides it is a pleasant woody scent with considerable longevity.

    24th January, 2015

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    Louis Quatorze by Hove Parfumeur

    The perfumer describes the scent as "rich, heavy and dry." That matches my take.
    I'm reviewing the oil-based version, which is smooth and rich. A small amount conveys copious scent. Features well-blended spices and a hint of wood. A bit sweet in a balsamic way, but basically dry enough for a guy. The dry-down is definitely old-school: a bit animalic and balsamic. I wonder if there is real ambergris here, or at least some sort of ambergris. I get an intermittent faint whiff of the earthy-fishy-skanky but appealing notes of ambergris.

    21st January, 2015 (Last Edited: 27th January, 2015)

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    Green Oakmoss by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

    Ouch! This was a learning experience for me. What did I learn?
    1. When I hear oakmoss, I usually equate it with "fougere". But of course a chypre can also contain oakmoss. And I like both styles per se. But they are different.
    2. Tuberose is a deal-breaker for me. It is very prominent here, and I don't care for it.

    Starts a bit green, quite minty, and fairly spicy (clove). This phase smells like an organic toothpaste.
    Then the tuberose kicks in. It is often described as heavy and honey-like, and I do get a fair amount of somewhat dense sweetness here. Also, I find tuberose to be fleshy, metallic, a bit minty, and at times morphing into a toasted sesame seeds/smoky note.
    The scent is a bit soft, a bit sweet, a bit spicy. Not particularly green, not crisp, not really oak-mossy. Where are the woods? Where is the vetiver? Indeed, where is the OAKMOSS... a somewhat surprising omission given the name.
    A somewhat sweet musky drydown.
    Seriously engaged long tuberose note in the dry down, unfortunately.
    Well, if you love tuberose then you'll love this! However, I don't.

    18th January, 2015 (Last Edited: 19th January, 2015)

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    Bel Ami by Hermès

    Tried the current version. Very nice. In style it reminds me a lot of Equipage. The spice takes a lead here. In addition to cardamon, I also suggest pepper and perhaps nutmeg. Not sweet, despite the amber and vanilla. In fact, the vanilla is so muted here that I can completely endorse the scent. Leather here is not a problem. Very nice. My only caveat is that I find it so similar to Equipage that I can't see having both. But if you want a gentle but classy spice scent, this is a good one.

    18th January, 2015

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    Olibanum Citrus by Maroma

    This smells almost identical to Terre d'Hermes. Lovely lemon- citrus top notes, quickly joined by a mineral note. I am reviewing the fragrance oil version, and it is a little smoother and less crisp than Terre d'Hermes.

    16th January, 2015

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    Viride by Orto Parisi

    Grass, herbs, woods

    I like this scent. It is VERY woody from the get-go. It has some striking but brief cool-herbal notes -- perhaps basil and artemisia. It develops into a smouldering woody brew with a pronounced balsamic spine. The balsam makes it a tiny bit sweet but it it not problematic. At times the balsam even seems a bit like cocoa powder. Cedar is the prominent wood, along with a bit of some kind of incense. Great longevity, wears well and is enjoyable for wood fans.

    16th January, 2015

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    Vetiver by Santa Maria Novella

    This may be one of the purest expressions of vetiver that ever has been crafted. Wonderfully full, earthy, grassy, minty, deep but not cloying. Immediately identifiable as vetiver... indeed it is for vetiver aficionados only. Monolithic but stunningly beautiful.

    11th January, 2015

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    Bayolea by Penhaligon's

    Starts off in a pleasing way. Good citrus and green notes are very refreshing. I do get a bit of pepper. Then gets very dull and soapy. The amber is not sweet but it is rather dense. Nothing remarkable here.

    10th January, 2015

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    V for Men by Clive Christian

    A basically attractive spice - wood - incense scent. Incredible longevity, 24+ hours. Not particularly original but it smells rich and dry. Price is high, so that too is a factor in the rating.

