Fragrance Reviews from September 2005

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    iMaverick's avatar



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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    When I was younger, I always wished they would bottle the smell of frankincense and myrrh and create the church like experience in a bottle. Years later Tom Ford had the "Gothic-bug" and created this scent. Now I am terribly indebted to him. This is one of my top faves of all time! No other frag makes me smell so deep and take me into another world and mindset with this scent. I hope to be able to find it from here on end. Don't know what to do if they discontinue this! THUMBS SUPER WAY UP UP AND UPPP!

    25 September, 2005

    iMaverick's avatar



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    Intuition for Men by Estée Lauder

    This was a different perspective that Lauder took when they made this scent. It wasn't a very heavy frag, beautiful fresh topnoes, but it definitely had deeper, sensual notes, and the cedar wood was a nice touch to keep it from being too cloying.

    25 September, 2005

    IPaidForThisName's avatar



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    No. 5 by Chanel

    As Serpent said, this is the alpha and omega of fragrance, so to speak. Chanel No. 5 is one of the most innovative fragrances, if not the most innovative fragrance, ever created. It’s shaped and changed the entire industry. Brilliant, and absolutely timeless.

    25 September, 2005

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    4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

    A great piece of history, but it ends right about there. This is too short lived and too weak to be used as a fragrance on the body. It will last a good 5 minutes even if you slosh it on with an 8 ounce glass.

    25 September, 2005

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    Bulgari pour Homme Extreme by Bulgari

    A bit stronger than the original Bvlgari PH, but it also has a pepper note that I don’t notice in the original. Overall, it’s an interesting fragrance, but I do find it quite a bit different from the original. I actually do prefer the original; I think it’s better made.

    25 September, 2005

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    Chrome by Azzaro

    Chrome is a very sharp and grating summer fragrance. It has a very odd and off putting metallic accord that makes it come off smelling like windshield wiper fluid. Very unpleasant stuff.

    25 September, 2005

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    D&G Masculine by Dolce & Gabbana

    This smells exactly like Lemon Pledge floor cleaner. Awful. Lemon has never been this bad!!! !

    25 September, 2005

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    Erolfa by Creed

    Erolfa is probably my favorite aquatic fragrance. With that being said, it’s strikingly similar to Millesime Imperial. It does have a briney/salty character that MI doesn’t, but they essentially smell almost like the same fragrance. I am still up in the air if this is worth owning along with MI.

    25 September, 2005

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    Pure Lavande by Azzaro

    Everything from the Azzaro Pure line is basically cheap garbage. Pure Lavande starts with what is only a tiny hint of something that smells a little like lavender, then dries down to this generic and insipid base. I don’t understand who would buy or wear this fragrance.

    25 September, 2005

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    Pure Vetiver by Azzaro

    There is no Vetiver in this fragrance. I really don’t know how they market it as such. The name is such a misnomer that this fragrance is almost criminal. This smells like a mainstream, generic woody fragrance with a tinge of almost aquatic notes on the top. An awful flop of a fragrance in every sense of the word.

    25 September, 2005

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    Weekend for Men by Burberry

    This is a very sharp and almost sour citrus fragrance, on a pretty boring base. It doesn’t last very long, either. I don’t see the appeal of this fragrance at all. It’s boring, short lived, and slightly unpleasant.

    25 September, 2005

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    Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren

    I hate to say it, but I like this a lot more than the original, and that’s REALLY saying a lot. This is a pleasant ‘enough’ aquatic fragrance. Now, it’s synonymous with high school campuses and dances. This is one I can live without.

    25 September, 2005

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    Aqua pour Homme by Bulgari

    This is a little bit better than some other recent aquatic releases, and it has a very interesting bottle to boot. Other than that, this fragrance isn’t much to write home about. It’s a ‘me-too’ aquatic fragrance without a soul.

    25 September, 2005

    Lyman's avatar



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    Bulgari pour Homme by Bulgari

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. It's true, what's often reported, that it has a little trouble with its staying power. Oh well, then--I guess that's just one of its characteristics, something to keep in mind. Oddly enough, the scent of Bulgari pour Homme reminds me a little of the taste vodka.

