Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    The Natural by Gap

    This is an inexpensive scent, and it is OK. Of the three in this series, it was the only one that interested me. It is a combination of citrus and green notes, on a vetiver base. The citrus is perky and fresh. The vetiver is solid, and a bit soapy. The dry-down reveals that this is a budget fragrance. It doesn't go anywhere, it gets a bit sweet and synthetic, it certainly doesn't develop much of interest beyond its initial flurry of activity. Competent, that's all. If you are interested in vetiver, check it out, it is affordable.

    07 December, 2008

    alkman's avatar

    Wales Wales

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    L'Anarchiste by Caron

    Spiced candied fruit over musk. As the juice sits for a while it reacts with the copper bottle to add rusty penny on top of those - that's the "gunpowder/gunmetal/blood" note. If you got this in a glass sample bottle you won't might not experience it.

    The fruit note is more delicate than I expected from some reviews. Almost pear-like.

    Big_Scooter has it about right...it's pleasant. Who would have thought? And definitely for the winter months. I would bet that most of the "sickening" reviews got it in warm, humid weather.

    I don't think you could find a better Christmas scent.

    07 December, 2008

    alkman's avatar

    Wales Wales

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    Yatagan by Caron

    This is, quite simply, a virtuoso treatment of bitterness in all its glory. The astringent bitter of wormwood; the damp, earthy bitter of geranium; the sweet, raunchy bitter of patchouli.

    And all underneath, there is castoreum. Oh yes yes god yes castoreum. Some prefer to their animalic kicks from whale snot (ambergris) or cat pee (civet) or the ol' reliable deer loins (musk). But there really is nothing quite like the raunch of the mature beaver's castor sac.

    Leather is a bit player here. To my nose at least it's basically indistinguishable on its own. What it does do is blend into the castoreum and lend it some respectability. That and the symphony of bitter herbals let the magic beaver juice do its thing unobtrusively.

    Yatagan is very good.

    07 December, 2008

    schumi's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    Acqua di Parma Colonia and Colonia Assoluta are THE perfect summer fragrances. I think they are some of the finest fragrances ever created. These two clognes are made for the rich people, those who wear white bathrobes and sip extravagant cocktails on their luxurious yachts, wallowing in the Mediterranean summer sun. These are the scents of Monte Carlo, Cannes and Nice. These are the scents of the beautiful people.

    Although separated by almost 90 years, they are very much alike... and they both are some of the very few fragrances that do reach perfection.

    I don't know which of the two I like the most... I don't want to like one more than the other, so I'll write this review for both.

    07 December, 2008

    schumi's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta by Acqua di Parma

    Acqua di Parma Colonia and Colonia Assoluta are THE perfect summer fragrances. I think they are some of the finest fragrances ever created. These two clognes are made for the rich people, those who wear white bathrobes and sip extravagant cocktails on their luxurious yachts, wallowing in the Mediterranean summer sun. These are the scents of Monte Carlo, Cannes and Nice. These are the scents of the beautiful people.

    Although separated by almost 90 years, they are very much alike... and they both are some of the very few fragrances that do reach perfection.

    I don't know which of the two I like the most... I don't want to like one more than the other, so I'll write this review for both.

    07 December, 2008

    alekseyaronov's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Touch for Men by Burberry

    I like the whole frangrance, its nice a soft and also smooth. I think its for the confident men out there. I received complements from men as well as women, its pretty good overrall. I would definitely recommend this to those who want to impress the ladies and women.

    07 December, 2008

    tonysoprano100's avatar

    Chile Chile

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    Aramis by Aramis

    Very strong, granny and nasty smell. Old, very old. Who wants to smell old and bad? Any grand mother here?
    Thanks Aramis, this is not for me. Next please.

    07 December, 2008

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chinatown by Bond No. 9

    Bond No.9 Chinatown

    Notes: Peach blossoms, gardenia, tuberose, patchouli, cardamom (from Bond No.9)

    On first application (from a dabber sample), I smell cherries, sugar, almond and powder. A sharp but clean patchouli lurks below the surface, and the composition as a whole is incredibly sweet. Very quickly, the juicyness of the cherry note fades as does the sugar, leaving behind faint tart cherry and sharp almond with sweet powder. The powder is extremely strong and at times smells like baby products. The patchouli is either synthetic or processed--it doesn't have any of the typical head shop "funk" that natural patchouli essential oil has. However, it does add a bit of grunge to the super-sweet top notes, so I think overall it helps balance the composition. This is clearly an oriental, but as to whether it is gourmand, it is difficult to say at this point. Certainly the cherry almond opening is slightly edible, but right now, Chinatown seems more like a floral oriental with a dose of cherry Lifesaver candy.

