Fragrance Reviews from January 2006

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    Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

    I first wore Tabac in the late 60s, and after all these years, I am still impressed by its several qualities — its freshness, its classic structure, and its ability to satisfy. Those aldehydes at the top do it—along with the citrus and lavender, they announce in unmistakable terms, the liveliness and effervescence that is Tabac Original. Citrus, lavender, and aldehydes; it doesn’t sound so exotic or special, but its smoothness and freshness are so rewarding. Then come the mid level florals led by the carnation, which is strongly supported by the iris. The spiciness of the carnation flower and the powder of the iris give a very traditional — some might say the old school flavor, and I agree, but I like the effect — it’s a clean and fresh that never goes out of date as far as I’m concerned. The base is quiet and reserved traditional sandalwood / musk / vanilla with a complement of tobacco. This would be my nomination for THE barber shop fragrance: Very old school, it keeps a low profile and lasts and lasts. This is a safe fragrance: Fresh yet classic, not fussy in application, never a synthetic aura about it, and it does not offend. Tabac puts so many expensive fragrances to shame.

    10th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 16 March, 2008)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

    This is one of those fragrances that I just don’t get. When I wear it, it seems that I spend the majority of my time fighting it. I get a lot of ginger (not my favorite note) and a lot of tobacco and a little bit of tea and not much else. Come to think of it, I must have noticed the citrus top notes, because about fifteen minutes after first spraying, the scent becomes less chaotic—smoother: This is probably because the citrus notes were conflicting with the ginger note and when the citruses wear off, the scent regularizes. Back to that ginger note—I do have a problem with it; it certainly can become annoying, especially in warmer weather.

    With the drydown Tabaróme Millésime becomes the rich and mellow scent I hoped it would be. The drydown—tobacco, tea, sandalwood, musk and vetiver—is absolutely lovely, except that I would prefer it to be stronger with more sillage; it stays very close to the skin. On my skin, this scent has terrible longevity. With using moisturizers and judiciously experimental spraying, I have it lasting about two hours—this is not enough.

    10th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2006)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Tiffany for Men by Tiffany

    Reminds me of the movie because it has almost as much beauty and class as the movie’s lovely star. The opening comes on with a strongly dominant rosewood, which, to me, overpowers the introductory citrus. This is fine with me because I see it as the foreshadowing of the potently luxurious notes in the mid and base. It promises that what is coming is going to be deep, complex, and masculine and that it will be exposed not only with power and drama, but also with discretion. The woods and spices really deliver on the promise. As incredibly rich as Tiffany is, it always acts with taste and dignity. The perfectly balanced base of amber, sandalwood, tonka and oakmoss lasts the longest of any EDT I’ve ever tried.

    10th January, 2006

    foetidus's avatar

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    Touch for Men by Burberry

    I love the opening. The first note that comes to me is a sharp violet leaf note along with a solid citrus presence, which moves to an excellent balance of wood notes. Wonderful. Then, unfortunately, the base changes the established energetic pattern by becoming soft and subtle with a white musk/tonka combination. It loses me here because it loses its potency. As in many other fragrances, white musk just disappears on me. Burberry Touch is a well-made Oriental that is different from the run-of-the-mill fragrances. If it didn’t depend so much on white musk in the dry down, it would certainly be one of my favorites.

