Fragrance Reviews from September 2005

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    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

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    Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

    Just as Luca Turin wrote somewhere, Pamplelune is a very sulphuric juice. It slightly resemples that sharp smell when you light wooden matches. This supposedly is some strange quality unique to grapefruit, and since the pyramid lists it as " Acidulous Grapefruit" this certainly seems to be the case. It quickly fades into a semi-bitter citrus with a nice Guerlain-vanilla base and the scent sticks around for a long time, especially for being a part of the AA-series. A good wear for humid summernights I would say.

    26 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

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    Aquaman by Rochas

    VERY VERY heavy on the cilantro/coriander which gives it a sour and perfumey (in a negative way) aura. I don't think Aquaman is a very good blend, just too disharmonic and sharp. It does however seem to have many fans, so maybe this is just my dislike for the entire genre shining trough... The Jacques Cousteau-ish bottle is brilliant though!

    26 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

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    Armani Eau Pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

    I have zero respect for the house of Armani nowadays. Too many blatant sell-outs, especially in the fragrance department, has made the name very hollow for me. This "eau" was launched long before the demise though and trust me it is as far away from Acqua di Gió as is possible. This is a heavy, mossy masculine EdT that opens with a great, bitter lemon peel. High quality, good sillage and to this date more expensive than the other run of the mill crap bearing Giorgio's name. The discontinuation of Armani Eau Pour Homme
    (which wouldn't surprise me BTW) would definitey mark the end of one of the most famous designers worldwide, at least for me.

    26 September, 2005

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    Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

    Although I prefer Creed's Original Vetiver, which is very similar, Cologne obviously came first. It was a very refreshingly different take on the whole fresh & clean genre, one with Character. It's soapy, clean, grassy and full of citrus. Though it contains very standard notes, the overall impression is original and not much, except OV, resembles it. If you're on a budget get the Thierry, if not go Creed.

    26 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

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    Eau Sauvage Extrême by Christian Dior

    This doesn't have much in common with the flawless original. Instead it suffers from the extreme thickness and herbal overload so typical for the time of it's release. People should only consider this as a replacement for Drakkar Noir or YSL PH Concentree, not Roudnitska's 1966 masterpiece.
    Very curious about the 100% Glaçon version though...

    26 September, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

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    Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

    Just like Fahrenheit you'll recognize Egoïste immediately in your proximity. Very original spicy and warm oriental with an almost medicinal, semi-bitter opening. That quickly fades though, leaving room for a sweet, woody base with vanilla and roses that keeps you enchanted (and enchanting!) for many, many hours. One of Chanel's best and a rich example of the fact that their male collection is on par with the legendary female one.

    26 September, 2005

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    Emporio Armani He by Giorgio Armani

    Clearly the best one of the "tubes", He is almost original. A decent wood/musk combo that does stay with you all of the day, not very common in Armani-country. It has some suede-ish spice, and the whole mix is mellow and very enjoyable to wear. Not half as popular now as it used to be, which is good since the whole european continent (slightly exxagerated =)) reeked of it in the late nineties.

    26 September, 2005

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    Escada Homme by Escada

    The cognac-note is no gimmick, Escada PH definitely has a vintage brandy vibe to it. This is a really cosy and warm juice, would only wear it in winter.
    Powdery and spicy, reminiscent of Aramis old JHL. Could definitely have been released a decade before it's actual launch. A modern classic.

    26 September, 2005

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    Habit Rouge by Guerlain

    The only fragrance I can remember that has made me throw up. I literally vomited after spraying HR on my skin. There is something very wrong with this one, the sickly sweet vanilla base clashes with the rosewood in a bizarre way, and on top of that this smells extremely feminine to me. I guess the enduring global support for this one will always remain a mystery to me...

    26 September, 2005

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    Happy for Men by Clinique

    Can't stand it myself, but Happy probably is among the best ones in this genre. Should be the premier choice of teenagers worldwide. Inoffensive, linear orange and yuzu scent, crammed with that acidic/aquatic AdG quality that seems to attract so many people today. If your main goal with fragrances are to blend in and become as mainstream as possible, then Happy should be front row in your bathroom cabinet. The bottle does look good though.

