Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Eau Pure by Caron

    Notes: rosewood, "aquatic fruits", spices, guiac wood
    This is a fresh, slightly green, cool, ozonic-aquatic scent. Pleasant if you like that style. Suggests freshly-laundered fluffy towels. Not any depth or complexity, but then one would not expect that in this sort of scent. Not particularly distinctive, or interesting.

    12 December, 2010

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    Not anything I could wear, but I give it a whirl to understand it and appreciate a true classic.
    This is a rich, vanilla-bomb oriental. Quite languid, lovely and gracious.
    Very sweet. Plummy deep bergamot notes open. Spicy oponax gives depth. Vanilla certainly is present. Eventually it comes to dominate. The dry-down is very sweet, powdery, with a touch of leather.

    12 December, 2010

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    L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris

    I’m astonished that I can tolerate and even appreciate this scent. Looking at the notes, I approached it with trepidation. It starts with a note which, although quite sweet, is interestingly spicy. The scent is luxurious and yet has a quiet restraint at the same time. Animalic and leathery notes from the musk appear. Suddenly the sweetness retreats, and a rather salty-mossy chord is evident. Finally, the drydown is quite powdery due to the musk. This phase starts quite dry but sweetens as some vanilla appears. Not my style, but I admire it.

    09 December, 2010

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    Hermèssence Brin de Réglisse by Hermès

    Notes: lavender, licorice, orange blossom, hay, incense, vanilla, leather.
    A disappointment for two reasons: the short duration of the interesting notes, and the wimpy conclusion of the scent. The scent boasts “designer” lavender molecules, and they are very good. They are dry, aromatic, dusty, even a bit dusky – exactly what I like in lavender. The licorice is creamy and yet dark, attractive without any particular sweetness. POOF! These notes vanish abruptly. One is left with a toasty-nutty hay smell which morphs into a soft, slightly sweet leather scent. I guess leather is the signature Hermes element but there’s really nothing else here. And that little scent lingers for a while. With a hint of vanilla it is almost gourmand. I’ll give it a neutral rating for the interesting opening.

    08 December, 2010

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    Bang by Marc Jacobs

    This opens with a good pepper-resin note. It is dry. At times light, translucent and sheer, at other time austere yet powerful. It settles into a good woody-incense chord, with some grassy vetiver notes. A bit synthetic at first, but settles into a very acceptable scent. Well done for a mainstream fragrance.

    07 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 16 April, 2014)

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    Eaudemoiselle by Givenchy

    Very sweet, floral-musk scent. Gives a young and pretty vibe.

    07 December, 2010

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    Escale à Pondichéry by Christian Dior

    Starts with a lovely and quite accurate citrus and cold tea note. At this point, the scent is very crisp, refreshing and engaging. It develops lovely gentle jasmine notes with the merest hint of creamy sandalwood. The jasmine gets a bit fleshy-earthy in the dry-down

    07 December, 2010

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    Labdanum by L'Occitane

    Very, very sweet, with some spices and lots of vanilla and amber. Quite heavy and dense. Not my style.

    07 December, 2010

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    Trèvert by Aftelier

    Pine absolute, Flouve (sweet grass) absolute, clary sage
    Green, grassy and quite lovely in its opening. The flouve (sweet-grass) is like hay. It is quite aromatic, almost minty at times. This element contributes a big coumarin note, and there is something suggestive of nice pipe tobacco as a result. There are hints of dusky clary sage. My one complaint is that the pine is very, very faint. Overall, this is a sweet and hay-like scent, not as richly green as it purports to be. It also has quite short longevity, gone in an hour.
    I come to this sort of scent with very high expectations -- I feel it could have been so much more.

    07 December, 2010

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    Narciso Rodriguez for Him by Narciso Rodriguez

    Sweet, cloying. Sugary patchouli and amber. Sugar cube on tin foil – quite irritating.

    07 December, 2010

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    Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

    Dummy-gummy, this hurts my tummy. It is very vanilla-centric from the outset. A sugar cookie with a few spices. So incredibly sweet that it is toothache-inducing. I detect a bright, almost metallic note, like ginger ale in a tin cup. Also there are hints of cocoa. I get a bit of tobacco, in a humidor style. This is so sweet, I can’t say that it is very sophisticated. Much more a gourmand scent than a tobacco scent.