    I was hoping that Chinatown would morph a little as the top notes burn off, but so far the middle part of the development is linearly following what was present earlier. However, it is far more subdued. The powder has reduced in strength, but is still the most prominent note, and the sweetness is tempered by the astringent patchouli base note. The cherry and almond seem to be hanging in somewhat. I think that the supporting notes are the only things that make the powder seem more grown-up.

    The drydown is still rather powdery, and has no traces of cherry or almond. An artificial floral has emerged...the notes say tuberose, but to me it smells more like Ylang Ylang as it has qualities of rubbery bubblegum and a vague furniture polish vibe. The patchouli is soft and fuzzy in the background, and is really not bad at this point. Although development has been fairly linear, it has also gone rather quickly--to complete drydown in only a couple hours. The fragrance is very faint now, much more subdued but not quite a skin scent.

    I am disappointed in the ultra-linear development and the lack of complexity in this Chinatown. It seems to have very high quality ingredients, however, nothing so far has made me feel the urge to wear it more, let alone buy a bottle for an exorbitant amount of money.

    07 December, 2008

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fiore d'Ambra by Profumum

    Profumum Fiore d'Ambra

    Notes: amber gris, opium (from luckyscent)

    On first spray, I smell a golden resinous amber, carmelized sugar, powder, citrus, and a spice blend, probably cinnamon and clove. After the fragrance dries, the spices come out more, and it is clear that Fiore d'Ambra is primarily an oriental. The spice mixture reminds me a little bit of Estee Lauder Youth Dew--a dark spice concoction in which no one ingredient dominates, and the combination blends synergistically to form a new, not-found-in-nature spice. The spices are dry and dusty, and catch in my throat a bit. The dryness is offset by the sweet amber base, and persistent but light powder.

    Further into the development, the spices stay strong and dry, and the rest of the fragrance mellows. The powder softens and becomes a bit more floral. The amber base sweetens more, and seems more vanillic and less resinous, forming a cushy pillow for the spices. The amber was actually much more prominent when first applied, but in the middle stage seems to take more of a supporting role. This is opposite to most orientals I have tried which typically have an amber analogue in the base which comes out more toward the end of the fragrance development. Having said that, Fd'A still reminds me of Youth Dew, and perhaps even more of Youth Dew Amber Nude, especially at this point.

    I keep catching whiffs of Fd'A during the drydown. In this stage, the fragrance has sweetened considerably, and has lost the harsh spice edge. In fact, the spices faded to the point that they smell almost creamy, or, perhaps there is a creamy sandalwood in the base. A touch of powder and a hint of non-descript floral also remain. At any rate, it has become what I expect from an oriental...a soft vanilla and light resinous amber base. At this late stage, it recalls Givenchy Organza Indecence, although I think OI has a more creamy and delicious drydown. Overall, I find Fd'A to be very wearable, and slightly nostalgic due to the obvious nod in Youth Dew's direction. It is also very warm and comforting, and is composed of excellent, high quality ingredients.

    Fiore d'Ambra seems to be relatively short lived. It developed in about 2-3 hours and is now wearing close to the body. Sillage was not as strong as I would have expected, given its oriental heritage. Profumum is extremely expensive, so before purchase, I would recommend a comparison to YDAN, if possible. (YDAN is discontinued, but is available at some online retailers.)

    07 December, 2008

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    L'Eau de L'Artisan by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    You know what this reminds me of?

    The smell of a luxury hotel -- and their hotel soap.

    This is light, fresh, green, and really easy to wear. Safe, but good. I prefer this over Mugler Cologne.

    07 December, 2008

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    Private Collection - Cuir d'Iris by Parfumerie Generale

    A dark, rich, and refined leather/iris fragrance that's balanced from top to base with vaguely gourmand notes and powdery amber.

    Pure heaven.

    07 December, 2008

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Knize Ten by Knize

    The greatest scent ever made. TRY TRY TRY. BUY BUY BUY. WEAR WEAR WEAR.

    07 December, 2008

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    quite simply, the worst scent in the world. like bottled cat pee. ew.

    07 December, 2008

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    doesn't live up to the hype. the musk in here is very very weak, and someone aptly pointed out the other day on the forum that this smells like cinnamon buns....SO TRUE. not worth the price or the hype. there are much better musk scents out there.

    07 December, 2008

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella

    i agree with Indie_guy right below me, this stuff is amazing. Possibly the best construction i've ever found in a scent. The opening is a blast of oil, petrol, tar, and the smell of a 1974 LeMans pit stop area....and then it settles down into the most beautiful, elegant leather, vanilla, and floral cascade. Longetivity is great, and the sillage is fantastic. One of the most complete scents i've ever tried or owned. This stuff is a classic. I'm really into cars and racing, and smelling this always reminds me of what a vintage race car smells like on the inside. The only downside is the absolutely ridiculous bottle---which looks like something you'd find at a dollar store. I dunno why they didn't just use the standard SMN bottles---which are beautiful. HUGELY recommended.