    10th January, 2006

    foetidus's avatar

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    I have been wearing this since it came out—five years now. In my recent obsessive pursuit of the new and the niche, I’m afraid I have neglected GPH more than I meant to. Wearing it today after several months of neglect, I am again intrigued by how good it is. The opening is rich with wood, spice, and incense; and the white pepper complements and magnifies them to the point where they have an almost surreal character. This surrealism, of course, is lessened as time goes on. The potency continues to wane into the mid notes where the spice is pretty much disappeared and the accord remains simply papyrus wood and incense. These middle notes are very similar to the top notes (except for the reduced surreal intensity) because of the incense, and they last for a very long time. The middle notes do tend to be a little lackluster, but they remain rich and masculine. Thus it stays until the notes from the base show up. The papyrus wood has pretty much spent itself by this time and the leather comes to the fore. Leather and incense—very smooth. I get very little amber and I would really like for the amber to be stronger by this time—it’s about time for a break from the incense accords. If there is a criticism I might make of this fragrance, it would be that it could use more variety in its progression. It does have that typical Gucci weakness of lack of depth, but that doesn’t make it any less an excellent fragrance to wear. Wearing a fragrance is not at all like writing a review of one. When I write the review, my attention is continuously focused on the fragrance, and things like linearity are made out to be flaws because of my grasping for something to write. But when wearing a fragrance, I don’t place my constant attention on it, so the lack of movement isn’t an issue if the accords are enjoyable. Gucci Pour Homme wears beautifully. All the Gucci fragrances I’m familiar with…they all wear beautifully.

    10th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 03 February, 2007)

    foetidus's avatar

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    M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

    A wonderfully rich woody Oriental. On my skin, the citrus and spices seem to disappear almost immediately leaving primarily the masculine agarwood scent supported by a subtle, slightly green vetiver with maybe a touch of rosemary-maybe. To me, the other notes don’t seem to matter—only the agarwood / vetiver. I have no control, this almost narcotic combination forces me to keep smelling my wrist. After about forty minutes, the fragrance moves to a lightly sweet amber and musk base—somewhat dark and very rich—and it keeps traces of the agarwood throughout. M7 is a raw, warm, and sensual fragrance that is a refreshing contrast to the mostly anemic offerings of recent years. Thumbs way way up on this one!

    10th January, 2006

    foetidus's avatar

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    Marc Jacobs for Men by Marc Jacobs

    A refreshing opening redolent of fig — it is quite pleasant. The opening includes some potent spices, which, somehow, are not at all aggressive or overpowering — the fig remains the strongest element of the opening. That coconut thing is a nice touch — it comes on a bit too strong, but it adds an appropriate amount of interest to an accord that runs the risk of being too blah. I don’t get the floral middle at all — the fig leaf note simply continues prominence making the scent rather linear. The total feeling of the scent is one of lightness and lack of complexity. It is a fresh, somewhat green, somewhat spicy, dark-fruity (fig) fragrance with an extremely subtle drydown and a longevity problem. What I especially like about Marc Jacobs for Men is that it wears very nicely in hot and humid weather, and, therefore, is a nice change from the usual run of aquatics and / or citruses.

    10th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 16 March, 2008)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta by Acqua di Parma

    I was looking for a citrus with longevity, and the reviews were excellent, so I blindly bought Colonia Assoluta. The citrus element (orange, bitter orange, bergamot, lemon) in the fragrance is very long lasting and very Lemon Pledge-y to my nose. I really don’t get many florals, woods, or musk from the middle or base notes because that not too special citrus note retains its dominance from the opening through the drydown. The drydown is long lasting — it lasts five or six hours on my dry skin, and even as the last molecule of fragrance wafts off my skin, I can still smell furniture polish. According to the reviews here, there are many people who don’t get the Lemon Pledge accord or whose skins don’t project the artificiality of the lemon accord: The longevity of Colonia Assoluta makes it a worthy candidate for purchase IF it responds well to an individual’s sense apparatus. By all means, test this one out on your skin. It might work for you…but don’t buy it blind.

    10th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 28 June, 2008)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

    Beyond Paradise opens with a quite substantial tangy-melony-tropical fruit aroma that is a refreshing relief from the typical citrus /fruit combinations. It is Caribbean—South Pacific in impact and the notes hold for a very respectable length of time. The movement to the herb and grass middle is smooth, and the herb notes of the middle seem a natural projection of the fruity opening. The dry down is a quite mellow combination of wood and moss. This gourmand / aquatic has unique and interesting notes, is very well structured of quality ingredients, and has excellent longevity. I would love to see myself wearing this while partying and relaxing on the beaches of Cancun or Tahiti, but in real life, it isn’t very often that I want to smell like a mango.

