Fragrance Reviews from September 2005

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    Candie's Men by Candie's

    Wow, I am embarrassed t actually think I had this in my wardrobe at one point. I got this on the recommendation of a friend (Yes, she was a female). She said it was amazing. I was horrified when I got it. This smells like scented toilet paper in a bowl of household cleaner. It also reeks of a high school campus. No self respecting adult would wear this. It’s just so cheap. Cheap to the extreme.

    21st September, 2005

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    Déclaration by Cartier

    Since I’ve been collecting fragrance, I’ve had 3-4 bottles of Declaration, and I’ve hated them all. Declaration smells like green and earthy body odor. It’s completely flat and insipid. I have no idea how this is popular among any group. Just awful. Just plain awful.

    21st September, 2005

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    Desire for a Man by Dunhill

    Desire is terrible. When testing it, my biggest Desire was to scrub it off with a brillo pad and comet. This is a synthetic, cloying mess. It smells like some one spilled apple slurpee mix and tried to clean it up with an even sweeter vanilla scented cleaner. The worst gourmand I have ever smelled.

    21st September, 2005

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    Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert Extreme by Bulgari

    This is a very pleasant and soft green tea fragrance with subtle floral tones. I’ve heard a couple members say that this has an accord that smells similar to latex, and I must agree. I’d classify this as a summer fragrance, but I sometimes find it a bit too sweet for summer use, but it’s also too fresh to be worn during summer. It’s an odd one, but it is very pleasant.

    21st September, 2005

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    Iquitos by Alain Delon

    I once had Iquitos described to me as “Roses with balls”, and I can’t say I disagree with that assessment. Iquitos is a very dark and dry rose based fragrance. This is one of the few chypre rose fragrances that work for men. This is earthy, dark, and dry. A unique fragrance that can be had for pretty cheap.

    21st September, 2005

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    Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

    Jaipur is a great Oriental fragrance for men. It’s a bit more subtle and wearable than some of the other powerhouses in its family (Opium PH, M7, Obsession). Jaipur is soft and powdery, but also very classy and elegant. This is a great rich and refined Oriental.

    21st September, 2005

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    Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    This is an herbal mess. A sharp herbal mess with earthy accents. Somewhere in the mess there is a soapy accord, which just makes the whole thing seem like an even bigger mess. I feel weird giving the only negative review, but earthy, herbal, and soapy all together really doesn’t sit well with me.

    21st September, 2005

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    Pasha by Cartier

    Despite what many people say, I find Pasha to be pretty unique. You don’t find many floral/earthy fragrances with a mint note. Pasha is a pretty refined and classy fragrance, but it’s also very wearable. Like was noted in another review, Pasha, along with most Cartier fragrances, lack depth, which I find makes Pasha easily wearable by anyone.

    21st September, 2005

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    Pasha Fraîcheur Menthe by Cartier

    This is great. This is a more minty, fresher version of Pasha. It’s easier to wear, and even works in winter. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very deep fragrance, and doesn’t evolve much on the skin, but I still like it.

    21st September, 2005

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    Quorum by Antonio Puig

    WOW. This is HORRENDOUS. I still remember the thread this was recommended to me. I was looking for a deep woody floral fragrance. I went and bought it blind the very same day. I wanted to shoot myself in the face when I finally smelled it. This is a grossly low class herbal leather fragrance. Quorum makes Z-14 smell like Tabac Blond. Quorum is horribly offensive.

    21st September, 2005

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    Yatagan by Caron

    I love Yatagan. Yatagan is an incredibly dry and very earthy fragrance. The Patchouli is very prominent in Yatagan. Yatagan has always conjured up images of the sun setting over rolling hills covered in golden grass. This is a great fragrance, but difficult to wear. It’s very very dry, and very heavy. It’s not for everyone, but it is a brilliant fragrance.

