Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    Icicle's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Odeur 71 by Comme des Garçons

    I might be a biased reviewer, since majority of my scents are spicy/woody oriental and really classic (just to avoid saying old-fashioned). So this is the odd one out which I bought for I was curious and felt mischievous... It is very flat on my skin, and after couple of preliminary office +ink +dirty car garage notes settles quickly into very woody something, surprisingly quite alike my other perfumes. I own it for two months and I still cannot decide whether I like it or not. Good to wear for work though, as it stays close to the skin and is hardly sexy.
    Nice try, but I think it's more a marketing masterpiece than anything else. Much Ado About Nothing.

    05th December, 2008

    andyvan's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    To djolney:

    Thank you for your comments and for confirming what this amateur discovered by chance when shopping at Macy's just yesterday. I recently ran out of my No. 19 EDP, and all Macy's had was the EDT. Immediately I noticed that it was green in color instead of gold. Then when I tried it on it did not smell the same at all! A couple of hours later my husband concurred -- smells like a totally different fragrance. So in my opinion the EDP gets a thumbs up, but the EDT gets a thumbs down. And when I can afford it I'd like to try the classic parfum to see how that compares. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this website. I think I could learn a lot here.

    05th December, 2008

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    1776 Russian Leather by Elsha

    You know, the worst thing I can say about this scent is that Kolnisch Juchten is better. But then Kolnisch Juchten is better than anything, at least in the category of relatively unknown leather frags.

    1776 is an interesting leather scent. I think Buzzlepuff nailed it. Yes, I agree with all the reviewers who have smelled it, thumbs up! I find more spice and booze in this one than I do root beer or black tea. Unusual and uplifting. The only downside is that you may be seized by an impulse to jump on the saddle, draw your saber, kick the horse into a gallop and charge the enemy!
    By-gone era indeed.

    06th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 18th June, 2009)

    hirch_duckfinder's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    No real top notes as such, just a big, fine flavoured amber. Very nice but not very detailed. My favourite part is a couple of hours in when the green bay cuts the amber for a very pleasing accord.
    I think Turin is right on target with the comment that this is for people who prefer folk-naivité to Shalimar, this is not a multi layered complex balance but is made up from a single dominant accord which forms 90% of the scent throughout and the other 10% evolves.
    It smells good.

    06th December, 2008

    Mike's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    I first smelled this fragrance years ago, and I remember enjoying it greatly back then. It had a particular quality that I found very alluring. Although I have been amassing mainly niche fragrances for some time now, I picked this one up on impulse. Simply put, it is a very straightforward woody-fougere fragrance, and not a bad one by any means. The main notes that I detect are initially the star anise and rosemary, which quickly subside. The heart is dominated by lavender and geranium, creating a pleasant and clean accord. The patchouli-vetiver base is very rounded and smooth; not harsh at all. I agree with the many reviewers who have termed this a 'barbershop' scent; indeed, the fragrance is nostalgic in its depiction of the smells of an old barbershop. It is a mature and well-developed fragrance, but is very versatile to wear, regardless of age or attire. I tend to prefer stronger "Old World" fragrances, and in this day of so many fruity, aquatic, citrusy, light scents, Rive Gauche manages to recapture the uniqueness of the classic fragrances from past eras. Yes, it is simply crafted, but I would rather have a fragrance that exhibits simplicity done very well, than a jarring mess of a fragrance that has resulted from the combination of too many poor notes and ingredients.

    06th December, 2008

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Citrus Allegro by Le Prince Jardinier

    Which one doesn't belong here?

    a. washing-up liquid
    b. fabric softener
    c. Citrus Allegro
    d. cleansing agent

    The answer is: d. (the only one with four rather than five syllables)

    06th December, 2008

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Invisible by Strange Invisible Perfumes

    I get a very sweet, overly indolic ylang-ylang. This is not for me. Also fades quickly.

    06th December, 2008

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    Geranium Bourbon by Miller Harris

    Opens with strong green geranium, a touch of booze, and then becomes a cloying rose. The kind of rose grandma wears because her sense of smell is so very weak...yuk.

