Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
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    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

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    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

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    Only The Brave by Diesel

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

    08 January, 2013

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    Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone

    Disappointment.
    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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)

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.
    Update -- the 5 stars continue... a rare occurrence for me. Very, very satisfying scent, possibly my favourite incense. Starts with an assertive wood note. Quickly is joined by frankincense and a bit of oudh. Very well done, even evokes the smoky note of burned incense. Spices add a pleasing frame. Very dry, substantial yet translucent; not sweet or heavy in any way. Superior to Heeley Cardinal, the closest analogue.

    22 November, 2012 (Last Edited: 09 September, 2014)

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    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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    J Casanova pour Homme by J Casanova

    Very powerful! Assertive, quirky, not mainstream. Oddly appealing in a rather strange way.
    It has a very, very aromatic and crisp opening. Green in a steroid-induced fantasy manner, with strong (very strong) soapy notes.
    Herbal in an exponential manner (squared, cubed, something)... thyme. Yet the aquatic note adds an equally powerful cool note, almost minty.
    Extremely synthetic in style, in part like a hot baby powder bottle left on a car dashboard for an extended period.
    Also a very powerful, clove-like note. Kind of medicinal-minty-spicy. Folks, there's clove here, regardless of what the notes suggest.
    Yet -- not unattractive. Oh my this is far too strong for me but it (aside from the testosterone level) actually kind of interesting. If it could be attenuated by about a factor of 100 I'd probably like it.
    powerhouse fans -- this should be on your list. :)

    10th November, 2012

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    Armani Privé Cèdre Olympe by Giorgio Armani

    Revised review
    This is a lovely scent, I like it a lot. The opening has great citrus notes. The bitter orange and bergamot are detectable and distinct, and together make a complex, spicy chord. The lemon tree leaves add an interesting note, sort of plump, green-leaf and intriguing. There are hints of conifer and wood, freshness and brown bark. The dry-down is commendable as it retains all of these elements and puts them into a gentle, smooth, suave package. At times there is a slight soapy aspect which I like. Very enjoyable to wear.
    I'm sad to report that this gem has been discontinued.

    09 November, 2012 (Last Edited: 14 October, 2014)

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    Eau de Fleurs Capucine by Chloé

    Juice is a light green colour.
    A green scent. Juniper-aromatic and tart green apple. Light herbs. Not sweet or heavy. Perhaps a bit thin but it is a light summery splash sort of scent. Refreshing. Definitely no problems here.

    08 November, 2012

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    Eau de Fleurs Lavande by Chloé

    Slightly purple juice, just in case we didn't know this was lavender.
    Floral and green. Pleasant, and NOT sweet or heavy.
    Soft and cuddly. Light and pleasant.
    Absolutely nothing here to offend.
    Don't get any developed lavender notes, but otherwise an OK scent.

    08 November, 2012

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    Kapsule Woody by Lagerfeld

    Aromatic in a sweet-fruity way. Highly synthetic verging on metallic. No natural greens here. Quickly becomes tiresome.

    04 November, 2012

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    Kapsule Floriental by Lagerfeld

    Uggh, much too sweet! Violet should be a piercing silvery note, ivy leaf should be crunchy-green, black tea should be tannic and interesting.
    None of the above. A pralined bon-bon. Vanilla and amber. Bleh.

    04 November, 2012

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