Fragrance Reviews from March 2007

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    ctbw's avatar

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    Envy for Men by Gucci

    This is just a great fragrance for men! Makes you feel good. And you get lots of compliments on it.

    04th March, 2007

    ctbw's avatar

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    Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

    I do feel that this is a little on the feminine side, but it does smell great!

    04th March, 2007

    ctbw's avatar

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    Nine Flags: Brazil - Aromatic Tabac by Colton

    This is the cologne that I've been trying to find again. But none of the fragrances I own appeal to me like this one did. It was a smell I didn't ever get tired of.

    04th March, 2007

    ctbw's avatar

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    Pasha by Cartier

    Pasha is a fragrance I like to wear. It does feel classy. And I love the decorative container it comes in!

    04th March, 2007

    ctbw's avatar

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    Xeryus by Givenchy

    To me, a sort of pleasant, woody smell--one I like very much.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Rose Muskissime by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Muskissime is my favorite kind of rose fragrance—one that has a soft, subtle, and a minimized rose note. When I saw the tropical fruit listed I was not looking forward to the experience of testing this, but I’ve found that all of these elements are played so beautifully. It opens with a rose / tropical fruit accord that is expertly balanced and discreet—it’s really quite graceful. The rose is there, the tropical fruit (passion, mango, papaya) are there, and the black currents are present, clearly defined, artistically proportioned. The accords are subtle and sensitively structured…and there is absolutely nothing in it that is loud or even speaking above an elegant whisper. This delicacy is not what I’ve expected from a tropical fruit accord. I am totally impressed—this is a truly lovely rose fragrance.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Ambre Précieux by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    A strikingly unusual fragrance. The opening features lavender — not the creamy floral lavender of so many fragrances, but the herbal aromatic lavender of so few fragrances — the lavender I love. This great lavender is combined with a floral for body, amber and vanilla for sweet, wood for a base, and spice for...spice. These create such an excellent accord that is very difficult to categorize or describe. I think what I like about it is that it is aromatic but not green, full but not rich, sweet but not sweet, and sophisticated but not in the least stuffy. In the middle notes, the fragrance loses most of its aromatics and takes on some spices — particularly nutmeg, to my nose. The amber and the vanilla stay prominent, but they never seem to make the scent too sweet. The drydown retains the amber to a lesser potency and provides a satisfying and sensibly sweet close-to-the-skin experience. As Marlen says, the amber in Amber Précieux is excellent for those who often find amber cloying or too sweet. I now have a new favorite amber fragrance — Ambre Précieux has replaced Ambre Sultan for top honors in the amber category. Ambre Précieux offers compelling and original olfactory wonders, but it also is so wonderfully wearable.

    04th March, 2007 (Last Edited: 12th April, 2008)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Dune pour Homme by Christian Dior

    There’s a very refreshing opening with the fig, basil, touch of citrus, and current leaves—quite energizing and clean. It is smooth with some leafy sharpness; it’s figgy green is natural smelling; there is no syrupy sweetness in it and yet it’s not bitter or extremely dry. It lasts beautifully. When I get to the sage and smell a tiny bit of rose in the background, I realize that I am in the middle notes—but the middle is not very different from the top. The base is an excellently done woody accord—more toward the subtle side of the spectrum as are the top and middle. This is not a loud or aggressive fragrance. I enjoy the whole movement, but I was quite surprised by it. I was looking forward to it being somewhat like Dune for Women. It isn’t. Where Dune for Women is complex and Oriental, Dune for men is fresh, clean-green, and woody. Dune for men is an excellent fragrance, and as far as fresh and clean goes, it’s so much more interesting than most of the popular 90’s fresh masculine fragrances. But I prefer the women’s version of Dune—it’s more complex, its variety goes to broader extremes, and it’s better even than this subtle, long lasting, excellent fragrance.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Oriental, fougere, gourmand…take your pick—you can make an argument for any one of them. Le Mâle makes the most of a mint / lavender combination which, I think is the key to its special attractiveness —I find it an enjoyable accord in spite of the fact that it is quite sweet and is too synthetic. Its sweetness is, for the most part, diminished by the lavender; the synthetic feel is less than many of its contemporaries, and I find it only marginally disagreeable. Its heart notes are spice notes that are kept at a minimum and a not-too-floral orange blossom along with the lavender from the opening: These make the fragrance seem rather linear. The vanillic and musk heart notes are pleasant if a bit too sweet. I do not care for an excess of vanilla in a fragrance, and I think that the use of it here is beautifully done. I don’t find the synthetics of the heart and base too terribly annoying.