    06th December, 2008

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Latitude Longitude by Nautica

    One of the best surprises I've had this year! I had always avoided this discontinued frag because I'd just assumed that it was just another boring aquatic clone from Nautica.

    What I discovered when I actually sampled it? A very pleasant, spicy twist on the aquatic (think nutmeg and musk!) with a warm and rich sandalwood drydown.

    06th December, 2008

    kitty meow's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vivid by Liz Claiborne

    Having a small vial if Vivid, I decided to try it. As they say, there's a first for everything, and there is also a last. I have it on now & I definitely won't be wearing it again any time soon. It smells like a grandma fragrance, for sure.

    06th December, 2008

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Comme des Garçons Parfum by Comme des Garçons

    This is a strange, spicy fragrance, not at all what I was expecting yet at the same time, something more.

    Its own ad copy states "Works like a medicine and behaves like a drug", and that may well be the case, but unlike some other reviewers I haven't found this to be a strongly medicinal fragrance. Perhaps it's because I associate "medicinal" with herbal, camphorous smells, and this is more of a spice-cupboard to my nose.

    The top notes come on strong and almost a little fierce, clove, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg leading the charge. They're somewhat moderated by a honey note, and accompanied by a very peculiar note I can only describe as being the olfactory equivalent of Thrills chewing gum.

    Thrills are supposed to be rosewater, but taste nothing of the sort. This note likewise smells nothing like rose, but a great deal like Thrills. Perhaps this is the rose listed in the official notes...?

    The heart of this fragrance takes one of the most dramatic left-turns I've seen in a fragrance. The spices fade, and in their place is a sandalwood note that manages to be both smoky AND soapy.

    The base is the least dramatic part of this fragrance. It's a fairly pleasant sandalwood and honey combination, the honey taking on a peculiar salival quality.

    The sillage and longevity are both moderate on my skin.

    If you like spicy fragrances or just odd fragrances in general, try this. Even if you don't like it, it's definitely a conversation piece, and you'll smell nothing remotely similar on the market.

    Personally, it's become an instant favorite of mine, and has been added to the ever-growing category of "must-have" bottles.

    06th December, 2008

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Rossy de Palma / Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d'Orange

    It's not terribly offensive, but I really didn't like this. I got a blunt, synthetic, powdery, one-note rose that screamed ROSE, AND NOTHING BUT ROSE at maximum volume.

    Great sillage and I'm sure it has the longevity endemic to the ELDO line, but I couldn't be bothered to wait long enough to find out. A wrist-scrubber for me, I'm sorry to say...

    06th December, 2008

    eRL00p's avatar

    United States United States

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    Love and Luck for Men by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]

    Saw this at Macys today=- I almost bought this blind online bc I really like the regular Ed Hardy. After smelling this fragrance, I would not have felt bad purchasing blind bc it is in the right category for me.

    It is a nice light fresh (kinda fruity) scent, which seems very familiar to me. I would say its like a combination between Aqua Di Gio, YSL and another mystery scent. When first sprayed, It has a nice sharp lemony citrus scent- which quickly looses the lemony smell and goes into a deeper citrus. I smell the violet, and I love it, it gives a nice smooth center which sets this one apart from the fragrances it reminds me of.
    I sprayed this on my hand @ Macys, then walked over to Nordstrom hoping to find a gift set- they did not even have this fragrance out- they said January- so I went back over to Macys and picked up a bottle.
    If you loose yourself in teh fragrance, you pick up a faint pungent smell. This is where it reminds me of YSL. YSL works horribly on my skin, but Love and Luck seems to work wonders so far.

    The base is nice, not too strong, not anything special. It has quite a few common notes to it, yet still manages to create its own scent. This will be a common fragrance in my repertoire.

    06th December, 2008

    AnnaBanana's avatar

    United States United States

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    Neroli Jasmine by Body Shop

    My, how the mighty have fallen! I recall, back in the early 90s, when the Body Shop was renown for its love of natural ingredients, recyclable packaging, and general conscientious way of making products. I tried this body spray on a whim and was apalled at how synthetic it smells to my nose. It was a scrubber--and lingers still, even with many washings. Very un-natural smells with this. I contrast it to the loveliness and natural scents found in my newly acquired Armani Bond and feel blessed to have the Armani :)!