    26 September, 2005

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    Jako by Lagerfeld

    A weird one, not particularly masculine and with some very "clashing" notes. All fragrances where rosewood is involved seem to be terrible on my skin.
    Jako was anything but a pleasant olfactory experience, at least on me.

    26 September, 2005

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    Probably the biggest source of controversy on the male fragrance discussion board up to date. EVERYONE has an opinion of Kouros, this one just doesn't allow neutrality... Okay, I'm on the positive camp, a great classic in my perspective, but as so often with those - keep the application moderate. That way you'll have a honey/incense/clove/amber combo signaling cosmopolitan masculinity all day, AND night - bizarre longevity, again like the majority of YSL's. If you can't take the Great White Devil, as Indie Guy calls Kourous, by the horns immediately, there are plenty of summer and sport versions working as a great introduction. Once you're ready to face the beast - he'll reward you big time. =)

    26 September, 2005

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    Lagerfeld Classic by Lagerfeld

    Aaaah - the great Lagerfeld Classic - I want to hate it and throughout the years I have, but, the older I get I can sense a weird connection between "us" and I know he' s calling in the horizon and knows I soon will surrender to the mighty mix of amber and spice... Won't be happening for quite a few years though - THIS IS HARDCORE!

    26 September, 2005

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    Lagerfeld Man by Lagerfeld

    A dry and very formal cedar juice. Very peppery and woody to the extreme. Nice but hardly suitable for anything else than professional wear. The yuzu in the pyramid must be wrong, not a sign of anything but wood and spice here, especially not citrus.

    26 September, 2005

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    Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords by Penhaligon's

    Recently received a very generous sample of this and quite frankly I don't get extatic reviews. This is a very basic scent, just like Hennepin says it, consist of lemon (not even different types of citrus), musk and wood. That is all there is to it, hardly very regal in my opinion, on the contrary quite "poor" and definitely simple. The staying power is indeed good but that hardly makes it purchase-worthy. Very weak effort compared to Blenheim Boquet or even Castile.

    26 September, 2005

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    Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani

    Smells great on my friend but vile on me. Perhaps cause I've been dissing its siblings for so long, hehe. This fact anyway prevents me from giving it a unanymous thumbs down, since it seems to be dependant on skin-chemistry to a higher extent than most other stuff. The fragrance itself is a subtle blend of saffron, woods and musk and the bottle is unarguably great looking recalling the twisted -spherical design of the Armani make-up products.

    26 September, 2005

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    Photo by Lagerfeld

    Although launched in 1990, Photo feels very much like a child of the eighties. It's strong, woody, masculine and has a very nice peach note. Very similar to Romeo Gigli's Sud Est. That one is superior of the two though. The packaging and name is of course a reference to Karl Lagerfelds second passion after fashion - photography.

    26 September, 2005

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    Pour Un Homme by Caron

    Caron's Pour un Homme is one of my most beloved classics. It feels so modern you can't understand it was created more than half a century ago! I guess this was the first fragrance to combine the sharp astringent qualities of lavender with smooth and powdery bourbon vanilla. The combination is of course brilliant and the sales of for instance Gaultier's Le Male is great proof of this. PuH is sweet, masculine, confidence-inducing, comforting and uplifting all at once. One for gentlemen around the globe. A subtle classic, will be available forever (I guess and hope).

    26 September, 2005

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    Présence by Montblanc

    This company makes some of the finest pens available and their wristwatches are excellent to. The fragrance department seems to suffer from a serious lack of good ideas though. Présence is decent at best, an ambery melange with mint and anise. Nothing new and the bottle is unpractical and above all not very good looking.

    26 September, 2005

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    Mémoire d'Homme by Nina Ricci

    Unjustly forgotten scent that is always discounted here. I agree with Scenteur 7 100% that the overall impression of Memoire is similar to L'Artisans great Tea for Two. A little strange since they don't share any notes. I think it is the saltiness of the licorice in the Ricci that reminds of the smokey lapsang in TfT somehow... Anyway this is in no respect a simple clone, it has a lot going for it, a very nice leather drydown for example. Seek out Memoire, you'll be happy you did.

