Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Chevignon by Chevignon

    I think this is a very interesting scent. First, real approval for the lemony opening. It is so intense, and so long-lasting! I’ve rarely encountered such a note. The citrus has a round quality: it is more like a lemon tart than simply lemon zest. This gradually deepens into light greens. Now it is what I call a sporty, golf-green type of scent. Herbal, grassy notes abound. There is also an unusual and interesting salty note. The grass develops into hay-like notes, and moss makes an appearance. Likely there is oakmoss and also vetiver at work. I see this as a yellow-green fragrance. The dryd-down lasts a long time, and is satisfying. Oddly, I don't get the spice or wood notes others have mentioned.

    09 December, 2009

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    Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

    I have revised my previous review, I now give this a neutral.
    It has a sweet, and somewhat floral opening. The scent is somewhat green in style, but it could be more green and have more pepper.
    I certainly get the peppermint, which gives a bright and cool note.
    The styrax and myrrh give a rubber-glove quality, a bit medicinal and powdery.
    The scent isn't as dense as Spezie, but it is similar.
    Just too sweet to really appeal to me.

    30th November, 2009 (Last Edited: 23 December, 2012)

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    Nemo by Cacharel

    I’ve seen more extensive fragrance notes, which include patchouli, leather and vanilla. Alas, those definitely are present.
    The fragrance starts off OK, there is a distinctive combination of warm spicy wood with a briskly cool note. Then the patchouli and vanilla monster kicks in. Sweet, cloying, brown and tangy, headache-inducing. Guess I’ll register the first thumbs down on this one.

    25 November, 2009

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    Vintage Naturals 2009 Lavender by Demeter Fragrance Library

    I should like this more. It is a very sharp, herbal lavender… almost pine-like. Yet, there is a hard-to-identify element here, something kinda stinky, analogous to parmesan cheese. I just can’t dismiss that element. The dry-down is persistant. Not a compelling lavender scent.

    23 November, 2009

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    Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

    Well, any scent which claims to have a mojito accord should do a better job on the lime note! The citrus here is very weak, not green and zesty. The scent opens with a cool and minty note. It is a bit sweet. The scent conveys a rather thick and cloudy air – not translucent. It also seems a bit “dirty”, like a dirty or dusty sugar bowl. It develops into a soft and rather bland scent. Finally, very faint wood and vetiver notes appear. Overall, it is on the sweet side, and is quite underwhelming.

    23 November, 2009

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    Coeur d'Ete by Miller Harris

    This is a lovely floral scent. It starts crisp and yet soft, and gradually develops into a rich and heady cloud. I find lilac to be the dominant floral note. And like scentsivitity, I don’t get any of the food elements. They simply deepen the florals. Thus, it is a simple and cheery, spring-like scent.

    23 November, 2009

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    Cypress Bark by Skeem

    I picked this up at a remainders store for a very modest price. This is a very solid (heavy) and woody scent. It is advertised as both a room and skin scent. Well, I find it to be very powerful, a bit more than I would want to wear on my skin. It is a very woody, and also kinda boozy sort of scent. Reminds me of an inexpensive version of CdG Sequoia or Palisander. Even one spritz in the room lingers for hours and hours.

    20th November, 2009

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    Thé Vert au Jasmin /Green Tea with Jasmine by L'Occitane

    This scent starts off very well, but has a somewhat tiresome conclusion. The opening is wonderful. It has really gorgeous jasmine notes which marry well with a very fresh green-tea note. The effect is exactly like a nice cup of jasmine tea. As the florals burn off, we have an herbal-tea and light wood chord. So far, so good. Then the tea note hangs on and on, like a cup of cold tea on a windowsill. It is not the most satisfying of dry-downs, and on me it got somewhat thin and irritating. So – a neutral rating overall for this scent.

    19 November, 2009

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    YSL pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Check foetidus' notes down the line for a more extensive list of fragrance notes.

    This is an interesting scent, a somewhat quirky combination of aristocratic cool notes with bohemian earthy notes. I like it. The opening has great lemony aspects, really quite citrusy. This deepens into a dusty green aromatic middle. It is quite herbal, and immensely DRY. Cool and herbal, and still recalling some citrus notes, it conveys an aloof, serene air. Further cool notes come from minty rosemary. Then, by way of contrast, some sour musk and patchouli notes strike a Kouros-like chord. The slightly “dirty” or animalic aspect lurks at the edges of the scent. At this point, it seems like a slightly skanky and dissolute sibling of Blenheim Bouquet. The drydown resolves these disparate elements, into a cool, earthy vetiver with the slightest hint of patchouli. This is certainly a scent to ponder, and to learn more about with repeated wearings.

