Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
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    Showing 691 to 720 of 1253.
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    Bravado 2 by Baxter of California

    This is a nice scent. It has a very lemony opening burst -- full of energy. Good longevity on the citrus notes (half an hour). Settles into a gentle light wood and musk scent. Not terrifically distinctive but it is well done. The "vanilla" (thankfully) is not prominent.

    24 April, 2010

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    Eau des Merveilles by Hermès

    The pyramid for this scent is topsy-turvy: woody notes on top, citrus as the base. Does the scent live up to this concept? In my opinion, it does not. All I get is jumbled sort of scent. It is not too dry, not too sweet, not very woody, and not very citrusy. I think it is a unisex sort of scent.
    I don’t find a lot to get excited about here, positively or negatively. The wood notes are not particularly interesting. The salty, slightly marine note (supposedly ambergris-like) is nothing exceptional. Instead of an interesting inverted pyramid of notes, the various elements present themselves simultaneously. The scent sits close to the skin, and has a slightly sweet dry down.

    16 April, 2010

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    There are some very interesting herbs here, and for a while I enjoyed this scent. Ultimately the scent performed in the usual Lutenesque manner – that is, sweet and persistent. And man, is it persistent! I am still haunted by a ghostly trace a full day (and many scrubbings) later.
    The scent opens with a very sweet and powdery blast. Then, a very good sandalwood note appears, along with herbal and spicy notes. The bay leaf (laurel) is quite pronounced, and the sandalwood has a pleasant, bark-like character. The coriander spice is nutty and attractive: often in some scents it turns into a clone of cumin with sweat-like connotations (but not here). The scent is distinctive for having a bright, lively character. The patchouli is more minty than earthy. The resins give a hint of balsam and vanilla, but for a while they are restrained. If the scent had stopped there, I would be satisfied.
    But no, the scent persists, grows, and gets tiresome. The balsam and vanilla notes increase, the patchouli gets heavier, the herbs go away and the brightness dims.
    I’ll give it a neutral for a promising middle phase.

    15 April, 2010

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    Wild Fig and Cassis by Jo Malone

    I am surprised that I do not like this scent. On me, it is a very green, grassy scent... a style I usually appreciate. I'm not crazy about fig but I don't dislike it. And there is lots of fig here. So what's the problem for me?
    This seems like a fig soliflore, and a rather shallow and unappealing one. It doesn't have any depth. For me, the grassy (and eventually hay-like) fig notes quickly get tiresome. The fig note is unrelenting and un-ameliorated by anything else. The cassis must be cassis bud (not fruit), since there are no plummy-ness or red berry notes to be found here.
    Perhaps this would add a nice figgy-green spark to something rounder -- that is part of the JM design. But, judging this on its own, I can't endorse it.

    14 April, 2010

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    Jicky by Guerlain

    I respect and admire this scent – for its place in history, and for its design. The powdery sweet notes are not to my taste, but I recognize excellent design here notwithstanding. The opening is extremely complex. Many notes appear simultaneously: citrus, iris, leather, florals, and spice. The overall effect is cool, slightly sweet, and definitely powdery. The scent is remarkably cool and airy; it suggests mint without apparently containing it. So far, the scent is translucent and quite interesting. Sure, there are very apparent leather and civet notes; but this is an elegant animal. Gradually the leather and balsamic notes gain in prominence; yet there is still an aura of freshness and vitality here. New spice notes appear. Rarely have I seen such complexity in the dry down of a scent. Complex, elegant, remarkable. I wish I liked sweetness and powder! I would certainly wear it then. I will revisit it, and learn from it each time I try it; even if I only admire it from a distance.

    13 April, 2010

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    Tabac Blond by Caron

    As a leather/oriental this scent is not at all my style. However, I can say that it is very attractive and quite striking. The opening is a dense cloud of sweet floral and leather notes. They have a classy, elegant, chic tone. The scent opens up and becomes more translucent. Iris notes provide a dry, slightly metallic counterpoint to the sweet vanilla and leather. At this point, the scent seems to me to be a masterpiece of design. There are amazing depths and contrasts at work. Certainly any leather fan must try this scent. Gradually, the iris becomes more prominent on my skin. That is not a note I enjoy – I find its nutty, earthy tones get tiresome.
    Despite my personal tastes, I recognize the brilliance of this and give it a thumbs up.