    07 December, 2008

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vintage by John Varvatos

    one of the finest designer scents available. an unexpected combination of rhubarb, plum, flowers, and leather....the soft suede leather. this is such a complex scent, and it warps and changes over time on the skin. i think there is a certain charm which isn't noticed about this upon a short in-store wearing....but as you bring it home and start wearing it, you start to realise how many surprises and turns this stuff holds....it really is remarkable. one of a kind and destined to become a classic. highly recommended.

    07 December, 2008

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

    soft new leather jacket + cocaine + some kind of chalk/synthetic thing going on. several hours after putting this on, the distant drydown turns into a cuiron-type affair with a little bit of fruitiness and soft leather.....but not as good as Cuiron. Great sillage and great longetivity...i've smelled it on my clothes several days after original wearing......i do dig it, but can't really recommend this to anyone----gotta be really into leathers IMO.

    07 December, 2008

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Contradiction for Men by Calvin Klein

    herbal with a touch of citrus. very different albeit not desirable. very subtle wlso a bit spicy. really this scent doesn't know what it wants to be. herbal, floral or spicy. a mess imo. i finally used the last drop on my pillowcase so i am happy. the lid stinks too.

    07 December, 2008

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    212 Men H2O by Carolina Herrera

    very long lasting citrus burst. ver sexy and appealing. not much of a difference between this and original but i prefer this a bit more.i love all of ms. herrera's offerings except herrera(original and maybe sexy 212). otherwise if you like 360 red, burberry summer and aramis bermuda tonic you will love this also.

    07 December, 2008

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kenzoair by Kenzo

    worst bottle of all time. anise and licoriceand really nothing else. very strangeang short lived.

    07 December, 2008

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Obsession Night for Men by Calvin Klein

    bvlgari black without the rubber. very mundane and plain. reminds also of guess suede another designer that should stick to clothing. i love the original i must admit.

    07 December, 2008

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Homme Exceptionnel by Montblanc

    a very modern and elegant woody aromatic fragrance. gourmand top notes of coffee and tonka that seduce blended with fresh mandarin wafts and lavender. mid notes of sage, mint and ginger that hang around for awhile to end with patchouli,amber and musk. quite possibly the best of 08. nothing else like it. very sexy more of an evening scent with simple notes that balance out perfectly. i'm guessing perfumer Harry Fremont was trying to go against dunhill's pursuit which is similiar in scent and color but this is far superior and elegant.

    07 December, 2008

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    Let me start by saying that this is not, I repeat, is NOT a fragrance that uses lots of natural ingredients (in fact it's probably entirely synthetic). At that, it smells great and I suppose you could say it smells a little bit natural, considering it smells like gasoline.

    Onto the scent itself.... Overall, Silver Mountain Water smells like sweet black currants with a strong, inky/petroleum note, along with something akin to green tea and patchouli. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the ink/petroleum note is actually what I love most about SMW (maybe because I love the smell of petroleum at gas stations). Finally, like Millesime Imperial and Green Irish Tweed, SMW dries down to an ambergris (sweet and clean musk) base.

    IMO it’s one of the best fragrances for spring and fall - just so crisp and fresh without overdosing on aquatic notes or smelling anything like Aqua di Gio. I have to admit that it does turn a little sour on my skin if I wear it in hot weather, but I’m sure that it’s just chemistry. Otherwise, a great one enjoyed by many.

    8.75/10

    07 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 13 August, 2009)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Mostly vanilla and cinnamon to my nose, over a fecal, yet somehow strangely sexually-attractive musk. It's not dirty per se, like Musk Koublai Kahn or Kiehl's Musk, but there's a strange fecal musk in the base that's leathery and magnetic. This stuff has a definite "wow" factor to it – it'll make you take a double (if not triple) sniff in a row - that is, granted you can smell the musk in it... To explain what I mean by that, I need to bring to light the fact that some people think this smells like cinnamon buns, and just cinnamon buns, while others say it smells like sex. This leaves me convinced that some people are anosmic to some of the many different kinds of musk in Musc Ravageur - and believe me, there's a lot. The musk is actually what makes this what it is - without it, this *would just be cinnamon buns. And so, no wonder people are sometimes underwhelmed by MR.

    In terms of wearability, Musc Ravageur is a little more feminine than masculine, but definitely unisex IMO. I feel a little weird wearing this, as it's kind of like a leathery, dirty vanilla fragrance, but it's just so strange and intriguing that I can't help wanting to smell like it. It's definitely not conventional. I'm still torn on whether I love it because it smells great or because the musk in the base is so strange and compelling, but either way, Musc Ravageur is a terrific creation that's incredibly enjoyable.

