Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
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    Showing 151 to 180 of 1296.
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    Acqua de Rosa Thea by Borsari

    This is a long-discontinued scent, and my review is based on a mini. I'm sure that this one has aged problematically and is a shadow of what it had once been.
    A sharp, alcohol note in the opening. However, once that burns off there is an authentic tea rose note. It is no longer fresh but it is still identifiable. There are some side-notes of a metallic and apricot kind.
    I'm sure this was a lovely scent in its prime.

    02nd April, 2013

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    Glicine by Borsari

    Glicine = wisteria.
    Wisteria is a heady, sweet flower. This scent is a sweet floral, but not cloying. Beautiful, with spicy notes, a bit of a mint-like freshness and a soapy-apricot roundness.

    01st April, 2013

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    Vetiver by Borsari

    These scents are all old and in minis. Some, like this one, may be a past their prime. This vetiver is rootsy, woody -- typical of vetiver. It also has a slightly sour, toasted-nut note which may be the result of age. I'm sure it was excellent in the day.

    01st April, 2013

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    Giacinto by Borsari

    Gadzooks this is excellent. I'm not normally a fan of florals but this old-school scent is superb.
    The juice is golden, perhaps it has the patina of age like fine brandy... so be it.
    This is a dark, hauntingly beautiful floral. Earthy, deep but not not too sweet nor cloying.
    Wears very well. Guys could easily wear it and rock the floral note.

    01st April, 2013

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    Zagara by Borsari

    This is an excellent, basic orange blossom scent. Exactly true to form and a gorgeous cloud of that floral note. Rich but not heavy or sweet. Slightly soapy/woody in the dry-down, this is typical of a good orange blossom. Nothing distinctive apart from the longevity which is very good. Still, it does what it does extremely well. Pity that these Borsaris are discontinued, they are generally very interesting. Quality in the old-school style.

    31st March, 2013

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    Eau Fraîche Cedrat by Yves Rocher

    This is a pleasant, if somewhat simple scent.
    It presents lemon and orange blossom notes in a light, refreshing manner. Perhaps there is a touch of wood and spice in the dry-down.
    I wouldn't move heaven and earth to acquire it -- it does nothing new. But it is a pleasant scent.

    27th March, 2013

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    Iska by Slumberhouse

    Different, interesting, some excellent aspects.
    Starts with a very good juniper note -- quite coniferous, at times even a bit like turpentine. Green, medicinal, herbal. The note is more juniper berry than gin. I like it so far. Then a dusky peppermint sort of note emerges, courtesy of the saffron. The "suede" note is not really a leather note per se, it is not so much a scent as a texture. In other words, it conveys a fuzzy warm feeling in the scent. Interesting. At times there is the smell of old paper, glue, old books. At times the scent is a bit sweet.
    Overall, quite an intriguing scent.

    27th March, 2013

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    Eau de Cartier Essence de Bois by Cartier

    Pretty, flora, softl.
    Citrus & violet notes are evident.
    Moderately sweet, certainly aimed at the female market.
    OK -- essence de BOIS. So, where's the wood? Not to found.
    Marks deducted for misleading name.

    25th March, 2013

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    Luna Rossa by Prada

    I liked the first half of the scent, and am underwhelmed by the second half. Hence the neutral rating.
    The first half is an interesting exercise in dry, herbal mint minimalism. Hints of lavender and mint give an airy fresh quality. This creates a mood of a freshly-ironed white shirt, and would work well in an office environment.
    The second phase is where the ambrette and ambroxan take over. Ambrette usually has a floral, musk-like quality and that's true here. I also often find an odd, toasted sesame-seed note in ambrette and that is also here. In moderate doses the sweetness is not wretched or cloying.
    But I think the scent would have been much more interesting and distinctive with phase one alone. I think Prada always has a house style of sweet and rich, and I see that here.

    18th March, 2013

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    1953 by Pell Wall Perfumes

    This is a heady, substantial floral -- aimed at a female market. If you like this style, then check it out.
    It starts with very good, accurate orange blossom notes. The spices are gentle and warm. The floral notes develop. They are attractive, weighty, and amplified by the benzoin.
    The scent is fairly sweet but not cloying. Thankfully the vanilla is non-detectable and the ambergris and civet are quite civilized and in small doses.

    16th March, 2013

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    Gucci Guilty Black pour Homme by Gucci

    It is not sweet, cloying, or irritating -- hence a neutral rating.
    It achieves a sort of dry, green tone -- commendable.
    Unfortunately it is rather shallow and synthetic throughout. It smells inexpensive and generic.
    It is not wretched. Basically, it is a mildly green, sort of fresh-spicy-woody scent.

    09th March, 2013

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    Love by MCMC Fragrances

    I disagree with the designation "feminine". This is quite unisex in style -- it is dry, very little florals, and quite brisk.
    I like it.
    It starts with a very green citrus note, courtesy of the yuzu. There are very pleasant herbal notes of basil which tend towards the anise side of the leaf. I don't get much in the way of floral notes, that's ok with me. I'm not sure what templewood is, perhaps there's a bit of an incense note here. Finally, there definitely is a mineral-dry stones note which is really intriguing. I assume that is the gunpowder.
    A very successful and interesting green scent. Wears well, I find it both low-key yet assertive -- and certainly distinctive.