    10th January, 2006

    green_man's avatar

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    Crypt by The Goth Rosary

    According to Goth Rosary Crypt is "Surrounded, haunting... the smell of moss clinging to a marble Mausoleum..." I just received my 2oz bottle today, and concur with that description. I can't describe the scent, but it changes and is very dynamic. It is a wonderful mix of faint, pleasant smelling moss and a cold stone smell. It does offer mental images of an ancient crypt. The smell is intriguing, and I truly enjoy it. I am no goth, by any means, and I believe that anyone could wear this fragrance. It seems a bit masculine to me, but it is no way overpowering or heavy. If anything, on my dry skin, the fragrance isn't quite strong enough. I really enjoy the way the fragrance will almost slip away from you for a bit, and then you get another hit of it before you forget that you're wearing it. After I use this bottle, I will definitely be ordering more from AntiSally (the owner of Goth Rosary). What a wonderful change of pace... Highly recommend this one!

    10th January, 2006

    Indie_Guy's avatar

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Some of us have a saying here at Basenotes, "Rive Gauche Pour Homme is the 'King of Compliments'". It's freakish how girls attack me when I wear Rive Gauche. Last night I wore it to work and a co-worker BIT ME! She freaking went crazy on me. It's a mystery why this scent ,which is relatively straightforward, causes women of all ages to go completely nuts.

    10th January, 2006

    Jae's avatar



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    La Chasse Aux Papillons by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Bathroom cleaner/deodorant...cloying, faux flowery/tutti-frutti. it just disappears from there. Which is not a bad thing.

    10th January, 2006

    Joel_Cairo's avatar

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    Rush for Men by Gucci

    Ahh the smell of sawing down christmas trees before dawn on a winters morning. Brazen beyong belief. Turin never mentions this scent without calling it "reckless" its a great word. Ballsy, ballsy stuff.

    10th January, 2006

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    Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin

    Is it just my limited knowledge but something about this scent smells very similar to B*men by TM. I see this as a bridge between B*men and Lanvin L'homme, more on the heavier side than the fresh side. Anyway this is a citrusy, spicy scent that is not too heavy but definitely not fresh. I prefer this to other releases in 2005 like black xs or very irresistible.

    10th January, 2006

    nattygold's avatar

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    Allure Homme by Chanel

    Allure is anice scent though not so unique. It doesn't last long on me two or threes hours tops and no difussion.

    10th January, 2006

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    Tea for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Another hit by L'Artisan. Tea for Two starts with a mix of tea and that rubbery accourd (leather?). It keeps that tea note in the middle and blends in a dose of cinnamon and another sweet honeyish note. The bottom has a vanilla aroma that's balanced good by a peppery tone (ginger?). Excellent fragrance.

    10th January, 2006

    foetidus's avatar

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    Monsieur Balmain (new) by Pierre Balmain

    Monsieur Balmain presents a vibrant citrus / minty opening—very lemony, even a bit lemony Pledge, but not so much to be off-putting: The day is saved by the mint, which keeps the opening a bit green and safe from excessively “plastic” citrus. This refreshing citrus / mint lasts incredibly well, helped by the lemon grass of the middle, I believe. The middle notes remain citrus with a wider herbal accord than the top accords had. There are also some traces of florals—particularly orris— showing up rather reservedly. The base loses the energy, IMO, although it retains a citrus bent to it. The sage and musk and amber warm the fragrance, but in warming it, some of the character is lost. Monsieur Balmain is a very nicely put together fragrance that shines in the citrus department, has a substance and tangibility to it. I enjoy it very much on those occasions when I feel I want to make a definite citrus statement, and my more discreet citruses (usually preferred) just strike me as a little bland.

