Fragrance Reviews from September 2005

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    Gardťnia Passion by Annick Goutal

    This is not a Gardenia scent , I find. Rather a tuberose one with a smoky dry down. I mostly associate it with the Fracas tuberose category. Not fresh , for sure , a bit bitter in the drydown , can become cloying. Not a bad scent , but not what it says it is. Try it cause you might disagree.

    20th September, 2005

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    Grand Amour by Annick Goutal

    A sexy actress in her boudoir after her performance. Pensive , smiling hazily to herself as she lifts her hair off her forehead and gazes at her image in the mirror. Her most enthousiastic fan has sent her armfulls of liles , bunches of honeysucle and posies of hyacinth to fill the room and her lacy clothes with an initially fresh and sweet fragrance , with a penetrating aroma that becomes deeper and slightly decaying as time passes.
    The whole concoction is intoxicating somehow , yet it makes her think of him with nostalgia. She thinks she's falling in love... It's a Grand Amour. It has to be.
    That's my impression of this rich floral with hyacinth , lily , honeysuckle , rose , amber , vanilla , balsam musk and myrrhe. Mature and rather heavy in the EDT , to be used sparingly , and only by white flower lovers and such. Extra feminine , both in scent and presentation. A little decadent , not as airy as the majority of the Goutals , more in the company of Gardenia Passion and Passion. Try it. You may like it. It is intriguing.

    20th September, 2005

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    Amarige by Givenchy

    This is a perfume with a tragic story...Perhaps not tragic , ..but unpleasant , nonetheless.
    I am really at a loss on how to begin deconstructing the good things others have said before me and for such a venerable house as Givenchy( No offence , ladies ) Bear with me for a while , I will try to make it clear.
    It was for some time the scent of my MIL. Now this may make you say : " Oh , she's prejudiced , then , it was worn by someone she hates! ". And yet I don't hate her , yet I hate the perfume. My MIL is really inconsistent in choosing perfume , she has me confused. She seems to like sweet rich florals for herself but with confusing results : Giorgio , Amarige , Chloe , First on the one hand ( typhoons more likely....) and Tresor , Paris ,Dolce $ Gabanna red cap , Lolita lempicka ,Paul Smith women and J'adore on the other ( sweet still , but softer and rounder , although for the longest time she drenched herself in Tresor EDP to the point I couldn't get in the car with her comfortably and making me suspicious of Tresor ever since...not that I find it bad per se , I like its peach-rose accord ).
    As to fragrance gifts to me , she is even more erratic : Sweet florals and florientals such as Allure , J'adore , Birmane , Intuition , Oscar de la Renta or even Chloe Narcisse - that one I hated - along with zingy , happy , youngish things such as Happy , Ralph , Oh!de Moschino , Envy or Gucci EDP II on the other hand.

    WHAT'S GOING ON? Is she buying for someone else too and gets mixed up? Is she influenced by salespeople pushing the latest thing? ( my most valid guess ) Is it designer and snob appeal? Or is she just a heavy smoker ( 1,5 pack a day ) so her sense of smell has gone bananas and doesn't know? ( and yet she claims it's her only sense time hasn't affected LOL ). And guess which fragrance she compliments on me all the time ( she dosn't identify it and asks beforehand ) : OPIUM !!! A fragrance she despises and always says that back at the time it didn't sell well at the duty free! ( yeah , right.....Then why is it still sooooo available everywhere ? )

    ANYWAY.....I love the woman nonetheless , but not because she once loved Amarige. What can I say? Perhaps someone gifted her with that....she had to test it once.
    Well....it was a typhoon and earthquake simultaneously hitting me when I first smelled it on her. A STRONG smell of flowers of the most aggressive variety ( think tuberose and gardenia ) mixed with a LOT of red fruits and plum and cassis ( a particulary sticky note , very prominent in Tiffany original )hits you on application. Granted , she did spritz 5 times under EACH armpit!!!!( I had the fortitude not to faint , I was present at the time.......) Nausea , gagging and general discomfort ensued....but I am too polite to insult her perfume! After all she is a lovely lady , even if she still insists that Giorgio was " something else " ( said in a dreamy , hazy way). I was so appalled that I became convinced it was her chemistry that made that scent so strong and foul.So bitter and squeeky sweet at the same time. So I had to spray myself at a store once , didn't I? What kind of fragrance cognoscenti wouldn't?