    9/10

    07 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 18 August, 2009)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Euphoria Men by Calvin Klein

    - This review is currently under revision -

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

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Black Aoud by Montale

    In a nutshell, Black Aoud is a lush bouquet of dark, moist roses over a base of Cambodian aoud (which smells like something along the lines of medicinal, animalic sandalwood) and patchouli.

    Overall, Black Aoud (BA) has a very strong character, and gives off a vibe that is both romantic and mysterious. While it’s a little too strong for my liking, many will rejoice in its concentration and longevity/tenacity (it'll last on clothes for 48 hours +). Very unique and sensual. My favorite of the 6 or 7 Montale's I've tried, however I prefer to wear Montale's Attar, as it doesn't scream so much for attention. Unfortunately, the only time I can see myself wearing this is on an excursion through the Sahara desert or walking the streets of Hindu Kush, surrounded by potent spices and flowers - BA is just too strong for me to pull off comfortably here in the West.

    If you like Dark Rose by Czech and Speake, you'll love this, as it's a kissing cousin of the former, but with much better quality ingredients.

    8.5/10

    07 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 13 August, 2009)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Virgin Island Water by Creed

    Fresh coconuts and lime over rum, sugar and musk. I agree with Kahuna Cowboy that ViW is basically Bath and Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena, however with much better ingredients.

    I'd like to echo the consensus that this isn't an earth-shattering fragrance, but it's very enjoyable, fun and somewhat sexy. The ingredients are all skillfully blended and top quality, like most Creeds. Even though one might associate the coconut with sun-tan lotion, this doesn't smell like sun-tan lotion at all.

    At the price Creed charges for this, it might not be worth it to buy a full bottle. However, if you can afford it, by all means enjoy!

    8.25/10

    07 December, 2008

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Cruel Intentions by By Kilian

    Sampling Cruel Intentions, I mostly only got aoud, vetiver, a bit of bergamot and castoreum (leathery, animalic musk). I actually found Cruel Intentions to be quite unpleasant at first, as it's very "dirty" smelling. I enjoy aoud on its own and castoreum as a supporting note in other fragrances, but the combination of the two wasn't so great on me. To an unsuspecting nose, the notes of aoud and castoreum together can be rather strange and off-putting.

    Although I didn't quite "enjoy" Cruel Intentions, I still respect it. When I first tried CI, it made me re-define my perception of what perfume could be. It might not be conventionally "good" and doesn't fit the mainstream idea of sexy, but it does fit into some strange compelling niche with its dark animalic vibe. I picture Cruel Intentions on a mature man, with a strong ego, who's defining qualities are power and reputation instead of romance. It definitely provides the wearer with an aire of "je ne sais quoi."

    6.75/10

    Edit: A year later after my original review, I've worn this multiple times and have grown to like it a lot - I just wasn't ready for it. It's slightly sweet, dirty and unique. I'm changing this from a neutral to a thumbs up.

    New Rating: 8/10

    07 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 08 July, 2009)

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Incense Rosé by Tauer

    Opens with a lot of frankincense and a candied/jam-like note of rose and I’m guessing a bit of clementine. Stays pretty linear the whole time. I feel that this is far more “red” and “embery” than Tauer's Incense Extreme, which to my nose, was very ashy.

    I enjoyed experiencing Incense Rose, but at the end of the day, I found myself not really crazy about it. Also, it’s not comforting, nor do I like the character. It's not like IR is annoying or not enjoyable, but it just doesn't do anything for me. Perhaps I feel this way because I'm subconsciously comparing it to Tauer's masterpiece, L'air du Desert Marocain. Either way, Incense Rose just doesn’t put me into a mind state I enjoy, like say, no. 88 or LdDM do. Although it does smell good, it's just not for me. I'd probably appreciate this more on a woman than myself.

    7/10

    07 December, 2008

    analavande's avatar

    United States United States

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    Youth Dew Amber Nude by Estée Lauder

    Oh! What a sweet and seductive opening and yet so lady-like. I used to wear the original Youth Dew as a teen. For me YDAN is reminiscent of its predecessor but sweeter and dry with no hint of spice. I actually like the opening better, but the dry down on my wrist gives way to an ever so slight insecticide odor. However, in the crook of my elbow it remains sweet and warm and speaks of amber and patchouli. I deem (but I am not certain) that my body chemistry prefers a little more spice with Jasmine and/or Ylang Ylang. Though I have always loved perfume, I am yet too inexperienced to distinguish all of the base notes. I may try layering it with something else…in the meantime I’m enjoying the alluring opening.

    07 December, 2008

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