Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    L'Homme Sage by Divine

    I’ve tried L’homme sage three times. It is an interesting, complex scent with attractive features, and I wanted to give it fair consideration. Bottom line: this is probably the loveliest patchouli-amber scent I know. My problem is that I find those elements to be rich and sweet, and I am not greatly attracted to them when they dominate a fragrance. This is a spicy, rich scent: aromatic at times with some very good wood notes. The incense has a good resinous quality. This is not a business or day scent, quite frankly it is a date scent and probably works quite well in that regard. My taste is more austere than this style, so I admire it but only give it a neutral rating. But I can see why it is popular.

    09 December, 2007

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    Top: petitgrain, lemon, bergamot
    Mid: coriander, cumin, jasmine, geranium, cistus (labdanum)
    Base: bourbon vetiver, cedarwood, vetiver, vanilla, patchouli, amber
    L’Air du Desert Marocain – what a beautiful name! The scent too is lovely, yet I only give it the sideways thumb rating. It may be a bit churlish for me to complain that this lovely oriental is exactly that, namely a scent with exotic spices on a sweet amber base. Vanilla and amber are present at every stage, and surround everything in a velvety brown cloud. Vanilla is a deal-breaker for me, unfortunately. This has superb resinous notes, excellent cedar and vetiver, and good dry spices. If you don’t mind vanilla then give this a try!

    07 December, 2007

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    Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

    Top: lemon leaf, italian bergamot, mandarin, basil, violet leaves, ginger
    Mid: orange flower absolute, black pepper, tobacco leaf absolute, grapefruit flower
    Base: deep amber, cedarwood, virginia patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss, leatherwood resin, cypriol root.
    Well the Ford website has lots to look at and you can play with the image of the bottle to get the above information. In my opinion – all hype, no substance. All these rare and specific products jumble together into a vague, sweet, powdery, slightly stale cloud. The only good thing about this is the brief orange opening. Everything after that is yawn and yuck: yawn over what we’ve seen in so many other current men’s fragrances, yuck over the awful vanilla note that is headache-inducing. So many interesting ingredients! So poorly executed! Try the Ford-designed Rive Gauche for something interesting, avoid this lame product.

    03 December, 2007

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    Rainforest by Ayala Moriel

    I find Rainforest to be an amazing, bold scent! I have a completely different experience than the reviews below which suggest the scent is light or gender-neutral. I agree that it is a very green scent, but I find it to be dark and brooding, primal and powerful, and to my mind quite masculine. The image of a Green Man from ancient mythology comes to mind, with tendrils and leaves framing a face of nature personified. Another connotation – appropriate to this Vancouver-based company – is of the marvelous paintings of West Coast painter Emily Carr, who depicted dark forests and spooky totem poles. Rainforest starts with a very sharp, almost rubbery opening. BAM! This is as bold and distinctive as the old war-horse Fahrenheit, though not weird or obnoxious. Rainforest is different from anything I’ve tried; likely this is due to healthy doses of galbanum which give a spicy-green, resinous tone. Florals emerge which slightly soften the opening. Phase two is hay and moss, slightly sweet and grassy, and the scent settles into this aspect for the dry-down. Phase two is quite enjoyable, but Phase 1 is incredible!

    26 November, 2007

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    Route du Vétiver by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Top: blackcurrant, leafy green
    Middle: bourbon vetiver, precious woods, jasmine
    Base: sandalwood, musk
    Route de Vetiver is a dark and very tangy vetiver/sandalwood scent. The blackcurrants give a very-berry opening. Quickly the pungent vetiver appears: it is not creamy and mild. It has a bracing quality: sharp, aromatic, somewhat medicinal. I’d say that at this point it is more interesting than pleasant. Mind you, it is not ponderously rich like Guerlain’s vetiver, so it is an improvement in that way. Similarly, the sandalwood is tangy and woody, almost incense-y and resinous. Sandalwood aficionados may appreciate this, but I prefer a more mellow sandalwood. I don’t think this is for me, but I do appreciate its striking and no-compromise character. Every once in a while it does emit a beautiful note.