    A WARNING LADIESDon't ever do that mistake as I did. This stuff is potent. This stuff is the Ivan and all the other typhoons in Florida combined. You know Fracas? That kind of thing , only not as dry in the base , not as masterfully blended.( although I don't wear it I appreciate it in small doses on others sometimes ). I collected my pieces off the floor and shakingly went to the nearest bathroom to collect myself.
    Luckily my MIL has stopped wearing this and if she ever does again , I refuse to be present to smell the fumes. At last , she wears soft , discreet scents.

    SIDENOTE!A few days ago , standing in the bank for a deposit I smelled this perfume again. It was unmistakable. Strong , floral and fruity ( I admit I have a problem with fruity ) and emanating from nearby....Not so obnoxious as I remembered , but still bad in a way. Overwhelming , if you know what I mean.
    I turned my head to see : who wears this? what target group has this fragrance got? To my surprise it was a young woman , not much younger than me , blondish ( well , highlights on a natural light brown ) , groomed in a girly way ( no sh*t! what did you expect ? ) and very confident in her stance.
    The mystery was solved. SO NOW I KNOW! Amarige gives you confidence! It won't make you feel nice , it won't please anyone in particular ( I doubt it is a man magnet , men seem to like discretion , even in the heaviest oriental ) but it will make sure you will get noticed. The rest is up to you.
    If you are a nice person , like my MIL for example , people will still love you, even if they hate your perfume. That's not bad , just real life.

    20th September, 2005

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    Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

    What a magnificent,classic,undying perfume.
    Trully a masterpiece of spiciness and resinous-woody undertones with opoponax , incense and benzoin. Still with us after all these years.
    It doesn't offer any favors , you don't have to just like it , you have to love it and if it loves you back ( skin chemistry going on ) it will be a best friend for ever , as it has been for me.
    I only ever use the EDT ( the EDP is vile! I can't understand what they were thinking ) and the pure perfume , about which experts say it is even more velvety , and wear it mainly in cold , cold weather. I retire it in spring and find it makes me long for the first crisp days of autumn.
    It's also super lasting leaving a trail on clothes until they are laundered , which I find sexy.

    It's been a signature for years , since I have been a teenager actually , even in times when such perfumes were frowned upon - think ozonic obsessed late nineties - and a lot , and I mean A LOT of people ( men and women )have complimented me on it , said it is magnificent , light and ....flowery.(!!!) I guess it blooms on my skin :)
    There are people who wrinkled up their noses after they learned what it was ( at times when it was very unpopular ), but they had ALREADY complimented me!

    So you see , if it suits you , wear it and don't give a fig about what other people say. They wish they could wear it too!!

    20th September, 2005

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    Rahšt Loukoum by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    A bitter almond opening that reminds me of Amaretto liquor. Later becomes soft and fluffy and a little powdery , but not of the talcum variety. More of the dusting sugar persuasion. Sweet , but not sickeningly so.
    Having tasted many times the real sweet , Loukhoum, which is made of rosewater jelly and dusting sugar and is sometimes ( in one variety ) perfumed with almond essence , I have to say it is inspired by it , not copying or mimicking it.
    Nice actually, but not on a par with his others?

    20th September, 2005

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I was very lucky to try this exclusive and it impressed me deeply. It is an amalgam of honey , musk , leather , incense , tobacco leaf , hey sugar , amber , iris , rose and sandalwood.
    All those notes are not instantly recognisable to me here. It opens with strong tobbaco and sandalwood with amber , that is very potent and might turn you off. Then it mellows into a suntan-lotion type of scent , like skin "baked" under the sun on a hot beach. No rose discernible for me whatsoever. Several minutes later it becomes honeyed and soft and barely there , whiffs of it caught when the body is heated up again.

    A very very deep scent evocing a middle eastern scenery. Serge performs his magic again. :-)

    20th September, 2005

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    Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Not the smoky choking image its name suggests. Instead a very soft and mysterious honeyed tobacco with woods in the background that is actually very wearable.
    Fitting a well-to-do house decked in fluffy rugs , leather bound books , crystal carafes and mahogany furniture in Sunday morning mood. Lazy and pensive , but full of the joys of restfulness. Very sexy too in a nonchalant , rich way.
    Fits well in any weather and any occasion

    20th September, 2005

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    Un Lys by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I have died and gone to heaven -(sex included though !!!)
    This is the last breath of an angel dying in paradise.
    Contrary to common opinion (that only praises his orientals)Serge makes fabulous florals! Words fail me...