    07 December, 2010

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    Eau Sauvage Fraîcheur Cuir by Christian Dior

    This is done in a rich lemon/fougere style. It is dense, and slightly fruity. In fact it is very dense, intense, and fruity-plummy. Quite lemon-centric in style. Then a watery-acquatic note appears: dewy and a bit sweet. I don’t get any cedar, amber, or leather. It gets cloying and tiresome.

    07 December, 2010

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    M7 Fresh by Yves Saint Laurent

    This has a fresh, bright opening of citrus and vaguely ginger notes, the latter seems quite synthetic. Oudh is contributing the bright aspect, and it develops in intensity. The scent gets a bit sweet in the dry-down. Where’s the vetiver? Overall, I find it screechy-synthetic and tiresome.

    07 December, 2010

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    Vera Wang for Men by Vera Wang

    My goodness, this is wretched stuff! Sweet and cheap, positively toothache-inducing. Garishly spicy. Smells like a toxic car deodorizer. Utterly devoid of charm, class or any redeeming features, it is nasty, cloying, heavy and persistant. I can’t scrub it off quickly enough!

    07 December, 2010

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    Paul Smith Extreme Men by Paul Smith

    The lemon and herb opening is OK, though a bit thin and shallow. It quickly becomes bitter and unattractive. A vague and unappealing grassy note appears. In general, the scent is synthetic and cheap smelling. I have the impression of a bit of plastic left in the hot sun, perhaps even melting slightly.

    07 December, 2010

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    Beckham Signature for Him by Beckham

    It starts with a fresh, sweet, slightly fruity note. It develops into a combination of an Avon scent and one of the those rub-and-sniff strips in a magazine. Definitely cheap smelling. Then a rather nasty metallic marine chord appears, something like old tin cans on a beach.

    07 December, 2010

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    Aramis Cool Blend by Aramis

    This starts well, with brisk citrus notes. Lots of lemon and lime here, and for the most part they ring true though at times they veer into a vaguely synthetic style. Then… it is hard to describe where the scent goes next. It is a vague note, like a combination of leather and Play-Do: slightly sweet, sort of fruity-odd, certainly synthetic. Not anything I’d want to wear.

    07 December, 2010

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    Sycomore (original) by Chanel

    Dry… wonderfully dry! Resinous wood and vetiver notes are very well done. This is a bright, woody scent. At times, it reminds me a lot of Cartier’s Déclaration, though it is less lemony. Grassy, smoky and haunting vetiver notes along with peppery spice make this something to enjoy. It is not feminine at all; and it certainly conveys a brisk, assertive air that works for men.

    07 December, 2010

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    Bel Respiro by Chanel

    This starts with some lovely herbal notes (basil, thyme, perhaps anise). They are green, light and inviting. A few floral notes appear, but they are not too sweet. They suggest spring bulbs like daffodil and iris. The green notes persist and are translucent and lightand herbal. In fact, the dry-down gets more herbal, adding celery-leaf and other leafy notes. I find the scent very nice up to this point. Then it softens and gets a bit sweet and rich. It has a fleshy-leather note that doesn’t quite suit me.

    07 December, 2010

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    Encens Chembur by Byredo

    This has a resinous, incense-oriented character, and I like it. It starts with lemon-citrus notes and then settles into an airy, woody-incense scent. It is transluscent, subtle, and very classy due to the restrained treatment. At times, there is something suggesting damp, cool and moist undergrowth. There is also a nice bit of spicy ginger. The dry-down gets more substantial but is never heavy or sweet. The ginger-incense chord strikes me as similar to what I find in Miller & Bertaux’s Spiritus/Land.

    07 December, 2010

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    Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel

    The opening notes of lemon and other citrus are pretty good. They are framed by some dry peppery notes which are subdued and not very spicy. The scent is cool, not sweet or heavy. It is light and translucent. There are mild wood notes which add a bit of interest. This scent is better than I expected. It is deliberately done is a smooth, mass-appeal style. Little hints of vanilla and vetiver. The scent plays it safe in my opinion. Nothing offensive here, but I don’t find anything compelling either. The sillage is substantial, and the scent has good longevity.

    04 November, 2010

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    Gaultier² by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Powerful! Mega-sweet, Uber-sweet. In other words, sweet. The deep amber note is amazing: it is spicy, complex, earthy, toasty-nutty and compelling. I’d be intrigued except for this candied wall. This scent is like an amazing rootbeer and cream soda combination. Not my style at all, an in my opinion out of balance. However, some may like it.

