Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
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    Cedro by Campos de Ibiza

    Lemon, basil, mint, juniper, cinnamon, cedar.
    This has a lovely lemon-green opening. It is aromatic and dry, with a haunting yet cheery quality. By that I mean it conveys a sort of spacious, airy sense like being alone but not lonely. Focused and still but full of life (lots of subjectives there…). There are great herbals here – the basil is really well done. There is a restrained spice note which blends well into the other elements. Nice light woods. This is an excellent scent, quite classy in character.

    13 November, 2008

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    Incenso by I Profumi di Firenze

    Revised review
    A very dry scent, which is pleasing to me. Woody incense: coniferous, green, energetic, even a bit rubbery (in a pleasant way). The wood persists and develops into a balsamic note in the dry-down. This is a soliflore (single-note) scent. Resinous, a bit smoky, lean and austere.

    12 November, 2008 (Last Edited: 15 October, 2014)

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    Hurlingham by Atkinsons

    Citrus and verbena opening notes; with a long-lasting, woodsy and masculine body.” (From an Atkinsons brochure in the package.)
    This is a lovely little chypre with typical lemon and grassy notes. The opening is very citrusy and refreshing. The green notes are excellent. They are herbal and interesting. What might they be? Perhaps sage and /or clary sage with tarragon. Vetiver might be lending a grassy note. For sure there is patchouli in the later phase, but it is well done (with a light hand). This settles into a grassy vibe, with clean soapy aspects. A short-lived and light fragrance, now discontinued. It reminds me of Greenergy by Givenchy.

    12 November, 2008

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    Les eaux de toilette de Joséphine - Spices by Lothantique

    Fragrance notes: exotic eastern spices (cinnamon, clove), Indian incense, woods, pepper.
    Judging from its position in the Josephine line, one might assume that it is a women's scent, but I characterize it as unisex verging on masculine. I think it is a very nice and inexpensive scent. It has good resinous incense and black pepper notes. The cinnamon and especially the clove give it a barbershop vibe. There is a powerful initial blast which quickly settles close to the skin. Indeed, my only complaint is that this is a very short-lived fragrance, lasting about an hour – but at the price one can’t complain. This is a dry oriental, a budget version of something like Czech & Speake’s Frankincense and Myrrh.

    12 November, 2008

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    Marc Jacobs Splash Basil by Marc Jacobs

    I think that basil is a difficult scent to render accurately. It is such a beautiful, vibrant green fresh herb. Most scents only approximate that. And this one doesn’t even come close! If I strain hard I might think I smell something vaguely herbal. But mostly this is a pretty and extremely short-lived little scent, nothing remarkable or distinctive about it at all. ZZZZZZ

    12 November, 2008

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    Prince de Galles Sport by M. Bur Parfums

    Prince de Galles Sport is a budget scent. It is a green mossy scent, very much in the style of Acqua di Selva. I like mossy scents, but in my opinion both PdGS and AS have an odd and unpleasant cabbage/vegetal aspect. That being said, Prince de Galles is almost tolerable and has some attractive notes. Certainly if you LIKE Acqua di Selva you will really like PdGS.

    12 November, 2008

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    Fire from Heaven by CB I Hate Perfume

    CB's notes about the fragrance:
    * “blended from classic ancient incenses” – frankincense, myrrh, opopanax, labdanum
    * Cedar, sandalwood, styrax
    * “memory of smoke”

    Well there is a vague sort of incense note here. Somewhat sweet, not even remotely resinous. Incense ‘lite’. I don’t get any smoky notes. This is the typical, predictable CB style: slightly sweet, somewhat synthetic, light and yet irritatingly persistent. This should be much, much better. I like incense scents but this one does not please me.