    19 November, 2009

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    Versus Uomo by Versace

    This opens with good citrus-spice notes. There is a silvery hint of violet leaf. This softens into a pretty cloud of spice, floral notes and more violet leaf. So far the scent is smooth, a bit sweet but pleasant. The spices and violet give a clean, slightly soapy character. The dry-down gets more sweet. The tonka gives a hay/vanilla combination, and the musk adds to the sweetness. I lose interest due to the sweetness, but it wasn’t bad up to that point.

    17 November, 2009

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    Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Update on my review below. Starts with a resined and somewhat sugary chord. The cool resins very quickly give way to the typical Lutenesque rich, somewhat foody scent. I never do get pine here. After a couple of hours most of the sweetness burns off and the scent is pleasant in a herbal-woody way, but it is not outstanding.
    ----
    F&A is an exercise in patience and speedy reflexes. The initial pine notes are so quick, so ephemeral, so fleeting. On my skin they are done in about 3 seconds. For the next hour or so, there is the typical Lutens foody-spice chord. It is OK, not cloying. I get cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg... a Christmas sort of vibe, along with some candied peel. Just when I'm beginning to despair, and around the 2 hour mark, the spiced sweetness abates and some woody and pine notes shyly emerge. The scent winds up as a near neighbour of Fou D'Absinthe. F&A is a bit sweeter, and not as woody.
    I wish the frankincense was more prominent, and given a green, resinous profile.
    And I definitely wish the pine had more oomph and presence.
    Those seeking a distinctive pine scent are hard-pressed to find it here, in my opinion.

    07 November, 2009 (Last Edited: 01st November, 2012)

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    Domenico Caraceni 1913 by Domenico Caraceni

    Notes: petitgrain, neroli bigarade, rose, tobacco, styrax, cypress, frankincense.
    I am underwhelmed by this scent. There is nothing substantially problematic: it is an attractive, smooth, rose- and amber-centered scent. But what of the many citrus notes, the hauntingly pine-like cypress, the aromatically green frankincense? I cannot find them. The scent starts off as rich, heady and spicy. The rose is well done but not heavy. The scent takes on a slight soapy character, and then gets sweet and ambery. The dry-down is airy and sweet, with a cool note. It isn’t my style, but it is a well-made scent.

    05 November, 2009

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    Town & Country by Crown Perfumery

    Hard to find since it has been discontinued, yet it holds a certain appeal. Crown had a knack to taking the essence of a scent and reproducing it at a lower cost and with greater power and tenacity. That is true here, as it recalls somewhat Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet. This is a big, full-bodied scent. The opening emphasizes herbal lavender and other herbal notes such as clary sage rather than the lemon which is so notable in BB. The scent is more aromatic than previous two; and in fact is a bit acidic/sour. Surprisingly, the lemon note develops later. T&C is not as complex and refined as BB, in fact it is a bit rougher and greener. It still is a worthy scent.

    29 October, 2009

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    H.M. by Hanae Mori

    Very sweet opening, sweet middle, sweet dry-down… sweet, sweet, sweet. A lollipop fragrance. Chocolate and vanilla are accurately rendered, not synthetic in character. Not my style at all.

    25 October, 2009

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    Costes by Hôtel Costes

    I like it. I find it to be an herbal and light myrrh type of scent. The first phase has excellent, dry green notes of laurel and herbal lavender. This give an intriguing, slightly medicinal quality (and I love that sort of scent). I wish this phase lasted longer. The spices kick in, and they are peppery and clove-y. This is not a big, heavy scent; but it is assertive. I think it sits close to the skin. The third phase is the development of the myrrh. Here we see a typical chord of myrrh that is slightly sweet, perfumed, and soapy. This gains a bit in weight as the light wood and musk notes contribute. In some ways, with the pepper and incense; this could be termed a kinder, gentler Piper Nigrum.

    23 October, 2009

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    Muschio di Quercia / Oak Moss by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

    Vetyver, sandalwood, oakmoss
    I have revised my earlier review.
    This is a good scent, with integrity and a faithful rendering of the essential notes. My reservation at this point is that it is rather simple, verging on monolithic.
    Essentially this is a very woody scent. The wood is dry and pleasing. The moss adds a bit of dimension to the wood. The dry-down gains in attractiveness with a more rounded wood note, but this is achieved after several hours.
    But -- and I'm speaking as a wood lover -- that's about all that I find. My earlier review found more complexity, so perhaps my sample has lost some vital dimension.