    23 November, 2007

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    Spiced Limes by Anglia Perfumery

    Spiced Limes is a very satisfying, classy scent. The opening citrus notes are aromatic, with an amazing depth, substance and longevity. My comment (not a criticism) is that the notes are citrus-y rather than simply lime-y. The spices are woody and very well blended. The spices interact with the vetiver, deepening and mellowing and becoming richer as the scent develops. The vetiver is not dominant, it simply supports the spices. The transition from citrus to deep (not heavy) spice gives a shift from day to night; cerebral to sensual.

    20th November, 2007

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    Victor by Victor

    The photo here is of an aftershave, and that is what I am reviewing. This is a very pleasant, light scent, containing mild green herbs, woods and moss. It is Aqua di Selva's nice younger brother. It is a very classy aftershave... doesn't last long but one wouldn't expect it to do that.

    15 November, 2007

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    Mark Birley for Men by Mark Birley

    As many have noted, Mark Birley is a lovely, delicate scent, as light as a feather. On me, it had a dominant orange note. I thought it might be like Hermes’ Eau d’Orange Verte – nope! EOV is positively bold in comparison, and of course is much greener and zippier. MS is a citrus and light musk scent. It is fresh and perky, and stays very close to the skin. One has to get quite close to appreciate its subdued beauty. This scent would be best in intimate encounters. It is of the “one’s own skin, but better” variety... and thus advantageous for such episodes. I’d say it is OK but not a wowser.

    15 November, 2007 (Last Edited: 24 May, 2008)

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    Amber & Lavender by Jo Malone

    Notes according to Jo Malone: amber, French lavender, myrrh.
    The expert nose of Ayala also detects sage, cloves and oak moss – and this seems exactly right to me.
    The opening is a lovely dry lavender, deep and slightly smoky as the best lavender should be. There are some herbs and green notes. Spices? Yes, cloves. Incense? Yes, the myrrh. The clove and moss combination is what gives this its clean, soapy, barbershop vibe. It reminds me of YSL’s Rive Gauche – it has the same sort of virile, no-nonsense and deliberately retro soapy-spice character. Lavender + oak moss = traditional fougere and this is a striking one, though not as mossy as some. The amber gives it an oriental twist. It gets a bit powerful in the dry-down, so start off lightly and see what works for you.

    08 November, 2007

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    He Wood by Dsquared2

    Here’s an excellent new scent! The Italian fashion line has just launched this fragrance. They say that it captures air, water and wood elements in an harmonious accord.
    Air: silver fir, vegetal amber, musk
    Water: violet leaves and blossom, and “transparent watery accord”
    Wood: vetiver, cedarwood.
    The opening has lovely notes of pine and musk. These quickly are followed by a floral/aquatic tone. This is not the overdone marine-fresh scent, and it provides a gentle softening to the first and third stages. The cedar emerges, and this is very well done. It has a lovely cedar chest scent. The amber is also well done, it is NOT sweet, cloying or powdery. This is a superb, light, refreshingly clean wood scent. Suitable for all occasions.

    05 November, 2007

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    Extract of East Indian Lemon and Spices by Crabtree & Evelyn

    This has been revived in 2007 as West Indian Lime... and is excellent.

    05 November, 2007

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    1805 by Truefitt & Hill

    1805 has a citrus/weak tea opening. Then there is a sudden shift, quite noticeable, to a floral oceanic. This too is a bit mild or weak, nothing either problematic or commendable. Some have called this ‘salty’ – I don’t get that. It might be due to the clary sage but for me that is muted. I don’t even find this to be very oceanic, I think it is more green/fresh. Finally there is a light wood-musk base. Nothing very adventurous or exciting here. Another Aqua di Gio clone, kind of bland and boring.

    05 November, 2007

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    Bois d'Hiver by Ayala Moriel

    (revised review)
    Top: juniper berry, cedarwood, bitter orange
    Mid: orange blossom, rose, jasmine, pimento berry
    Base: frankincense, myrrh, balsam tolu, fir absolute

    This scent is a revised version of an earlier scent by Ayala, Fete D'Hiver pour Homme (not to be confused with Fete D'Hiver). Ayala has upped the ante here, not only adding more elements but in some cases increasing their quality (e.g., using absolutes). Thus we have a very memorable, special scent.

    Bois d’Hiver is stunning and lovely! It has a bright, slightly medicinal opening due to the lively juniper. Woods and orange warm up the tonic, and orange provides the transition to a lovely floral heart which is haunting but not sweet. The base is very woody with some satisfying incense notes and hints of conifer. The scent overall is dark and compelling; it seems masculine to me in its assertive tones and lack of sweetness, but a woman could happily wear it.