    10th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 17 February, 2014)

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    Fierce for Men by Abercrombie & Fitch

    Crisp energizing scent with decent projection, and longevity. The drydown doesn't evolve much though. Versatile frag that can be worn at anytime.

    11th January, 2006

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

    My fav Chanel thus far. Timeless. It smells like lime with a hint of spice. It's definitely "old-school" and smells of "class." This would be most appropriate to wear to a sales meeting, formal dinner, or a reception. It's elegant, classy, and to me smells modern despite being "old-school..." I have smelled numerous fragrances that have ripped this off.. it's original, elegant, and you cannot go wrong wearing this. It's not the most exciting to wear, but typically exciting scents reek, in my opinion... A*Men excluded.

    11th January, 2006

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    Néroli Sauvage by Creed

    The most amazing Creed I've thus far smelled. It reeks of fruit at first, but settles to a spicy, smoky, masculine fragrance that is very fresh and appealing. Highly recommended.

    11th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 25 March, 2006)

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    Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

    To me, this smells like Creed's Himalaya a bit. I would not buy this again, but it's a highly elegant men's scent that has a patchouli-type smell to it. It's a nice scent that smells a bit sweet.

    11th January, 2006

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    B.United Man by Benetton

    I like this fragance, is younger and elegant... I prefer B.United, than Cold (cold smell like methol or alcanfor)

    11th January, 2006

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    Belle Epoque by Guerlain

    Belle Epoque, re-launched 1999 for Harrods, is a beautiful, unique fragrance, celebrating tuberose in a delicate way with a very noble musk accent. It is seductive, warm, feminine, elegant.
    I'll be grateful to everybody who can give details to olfactory family.

    11th January, 2006

    flathorn's avatar

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    Royal Water by Creed

    Blend of peppermint, verbena, sicilian mandarin, calabrian bergamot, basil, cumin, juniper berry & musk of tonka.
    Lovely refreshing light scent. I didn't get the peaches mentioned by one reviewer, though there is a light citrus fruit note which is unobtrusive TMN. I smell a definite lavender/bergamot/citrus note in the start-up, which I always love, being a lavenderholic, but which is more common in men's fragrances than women's, so I appreciate its presence here, and which probably helps to make it unisex. It stays light, refreshing and slightly sweet into the midnote. The cumin and basil are merely modifiers, thank goodness, and don't emerge as independent notes, which I was afraid they might. They have been submerged to the needs of the whole. They keep the fragrance grounded and less floral.
    This one is a delight, one of my favorite refreshing fragrances. It has a bit of an Acqua Di Parma sensibility about it. Far too many fresh fragrances have ozone, a note that ruins a scent for me. I'm surprised by comments this is more floral and feminine than unisex, as it doesn't come across to me as overly floral, but decidedly unisex, especially the drydown. But I have chypre skin, as I often feel compelled to say, which played a part in my assessment.

    11th January, 2006

    foetidus's avatar

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    Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

    Light, sweet, fruity, citrusy, a little floral, some evergreen, a little spicy, a lot synthetic, and typical Liz Claiborne quality. Thumbs down.

    11th January, 2006

    foetidus's avatar

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    D&G Masculine by Dolce & Gabbana

    D & G Masculine is a fresh, clean fragrance. It opens with a very pleasing citrus / green accord—clean, fresh, and lasts quite long for a citrus. The switch to the middle notes is quick, once it starts, and creates a clean, nicely balanced, rather composite herbal accord that doesn’t project very much. The middle herbal nature continues the freshness of the beginning citrus with even a little ozonics stuck in there. I find these heart notes to be quite engaging, but I would like them to have a little more strength; however, this is likely the way the target market—younger wearers—would like it. The base also emphasizes the light and refreshing characteristic with lighter woods, vetiver, and tonka. Though it is not a fragrance for me, I rather like this pleasant fragrance. It is aimed at the younger market and this one of the better ones of that usually mediocre genre.

