Fragrance Reviews from September 2005

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    DKNY Be Delicious Men by Donna Karan

    Personally, I did not find DKNY's new offering for men appealing, nor did I feel delicious when I wore it. I was personally turned off by the top note, which reminded me of newly plucked apples - Why would a self proclaimed sophisticated man want to go around smelling like apples?! Be Delicious dries down into a woody scent with a hint of coffee...a combination that is too bland for my liking. I do applaud DKNY for experimenting with different approaches tho, hence, the Neutral review. Great for the scruffy and carefree highschoolers and "i'm not a boy and not yet a man" crowd.

    26 September, 2005

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    Baldessarini Del Mar by Baldessarini

    Love it! especially since my gf picked it out for me. The scent is fresh in a sophisticated way and easily surpasses numerous other aqua/water/fresh type of fragrance i currently own and have sampled. It starts out fresh with a touch of vanilla, then a hint of spiciness surfaces...finally, as it dries, a pleasant mossy/woody aroma remains and last and lasts!(this is how it develops on my skin anyways) Oh, and the bottle is just stunning.

    26 September, 2005

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    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    This is a most unusual fragrance with a name a packaging to match. It has an exotic scent that would compliment the fall seaon's color palatte of burgundy and chocolate browns, maling it a natural to pair with the romantic and boho looks. There is a sort of a woody and amber scent with a hint of orange or green, almost a bit of an incence kind of feel to it. Defintely dark and mysterious, not like anything else I have tried out there. By the way I also like poison and opium so I guess I am a fan of scents that are a little more complex. I like it and I will wear it as a change from my usual frangrances. My male friends previewed Alien on me and they loved it! One asked me what it was so he could get his for his girlfriend, but the name cracked him up.

    26 September, 2005

    Allen-at-home's avatar
    Allen-at-home
    United States United States

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    Spark for Men by Liz Claiborne

    When I first tested this scent, my immediate reaction was "That's really different!", which it is. But then I realized what an odd smell it was, and couldn't place my finger on what I was actually smelling. So I forgot about it for a few weeks. But after reading a description of it, and discovering it has cayenne pepper, fig, and honey in it, I was curious. And when I saw several 5 oz bottles on sale at $4.77 at the local discount store, I bought one. (I can't resist those minis on sale.) Well, I'm wearing it right now... and the smell is almost overwhelming. (Is that the rum?) I love the name "Spark", and I love the deep, rich color of the liquid, but I must admit the smell is a little bit sickening! I think it would be much better without the rum or the cognac. Pass this one by, and get Spark Seduction instead: although they share the same name, Seduction is a slightly better scent, and you won't smell like the town drunk.

    26 September, 2005 (Last Edited: 19 August, 2012)

    calchic's avatar
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    Tabu by Dana

    Snicker if you must but Tabu is far better than its name, its packaging or its overall status in the fragrance world would otherwise indicate. It's a classic - anything that's been around since 1932 fits that definition as far as I'm concerned - spicy, woody chypre-oriental blend, rich with rose and jasmine of very good qualities, lush with oakmoss and vetiver, smoothed and sweetened with amber. For the price, you get a tremendous deal for your money. Of course, everything is relative; I'm not about to replace my prize Guerlains or Carons with Tabu, nor do I think that it's even possible to compare the one to the others. Tabu is fairly simple and straight-on compared to the works of those two houses and others like them. But like another of my fave cheap and oft-snubbed but simple and good scents, Caesar's Woman, Tabu is a quality scent with nothing to apologize for and no amends to make.

    27 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar
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    Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

    I have no business wearing this scent, which is loaded with cedar and sandalwood to an extreme I find unbearable. The few times I have worn it, it's smelled as though I've dabbed Liquid Smoke on my pulse points - as there's also something else in here that smells as though it's burning. It feels like cinnamon - the way straight cinnamon oil can really sear your skin - but doesn't necessarily smell like it. I suspect it's the saffron note interacting with the patchouli that's also in the base. I bought Black Cashmere for the beauty of the bottle and will keep it because it's discontinued, from what I understand. But I will not be wearing it unless I really, really want to have that "gather round the barbecue pit and let's fire up some butts, too!" sort of experience.

