Reviews by odysseusm

    odysseusm's avatar
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    Showing 121 to 150 of 1231.

    Jour d'Hermès by Hermès

    Spring in a bottle!
    Green, zippy, very fresh and natural.
    Since no fragrance notes are provided, I won't try and dissect this too much.
    It is very enjoyable. I get rose notes of various kinds, along with spring bulbs (daffodil, hyacinth, etc.)
    Cheerful. Energetic.
    Floral but not excessively sweet. Powerful but not cloying.

    28 January, 2013


    Equisetum by Pell Wall Perfumes

    This is an unusual scent. Sometimes, it seems like a powerful, old-school masculine scent of the '80's. Other times, it is a dry and austere lavender-mint, very similar to Czech & Speake's Oxford and Cambridge.
    The opening notes have very dry, herbal lavender. Very quickly, this is joined by moss and tobacco. The opening and closing notes compete and somewhat push aside the delicate florals. I couldn't really detect them.
    The lavender and mint cool things down considerably and balance the warm brown notes.
    Suddenly, there is a real whiff of true ambergris: acidic, salty, animalic, slightly challenging. Not often encountered in perfumes these days!
    Ultimately, at least on my skin, the scent settles into the dry lavender mint.
    I like it, but I feel it ping-pongs around a bit too much and the middle notes aren't served well by the powerful bookends.

    27 January, 2013


    Minted Mornings by Pell Wall Perfumes

    I like it, but it is in two very different phases. I like the second much more than the first.
    The first phase is uber-minty. You have to LOVE mint to really appreciate this phase (I'm just so-so on it.) Spearmint: check. Peppermint: check. Minty citrus: check. Mint leaves: check. There's a cool, fairly frosty vibe happening here. Green but oh-so-minty.
    Just when I started to despair about the unrelenting mint -- bam! Onto phase two. A woody incense chord replaces the mint. This is fairly good. Not profound but satisfying. The frankincense is apparent, giving a pine-coniferous note which works well with the wood and a light musk. The scent now is beautiful and slightly haunting, and it wears well.
    I wish phase 2 could inform phase 1 a bit, that the scent could be more integrated. But otherwise it is very well done and appealing.

    27 January, 2013


    Gin & Lime by Pell Wall Perfumes

    I start off enjoying this, but wind up neutral. Here's why.
    This opens with an excellent lime-citrus note: very accurate and pleasing. There are hints of aromatic, bright juniper and nutty coriander. In my opinion, the juniper should be much more pronounced. Still, this is pleasant and an attractive EdC style scent.
    Then, the musk develops in the dry-down. At first, it reminds me of that in Blenheim Bouquet or Wellington -- a kind of British vibe. But then the white musk keeps going on an on, getting quite tiresome. I feel the scent loses its momentum and in fact stalls.
    And the juniper never really had the medicinal/martini 'zip' that I had expected.
    Thus, my neutral assessment.

    25 January, 2013


    Artemis by Pell Wall Perfumes

    The "absinthe" in the BN fragrance notes refers to artemesia absinthum (wormwood). While that is an element in the legendary alcoholic drink Absinthe, the drink also has a pronounced aniseed or licorice note, e.g., Fou D'Absinthe. That anise note is NOT found here.
    After a brief citrus introduction, this becomes a very intriguing dusky green scent: aromatic, even weedy. Suggests resinous underbrush and oozing sap. The herbacious and pungent artemesia combines with the mint to give a green, leafy scent. Dry, not heavy, has a hint of pepper. Very green and natural-smelling, in fact it is nature in a bottle. As an artisan style scent, the longevity is acceptable but not extended, and the scent sits close to the skin. Any green fan should check this out.

    23 January, 2013


    Café Rose by Tom Ford

    There are lots of lovely rose notes here. They are really well done, attractive, realistic.
    The amber is at times a little bit candied and buttery, but overall the scent is not problematically sweet. When the amber settles down the lovely rose notes re-emerge, accompanied by a light oudh note. I don't get much (if any) coffee -- perhaps if I strain to the utmost I can imagine a faint cafe-au-lait.