    10th January, 2015

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    Spanish Cedar by Czech & Speake

    I was unimpressed. My shop spritz revealed simoly an undistinguished woody fragrance. Di not get galbanum. The woods seemed generic to me.

    10th January, 2015

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

    I don't know whether my little sample is vintage or reformulated. Regardless, it has a very dated vibe which I don't care for.
    It starts with a warm, fuzzy tone -- very much a spice and oak moss scent rather than a classic EdC. Where is the citrus? Where the cedar and vetiver? All I get is spice and moss. As the scent develops, it takes on a quite sweet character and a rather fusty, old-fashioned tone.
    I appreciate many old-school scents... but I can't warm up to this one.

    22nd December, 2014

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    Chakra VII Bliss by Aveda

    The BN notes are incorrect.
    Here are the right ones: olibanum, angelica, elemi.

    I am neutral on this. I appreciate the green, resinous incense character of this, and it is admirably dry and translucent. Frankincense gives it a coniferous vibe and elemi a bit of wood. However, for me the angelica dominates and that is a note I'm not enamoured with. Here, it has an aromatic dusky quality like cooked celery leaves.

    22nd December, 2014

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    Silent Grove by D.S. & Durga

    Slight thumbs up for this. Pleasant, somewhat green, a bit sweet but not oppressive. The tea note and the linden notes are well done. As the scent develops and the wood becomes a bit more prominent, I also get a faint smoky note. A guy could wear this, easily.

    21st December, 2014

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    Siberian Snow by D.S. & Durga

    Well, it is marketed as a feminine scent and it professes to have powdery notes. Not snow powder, rather an intensely sweet perfume powder. That sweet note dominates through much of the early going. Eventually it burns off and I can detect some of the herbal and woody notes. In my opinion, nothing particularly note-worthy here.

    21st December, 2014

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    Craft by Andrea Maack

    To my nose, very similar to Heeley Cardinal or Odin NY 07. The aldehydes make this fizzier than those others, and for a while it also is spicier and woodier. The dry-down is identical as far as I can see -- a woody, warm incense scent.

    19th December, 2014

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    Forest Walk by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Many of the reviews are spot-on. I will agree with several of their points, and reiterate some.
    I admire this scent and appreciate it -- but it does not attract me. I find its use of absolutes to be admirable, and the lovely array of forest notes assembled is likewise commendable.
    However, the overall scent is perhaps overly complex and a bit of a jumble. I wished for more clarity and focus. I also found the recurring sweetness and richness of the scent a bit problematic (to my taste).
    Starts with a very green, minty, almost metallic chord. Very forest-floor. Powerful. Oakmoss and violet are certainly notable. Very woody and coniferous, also a bit medicinal (which I like). Yes, a note reminiscent of Vicks Vaporub is here. I wonder if there is a bit of eucalyptus lurking in the background.
    The dry-down has something like tobacco. Also boozy-rich characteristics emerge, and something like cherry cough syrup.
    Those who like O'Driu, Slumberhouse or Juniper Ridge should check this out.

    19th December, 2014

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    Boss The Collection: Cotton Verbena by Hugo Boss

    Quite an intriguing scent. I find it to be in two phases.
    1. Excellent verbena. Typical lemon - fresh basil - baked bread. A very refreshing citrus scent at this point. Natural-smelling and enjoyable.
    2. A quick morph into a rather substantial spicy-moss scent. Earthy vetiver. Smoky notes and a hint of something like tobacco leaf. As this develops, the chord seems like a kinder, gentler "dirty ashtray" note which I also find to a heightened extent in Tom Ford Tuscan Cypress. I like that note better here, it is under control.

    18th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 31st December, 2014)

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    Eau de Cade by L'Occitane

    A reasonably good scent. It has the distinctive cade aura -- slightly sweet, smoky, a bit coniferous. Wood floating around in the background. I find this to be a somewhat dense scent, and powerful. It has attractive moments but doesn't quite suit me. Nothing wrong with it, I just am so-so on cade as a note.