    27 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar
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    Delicious by Gale Hayman

    Delicious is Tresor on a very horribly bad day. Though the two have precious little in common compositionally, they're both generally fruity-floral orientals. And while I have some issues with Tresor, in general I think it's a quite nice scent. Delicious, on the other hand, is like a very un-delicious Tresor, just over-the-top ripe and reeking and bordering on a little rancid, I'm sorry to say. And just ridiculously loud on application, an invasive blow of mimosa, jasmine, tuberose and mandarin that smells like canned peaches. Everything in Delicious - and in Gale Hayman scents in general; don't even get me started on Delicious Feelings! - smells cheap to me, cheap and low-grade. Why this is the case, I don't know; the bottle and box look quality enough, but the ingredients in the juice just come off as el cheapo.

    27 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar
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    Delicious Feelings by Gale Hayman

    Oh, this inspired feelings in me alright - but most assuredly not delicious ones. Quite, quite the opposite. I have to come clean in noting that I've never really worn this fragrance in the traditonal sense; I did get it on my person once, and could NOT get it off, but it was an unintentional encounter. I was at a TJ Maxx store picking through the perfume selection and simply lifted a box of Delicious Feelings to move it out of the way. As it turned out, the bottle had leaked in the box and some of that leakage got on my hand. Immediately, I was offended by the brute strength of the scent as well as its hot, hedione-fueled fruitiness. (Hedione is a jasmine-like compound that shows up from time to time in compositions - can be vicious stuff if you don't like it, and I definitely do not like it.) Five washings later and my hand was still experiencing Delicious Feelings, as it were. I swear the scent chemically bonded to my skin. I finally looked up the notes to see what was making the stuff so savagely strong; their seeming innocuousness makes the offensive of the juice all the more a mystery and so, as is often the case, I squarely blame what I suspect is a heinously large dose of the hedione. The notes are: osmanthus, white freesia, lily, jasmine, cashmere wood, musk, plum, sandalwood.

    27 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar
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    Trésor (new) by Lancôme

    Until I revisited Tresor very recently I'd forgotten just how much I wore this scent in the early 90s. At one time I was really genuinely fond of it, which is funny since it's not much to my immediate taste anymore. This and Chanel Coco were real staples of mine for a time - guess I was loving the peachy-oriental thing back then! Tresor's topnotes have always been a little bit of a question mark to me; the peach is obvious but I've always felt there was something else in there, something almost minty, throwing off the nectar-like qualities of the fruit. The only thing I can think of is that the lilac note offsets the peach in an odd way, as I don't think the rose or apricot would have that kind of effect. The fragrance's heart notes are unexciting and the first part of the drydown is as well, but as I was reminded in my recent return to this scent, the longer-term drydown is utterly glorious. One of the most poetic, perfect blends ever of amber, sandalwood, musk and vanilla. I can't define exactly what it is that makes it so divine but it's like the drydown of my dreams. I may have to start wearing Tresor again on a regular basis, it's that fine.

    27 September, 2005

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    Poême by Lancôme

    Poeme is just as sweet as can be and not a whole lot else. When you jam black currant, peach, mandarin, mimosa, white flowers, tuberose, freesia, jasmine and vanilla all into one fragrance and just leave it there to cook without adding anything spicy, dry, woody, mossy or powdery to balance it out, you are sure going to end up with one very tooth-achingly sweet scent. And that's Poeme. I've never been able to tolerate this well and in the past had never been able to deal with wearing it for more than an hour tops before removing it - sometimes with necessary force, as this is a real honest-to-goodness clinger. But one day, something else was going on and I was distracted from its fruity-flower awfulness for long enough to let it get to its end-stage: Nilla Wafers. Which I happen to like the scent of very much. Moral of the story: good things come to those who wait - and manage not to suffocate - when wearing Poeme. One sidenote: the bottle design bums me out - the logotype is so corny! I think this was when Fabien Baron (very talented visual designer/graphic artist) was going through a hokey-looking logotype phase; he used to work stuff like this into his graphics work on Harper's Bazaar magazine, too, and it always made me roll my eyes.

