Fragrance Reviews from December 2006

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    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Black Vetyver Café by Jo Malone

    Black Vetyver Cafe is my second favourite from the Jo Malone line - right after Vintage Gardenia. Black Vetyver Cafe is exactly what it sounds: vetyver and coffee! The combination sounds strange, but it works magically well. It starts with black coffee note, and than dries down to a clean, woody vetyver. I can smell another woody element there, which makes it softer than just straight-up vetyver. I think it's sandalwood, but it could be the sequia note. I just wish the coffee note lasted longer and that the dry down was a tad sweeter - not as to make it “sweet” in a gourmand manner - just not all that woody. Vetyver has sweet & tart aspects and I wish they were played out a bit more here. Compared with Vintage Gardenia, Black Vetyver Café is more intriguing, yet less balanced in my opinion. I am not a fan of layering, but when layered with with Vintage Gardenia, it is quite interesting. The cardamom and white florals really complement it, and I recommend using a much lesser amount of the Black Vetyver Café.
    Any way you look at it – from a vetyver or a coffee angle - this is a unique scent and should not be missed.

    11th December, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Orange Blossom by Jo Malone

    I ignored this cologne from Jo Malone for the longest time, even though I never thought it unpleasant. In fact, I ignored most of the line, because for the most part I find the scents too "traditional" and the prices too high for something so conventional. Another reason I ignored it was due to a sample mix-up: even though they were manufacturer’s samples, my Orange Blossom and my Lime, Basil & Mandarin samples got confused, and so I thought that Orange Blossom was a conventional citrus & herb cologne and dismissed it with no second thoughts. Than when I got that mini-package - an extra mini bottle of Lime Basil Mandarin was slipped in as an extra, so I decided to give it a try. I quickly realized there was a mistake in the samples, and after further investigation learned that my charmging “Lime Basil and Mandarin” was actually Orange Blossom…

    I was just stunned by how gorgeous Orange Blossom was! This is no ordinary citrus, nor what you would expect from an orange blossom scent, and it is quite unique. The note that stands out for me is the mandarin. When I put it on I was immediately transported to our family orchard I took care of my entire childhood, where I played and watered and weeded the trees. It was one of my favourite places and any scent that brings me back there is welcome to my collection. The heart is definitely orange blossom, which is one of my most favourite notes, and it helps that citrus top notes to linger just a tad longer than most other citrus colognes would.

    11th December, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Vintage Gardenia with Cardamom & Myrrh by Jo Malone

    While most of the Jo Malone scents are very simplistic and leave me cold for the most part, Vintage Gardenia made me feel instantly at home, as it reminds me of the smell in my best friend's childhood home. It is similar to a certain soap they used. Thus, Vintage Gardenia to me smells both clean and warm. I find the combination of notes to be working fantastically well, although they are quite unusual. Cardamom is one of my favourite notes, and thankfully it is present here and adds depth and character to what could be an overly heady white floral (as in some other gardenia scents). The base is warm and slightly bitter from the myrrh, which also balances the sweetness of the floral notes really well. Overall, the perfume smells to me like a combination of jasmine sambac, tuberose, cardamom and myrrh. Vintage Gardenia is one of the most original of the Jo Malone line, and my faovurite at that. In fact, it is my favourite gardenia scent so far!

    11th December, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Blue Agava and Cacao by Jo Malone

    This is a very peculiar Jo Malone, and is really different from the rest of the line. Even more different than Pomegranate Noir, as it not only combines notes that are very unusual and not often used in perfumes, but also notes that don’t really go very well together… This starts off kind of aromatic and green (must be the lime, an oil that is often used in household cleaning items), but you can smell the cacao bitter-sweetness in the background, which is kind of intriguing and a bit dry, which makes you think of cocoa powder. For some reason, this smells like a toilet duck to me. I usually try to stay away from such associations to describe scents, but this is what this reminds me of initially, in a peculiar, perfumey kind of way. Thankfully, it’s a well done toilet duck and it actually smells pleasant in its own odd way. The dry down smells to me almost exactly like Coty’s Musk Vanilla, which is quite nice. It does improve when you layer Grapefruit cologne on top though.

