Fragrance Reviews from September 2005

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    scenteur7's avatar

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    New Haarlem by Bond No. 9

    I'd like to drink this. Like a liquer, New Haarlem is a bewitching brew of rich coffee bean and sweet creamy vanilla grounded by a sharp green patchouli. More gourmand than A*men, richer and sweeter. This will be my New Year's fragrance.

    09 September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    B*Men by Thierry Mugler

    I enjoy it, but don't find myself reaching for it very often. Love the rhubarb in the opening but especially enjoy the cedar and sequoia as the scent settles. Warm, rich and ambery, great for those tired of citrus and marine scents.

    09 September, 2005 (Last Edited: 14 January, 2006)

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Eau des Merveilles by Hermès

    A charming creation that elicited immediate compliments. Fresh, sparkling, easy to wear, crisp - a winner. Good sillage and lasting power for a citrus with an unusual earthy mid-bouquet. A welcome addition to the Hermes line, albeit slightly a departure in theme. Settles into a clean musk scent.

    09 September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Daim Blond by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    A surprisingly mellow and somewhat fruity leather - very easy to wear and very comforting. Love the buttery suede notes in the opening.

    09 September, 2005 (Last Edited: 13 January, 2006)

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    Received a couple of samples from friends and we've all been very disappointed. It is a very lovely floral, with a rather fresh and sweet middle and almost woody base. Lots of Jasmine here, but no real depth. It did remind me somewhat of JPG Classique, but not as powdery. Overall, this is a pretty scent, but not one that I think I would reach for. I know it's hard to follow in Angel's footsteps, so leave all expectations and ideas behind and enjoy this one without the curse of comparison.

    09 September, 2005 (Last Edited: 15 September, 2005)

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Obsession Night for Men by Calvin Klein

    I like it - reminds me ever so slightly of Ferragamo for Men, but ON is a bit of a gourmand and slightly sweeter. Good start but the scent quickly changes leaving an almost incense like drydown. I can detect subtle hints of the original Obsession, but this is a totally different creature.

    09 September, 2005 (Last Edited: 28 September, 2005)

    Francois Blais's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    L'Homme by Roger & Gallet

    I was able to test that one today.
    I found it very sharp, very powdery/ambery!
    It reminded me of Fragonard's Zizanie.
    Someone wrote about the increased concentration and I agree it may be much better if it was smoother.
    Nice but too strong for me so the neutral vote.

    09 September, 2005

    calchic's avatar



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    Red Roses by Jo Malone

    You must be an admirer of full-bodied, extremely voluptuous rose to appreciate this one - it's got seven different roses in it, so there's not much in the rose world that could have been left out! Unfortunately, it is also the kind of heavy, brocaded rose fragrance that goes musty and sour on me, something I think might be accentuated by the presence of lemon here. The violet here is also rich - it's classified as "crushed violet" and has that feeling to it, thick and velvety. There's not much else to say about the composition; like Jo Malones in general, what you see on the label is what you get in the bottle.

    10th September, 2005

    calchic's avatar



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    Vera Wang by Vera Wang

    Whew-wee, this is one almost palpably heavy floral! And unlike the heavy florals of eras gone by - take your pick, from Fracas onward - this one is unrelentingly cloying and flowery (as opposed to sugary) sweet, with no interesting twists or turns anywhere along its progression. I am shocked that there's no jasmine in it; it's got that same sort of thick heat that jasmine (sambac) always imparts. And where the iris (cool and powdery) and white stephanotis (soapy-spicy and clean) are hidden is anyone's guess; I suppose they must have given up against the overpowering Bulgarian rose-gardenia combo and called it a day. Once the fragrance tones down a bit it's not as choking, but still nothing that I can appreciate. I know this is a very popular fragrance and all good things to those who enjoy it, but wearing it's just a torment to me. For anyone who does love it, though, and wants something similar albeit cheaper - there's a fragrance called S.T. Dupont Signature that shares many of Vera Wang's qualities. Check for it at perfumebay.com; you can get a big bottle of it for about $30.

