Fragrance Reviews from September 2005

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    calchic's avatar



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    Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Not a fan. This fragrance seems to be something of a cult favorite but I expressly do not like it. And it's not so much the unorthodox topnotes that make it a non-starter for me - though they're certianly nothing to get happy about, consisting as they do of one or more things, exact sources unknown, that conspire to create an air of camphor-mentholate/tire rubber essence. No, that's not the worst part. What really throws this one for me is the sickly tuberose it's got in there. It's so sweet - and thin! I almost feel sorry for the note, it's so anemic. I like my tuberose heavy, buttery, dry-steamy, distinctly unsweet, very bossy, totally take charge and way over the top. The poor tuberose here is none of those things, none at all. It smells like it's been mistreated; there's almost a little rottenness to it. I guess this fragrance is difficult to come by in the states - I bought a vial from someone a while ago and wore it twice before giving it away. No, I mean - trying to give it away. No one I asked would take it. I'm not even sure what happened to it and I don't care. I dislike this fragrance that much.

    30th September, 2005

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    Miel de Bois by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is another Lutens creation that I'm finding myself warming up to and liking more over time. The primary notes are honey, wood, beeswax, iris and hawthorn. Nothing offensive, right? But it's important to note some of the more specific qualities of some of the notes, as I think some do find them less than inviting. For one thing, the wood here can best be described in one phrase: lumber store. None of your spicy cedars, mellow balsams or rich mahoganies reside here. Not even knotty pine. Instead you get your sawdust, your freshly cut two-by-fours, even a splinter or two (okay, that's going a bit too far.) I suspect this is one of Serge's wink-wink moments - like the "hey, let's put a tuberose in a tire store" thing in Tuberose Criminelle. But here, it somehow works, at least for me. It's uniquely refreshing and also comforting (though I confess a soft spot for lumber yards - it's a childhood thing.) Okay, the other thing is the honey. If you're a honey connoisseur, then you know that there are many different kinds of honeys that occur naturally - depending, I assume, on where the bees get their pollen. Some honeys are very floral, some fruity, some even have a hint of evergreen. Well, this honey's none of those; it's more like a raw, royal jelly type, fragrant but in a distinctly musky way. An animalic honey, if you will. Some, I think, hate it; and paired with the sawdust and two-by-fours, I admit it's a little bit challenging. Yet not awful. The beeswax and iris serve as intelligent counterpoints. This one makes me think and I appreciate that.

    30th September, 2005

    DarkStar's avatar



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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    Wearing this GIT in synchro today with the noters I admit again to it's glory and sigh to no avail, it won't be mine. Too many Creeds to choose from. I don't quite git the Curve/Cool allegations. This is quality. They are not. Still, I prefer Himalaya or Tabarome.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Antaeus by Chanel

    It seems that every other week on the men's message board, someone starts a thread asking which scent best attracts women. Well, who knows, and better yet, who cares? Guys, do you really want a woman who is attracted to you for your cologne? Wouldn't that attraction be a little too easily replicated? (Which reminds me of an old Rodney Dangerfield line: "When my wife tells me I'm one in a million, she isn't joking.") The better question might be, does anything ever engender a positive reaction, one that causes the other person to let on that she may be interested in you? If you are one that appreciates that not-so-subtle distinction, try Antaeus. Boldly masculine, yet sophisticated and refined leather with a touch of beeswax, it set the standard for Chanel's men's scents that only the original Egoiste can approach. Always in my top 5.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bois du Portugal by Creed

    A modern Creed scent that can stand up to all that have come before it. Feel free to think of this as a less sweet Guerlain Heritage with deeper and more potent woods. One of the best men's fragrances in the last 20 years, it never falls out of my personal top 5.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Coriolan by Guerlain

    A very complex and reserved chypre worthy of the Guerlain name. I have an undying love of juniper, which unfortunately can be "perfumey". But in JP Guerlain's hands, the juniper is masterfully mixed with citrus, spice and patchouli that brings out the juniper's depth and de-emphasizes its topnotes. As with all Guerlains, Coriolan wears extremely well on the skin. I suppose I'll need to stock up.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    English Fern by Penhaligon's

    A great pick for fans of the now discontinued Crown Perfumery Fougere, as they are very, very similar. A soapy clean lavender and fern concoction, this one is best enjoyed in warm (not hot) weather, where it lasts virtually all day. Another excellent choice for office wear.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    In my search for rose scents, I came across Hammam Bouquet. And though there is a great deal of rose here, jasmine is also high in the mix, and lasts at least as long as the rose. A beautiful sandalwood note lingers in the base. Because of the competing notes, I find this one to be a bit baroque. It is also quite evocative of another era. But do I enjoy wearing it? Absolutely! This is one of the most compelling scents in my collection, but it does take a great deal of panache to wear.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    JHL by Aramis