    20th September, 2005

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    Tubťreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    An alarming hospital top note makes one panic , long before the flowers appear. It is so akin to anti-bacterial disinfectant or mouthwash as to scare away most people. I am convinced not many stake it out for the drydown. But itís their loss.
    Because after that phase soft flowers emerge not with the piercingly sweet nature of most tuberose fragrances , nothing like Fracas( although I appreciate the blending ) or Blonde or Herrera , which is good in my book as I get suffocated by them. Also lily is evident? That probably accounts for the softness and butteriness , I guess. And there is warmness too. A sensual drydown that is most unexpected after the initial blast.

    Like Marlen Dietrichís name according to Jean Cocteau , but in reverse : it starts with a whip stroke , ends with a caress.
    For sadomasochists and people appreciative of The Agony and the Ecstasy

    20th September, 2005

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    Fracas by Robert Piguet

    Fracas is like a weapon of mass destruction. Itís this grossly over sweetened tuberose based fragrance. Its thick and headache inducing. One spray lasts about one entire year. I wouldnít have so much of a problem if it wasnít some one dimensional and linear. I much prefer LíArtisans Tuberose, which I own an entire bottle of.

    20th September, 2005

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    Allure Homme by Chanel

    This is a wonderful fragrance. I think everyone, at one point, should own a bottle of Allure. Allure starts off with fresh and sparkling citrus notes. As the fragrance evolves, Allures Oriental nature starts to come out. Itís got a sweet tonka base with woody and earthy notes. The beauty of Allure is that the notes are defined enough that it smells like a very high quality fragrance. Itís not just a solid block of a fragrance like many designer fragrances; instead, itís like a symphony of notes and accords that can be smelled by themselves, but when they all play together, it produces a wonderful fragrance. Allure is a great and very high quality fragrance.

    20th September, 2005

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    Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

    This is a great grapefruit fragrance. Itís very bright and cheerful, but it also has a dark and slightly dirty side that reveals itself in the drydown. Itís very well blended and smells very refined. I doesnít last terribly long, but its still probably the best grapefruit fragrance Iíve come across.

    20th September, 2005

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    By Man by Dolce & Gabbana

    By is a raunchy and dirty fragrance. Itís a trashy blend of lavender and sandalwood. Itís hard to explain, but it really smells alive. Itís a great clubbing or Ďjust sexí fragrance. I love it, but ended up swapping it. The fragrance didnít fit my personality very well. Everything about the fragrance is Ďtrashyí the packaging is even sleazy. This is a fun fragrance to have around.

    20th September, 2005

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrťe by Chanel

    PMC is a stuffy and gentlemanly citrus fragrance. I agree that this is a rather formal fragrance, or better suited for some one that dresses formally on a regular basis. Despite the citrus notes in this fragrance, I donít find it works very well in the summer. This is a very well mannered, yet stuffy, citrus fragrances that seems to exude confidence.

    20th September, 2005

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    Eau de Rochas Homme by Rochas

    Eau de Rochas Homme isnít very interesting or even unique, really. Itís another citrus fragrance that is a little less herbal and a little bit crisper than, say, Eau Sauvage. When it opens it has a slightly bitter citrus rind like accord, and then it dries down to a citrus wood blend. Nothing amazing here, but nothing bad, either.

    20th September, 2005

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    Epicťa by Creed

    Epicťa is a very warm piney (Is that a word?) fragrance. Itís very dry and very woody with a nice pine accord. It wears very close to the skin, and doesnít last terribly long. This is a great winter fragrance for someone who wants an upscale fragrance that isnít too unusual or heavy.

    20th September, 2005

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    Essenza di Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna

    This is basically an Aqua di Gio clone. Itís like every other aquatic fragrance out there. Granted, this has a tiny bit more depth from more woods being present, but itís basically a rehash of everything else out on the market.

    20th September, 2005

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    Halston Z-14 by Halston

    Oh man, where is my IROC-Z? I need to find my gold chains and medallions so I can go cruising. This is such a sleazy, trashy fragrance. I donít know if itís through association, but I find Z-14 to be a harsh, bombastic, and obnoxious fragrance. Z-14 is sleazy to the extreme. This is a harsh unrefined leather based fragrance. Itís dry and raunchy. Itís time to let this one die.

    20th September, 2005

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    Higher by Christian Dior

    Higher is really pleasant as far as citrus summer fragrances go. There is a very nice pear note that I rather enjoy. Itís sweet, but not so sweet that it disrupts the refreshing feeling of the fragrance. The biggest downside to this fragrance is the fact that it lasts for around an hour on me. After about 30 minutes it wears too close to the skin for me to enjoy, and in 30 more minutes, itís gone.

