Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Royal Scottish Lavender by Creed

    It starts with a very good lavender note: airy, herbal, suggesting both flowers and leaves. The scent quickly becomes very much in the Creed style, namely round and smooth, even somewhat luxurious. The vanilla is restrained, thankfully. There are hints of spices (cloves, nutmeg) to give a masculine vibe. The scent is subtle and sits close to the skin.
    I like a lavender scent to be more lively and sharp than this -- however, many will like it and it is very well done.

    08 August, 2011

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    Number Six by Caswell-Massey

    This is a nice scent, I like it.
    It starts with very notes of orange zest and blossom, and lemon zest. These are very pleasant and lively. They are quickly joined by aromatic and herbal notes: slightly soapy anise, herbal-minty rosemary, warmly spicy clove and nutmeg. The scent is old-school and masculine in style, but it is restrained and classy (not a powerhouse). There is an interesting note which I can't quite identify. It is creamy, toasted-nutty, slightly sweet -- perhaps it is almond blossom. The dry-down is genteel and wears well.

    08 August, 2011

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    Vétiver by Carven

    I was fortunate to get the original Carven Vetiver.
    Briefly, it has been through several versions.
    * 1957 - pictured above. A rectangular bottle with rounded edges and a green plastic cap. Green box.
    * 1990's reissues. Early bottles had a wooden cap, later ones had a silver metal cap. Revamped green box with a white chevron on it. Allegedly weaker in style.
    * 2006 reformulation. White box, square bottle. Different list of notes
    * 2009 alternate version? Called "Le Vetiver".

    By all accounts the original is the best, and without trying the later versions I find it to be very good. The opening is full of lemony goodness. It quickly takes on an earthy, dry and slightly spice character that is old-school and full of charm. Wood notes work well with the vetiver. The vetiver is very green in style: it is invigorating and at times has a soapy-fresh, coniferous aspect. The dry-down develops lovely creamy sandalwood and green moss notes. The scent is never sweet or heavy, and it wears very well. I'd say that if you are a vetiver fan and can find the *original* it is worth checking out.

    05 August, 2011

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    Eau Duelle by Diptyque

    Notes according to the Diptyque site: cold spices, black frankincense, vanilla.
    I give this a "neutral" and that is a huge concession -- since I can't stand vanilla. Here, I say that this is a very woody vanilla, and for me the wood almost redeems the scent. The vanilla is somewhat on the dry side (as dry as vanilla can ever be, which is not entirely so). At times a coniferous note (the juniper) brightens the scent slightly, perhaps also the frankincense adds another green note. I will grudgingly concede that this is a sophisticated oriental -- it is not ponderous, thick, or treacly-sweet. It has verve and a translucent aspect. At times in the dry-down, I think I get the ghostly echo of smokey incense. Subtract the vanilla and I'd be interested. Keep the vanilla and I say -- vanilla fans will enjoy this.

    03 August, 2011

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    Aventus by Creed

    This isn't a bad scent. However, I give it a thumbs down for three reasons: poor value, generic style, and inferior dry-down.
    For a scent to be this expensive, I feel it should be distinctive, enthralling, and represent a high degree of the perfume art. This has none of those qualities. So the selling price accentuates the next two issues.
    The style is competent. I find it to be a somewhat bland but attractive smooth, evening-out scent. Nothing grabs my attention but nothing shrieks at me.
    However, the long-term dry-down presents a bright, somewhat synthetic note which suggests powdered laundry detergent. It is punchy and fresh, but not at all what expect from a noble sort of scent. More in the drugstore line, to be frank.
    The scent starts with good citrus and fruit notes. These are crisp, vibrant, and natural. They do not suggest fruit loops or hard candy. These deepen with dry florals and the merest hint of wood. Then follows an early light musk-moss phase -- the vanilla is restrained here. So far, the scent has my approval if not my admiration. Its restraint gives it a gentlemanly air, which works well with the clubby aspects. But overall, the scent lacks any compelling or distinctive features. It seems like many others of its kind. And then the bright detergent note emerges and, in my opinion, ruins any cred it had established. Really, an uninspired offering from Creed -- in my opinion.