    From where I stand, the finest men's cologne ever from an American company. Very deep blend of cinammon and other spices stand out in this complex brew. Still can be found in the Washington, DC area, at a reasonable price. If Lauder's current mangagement had any sense, they would do a better job promoting this long hidden gem.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords by Penhaligon's

    First released as Douro, later renamed Lords, now back to its original appellation, this fragrance is a dress-up power citrus, stronger in both woods and citrus than Taylor's Eton College. Another upright Brit, not really sexy, but not stodgy, either. Great for the office and a visit to the club after work. Much more in line with Hammam Bouquet, Blenheim Bouquet and English Fern in Penhaligon's stable than the newer and more contemporary scents such as Racquets and Castile.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    This was first given to me by my college sweetheart more years ago than I care to admit, and it was my signature scent for some time. I have recently started wearing it again, and I'd forgotten how good it is. The formula has not changed, and except for perhaps a slight diminution in quality of ingredients, it is as mighty as ever. Lavender and honey are the dominant notes; it is clean and not too sweet. Another modern classic, one I can heartily recommend to men of all ages.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ténéré by Paco Rabanne

    Bold floral, this Tenere. To this nose, it is a scent of flowers that have just died and are beginning to decay, burnished with some honey for balance. Most definitely an acquired taste, it is a cologne that you continually return to once you have gotten your nose around it. Similar in some ways to Givenchy's Insense, Tenere is much better constructed in my book. Best in early autumn and late spring.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Trafalgar by Truefitt & Hill

    I have a love/hate relationship with Trafalgar. It is unrelenting and harsh at temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but becomes bracing and distinctive in cooler weather. A heavy dose of jasmine with some spice and woods, at its best it is a very upright Brit. The only other fragrance this reminds me of is Caswell Massey's Jockey Club, although Trafalgar is superior. At the very least, it is Truefitt & Hill's most interesting offering.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    A wonderfully aromatic rose fragrance with just enough patchouli to add smokiness and a little fruitiness to make it that much more interesting. VdR is the fragrance that sent me down the path in search of rose scents, and it remains my favorite. Expensive, but worth every penny.

    30th September, 2005

    levente's avatar

    United States United States

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    YSL pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    My first "good" cologne, I wore this often in the 1970s. A very masculine herbal citrus, very long lasting for its type. The combination of thyme and vetiver is unlike any other. I much prefer this to the High Concentration version, which though quite good on its own, has less verbena and more herbs, making it somewhat "dirtier" and, worst of all, less airy. Why mess with a classic?

    30th September, 2005

    Van_Oung_the_Ghost's avatar



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    A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

    Hells angel or heaven sent, Is sweet sweet love truely meant? Ohh Angel make her love to love, For her lips as soft as the chest of a dove. Let me be the object of desire, Heavent sent or risin from blazing fire.

    30th September, 2005 (Last Edited: 04 October, 2005)

    Van_Oung_the_Ghost's avatar



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    Styletto by O Boticário

    strong at first, a bombarbment of sour lemons and citrus blast, then a sudden appreciation of the sweetness of it all, at the base mesmorizing feel of the sunset gloriously delicious and ever lasting...

    30th September, 2005

    wicozani's avatar

    United States United States

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    Either you spilled some of that effervescent ginseng and lemon-lime spritzer on yourself, or you're wearing Green Irish Tweed today! So, which is it, Sir?

    Ah, Scent Synchronization Day, and Green Irish Tweed is being worn the world over. GIT opens to my nose with a potent citrus/fruit/green accord. This initial blast is good for about one hour and lots of sillage. This then settles down, the fruity note recedes, and the citrus and green notes blend into one another very harmoniously and aromatically. As it evolves further, a touch of ambergris, sandalwood, and vanilla round out this scent. I've had a full bottle for some time, but rarely reach for it, despite its excellence, and I wonder why. I do not have and really don't recall Curve or Cool Water, so I'm not sure what the buzz is regarding these two and GIT. Of scents I am familiar with, GIT is sort of like Guerlain's Coriolan and Goutal's Duel, both featuring lemony citrus with violet/iris notes. In all, a superb scent, and I must start wearing it more frequently to do it justice.

    Wicozani

    30th September, 2005

    wicozani's avatar

    United States United States

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    Yerbamate by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Sir, donning the old baby powder today, are we?

    Yerbamate on my skin is pure Johnson's Baby Powder! Amazingly similar. And just like baby powder, what can you really say? It's pleasant enough, even a little nice to smell. But is certainly is not unique, or singular, or strong, or stunning, or any one of thousands of other adjectives. It just is.

    Wicozani

    30th September, 2005

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