    29 October, 2007 (Last Edited: 11th December, 2012)

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    Bon Zai by Ayala Moriel

    Bon Zai is interesting, but I am of mixed mind about it. I love the dry-down, which is one of the most satisfying sandalwood-vetiver combos I’ve encountered. It is beautiful! The wood is sandalwood, not agarwood as indicated above. Getting to the finish line is another matter. Nothing problematic in the journey, but it was not what I expected. The opening is very fruity (tangerine), and then it quickly shifts to a kind of toasty, baked-good aspect. Some have called that like hay or grass, but I think it is the shiso oil which apparently can be like sesame. I don’t find this to be a green or spicy scent at all. Nor do I detect any cedar or juniper notes. Verbena or rose likewise are not readily apparent, at least to me. So kudos for the last phase, but I’m neutral on the initial phases.

    29 October, 2007

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    Clubman by Truefitt & Hill

    I don’t care for Clubman. I agree with zztopp and others. The synthetic/oceanic note here is not pleasant, and I find that it muddles the other elements. There is a pleasant citrus opening. The mint is not as strong as in Freshman. The woody musk is probably the nicest element, but that doggone ‘plasticky’ element ruins this. I’m not sure what this is supposed to be: it is not fresh enough in a nice way to be a fresh scent, not woody or spice enough to be that sort of scent, in the end it is nothing much at all. T&H has some great scents (Grafton in particular, also Trafalgar) but this is not one of them.

    26 October, 2007

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    Freshman by Truefitt & Hill

    A fresh marine fougere fragrance with top notes of bergamot, lemon, orange blossom, mint, coriander and rosemary; with a heart of clary sage, geranium, lily of the valley and jasmin; all resting on a base of precious woods, amber, moss, and musk.” T&F info
    Freshman is the godfather of the fresh scents, it seems. 1815 – amazing that they had this sort of thing back then! The opening is very citrusy, a bit sweet, and then becomes the classic ‘fresh’ scent (minty, edgy-green). The mint never really goes away. It becomes softened by florals and herbal green tones. As it dries down, moss and musk hover in the background. But this is a minty fresh scent all the time. I appreciate it but wouldn’t buy it. It just isn’t my style, but it is a classic. Burberry’s Weekend is very similar to this.

    25 October, 2007

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    Trafalgar by Truefitt & Hill

    I’ve tried Trafalger for two days in a row and I like it. The blue colour is a bit misleading, since it – along with the name – suggests a marine/fresh type of scent. Nothing of the sort! As the T&F blurb says, this is a spicy wood fragrance. Ah, but what kind of spice? Various theories have been suggested below. The prevailing theory to date identifies the spice as cardamom, for me a sweetlyh delicate spice...I don’t think it is here. One person suggested cilantro; however this is properly classed as an herb since it is the green leaves of the cilantro plant. These have an extremely piercing and strong quality, like parsley on steroids. Anyone who has tasted these in a curry or Mexican food will remember that experience! No one suggested coriander (the dried seeds of the cilantro plant), which could be part of the mix with their peppery yet delicate scent, which is slightly nutty and woody. However, my leading suggestion is cumin, a bitter spice which in shape and profile is a bit like caraway. I definitely smell that here, perhaps with a bit of coriander. Other elements... the citrus-lime opening is very nice, fresh, a bit salty. The base note of cedar is remarkable, just like pencil shavings (in a pleasant way). Others have remarked on the jasmine, for me it is a background/softening element rather than something noteworthy in its own right. As I said, I like this, it is an interesting scent. Cumin may not be to everyone’s taste. However, Trumper’s Eucris is another cumin scent, and it is exceptional!

    24 October, 2007

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    Blu Mediterraneo Basil / Foglie di Basilico by Acqua di Parma

    Notes: bergamot, basil, sage, clove.
    Blu Mediterraneo Basil is a bracing, citrus/herbal tonic. It is a great summer and daytime scent, with an attractive Mediterranean vibe. The bergamot is very citrusy. The basil has a licorice note, to be expected in true basil and rather nice. In fact, I’d say this is one of the most accurate and pleasing basil scents I know (I'm thinking of Baïme, Vigilo, even the very good Basile Uomo). Thankfully the sage and clove are restrained notes. This is a unisex scent, and because it doesn’t have sweet or floral notes I consider it quite suitable for a man to wear.