    It certainly isn’t my kind of fragrance, but I rather like it in a disinterested sort of way. I don’t think it is as refined or complex as Body Kouros, nor do I think it is as well made or creative as A*men, but I can sort of understand why it is as popular as it is, and if application is not overdone, it is…wearable. It has excellent longevity, and it’s a fun fragrance. I can’t help but mention that Le Mâle’s feminine counterpart fragrance is an excellent scent—much better than Le Mâle.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani

    Very good opening—a bright, fresh green and spicy accord in the top notes, with cedar (and maybe vetiver) from the middle detectable right from the start. Doesn’t really seem like Armani because, even though it is nicely smooth and blended as is normal for Armani, it has a lot of vigor and some potency in it, which hasn’t been my usual experience with the later Armani fragrances. Its longevity on my skin is fairly good—at least in the top two levels of the pyramid—they last about three hours. I don’t get much of the base notes All things considered, Armani Mania is a nice attempt at supplying an interesting fragrance; it has Armani’s typical good ingredients and excellent blending; but it doesn’t have enough longevity—especially in the base, and it lacks edge—it is too linear and its linearity is not very compelling—it isn’t interesting enough to form the basis of the entire fragrance. It’s a nice fresh scent—but not as nice as many other designer greens. One can do much better for less money.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Racine by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Racine opens with a citrus-dominated version of vetiver—similar to Guerlain’s but much nicer and of better quality vetiver and citrus, I believe. Being a vetiver lover I don’t really approve of the fact that the citrus dominants over the vetiver—cut the citrus and increase the vetiver, I say. I really like this particular vetiver because of a rawness in it—if that rawness weren’t there, and if the citrus accord were of higher synthetic content, this would be very much like Guerlain’s (Robyogi isn’t the only one who has problems with Guerlain Vetiver). Sooner than late, as in all things citrus, the opening notes of Racine fade out, leaving what I consider to be an excellent vetiver accord—excellent because of its earthiness, rawness, and sharpness. This is pretty much a linear fragrance because of the vetiver’s continuing all the way through, although the accord changes from citrus / vetiver to the moss / musk/ vetiver drydown. The dry down is excellent—quite a simple mixture, actually, but excellently matched to the vetiver and to the entire progression of the scent. Racine is a great fragrance, but I am a little disappointed at it as a vetiver fragrance. I love vetiver and I would like a stronger form of it than is in Racine. If I decide to buy it, as I am sorely tempted to do, it will be for Racine’s over-all excellence, not for its vetiver.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Spiced Limes by Anglia Perfumery

    This is a very refreshing, straightforward lime / lemon scent. It is a citrus scent that is pleasantly sharp, clean, and slightly lime-sweet, and it has those corresponding green notes—basil, sage, coriander—that support the limey citrus accord with exquisite balance. I really don’t get very much spice in this fragrance—just the citrus, the herbs, and vetiver. This is not really a complex fragrance—it is simple and linear. It’s refreshing, it’s clean and wonderfully natural. As enjoyable as it is, it lasts only about forty minutes on my skin, unfortunately. Crown Spiced Limes makes an incredibly refreshing splash, but I can’t count on any sort of longevity.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 4 Cologne: Citrico by Comme des Garçons