    13 April, 2010

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    Lalique White by Lalique

    I like this scent. It starts with good, deep citrus notes that are rich and aromatic. They are joined by creamy spices. At first, the scent suggests a bit of sweetness, but it never becomes problematically heavy. The scent becomes interesting as it develops both cool and warm aspects. The warmth is understandable, coming from the woody spices. The airy-minty aspect? Perhaps this is due to the violet leaves. The coolness does suggest a “white” scent in my mind. A bit of cedar/pencil shavings emerges, and interacts well with the spices. The dry-down is lovely and has good duration.

    08 April, 2010

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    Les Nuits d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

    I like this – it is an oriental which I can appreciate for its restraint and light style. It has two distinct phases. The first is an herbal-green scent very much in the style of Eau D’Hadrien. There is an aromatic citrus/green aspect which suggests a fine, classic EdC. Good herbs and spices emerge. The Eau D’Hadrien notes become smoother and rounder. This phase is beautiful and classy. The citrus notes have great duration, and pick up the cypress to create a lemon-wood chord. The second phase presents the heavier oriental basenotes. Due to the restraint of their treatment, they don’t overwhelm or become cloying. They suggest a slightly smoky, woody cloud of light musk, spice and amber. Yes, a little vanilla is here but even I can appreciate it (a rarity for me!). Very well done. For those who find Eau D’Hadrien interesting but too austere, this is worth checking out.

    08 April, 2010

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    Eucalyptus by Thymes

    For me, this had three phases.
    An opening like a white mint candy.
    A mid like a sour lemon candy.
    A dry-down like a salty, sour lemon candy.

    04 April, 2010

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    Windsor by Creed

    Revised review.

    No pine. None. Zero.
    Eucalyptus dominates, unfortunately, with an aggressive rubbery-minty aspect.
    Vague wood lurks in the background.
    Gee, I don't want to smell like "toothpaste and toothpicks."
    Eventually settles into a soft woody scent, with mint and light musk.

    What irritates me is the potential suggested by the list of notes. It is a role call of the British Empire. And what is delivered is so mediocre. And expensive!


    30th March, 2010 (Last Edited: 24 October, 2014)

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    Ultraviolet Man by Paco Rabanne

    According to the notes on the sample card, this contains synthetic ambergris, “liquid mint,” “moss crystals” and “organic vetyver.”
    This is quite dreadful. It comes across as a sweet mint candy sort of scent: cheap, synthetic, loud, cloying, obnoxious, garish. Perhaps there is a hint of industrial vat chocolate here… why not?

    30th March, 2010

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    Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

    Saffron, patchouli oil, African wenge wood.
    First things first: this scent does not seem “black,” and it does not evoke cashmere.
    It is a very sweet scent, yet it has an oddly metallic-tinny edge. It is so sweet it is foody, like a slice of pound cake. And like pound cake, it is dense. I can’t pick out any particular elements. Not an attractive scent to my nose.

    30th March, 2010

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    Krizia Uomo by Krizia

    Sadly, this does not work at all for me. Even in the tiniest, micro-doses this sits on my skin and screams “PATCHOULI HELL.” No green, no pine, no woods.
    The opening blast has some promise. There are aromatic juniper berries with a gin-like note. There is artemesia, here given a tarragon-like treatment which suggests cloves and sweet hay. The scent so far is cool, airy, a bit powdery, and slightly sweet. Clop, clop, clop… the boots of patchouli are marching in. Very sweet, tangy, leathery, toasted-nut patchouli. Help, where is the soap and scrubbing brush?
    Folks, I like coniferous scents, green scents, mossy scents. I just don’t find those things here, in any way, shape or form.

    29 March, 2010

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    CK In 2U Him by Calvin Klein

    Not an exciting scent. The opening is the best part: there are invigorating citrus and crisp green notes which give a sporty, light tone. Hints of peppery spice add to the appeal. Then the chocolate note from the cacao pod appears… and strikes a discordant note. Vague vetiver and light woods, nothing to rave about. The scent gets a bit sweet and dense, and I lose interest.

    26 March, 2010

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    Maxims pour Homme by Maxims

    While this scent is not quite to my taste, I certainly can find many things to appreciate here.
    It starts with a *very* sweet opening – the “fruit note” is powerful, sugary, and almost toothache-inducing. Candy and powder are in abundance. As this opening blast settles down, good florals and some light but interesting woods emerge. Gradually the sweetness subsides, and a very genteel, old-school chord of mossy patchouli steps forward. I’m not a bit fan of patchouli, but this is not too heavy, and it has minty and herbal aspects. The patchouli works with the leather to give a soft dry-down.