    22 October, 2009 (Last Edited: 29 January, 2013)

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    Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Update on my initial review below.
    This starts with a rather odd opening. It is so strongly scented of mint and clove that it reminds me of the mouthwash used by dentists after a session in the chair! Whew.
    It settles into a woody-spice scent with some incense, a near cousin to Heeley Cardinal. If you have HC then you don't need this IMO.
    Surprisingly, I didn't get any cumin when I tried it this time.
    ----
    On my skin this is a spicy-wood scent. It is dry and lean for a Lutens fragrance. No stewed fruit, no opulently-giddy florals.
    The minty-camphor notes at the beginning are very interesting, but too brief. In addition to cloves and cinnamon, I detect cumin. Cumin is often paired with cedar, and the cumin note contributes the male-sweat note. Lots of black pepper is to be found as well.
    The scent is aromatic and interesting. I don’t get much (if any) of the incense or burned-wood notes. The wood I detect is straight-forward cedar, twinned with cumin.
    A hint of buttery amber emerges a few hours later, but it is a background element to the spice and wood.
    General approval on this scent, but I wish there were more incense or smoky notes.

    21st October, 2009 (Last Edited: 06 November, 2012)

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    Eau de Sisley 2 by Sisley

    Notes: cardamom, bergamot, basil, water iris, Egyptian jasmine, cyclamen, rose, patchouli, vetiver, cedar and sandalwood.
    This is a nice scent, more lemony than Hermes’ Un Jardin sur the Nil but with a very similar woody dry-down.
    The opening is citrus-lemon with good hints of basil and spice (cardamom). The citrus is reasonably persistant. There is a suggestion of creamy iris, but in general the florals are restrained and not sweet. The drydown is woody (cedar, sandalwood) and of medium intensity.
    This is a woody take on a classic cologne. Well done, perhaps not striking but very acceptable.

    21st October, 2009 (Last Edited: 28 January, 2011)

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    Kiton Black by Kiton

    This develops in ways I didn’t expect. Looking at the ingredients in the base (amber, tonka, leather) I was expecting something heavy or sweet. Instead, I find a translucent, silvery-metallic, cool scent. That is due to the violet leaves. The opening has a bit of fruit, and also something like celery leaf. A very vague hint of fuzzy suede at the end, that’s all. I’m not repelled by this scent, nor am I attracted. Just slightly under neutral.

    19 October, 2009

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    Kiton Men by Kiton

    What an odd scent! The citrus-green notes last for less than a second. Then, a peculiarly dusty-musty aroma develops. It suggests an old wooden box that has had makeup stored in it. Vague and sour whiffs of iris and coumarin lurk in the background. I’d avoid this one, I can't imagine wanting to smell like this.

    19 October, 2009

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    Calvin Klein Man by Calvin Klein

    This is an odd, irritating and disappointing scent. It has a list of potentially attractive notes, but it fails to capitalize on them. On me, it is a thick, sweet, clumpy, heavy, cloying and muddled mess. Top notes – non-existent. Mid notes – vague spice, that’s about all. Base – vague woods. Those wood notes in particular are a disappointment. They smell about as natural as a cartoon of a laboratory. Little that is pleasant here, nothing I can endorse. Scrubber and a waste of time.

    17 October, 2009

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    Scent Intense by Costume National

    Intensely sweet, quite sugary. Very floral, with hints of smoke. A clean bright amber base.
    I don’t like sweet, super-floral, or amber so that’s all I have to say.

    17 October, 2009 (Last Edited: 21st November, 2009)

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    Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

    I like this scent. It is minimalist and translucent, yet I find it has presence and interesting features. It seems attractive and sensual: I enjoy it on myself and I’d like to smell it on someone.
    I don’t find some aspects which others have reported. I don’t get any pepper, no indolic/iris notes, nothing like vetiver. I think it is only very slightly a green scent.
    It starts with a woody-earthy opening that has hints of green. This is a very interesting phase, but unfortunately it only lasts a minute or two. There seems to be a pause, a moment of olfactory silence. Then the lovely incense and light musk notes emerge. These are extremely attractive. They are subtle and sit close to the skin. They have a somewhat clean-soapy character, and a bit of wood.
    This is not a flashy scent, and it has very little sillage and limited longevity. It is a scent for those who would get close to you.