    26 September, 2005

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    Mediterráneo by Antonio Banderas

    All the Banderas scents are made by Puig and feature very cheesy and cliché -latin lover ads with the great thespian himself. I don't have to tell you the scents are average at best and I honestly never understood this type of marketing. Wouldn't these slick guys be better to use in selling stuff to women? Maybe the wives and girlfriends are the target here? Whatever, to summarize - these suck. Bad.

    26 September, 2005

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    Sentiment for Men by Escada

    This one is Escada's worst release hands down. Nothing in common with great juices like Magnetism, PH or Casual Friday. Sentiment is just a synthetic mess, very Calvin Klein-ish. Poorly mixed red fruits with a dash of lime and rose pepper.Decent packaging doesn't save this work of haste. Discontinue, pleaaaase.

    26 September, 2005

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    Mat; Male by Masakï Matsushïma

    I think this is a potentially great one, unfortunately the rose accord ruins it for me, making it to girlie. Mat; Male is the one fragrance best capturing the real aroma of both watermelon and parsley - 2 very cool notes that unfortunately haven't been used well before. What a pity that they added those florals to...

    26 September, 2005

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    Heliotrope by Etro

    Very nice subtle cologne from the Italian masters of paisley. Etro's Heliotrope is the aroma of bitter-sweet almonds on a bed of white flowers sprayed with caramel-milk. Quite weak, but this is not an issue here as I suspect a strength-increase would just make it overtly sweet and cloying. Also I'm surprised that this was released in 89, comes across as much more contemporary and soft compared to what stuff generally smelled like then.

    26 September, 2005

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    Patchouli by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Incredibly natural on the plus side, a little too earthy on the minus. I'm also amazed by the testimonies of great longevity, this Patchouli faded within an hour or so on me. Perhaps my sample was bad? I miss something sweet in here, maybe a dash of vanilla or amber. It comes across as a little rough, but maybe that's the point.

    26 September, 2005

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    Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella

    Fantastic scent and quite original as well. It definitely resembles the old leathers like Knize ten and Cuir de Russie, but it's closest relative has to be Bulgari Black. Nostalgia is even more avant-garde though, using notes like petrol and motor-grease to create a very unique aura. Very untypical for being a Santa Maria Novella fragrance, especially since it's so modern. After all we're talking about a house with several centuries of heritage. In no way does Nostalgia put that leagacy to shame, quite on the contrary- this is probably their best launch up to date! The genuine, vanillic, leather drydown is to die for.

    26 September, 2005

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    Emporio Armani Night He by Giorgio Armani

    For some reason this one vaguely reminds me of Fahrenheit, but of course with that added syntheticness of later Armanis. I perceive Night as being very sharp and unpleasant, even cloying. Didn't do particularly well here, maybe because of the aforementioned?

    26 September, 2005

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    Individuel by Montblanc

    The compariso to Joop! is unavoidable. These two really are very similar, Individuel being a sligthly muted version. Same monster sillage and longevity though. The question is just WHY? With so many people hating the original, did we really need a copycat? I don't think so, and if you want something this flashy and strong just go for the "scarlet bad-boy" in the first place.

    26 September, 2005

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    Rochas Lui by Rochas

    The fragrance people at Rochas really thought outside the box when creating Lui, and for that they should get some cred. Cause this one could have easily come out in the 70's or even 60's, it is VERY classic smelling. The juice itself isn't exactly super original, an orange blossom/vanilla cocktail with a dash of patchouli. But the overall impression is a sympathetic and masculine one. Can't imagine it's selling very well though.

    26 September, 2005

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    Spezie by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Spezie reminds me of the first Comme des Garcons and is way too crammed with "kitchen-spices" for my acceptance. I mean no offense, but surely Coriander, Cardamom, Laurel,Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cumin, Tomato Leaves, Rosemary and Sage especially all together, rather should belong in a nice tuscan beef stew then on anyone's skin. Sorry Mr. Villoresi but you overdid it this time!

    26 September, 2005

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