    03 August, 2011

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    L'Ombre dans L'Eau by Diptyque

    I like this scent. It has a lovely opening in the style of Eau de Lierre -- namely, crunchy green leaves. I find that very appealing. Then, a delicate green rose note appears. It is translucent, not sweet, almost sappy in style. Very vital and appealing. The rose note deepens but never becomes heavy, and it has good longevity. Finally, the dry-down is slightly dusky and salty and wears very well. A completely unisex scent, in my opinion.

    01st August, 2011

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    Dune pour Homme by Christian Dior

    The hedione on my skin gives this a "fresh" (= unpleasantly synthetic and ozonic) quality which I don't appreciate. That note totally dominates, and I barely (if at all) get any fig leaf or wood notes. The hedione also gives a vaguely sweet aspect which I don't like. Where are the herbs or woods? This is not at all natural smelling and thus I can't find a single good thing to say about it.

    27 July, 2011

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    Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    This is an interesting old-school fougere, to be sure. It is a bit more brown and "dirty" than I care for, but I think it is a good scent and it has many fans. Mossy, a bit spicy and leathery. For a while the geranium-rose note was very pleasant, but it was brief. I like a greener fougere, but this is OK and worth checking out.

    27 July, 2011

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    Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

    Notes: bergamot, tangerine, grapefruit, key lime, verbena, peppermint, basil, patchouli, oakmoss, with hints of jasmine and vetiver.
    I'm amazed at how much I dislike this scent! It has a very, very sour and unpleasant dry-down on my skin. I attribute that to the particular combination of patchouli and oakmoss. It is awful.
    The scent starts in a promising way, with good citrus notes. The herbs are lamentably brief. Then a brackish brown twang settles in and I just can't stand it.

    27 July, 2011

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    Bandit by Robert Piguet

    This is interesting in an old-school, classy aromatic way. The floral notes are attractive, rich and heady. There are sophisticated spices and hints of leather to add intriguing notes. The scent reminds me of Trussardi (White), with its cream florals, spices and leathers. Probably Trussardi copied this original. The scent is not too sweet, a man certainly could wear it. The spices are complex, mysterious and dark. Yet there is also a cool, clear aspect which I associate with clove and which gives a masculine, barbershop aspect. Carnation adds another dimension to the clove. I'll reiterate: this is not a sweet scent. The dry-down is dry, spicy, slightly dirty... and quite intriguing. The musk and patchouli are (thankfully) restrained.

    26 July, 2011

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    The One Gentleman by Dolce & Gabbana

    Don't get any lavender or fennel. This meteor hits the surface with a vanilla impact. So sweet it is candied. So simple it is boring. Sweetly spicy, gives me a headache. A very uninspired oriental.

    22 July, 2011

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    Givenchy Play Intense by Givenchy

    Yeah, a bit more "intense" than the regular Play. Is it any better? No.
    This is a bit more woody, and the wood (at times) gives a slightly vanilla note, like old oak casks for wine. A fuller, rounder version of Play. No less sweet, and I like it less due to the quasi vanilla aspect.
    Kind of reminds me of warm apple pie on a wooden plank.

    20th July, 2011

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    Givenchy Play by Givenchy

    Starts as aromatic, a bit sweet and somewhat synthetic/budget smelling.
    Some of the sweetness burns off quickly and we have a functional, mildly spicy-aromatic scent. Has a vague, sort of generic appeal but nothing particularly noteworthy here. A somewhat odd, (or out of context) freshly-baked bread note.
    Nothing wretched here so I give it a neutral.

    20th July, 2011

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    Night Scented Stock by Penhaligon's

    A lovely floral feminine scent. Some good spicy notes in the beginning. Very sweet and pretty, a blend of many floral notes. Quite weighty in character but natural smelling. Not cloying. The dry-down is interesting, some woody and earthy notes there. The vanilla and patchouli are restrained, not foreground. Not my style but I can appreciate it.