    21st September, 2005

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    Millésime Impérial by Creed

    It doesn't last long, but I have fallen completely in love with this scent. Not one to put on in the morning as it will not last the whole day, but for that first impression at a special occasion I cannot think of anything I would sooner be wearing.

    21st September, 2005

    nase's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    DKNY Be Delicious by Donna Karan

    Very modern and somewhat retro at the same time: modern the really genial design of the bottle and package and the freshness and clearness, retro because it reminds me on the apple shampoos, we used in the 80ies, when I was a child, the perfumed pencils and rubbers we loved and the strong colored sweets and candies, that colored teeths and tongue for hours.
    The dominant scent is the apple and maybe melon. It's soo fresh and smooth like warm rain in a late summer afternoon and delicious like fresh fruits eaten while walking through town.
    Very young, very sensual and somehow airy-fairy. I fell in love with it.

    21st September, 2005

    nqt's avatar

    Vietnam Vietnam

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 7 Sweet: Burnt Sugar by Comme des Garçons

    I can't believe I love it. Nicely "clean" for a gourmand scent, surprisingly calming. The "gum" topnote are quite fun. (Condom as someone said:-P)

    But the best are the drydown, sometime I think it smells like tea from an ordinary tea bag. Sweet, concentrated, milky, sugar and a hint of warm ginger or cardamom. And it lasts.

    21st September, 2005

    pepse19's avatar

    United States United States

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    Soul by Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

    This one is good, not great. They said it was going to be different and it definitely comes with the big price tag. However, smells much like the original and all the others that bear the same name.

    21st September, 2005 (Last Edited: 01st October, 2005)

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    Perceive by Avon

    This really smelled awful on me. I didn't understand it and can't explain it. It smelled like cleaning chemicals with my chemistry.

    21st September, 2005

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    Hei by Alfred Sung

    Smell like many fragrance's basenote, but I don't think it is the reason to call ٠"Chi". And the chinese word of this product should be called "Chi", not "Hei".

    22 September, 2005

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    Blu Notte pour Homme by Bulgari

    Excellent scent! It's profound but not too strong, takes a balance between deep and fresh. A unusual fragrance which is pretty than original BLV pour homme.

    22 September, 2005

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    Bill Blass by Bill Blass

    Understatedly chic, just like everything Bill Blass ever did - this fragrance was my first real "adult" scent and one I've always gotten nice remarks on, even way back when I used to wear it at wings-and-pitcher nights in college! It's florally but in a clean, self-assured manner - you've got hyacinth, geranium, iris, tuberose, orris, ylang and carnation, so you end up with some fresh greenness, some cool powder, some spiciness, some richness. It all works, along with the green galbanum and pineapple in the topnotes, which are just like the right finishing touches in a floral arrangement. The base is classic and well-suited to the rest of the fragrance - amber, sandalwood, benzoin, cedarwood, oakmoss. A very effortless fragrance, very easy to wear, very charming. And the price is always right; for such a great little scent, a bottle of Bill Blass is one of the best bargains around.

    22 September, 2005

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    Obsession by Calvin Klein

    This is "Opium (the fragance!) American style" to me, a little cleaner and more forthright, not quite as mysterious as YSL's masterpiece but a great fragrance in its own right. True, the 80s were awash in this and in truth, I didn't really start getting into it until the mid 90s, when fragrance tastes changed and it was no longer so ubiquitous. Obsession is really, in terms of composition, more like Lauder's Cinnabar than Opium; its fruit topnotes are peachy-citrusy rather than plummy-raisiny like Opium's, though Cinnabar is almost aggressively peachy where I find Obsession plays out the slightly more subtle mandarin emphasis. Obsession's base is almost identical to Cinnabar's, heavy on the amber whereas Opium is loaded with every type of resin imaginable with amber being just one of many. But what makes Obsession ultimately cleaner and relatively lighter - if heavy orientals could ever be considered light at all! - than both of the others are the absence of incense and patchouli as basenotes, replaced by a stronger emphasis on fairly clean musks. This gives Obsession a certain frankness and straightforwardness that's different from the more come-hither qualities of the other two. To be honest, I enjoy the personalities of all three fragrances and find they can all exist in harmony in my collection. Obsession is the one that has the most versatility for me; I can wear it casually and it feels perfectly right, whereas Cinnabar and Opium are more for specific, dramatic applications.