    22 October, 2007

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    Knize Two by Knize

    Knize Two is very distinctive. The aldehyde really intensifies the floral stage, and gives it great longevity. This is a linear scent with three stages: aromatic green, complex floral, dry wood-musk. The opening is spicy and green, suggesting leaves, plant stalks, and pea pods! The florals are powerful but not overly sweet. We see the distinctive silvery-grey note of violet leaves and flowers. The dry-down is dry, slightly woody, mossy and musky. This is a different, slightly quirky scent due to the violet leaves. It has a persistent aromatic, soapy quality. Definitely has old-school elegance and is quite charming. A classier, less brash, more complex Grey Flannel.
    (revised review)

    18 October, 2007 (Last Edited: 27 April, 2013)

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    Spirit by Anthony Logistics

    Spirit by Anthony Logistics is part of a “body spray” line. That designation is a bit of a misnomer, since for me that suggests a light, short-lived spritzy type of scent. Spirit is powerful and has lasted more than 12 hours on me. It starts with fresh green herbal scents from the artemesia and basil. It is dry and completely non-floral. It moves from fresh to substantial, acquiring leather and musk notes, the musk in particular is somewhat powerful yet pleasing. Woody tones also emerge, and in the end we have a woody-musky scent that is quite satisfying. I’d say this is excellent value: it is not expensive, classy and different, and widely available.

    17 October, 2007

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    Arlington by D.R. Harris & co.

    Here is an update to my original review. I now realize the third element in original formulation Arlington is geranium rose. That adds the very pleasant rose/soap note, and an air of British style. The opening citrus blast is quite amazing, and refreshing.
    ---
    Arlington has a VERY citrus opening. It settles into the perkiest fern note I've experienced! This fern gives a very fresh, pleasant scent. This is rather soapy with a barbershop vibe. The fern perkiness persists, and so does the citrus (its duration is unusual for a citrus note in perfume). This is an interesting scent, I like it once in a while and it is like nothing else I own. (October 2007) -- Note this is the pre-2009 version of the scent, when it was more fern-y and less in the classic EdC style.

    16 October, 2007 (Last Edited: 11th October, 2012)

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    Top: Sicilian citrus
    Mid: rose, Italian lavender
    Base: oriental precious woods
    I appreciate this scent, a true classic in the old-school EdC style. Naturally, I compare it to Jean-Marie Farina Extra Vielle by R&G. In the final analysis, I prefer R&G. I’ll explain why.
    Parma has a gorgeous lemony opening. It very quickly settles into a big, beautiful cloud of rich citrus and opulent florals. The florals are somewhat dense, it is hard to pick out the rose or lavender. Perhaps at times a hint of rosemary gives a fresh and minty note, but this is the merest hint. A woody note emerges and adds to the weight of the cloud. This woody note is soft, a bit soapy, and becomes very powdery. In my opinion, this is a substantial sort of scent – and that is my slight reservation with it.
    The R&G (in my opinion) has better-defined floral notes. The rose really is well done. The scent has a “brighter” and more clear character. I find that it suits me better. The somewhat sweet and powdery dry-down of Parma is pleasant, but not quite my style.
    But this is a true classic, and I happily endorse it as being a top-notch scent.

    16 October, 2007 (Last Edited: 24 February, 2011)

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    Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

    I'm disappointed in this scent. It is ok, but given the list of notes I expect more. I found a fairly monolithic, somewhat sweet and dense citrus - green scent. Seemed fairly soapy. Perhaps the florals dominate at the expense of the herbs. And I don't find any woody notes.

    16 October, 2007 (Last Edited: 20th February, 2011)

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    Lacoste Elegance by Lacoste

    I’m neutral on Lacoste Elegance. It has interesting ingredients, some of which are reasonably well done. In the final analysis, it is too sweet for me, and not distinct or interesting enough to make me want to seek it out. Its best parts are the opening and middle. The opening is aromatic in a fresh way due to the mint and juniper. The citrus (tangerine) is very muted and not effective. The middle has good woody spices (nutmeg and cardamom) and is enjoyable. The drydown is sweet, ambery and musky and rather boring. There is a slight gourmand element but I can’t say the chocolate is noticeable. To me it is more like vanilla, which is due to the amber. This is a competent scent, with smoothly attractive features. It is not my style however, so the thumb goes sideways.