    10th September, 2005

    calchic's avatar



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    Incanto Dream by Salvatore Ferragamo

    A light, fruity fragrance that reminds me quite a bit of the various Esacada seasonals - the Sexy Graffiti/Ibiza Hippie/Rockin' Rio ones that come out every year around early spring. The Incanto Dream is a hair more subtle; the Escadas, though I like them for what they are, verge on being as aggressive as fruit notes can be while still calling themselves fruit. They're just loud and brassy somehow, whereas this comes off a bit more powdery and gentle. But it has an inescapably generic quality, as I find the Escadas do, to the extent that I can't really differentiate one from the other. I can't honestly say I would make a point of buying this one, easily wearable though it might be. It just doesn't have that "thing" that makes it a must-have for me.

    10th September, 2005

    chris2005's avatar

    United States United States

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    212 Men by Carolina Herrera

    I was disappointed, nothing really new or invigorating about the scent. It's actually pretty bland. It won't offend, so you can't go wrong, but I was wishing for something more sophisticated and metropolitan.

    10th September, 2005

    chris2005's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

    My favorite light cologne, and also a hit with women. I definitely smell a lot of lemon in it, just something fresh about it that's really likeable. It'll appeal more to the younger guys however, so take my advice with caution if a bit older. And please don't overspray, it gives me headache when I do.

    10th September, 2005 (Last Edited: 01st October, 2005)

    CologneJunkie's avatar

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    Polo Black by Ralph Lauren

    I don't like the top notes, but I like the subtle freshness of the drydown. I just wish it lasted longer.

    10th September, 2005

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    Nirmala by Molinard

    If you're not a fan of heavy "incense" scents such as Nag Champa or Patchouli, stay away from Nirmala.

    When I first applied Nirmala the initial punch knocked me for a loop. It went on with a strong, tropical fruit (mango ?), slightly black-peppery, Johnson's Baby Powder top note. It was extremely sweet at the start, almost like cotton candy. I had to fight the urge to wash it off.

    After an hour I sniffed it again. The dry down was extremely powdery, soft and creamy...but still heavy.

    Later in the day I tested it again. I could still detect the powder, but then caught a hint of patchouli and vanilla.

    This is an extremely heavy scent that's not for daytime wear. On the other hand, it would make a great nighttime fragrance.

    10th September, 2005

    JimInCO's avatar

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    Cristobal pour Homme by Balenciaga

    I like the fragrance but I don't understand how it can be compared to Joop! It has no similarity (by the way I like Joop!). This cologne has a burnished refinement and clean sensuality. Now, I do think this fragrance has notes of Pi by Givenchy. Another drawback is the relatively poor longevity.

    10th September, 2005

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    Michael Kors / Michael by Michael Kors

    This has an enchanting scent, that I cannot quite place my finger on. It smells very VERY similar to a dessert dish I had once in Thailand, but I just can't remember the specifics. Its great!

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Essence D'Eau by Gianfranco Ferré

    Received this in a swap thinking it might be unisex. Imagine my surprise when Chantecaille's Frangipane showed up in a Ferre bottle. A dewy floral with some wonderful vanillic notes in the base, extremely reminiscent of the aforementioned predecessor. Very nice fragrance for those looking for lighter or fresher orientals...but what a price tag!

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Intrusion by Oscar de la Renta

    This should be a men's fragrance, as I love the freshness with a touch of warmth in the base. Tropical and light, this doesn't pack the punch so many of the same women's scents in this genre can. I think Oscar missed the mark(eting) here.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Eau de Rochas by Rochas

    This is a bright, magnificent citrus, but differs from most Eaux in the drydown of oakmoss and amber combined with earthy sandalwood, giving this an almost incense-like drydown.

    Eau de Rochas opens with sweet and watery notes of bright and zingy (and very cooling for hot summer weather) mandarin and grapefruit, with a standout note of lime on my skin, but only for a moment before the slightly floral middle notes open and give way to a slightly powdery, slightly bitter middle - but absolutely in a good way. The rose and narcissus are not pronounced as flroal notes, but offer a soft mellow segue to the surprising warmer powdery notes of the amber, woods and oakmoss. A note about these basenotes: The top notes never completely disappear, and so this scent never really becomes a true amber scent. The amber is there in the base as an anchor, holding this scent together with a warm almost powdery drydown.

