Fragrance Reviews from December 2006

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    Bulgari pour Femme by Bulgari

    Violet and peach and rose seem to stand out in the very pretty, very feminine opening. So nicely balanced –so cleanly floral. I don’t like most floral scents—I find them heady and cloying, but this one is all right. It does seem a little too ordinary for being a Bvlgari scent. It doesn’t seem to have any special identity going for it, as I have come to expect from Bvlgari. Pour Femme is pretty and floral and nonsynthetic and feminine and well made.

    04 December, 2006

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    Guess (original) by Guess

    Perfumeworld calls this scent ‘Fresh Floral Sweet Ambery,’ and from what I’m smelling, I would say, ‘Wrong on almost all accounts.’ It could be the age of my sample, but the citruses of the opening are quite subdued in the sense that the base notes seem to overwhelm them—not much freshness here. The woods, civet, and patchouli minimize the citrus while the cinnamon and spices dominate the florals. I agree with FroFro that Guess is more spicy than floral. And its excellently employed civet does make it quite sexy, too. This civet gives it a strong sensual feeling while the woods and patchouli move it toward the darker end of the spectrum. I don’t get very much ‘sweet,’ its sensuality and darkness come with an air of warmth as well as mystery…and this warmth moves Guess quite far along on the path to elegance. Pleasurable accords, well constructed, near elegant, a little mysterious, sensual—this is (was) a very fine fragrance.

    04 December, 2006

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    Boss Woman by Hugo Boss

    The fruity opening is very pleasant and not excessively sweet. There is a slight synthetic tinge to it, but I don’t see anything in the pyramid that would account for that unless it’s the pineapple note. I don’t often find pineapple notes that are done successfully. I don’t really get much floral from the middle—the middle seems to retain the fruitiness of the opening and bring in the cedar and sandalwood from the base. The dry down is primarily mango-y with a background of wood. It is pleasant enough and has good longevity. Boss Woman is ostensibly the best Hugo Boss fragrance that I’ve tried, which isn’t saying a lot, but this one is ok.

    04 December, 2006

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    Oxygène by Lanvin

    I think this is the most unusual of the ozonic fragrances that I’ve tried—an unusual way of looking at aquatics, and an excellent one. Oxygene is quite floral with a very smooth subtle wood base. The opening is translucently floral—gardenia and iris—with a white pepper touch that makes it more interesting and elegant; there’s also a bit of sharpness to the accord. The touch of pepper and the iris note are ingenious elements that contribute to Oxygene’s unexpected richness. Imagine that—a wonderful elegance and richness incorporated into a genuinely fresh ozonic fragrance. The dry down is a light sandalwood and delicate white musk with traces of the gardenia still contributing to the subtle and transparent aura. Over the years I’ve come to have a lot of respect for Lanvin fragrances, and this one is no exception—another excellent fragrance from an excellent company.

    04 December, 2006

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    Pheromone by Marilyn Miglin

    The opening is rather sharpish but an otherwise natural green—an attractive green with enough counterpoint to make it interesting right from the first sniff, this green accord is rather tenacious and it seems to hang on a little too long because I start to get quite irritated by it—I have found that too much unrelenting green in a fragrance can be very hard to take. I think that takemyhusbandplz’s thirty minute estimate is just about right, because the scent takes that long to settle down into a green that is more tolerable for the long run. The restraint is accomplished by the accumulation of the scent’s other notes—especially an incense note that is not exactly prominent but does stand solidly in the background. I have no idea why it is called Pheromone, but I sort of like this scent. It is quite a nice green scent with enough going on in it to keep it interesting, and I think it’s at least unisex—probably even rather masculine.

    04 December, 2006

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    Mauboussin by Mauboussin

    Mauboussin opens with an excellent almost too ripe fruit, a soft white floral, and a discreetly gourmand ambiance—nicely balanced with a high degree separation of notes and accords. It’s floral / fruity heart seems dominated by whiteness… I really don’t get a rose note. At its dry down, Mauboussin is a shape shifter oscillating between a sensitive vanilla / wood accord and a luscious ripe-plus fruity accord. Not exactly light or transparent, but not really heady except for the first minute or so, this beautifully feminine fragrance carries abundant substance with it and has a very nice longevity. Artistically crafted and endearing… be prepared to be noticed.

