Fragrance Reviews from October 2007

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    kshepinfo's avatar

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    Sacrebleu by Nicolaï

    I have used nearly an entire bottle of this in the Perfume; definitely a great fragrance; my husband loves it; yet there is something that lingers a little/dominates on my skin that I find irritating; something kind of spicy. It lasts forever, a very sophisticated beautiful scent I just don't love it the way I love my recent purchase of Bois des Isle --

    14 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oh Là Là by Azzaro

    The first time I tested Oh Là Là I got very strong indole notes in the opening — quite off putting, actually. Since then, there have been no sign of such notes. Oh Là Là presents a classic, refined fruity floral that is enjoyable but there is nothing really special about it. Fruity at first but not the super sweet notes of so many of the newer fragrances: This fruit is restrained and refined. The heart notes are of mixed florals — I can pick out rose and tuberose, and I can find the cinnamon, but I can’t differentiate any other note in the middle. The base is weak — and I can’t identify anything in it — it just disappears. Oh Là Là is a very short lived fragrance and, with its lack of interesting accords, is pretty much a mediocre product. I can understand why it was discontinued.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Magnetism by Escada

    Sweet, warm, fresh, Oriental — Magnetism by Escada starts out green and fruity sweet, and then becomes richly floral — mainly white floral — in the middle notes. The middle florals join the wood and musk from the base to provide a warm semisweet drydown that doesn’t quite come up to the attractiveness of the top and middle accords. I really don’t get all the sweetness that other reviewers mention. Apparently my dry skin soaks it up. I find that the base is actually a bit boring and more than a little recessive, but it is warm and has good longevity. Pleasant green and fruit top notes; very good floral middle; and warm but dull basenotes. Not a spectacular scent but it is nice enough to earn a thumb’s up.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Jardin Blanc by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Quarry’s review is spot on. There is a burst of pleasantness (lilac she says—I can’t disagree) which quickly dissipates into some chaotic mélange that features jasmine with a relatively long-lasting indole ambiance: Close to the skin, I get a noticeable fecal odor from the indole for a couple of minutes, but the fragrance’s sillage, which is quite strong, doesn’t seem to display that particular uninviting aroma. Neither the white florals in the top notes nor the jasmine and ylang-ylang (I don’t smell the ylang-ylang) in the middle form accords that can compete with several of the better white floral fragrances from several fragrance houses. Jardin Blanc doesn’t seem either feminine or masculine—or even unisex for that matter. It just seems characterless and irrelevant. It won’t be difficult to find much better white florals than this one.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Ambre Canelle by Creed

    Caltha is right: This pretty much smells like that yellow lye soap that my mother made decades ago. Ambre Canelle doesn’t have the acrid bite of homemade lye soap, but it seems like pretty much the same base…that’s a good thing. The spices — a dose of cinnamon (more cinnamon leaf than cinnamon spice) and bay leaf — fit in perfectly with the ambergris and the musk. But, as IPaid and Robyogi both point out, the true star of this fragrance is jasmine: I’ve encountered only one or two other fragrances that could match this fragrance in indolic power. I guess its the soapy clean and the indolic dirty combination that makes Ambre Canelle so compelling—it’s both clean and animalic; both spicy and musty — and all these characteristics done to excess. The only other fragrance that I know of with such contrasts and excesses is Kouros. As a matter of fact, I view Ambre Canelle the same way I view Kouros: I don’t like it, but I totally love it. I am intrigued — and I never thought a Creed could do this to me.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Emporio Armani He by Giorgio Armani

    I get an off smell in the opening — it smells like violet leaf to me, but violet isn’t listed in the pyramid. Nothing listed can account for what I am smelling. Emporio Armani He is what I think of as a typical Armani fragrance: Good ingredients, nicely blended, but too retiring and not long enough lasting. It simply does not have enough presence for me, either through sillage or through longevity. I have nothing else against it.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Lord Molyneux by Molyneux

    A real competitor with the old Hai Karate for vileness: It’s hard to believe that another fragrance can be as bad as that, but Lord Molyneaux is, and it doesn’t have the from-the-sixties excuse, either. The basil / green / rosewood combination in the opening is completely disgusting, and the disagreeableness of the opening is succeeded by the meaninglessness and amorphous nothingness of the heart notes. But the incompetences of both the top and middle are made moot points by the truly awful leather note in the base. Lord Molyneaux is a horrible scent. If you want an excellent masculine Molyneaux fragrance, you would do better to look to the Captain, not to the Lord.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royal Water by Creed