    26 March, 2010

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    Crown Imperial by Crown Perfumery

    This is quite the scent! The juice is so dark in colour, so orangey! It stained my skin on my wrists! It certainly would stain clothes.
    Many of the reviews talk about the lemon, but on my skin this produces an aura which matches the colour, ORANGE! It hit all the orange notes; both skin, juice, and blossom. The neroli cloud twists into a bitter, slightly metallic chord; and then a soapy, musky one. I don't get any lavender here. This is a substantial scent, even "thick." I'm amazed that an orange scent can be so powerful. The orange dom-dom-dominates here... I don't really get any herbal notes either. Orange fans should check this out... it is old-school in the extreme. I like orange but this is a little bigger than I can handle.

    25 March, 2010

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    Crave by Calvin Klein

    Apparently this was marketed to the young male demographic. I can see aspects of that design. Crave is a light, generally inoffensive scent. The first time I tried it, I found some herbal notes to appreciate. The second time, “nasal fatigue” set in almost immediately and I washed it off.
    This opens in a fresh, mild way. There are slightly crisp, green-leaf notes in the midst of a rather cool or even frosty cloud. At times, there are hints of a tangy, pulpy fruit note something like a cross between pineapple and melon. The scent is not sweet, nor heavy in any way.
    Overall, I find the cool notes to be unappealing. The scent seems a bit sterile in its freshness, a bit reminiscent of laundry detergent.

    23 March, 2010

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    Index Red Currant Basil by Fresh

    What a blah scent! It is so bland and inoffensive that it is hard to get worked up one way or another about it. It is a little bit sweet, but not heavy or cloying. There are powdery soft notes, and something vaguely liked lemon candy. Not a lot going on here. Where are the notes of basil, currant leaf, wood? There’s not even much fruit. This is almost a non-scent.

    23 March, 2010

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    True Religion for Men by True Religion

    Fragrance notes: bergamot, mandarin, herbs, woods, musk, moss, patchouli
    I am not a fan of fresh aquatics. And that is what this is. The opening is fresh and yet plummy with a citrus twist (the bergamot). Fresh, fresh, fresh to the point of chilly. For a moment the scent seems to go aromatically green, and I have hope. Then no, more freshness and the usual smell of powdered laundry detergent. The scent seems shallow – all surface, no depth. The dry-down gets a bit odd, in a tangy-metallic way. The laundry detergent residue has stuck to a tin can.
    A quirky-cool box and a distinctive bottle house a bland, uninspired juice.

    18 March, 2010

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    Déclaration by Cartier

    This is a very interesting scent. I appreciate it, although at this point I am not inclined to buy it. I enjoy its minimalism, translucency, dryness, accurate woody notes, and moiré way of holding up opposites in a shifting pattern (cleanness/sweat, air/earth, light/dark). Perhaps it simply is the cumin-esque spice note that doesn’t quite work for me.
    The opening is tangy and full of birch wood. Although there is no lemon listed, the birch gives such a lemony note that I can’t fail but enjoy it. Very woody, very lemony. It manages to suggest sweetness without actually being sweet. The cardamom comes off like cumin (as it often does) and gives a suggestion of dried sweat. Cedar gives the usual pencil shavings chord. These elements jangle around for a while, and settle down into a woody, mossy base.
    This is distinctive, nothing else quite smells like it. I will keep revisiting it. Thumbs up for the style.

    18 March, 2010

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    Cereus Pour Homme No. 14 by Cereus

    This has great potential with its herbal notes and wood. It fails for me due to an over-emphasis on violet leaves and very sweet amber. Those things dominate, in fact obliterate, the better elements. I had to scrub this off to remove the cloying, sweet, vanilla notes. Sorry gents, this didn't work on my skin (or to my taste) at all.

    15 March, 2010

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    Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo

    Notes: citrus, bergamot, tomato leaf, petitgrain, magnolia and orange blossom, iris flower, fig leaf
    I like this scent. It starts with a very good citrus opening – one that smells zesty, natural, and refreshing. There is the merest hint of green (tomato leaf) here, nothing so pronounced as one finds in Eau de Campagne by Sisley. The scent opens up into a gorgeous floral chord which is attractive but not too sweet or heavy. The dry-down moves into a green and slightly woody note, courtesy of the fig leaf. Not a hint of ‘coconut’ from this fig. All in all, a great Italian-style and unisex scent, one that is light and translucent. Sure, you need to re-apply it during the day but that is part of its summery charm.

    11th March, 2010

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    Peau d'Espagne by Santa Maria Novella

    This is a delightful, old-school scent: at once dryly herbal and richly perfume-y. Aromatic spices and perhaps some oakmoss give this a scent like fine old fougere soap. The leather note is restrained, interesting, and elusive. This has a suave, smooth, attractive character. The notes are substantial but not heavy. They are natural-smelling, and thankfully not sweet or cloying. This one intrigues me, since I don’t usually like leather scents.