    11th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 10th March, 2008)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Grabazzi by Gendarme

    The top notes are lively and bright: a citrus / floral / pepper accord with a very apparent lavender rising up from the middle notes. I seem to get a rather odd note in there somewhere, but I can’t quite place it — sort of a dull tar-like note. The jasmine and other florals from the middle give a soapy smell that I don’t really care very much for — it’s just seems so Procter and Gambles’ detergent. The dry down is light and subtle but there’s not much more I can say about it because it is basically nondescript. The fragrance does not have a very good longevity on my skin. No, I will take any of the other Gendarmes over this one any day.

    11th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 18 January, 2007)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Hugo Dark Blue by Hugo Boss

    Dark Blue starts out quite beautifully—a delicate citrus and spice accord that shows discretion and taste, until about five minutes into it when, as the citrus and spice notes lessen, the synthetics start blooming. The middle accords don’t come through very strongly, but what can be made of them shows an uncharacteristic good blending of coniferous green and spices and sage, that is until the initial middle tones start losing power and the synthetics are no longer covered up by coniferous notes. Now and then I get a waft of incense from the base—a note I always enjoy except now because this very nice incense note floats over a background of strongly artificial malodors. The cedar and incense of the base come through quite strongly along with an element of patchouli. I don’t get the benzoin that is supposed to be there. Either there are fewer synthetics in the base or else my nose has become inured to artificiality. The combinations and movements of this scent have potential. Such a shame—if it had been made of less synthetic smelling ingredients and more attention had been paid to the maintenance of truer notes, this would have been a very nice fragrance, indeed.

    11th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 18 January, 2007)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Jovan White Musk for Men by Jovan

    It’s called “White Musk” and it is appropriately named, but is also has a lot more going on with it than white musk. It opens a lot fruity and a little herbaceous: citrus, apple, melon, and mint. It’s balanced, it’s sweet, it’s fresh, it’s musky, it’s light, and it’s synthetic. In spite of its synthetic nature, I find it enjoyable. The other herb besides mint that is used in the fragrance — thyme — provides a drier, more solemn note among all that sweetness and freshness. There’s also spice in there — clove — just enough to get a touch of sparkle in the mixture. Clove, mint, and thyme are all capable of delivering an aromatic effect, and I think that that is one of the pleasant little nuances of this fragrance: A part of its charm is that non-obvious touch of aromatics added to the fruitiness and green / spice. I wore Jōvan White Musk for Men a bit several years ago and enjoyed it because it is so easy to wear, so economical, and so trustworthy. I seldom wear it because I’ve moved on, but I still have good memories of it. A decent value for its price.

    11th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 10th April, 2008)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Must de Cartier pour Homme by Cartier

    I’ve done a turn around on this one. My original judgment of it was that it was a nicely refined scent but essentially lackluster. Through use, I have gained much more respect for it. This is an elegant Oriental fragrance that provides a variety of citrus and spice notes, all presented richly and subtly. Beautifully made and wonderfully balanced, the opening has grapefruit and mandarin, as well as bergamot; but the opening does not give the impression of being a typical citrus accord — the smooth and mellow anise is highly participatory in the citrus accord and helps create a beautifully integrated combination that I can identify as neither citrus nor spice. The spices of the heart notes are also smooth, elegant, and impeccably blended into the fragrance’s movement. The woody dry down is luxurious and subtle — too subtle for my preferences, actually, and too short lasting. Must de Cartier Pour Homme stays too close to the skin; it never deviates from its sophisticated direction; and it is the epitome of refined luxuriousness. It doesn’t have the depth of a truly great fragrance, and I sincerely wish it had better longevity, but, through extensive use, I have come to overlook those criticisms in lieu of its beauty, refinement, elegance, and great bottle.

    11th January, 2006 (Last Edited: 09 March, 2008)

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