    12 November, 2008

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    Cologne by Roger & Gallet

    Note -- this is NOT Jean-Marie Farina/ Extra Vielle.
    Fragrance notes: mandarin orange, basil, bitter orange, jasmine, verbena, cedar, orange wood.
    This is in a green box with a picture of an orange tree, and it is billed as a “tribute to the orange tree”. It is quite nice. It has a brisk citrus opening, with a hint of leafy-herbal green. Jasmine lends a lovely floral note, softening but not too sweet. The final phase is a lightly pleasant wood. R&G Cologne is a delightful daytime/summer scent. Not complex; but fresh, natural and enjoyable. I like it.

    12 November, 2008

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    Verde Bosco by I Profumi di Firenze

    A beautiful blend of scents from grapefruit, mandarin, basil, Florentine lavender and other wild flowers; with touches of musk, amber, vetiver and cedar wood.”
    Verdo Bosco (Green Wood) is a lovely and powerful green scent. It is EDP so it is substantial. I find the basil and vetiver to be the most prominent notes. They combine to give a herbal-grassy character, a walk in grassy fields more than through a deep dark forest. I this sort of scent (chypre) and this is a very good one. It is not complex, but it is satisfying.

    12 November, 2008

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    Agua de Colonia Concentrada by Alvarez Gomez

    Fragrance notes: lemon, rosemary, lavender, geranium (rose)
    These simple ingredients are apparent here, and work well together. This is a full-bodied lemon scent, quite assertive for a citrus. The rosemary and lavender are fresh, aromatic, and almost spicy. The rose softens the edges. This is a big scent, but there is nothing heavy about it. Available in large bottles at an amazingly low price, this is a no-brainer for a summer splash. It has old-school charm, and I like it a lot.

    12 November, 2008

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    Fil de Soie by L'Atelier Bohème

    Fil de Soie by L’Atelier Bohême starts off with an aromatic bang. It is sharp, herbal and quite interesting. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last. Woody tones (mostly sandalwood but particularly the patchouli) take over. Cedar is hard to detect. Then leather kicks in, starting soft and buttery and getting sweeter. The patchouli ramps up the sweetness and heaviness, and we wind up with a leather/patchouli experience. I make it sound like an old hippie leather vest – far from it. The scent is done with charm and style – but it is not my style at all. Too much patchouli, too sweet for me.

    12 November, 2008

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    Nutmeg & Ginger by Jo Malone

    This is OK, it is a masculine-styled spicy wood scent. I've changed and upgraded my review.
    It is very pleasant, a dry woody spice. The ginger is more of the powdered variety (used in baking) than the fresh ginger root. The nutmeg is a bit peppery and woody.
    This isn't a complicated scent, and since most JM scents are meant to be layered, this is meant to add a dry spicy warmth to other scents. On its own, it is pleasant enough but not incredible. Props to it for being nice and dry, and not heavy, and natural smelling in style (not artificial).

    10th November, 2008 (Last Edited: 05 August, 2012)

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    Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone by Giorgio Armani

    This has a perky, green, and crisp opening. It is lemony-fresh, and quite nice. Then, I get an odd and quite distinct note that seems like rancid butter! I don’t know what that is, perhaps it is the particular treatment of the vetiver. The scent is fairly attractive once the butter note burns off – it remains lemony for a good long time. My reservation is that for a scent called Vetiver, it doesn’t have much of that, especially in the nice cushiony smooth style I like. More could be done with the mid-note spices, they are very faint. So I’m neutral on it.

    10th November, 2008

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    White Jasmine & Mint by Jo Malone

    Nice florals here, very pretty. The jasmine and lily notes are prominent. I don't get much mint at all. Pleasant, I'm not into lily so I'm just neutral on it. But this is a fine scent, it's just not my style.

    10th November, 2008

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    Black Vetyver Café by Jo Malone

    This has a kind of nutty tone (like nuts, not goofy). I don’t really detect a coffee note. And I don’t get the usual sorts of vetiver notes, though I can imagine some sort of vetiver here. The drydown is interesting, a bit of "lite" incense there. This is kind of odd or unusual, in my opinion. It gets more powdery and sweet as it progresses. Don’t really care for it.