    06th December, 2008

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Organza by Givenchy

    Givenchy Organza EDP

    Notes: Honeysuckle, Rosewood, Gardenia, Ylang-Ylang, Peony, Cedar, Vanilla (from Sephora)

    I have read that some people find Organza to be "gourmand", even though my memory of it is more as an oriental, and somewhat reminiscent of Chanel Coco. I used to wear Organza daily when it first came out. In a way, it was my replacement for Coco, which was my signature scent. I love Organza, but never really went head over heels for it. These days, compared to the other woody orientals on offer (Armani Mania, for example), I feel that Organza outdoes most of the newer fragrances in the same genre. It is interesting that I seem to appreciate it more today than I did when I wore it more frequently!

    On first spray, Organza is floral and powdery, with a hint of peppery spice. There is no particular flower that comes forward for me, but the bouquet tends more toward the "white" side of floral, and has some kind of synergistic effect that recalls spicy carnation. As the top notes settle, I smell creamy wood and sweet vanilla, although the floral notes are really much louder than the base at this point. Regardless, the base seems to deepen the brightness of the floral notes--heady flower nectar meets soothing woody amber. This is one of those fragrances that smells different depending on what distance I take. If I sniff very close to my arm, the florals become intoxicating. If I sniff a bit further away, I smell more of the powder, vanilla and spice. Either way the fragrance is STRONG...not quite the powerhouse that Coco is, but very close.

    Eventually the floral notes mellow, and the powder retains a sort of astringent, biting quality that gives the composition some sharpness. The vanilla comes out more at this stage and is soft and sweet. I hesitate to say it is an edible vanilla, but it seems to walk the line--probably a little more vanilla and the fragrance would fall onto the spiced cookie side of the fence. The creamy wood I smelled earlier is not so apparent, although my experience with some orientals is that the woods become so much part of the amber base that they almost can't be distinguished. I actually like when this happens, as I really don't enjoy cedar fragrances that smell like pencil shavings or a hamster cage. In Organza, the wood is smooth and subtle, and probably has some sandalwood sweetening the cedar. I also wonder if there is patchouli in the fragrance, even though it is not listed as one of the notes. Sometimes patchouli has a peppery quality to it that is almost-but-not-quite spice. I keep smelling this peppery note, but it really does not smell like pepper spice.

    As I move around, I catch whiffs from a distance, and the vanilla is so lovely--in the drydown it is the central attraction but does not become syrupy or go toward vanilla extract. Since my skin really dries things out, it is possible this could go very sweet on some. As for me, the sweetness is muted, and the vanilla has a fluffy cloud-like quality. The woods continue to be creamy and also a bit sweet. This is where the family resemblance to Organza Indecence comes out, and I love this part of the fragrance development.

    In the late drydown, the floral notes are mostly faded, leaving behind a sweet vanilla amber that is soft and a touch powdery. The development went faster than I expected--about 2 hours to get to the base notes, and 6 hours later, the fragrance is mostly a skin scent. I think this is what Estee Lauder Amber Ylang Ylang really wants to be--a soft floral over sweet vanilla amber. To me, Organza does this far more successfully, although the top notes are rather penetrating at first. It is also at this late stage that I can say the vanilla becomes slightly more edible and custard-like, but still keeps arms length from being foody because of the light powder.

    06th December, 2008

    Gblue's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    A*Men Pure Coffee by Thierry Mugler

    My favourite gourmand - I much prefer this to A*Men. I feel like it sits somewhere between A*Men and B*Men...

    Pure Coffee opens with a very potent arabica coffee note, present for mere seconds. I'm pleased that it doesn't last too long, because it's not "blended" into the fragrance - simply sitting there seperate from the rest. I could swear there is also a steamed milk smell for those short seconds, but I could be creating a scent association here.
    After the coffee has passed by, a mouthwatering dark chocolate and vanilla accord lingers and appears/disappears for hours and whenever it comes back, it makes me want to take a bite out of something! A sweet tar note also hangs about, but it's nowhere near as pronounced as in the original A*Men.
    The dry, but sweetened, patchouli/woody drydown lasts for hours and is very agreeable with my skin.