    19 July, 2011

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    Chloé (new) by Chloé

    This is a very pretty and young-oriented floral. It has various soft flower notes, no one stands out for me. It is sweet but not obnoxious or heavy.

    18 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 21st August, 2011)

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    Bosque by Humiecki & Graef

    This is a real nature scent. It starts with good citrus notes. These are followed by a lovely grass/meadow which is distinctive and persistent. The chord has a kind of minty aspect, and also a dusky tone which may be from the saffron. The buffalo grass melds into grassy vetiver. Hay - mint - grass, with a toasted nut edge. At times there are floral notes but these are not overdone. Sometimes there is a bit of a powdery note, but it is not sweet or heavy -- in fact the mint sort of note freshens it. I appreciate this scent for being intriguing and different from so many scents.

    18 July, 2011

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    Chloé Eau de Parfum Intense by Chloé

    In comparison with the new EdT version of Chloe, this is not as sweet or floral. I'd say therefore that it is not "intense", actually it is more sheer and low-key than the EdT. There are some wood tones, and the rose note has a modest profile. There is also a hint of peppery spice. I get a metallic/ peach-skin note at the end, perhaps a synthetic note.

    18 July, 2011

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    Love by By Kilian

    Soooooooo sweet and cutsey. Like a caramel candy left in the sun, all oozy and smooshy. I get a headache smelling it and even thinking about it. Wretched stuff.

    18 July, 2011

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    Liaisons Dangereuses by By Kilian

    Quite sweet but has a bright quality which is attractive. Airy, a bit fruity like the gritty skin of pears. Also get the peaches which some have mentioned, in particular the fuzzy skin of peaches. Fruit skin seems to be the key here. Metallic and a bit nutty at times (almonds). Not at all my style. Not floral as far as I can tell. Seems too sunny and innocent to be a truly dangerous liaison.

    18 July, 2011

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    Patchouli Intense / Patchouli Homme by Nicolaï

    I like this scent, and that surprised me because usually I am not a fan of patchouli. Some have said that this is a scent for non-fans of patchouli, I guess that is true for me.
    Like others, I find this to be an old-school scent, and I find it very charming and classy. The strong opening of lavender is attractive. Spicy green herbal notes take centre stage, and for me they remain at the centre.
    In fact, I think the strength of this scent is the dominant laurel or bay leaf note. Some have commented on the barbershop aspect, and the bay rhum chord certainly is well represented.
    The scent is powerful but not oppressive; hints at sweetness and richness but actually is very dry. The patchouli is very restrained and elegant. The vanilla is so much in the background that I can approve of it.
    Those who like CdG Laurel or Profumum's Victrix should check this out for the laurel note. Another great green dusky/earthy scent -- it is quite compelling.

    16 July, 2011

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    Gardenia by Penhaligon's

    This is a very pretty, feminine floral. The opening is clean and clear, with soft blossoms balanced by a somewhat brisk, green-soapy quality. Gradually the notes deepen and become even softer and rounder -- that crisp edge goes away. The scent still is not too sweet. There are hints of spice. The base develops more power under the intensifying influence of benzoin. There is light musk, but also a kind of aquatic-beachy note.
    There are many flowers here, blended very well. It is difficult for me, a non-specialist in floral notes, to pick them out. The overall effect is lovely, Not at all my style but I can appreciate it.

    13 July, 2011

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    John Varvatos 10th Anniversary Fragrance by John Varvatos

    This is a not a bad scent, but I feel it suffers from being too sweet. There is a little bit of citrus at the opening, and it quickly becomes spicy and fairly sweet. The scent smells nice, with hints of wood and leather. It is very smooth in style. The dry-down gets sweeter and sweeter, and vanilla-like notes emerge. Quickly I lose interest.
    In my opinion, Tommy Bahama for Men is a far more satisfying spicy-wood warm style of scent. It is drier and doesn't get tiresome.

    12 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 17 August, 2011)

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    Cuir / Cuir de Russie by Piver

    Well, I don't get a birch note and I don't get a leather note.
    What I do get is a very -- very -- sweet, powdery fragrance. Aromatic at first, develops a tinny/metallic twang.
    Certainly does not ring my chimes.
    This is the vintage version: Cuir de Russie.