    10th November, 2008

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    Eau du Soir by Sisley

    Sisley pamphlet: “A floral chypre composed of a blend of syringe, rose of the orient, Egyptian jasmine; blended with iris and juniper, and the fruity notes of mandarin and grapefruit.”

    This has a tangy opening of juniper and citrus. Then the iris appears and takes over. It is a powerful heart note. On the one hand it is earthy, even a bit fleshy. Yet at the same time (and perhaps with the juniper) it has metallic aspects. This is a floral chypre to be sure. Interesting, yet for me the fleshy/metallic note is a bit jarring, and it doesn’t work for me.

    10th November, 2008

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    Armani Privé Oranger Alhambra by Giorgio Armani

    This has a gorgeous neroli and citrus opening, with real freshness and depth. It develops very light herbal notes which add to the attractive nature of this scent. I keep noting the depth of this – unusual in a citrus scent. The light moss dry-down is excellent. The patchouli is very, very restrained (thankfully). This scent is lovely from beginning to end, quite enchanting.

    06 November, 2008

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    Blue Agava and Cacao by Jo Malone

    The vanilla and spice make their appearance almost immediately, freshened by citrus at this early stage. The chocolate is a velvety sort. Quite a foody scent, and it seems very feminine to me. Although initially I can stand the vanilla, I find that it gets heavier and sweeter, and thus my mild appreciation withdraws. I just don’t like vanilla.

    05 November, 2008

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    Orange Blossom by Jo Malone

    A very orange, tangy opening… more powerful than I expected. It is like the zesty oil expressed from squeezing an orange skin. It softens into nice florals. It is a bit sweet, especially with the lily note. I can appreciate it, but I wouldn’t wear it.

    05 November, 2008

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    Moss Breches by Tom Ford

    Fragrance notes (from TF site): woods, spices, beeswax absolute, clary sage, tarragon, rosemary, labdanum, patchouli, benzoin.
    I'm in agreement with Vibert. I'm underwhelmed by this scent. I was expecting great herbal notes, a green experience. I call this a honeyed brown sort of scent. Ambery vanilla from the resins hit my nose from the get-go, and persisted throughout. I don't have a complaint against the patchouli. It is restrained, and adds an interesting tangy note to the rich scent. Ultimately, it is too ambery for me to endorse or enjoy. It is a luxurious scent, some would find it classy. My complaints are as follows: where is the moss, where are the herbal notes, where are the woods? It is a pleasant sort of scent, but not terribly interesting. The Breches in the title refers to a region of France. The moss in the title? Your guess is as good as mine.

    29 October, 2008

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    Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone

    Revised review
    I hadn’t thought I would like it. I assumed that it would be very berry/fruity. Although not bottle-worthy for me, I always find it intriguing. The scent has been called "enigmatic" and I agree.
    The fruit notes start as bright, pleasant, natural, juicy, and not at all faux-synthetic. Later, they become subtle, dry and complex. Spices tingle in the background. The patchouli emerges -- at times earthy-brown, at times metallic, at times tangy (all typical traits). The scent settles into a nice incense-wood vibe.

    27 October, 2008 (Last Edited: 12 October, 2014)

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    Nectarine Blossom & Honey by Jo Malone

    Fragrance notes: peach, plum, blackcurrant, honey.
    This is the first JM scent that I don’t like. It starts off very peach-y. It is a complex scent, like warm peach preserve. It is interesting, but very fruity. The honey is tolerable, not rich and sugary-sweet. But then the scent develops an unpleasant tinny note in the dry-down. This metallic note with the lingering peach is not attractive to me, nor would I find it attractive on someone else.

    27 October, 2008

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    Vetyver by Jo Malone

    This has a gorgeous neroli opening, with light spice and green notes quick to develop. Then there is a lovely, cushiony vetiver scent. I call this an ideal treatment of vetiver. It is not sharp or excessively earthy, nor is it heavy and soapy. It has a charming vitality and a comforting quality that I can’t explain, but I do enjoy! This is not a complex scent, but I love it.