    11th December, 2006

    ComDiva's avatar

    United States United States

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    Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

    Three words to describe Orris Noir: Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Lighter than its name implies, but spellbinding nonetheless, ON skims along the surface of the skin so deftly I kept expecting it would disappear entirely any minute. Instead it became creamier as it opened up, and was still marvelously "there" hours after I first put it on. It is a beautiful blend of light spices and delicate exotic florals, the pink pepper, coriander and powdery iris (fortunately more iris than powder) definitely come through on me. I must also compliment the presentation -- Even though I only got a sample, it arrived in dramatic all-black, tied with a black grosgrain ribbon. Very classy, and made even better because the scent lived up to the packaging!

    11th December, 2006

    JDBIII's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oyédo by Diptyque

    Well, it started out like candy, and that didn't bother me too much. Then, it went away completely, and that didn't bother me too much. Then it came back with a vengeance, the herbal accord smelling like intense BO, and it wouldn't go away. And, that really bothered me. So, I tried it again, and I suffered through the same terrifying experience. This is my first Diptyque scent, so I guess there is nowhere to go but up.

    After trying it many more times, I can say with vigor that I detest this scent. All I can smell is a sickening blend of methyl anthranilate and cashmeram, in other words, molded grape jelly. Surely, someone at Diptyque must have said NO to this beast.

    11th December, 2006 (Last Edited: 17 March, 2010)

    JDBIII's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gomma by Etro

    Everyone keeps mentioning leather, but I smell rubber. It smells like erasers. I loved the smell of erasers when I was a student, and I guess I still do. I thought this would be overpowering when I first bought it, but the drydown brought out warmth and subtlety, so I wear it at both work and play. It is straightforward, simple, and not sweet. Although, it is not dry either. I have not smelled it on a woman yet, but imagine it might be stunning.

    11th December, 2006

    rach2jlc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mûre et Musc by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I agree with Randolph, for the most part. It is definitely unisex, but does have a certain sweetness that can't be overlooked. Nevertheless, the mix of the sweet with the musk gives it a very distinctive and classy edge. My only complaint is that this version is fairly light and longevity isn't so great on me (perhaps this would be alleviated by getting the Extreme version, which I plan to get when my bottle runs out). If I were new to l'artisan, this one wouldn't be in my top 3, but it is still worth a try.

    11th December, 2006

    RCavs's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Kenneth Cole New York Men by Kenneth Cole

    Wow! I'm against the grain here, because I DO like this fragrance! It's fresh and fruity with a slightly floral touch, subtle and stays close to the skin. The longevity is average (better than what I get with KC Reaction)...
    It's simple: good for office and casual wearing, but in spite of its lack of complexity, I've got a lot of compliments! Go figure...

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Derby by Guerlain

    Dirty is the first word that comes to mind when I first apply Derby. It's dirty in a couple ways. First, it's dirty as in dusty. There's a chaotic stew of notes in the opening that certainly would be off-putting to someone who didn't wait long enough for what was to come. Two images come to mind when I sniff this opening. One is of dust, swirling and billowing, as at a horse-race track. The other is of the chaotic noise of all the instruments tuning and practicing before the start of an orchestral performance.

    The other reviewers have made significant note of the peppermint, and rightfully so. It is the mint that seems to marshall this mess into a coherent whole. The mint stays throughout, it adds organization and vibrancy to the whole composition. To my nose, it is almost like a conductor, pulling things together, which is the exact opposite role of what I would expect mint to play. Typically I think of mint as being like ginger, adding a zing or a zest, a little sizzle on top, but here, it seems like it is the note that holds together and smooths out the chaos of the other notes. It is this use of peppermint here that made me realize how artfully one component can be used.

    As Derby dries, it gets smoother and more subtle, a near-perfect blend of moss, woods, and animalic notes. It is refined without being at all stuffy; gentlemanly but still edgy; a classy rebel and brawler. I wish I could find a bottle or two of this!

