Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    trizydlux's avatar



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    Cabaret by Grès

    Beautiful, and so incredibly easy to wear. It combines several of my very favorite notes (wood, patch, incense) with soft florals. This scent is my choice whenever I just cant decide. It's lovely in any season and for any occasion, and I have never once regretted spritzing this one (as I sometimes do when I make the "wrong" choice for a day/season/occasion/mood). I'm having a hard time describing my feelings about it without making it sound mediocre, but the REASON I love this so much is that it's neither too much nor too little. It smells wonderful without making a loud statement or attracting undue attention. It is complex and deep, while somehow simultaneously being sheer and light. It's the sort of scent you'd choose when you want people to pay attention to you and not your fragrance. I hope Ive succeeded in conveying the right impression here. I'll close by saying that of literally hundreds and hundreds of scents tested by me, Cabaret is solidly in my top 10.

    10th December, 2008

    trizydlux's avatar



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    Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Feminite was my very first true fragrance love and I adore it still. Wondrously woody with juicy red fruits, spices, and violets, and just enough cumin to make you wonder if it's there or not. I own this in every format I could get my hands on (Eau Timide, EDP, parfum, lotion) and I love and cherish all of them. This is about as close as I think I'll ever get to a signature fragrance. Absolutely delightful.

    10th December, 2008

    trizydlux's avatar



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    Costes by Hôtel Costes

    After hearing wonderful reviews about what a lovely spicy woods fragrance this is, I was so optimistic that I would love it. However, on smelling it, I get overwhelming rose, and not much else. I have encountered a few other people on other boards who agree with this assessment, so I am reassured that I am not completely alone, but hmmmm... still no idea why the rose in Costes is so incredibly prominent to my nose. If I liked rose scents, I would probably like this one, but I'm just not a fan in general - preferring rose to be a minor note, when present. AND, I'm hesitant to recommend this scent to people who are looking for a rose scent since so many other people seem to not smell the boatload of rose here that I smell. It's definitely not one to buy unsniffed - especially if youre sort of ho-hum on rose.

    10th December, 2008

    trizydlux's avatar



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    Norma Kamali Incense by Norma Kamali

    I absolutely adore this scent and find it unspeakably beautiful. Even so, I recognize that it has a certain acrid quality - especially prominent in the opening - that even I find a little challenging. In contrast to other reviewers, I do not smell "burning", but I can see why people might say that. I don't find it spicy or animalic either. The most prominent note to my nose is labdanum, present in huge amounts (and oddly not mentioned by others here). I don't doubt the copal, but I don't know that scent in isolation, so I'm unqualified to comment on it. Incense is perhaps the most tenacious scent in my collection, and possibly also the strongest. I'm not quite sure how to put this into words, but it is a little EVIL - a perfume for malicious spirits. However, the late late late drydown (say 24h. or so after application) is one of the most sublime scents I have ever smelled. This juxtaposition of heaven and hell may be what inspires my sincere LOVE for this fragrance.

    10th December, 2008

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    China White by Nasomatto

    It reminds me quite a lot of my favourite from this line - Absinth - it has the same characteristic green/herbal/aromatic bitterness. China White doesn't have the spicy/woody warmth of Absinth though, it's a much cooler scent. Drier too, dusty dry the way cedar scents can sometimes be, though not particularly woody. Ashen, yes. It's sort of annoying and addictive all at once. I don't get any of the flowers others are mentioning, but I suppose violet (leaf) or iris (root) may contribute to its cold, and there's also a hint of a sickly-sweet note that reminds me of candy rather than flowers. I think there's vetiver root in there adding to the green sharpness, but it might be some other bitter herb as well. Could be good old oakmoss. China White is like a mix between some old-fashioned leathery chypre (Bandit, say) and some hyper-modern, metallic, synthetic, cold, sharp CdG creation. Oh, and it also reminds me of an über-masculine, dry, loud, woody/herbal concoction like Yatagan.

    10th December, 2008

    echerub's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Derby by Guerlain

    I believe what I have is a vintage version of Derby. To me, it is a nice, well-behaved, and refined leather/suede fragrance. It is incredibly long-lasting - as I write this, it's been 14 hours since application this morning and I can still pick up hints of its soft, suede goodness - but it is a quiet, reserved scent all the way through. In the few times that I've worn Derby, it is never loud, brash, or even particularly bold, but it *is* a fragrance that would be likened to a quietly confident gentleman with a friendly smile, but never truly chummy and always maintaining a proper bit of social distance from others. When I first tried Derby, I had expected something stronger and more prominently leather, but each time I wear it I find that it grows on me just a little bit more. I still am not wow'd by Derby, but I do enjoy it. I wouldn't consider it worth the price that it commands, but I have to say that if I'm going for suede, this is a much, much nicer experience than Daim Blond which to me has barely any suede and is altogether too fruity and sweet to be considered a nice leather (it'd be a nice gourmand to me, though). Derby has a notable sweetness to it, and speaks softly and feels suitably light for a leather, but it is quality all the way through - smooth and refined with impressive endurance, I have to say this is a solid, high-quality fragrance that I enjoy. Unfortunately, I just can't consider it at the top of any list I could come up with.

    10th December, 2008

    chengfun's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    White Floral by Pecksniff's

    This reminds me very much of Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills, very 80s and very loud. Worse, it smells cheap to me. Not my cup of tea.