    23 October, 2008

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    Grapefruit by Jo Malone

    Fragrance notes: grapefruit, tangerine, rosemary, vetiver
    No surprises – this is very citrusy. It is quite natural smelling, and thus I enjoy it a lot. There are lovely green and light herbal notes, a hint of pine/mint from the rosemary and another grassy hint from vetiver. These give the scent very good longevity, and the citrus finds a way to linger too. I like this very much! JM scents are designed to layer, and I have no doubt this would add sparkle to many scents. I think it stands well on its own, as well.

    23 October, 2008

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    Giorgio for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills

    I have been wearing this for several hours and I find it hard to entirely dismiss. There are certainly interesting elements here, and a distinctive character arises from their combination. But something doesn’t quite work for me, or keeps slightly irritating me. I think it is the combination of patchouli (tangy) with the honey (wafting in and out of sweetness) and moss (generally good but here a bit brackish). It is a spicy and bold, honey-brown scent, and in the end I find that it is not my style. I’m open to any moss scent, and this one was worth a try. But it is not for me.

    22 October, 2008

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    Zirh Ikon by Zirh

    This is OK. It is a spicy incense, a bit rich and sweet. The incense notes are not the driest or most interesting but they are acceptable. Lots of spice notes. Not radical or distinctive, this is smooth and attractive and is a crowd-pleaser. The dry-down is a bit sweet and generic, the patchouli makes its appearance.
    The spices + patchouli suggest to me a weaker, blander version of Kiehl's Pour Homme.
    Not dry enough or interesting enough to compel a purchase for me, but there's nothing wrong with it.

    21st October, 2008 (Last Edited: 02 March, 2011)

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    Roadster by Cartier

    Fragrance notes: bergamot, mint, vanilla, patchouli, fern, vetiver, labdanum, cashmere wood.
    I found two very distinct phases here. #1 is odd, a chocolate-vanilla-candy smell. Slightly synthetic, and also like stale After Eight mints. I'm disappointed there are no citrus notes (at least none I could detect). 5 minutes later, this burns off and we get to phase #2. This is a cool, dry and (to my nose) light herbal fougere. There are hints of patchouli, fern and grassy vetiver, and an interesting salty note. I like this phase. Some have complained about the mint, but after the first phase it is not an issue. I'm pleased that it is dry and an herbal fougere (an interesting style, and one not in vogue at the moment). Later in the dry-down, there is a vanilla-fern note that is pleasant but a little too vanilla to endear itself to me.
    Thus, I'm not bowled over by Roadster, but I do give it kudos for being mostly dry and having a distinctive style.

    21st October, 2008

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    Agua Verde by Salvador Dali

    Fragrance notes, from Parfum Dali site: fig, grapefruit, jasmine, vetiver, ambergris, sandalwood.
    This is a floral-green scent. It has a somewhat sweet tone, rather than crisp or herbal. When I first smelled it, I was convinced that there was moss and musk in it, but they are not listed. The scent has a mossy-genteel air about it, and is quite old-school in its presentation. I find it a bit heavy and perfumey-sweet, so I’m neutral on it.

    21st October, 2008

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    Santa Maria Novella by Santa Maria Novella

    Fragrance notes: bergamot, citrus, white flowers, spices (and probably musk)
    A classic, classy EDC. Very citrus-y, fresh and refreshing. The citrus notes are softened by the flowers and mild spices. No surprises here, this is one of the originals, a charming old-school scent. Very much in the same camp as R&G Extra Vielle. A lovely, beautiful dry-down, with a “comforting” quality from the spices and light musk.

    21st October, 2008

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    French Lime Blossom by Jo Malone

    Fragrance notes: sweet lime blossom, bergamot, tarragon, (probably iris).
    No surprise, this is a powdery floral. Not very citrus-y. This is a romantic, beautiful scent. The tarragon is very restrained herbal background to the lovely white blossoms. I’d say it is mostly for women, and yet I can appreciate it (though am unlikely to wear it myself). It has a haunting depth that intrigues me. I suspect there is iris in here, making that sort of contribution.

    21st October, 2008

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