    08 March, 2010

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    Rose Poivrée by The Different Company

    Wow – this really does NOT work for me! First of all, I get no rose at all. Second, the coriander seems to be aided, abetted and overwhelmed by a tangy-brown cumin note. Along with some sweaty civet, this produces an odd metallic note which I find quite unpleasant. Rotting celery leaves, old curry, and greasy salami come to mind.

    08 March, 2010

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    Or Black by Pascal Morabito

    For a while, I found myself appreciating this scent – and that surprised me, since I really have no fondness for leather scents, or quirky avante-garde techno scents (which this seems like to me). Yet, for a while I was pleasantly tolerating this. It starts off with an interesting sage and aromatic herb note. It seemed like some sage soaps I own. The leather note emerged quickly, and at that point it was OK. Dark brown notes appeared, which reminded me of rubber and dark chocolate. Still, I could appreciate it, and I these are not my usual notes at all. As long as these elements remained dry and translucent, I was OK with the scent. But then they got dense, sweet and stronger. The rubber-leather chord got to be too much for me. I’ll only give this a neutral; others who like these notes may enjoy this scent.

    08 March, 2010

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    Parfum d'Habit by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    This is a very attractive scent, and I like it. Admittedly, it is a substantial beast. I think it has 1980’s style but a modern sensibility. How is this possible? This scent shows a classy restraint. The heavy weapons are deployed very strategically. Amber and vanilla (normally sweet or cloying) are done in a minimalist style and give just a rounding touch. Leather and patchouli are present but not obnoxious. The net effect is that this scent is more translucent than the dense war-horses of years past.
    What shines through for me is the sandalwood, with a great touch of incense. The sandalwood is really done in a dry and woody style, rather than a rich and creamy one. I appreciate that. The incense likely is frankincense, and it gives a slightly green and pine-y note. The patchouli works with the incense and gives a minty, leafy note.
    This wears very well throughout the day.

    04 March, 2010

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    Bleecker Street by Bond No. 9

    This is a pleasant scent – for me, nothing more.
    First of all, I don’t see it as green (as many have). I think the violet leaf gives its typical “silvery” note here. This isn’t as piercing a note as we see in something like Grey Flannel: it is softened by some bright florals. Bleecker is definitely aquatic and fresh in character, and a bit sweet. There is light wood and a hint of moss. Thankfully, the base notes of vanilla, amber and patchouli are so mild that I don’t find them problematic.
    For me, this is an innocuous scent. There is nothing to dislike, and nothing to seek out.

    03 March, 2010

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    Versailles pour Homme by Jean Desprez

    This is a complex, substantial scent. While its rich elements make it something not in my style, I can appreciate it. It has an extensive list of ingredients! It is marked by several phases.
    The first phase has green, spicy notes. Clary sage is prominent here. The second is of spicy wood. It is smooth, and brightened by a bit of pine. The third phase is a light vanilla-leather. I don’t usually like these elements, yet they are not sweet here and are controlled. I can go with the flow. The fourth phase is of dry patchouli. This has an earthy, leathery aspect. The fifth phase, several hours later, is a mossy patchouli chord that is elegant and genteel.
    I agree with the comment that this scent is better experienced as sillage than close-up. The cloud blends some of the more heavy elements into a pleasant cloud.
    For my taste, I would stop at the end of phase two and be satisfied. Then this would be bottle-worthy for me. However, it is a good scent overall.

    02 March, 2010

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    Figleaf & Lime by Zen for Men

    This is a budget fragrance of good value. It has a great lime opening, which is very zesty and citric. It settles into a pleasant green-leaf and wood chord. It is refreshing and bright. The lime has good longevity. The leaf note is a generic green rather than a distinctive fig, but given the price of this product I won’t complain. A simple scent, but quite acceptable.

    25 February, 2010

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    Cypress Yuzu by Zen for Men

    Well, anything with ‘cypress’ in the title gets my immediate attention! Yuzu gets the ball rolling, with a very bright, aromatic, grapefruit-like scent. The scent becomes quite green, and it is a refreshing summer splash. There are clean, moderately woody tones here as well. Perhaps it is not distinctively cypress but it is acceptable as a generic sort of wood. The scent is not sweet, not “budget-frag” in character. It seems simple, natural, and easy-to-wear. It is at a great price, and it comes in a full line of products (EDC spray, aftershave balm, body lotion, shower gel, and glycerine soap.) The soap is excellent. This all seems like a no-brainer to get! There is attractive packaging as well. A great budget fragrance!

    25 February, 2010

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