    It does appear to have a trace of classic “old” to it. I seem to get an hint of the classic chypre in the background of its opening. I rather like this idea because I’m a great admirer or the genre. But the similarity doesn’t last long and its chypre resemblance is very limited: It is mostly modern in its components and delivery. It’s a light refreshing fragrance—quite elegant for being as refreshing as it is with its greenness and ozonic ambiance. And comfortable—it’s a comfortable fragrance to use and wear: The peppermint is wonderfully contained, and the basil and cumin are kept from too much an aromatic or spicy dominance. The secret of the fragrance, I believe, is the subtle and excellent blending of its extended range of notes. I can’t think of Royal Water as floral or green, as fruity or aquatic or even citrus—it is a combination of all without any element taking prominence and without presenting one of those massive blobs of mixed notes that typify the commonness of many modern fragrances. True, this is not a stop-‘em-dead fragrance, but it is comfortable, elegant, attractive, and eminently wearable. An excellent fragrance, and as for gender designation, I vote unisex with a nod toward the distaff side—and two thumbs way, way up.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Angel Schlesser Homme by Angel Schlesser

    A little bit too sweet for me in the opening…I get a combination of bergamot and anise — anise is something I’m usually not fond of, but it is not overbearing here. The opening is quite sweet, and I have a greater difficulty with the sweetness than with anise. The opening moves very quickly to the middle accord and the anise remains prominent with cedar and lavender joining it and eventually taking over. I don’t get any cinnamon or ginger. The dry down is primarily coniferous, and it becomes quite subtle, stays light, and hugs the skin. All the accords in the fragrance are natural feeling and are well put together. Angel Schlesser Homme is sweet, pleasant, and inoffensive: It is an excellent youthful casual fragrance. It certainly deserves a thumb’s up.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Eau de Paco Rabanne pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    Very light, pleasant smell – nothing like the original: This is a good thing because I don’t care for the gaudy and aggressive original. This opens with lavender, citrus, and florals, quite discreet. To my nose the lavender has more presence than the florals or bergamot / lemon. For as light as it is, the opening lasts for an impressive time – about a half hour on my skin. Eventually, I get a bit of basil coming up from the middle, and it grows stronger as the fragrance progresses. The basil is supported by vetiver, so, with the lavender from the top, the heart accord has surprising body, considering its lightness. There’s also the tiniest bit of pepper in the middle accord, and that provides a modicum of elegance – not too much elegance because this is still primarily a casual scent. For the base I get mainly cedar and incense – again, quite recessive with not very much sillage. Eau de Paco Rabanne pour Homme is a modern offering that does have some attractive qualities. Assuming that one is looking for a very light non-aggressive fragrance, this one offers a recessive lavender, full development, more or less natural ambiance, and acceptable longevity. It’s a pretty good scent that I think deserves a (not very energetic) thumb’s up.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Fresh Hay by Demeter Fragrance Library

    There are several different odors that real hay produces. This particular fragrance is too strong for being the hay I am used to: the aromatic drying hay being turned in the field or the baled hay in a dry barn loft. This one smells pretty “ripe.” This smells of hay that has been wet and has started to decompose. That is not a pleasant smell. I got queasy sniffing this one, so queasy that I felt the need to wash it off immediately, but then I figured, “Hey, I don’t have to wash it off: It’s a Demeter — It’ll be gone in three or four minutes.” Well, it was my luck that, in the case of longevity, this particular Demeter is different from every other Demeter I’ve tried. This is a terrible smell with great longevity – erp!

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mat; Male by Masakï Matsushïma

    Fresh, citrusy, fruity, green, a little spicy — none of the notes overbalancing the others. To my nose, the grapefruit, bay leaves, mint, and parsley come though nicely in the opening, in a citrus / green accord that is pleasant but not really anything special. The middle notes are dominated by the watermelon with a strong rose note supporting it. And the base provides primarily white cedar and leather with a bit of musk — I feel there’s something missing in the base. It’s a nice fragrance and I’ve worn it several times but never really got into it. There is nothing in it that I dislike, but there is nothing in it that really grabs me, either.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Cuba Black by Cuba Paris