    22 September, 2005

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    Panthère de Cartier by Cartier

    The Eau Legere rendition of this fragrance is not classified on its own here but I'm going to go ahead and review it anyway because it's the one I wear and the version most special of all the Pantheres, I feel. It's a much greener, lighter variation on the fairly sweet and spicy, classically oriental Panthere; it features green mandarin, neroli, tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, tonka, patchouli, sandalwood and green notes. If it's at all possible for something to be both sumptuously, deep-down luxuriant and fresh-scrubbed, sparklingly, soapy clean, it's embodied by this fragrance. The matching up of the tuberose/gardenia and extremely sprightly mandarin and greens is radiant; this is a midsummer night's dream in a bottle, puckish and at the same time movingly lovely. I've heard comments from those who love really heavy and heady fragrances that this is far too light, particularly for a Cartier (though it has far more body than Eau de Cartier, which truly is a lightweight, almost water scent if there ever was one.) But I proclaim it perfect, probbaly the single best effort from the Cartier fragrance oeuvre as a whole.

    22 September, 2005

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    Casmir by Chopard

    I don't know what it is with Casmir, a fragrance I have always felt I should really like because the notes seem so enticing but have never, ever been able to get enthused about; it has always struck me as missing some component, lacking that special "something." What it is to me is Opium or even Cinnabar minus the spices - which just leaves something very fruity and vanilla-patchouli based. Nice and all, but where's the exoticism? With a name like Casmir, I always find myself waiting for something a bit more mystical to kick in when I put this on, and it never arrives. Instead, what it approxmates is a slightly less aggressive Escada by Margaretha Ley, particularly through the peach-coconut topnotes. Not quite the effect something called Casmir should have, I'd say; even a little tiny smudge of incense would have helped...Anyway, this fragrance definitely has its fans and so I can't get away from the idea that I'm just not "getting" something. That's why I go back to it every so often, just to see if maybe my take on it has changed over the years. So far - no dice!

    22 September, 2005

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    Love's Baby Soft by Love's

    Okay, this has got to be the number one or number two nostalgia scent for those of us who attended junior or high school back in the Seventies/early Eighties. Sweet, soft, soothing with a scent somewhere in between baby powder and baby oil; all I have to do is close my eyes and think about how it smells, without even actually smelling it, and those memories just come flooding back! Sadly, it's been reformulated of late and is not as pretty as it used to be; it's a bit sharper now and more baby shampooey than anything else, which is still nice but not quite as gentle as it once was. (On the upside, the "new" Love's Baby Soft spray bottle is easier to wield than I recall the old splash style bottle being. Or was it Love's Fresh Lemon - another one of my very, very nascient fragrant loves, that came in the splash bottle?) Despite the changes, I continue to wear it from time to time, and still like it quite well for what it is - simple and easy, perpetually young and a whole generation's idea of what a certain time of life smelled like.