    The scent has inappropriately garnered the misnomer of Eau de Rochas pour Femme, though when it was launched, it was simply Eau de Rochas. The launch of Eau de Rochas pour Homme (to be reviewed later this week) perhaps explain the change in driection of this original masterpeice. Don't deprive yourself from owning an enchanting masterpeice of 70's perfumery just because of the name or concept. If you are looking for bright fresh, not too sweet citrus with a twist for the summer heat, give Eau de Rochas a try!

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Murmure by Van Cleef & Arpels

    Hmmm, I'm really liking this. A white floral with a rather unisex drydown. Yes, slightly feminine on initial application, but the trasnition from middle to base just smelled so exquisite, soothing, warm and comforting. I want it.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Eau de Hongrie by Fragonard

    Eau de Hongrie is a 14th-century composition of soft bergamot and jasmine notes on a warm background of amber and cistus. Authentic, timeless and elegantly sober, it never fails to charm. The scent opens with a citrus note paired with Jasmine, but strangely the jasmine is quite green and I don't detect the typical whit floral creaminess that jasmine usually offers. The scent is quite simple and one-dimensional - as the top notes fade, the amber and cistus (aka Rockrose, the odor bears some similarity to that of Roman chamomile, to decaying fruits, to certain methacrylates. The tenacity is much inferior to that of the so called cistus oil, but the true cistus oil has an immense power in its topnote. It produces good effects in lavender bouquets, colognes and spicy after shave fragrances.http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/data/es1026971.html) very gently appear, though quite muted and well-blended with the frehser top notes. It's an interesting composition and feels very old-world, perhaps due to its simplicity. I think it would make a unique and refreshing warm weather scent, slightly vintage and very easy to wear, and an interesting counterpoint to many of today's fresh scents.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Eau de Rochas Homme by Rochas

    Eau de Rochas was created in 1993 (as a men's counterpart to the earlier Eau de Rochas), a time when Eau scents were popping up left and right, riding on the wave of popularity started by Eternity and Cool Water. However, where other scents went nuts with tea and ozonic notes, Rochas looked back to herbs and citrus to create a surprisingly addictive and intoxicating scent.

    The fragrance opens with a blast of tangy citrus similar to EdR, but the grassy greens of basil & artemisia, and darker greens of corander & pine add an exciting depth to the middle notes. On my skin, the top notes give way to the middle almost immediately, and the greens combine with the citrus into something similar to Earl Grey tea - imagine Duel Light! All the freshness without the musty basenotes.

    The base is perfection - a touch of vetiver adding a welcome sharpness, but not so much as to take over the scent. The cedar and oakmoss are perfectly blended with the amber to create just enough of an anchor to keep the scent from disappearing too quickly.

    Overall the scent is not as sweet as the earlier reviewed St Barth or L'Eau par Kenzo, but is actually more interesting to me than say, Eau de Guerlain.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Etiquette Bleue by D'Orsay

    Etiquette Bleue is a throwback to a different era in perfumery. In 1912 Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue heralded a trend of powdery vanilla bases which would later show up in Shalimar, Habanita, etc...but what most people don't know is that in 1908 D'Orsay preceded this trend and was wise enough to marry these basenotes with hesperidic topnotes resulting in "Eau de Bouquet", now known as Etiquette Bleue: Unlike anything else that I can think of in today's market, Etiquette Bleue starts as a fresh citrus but the basenotes surprise with a warm balsam and sandalwod base, grounding the otherwise fleeting orange blossom, bergamot, lemon and petitgrain. It tends to be a little sweet, and is not a powerhouse scent. It is, however, very unique, great for any time of year, and quite easily one of my all-time favorite compositions for it's ability to marry sweeter oriental notes with light hesperides. Smells like: a bit of Mugler cologne in the top, with a hint of vanilla in the base. I always think EB when smelling Boss in Motion (EB is light years better). Check Ebay for this one as prices vary wildly.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Jasper Conran Man by Jasper Conran

    I got a sample and without any expectations tried it on. I immediately began "mmmmm, this is very nice, very fresh and sparkling, I know this scent," thinking and thinking, "what could it - Mugler's Cologne!" I love it, despite the lack of originality, and find it slightly less musty than Cologne.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Signoricci by Nina Ricci

    Both Osmoz.com and Imagination list a different array of notes for this scent, but here's the lowdown. A citrus opening that doesn't remind me of bathroom cleaner, that gives way to a fresh herbal middle that is slightly green, ending in a light trail of white woods (I *think* birch or cedar and sandalwood) and vetiver that lasts and lasts and lasts.