    06th December, 2008

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    8 88 by Comme des Garçons

    This seems to be a love it or hate it fragrance, so I'll give it a neutral ! The reason why relates to my dislike of geranium if featured prominently, which I'm guessing is the case here. I can certainly imagine many liking this, especially if they like fragrances that have little or no sweetness, but I also get the "insect repellent" vibe too. It comes across as "harsh green" but slightly "metallic aquatic" to me. It did not come across as an incense fragrance, though. I'd like to know what would happen if the geranium was cut down and more amber was added to the formula (possibly more saffron and incense too). I get my saffron fix from Derek Jeter Driven Black, which is constructed more to my olfactory sensibility. This is definitely a sample first fragrance.

    06th December, 2008

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka

    A synthetic, sweet and heavy gourmand along the lines of Body Kouros and Le Male, but with strong notes of anise/black licorice. It's like Le Male, but without any of the elegant barbershop or floral accords, and an overdose of something thick and cloying. When I first smelled this on my wrist I have to admit that I thought it was great, but as the day wore on I felt myself getting nauseous. Lolita Lempicka hits you like a freight train and never stops to let you off - it just keeps dragging you along into the night. Worst part about this scrubber is that it just wouldn't come off!

    If you’re allergic to or sensitive perfumes or fragrances in general, stay away from this one.

    6/10

    P.S. If you like Body Kouros, you'll love this, as they're pretty much the same scent plus or minus the anise of Lolita Lempicka and the smoky accords of Body Kouros.

    06th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 23rd November, 2009)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Geir by Geir Ness

    Geir smells more like a really refreshing "mountain scent" fabric softener or laundry detergent than anything else to me. I don't smell any really discernible notes, and it feels pretty synthetic. At that, I'm still a big fan of this stuff, but I can't imagine buying a full bottle. I'm also not sure about that "cool" note in it - It's really hard to describe, since the note doesn't smell like anything, while it simply feels cold... strange and disconcerting. As Wiley1st said, don't overspray, unless you want Geir to get all "chemically" on you.

    7.25/10

    06th December, 2008

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Burnt sugar/cotton candy, sawdust, black Sharpie markers, cardboard and animals in a circus! There’s something just so captivating about Dzing – it triggers so many different associations in my brain at the same time. I don't even know what more to say about this fragrance - just try it! It's one of the most weird and wonderful fragrances out there.

    9.5/10

    06th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2010)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Unforgivable by Sean John

    Unforgivable smells ALMOST exactly like MI, only there is an herbal quality added to Unforgivable (I'm guessing to avoid copyright infringement). It's also missing the ambergris and realistic ozone notes of MI, but essentially, Unforgivable is a complete rip-off of MI. Others may see resemblances to Wall Street, but I imagine this is because Wall Street smells a little like MI, which smells like Unforgivable...

    All in all, the differences aren’t big enough to buy MI over Unforgivable, unless of course you, yourself, notice (the huge) gap in quality between the two. The gap in quality might not be obvious at first, but it becomes blatant when comparing the dry-downs. I’m actually really unimpressed with "Diddy" but then again what did you expect from him? A groundbreaking fragrance from a man who based his whole career on "sampling" other people's music in his rap songs? I think not.

    Ranting aside, if you don't like ambergris (an animalic musk in MI), go for Unforgivable. If you want a better quality fragrance and you enjoy ambergris, get Millisime Imperial. I personally much, much prefer Millisime Imperial.


    0/10 for Diddy

    06th December, 2008

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    The best way I can describe Rive Gauche is that it's a sweet and soapy lavender with a hint of patchouli. I’m pretty confident that if you took all the ingredients of Brut (that stuff in the green bottle at the pharmarcy) and re-synthesize them into better quality ingredients, you might have something like Rive Gauche. Although Brut is dated, Rive Gauche doesn’t quite feel dated… although it does smell “old school” as others have said. Kind of like how old school loafers, skinny jeans and fedoras came back in style in the mid-to-late 2000s, Rive Gauche is that old barbershop cologne your grandpa wore, but it’s redone in a modern way that works. That said, I think any age can pull this off – it just makes you smell like a clean intellectual.