    20th September, 2005

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    Index Tobacco Caramel by Fresh

    What kind of sorcery could create such an awful fragrance? If I hadnít smelled this myself, I would have had no idea man was capable of such atrocities. This smells so fake, and so gross. A gross sweetness with a tobacco note that resembles polyester. I swapped this with a great basenotes member and he thought it was one of the most foul fragrances he had ever come across. Synthetic and fake to the extreme.

    20th September, 2005

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    Jules by Christian Dior

    I so wanted to love Jules. Throughout my entire life, people have called me Jules. Itís just always been my nickname. I know it sounds kind of corny, but itís got a coolness factor if some one asks what you are wearing. Imagine my disappointment when I smelled the bottle I had gotten blind. It smells like a raunchy Kouros Clone. This thick dry leather with that urine soaked bathroom note. I swapped it within an hour of getting it. Oh how I wanted to love Jules.

    20th September, 2005

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    Michael for Men by Michael Kors

    Michael smells, to me, a lot like Bacon and leather. Itís an almost greasy leather fragrance that screams ďThe worst the 80ís had to offerĒ. I have no idea how this got released in 2001, but itís almost exactly like the original Polo. Iíll pass.

    20th September, 2005

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    Platinum …goÔste by Chanel

    The first thing I notice in Platinum Egoiste is the sharp cedarwood. The fragrance itself is rather harsh. Some have gone as far as saying it reminds them of battery acid. It is a bit harsh for me at first. As it dries down it gets a bit more floral and the woods mellow out a bit, but itís still not as smooth as Iíd like. It doesnít last terribly long either. I sold my bottle. Overall, I donít feel this is worth the price.

    20th September, 2005

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    Xeryus by Givenchy

    Iíve never had too much to say about Xeryus. I prefer it greatly over Xeryus Rouge. Xeryus is kind of a typical 80ís fragrance. A mostly woody fragrance with floral notes. This is a bit more linear and one dimensional than a lot of other 80ís fragrances. I consider this one mediocre.

    20th September, 2005

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    Zizanie by Fragonard

    This is an Ďinterestingí fragrance. Itís very powdery. I agree with one of the reviewers that said this smells like baby powder with a musky accord. Itís not bad by any means. Itís actually a wonderful fragrance; I just didnít enjoy wearing it. This is a very gentlemanly fragrance, but not that easy to wear. It doesnít feel formal, it doesnít feel casual. Itís a fragrance stuck in Ďlimboí.

    20th September, 2005

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    Eau d'Elide by Diptyque

    I donít know HOW people like this one, but I think itís awful. Imagine this: A creamy OrangeSicle (You know those orange popsicles with cream inside). Now, imagine you drop that OrangeSicle into a sack of assorted herbs that you bought from your local health food store. Itís horrible. The herbal notes donít compliment the orange note at all. Itís awful.

    20th September, 2005

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    OpŰnť by Diptyque

    OpŰnť isnít a terrible rose based fragrance, but itís not very good either. Itís smell and poorly made. Itís got that health food store/head shop store blending technique that all the Diptyqueís seem to have. Itís not herbal, per se, but rather, itís unbalanced and slightly medicinal. I much prefer Dark Rose, which has almost the same note pyramid.

    20th September, 2005

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    Sentiment for Men by Escada

    Yay, a tropical fruity fragrance. What? Itís from Escada? Surely you jest.Ē

    Joking aside, I think this is really all Escada knows how to do. Sentiment is pleasant, and nice for summer evenings, but man, this stuff gets cloying fast. Itís too fruity and sweet to wear on really hot days, and I just got tired of it very quickly. One of the better fruity fragrance for men, though.

    20th September, 2005

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    Mat; Male by MasakÔ MatsushÔma

    Mat Male is a great summer based fragrance. I hated it for the longest time, but realized I had a bad bottle. I usually hate citrus, but there is something wonderful about the smell of lime. This is a sharp and invigorating fragrance that evolves wonderfully on the skin. This is also much more interesting and multifaceted than most other citrus fragrances. Itís a shame I swapped it away.

    20th September, 2005

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    Cuiron by Helmut Lang

    I had high hopes for Cuiron. I was disappointed when I finally got it. Itís a very dry, slightly spicy leathery fragrance. As most people can probably tell, dry leather isnít really my forte. Dry fragrances in general that have a spicy or herbal touch bother me greatly. This was pretty short lived, also. It lasted 3-4 hours on my skin. I just found Cuiron to be a rather unpleasant experience.

    20th September, 2005

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