    04 December, 2006 (Last Edited: 23 May, 2008)

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    360 Degrees Blue for Women by Perry Ellis

    A rather sharp floral opens this fragrance and it quickly subsides to a pleasant, subtle floral heart. I can’t separate out the various floral notes, but they are primarily what I would think are white florals. Very nice, very clean, and very subtle: A quite subdued and attractive scent but with nothing extra special about it.

    04 December, 2006

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    Vénus de l'Amour by Vicky Tiel

    Floral and herbal and a little spicy, Venus opens up quite sweet with a strong vanilla peeking through from the base. So sweet that the opening notes lack separation to the point where it’s difficult to determine whether it’s floral or floral /fruity. There certainly is citrus deep down in there somewhere, and some spices, too. There’s a bubble gum feel to its sweetness that holds it own for an impressive length of time. Unfortunately there is a synthetic twinge to that accord that weakens what might have been a genuinely fun creation. The impact of Venus is one that might have been labeled ‘loud’ and ‘fun,’ but I’m afraid it really turns out to be ‘gaudy’ and ‘farcical.’ I do not really care the top and middle notes of Venus de L’Amour, and I think its name sounds like it belongs in a 40’s Crosby — Hope road movie. The dry down, on the other hand, deserves positive comment. It’s long lasting vanilla, wood, musk, amber, with traces of—could it be?—heliotrope.

    04 December, 2006

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    Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

    Very floral, quite classic, and I can’t decide if it leans more toward formal or sensual—I go back and forth on that. I do get the slight sour note in the beginning, but it’s gone in a flash. I really don’t notice as much of a rose note as I was expecting there to be: With the hype about, ‘Make us the most gorgeous rose perfume in the world…’ I naturally thought I would be smelling an almost pure rose note backed up by some citrus and green and wood. What I get is a mixed floral fragrance. To my nose the violet and jasmine are especially strong. I do smell rose, but not enough for me to call Paris ‘a rose scent.’ Anyway it’s lovely and very feminine, and it is quite strong, which is not at all surprising considering it is from the 80’s. Paris is a sweet, attractive, beautifully-constructed floral fragrance that’s not really eccentric enough for an YSL fragrance IMO. It has a beautiful, delicate wood / musk dry down and it lasts for ages.

    04 December, 2006

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    Eau de Lubin by Lubin

    Eau de Lubin is a delighful citrus fragrance—light and clear, it seems to have more in common with the more modern citruses than its 1978 introduction date would suggest. Its opening citrus accord is pleasantly imbued with some subtle but bright spice notes that are just plain endearing—almost tingly. The spice continues supporting the citrus through its attractive and subtle dry down. The longevity is somewhat poor but acceptable because it is not the kind of fragrance that normally has much longevity. Eau de Lubin is a wonderful little fragrance—too bad it’s discontinued.

    04 December, 2006

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    Écume de Thé / Thé by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    A restrained fresh citrus opening of the EDT foretells the delicacy of this tea fragrance. The opening is replaced by an accord of gentle florals and a rich tea note. There is not much variety or variance in the tea note and it is not an exotic tea note but it gives me a comfortable feeling that I wouldn’t get with a more edgy accord. The smoke is quite minimized in the EDT and the whole feeling of the fragrance is one of ease rather than of energy or mystery. I like it very much. The long lasting light wood base fits seamlessly into the smooth progression of the scent. I would say that the tea accord in Écume de Thé is stronger than the tea accords in the Bvlgari au Té scents but it is no less refined. Écume de Thé is mercifully more discreet than something like CDG’s Tea. This is a lovely long lasting fragrance.

    04 December, 2006

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    Aqua pour Homme by Bulgari


    One of the best aquatics available, and right at the top among designer aquatics, as far as I’m concerned. Bvlgari has managed to present the sharp aquatic and sea accords with a minimum of synthetic feel. I find the opening cleanliness – slightly citric, slightly ozonic – refreshing, and, as opposed to almost all other aquatics, I haven't got bored with this opening after wearing it two years. The middle sea notes provide more of an echo of, rather than an actual sea air accord because it features a masculine white floral note. I find it quite relaxing and even contemplative at times. The drydown is quite Bvlgari — a soft but rich wood and a delicate, spicy mineral amber that, as others have mentioned, go quite powdery. As with many other reviewers, aquatics are not my favorite category; I own several of them and, except for Erolfa and Bvlgari Aqva, I just do not wear them.