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Autre by Diptyque

    Cumin. Armloads of cumin, with some dry woods and possibly a light touch of musk, or maybe my nose is just so wishing for some musk in this that it smells it whether there is any or not. Cumin and woods. There's also a bit of coriander, but it's no match for the cumin overload. Why is this called "The Other?" My speculations: Because others stare at you as you wear it, wondering why you smell as you do? Because no other would wear it? Or because you really wish some other were wearing it? Not my favorite Diptyque.

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau Lente by Diptyque

    Eau Lente is thus far my favorite of the Diptyque line. I'll piggy-back on Foetidus' review here, as I think he's done an excellent job capturing the essence of this scent. It is a spicy, woodsy, musky scent. The opoponax here seems less in my face than it often does. It's more subtle here, adding a warmth that is slightly animalic, like amber or musk, as well as adding depth. As Pluran points out, in this scent it never goes to the over-the-top vanilla sweetness that opoponax sometimes does. Instead, here the muskiness and "browness" of the note is accentuated. I wish it lasted longer, and if I had one complaint about this fragrance, it would be that it can sometimes smell a bit like a holiday candle. Otherwise, it's great for those who like woods and spice with a touch of sweetness.

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    I finally got around to trying this popular, oft-reviewed scent. There's not much more I can add to zztopp's review. I'll just agree with him, on all but the Creed plug, but that's only because I have not yet tried Bois de Santal. I don't doubt it's more interesting than Tam Dao, because I had the same feeling of incompleteness, an unfinished sense from Tam Dao. It started off greener and sharper than I thought, was lighter than I expected it to be, as well as drier, and less complex. On top of that it never developed all that much. It then disappeared too soon. I can't say that I was totally overwhelmed by it as so many others here - many of whom I respect and with whom I often agree - seem to be. I'm a little let down. As far as "sandalwood" scents go, I prefer Santal Noble and Santal de Mysore (though those are more like gourmand scents) and Profumum's Santalum (though that's more about myrrh).

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oriental Lumpur by Les Néréides

    Very much a straight-up, dry spice scent. It smells like one of those spice rubs that you can buy to rub into meat to prepare it for cooking. In this case, I can't help but smell predominantly curry and cumin. As PM notes, L'Autre is another scent in this vein. I think Oriental Lumpur is more about foody spices than L'Autre, while the Diptyque scent is more approachable, its cumin being tempered with woods and some musk. Here, the cumin is "tempered" with curry, or vice-versa, much like chasing your shot of Jack Daniels with Jack on the rocks. There is barely the slightest hint of sweetness to keep it from being unreasonable. Personally, I don't care for this all that much, nor would I see myself wearing it often, but it is interesting.

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Intrigant Patchouli 08 by Parfumerie Generale

    One of my favorite, possibly my #1, "patchouli" fragrance. The patchouli here is tame; it's present, more so than say L'Artisan's Patchouli Patch, but it's under control, restrained. The scent unfolds quite a bit, getting darker and sweeter the longer it wears. Like many other PG scents, there is an animalic muskiness that persists throughout, adding a warmth and edgy dirtiness to the scent. The darkness of of it all makes the name seem very appropriate. Balancing the thickness and darkness is a ginger note that adds an unexpected medicinal vibe and brings an uplifting, modern twist to notes that otherwise would remind me of dirty hippies shagging in the weeds somewhere. It's interesting - modern and classic all at once. I wish it lasted a little longer, but overall the lasting power is not bad, just not what I'd expect of a patchouli fragrance in what I think is EDP strength. Still, well worth checking out.

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Unicorn Spell by LesNez

    The most interesting of the three LesNez scents is also the most feminine. The violets jump out at me. In many ways it reminds me of L'Artisan's Verte Violette, only due to the iris, colder, and more distant, with the air of a fairy tale. In that sense it is a successful scent; I think it lives up to its name. But it is not something most men would want to wear. I'm not even sure I'd call it a women's scent, but more of a girl's scent. Even then, I'm just not sure. Even though it's approachable, the coldness of it makes it somewhat serious. Interesting that most fairy tales are like that. With approachable characters they tell stories that are often dark and cold. This is like the other LesNez scents - "watery" and not my style, but at least here I can appreciate the vision at work.