    25 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Bois Farine by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I can say I bought Bois Farine on the spot after just smelling the sprayer. It has been in my top 5 ever since, and trust me, that says a lot. It's so original I can hardly describe it. Just like Marlen I think it has a strong peanutty-character but there's so much more to BF. There's bitterness but also sweetness, it's masculine but also very floral. It dries down to a kind of pastrie finish that sticks around forever, easily the strongest L'Artisan on the market. Just try it, if you like it chances are it'll become a life-long companion.
    Masterfull.

    25 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

    Cumin done right. Probably the only fragrance with detectable cumin that doesn't smell like bad BO. Eau d'Hermès is just so perfectly balanced. Perhaps not a surprise since the Great Roudnitska is it's creator. Dries down to a sweet, super-pleasant almost bubblegum-ish base that surrounds you for hours and hours. One of the best "ancient" creations still available.

    25 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

    Like many of it's 70's peers, Gentleman suffers from the patchouli OD so typical for this decade. On me it's sour and nasty, very strong too. The base reeks of civet, which is fecal by nature, and doesn't improve the overall impression one bit... Stay away!

    25 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Laguna Homme by Salvador Dali

    As any regular basenoter knows, Laguna is the premier choice of the distinguished Mr. Milamber on the boards. I share his affection for it only to a ertain extent. An able fragrance that I'd describe as a CK Be with a good dose of saltiness and a strong vanilla base. Lasts very well and is a good choice for guys with no other vanillas in their wardrobes.

    25 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Sweet, peppery, positively smoldering with spices. One of the most uncompromising male orientals out there. The staying power is insane, probably weeks if you don't shower. The supporting products are top notch as well (like always from YSL) and the deo-stick is probably enough for those who want to keep it light. Did I mention it comes in a concentrated version as well? =)

    25 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Santal Noble by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Okay, this is indeed a Noble fragrance. SN definitely is very refined and a high quality juice. It smells almost more as mahogany than sandalwood, at least the juice conjures up very dark images when smelling it. Still there is something in here making it impossible for me to love this MPG. The coffee doesn't compliment the wood notes in a good way and the overall bitterness gets too much in the end for me. The best sandalwoods IMO are the ones with some sweet spices anchoring the compostion, for example Floris Santal and Gucci Envy. My grudge with this one is probably highly personal though, and if you usually enjoy high quality woody, formal and masculine stuff you should definitely give Santal Noble a try.

    25 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    Never been a vetiver fan and this rendition is no exception. Still I really appreciate this classic blend, just not on my own skin. Green, grassy and lemony opening, maybe a hint of coconut as well? It progresses through the typical vetiver, slightly bitter and soilish - this is the part I can't stand. But the tobacco/tonka base significantly mellows it out leaving a very nice finish. Not for me but I won't diss it either, it's just too darn classic. Would put it next to Eau Sauvage in terms of timeless appeal.

    25 September, 2005

    Scenturio's avatar



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    Ambra by Etro

    Ambra was recommended to me by a perfume seller, whom I told, that I wanted to get an impression of more or less pure amber. Well ok, so that is amber. Woody, spicy, sweet, with an intriguing smokey basenote, but all in all quite feminine at the first smell. But worth a try, especially in the colder season. Is it sensual? Sexualizing? I am not to sure, but anyway you feel like dressed in a quite eccentric shirt - even when you have forgotten this fact, other people will notice...

    25 September, 2005

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    Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin

    There is one predominant note in this perfume which to me is most probably anise. Quite a lot of anise-based perfumes have become a great success, take Azzaro pour l'homme, for example. In the moment I am not too sure, whether my interest in this scent will last longer than the little tester bottle, but being mostly torn between heavy dark scents and the citrus scents that are often too fresh for me, this is an exciting new direction. But maybe I will give some other anise-based scents a try, before I'll surrender to this. Might have something to do with the canary bird I had, when I was a child: The sand we put into his cage had a hint of Arpege.

    25 September, 2005

    shifts's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Secret Wish by Anna Sui

    This one smells very fresh and reminds me of a fruit market. Lovely at first sniff actually, with a wonderful, slightly bitter, grapefruit note sticking out. It stays very close to the skin and seems to fade out a tad too quickly.