    This fragrance, unlike some others of those labeled “black” certainly deserves its name. There is an innocuous darkness to it—one accomplished not by deep and emotionally draining powerful notes… rather it has a blackness that is essentially recessive: Its “black” is a negative. Like the color quality of light, Cuba Black is black simply because it is not light. Cuba Black is like depression. It broods… It broods as few other fragrances do: Its characterless black personality is conveyed, matter of factly, with a lavender / vetiver / jasmine in a well-constructed emptiness. It lacks flamboyance and singularity. It seems to intentionally avoid any kind of distinctive character quirk, but it is solid and competent. There are no highlights, no gracenotes; there is only deep, dark, brooding substance. But this absence of attention getting is not boring by any means. Any fragrance that can brood as competently and interestingly as this is quite talented. As EricM says, it is “close…very unobtrusive and long lasting…” — good partial description of brooding, isn’t it? Cuba Black’s depth, darkness, and lack of stimuli make it a perfect black fragrance. I find it totally excellent, especially for when I’m in the mood to brood. And if I want to add a bit more interest to it, I add in little Obsession for Men and get Depression Obsession.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    FCUK Him by French Connection

    The name is the only thing that makes even a bit memorable. FCUK is another generic, mediocre, synthetic, gone-in-a-minute, mass-market fragrance. Granted, it’s better than some of its ilk, but it is, nevertheless, uninspired and copycat. Hemp, CO2, and ebony – cutting edge? No, not when they are used without creativity: they are more marketing ploys than actually notes, and they don’t save the fragrance from being just another failing idea from a “me, too” marketing department. If Equus hadn’t beaten me to it, I would have given a two-word review: “FCUK SCUKS."

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Versace Man by Versace

    Sweet, rather synthetic and thoroughly enjoyable. It is very nicely balanced with its sweetness in combination with the drier ingredients. There are some edgy notes in here—angelica, saffron, Kashmir wood, labdanum—they give a depth not often seen in many of the modern designer sweet fragrances, and they are handled subtly and with aplomb. I particularly enjoy the angelica note in the opening—angelica is a great note for adding an earthy etherealness. I like the way the tobacco is handled, too — better, I believe, than the tobacco accord in The Dreamer. Versace Man has a nice sillage that is not overwhelming in spite of its sweetness; and it hangs around on my skin for an impressive length of time. Personally, this is way too young a scent for me, but it is a highly commendable fragrance for the younger crowd. A truly, truly ugly bottle, though.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Samhain by The Goth Rosary

    Named after the Gaelic Festival of Samhain – a celebration of the end of the harvest season. Some think Samhain is manifested in the present day Halloween celebrations. Samhain, the fragrance, is quite unique – spice, dried or decaying fallen leaves (the autumn odors), maybe even a little bit of pumpkin – all of these are plying their drama on a stage of trick-or-treat corn candy sweetness. It’s hard to believe that Samhain results in something quite wearable, but it does – at least in the top and the middle. Good luck trying to find the base – it has no basenotes that I can find. Samhain doesn’t send off a lot of sillage and its longevity wouldn’t even get you to the costume party…unless it’s next door. Interesting, unique, and weird in a playful sort of way, it’s a fun juice that is in need of more potency. In spite of its simplistic characterization of the autumn aromas, if it lasted longer, the vote would be thumb’s up.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Crypt by The Goth Rosary

    Well, green_man said it all. A subtle mossy green note combined with a stone mineral note nicely balanced. The combination is unique and I find the accord quite natural. It smells like mountain climbing in the sun — the lichens and the rocks giving off their wonderfully discreet odors. Come to think of it, it’s actually even more abstract than that, it’s almost as if I’m not wearing a fragrance, but simply mirroring the smells of that natural world I so much enjoy — it smells so fresh and natural. I get very little sweetness - sometimes having dry skin is an advantage. Crypt is satisfyingly pleasurable, and it would be an excellent office scent. A major downside is that it is very short lived... but then again, considering its name, is that really a surprise?

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Hanae by Keiko Mecheri

    As usual, calchic says it perfectly. Yuzu and white flowers with a sweetness supplied by the wild berries — subtle and translucent — delicacy personified. More floral than citrus, Hanae achieves its sweetness with a very light natural touch. The florals, even though they dominate the yuzu, cannot possibly be overly flowery because the scent is so incredibly diaphanous. Also as calchic says, the musk is the binder…and the drydown musk is even more subtle than the citrus and florals of the top and heart. As light as Hanae is, it has very good longevity. Clean, bright, fresh, translucent, and long lasting — anae casts an exquisite femininity. I believe it may just be the most ethereally transparent fragrance I’ve experienced. Beautiful.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