    What keeps me coming back to Bvlgari Aqva, is that it initially forms such a quiet aura of marine cleanliness around me, and ends up with a long-lasting, pleasant wood base which still retains that tiny hint of the sea. It's unique in the world of aquatic fragrances, and it is such an easy fragrance to enjoy and to live with. (Edit of 14 May 2008 review.)

    04 December, 2006 (Last Edited: 06 October, 2010)

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    Sandalwood by Floris

    I imagine that Floris loses a lot of sales on this because people who are testing this EdT might take a sniff of it and immediately dismiss it because they can’t smell anything. I smell nothing in this when I first apply it. A half hour later there’s a bit of oily wood there that I still can’t really identify as sandalwood—it’s quite unspectacular. As time goes on, the sandalwood gathers more and more presence, but it never seems to reach what I would call a complete EDT demeanor. What it does end up as, is a rich but understated, natural sandalwood fragrance that forms a compact and soft aura over the skin. It is minimal and unadorned, and I imagine that it is about as pure of sandalwood as exists in perfumery—but I don’t know that as a fact.

    Floris Sandalwood is an unpresumptuous sandalwood scent—remaining reticent and close to the skin, it is unamplified and uncomplemented by the usual citrus or cedar. I very much like its Zen-like purity. And even though it is now about ninth on my list of favorite sandalwood fragrances, I’m going to buy it because I feel strongly that it’s the kind of scent that will continue to grow in my estimation as I become more acquainted with it.

    04 December, 2006

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    Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka by Hermès

    Truth in packaging: The Hermes people are honest enough to call this fragrance by the name of its real star…’tonka.’ This scent could get along nicely by simply being called ‘Tonka.’ What ‘vetiver’ it has is minimal— in the opening salvo there is a wonderful stab of raw vetiver plus iodine, but that great accord is gone in seconds. The vetiver then turns wimpy to the point where it does not deserve the name, ‘vetiver.’ I like the smell of vetiver and I search out vetiver fragrances. Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire and MPG’s Route de Vetiver and Annick Goutal’s Vetiver and L’Artisan’s Vetiver (and likely many more that I have not tried, yet) are all wonderful interpretations of vetiver that actually make use of vetiver. CDG’s Vettiveru is superb as vetiver light. Hermès Vetiver Tonka is too un-vetiverish, too linear, and too sweet for me, but it is a very nice tonka fragrance.

    04 December, 2006

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    Agrumi di Sicilia by i Profumi di Firenze

    The lime and grapefruit do not come through in the very clear, crisp accords that I am used to in several of the modern citrus fragrances I’ve tried. The notes in the opening ARE citrus notes, but they are rather muddled and ineffective—perhaps because of the undistinguished greens that are rising from the mid and base levels. The greens and woods from the mid and base levels do not appear very winning to me and could be much more pleasant. The accords of Agrumi di Sicilia have a bit of that ‘cologny’ tang, reminding me of the cheaper fragrances from the 60’s and 70’s. It has a pleasant dry down that stays subtle and close to the skin, but all in all, this fragrance is nothing I want to own.

    04 December, 2006

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    U4eahh! 2.43 by Yosh

    Anemic water lily and oily cucumber—this is very expensive boredom. ‘U4EAHH!’ is the wrong name for this: It should have been called ‘…onwee…'

    04 December, 2006

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    Re by Laura Tonatto

    An ingenious scent—It seems quite animalic but I have come to believe that those aren’t REAL animalic notes in there—there is a strange and subtle inherent innocence in the particular ‘dirtiness’ of this fragrance. The first two times I wore it, I did think Ré was loaded with those dirty animal notes. I now believe those ‘dirty’ notes are a clever ruse accomplished by creating a deceitfully dark accord with the patchouli, sandalwood, and gum. This is such a shadowy, sensual, ingenious, and creative scent that Ms. Tonatto has produced! The accords are not sweet or pretty—they are aggressive and contain a palpably pulsating passion. It’s definitely a wood scent but not at all in the manner of most woods. This is a grossly dark, pseudo-animalic Nemo. It’s quite linear and unchanging for an hour or two but then, as Robyogi says, it settles into a smooth, powdery dry down. Deep, dark, and edgy, it’s totally wonderful.