    25 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar



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    BR by Banana Republic

    Another lesson in not learning from my mistakes when it comes to green tea fragrances. I bought BR against my better judgement after hearing so many raves about its cleanness, lightness, refreshing soapiness and so on. I tried it on in the store and didn't care for it, but convinced myself I'd grow to love it. (The very reasonable price tag made it hard to form a counterpoint, might I add.) I tried wearing it repeatedly, days in a row or one day a week - with the same outcome again and again. No clean soapiness, no light elegance, just a heavy, remotely sourish down note in an otherwise unremarkable and slightly annoying floral composition. Like my other green tea mistakes, which have variously included Route de The and MPG Eau de Camellia Chinois - other allegedly "clean-fresh-light-soapy" scents, the BR made me slightly queasy. I've concluded that it must just be the quality of the tea note itself; some are just heavier, stronger, more full-bodied, tending toward bitter or acrid, etc. than others, and the one in BR has got to be in that heavy category. And it's not as though this type of note is hidden way back in the bottom of the composition; I can generally pick up on it right away, as it tends to dominate the other notes from start to finish. I just don't LISTEN to my instincts is all. Well, as with my other trials and errors in tea scents, I was able to find a loving home for my bottle of BR, which now lives with someone who fully and completely understands its appeal.

    26 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar



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    Simply by Clinique

    I find Clinique Simply to be stripped-down, less exotic take on Jil Sander Sensations - in much the way that Clinique's Happy is the same type of spin on Jean Paul Gaultier Classique. Simply and Sensations have a few points in common, including the following: a sharp, almost scratchy opening moving into a softish woods-based drydown; a series of comfort food notes, which are soy milk and toasted soy meal in Simply versus a milk-and-cereal accord in Sensations; and a subtle floral background of sweet white flowers. Heck, even the bottles are done in the same shade of warm, soft, hazy nude-toned glass. What differentiates the two is the fact that Simply inserts an amped-up fruit note (watermelon) into its topnotes, while Sensations just doesn't go there. (Similarly, Happy throws a generous serving of Orangina-style orange-citrus into its topnotes while the JPG goes with just a few extremely subtle squeezes of slightly bitter mandarin rind.) And also the way that Simply lacks a certain complexity in its base that Sensations certainly has. The parallels between these scents are just pet theories of mine and have no basis in any facts I'm aware of; but then again, as in all creative endeavour, nothing is 100% new, so I can fully see how Simply could have been inspired by the Sander scent. That being said, I prefer the Jil Sander fragrance by far over this; it's just got a certain something that Simply lacks. Simply's not at all bad - it's "simply" not as good as Sensations!

    26 September, 2005

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    Spellbound by Estée Lauder

    My intention is not to alarm, but I must say this in regards to Estee Lauder Spellbound - please treat this fragrance with a good dose of healthy respect, or better yet fear, as it can and will attempt to damage your breathing passages and internal organs if used inappropriately or with anything approaching abandon. Spellbound, in my life, is inextricably linked with Calvin Klein Escape, to the point where I still often get them confused and inadvertantly place all the blame on one for the heinous reactions I suffered from both. (Escape generally receives the brunt of this burden, for some reason.) They both launched the same year, 1991, and both entered into my life (I say entered because both were given to me, not purchased by me) at that same time. And both of them tried to do me bodily harm, to the point where I suffered a vicious one-two punch that had me switching back and forth between the two trying to figure out which was periodically nauseating me and subsequently enduring a series of events that included nearly passing out in an overheated elevator, almost retching in front of the Saks Fifth Avenue window that bore a giant blow-up poster of one or the other's ad campaign (I want to say it was Spellbound's - black and white shot, guy and girl, the girl being not Lauder's "house" model Paulina Porizkova but some other model whom I had really liked in the late 80s and whose star had fallen quite a bit before she'd picked up this new Spellbound gig - but I cannot be entirely sure because Calvin ALWAYS uses black and white in his fragrance ads and I do know without doubt that this window poster was black and white) and so on and so forth. Fun times - not. If the memories sound vivid, they are. But let me get to the point - both Spellbound and Escape can come on like chemical warfare if (a) overapplied or (b) worn on the wrong day, one in which your chemistry is not feeling particularly friendly to the scent in question. Compositionally, the two are very similar; among the many notes they share are various summer and fall fruits, coriander, clove, carnation, rose, jasmine, cedarwood, amber and musk. Where Escape runs a bit clean/marine, though, Spellbound is bit spicier and more oriental - but not by much. The turn-my-stomach clinchers are a little different too; Escape accomplishes this with a nearly fatal fait accomplis of sandalwood, while Spellbound opts for an inescapably engulfing civet oiliness that does. not. go. away. Ever. Just as some believe that we all have an identical twin somewhere out there in the world, I do believe Escape and Spellbound were somehow conceived from the same single strand of fragrance DNA. They are twins. And not just any regular old twins - they are evil.