    22 January, 2013


    Rebel at Heart by Thomas Sabo

    Folks, there is nothing rebellious here.
    Soft spices with a hint of oudh. Comfortable, cozy, non-threatening.
    Bit of wood, slightly sweet dry-down.
    Very close resemblance to Hugh Parsons Oxford Street. The two are interchangeable.

    17 January, 2013


    Only The Brave Tattoo by Diesel

    Dreadful and yet a vast improvement over the ghastly regular Only the Brave.
    This is still very sweet but not as treacly as the original. Some hints of spicy pepper and synthetic woods.
    Still very obnoxious, cheap, and headache-inducing. Yet -- as vast improvement over the regular. That's how bad the regular is.

    08 January, 2013


    Only The Brave by Diesel

    Ghastly stuff. Very very sweet, fruity, metallic. Juvenile.

    08 January, 2013


    Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone

    The name suggests British high tea, with nice little sandwiches.
    Problem -- no tea note, no cuccumber notes.
    What is here? A generic and sweet fruity note, further sweetened by the beeswax/honey, vanilla and musk.
    This is just another juvenile, fruity-sweet musk. Nothing to recommend.

    07 January, 2013


    Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    For a while I enjoyed this, then it got too heavy and the benzoin ruined it for me.
    It starts with a rich orange blossom note -- very smooth, luxurious and pleasant. The beeswax gives a honeyed, waxy texture to the scent. I don't get any lavender, nor incense. At this point, I'd say "gorgeous, a little rich and too smooth for my taste, but it is an excellent orange blossom scent."
    But then the benzoin kicks in, starts vibrating and intensifying everything. It gets richer, heavier, sweeter. The Siam benzoin is noted for a vanillan aspect and that certain is the case here. It became much too much for me, and I had to wash it off (despite a very minimal application). If you like benzoin and a dense scent then you may like this.
    Note -- I am reviewing the EdP version.

    31st December, 2012


    Figuier / Fig / Eau de Figuier by Heeley

    In my opinion, this is one of the better fig scents available.
    Mmmmm, it is nice and green! Not only fresh-cut grass, but also crisp, crunchy leaves. The latter reminds me of Diptyque's excellent Eau de Lierre. There's also tart rhubarb and a little bit of green cantaloupe rind. Thus, the scent is very nice, crisp and refreshing. It would be great in warm weather, as others have noted. Eventually the typical creamy and slightly woody fig note emerges, and rounds out the somewhat acidic opening. The scent is sheer, not heavy, and never too sweet or heavy. The dry-down gets nice and woody, and has good longevity.
    If you like fig, you need to try this.

    29 December, 2012


    Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain

    This is a pleasant scent, comfortable to wear and would not offend anyone as far as I can tell. Yet, I give it a thumbs-down. Here's why.
    Where are the conifers: fir, pine, balsam? Simply not to be found, in my experience. There is absolutely nothing green or foresty here -- not a bit.
    The scent is spicy-soft, with bright ginger notes held against a kind of soapy-fresh foundation. It is not overly sweet, nor as 'foody' as I had expected. It is sheer and translucent, as are most in the Aqua Allegoria line. The later dry-down has slight hints of incense, and a whisp of nutty, smoky notes.
    For what it is, it is OK. But for what it is not, it is simply not up to this Conehead's expectations.
    Those looking for more available (and better, IMO) ginger-incense scents should try Serge Luten's Five O'Clock au Gingembre and Miller & Bertaux's #2 Spiritus/Land.

    28 December, 2012


    Earth by Zents

    Fir, frankincense and woods... I should love it! I don't. It isn't a bad scent but there is something that doesn't quite work for me.
    It has a citrus-bergamot opening, slightly sweet and plummy. It develops into a soapy-citrus sort of scent which is clean, a bit outdoorsy-fresh.
    Further development reveals slight wood notes and hints of incense. But then a kind of heavy, earthy note develops. Not super-heavy, just something sort of bland and generic. Mind you, I learned to apply this very lightly, otherwise the heavy quality gets quite unbearable.
    In light doses this is OK -- but life is too short to wear scents that are just "OK".