    04 December, 2006

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    Aoud Damascus by Montale

    Truly the most beautiful presentation of the rose that I have encountered. Usually I find rose fragrances to be too abundant and opulent to be tolerated in a fragrance, but the Damascus rose note in Aoud Damascus is rendered with incredible genius. The deep sumptuous rose accord is kept from getting too lascivious by being touched with a perfect green; the etherealness of incense is kept at an elegant minimum, the airy depth of aoud is held in abeyance (after its opening blast) to provide an impeccable background. And yet with all this control, these powerful notes are kept whole and pure. This fragrance is a model of the ingenious artistry in transforming the potency of nature to a human reach—presenting that power with sensitivity, delicacy, and awe-inspiring creativity. Opulence and luxuriousness transformed into rich elegance and refinement.

    04 December, 2006

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    Attar by Montale

    I think I’m beginning to like ouds. The oud in Attar, on paper, comes through strongly, and this time I can smell purpose and feel acceptance. On paper the sandalwood comes through beautifully in a form that is sharp, rich, and totally thrilling. Unfortunately, on my skin the sandalwood and the oud recede to the background and lose their bite and passion. On paper I can’t smell the rose. On my skin the rose rather dominates the scent just as the rose notes dominate in Black Oud or Oud Damascus, but the rose in Attar is presented a bit differently from the rose in those two scents—not as dark or luxurious—it is drier, as robyogi says. It’s more chaste and formal, I think. Also, as far as spice goes, I don’t find Attar very spicy.
    It’s strange how a scent can be so different on paper from how it performs on the skin. On my skin, I miss that raw, aggressive oud note and that rough, sharp sandalwood note that I smelled on the paper. On paper very little rose makes it through the proactiveness of the woods. On my skin this is a smooth, elegant rose scent—more masculinely wearable than most of the rose scents I’ve tried. I like the scent both ways, but I think I like the rougher, more aggressive wood scent a bit better. As with most Montales, this has great longevity.

    04 December, 2006

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    Greyland by Montale

    Greyland opens with a strong spice / wood accord that I find very impressive. Distinct spice notes of pepper, cardamom, and cumin join a rich and smooth wood / incense accord for as memorable an opening as I’ve experienced in months. The cumin doesn’t stand out to me, nor do I think it animalic. The cedar and the incense chime in with a very solid smoky / aromatic contribution helped by the leathery cistus, which also imparts a subtle sweetness to the package. The accords are strong and deep and, I find, a bit linear. The development of the fragrance seems to limit itself to simply quieting and dulling down—losing the spices one by one to dry down to a lighter, sweeter wood accord. I don’t get an aquatic note such as Griff mentions — I wish I did. I get a light accord that is woody and incensy and nice, but it seems too much of a letdown after the superlative opening. The disappointment continues when the longevity of the scent is considered. I’ve found the lasting power to be very unsatisfactory. All that’s left after an hour is the mild, hugging-the-skin wood and incense dry down, and even that is gone in another hour or two. I am afraid that I expect more than three hours from a scent like this. Others, apparently, find Greyland to be longer lasting, so it must be a particular reaction to my skin. Regardless, I don’t feel I can vote it a thumb’s up. 271

    04 December, 2006 (Last Edited: 18 March, 2008)

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    Versace Man Eau Fraîche by Versace

    This is quite an attractive fresh fragrance—for as long as it lasts, that is. It opens with citrus and rosewood. I don’t get a lot of syrupy fruit and it seems to me to be extremely clean and clear and attractive. It is a touch synthetic, but I am not at all bothered by this particular note. The middle makes use of cedar and herbs to keep the fresh aromatic feeling going. The base is a light wood and musk with amber for a touch of sweetness. In spite of the synthetic feel, I enjoy this fragrance while it is there. It gets a thumbs’ down because its longevity is abysmal: I’m talking minutes—like about thirty minutes from application to ‘Where did it go?'