    22 September, 2005

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    FlowerbyKenzo by Kenzo

    Okay, it's important to note that there are really *two* Flower by Kenzos - the EDP in the clear glass bottle with the red flower and the parfum in the solid red brushed metal bottle. Both are lovely, both are worth owning - but they are very different. The EDP is very much about florals - particularly violet, which comes through headily in the topnotes - and rose, with vanilla and a bit of sweet woodiness playing supporting roles. It's a very soft, almost muted fragrance, very pretty but not what I would call striking or terribly individual. The parfum, however, is an entirely different tale and one well worth exploring if you have not done so yet. It picks up on some of the EDP's notes - the rose and violet as well as the vanilla, opoponax and white musk from the EDP's base - and intertwines them with amber and almond. The result is just pure heaven, nearly indescribable in its beauty. Mind you, there is a bit of waiting required to get to the good part; on initial application, you very much get a fairly basic violet tinged with just a touch of almond. But once thirty minutes or so passes, you find yourself with a patch of paradise on your skin, a sweet velvet essence so inviting that it becomes almost a full sensory experience rather than just an olfactory one. If it sounds too incredible to believe, I urge you to try it for yourself; just be sure you track down the parfum. For quite a while, I heard people rave about Flower by Kenzo and couldn't figure out what the big deal was over the slightly underwhelming EDP. Then I finally got around to trying the parfum - and now I know!

    22 September, 2005

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    Liz Claiborne by Liz Claiborne

    Eighties flashback alert! Another fragrance, in addition to Cinnabar and Paris, that I "borrowed" liberally from my sister's stash back when we were both in high school and I did not "officially" wear fragrance (because it doesn't count if it's someone else's, you know.) This is a fairly uncomplicated melange of lots and lots of varied florals, some green notes and a dash of spice. Funny, though, as romantic and dramatic as it should be with all its flowers, this really comes across as a very approachable, head-on and kind of easy fragrance, feminine in a comfortable, contemporary way. It's in a somewhat similar vein as Bill Blass signature, but more accessible, a little less high-end boutique than the Blass is (although the Blass is very easy to wear in its own way.) I still keep a bottle on hand - the stuff is dirt-cheap and widely available - because just looking at the triangular primary-colors motif on the box it comes in always makes me smile and also because the bottle shape makes it fun to apply (which is why I think I was drawn to it in the first place!) This is/was the olfactory embodiment of Liz Claiborne, the brand, at its height, before it became sort of more loose and diluted in its identity. Again, a very, very Eighties thing.

    22 September, 2005

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    Eau du Gantier by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Very, VERY lovely fragrance; I see it's categorized here as both feminine and unisex and that makes sense, as it's certainly clean and spicy enough for wear by both guys and gals. Has a little of the same spirit as Calypso Homme but this one is more about summer hikes through the woods than sultry days spent in tropical settings. Eau de Gantier begins with a tart, cleansing wash of citrus and then opens into blackberry and raspberry spiked with verbena. The hints of soapiness and spiciness must come from the sandalwood at the base and the way that it interacts with the other notes; the clean musk basenote is pretty quiet here and in no way resembles that in Eau de Mure, another MPG berry-musk combo in which the musk plays a central role, or the one in L'Artisan Mure et Musc, for that matter. Those fragrances, with their heady musk components, are all about sexy to me; the Eau de Gantier is simply pure and outdoorsy, no ulterior motives, no seductive undertones, just fresh and approachable. This is a sunny, friendly, energetic fragrance, seriously easy to wear. Staying power is so-so but since I only put this on in the hottest months, that's not an issue and doesn't bother me. The progression of fresh, zesty notes makes frequent reapplication a pleasure anyway.

    22 September, 2005

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    Oleg Cassini for Women by Oleg Cassini

    My, but this is an intensely, almost tooth-achingly sweet fragrance. Nothing in the notes really indicates that it should be sweet to such a degree; it's mostly florals here, including freesia (okay, granted, that can get pretty sweet in a white floral kind of way), Bulgarian rose, tuberose, carnation and chrysthanthemum (is that very sweet? Beats me!) So that leaves the fruit notes of mandarin and osmanthus, both of which must be cranked up to the Nth power here; you can smell the rounded, ripe, slightly raisiny (that's from the osmanthus) scents they throw from a mile away. And there's a big dollop of sweet and powdery amber in the drydown, along with oakmoss. Because of the oakmoss, this is considered a fruity chypre, but so is Patou Cocktail and Cassini is basically like a honking quart of cherry heering (a ridiculously sweet liqueur with overtones of cough syrup) compared to Cocktail's crisp shot of palate-cleansing apertif. I love Oleg Cassini himself - charming man with the kind of globetrotting, fantastical life that people just don't live anymore - but this fragrance is not for me. I am giving it a neutral mainly out of respect to Mr. - or, more accurately, Count - Cassini. One last note: this fragrance has some definite similarities to the signature Anna Sui fragrance, the one in the purple and black bottle. If you like the Anna Sui, investigate the Oleg Cassini, which is a touch more formal and sophisticated but very much in the same vein.