    01st March, 2013

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    Orange Spice by Pell Wall Perfumes

    A cautious thumbs-up here. Not a brilliant scent, but it has some very good moments and a few debatable ones.
    It starts with a lovely array of citrus notes, really everything imaginable. To a certain extent many of these get smooshed into what is basically an orange melange of a very smooth sort. The orange is natural, genteel, not synthetic in style. It suggests both orange zest and orange blossoms.
    The spices are *very* low-key, really they just give a slight cushion to the orange notes. What we have is a mild, soapy, slightly barbershop sort of scent.
    My slight equivocation has to do with the castoreum. It must be what is responsible for a kind of metallic, animalic, leathery note which develops in the dry-down. At times it is mildly intriguing, at other times not quite irritating but a bit tiresome and odd. Never off-putting though.
    I wish the frankincense and vetiver had been ramped up and the castoreum eliminated.
    So -- if orange scent are your thing then check this out and see what you think.

    27th February, 2013

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    Green Carnation by Pell Wall Perfumes

    I give this a neutral assessment but I am quite discontent with the scent.
    Here's the issue. Granted that a carnation has a brisk, clove-like aspect. But in the real flower, that spicy note is well-tempered and in combination with more gentle, floral notes.
    In this scent and on my skin, the clove dominated and essentially obliterated all other elements. There were some nice things there, and when I washed off the scent the reminants which remained were pleasant, even appealing.
    Too heavy a hand with the clove. A little clove goes a long way. For me, this was like a vigorous Bay Rum, a style I've never cared for.
    Also, there was a rather tiresome hay/grass note. Not a pleasant "cut grass" note, rather a dusky old straw-like note. At time that note was like toasted grain kernels.
    The scent was not green as I define green.
    I think the scent needs work, for me it was not successful.

    26th February, 2013

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    Une Voix Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is a good scent. It is not at all my style, so I only give it a neutral -- but it will appeal to many.
    It is a rich, opulent floral. Heady, almost over the hill at times -- doesn't smell like a ripe banana but has the same powerful vibe.
    Complex, earthy, smokey, compelling and of high quality.
    Very floral, but an adventurous guy could appreciate it.
    At times, a peach/apricot note, at other times something almost aquatic. Probably both of these characteristics are due to the gardenia itself.
    Like jasmine but earthier, and more indolic.
    Ultimately a bit too sweet, floral and powerful to suit me. But very interesting.

    24th February, 2013

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    Lavanda Alpina by Borsari

    Ah, they don't make stuff like this any more. This a delightful old-school fougere, in the style of Crown Fougere. It has a very concentrated, dry, herbal lavender note. This is supported with other herbal notes (thyme, basil) and plenty o' moss. The dry-down is mossy wood. The power yet refinement of this convey the quietly assertive nobility of a bygone era.

    23rd February, 2013

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    Baladin by Nicolaï

    I liked it for a while, appreciated it for a while, then finally became discontent with it and washed it off.
    For me, the leather came to dominate -- and I don't care for leather as a note.
    The scent starts with some good citrus and mint notes. These are very refreshing and bright. Nothing sweet or heavy here. The leather at this point smoothes out some of the acidity in the citrus.
    Then, the leather takes center stage. Actually, it is quite interesting at this point, and certainly distinctive. Obviously leather, still not sweet nor heavy. Reminds me of a well-worn pair of leather gloves which have been sitting in the sun.
    But then the leather note takes on a somewhat odd character -- cool, vaguely aquatic. That combination doesn't appeal to me at all and I said farewell.
    At least the vanilla never made an appearance.

    23rd February, 2013

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    Cravache by Robert Piguet

    This is a review of the vintage version.
    It certainly has an old-school aura: a hard-to-describe character that is like a movie with a scene shot in soft focus. Everything is soft, smooth, genteel; and definitely of another era.
    The citrus notes are essentially non-existent -- perhaps to be expected in vintage juice. The spices are well done and give a pleasant warmth. The herbs (clary sage and lavender) are dusky and aromatic. The dry-down first presents grassy vetiver (very pleasant) and woody-earthy patchouli (thankfully restrained).
    Well made, attractive, not ground-breaking but very competant and wears well. If the citrus had been lively this would have been an excellent scent -- as I'm sure it was in the day.

    22nd February, 2013

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    Pure Essence Eau de Parfum No.1 Frankincense by Neal's Yard

    I love this scent. It is straight-forward, natural, and very satisfying.
    It starts with a lovely green lime zip. There is good frankincense, with its hint of conifer and mint. There is a nice warm peppery spice component. There are also herbal lavender and other dusky herbs. The total effect is VERY dry and pleasing, refreshing in a delightfully understated way. There is a hint of rich, soapy myrrh. The dry-down is resinous and woody. It has great longevity for an all-natural scent.
    Frankincense fans -- this is a must-have.
    Update --
    Great combo of frankincense and lavender. Brings out the camphoric and resinous qualities of each. Very, very dry. Wears well. Not a complex scent, stays parked in that zone and hey, nothing wrong with that.