    Two out of three ain’t bad: Citrico and Vettiveru, yes. Anbar, no. I am beginning to like this cologne concept—light, bright, pleasant fragrances whose primary purpose is to offer an immediate refreshing splash of energizing aromas. As far as CDG’s three colognes go, Citrico is my second favorite after Vettiveru, and I like both of them very much. I think I prefer Vettiveru because it’s based on vetiver instead of citrus, and, consequently, it is a change of pace. The first notes of Citrico are rather startling for a cologne—bitter, as in bitter orange, and it’s soapy, too, but the accord is augmented by a powerhouse of other citrus notes to immediately smooth it down and clean it up. I don’t usually think of “splash on” colognes as being this dramatic, so I’ve really enjoyed the surprise. It is a tiny bit synthetic but not enough to annoy me, and it holds its own for an impressive amount of time for a citrus. Fresh, a tad edgy, gentle, agreeable sillage—this is a very attractive and loveable fragrance.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Jardin du Néroli by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Marlen’s right about this—this is an average summer version citrus fragrance. I don’t find anything especially endearing, charming, refreshing, or impressive about it. It’s done well enough; it is a light scent; full of pleasant orange accords, orange blossoms, and other floral notes. Actually, Jardun du Neroli reminds me more of a cologne splash than of an EDT. Its longevity is questionable. There’s not much is going on in this scent considering its price. I’ve found several summer fragrances offered by other niches that are more impressive than this one.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    10 Corso Como by 10 Corso Como

    I was expecting 10 Corso Como to be something like Costes. It isn’t. Costes comes on straight and strong—10 Corso Como doesn’t: It is not so attainable—it takes time, I think, because of its greater depth and subtlety. Its list of notes contains some of the most typical notes in fragrancedom: sandalwood, frankincense, musk, rose, geranium, and vetiver, and they are coupled with oud—one of the oldest fragrance notes, making 10CC bordering on mythic as well as being solidly traditional. But it has a translucent spirituality, too, and I think it should be approached primarily in terms of its translucency. It is a clean scent—its sandalwood is raw-pure and recessive and it joins seamlessly with the oud, which gives even the wood a certain airiness that works in concert with the incense. Within this translucency and airiness, 10CC’s depth and crypticness are there, too, waiting to be discovered—subtle rose, musk, and vetiver. I find 10 Corso Como both exotic and ethereal: It has a bit of sensuality but it’s really something like an iceberg—most of its message is lurking beneath the surface.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Mandragore by Annick Goutal

    The opening is green, aromatic, and a little bit citrus — the aromatics are very important to this fragrance, and they are presented quite stunningly. At first I thought that “sparkle” of the opening was caused by aldehydes until I realized that those soaring notes are really some sort of crystal clear aromatics. These high-flying notes do not have a strong aromatic ambiance so they rather lose their identity as herbal notes and take on an identity as texture — it’s quite an impressive accomplishment. The middle notes are spicy green, star anise, and mint, and they provide a real change from the opening as well as giving the fragrance a rather tea-like persona. The mandrake finally shows up in the base where it is combined with a light wood accord. To me this is a unique scent because the most edgy accord is the base. The ginger and the mandrake combine to form an interesting tangy, aromatic, light wood accord — quite an attractive way to finish the progression. Mandragore is an excellent fragrance; however, it is like most of Annick Goutal’s other works in that it suffers from poor longevity.

    04th March, 2007 (Last Edited: 23rd May, 2008)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Z by Ermenegildo Zegna

    As several of the reviewers have said—déjà vu, all over again, or maybe diGi-ó all over again. Will the designers never get tired of making these copies? Probably not as long as there are consumers willing to buy it. I’ll admit that this is cleanly done—it’s nice—perhaps a little nicer than Acqua di Gio; however, it is not any nicer than Herrera’s or Bulgari’s or some other versions IMO. Its use of wood, iris, nutmeg, and moss is very well done. Z Zegna has good lasting power, but no better than AdG or the others. My question is, if Zegna had the ability to make a nice fragrance like this, why didn’t they go the extra 10% and make it a little innovative rather than a make it a clone of something that has been around for eleven years?