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Iskander by Parfum d'Empire

    If you have tested Eau de Gloire and you liked it except for the funkiness of what I can only guess is the heavy dose of geranium, then you really want to check out Iskander. It is reminiscent of Eau de Gloire (which I will repeat is intended as a men's scent, not a women's scent as it's listed here), but is more approachable, less chaotic. It's funny that the downfall of Eau de Gloire is that it overextends, it attempts to reach too far, attempting to include too many notes. That's appropriate for a scent designed with Napoleon in mind. Iskander does not fall into that trap. The opening reminds me a bit of Creed's Himalaya, but the drydown is richer and fuller, with a darker base that makes Iskander more substantial and more interesting. The citrus opening stays throughout, but it darkens as the scent progresses. The oakmoss is noticeable but not overwhelming. The musk becomes more apparent as the scent dries, adding a touch of animalism. The notes list amber, but I don't notice it all that much. Iskander lasts a long time on me and has jumped to the top of my list of what I consider to be citrusy fragrances. All the Parfum d'Empire scents I have tried have been successful at what they aimed to do. This one is definitely good stuff. I can't wait to try Cuir Ottoman.

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Antimatière by LesNez

    I hate this stuff. (How many times have you seen me start a review like that? I don't think I ever have, that's how much I dislike this. I really hate this stuff.) Whatever it is that comprises this scent, is the very thing that I hate in many fragrances, most of which are cheaper fragrances. Is it "white musk?" Or "cashmere musk?" Or that molecule in Escentric Molecule's scent, that Iso-E Super or whatever it's called? I don't know. But whatever it is it's a fabric-softener-like greasiness made into a fragrance, and not much more. I dislike the smell of it, and I dislike having it on my skin even more. The worst of the Les Nez scents for sure, I was actually angry after I sprayed this on my hand, angry that I had been duped into trying this. If you like watery but persistent, neutered musk scents like Krizia's Time Uomo or the Gendarme scents, then you may want to try this.

    11th December, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Let Me Play The Lion by LesNez

    Warm, woodsy, soft, and lightly spicy, this is the most traditionally masculine of the LesNez scents. It also has that same white musk / cashmere musk note that never fails to annoy the crap out of me. All-in-all it's just too indistinct for me to give it a thumbs-up. It's not so bad to deserve a thumbs-down, but it's not something I would ever buy. Again, like L'Antimatière, this reminds me of Krizia's Time Uomo, not so much in notes as in overall effect. In some way, all of these smell like they could have been one of Ellena's earlier attempts at "watery." I just don't like the style.

    11th December, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Green Valley by Creed


    Notes: Wild Mint, Violet Leaves and Blackcurrant over a base of Oak moss, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Musk.

    Green Valley is a Creed offering which, like a bad family secret,is rarely talked about. Well the secrets out - this Creed's a winner!

    I recall trying Silver Mountain Water (SMW) for the first few times and thinking "smells nice, but if only the sweet blackcurrant note was tempered by a mossy, citrus or mint note". Well, Green Valley smells like what my thoughts were envisioning - it has a blackcurrant note which is definitely noticeable in the composition, but its opening note of fresh mint alongwith violet leaves in the middle notes lends it a "SMW refined" aura to me. Infact for a short while during its evolution, when the violet leaves are making their presence felt, it does smell quite a bit like Green Irish Tweed. Green Valley is still very much its own fragrance though. At times it smells like an illegitimate bastard child of GIT and SMW, conceived in lush green valleys on the banks of a fresh spring.

    Contrary to the reviews below, it smells nothing like Diors Fahrenheit; that "motor oil" note of Fahrenheit is nowhere to be found in Green Valley. I also observed that depending on your skin, either the violet leaves or the blackcurrant will be the more prominent showcase note. On clothes, its the earthy violet leaves which are more dominant. Longevity is around 5-6 hours.

    Eitherways, if you thought Green Irish Tweed was too "earthy" and SMW was too sweet, give Green Valley a try. Exhibiting great composition and evolution of notes, it deserves more attention - just like the music of The Meat Puppets.