    16 October, 2007

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    Rêverie au Jardin by Tauer

    Fragrance notes: Lavender (high altitude mountain lavender from France, galbanum, fir balm, bergamot, rose absolute, frankincense, ambrette seeds, orris, vetiver, tonka beans, oakmoss, vanilla, ambergris, sandalwood and cedar wood.
    It is interesting that so far it is men who have reviewed this scent. I can’t speak for the others, but my initial interest in Reverie au Jardin ran along the following lines. “Lavender, fir/pine, frankincense, moss, wood tones... sounds promising.” I hoped that the florals, vanilla and amber would be in the background. Alas, everything I wanted is absent and everything else is too prominent for my taste. Yes, this is sweet and powdery from beginning to end. The green note was far too short. Equally brief was the incense. Powdery florals (especially the orris/iris) kept popping up and gave a note that I find annoying when it is as prominent as it is here. Then tonka/vanilla loomed into view, another irritating scent when it dominates. Wash-off time. In my opinion this is not a unisex scent, it is feminine. Not my style.

    16 October, 2007

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    Basile Uomo (new) by Basile

    See my review of Basile Uomo original, I don't think my recent bottle differs from the original formulation.

    16 October, 2007

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Ouarzazate by Comme des Garçons

    Fragrance notes: incense, pepper, nutmeg, clary sage, wenge, musk, vanilla, labdanum absolute, kashmir wood.
    Ouarzazate (pronounced war-za-zat) has one of the best openings I’ve ever smelled. It is green, strikingly resinous, dry, sparkling, spicy and invigorating. There is a sweet balsamic tang, and the incense character of this scent remains throughout its development. Clary sage gives a green dusky-herbal note that is very complex and attractive. Ouarzazate is very classy, slightly reserved in character, dry, elegant, green/woody... my idea of a perfect scent. I’d say it ranks with Bois D’Encens by Armani as a great resinous incense fragrance: in some ways it is more interesting due to its herbal notes, and it is better value. It is my favorite of the Comme des Garçons incense line.

    16 October, 2007

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    B.Green by Brooksfield

    I’m happy to be the first to review b. green by Brooksfield. It is a very classy, refreshing scent; quite successful and enjoyable. It has a nice opening which is crisp, fresh and green. Lots of lemon-lime citrus here. Mild woody spices (cardamom and nutmeg) and little hints of pine freshness keep things perky and interesting. There is a good clean middle of light florals and cedar wood. The base has rich elements but is not heavy. The amber and musk are well-modulated and do not develop a powdery aspect. The leather and tobacco are restrained accents. The final dry-down is also good. It gets a bit bigger as the musk and fig leaves have their last statement, but the impression still is light and breezy. I like this and will wear it often. It is not easy to find, but it is worth the effort. The bottle design is interesting in that there is a green “straw” that surrounds the atomizer siphon which has the words: Piacere/Fun, Liberta/Freedom, Benessere/Balance. A good motto!

    16 October, 2007

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    Montana pour Homme by Montana

    Montana pour Homme has a zippy green-citrus opening that is very perky and fresh. The artemsia gives this a green sparkle. The middle is good, a bit floral but not too sweet. I can smell a bit of powdery iris but it is not heavy. In fact, I’d say this not really powdery scent but rather a soapy green scent. The wood tones are very light. The drydown is light too, pleasant musk and amber. This is a good daytime scent. It is a little bit like Guerlain’s Mouchoir de Monsieur, but more modern in style. Also a bit like Liz Claiborne for Men but more subtle. I like it.

    16 October, 2007

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    Trophée Lancôme by Lancôme

    Green. Powerful. Attractive. Trophée Lancôme is a very good chypre: spicy-green, grassy and mossy. It is big but pleasant, not heavy or synthetic. It conveys a powerful, masculine aura. The opening has lots of lemon and little lavender. Grassy tones dominate the midpoint. It then develops a light musk tone which compliments the mix and brings things to a satisfactory conclusion. This sort of scent is classy and should come back in style. Out of production but it is worth seeking out. If you can get it at a good price, try it.

    16 October, 2007

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