    04 December, 2006

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    Cannabis Santal by Fresh

    Cannabis Santal by Fresh – the search for truth. Personally I think it should have been named Chocolate Patchouli by Orange. The main thing I smell in the opening is the chocolate, orange, and patchouli – it sounds like it would be a good accord, but it smells to me very amorphously fruity sweet – this is not the kind of accord I desire on my body, and it smells like a couple thousand other fragrances of the recent past, except that the chocolate is very well done, and I can determine no synthetic vibrations to the ingredients. The chocolate fades out rather quickly leaving only a patchouli fruit accord. How do you spell B-O-R-I-N-G?

    Fresh? I do realize that Fresh is the name of the fragrance company, but they are the ones that chose the name and I’m holding them to it: This is in no way a fresh fragrance.

    Cannabis? Once or twice I thought I smelled cannabis, but those could have been flashbacks. There isn’t a significant cannabis note in this, or if it is, it is hidden from my nose under the amorphous fruity accord, which also has a strange sort of tobacco vibe.

    To complete the research into the mislabeling of the fragrance, I start looking for the sandalwood. Gave it up quickly because I soon realized it would be an endless search...

    04 December, 2006 (Last Edited: 09 March, 2008)

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    Black Aoud by Montale

    Since it’s an aoud, the opening takes getting used to. With this particular fragrance, though, it is well worth the effort. The rose note that develops is, as others have said, dark, rich, and luscious—it’s my second favorite rose note in the fragrance world; my favorite is the rose note in Montale’s Aoud Damascus . The rose in Black Aoud reminds me considerably of Czech and Speake’s No. 88, but I like this better—it is opulent without being overbearing; its depth seduces the passions, but it never overwhelms and suffocates. To me this is a less complicated, more refined, and more wearable rose scent than No. 88. My opinion of aouds in general is still on hold, but Montales’s Black Aoud is spectacular.

    04 December, 2006

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    Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

    I love about this scent the aquatic tones, but i'm dissappointed by it's lasting power- but I heard that Kenzo intended it to be very vapid( or is it just an excuse, conventional wisdom or marketing gag?). Anyway, the fresh, slightly salty, marine and ozonic is grand, but i also love the discreet, refined and warm floral touches. The drydown is extremely pleasant, inoffensive and cool, however it would be better if it would last longer. Shame that the actual fragrance notes come short and are way to underused.

    04 December, 2006

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    Le Feu D'Issey Light by Issey Miyake

    It's fresh, it's light and gives you energy without being offensive. A nice office scent for me and maybe for others too. I know sometimes women dont want to wear perfume around the office because they think it's overdone but with this scent there is no danger in that. You smell fresh and clean.

    04 December, 2006

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    Emporio Armani City Glam for Her by Giorgio Armani

    In two months I used up 40 ml, I love this fragrance. I wear it in the office non stop and people around me adore it. It's freshm, clean yet very feminine and a little sexy. It's not a fruity scent in that people feel they can tell what fruit (they think) you had for lunch either which I consider a plus.

    I think this is a frag you should try if you don't like Armani White for her because I really didn't like that one and I just adore City Glam.

    04 December, 2006

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    Emporio Armani Remix She by Giorgio Armani

    I tried it and I was hoping for a scent like City Glam because of some common notes. Only shows how much difference a few notes can make as I don't like this one at all. It is too sharp for me and not soft and light which is what I look for when it's not a gourmande or oriental.

    04 December, 2006

    rach2jlc's avatar

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    Eau de Rochas Homme by Rochas

    I agree that this one isn't terribly unique or an interesting take on the light, citrus fragrance... but I'm a sucker for citrus and so I can't say it doesn't work. In addition to Eau Sauvage, it also reminds me initially a bit like Hermes Eau d'orange verte. Wearing it won't have anyone saying, "OH, that's Eau de Rochas!" but it also won't have them saying, "You smell terrible." Balanced (the euphemistic word for "generic") and light, it would get a thumbs up if only it had ONE or TWO elements that separated it a little more from the pack.

    04 December, 2006

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    Rykiel Homme by Sonia Rykiel

    I couldn't see myself wearing this everyday, but it still is a unique addition to any wardrobe. It is very sweet (I wanted to say "berry sweet" haha), in fact so sweet it comes VERY close to being cloying... but doesn't quite cross the line and softens in the drydown. In the right atmosphere (especially a cool, sunny day), I think it could work well. Worth a try or a 1 oz bottle; I couldn't imagine going through a 4.2.

    04 December, 2006

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