    04 November, 2010

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    Fleurs de Bois by Miller Harris

    Galbanum – rose – oud. That’s the basic structure of this scent, and if you like those things you’ll enjoy it. The scent starts with the typical dusky-green notes of galbanum. There is a dry, aromatic character at this point. Florals (especially rose) appear and give a lovely aura. Very quickly oud and myrrh come on stage, and the scent becomes bright and medicinal. For the brief period as the rose transitions into the oud, the scent reminds me of Czech & Speake’s Dark Rose or No. 88. Oud dominates for the remainder of the scent’s life. I wish the green notes lasted longer: to my mind this is not really a green scent overall.

    27 October, 2010

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    Ferré for Him by Gianfranco Ferré

    Very, very sweet. Toothache-inducing sweet. Fruits and floral notes, all rather muddled together and vague. Vague woody notes. The dry-down has a cool-fresh aspect. I can’t find anything distinctive here, and there is nothing which appeals to me.

    25 October, 2010

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    Fleur du Matin by Miller Harris

    This opens with a very accurate and pleasant pink grapefruit note. Leafy-citrus notes give a lovely springtime air. There are also hints of herbal notes. Marjoram suggests hay and sweet grass. A tiny bit of basil lends an aromatic character. The scent is crisp and cheery, and quite refreshing. Honeysuckle develops a honeyed-floral note with a bit of a tangy sharpness. Now the scent is pretty but not sweet, and still in a springtime vibe. Unisex in style. Overall, the scent is quite sheer. It is a springtime splash and doesn’t last long, but it is nice while it does last. Could be reapplied many times throughout the day.

    25 October, 2010

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    Eau de Verveine by Penhaligon's

    This has three stages. First is a good citrus opening, lemony and green. Dusky green notes from clary sage and herbs augment this stage. Everything is nice and clean-soapy. The second phase has aromatic notes of clove and lavender. These are quite accurate and evocative, and are as pleasant as the notes of the first phase. Finally there is a lovely musk, which recalls some of the lemon-verbana notes of earlier. In summary, this is a very attractive scent which wears well.

    22 October, 2010

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    Life Threads: Platinum by La Prairie

    This is a rich leathery floral. It strikes me as a scent of appeal more to women than men -- it is floral, sweet, pretty and opulent. The dry-down lightens the scent up a bit, and gives a cool, expansive and interesting note. It isn't anything I would choose to wear, but I could appreciate it on the right person.

    05 October, 2010

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    Escale à Portofino by Christian Dior

    This starts with lovely citrus and orange blossom notes. As is often the case with petigrain, there is a slight creamy and woody-earthy aspect. The scent is clear, bright, and cheerful in tone. Definitely unisex, and not sweet or heavy in any way. That's about it -- a pretty good scent, no substantial development but quite pleasant to wear.

    05 October, 2010

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    Oyédo by Diptyque

    This is in two phases. The first has lovely, natural-smelling citrus notes: green citrus (like lime), orange, grapefruit. So far, so good. But then it gets a kind of odd, metallic note. Perhaps this is their rendition of thyme: cool – metallic – herbal. There is a vague sort of creamy-sweet note here too. That cool note gets bigger, and turns this into an aquatic herbal scent. I don’t like it!

    04 October, 2010

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    Marquis by Anglia Perfumery

    My comments are based on the current, Anglia version. I suspect that this is a pale rendition of a once-good scent. Gary Cooper may have said that this was the best green fragrance ever, but I don’t find it to be particularly green and it certainly is far from the best. Knowing and owning several vintage Crown scents, I characterize the house as offering substantial (at times powerful) classic style scents at what was then good value.
    This is a somewhat faint, fresh sort of scent. Very wispy green notes of mint and herbs can be detected, if you look hard for them. Mostly the scent seems shallow, generic, and somewhat irritatingly ozonic.
    A parallel might be drawn between the original Casswell-Massy Greenbrier, and the reformulated version which sacrifices greenness for ozonic freshness (to its deteriment).
    Eventually some of the somewhat cheap fresh notes burn off, and a few more herbal notes emerge. Still nothing to commend here.

    24 September, 2010

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