    I think the opening is a bit strong. It is unique: quite a bit edgy, quite a bit sophisticated, and very much creative — one of those borderline openings that seem to shift between “Fantastic!” and “I’m not so sure.” It’s that borderline thing that typifies fragrances of complexity and character. I find the opening accord abstract (actually all the accords are abstract, as Ayala has mentioned), and I think that the rosewood is the note responsible for the uniqueness / ambiguity of the opening. Tricky stuff, that rosewood, but not as tricky as lavender. Lavender is my most variable note: I often dislike it, in some fragrances I love it, in Lovely, I’m mesmerized by it — it’s juncture with the rosewood is the genius of the top two layers of the fragrance IMO. The “Apple Martini” is responsible for the effervescence, the lemon grass is responsible for its hint of clean, but the rosewood / lavender is responsible for the creative challenge. I love the paperwhite narcissus of the heart notes — so clean and abstract; I dislike the orchid—orchid is always too strong and errrpy for me, but it is presented so…”abstractly” that I can quite overlook it. Very refined base — the most abstract of all the levels. This is a wonderful feminine fragrance, and this IS a fragrance men love.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Acqua Chiara by i Profumi di Firenze

    I don’t get much out of this scent. It does present white florals complete with a sharp spice element in there somewhere, but the whole presentation is quite muted to my nose. I do not find it especially pleasant — nor even interesting. I pretty much have the same opinion of Acqua Chiara as calchic does: washed out, lacking in longevity, and too expensive for what it delivers. Not at all impressive.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Corduroy by Zirh

    Pleasant aromas and nice accords, spicy and fresh and woody — Corduroy is a nice fragrance. The various levels of the pyramid offer catching accords: fresh, citrus. and rich top notes — captivating with its creative use of lavender. Spicy / smooth middle notes — lively with warmth. And smooth woody base notes — comfortable but plastic. Almost of these accords are very attracting, even though they are now becoming a bit out of date. The structure and the movement of the fragrance are excellent. Unfortunately, I have to question the quality of the ingredients used. As nice as the notes are, they present a synthetic feeling that is pretty obvious, especially in the drydown, which gives me that artificial taste in the back of my mouth when I smell it. This artificiality is too strong and seriously reduces my pleasure in this very nicely designed and structured fragrance.

    15 October, 2007

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    Gourmandises by Keiko Mecheri

    There are certainly genuine gourmand notes in this — praline, and jam. Almonds, even bitter almonds, usually double the sweetness of sweet accords to my nose, and when almonds are presented in the form of praline, well, I might just as well rub almond scented cotton candy over my body… But within all that sweetness whetting my appetite (but not my really appreciation of the scent), I get a prominent rose almost from the start. And it’s a truly beautiful rose note, pure and natural and not disagreeably heady as many rose notes tend to get for me. There is a strong saffron note in the accord, too — not too bad, but something I could do without. So what we finally end up with is a sweet, sweet base with rose and saffron flowing in and over the sweetness in continuing vignettes, waiting for musk. It’s almost existential. I don’t think of it as being very unisex — I find it a little too feminine for my taste. Those who do love sweet may very well find Gourmandises a wonderful fragrance. It’s an elegant fragrance with quality ingredients, very interesting subplots within its linearity, and slightly longer than acceptable longevity. It’s just too, too sweet for me.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Grenades by Keiko Mecheri

    I was surprised at first—I smelled absolutely nothing. Within a half-minute the dry, delicate Angelica notes began to crescendo and when they reached a point of perfect strength; that’s pretty much where it stayed. To my nose, Grenades is a linear Angelica scent with soft rose in the background, temporarily. The musk from the base (and to a lesser extent the woods) joins beautifully with the Angelica, but I can’t smell the pomegranate! This fragrance has been called “sweet” and / or “fruity,” but you can’t prove it by me, because on my skin it is so very dry, natural, and translucently understated. I would call Grenades “unisex” but perhaps tilted a little toward the feminine. What I get out of this is…that I like very much, but I am a bit concerned about a possible selective anosmia in regard to the “fruity” pomegranate—it’s just not there. That concern aside, I find this a very admirable, long-lasting fragrance—natural, ethereal, less complex but more complete than Angeliques Sous La Pluie, although the Angelica note in Grenades isn’t as beautiful as the Angelica note the Malle fragrance.