    22 September, 2005

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    Ralph by Ralph Lauren

    A quite nice if not totally remarkable fruit-floral based casual scent. Definitely a grade above the Victoria's Secret Garden Collection fragrances, which are nice but run a bit nondescript and common in many cases. Ralph's marriage of musk, apple and freesia may strike some as a "shampoo scent," but I like that about it. (Apple as a note so often seems to have that effect, I've noticed.) Like the sunny, glowing Breck girl that this fragrance always reminds me of, Ralph is fresh, clean, completely classy and not too serious about itself, the type of scent you can wear when you almost don't feel like putting on fragrance at all. It just sort of melds with you and whatever you're doing, doesn't bother you or others, just quietly does its thing. That being said, I couldn't imagine wearing it with anything other than jeans, sneakers, white shirts, totally laid-back casual; it's so fresh that to pair it with more professional attire would seem almost bizarre to me. (Then again, lots of people dress really casually for work these days so there you go!) Going out apple picking, having a spur-of-the-moment picnic? Wear Ralph - it's so right for those moments.

    22 September, 2005

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    Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

    To me, Opium is as much an experience as it is a fragrance. I have a fondly recalled history with it, as when I was a teenager I worked up my nerve to wear it (from my mother's supply, initially) by "training" myself with the more user-friendly Cinnabar by Estee Lauder (from my sister's supply! This was eons before I became a hard-core fragrance junkie with an extensive collection of my own.) What drew me to Opium and draws me still are the dramatic images and scapes it conjures; I know it's more about the Far East but I tend to endow it with incredibly exotic Middle Eastern, Saharan associations, visions of "Lawrence of Arabia" and the call of the desert, the sensual allure of the souk, and so on and so forth. And as Yves himself was born in Algiers and has long resided in Morocco (part time for a long time and now permanently, I believe), this all makes sense to me. From Opium's dark spice-spiked plum opening to that rather startling note of carnation to the base of bottomless, almost narcotic resins, you're in for a spellbinding, transformative journey here. I freely admit that Yves is my ultimate in terms of favorite fashion designers; I honestly feel everything he's ever touched has turned to genius, and his fragrances are no exception. How one individual could have dreamed up concepts so diverse and "scent scapes" so defined and self-contained as Opium, Rive Gauche and Paris is a source of never-ending amazement to me, as Opium alone is worthy of awe.

    22 September, 2005

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    cK one by Calvin Klein

    I never learned to like this - it's incredibly nondescript to my nose and on top of that has a very unpleasant tenaciousness to it that I know comes from the hedione, which carries with it the power to destroy everything else in its path. Hedione is what makes every *bad* jasmine bad - the hot-breath-like, cloying, awful kind of jasmine that hounds you like a stalker and will. not. go. away. It certainly gives this fragrance a lot of staying power, that much is true! Because it's so universally well regarded, I kept this in my collection for the longest time just thinking it needed to be there; I felt as though there was something wrong with me for not liking it. But the dealbreaker came when I found out that this was the fragrance that Rosie O'Donnell self-admittedy drenched herself in - something like twenty-five sprays at a time - on a daily basis. Rosie O'Donnell. Drenched in CKOne. Need I say more? The horror, the horror. It ceased then and there to be part of my fragrance holdings and I can't say I ever regretted that decision.

    22 September, 2005

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