    18th December, 2014

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    Boss The Collection: Silk Jasmine by Hugo Boss

    Hey, I hadn't expected to appreciate this at all. Looking at the notes, I thought it would be too sweet and foody.
    In style, this is a powerful old-school fougere. A bit feminine in presentation, but some guys might appreciate it. A ferny spice (despite no oak moss being listed).
    I find it extremely powerful. Delicate??? Not to me.
    Everything is well blended. Very sweet and rich -- so if this style appeals to you, go for it.

    17th December, 2014

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    Hadrien Absolu by Annick Goutal

    This is now marketed as "Eau D'Hadrien Eau de Parfum".
    I know and love the original. To me, it truly conjures up an image of a Tuscan countryside, or a garrigue-style chord of citrus and scrubby herbs and bracing conifers. I was looking forward to a more intense or developed version of that.
    What I found was a very pleasant lemon scent. The lemon notes are superb: brighter, zestier, more energetic than in the original. Also commendable is the length of time these notes sustain. Gradually they develop a slightly soapy aspect which is OK, and the scent becomes very smooth.
    But where is the utterly distinctive cypress note of the original? That note makes the original quite unique, there is nothing else like it on the market. It is a haunting note, woody, dusky and yet a bit like celery leaf (in a good way). I don't get that here.
    To smooth out the elements is not, in my opinion, a compelling development.
    Nothing wrong with this scent, but not an improvement over the original, in my opinion.

    16th December, 2014

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    Almost Transparent Blue by A Lab on Fire

    Don't care for this. Aquatic, sweet, young. Very little citrus that I can detect. Soapy-fresh. Some would find this pleasant for a while, for me it quickly becomes irritating. Where is the wood? Settles into a sweet musk, at which point (about 10 minutes in) I scrub it off.

    15th December, 2014

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    Terre d'Hermès Parfum by Hermès

    As others have noted, this is a smoother, richer, deeper version of TdH.
    I really get a pink grapefruit note in the opening. The mineral note is much slower to emerge and is less crisp for a long time. The dry-down is very similar, except that the mineral note is a bit more sea-side (salty breeze) than earthy. A good scent, but I like the original better -- brighter, crisper, more refreshing. When I want TdH those are the things I seek.

    15th December, 2014

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    Armani Eau d'Arômes by Giorgio Armani

    This is a nice, summery scent. Light, translucent, dry, smooth, classy.
    Doesn't have a big profile or make an original statement but it is much better than many of the current offerings.
    Opens with tangy bergamot and crisp citrus notes. Followed by peppery spice notes. The mid and base notes are well blended and satisfying. The dry-down is a bit spicy, soapy, with hints of vetiver and an earthy-leather note.

    13th December, 2014

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    Pine Gems Essence by Silvestre

    Point of reference -- the original 1955 Pino Silvestre. Here's the blurb for the original.
    "Pino Silvestre Original was presented in 1955, as a fougère composition. This perfume still seduces with its refreshing, clear notes and its authentic bottle design. It was designed by Lino Vidal, who brought a handful of freshness and sweetness of bergamot, lavender, basil, shiny lemon and juniper berries in the top notes. The heart carries an explosion of spicy notes of carnation, nutmeg, geranium, thyme and fir tree. The base contains accords of amber, cedar, musk, Tonka beans and moss."

    Pine Gems Essence promises to take the original formula and ramp it up in terms of quality. Absolutes are used, in particular bergamot and lavender.
    So what do we have here? A lovely, higher quality version of the good old basic.
    The increase in quality is real, not just puffery. The scent is smoother, perhaps a bit less harshly herbal. A bit more coniferous in the early stages. Richer, more balsamic, at times a bit sweeter but not problematic. The dry-down is excellent. Hitherto unseen elements emerge, like a smoky and woody note. Wears very well.
    Fans of the basic should check this out. Hard to find in North America, sadly.

    10th December, 2014

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