    15 October, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Fire Island by Bond No. 9

    Suntan oil is right — oh, sorry, “bronzing oil.” I could believe that I’m on a crowded beach when I smell this. It has that “bronzing oil” ambiance along with a definite white musk note. I don’t smell the neroli. The tuberose and patchouli show up quite late in the progression of the fragrance. I do get the sand smell and the sweat smell and I quite like the effect of most everything that happens in the fragrance. I agree with the other reviewers who said they have mixed reactions to it — sometimes “yes,” sometimes “no way.” My main thought about Fire Island is that I fail to see why anyone would pay $120 or $178 in order to smell like they rubbed on some Coppertone after working up a sweat. But it is an interesting and pleasant fragrance.

    15 October, 2007

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    Monk by Michael Storer

    I don’t get Goth from this scent, and I don’t find much incense. It opens with a strong musty odor which disappears immediately, and then moves into mainly a smooth, slightly musty, slightly muddy bergamot / galbanum, warmed by a base of ambergris and an introverted sandalwood. It has a sweetness — a vanilla sweetness — to it, which I feel is a bit out of place. And it has a powderiness that is tenacious. What Monk offers is the smell of memory. It’s an ‘oldness’ smell somewhat in the nature of Messe de Minuit, which I also do not see as Gothic. MdM is colder and more distant without prominent sweetness and with no powder, which is to say that Monk is warm and solidly present, sweet, and uber powdery. I don’t find it nearly as interesting as MdM: With MdM I think of a sepia photographs in black-paged albums and those stiff celluloid collars men wore a century ago. With Monk I think of my mother’s face powder musical box playing “Always”: This is a lovely memory for me, but it doesn’t supply a very masculine interpretation of Monk. Is it wearable? I don’t know… a bit more wearable than MdM’s near-mildew vibe, but not as interesting and decidedly less masculine. I can see this scent as working year round. Monk is linear, and it doesn’t seem to produce a straightforward sillage. What sillage it does produce seems to shoot at oblique angles from the skin, and that strikes me as really strange. This scent gives me the unusual experience actually warming the spot on my skin when I apply it. It quickly turns into a skin scent that lasts for hours.

    15 October, 2007

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    Blue Amber by Montale

    Excellent scent: I like amber fragrances but I don’t really love them. This is one of the better ones I’ve tried, and I don’t really understand why I think that way because Blue Amber seems so simple and uncomplicated. I can catch the bergamot and I get a strong aromatic element that I assume is the geranium. I don’t get the coriander, and I’m unsure of the patchouli. Yes, there’s vanilla and a bit of vetiver. But essentially this is a very simple amber fragrance, almost entirely dependent on the amber, and all the more impressive because of its simplicity. The quality of the amber and the way it is used are extraordinary: The amber is rich, not too sweet, a bit animalic, has excellent sillage, and has extraordinary longevity. Truly wonderful.

    15 October, 2007

    JaimeB's avatar

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    Macassar by Rochas

    If you are looking for a woody, masculine scent with a touch of leather, this is your baby! This is perfect in cool to cold weather, or for a cozy evening by the fire with a special person. Of course, it exudes warmth, elegance, and sophistication in public. Just be careful, if you wear it too well, it might make your S. O. a little jealous!

    15 October, 2007

    renperd's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

    Very kind and gentle. At least I don't get that synthetic oiliness I smell in stuff like Hanae Mori, Fleur du Male, Joop!, Rykiel, etc. Prada reminds me of a soap we used when I was a kid. A very inexpensive soap I might add. This is the expensive version of that soap. It has good sillage and lasts long enough on me. And I think it's a good thing smelling of good soap!

    15 October, 2007 (Last Edited: 25 August, 2009)

    ubuandibeme's avatar

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    Fleurissimo by Creed

    The gentleest floral from Creed. I hesitate to describe this scent as soft or rounded, because I don't find those adjectives accurate. Better put, Fleurissimo is the least harsh in the Creed line of florals. When it comes to this house, I'm consistently disappointed. Not because they don't produce a fine product mind you, I simply haven't experienced a Creed that I love. Their florals for women are predictable, wearing stark and thin on my skin. This one is a bit more powdery than say 2000 Fleurs or Spring Flower, but make no mistake ~ it's not stunning. Not worth the money. The reputation of this age old family fragrance house is stellar, but I have yet to find a true winner from them. I know, I know...my disappointment is showing!

    15 October, 2007

    ubuandibeme's avatar

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    Vanisia by Creed

    Vanisia IS clearly unisex - thanks for the heads up RUGGLES! No doubt a classic oriental! In the same vein as Caron's Parfum Sacre...although Caron's juice is far superior!

    15 October, 2007

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