    21st February, 2013 (Last Edited: 16th August, 2014)

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    Insensé by Givenchy

    This is a pleasant scent. It is often called a "masculine floral" but it doesn't seem very floral to me. It's round and smooth in texture. Well blended and difficult to distinguish between many of the notes. A few florals perhaps, and not very sweet. Some herbal notes, a bit of resin from the lentiscus (mastic). Iris suddenly steps out of the pack and is clearly distinct, with an earthy, tangy character. And then the fir balsam of the dry-down appears. The early part is fir-prominent, and that is amazing. Well done! The latter part of the dry-down gets more balsamic and a bit sweeter and heavier.
    Worth checking out.

    21st February, 2013

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    Green Play by Comme des Garçons

    This is a nice, herbal-mint scent.
    The mint is like mint leaves rather than toothpaste. The lime adds a pleasant, green-citrus note. Mint and basil complement each other here -- the basil adds to the minty aspect and adds a anise, herbal tone. A dry, dusky note from the mastic is apparent, and makes this scent somewhat similar to its CdG sibling, Airborne.
    Pleasant, not sweet or heavy, wears well. Bit of vetiver and ambrette in the dry-down.

    21st February, 2013

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    Freesia by Florascent

    A rather green floral: spicy, peppery, green-pepper floral.
    Not only spicy but a bit woody, like new young wood shoots.
    Not very floral, and not really sweet.
    Not quite like the freesia I know from bouquets.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Floralis Ylang by Florascent

    Soft, sweet, rich and a bit metallic. Powder in a tin.
    Aromatic, salty, leathery, earthy with a bit of vanilla.
    It starts sweet and gets a little drier as it develops.
    OK, not my style but some will like it.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Floralis Jasmine by Florascent

    A sweet but accurate citrus note. Combines with big, earthy tuberose. Thus, a large, somewhat dense scent. The tuberose is clean and a bit minty (rather than earthy as is sometimes the case). Also, at times there is a note with an affinity to chocolate.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Floralis 1er Mai by Florascent

    A simple, pleasant, lovely scent.
    Not much citrus or galbanum.
    The rose is delicate and green; the jasmine is hay-like.
    A very delicate, subdued scent. A somewhat slight or translucent green scent with florals.
    Not sweet.
    Delicate and spring-like.
    In the dry-down the rose becomes more prominent and deeper.

    21st February, 2013

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    Osmanthus by Florascent

    Very interesting, even intriguing. These are intended to be simple one-note scents.
    Osmanthus tea is like jasmine, with a fruity-floral aspect. That is evident here.
    Powdery and woody. Suggests fruit cocktail, tinned peaches or apricots in a warm metal tin.
    Actually this is rather interesting apart from the sweetness.

    21st February, 2013

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    Chabana by Florascent

    Very sweet and floral. Heady, full-bodied. Sharp, spicy, even a bit smoky in the dry-down. Metallic? Yes, but interesting. One-dimensional by design -- these are intended to be simple, one-note in style.
    Could be drier, would improve it considerably.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Composita Monsieur Balode by Florascent

    Too sweet for me but props to it for being complex and interesting.
    It has a very aromatic. sweet opening of tropical fruit syrup -- attributable to the davana.
    Then, hay and dried grass appear. Those who have smelled a sweetgrass incense/smudge ceremony will recognize the note. Nice and complex, sweet and aromatic, touch of old leather.
    Too sweet for me, but highly interesting.
    A gourmand note, seen in a few of the Florascent line. Here, nutty like pralines (sugared nuts).
    Also, a bit salty, even marine. Barnacle-laden, a weathered pier in the hot noonday sun. Yes, very marine.
    So as you can see, a somewhat odd melange of notes. Interesting.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Composita Umami by Florascent

    Starts with a bright green yuzu note (citrus) which is OK. Grassy, leafy.
    Tons of vanillla here, unfortunately.
    Gets VERY sweet and lands in toothache territory.
    Vanilla and spice, very gourmand/dessert.
    Finishes with a tinny, metallic aspect.
    Not recommended.

    21st February, 2013

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    Monsieur Balmain (new) by Pierre Balmain

    Top: mint, bergamot, lemon, bitter orange
    Mid: rosemary, ginger, pepper, caraway, rose, nutmeg, thyme, moss, sandalwood
    Base: musk, amber, clary sage, vetiver, sandalwood

    This is a lovely lemon scent -- very natural. Good hints of herbs, mint and moss. It is a refreshing spritz, and a worthy alternative to Eau D'Orange Verte. Nice mossy dry-down with herbs and vetiver.

    20th February, 2013

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