    16 October, 2009

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    Aqua Allegoria Gentiana by Guerlain

    This is a nice scent. It opens with a very citrusy-green chord. The citrus notes are crisp, appetizing and invigorating. I’m not sure what gentian smells like, but I do note a grassy-green note, perhaps it is that. Gradually a pear note emerges, and it is interesting. It starts off like the dusky green skin of a pear, gradually it rounds in to a more fruity-earthy scent. This rounding process is aided by the emergence of the musk. Thankfully, the vanilla is extremely subdued here. The scent finishes with a soft, round and mellow note of good longevity. This is not my style of scent, but I can say that it is very well done and attractive.

    14 October, 2009

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    Orinoco by Scentsational of Huntington

    Crisp, clean, green, herbaceous, slightly woody”
    This is quite sweet, not crisp at all. It does have a soapy-clean vibe. The green is youthful: it is like green apples, lily of the valley and fresh-cut grass. No herbs or wood to be seen here. This is a pretty scent, perky and innocent. I can imagine it on a cheery young woman but certainly not on me.

    13 October, 2009

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    Envy for Men by Gucci

    I have to put my cards on the table: I dislike amber, particularly of the sweet and cloying variety. I find that the amber in Gucci Envy for Men is of that kind. Thus, the scent can’t get my endorsement.
    But what can I say about it, apart from the amber issue? It has a soft cloud of spices, which is pleasant if a bit indefinite. The most I can detect is the occasional hint of sharp ginger. The myrrh (opoponax), patchouli and musk are sweet. The scent is smooth, and perhaps a bit innocuous. There is nothing to offend or challenge here, and many people like seem to like it.
    Then the dry-down ramps up the amber, and eventually I have to wash it off.

    13 October, 2009

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    Incense by Ava Luxe

    Notes: bergamot, Roman chamomile, elemi, frankincense, copal, myrrh, labdanum, katafray, Tamil Nadu sandalwood, cedar, Tibetan musk, Peruvian balsam.
    I think the name “Incense” is not quite accurate. I’d call this “old money”. This scent gives me the impression of a well-heeled gentlemen’s club; with leather chairs, paneled walls, brandy and cedars. If there is any incense burning it is in the distant background.
    The scent begins with a fleeting vanilla note… this will return as the ambery dry-down much later. Then appears a very dark, earthy and smoky note. It is powerful, rich, not too sweet at this point. As a counterpoint to that, I detect hints of dry resinous notes which are the incense. The sandalwood becomes pungent and aromatic. Finally, the dry-down after several hours is less appealing to me, by now it is a fairly sweet and buttery amber.
    So I find some things to appreciate here, but I wish for more incense, particularly of the dry variety.

    10th October, 2009

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    Kiehl's Pour Homme Essence Oil by Kiehl's

    Fir needle, cistus, vetiver, patchouli
    I think this is a very nice scent, very “brown” in tone. The fir needles are well done and have good duration. The vetiver-patchouli notes give an earthy tinge, and the patchouli increases and becomes leathery (but not obnoxious). The labdanum gives a slight buttery note. This reminds me of Equipage. There is a great shower/bath liquid in this scent as well.

    09 October, 2009

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    Kiehl's Coriander Essence Oil by Kiehl's

    This scent was formulated in 1946, and it is interesting to imagine it in the latter years of WW2 since it is an unusual, minimalist sort of scent. It starts off a bit sweet, but in the ultimate dry-down it gets satisfyingly dry. The coriander oil is the main ingredient; though I imagine I detect a hint of orange rind at the opening, and a bit of patchouli in the latter stages. As with the spice, the oil here is nutty, a bit sweet, spicy and aromatic, “brown” and appetizing. At times the scent has a coconut-like character in its early stages. The scent settles into an earthy, even slightly foresty tone that is quite pleasant and sits close to the skin. As an oil, it sits close to the skin and develops slowly.

    08 October, 2009

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    Vent Vert (new) by Pierre Balmain

    I hope I may be allowed some latitude here. I have put reviews of the 1947 EDT and EDP, as well as the 1990 second version, in the "original" VV category. Since the 1999 third version is the one in current production, it seems to me that the "new" category is that version -- which I cannot comment upon.

    07 October, 2009

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