    12 July, 2011

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    Lavender (new) by Crabtree & Evelyn

    Lavender + violet, tonka bean, musk

    Do not be misinformed by sales associates -- this is not simply a repackaging of the old reliable Lavender Water (1970); rather, it is a reformulation. The old LW was simple but delightful. It accurately conveyed a very realistic herbal lavender.
    This is something different, and in my opinion it is far less interesting. The opening notes suggest that the same lavender oils continue to be used. Very quickly though, the scent becomes much softer and rounder than the previous version. The lavender becomes sidelined by hints of violet flowers and a light musk. What results is a pleasant, subtle, "second-skin" type of fragrance. It is not heavily sweet nor excessively floral.
    Some may like this, but I mourn the loss of the previous version, which had a natural vitality and a bracing austerity. This does not.

    11th July, 2011

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    Zegna Colonia by Ermenegildo Zegna

    I'm very disappointed in this scent. This nowhere near Essenza di Zegna, which is an excellent scent.
    Colonia has a brief floral-spice opening. Very quickly, it settles into a very synthetic-smelling, stale and metallic musk scent. Where is the neroli? Where is the green galbanum? Nowhere to be found. I find it quite unattractive. It is certainly not a classic cologne in style. Bah.

    10th July, 2011

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    Boss Orange Man by Hugo Boss

    I don't find this repulsive or offensive. I simply don't think this is a particularly interesting scent.
    It is sweet and spicy. I can't pick out the apple, or the frankincense, nor any wood to speak of.
    It is smooth. If lightly applied I guess it is tolerable (if you like sweet scents) but it certainly has nothing particular going for it.
    Seems a bit cheap and loud in the final analysis.

    10th July, 2011

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    A Scent by Issey Miyake

    This starts as a very pretty, floral-green scent. The jasmine and hyacinth are rendered accurately, and they are framed by green herbal notes from the verbena and the galbanum. If the scent was a bit edgier (rather than soft) and a bit less floral I'd be quite interested. The dry-down is less attractive, basically a synthetic moss/musk combo which seems quite uninspired.

    09 July, 2011

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    Do Son by Diptyque

    This is a lovely scent: it is floral and very pretty. It isn't my style but I appreciate it.
    I applied a very small amount and found a powerful, attractive floral scent. It is really quite beautiful, a bouquet of heady white flowers. There is also a very pleasant chord of green - wood - earth, and this is compelling in a quiet way. The scent is sweet, but in small amounts it retains a translucent quality -- it isn't heavy or cloying.

    08 July, 2011

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    Trèfle Pur by Atelier Cologne

    There are two aspects to my assessment: the scent itself (good) and the concept/name (misleading). Hence, I have a neutral vote.
    The scent itself is lovely: it is essentially a neroli-moss scent. The orange blossom notes are very well done. They convey orange zest, tree bark, floral notes... everything a person would want. There are mere hints of light herbs and greens. The scent deepens with spice and moss notes. The dry-down is mossy, gentle, classy, and very pleasing. The scent is not particularly original or distinctive, but it is very pleasant.
    However, I feel that the scent has a misleading name. Trefle means clover or shamrock in French. So when I see a scent titled, "Pure Clover" I expect a very green scent, with crunchy-leafy notes. Penhaligon's English Fern has moss and clover, and has that aspect. Diptyque's Eau de Lierre has an ivy note rather than clover but is the best example of the style of scent I feel this name implies. Particularly since Atelier has another orange blossom scent (Grand Neroli) I wonder why the theme is repeated so evidently here.
    In summary, the scent in and of itself is good; however, the name suggest something far greener than what I find.

    07 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 14 July, 2011)

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    Clean Shower Fresh by Clean

    I knew this was lily of the valley even before I read about the notes.
    It evokes the powerful scent of those delicate little flowers very well.
    It has a straightforward focus on that flower, with a little bit of green notes and some wood.
    The scent is pretty but not excessively sweet, and quite charming. Good longevity.

    07 July, 2011

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