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    360 Degrees Blue for Men by Perry Ellis


    Not bad at first. The celery note doesn’t bother me, and there’s some warmth—some pleasantness in the opening accord. But when the second volley comes in, so do the synthetics. 360 Degrees Blue has that cheap drugstore vibration—especially in its use of lavender. The accords are artificial and gaudy. In the drydown, I don’t get much wood and none of the incense that is supposedly in it, which is too bad because I could have used a relief from the unattractive lavender accords. 360 Degrees Blue is poorly done. The original men’s 360 Degrees is an acceptable fragrance—this one isn’t. And, as far as Drakkar Noir is concerned, this is even more annoying than Drakkar. (Edit of 04 March 2007 review)

    04th March, 2007 (Last Edited: 16th June, 2009)

    foetidus's avatar

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    Idole de Lubin by Lubin

    Exotic and exquisite. Dramatic opening. Black cumin? It seems as if there is black pepper in there—whatever it is, its combination with the rum and the bitter orange is wonderful … and smoky. The alcohol note gradually fades, leaving only its memory, and what remains in the heart notes are the continuation of the bitter orange, a smoky wood note, and the bit of sweetness that the scent has always had—another excellent accord, but it, too, could use a better longevity. The dry down is a beautiful wood / leather, a combination that echoes the attitude of the top and heart. As captivating as the individual notes in Idole are, they are not aggressive or raw, and there is a delicate transparency and refinement in its progressions and its total ambiance.

    Idole is certainly exquisite. I love the allure and uniqueness of it. And yet it is a textbook example of a classic scent—the smooth movements of its pyramid levels, the interplay and sequential mutations of the notes in the accords; the perfect balance of sweet and dryness; and the use of wood as the stable background to the exotic accords of spices, greens, and smoke. All accomplished with refinement, delicacy, and creativity. Idole is a lovely fragrance that is extremely wearable but could have more longevity.

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Follia di Aquarama by Follia di Aquarama

    Strange little scent. Opening as synthetic as they come—first a blast of obnoxiousness leading to a generic synthetic group with Yuzu Pledge leading the pack. I don’t find the middle notes any better than the top notes—all terribly unnatural and individually indistinguishable in a really messy accord. Within five minutes into sniffing this fragrance, my mouth is full of disgusting metallic tastes from the extremely synthetic nature of this fragrance. I don’t know how they managed to mess up the base: Cedar, amber, and vetiver seem like pretty safe bets; but they did manage to mess it up—I get…nothing. But this scentless base must have been on purpose, because, as they said in their own marketing literature: “Concluded with a splash of folly.” I can believe that! Oh, and it calls itself an EDP. If this is an EDP, an EDT version must last…what? 33 seconds?

    04th March, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

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    Pal Zileri Concept N.18 by Pal Zileri

    Top: Ivy, Geranium, Bergamot, Lemon, Tangerine
    Middle: Star Anise, Pink Pepper, Cardamom
    Base: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Amber Seeds, Musk

    Very light and non-aggressive opening—green and citrus with a touch of spice—I get more green than citrus. Totally subtle and pleasant notes that, remarkably for a designer fragrance of this modern day, has quite natural notes and accords. The middle notes show a little spice in a clean, obscure way. The dry down is a very traditional sandalwood / vetiver / amber / musk and is well done. Except for its subtlety, Pal Zileri Concept N 18 is quite classic in notes and structure. It’s an enjoyable scent—what I can smell of it. I like the idea of its classic notes, and I like the fact that it has no disgusting synthetic ambiances. But I personally prefer something with more oomph. Still… it would be a great scent for someone who wants a well-made classic scent with no off-putting synthetics accords, but finds the older classics much too intense.

    04th March, 2007

    Jon_Remy's avatar

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    Calvin by Calvin Klein

    Another "Original" that has been discontinued? I recently bought this fragrance at www.theperfumespot.com, where they apparently have an ample supply for those of you seeking this WONDERFUL masculine fragrance. I bought 10 bottles there because I'll never be without this fragrance again! Now, if they'll only re-launch Boss Spirit (in my opinion, the BEST Hugo Boss fragrance every made, not to mention Boss No. 1 and No. 6, which come in a very close 2nd and 3rd).

    04th March, 2007

    Jon_Remy's avatar

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    YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration by Yves Saint Laurent

    One of my FAVORITES. I wouldn't say it is so much lemony, but rather akin to magnolia blossoms, with the slight hint of verbena, but also with an underlying light musk note. The original is far more citrusy (casual wear); however, the Haute Concentration is a tad bit more complex and classy (formal wear). Nonetheless, this will remain in my top 5 fragrances of ALL time (along with Fahrenheit, Givenchy Gentleman, Paco Rabanne, Fendi, and, of course Givenchy Insense and Moods by Krizia, oops that's 6). Jon

    04th March, 2007

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme Intense by Yves Saint Laurent

    The BEST of the entire Rive Gauche line, but strangely cannot seem to find this intense version on the internet, only the EDT. I find the Intense to be deeper in character and a little more interesting, perhaps there's a bit more anise in the Intense. I like it better, although will wear the EDT as I cannot find the Intense. One of my favorites by YSL (besides Kouros and YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration).