    On the negative side, RG is a little too strong for my liking – one spray lasts more than 24 hours and is a little overpowering. I haven’t tried RG Light but I imagine I would like it better.

    7/10

    Edit: I can't wear this anymore, it's just way too strong, synthetic and tenacious for my poor sinuses. To make matters worse, I can't help noticing an uncomfortable plastic note somewhere in the middle notes of the fragrance. If you don't like strong, synthetic fragrances, steer clear of this one...

    06th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 13th August, 2009)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Magnetism for Men by Escada

    I would simply describe this as extremely sexy grape powder with a hint of vanilla coke. Magnetism might sound weird or not too good according to my description, but this really is great stuff. While it smells pretty synthetic, it doesn't necessarily smell cheap. Like Le Male and Narciso Rodriguez PH, this is a great example of what can be achieved with modern synthetics. I've never smelled anything like this and it somehow it never comes off as sharp or chemically - just grape powder candy and vanilla coke!

    It’s also noteworthy to mention that Magnetism would easily pass as a unisex fragrance. Although it doesn’t necessarily feel feminine, I can easily imagine a woman wearing this (and to be honest I’m pretty sure I have smelled this or something like it on a few women).

    Overall, I would consider Magnetism to be one of the sexiest, most playful fragrances I’ve ever smelled. The only downside is the synthetic feel (which is usually the case anyway with "unique" and/or "sexy" fragrances) but the use of synthetics here is worth it. If you’re looking for something manly or mature, steer clear. If you want something young, sensual and unique, give this a shot. The best age range would be something in the teens and early twenties.

    9.25/10

    06th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 15th September, 2009)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Wall Street by Bond No. 9

    Wallstreet is definitely up there with Millisime Imperial as one of, if not the best aquatic fragrances. WS in a nutshell is slightly sweet cucumber over the salty, refreshing smell of the sea. Although this is reminiscent of Millisime Imperial by Creed, WS is pretty different, in the sense that it has no ambergris and the melon is replaced by cucumber. The two fragrances are only similar because they both have a “sea” note in them, with WS’s ocean vibe being a lot stronger. WS also lasts a lot longer than MI, but it's more linear. On a final note, when you really think about it, this really does smell (fittingly so) like crisp dollar bills too.

    8.5/10

    06th December, 2008

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Jasmine by Keiko Mecheri

    Like others have said, this is predominantly jasmine. "Jasmine" by KM is a very simple, minimalistic scent. (I also get a little bit of honeysuckle sweetness like other reviewers here have mentioned). This fragrance starts out smelling much like the jasmine you would find in jasmine green tea, then dries down to a powdery, feminine jasmine. A little too feminine for me to pull off... Nice though - wouldn’t mind this on a girl.

    If you're looking for a "jasmine and green tea" scent, try "The pour un Ete" by L'artisan parfumeur - it's not quite the same as sniffing some organic loose leaf jasmine tea, but it's as close as I've gotten so far.

    7.5/10

    06th December, 2008

    Aznavour's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kenzo pour Homme Fresh by Kenzo

    Indeed, very fresh without seeming sharp or chemical like other aquatic fragrances.

    06th December, 2008

    rbeurkens's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    smells like barbasol at first then kinda musty and old... def not recommended for younger dudes, smells like my grandpa

    06th December, 2008

    rbeurkens's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ice*Men by Thierry Mugler

    smells just like guess suede to me

    06th December, 2008

    Ronin's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dirty English by Juicy Couture

    I don't understand the hate for this one. It starts out citrusy and later turns into some kind of sweet leathery smell with other elements thrown in for good measure. I find this development to be really nice with just the right amount of sweetness. This one is no doubt masculine and a nice release for 2008.

    06th December, 2008

    perfaddict's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Blend 30 by Dunhill

    One of the best i have ever used. And i am relying on 1980 and 1986 "experiences" . After Classic, D and Edition, Dunhill seems to have gone in stranger directions.

    06th December, 2008

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