    26 September, 2005

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    Dazzling Gold by Estée Lauder

    Dazzling Gold is not exactly dazzling - more like burnished to a warm glow, if you ask me. It's also not entirely interesting; in fact, it easily falls into the class of just-another-fruity-floral-for-the-cooler-months type of fragrance, nothing to write home about. It is, however, definitely one thing - much, much better than its counterpart, Dazzling Silver, which should be subtitled "choker." Anyway, Dazzling Gold is a soft and relaxed scent and the honeyish fig topnote gives it some potential to be at least a little special, but that potential ends up being squandered on the pretty ordinary heart of lily and orchid. (Don't let the fancy names fool you - they're just lily and orchid.) Orchid, when left to its own devices, can bring down the more finely-tuned calibrations of any fragrance and I feel it does justthat here. It smothers all the other notes and just sits there being boring and heavy. Orchid doesn't even strike me as a very golden flower - instead, it brings to mind light mauves. And it also makes Dazzling Gold just another run of the mill floral. Too bad.

    26 September, 2005

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    Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

    Jabuticaba fruit? Natal plum blossom? Mahonia japonica? Golden melaleauca bark? No, I don't know what these are either, but in spite of this fragrance's almost too-clinical-to-be-tropical inclinations and origins, I like it. Unlike so many bursting-with-life, dripping-with-dew scents that really just smell like, well, floral perfumes, I think Beyond Paradise actually succeeds in going above and - yes, beyond - the usual parameters of simulated nature. For an Estee Lauder fragrance, it has a multi-dimensional character that no fragrance from that particular company had ever before achieved. Much less cloying, much more living. Comapre this to THE Lauder floral of the previous decade, Pleasures. Beyond Paradise is a vast improvement; I don't exactly hate Pleasures, but it's rather dull at the end of the day. I did detest the TV commercials for Beyond Paradise, the ones with Carolyn Murphy - in fact, they made me NOT want to buy Beyond Paradise, as something about Murphy's legs and dress really bothered me -but I ended up caving. This is a favorite scent to wear when I go to visit Florida during the winter; it seems, somehow, made exactly for that type of occasion.

    26 September, 2005

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    Wings by Wings

    The best thing about Wings? Sorry, I'm inclined to go with the packaging here. The scent itself is not remarkable but the box looks like an astronomical dreamscape fantasy, which I find cool. Of course, it's not Wings' fault that it's not all that singular; it's a warm, oriental-focused fruitry floral that was conceived at a time when warm, oriental-focused fruity florals were a market staple in much the same way that cool, aquatic-focused fruity floral seem to be today. You've smelled one, you've smelled them all in at least some basic sense. I did wear Wings quite often during its early years and still keep it around - again, love that box! It's extremely mellow, very golden-yellow florally and lacking in that zip of spiciness that many other orientals of that time brought to bear. Instead, with Wings you go from raisiny top notes to solidly floral middle notes to a soothing base of woods/musk/amber. Contrary to its name, Wings will more than likely not be taking you off to some otherwordly flight of mental fancy. Frankly, it reminds me more of shopping at J.C. Penney, which is where I believe I first made its acquaintance. But that is not a bad thing, not bad at all. There's comfort in that kind of familiarity, and I tend to associate Wings with that sort of easy, simple comfort.

    26 September, 2005

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