    27 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar
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    Miracle by Lancôme

    I have to believe that Lancome sold a little bit of its soul in an effort to get with the times, lighten up, get younger and whatnot, because Miracle is just short of treading the territory trodden by fragrances like Gap So Pink and Victoria's Secret Pink. Miracle's overall impression is one just a notch or two above mass market products - and that's not to take a thing away from mass market products, as I use and enjoy very many of them myself. I just don't see the point of Lancome wanting to lump itself into that category. Miracle is generic to the point of almost literally smelling stale to me; it has that sourish-musty opening in common with just about every "pink" scent I've encountered, though the lychee helps dissipate it somewhat. The magnolia heart note is poorly rendered, too perky for my taste as I prefer magnolia in fragrance to have that same lotion-like, creamy-cool smell it does in nature (and in very well rendered magnolia scents such as L'Occitane's.) And the boring jasmine in the drydown just seals the compostion's fate. It's not as though Lancome's always been known for the most intellectual, complex fragrances around - I mean, good old Poeme is pretty simplistic in its own way. But at least Poeme's a love it or hate it type of thing, a scent that takes a stand. Miracle's point-blank banal and signals a turning point into further unextraordinary fragrance ventures for Lancome: Connexion, Attraction and the infuriatingly ripped-off Calypso/Lollipop, which is a bad copy of Escada's shift into the frivoloty of fun-and-fruity scents.

    27 September, 2005

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    Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Good on Christopher Sheldrake for using cedar in a way that divests it of its more repellent qualities and instead emphasizes its finer aspects with a series of contrasting notes. I mean, cedar is a tough one to work with, and in many fragrances where it's combined with the likes of other equally temperamental, potentially repugnant notes - sandalwood, which can approximate chemical assault if abused, or incense with its ability in large doses to smother and choke - it's just way too much, way too overwhelming. That being said, the art of juxtaposition can a delicate one, one that can also backfire and badly (and does backfire, in my opinion, on some of the Serge Lutens signature frags) - but here, in Feminite du Bois, Sheldrake nails it solidly, 10.0 style. This is a wonder of a fragrance; the lyricism in which cedar melds with orange blossom, peach, honey, plum, beeswax, clove, cardamom and cinnamon is just about beyond description. The name of this scent says it all better than I possibly could - "the femininity of the wood." Now for the rant - BAD on Shiseido for taking this off the market. It's just about impossible to come by! If you love it, want to love it, want to try it even, prepare to embark on a scavenger hunt. Perfumebay has it sometimes so check there often!

    27 September, 2005

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    Nu Eau de Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

    I love Yves Saint Laurent almost as dearly as I love one of my all-time creative genuius idols, David Bowie, and in my extremely active imagination this is the fragrance that Yves would have designed for Bowie to wear while posing for the cover of "The Man Who Sold the World" back in the early Seventies. Nu is most certainly androgynous in the best Bowie tradition, and reflects on the concept of exoticism with the same remote, distant stare, coldly erotic and paradoxically spare in its vision of opulence. I only wear the EDP, which consists of bergamot, wild orchid, incense and sandalwood; the EDT is different and combines the bergamot and incense with white orchid and jasmine, leaving the incense out of the picture. I daresay the EDT is a bit easier to pull off but lacks the real essence of Nu's story. There's no denying that the EDP's opening is tough to take and not nice at all; in fact, I think of it as a little cruel. It's like a slam of black rubber. When the fume-iness of that goes away, you are then led into a chill den of incense, dark tapestry, strange spices, mystery flowers. The orchid comes off more like datura might, there and not there, enveloping you and then slipping away when you lean in to smell it. And above you and all around as you wander off is the cold glow of the moon on the desert. As usual with Yves' fragrances - and all of his work, for that matter - Nu is all about ideas, visions, stories. Truly transportive in its powers.