    11th December, 2006

    GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Kouros Fraîcheur by Yves Saint Laurent

    This smells *exactly* like regular Kouros, except a little less strong, and with a barely detectable synthetic freh citrus note. It's good, but if you have one you have the other. Maybe this one is a little better if you want a little less "sweat" in your Kouros.

    11th December, 2006

    GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    M7 Fresh by Yves Saint Laurent

    Nevermind what anybody says. This smells exactly like Froot Loops. Richer, warmer, healthier Froot Loops. Mmmm, love those froot loops!

    11th December, 2006

    h_len's avatar

    Israel Israel

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    The Unicorn Spell by LesNez

    I've got them today, all three samples, and I absolutely LOVE The Unicorn Spell. It's a very unusial scent, warm and cozy; I think the word "universal" suits it much better then "unisex". If somebody asked me for another suitable name for it, I'd call it "Mother Nature" or something...
    It doesn't smell like perfume at all, and it's quite a big compliment I can give a perfume. It's has something very sweet in it's heart, but so deep inside that you can hardly feel it.
    It also remindes me of Green Flannel that I like very much. :)

    11th December, 2006

    whatawprld's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ta'If by Ormonde Jayne

    Am I the only one with the incredible disappearing juice? I put it on, smells nice enough. Certainly better than other things you could squirt on yourself. Wait for the sharp notes to burn off, and lo - its gone! Under an hour and I can't find it anywhere. No bang for my buck.

    11th December, 2006

    ukulele's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

    Ahh, this one is superb!
    You can feel the fire burning, the smell of petroleom producing the heat and topped with those absolutely unique topnotes! It is intoxicating. This scent doesn't compare to anything I have smelled!
    It is however, not something everyone will be able to love. But perhaps you are one them.

    It needs to be mentioned, that this smell is very easy to recognize and to remember! In case you know a person wearing Fahrenheit that you actively hate, you'll probably hate Fahrenheit as well.

    KiatBkk writes(see below): 'It renders me nostalgia.' - Well, me too. Just takes me back to the time I first smelled it.

    A must try if you ask me!

    11th December, 2006

    ukulele's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    I can't stand it! Smells to like people in some of their most intimate places! I don't know what it is, but Timbuktu has it too.

    Wear some pencil-shavings between your butt cheeks and you know the smell of Gucci Pour Homme! Stick to Envy, if you ask me!

    11th December, 2006

    ukulele's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Well, I guess it is just not what I had hoped for. Tried it several times, wanting to love it, but simply don't. It is complex, there are many notes to discover, but to they just don't fit together.
    First of all there is no smoke (I love the smell of pipe tobacco - pure and burnt), what I get here is just tar and perhaps ash! Then ther is a very strong rose component and honey mixing in to this.
    To my nose it is just too strange, not smooth at all!
    I guess there is more to discover, not for me though.

    In case you are tempted to order this one blind: be warned, you may not like!

    11th December, 2006

    ukulele's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Traveller, beware!
    You should definitely NOT BUY THIS BLIND!
    To me it smells like some grapefruit dessert(smells somewhat creamy to me), seasoned with some pepper and then spread on dirty ground.
    Has very strong sillage and longevity though (only sprayed once on my wrist and everybody smelled it).
    In essecence: Try before you buy!

    11th December, 2006

    ce1982's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Ho Hang by Balenciaga

    Wonderfully fresh top notes remind me of a womens perfume, but this is followed by an incredibly enticing middle and oriental base that simply knocks me out. It's so different to everything else I've owned or tried, and I've been asked several time what it is.

    11th December, 2006

    ce1982's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Starring for Men by Avon

    Bought a small tester of this off of ebay. It's not bad! Slightly floral top notes, but quickly mixes in with the spicy cinnamon, apple and bay rum of the middle notes. Reminds me somewhat of a pirate chewing on tobacco and swigging rum... Not quite as complex as similar frags such as Havana by Aramis, but buy it if you want to feel like Jack Sparrow!

    11th December, 2006

    Showing 481 to 510 of 1006.