    To me this scent is a breath of quiet sophistication that no other fragrance manages to capture. As easily worn with shorts and sandals as with a business suit, I feel it is also extremely versatile...and considering that it was created 40 years ago, let me add one more adjective - timeless.

    10th September, 2005

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    Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella

    This scent opens with a smokey blast of cured leather, slightly rubbery and bitter, and absolutely glorious. It softens revealing a somewhat soapy tobacco and a brief lingering hint of a vanillic sweetness, barely there, but just enough to provide a good base. Darker and less sweet than Relax, smokier and slightly more disturbing than Or Black, this deserves to be given a chance by anyone partial to the notes listed above or who is looking for something dark, unusual, and mysterious.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior

    I love it. Dark, brooding, almost dirty. A bit acrid and then *poof* an immortelle note paired with a breath of lavender before a sweet middle-eastern dessert appears...then the darkness overtakes it again. To me this is a bit like a dark thunderstorm, every now and then a ray of light breaks through the grey, but the grey itself is amazing to behold. Hard to compare to anything else, similar in its scorched butterscotch note to Goutal's Sables, echoing Daude's Biche dans l'Absinthe in its earthiness. A masterpiece.

    10th September, 2005

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    Bois d'Argent Cologne by Christian Dior

    With notes of honey, iris and incense, Bois d'Argent is a sunny and rich fragrance. Velvety and golden, the name perfectly suits the scent. The richness of the Honey lingers at the top, though not overly cloying, while the iris and incense notes blend in the base with a buttery and somewhat powdery finish. Whereas Blanche is more floral with its rosemary and orange blossom blended with a vanillic acent of almond, coming off as a powdery floral, Argent is almost ambery and slightly smokey!

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Armani Privé Ambre Soie by Giorgio Armani

    Ambre Soie (French for "Amber Silk") is composed of amber, patchouli, cinnamon, clove and ginger. A simple scent, really, warm and spicey, with a sweet edge, Ambre Soie reminds me of Zuko Senko or Japanese Body Incense (click Zuko). The opening is rich and spicey - all of the notes announce their presence together - but there is little development from this point. This is a dry, resinous fragrance that stays close to the skin as would fit its name though the composition itself does nothing to conjure images of silk. Overall, I'm reminded of Guerlain's Heritage - if Guerlain created a Heritage light and charged 4 times the current price, this would be it. The scent does last well on my skin, still there like an echo after 6 hours and this is one of the first amber-based scents that I don't find overly-cloying or overpowering. The addition of the spices conjures images of a dry Saharan landscape, and Indian market or a Japanese temple depending on your mind's associations.

    Now, I've read that price was no limit and that supposedly natural essences were blended with synthetic ones in an attempt to capture perfectly the smells of Northern Africa that so enchanted Armani. For fans of scents like Dyptique's L'Eau Trois or Comme des Garcons' Eau de Parfum, this scent will be warmly recieved. This is nothing like L'Artisan's Ambre Extreme or MPG's Ambre Precieux - both sweet, full-bodied, powdery ambers. For those who find these types of ambers too much, Armani Ambre Soie will also be a welcome surprise.

    10th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

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    Eau des Garrigues by Fragonard

    Eau des Garrigues is surprising in that it makes good use of the white floral magnolia note, a rarity in both modern and unisex perfumery, while taming it with high notes of orange and bergamot and lower notes of nutmeg and oakmoss.

    I find the overall effect of this composition to be like a late afternoon sunset, when the orange rays of the sun break through the white clouds set against an amber sky. The combination of the magnolia and cardamom create an almost fig-like effect, albeit subtle and airy. Don’t let the notes fool you - Garrigues never feels heavy and, considering the floral notes, doesn’t really come across as feminine. Though not terribly complex, the aroma is comforting and settles into the skin nicely with adequate lasting power. While wearing it, a few of my male friends offered inquisitive comments – one thought it smelled like his Dior Dune for men, while the other asked if it was Fahrenheit.

    10th September, 2005

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