    27 September, 2005

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    Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

    Argh! The thought of this fragrance makes me cringe. On me, it's another baaaaad patchouli trip - along the lines I take with Angel, Nirmala, Coco Mademoiselle - made worse by the addition of lots and lots of grapefruit. I have no beef with the note of patchouli on its own, or blended with other notes that share or else play nicely with patchouli's inherent dry, earthy, spicy nature. But to my nose, when patchouli is paired with things very sweet or hot - or worse yet, both - awful things result. Awful things resulting in imitations of bodily odor, I'm sorry to have to say. Grapefruit is just such a note, carrying a certain heat of its own, a thrum of warmth that other citruses don't seem to have. And so, when it pairs up with the patchouli - well, there's no need for me to elaborate. It's just bad. The big mystery is where the vanilla's lurking in here. Not that I think it would make the fragrance more palatable to me, but I'm just curious as to how others pick up on it. I guess I just get too wrapped up in the patch-grapefruit crossfire to notice it. I'll have to take the word of others in regards to its presence!

    27 September, 2005

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    Eau de Cartier by Cartier

    A big, beautiful clear crystal pitcher, filled to the brim with ice-cold vodka martini that's been stirred with a crystal swizzle stick - this is what Eau de Cartier brings to mind. It's the bottle and the quite alcohol-heavy opening that evoke the imagery; ordinarily, a big alcohol reek coming off the top of a fragrance is not so pleasant, but somehow it really works here and suits Eau de Cartier to a "t"! Once it burns away, I get something very different, a feather-light herbal-woody scent with a trace of lingering mellow fruitiness from the yuzu. It's a terribly refined fragrance, incredibly fine-tuned, which makes it seem all the more expensive and *good* in the manner of a very good watch. I like its fleetingness, too; ordinarily, that is a bit of minus for me when it comes to scents, but here it just seems somehow fitting. I don't like the concentrated version nearly as well; it detracts from the whole concept of what an "eau" is supposed to be, I think.

    27 September, 2005

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    Eau de Quinine by Crown Perfumery

    Quinine itself is not the kind of thing you consume and go, "Oh, delicious, must have more! Immediately" It's rather to be savored, a fact to which those who appreciate the perverse pleasure inherent in sipping tonic water - or even certain bitter apertifs like my personal favorite, Campari - might attest. I bought it because I love this kind of bitterness, and because the fragrance is genuinely original and not, in my opinion, so strictly masculine that I couldn't possibly wear it (though it does smell good on my husband, too!) And too because I'm drawn to anything containing petitgrain, which has its own little weirdly medicinal, old-fashioned apothecary thing going on at times. The topnotes of this scent take you right into gin and tonic territory, complete with a healthy slice of lime (the bergamot), and then that burns off into the heart of petitgrain, which is cool, powdery and characteristically a little aspirin-like and here nicely complimented with some spicy counterpoints courtesy of the nutmeg et al. The powder base definitely works for me as well and makes this an ideal scent for incendiary days when even the idea of fragrance almost seems to be almost too much. Eau de Quinine and Eau de Patou - which also contains petitgrain and a fresh herperides top - are two staples of mine for moments like those.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

    Fresh yet potent mix that is distinctive and classy. The anise dominates early, with the musk and ambergris coming in shortly thereafter. Can be worn to the office if used discretely, but best on a cool evening out. May not appeal to the younger set, but an essential classic for the more mature crowd.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    L'Eau de Gouverneur / L'Homme by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    Citrus, spice and musk, with nutmeg predominant. I love this one in the fall, when the musk doesn't become overbearing and the nutmeg blends with the other smells of autumn. High quality that one expects from CSP fragrances.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    Greenbriar by Caswell-Massey

    Beware the new Greenbriar. The old classic was very green and long lasting, with an ambery drydown that had a bit of a bite to it. I can highly recommend this one. The new one is a Cool Water clone that has no reason for its existence. If people wants something that smells like Cool Water, I'd venture to guess that they would purchase Cool Water.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
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    Ho Hang by Balenciaga