    18 December, 2012


    HiM by Hanae Mori

    I'm comparing the EDT with the EDP versions.
    EDT - sweet, quite sweet. A candied spice scent. Generic, sort of thing to wear when out clubbing. Shallow, a bit artificial. The tonka gives a vanilla-chocolate sort of note. The scent drops off after about 3 minutes
    EDT - initially much drier, more sheer and translucent. Quite a bit more citrus up-front. The scent turns into the EDT version after about three minutes, maybe with a bit more wood.
    I'm not wowed by either version. They are not obnoxious but they are quite generic and predicatable.

    15 December, 2012


    Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is a nice scent, and a bit surprising in style coming from Lutens -- it is not heavy, gourmand, or sweet.
    There is a very brief burst of sweetness at the beginning, but this burns off in a couple of seconds. Interesting spices are framed by bergamot, suggesting cookies and Earl Grey tea. There is a satisfyingly dry pepper note, and a very bright and attractive ginger-spice note at work. In the background is bittersweet cocoa, which adds a dusky, almost smoky note. Thhis is a cozy scent, lovely in cool weather.

    14 December, 2012


    Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

    A green floral - and an old metal ashtray.
    Lively and yet stale.
    Hint of a brown-sugar amber note as it develops.
    It isn't a terrible scent, but it does nothing for me.

    12 December, 2012


    Don't Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don't Swallow by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Agree with other comments, the storyline and notes set one up for something quite different than what the scent actually is -- namely a rather young, innocent scent. Lily of the valley done with a fresh dewy green backdrop. I don't get any gourmand notes (thankfully). I don't see a connect between the target market and the product here. Mainstream, sweet, chirpy.

    11th December, 2012


    Vierges & Toreros by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Surprised me -- suggests an old-school fougere to me. That fairly soapy, ferny, slightly leathery quality typical of old oakmoss (despite there being no oakmoss listed). If you like Worth pour Homme or some other classic spicy leathery fougere then you'd like this. Quite attractive and definitely of another era. Not hyper-masculine, rather it is very cosmopolitan and suave. Sweet in the dry-down, gets a bit minty and tiresome.

    10th December, 2012


    Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Very odd.
    The opening is dry, but really strange. Hint of pepper but mainly a piercing, industrial note like glue, solvent or hot light bulbs. A woody-spice note in an quirky mutant, sci-fi vein. Hot plastic, volatile glue... really not my scene.

    09 December, 2012


    Putain des Palaces by Etat Libre d'Orange

    A clean, clear, rather sweet floral with a hint of leather.
    Don't get anything raunchy or dirty here.
    The leather is light, bright and attractive.
    It starts off rather sweet but the sweetness burns off.
    A pleasant scent, aimed at the female market.
    Not particularly complex.
    Not heavy or cloying.

    09 December, 2012


    Aqua Manda by Goya

    I can see that this vintage scent from the 1970's has pleasant associations for many. So much of a scent's appeal can be linked to memories. I bring no memories or associations to the table, I am simply reporting on what I've encountered.
    It starts as a spicy orange scent, and so far I like it. The orange notes are quite good, and are still vibrant after all these years. The spices are gentle, and they remind me of cinnamon, nutmeg and mace. Although this was marketed to women, at this point the scent seems dry enough to interest me. At this point, the scent is not heavy, and is smooth and quite attractive.
    Gradually, notes of benzoin and patchouli emerge, and the faintest hint of vanilla.
    The drydown gets rather powdery and ultimately too sweet for my rather austere tastes.
    Still, it is a pleasant scent and I feel that it is well constructed.

    03 December, 2012 (Last Edited: 18 December, 2012)


    Oxford Street by Hugh Parsons

    I'm slightly above neutral on this, but only slightly. It is an OK scent, certainly not problematic apart from a slight sweetness.
    Essentially, it is a citrus - spice - soft powder sort of scent. The spices give a clean, somewhat barbershop vibe. If you don't over-apply, the spices are gentle and the wood is light. There is a definite note of oudh, here it is sometimes exactly like wet cardboard, other times it gives an interesting and slightly bitter medicinal note. The patchouli (if the scent is lightly applied) is not a problem, not heavy, and gives a mild earthy-rooty brown note. The vetiver and the herbs could have more prominence, in my opinion.
    The spices are nice enough to warrant a cautious endorsement from me.