    04th March, 2007

    rach2jlc's avatar

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    Bulgari pour Homme Soir by Bulgari

    The initial blast is very reminiscent of the other two Bulgari PH, but soon after this one moves off on its own into slightly softer, more powdery, soapier territory. Unfortunately, that doesn't help it all that much, but instead makes it seem less interesting and less unique than its two partners. As such, this is my least favorite of the Bulgari PH formulations. Get the others first...

    04th March, 2007

    robyogi's avatar

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    Ambra / Amber by Santa Maria Novella

    For some reason, Basenotes has both "Amber" and "Ambra" listed in the Directory as SMN fragrances. I think they are the same, with "Ambra" being the Italian word for "Amber."

    Anyway, I think this fragrant is a bit misleadingly named. It's really got more birch tar than amber. It opens loud and harsh, as many SMN frags are wont to do; think herbal and bitter, and a little off-kilter, possibly "gothic" (though to be honest, I'm not sure what that means when it comes to fragrance). As it dries down, the amber comes into play, but it is light at that point, more a powdery, semi-sweet skin scent than the voluptuous amber I am used to smelling in other fragrances. My main complaint is that on me it doesn't last.

    04th March, 2007

    robyogi's avatar

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    Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert by Bulgari

    Light, crisp, green, and tea. Pleasant enough, but too light and generic, in that inoffensive way that is all-too-common. A fresh take on tea; would be suitable for men or women.

    04th March, 2007

    robyogi's avatar

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    Ambra / Amber by Santa Maria Novella

    For some reason, Basenotes has both "Amber" and "Ambra" listed in the Directory as SMN fragrances. I think they are the same, with "Ambra" being the Italian word for "Amber."

    Anyway, I think this fragrant is a bit misleadingly named. It's really got more birch tar than amber. It opens loud and harsh, as many SMN frags are wont to do; think herbal and bitter, and a little off-kilter, possibly "gothic" (though to be honest, I'm not sure what that means when it comes to fragrance). As it dries down, the amber comes into play, but it is light at that point, more a powdery, semi-sweet skin scent than the voluptuous amber I am used to smelling in other fragrances. My main complaint is that on me it doesn't last.

    04th March, 2007

    robyogi's avatar

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    Dark Rose by Czech & Speake

    Very, very similar to the typical Montale accord of oud and rose. It smells a lot like a number of Montale fragrances; or at least it smells like the common denominator between them, sort of divided by two, or maybe the square root of that accord. In fact, Buffalo_Gals' review seems to me to be dead on. It's a lighter, more approachable Montale, with just a touch of something fruity and berry-like (sort of like you would find in La Labo's Rose scent or 10 Corso Como). The lightness and the berry note to my nose makes this more a "bright" scent than a "dark" one, but it seems that whenever rose appears in a fragrance, people automatically perceive it as dark. I wonder why. I like it better than many Montales, and it is nice, but I've really tired of these aoud/rose/berry fragrances.

    04th March, 2007

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    Cabaret by Grès

    Panache! That's what Cabaret has...this dry & aromatic elixir is about seduction. No subtlety here ~ this juice is absolutely and overtly sensual. After spritzing this one I felt as though I needed to apply some eyeliner!!! Tovah is spot on when she mentions Narciso Rodriguez for Her. Cabaret is very similar. It is also quite similar to the out of production Maroc put out by Ultima II in the early 1980's. My nose tells me they all have an egyptian musk base. Rich and deep. I also find a bite from lily in this chypre, which keeps this juice from laying resinous on the skin. I've read Cabaret contains patchouli, although it is not readily obvious. Not for the faint of heart! I think this scent is smashing!

    04th March, 2007

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