    Yes, it has a cheesy name, but don't let that fool you. It is fresh yet warm, subtle but long lasting. A very refined concoction, the individual notes are difficult to pick out, but the result is distinctive nevertheless. A little tough to find these days, but well worth seeking out, especially if you are looking for something classy that no one else will be wearing.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

    For some reason, Number 3 makes me think of adult fun. Spicy with a heavy dose of vanilla, the patchouli and amber in the basenotes endow it with a slightly dirty, sensual note that make it perfect for a night on the town. (It also holds its own in smokey enviroments.) Yet applied with a light hand, it works well in an office environment during the cooler months. Perhaps Caron's most versatile and easiest to wear of all its men's fragrances.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    Nino Cerruti by Cerruti

    A mossy floral in which no one note dominates. Masterfully crafted and of excellent quality, this set a standard that no other Cerutti scent has come close to matching. Be warned, however, that it is not of the current style. The only other fragrance of this style and quality I can think of is Paco Rabanne's criminally discontinued Tenere.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    Number Six by Caswell-Massey

    A masterfully blended mix of several different citrus oils and musk. Quite aromatic and long lasting for a summer scent, it stays close to the skin and doesn't project much. Others have commented on the vetiver but my nose doesn't pick this up. If you are searching for a citrus that is not overtly "fresh" in the current style, you could do a lot worse than this one.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    Pour Un Homme by Caron

    There have been times, upon initial application of this classic, where my eyes nearly roll back into my head. The astringency of the lavender mated with the sweetness of the French vanilla translate to a concoction that can lift the spirits. And yet it can be difficult to wear. On my father, for one, it just didn't work at all (though HE quite enjoyed it). But for the lucky ones whose chemistry allows this to blossom, they may just have found a lifelong companion.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
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    Le Roi Santal by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    A sandalwood scent of very high quality. I detect a hint of musk as well, but this has a more dominant note of sandalwood than any other I have tried. Brilliant in its simplicity, it is miles away from the more popular tropical vanilla products that CSP is famous for.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
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    Royal Bain de Caron / Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron

    It DOES have an effervescent opening smell like champagne, and dries down to a warm vanilla over fruit (grape?) brilliance. I find this to be a happy fragrance, as well suited to an outdoor summer gathering as to a formal event. There is also something very "old school", though not dated, to this scent, something reminiscent of days gone by. But most definitley not a period piece!

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
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    Tricorn by Caswell-Massey

    The Bangalore sandalwood in Tricorn can easily be distinguished from the more commonly used Myosore sandalwood. There is a certain spicy sweetness that is also a bit medicinal. It may, therefore, be an acquired taste. Tricorn doesn't develop much, but it lasts a ferociously long time and projects well. Recommended for those who enjoy sandalwood but are looking for something different. It is unlike any other fragrance I can think of.

    27 September, 2005

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    levente
    United States United States

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    Verbena by Caswell-Massey

    Simple and pure, this is a very good straightforward verbena scent. Superior longevity for its type. Certain Caswell Massey scents are rightly criticized for being linear and for not developing much, but that is obviously moot in a one note fragrance such as this one.

    27 September, 2005

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    Bijan for Men by Bijan

    Difficult to get hold of in the UK. I can't wear this very often as it kind of wears YOU, but it's bold, brash and gets you noticed.The first hour or so can be a bit harsh, but the drydown is lovely. Don't wear it on public transport.

    27 September, 2005

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    MonkeyManMatt
    Sweden Sweden

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    America for Men by Perry Ellis

    This was a blatant rip off of the original Tommy Hilfiger cologne. They even copied it conceptually with the regional american components/notes. I have to say that the end result is slightly better though, mainly to the nice and juicy pineapple in the opening. Overall a generic release which was discontinued, not exactly surprisingly.

    27 September, 2005

    Showing 991 to 1020 of 1279.