    03 December, 2012


    Volutes by Diptyque

    Top: iris flower, honey, tobacco, dried fruits
    Mid: pink pepper, black pepper, saffron, hay, immortelle
    Base: opoponax, myrhh, styrax, benzoin

    Very well done for its style.
    Quite sweet and perfumey. The silvery iris note is elegant. Honey and tobacco give it a rich, substantial feel. Some of the sweetness burns off, but the richness persists. Languid hay notes give it a very relaxed feel. All the sweet biscuity and vanilla notes don't appeal to me, but I'm sure that many would like this.

    30th November, 2012


    Leather Oud by Christian Dior

    This is a very well designed scent. I say that because I don't usually care for leather scents, and oud is an acquired taste which I still grapple with. But I like this, and here's why.
    This starts with comforting, warm spices. The leather is attractive, and the oud is distinctive but not eccentric. The overall effect is very masculine, confident, and suave. The woods are very well done, realistically woody but not just a lumbershop, something more complex.
    Everything is in perfect, complimentary proportion.
    The early drydown is smoky, powdery and a bit sweet.
    The later drydown gets more substantial and sweeter. Thus, I'd say go easy on it until you find the amount which suits you throughout the day.
    Leather/oud fans need to check this out -- and even those on the fence should give it a try.

    27 November, 2012


    Cologne Royale by Christian Dior

    This is a nice EdC in the classic style: citrus-herbal.
    The citrus opening is lovely and realistic. The mint is a light herbal, suggesting lightly-crushed leaves rather than toothpaste. This is a very light, sheer scent and it is enjoyable. It quickly moves to a white musk note which sits close to the skin.
    With more application, more of the citrus and herbal notes remain and mingle with the musk. The mint is cool, refreshing, works well with the musk and is an interesting twist on the classic EdC style.

    27 November, 2012


    Nuit Etoilée by Annick Goutal

    It is a pleasant scent but nothing extraordinary. I don't get anything of a a starry night, a walk through the forest, the crunch of snow... none of that. I don't get any pine nor fir, and that is why I sought the scent out to sample.
    What I do get is a lemon-mint opening which is fairly nice, though it has a slight detergent-fresh vibe. Then there is a toasted nut and honey chord, probably from the angelica and immortelle. There is a very vague woody aspect, 'way off in the distance, in the dry-down.
    This does not call out to me.

    24 November, 2012


    L'Eau Froide by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is a very pleasant, minty-cool citrus scent. It has quite a lemony opening. This settles into a soapy, clean sort of scent due to the musk. It is rather minimalist, low-key... the antithesis of most Serge Lutens scents which tend to be dense, sweet and foody. The mint and pepper give a refreshing 'bite' to the scent. It would be a good summer splash and wears well (in a very, very restrained way).

    23 November, 2012


    07 Tanoke by Odin New York

    I like it a lot!
    This is a great peppery-spice, woody scent with some very good incense notes. The incense is very similar to that in Heeley Cardinal, but the overall scent is a bit drier and has a really nice pepper note. Indeed, all the spices (ginger, nutmeg, and pepper) are very well done and give a masculine, barbershop vibe. It wears very well and is completely satisfying.

    22 November, 2012


    Eau de Cypres by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    The sweetness is the only thing that pushes this into "neutral" -- otherwise this is an interesting scent.
    It is a woody wonderland! VERY woody indeed. A dense scent, with a dense sweetness. I'd say that cedar dominates of the pine and cypress, unfortunately from my perspective.
    I like cypress for its resinous, coniferous notes. I get none of that here.
    Old and heavy wood. Good wood, but sweet and a powerhouse.
    I should note that this is a discontinued scent, and that my sample probably is quite old. So some of the bright citrus notes have retreated, perhaps also the rosemary-mint freshness.
    There is a bit of coconut and nutty-buttery notes from the patchouli.
    This is a fascinating relic, a bygone style of CSP before they got locked into twinkie-vanilla bonbons.

    11th November, 2012 (Last Edited: 22 November, 2012)

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