    10th December, 2008

    Morgaine's avatar



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    Jour de Fête by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Wonderful. The scent that sucked me into niche.
    This is the truest almond note I've found in any perfume, and I've tried a few. The almond has a bitter edge, never veering into the candied cherry-Amaretto-marzipan sweetness that many almond scents suffer from. The almond fades quickly, too quickly for me (30 mins max), and is replaced with a fluffy, gourmand vanilla. Longevity on me is remarkably good for a L'Artisan - it lasts 5-7 hours easily. On fabric, it lasts days, and seems to retain more of the initial almond scent.

    10th December, 2008

    Morgaine's avatar



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    Moroccan Mint Tea by Ava Luxe

    My warm weather staple, since discovering it last summer. The scent is pretty much as advertised: mint and tea. When sprayed, the opening seems slightly harsher -green and almost bitter- to me as compared to dabbed. I prefer dabbing in this case. It quickly progresses into a strong, recognizably minty scent, without much tea, at first. Tea comes into play about 45 minutes in, and never dominates on my skin. The mint never fully disappears and stays right into the dry-down, though it softens and sweetens, and perhaps gains a vanilla edge. This is THE most long-lasting fragrance I've ever tried; on one occasion, it survived 48 hours and 3 showers.

    10th December, 2008

    argogos's avatar

    United States United States

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    Profumo di Montecatini by Borghese

    This is a fantastically light and unisex fragrance. Similar to Mugler Cologne, it has a simple, clean and fresh scent. What makes it unique is that it has no soapy quality. The mild citrus and florals are crisp and invigorating yet still subtle and soothing. I tend to shy away from "fresh" scents because of their synthetic, cloying effect. This frag is void of those characteristics. Very clean and well blended scent.

    10th December, 2008

    laurenellie1985's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    FlowerbyKenzo by Kenzo

    Kenzo Flower Parfum is fantastic. It is luxurious and lingering. My fiance is confused about it as he doesn't relly like it but it reminds him of when we first met. It is quite a bold and lasting scent, perfect for wintertime. I find myself reaching for it whenever I go to a ball or out for an expensive meal. I find it sophisticated and memorable.

    10th December, 2008

    laurenellie1985's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Curious by Britney Spears

    This fragrance is so sexy and fun. It sounds weird but whenever I smell it I get a shiver of excitement, like I know something good is going to happen! It lasts quite a while on me, I can always smell it on whatever I spray it on the next day. Perfect for a night out on the town. The bottle is cute too

    10th December, 2008

    hollyc's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Mitsouko by Guerlain

    Oh dear Good Life, sounds very much like your Mitsouko from the '80's may have turned rancid. If you can summon the interest, I strongly suggest you try a spritz from a tester at your nearest perfume counter or order a sample from the Perfumed Court. I tried this on a whim, not expecting to like it (AT ALL) and fell totally in love. It 's deep, complex, rich, changeable and timeless. I'm trying to rationalize the purchase of the EdT (I find the guerlinade in the Guerlain EdP's too heavy and sweet) in spite of my recent 6 100 ml. Montales (my husband will divorce me soon!!)I tell him, I could understand if I smelled BAD, but all this fabulousness? You may never get so lucky again! Good luck!

    10th December, 2008

    James Cherry's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    cK one by Calvin Klein

    I LOVE THIS FRAGANCE, asbolutely one of the most important fragance of the world: simply bottle, simply smell... but WOW, everyday I love it more, and more and more
    sorry for my english, I'm italian
    xoxoxo, J.Cherry

    10th December, 2008

    julybee50's avatar

    England England

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    Ysatis by Givenchy

    I wear this a lot - it lasts all day on me. Fruity, woody and oriental, it's strong so you don't need a lot. I'm sure it's changed since it first came out though. It used to have a hint of something bitter and green which tantalised by appearing briefly throughout the day. It's softer now.

    10th December, 2008

    charger's avatar

    United States United States

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    New West for Him by Aramis

    I fondly remember this from my early college days. This aroma always reminded me of the beach. Crisp, spicy and watery, they really should bring this back in all it's original glory.

    10th December, 2008

    charger's avatar

    United States United States

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    Slate by Banana Republic

    Starts out bright and fresh with some citrus, pepper and spice. As it dries it changes to a woody dry smell that smells kind of generic. It's truly great for the first hour of wearing though.

    10th December, 2008

    charger's avatar

    United States United States

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    Banana Republic Classic Limited Edition by Banana Republic

    This is marketed as unisex, but it smells too feminine for me. On my wife it smells great though, clean and light. I like it on her and she enjoys wearing it.

    10th December, 2008

    shimmerling's avatar

    United States United States

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    Green Valley by Creed

    the only reason that i think this is better quality than gucci pour homme is because gucci doesnt use the infusion technique... and that to me is key in a quality perfume

    10th December, 2008

    innoxia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Musk Pierre by Madini

    Musk Pierre was my introduction to the Madini perfume oils, like, 19 years ago. Sooo sweet, ambery, delectable! Alittle orange, vanilla, definitely caramel, amber, musk - a gourmand musk that smells like what I imagine ambrosia to be. The old formulation (I still have a tiny remnant in the skinny, ornately-labelled vial) was even richer and more sinful than the new version. Whenever I wear either one someone always exclaims "That smells wonderful!"

    10th December, 2008

    innoxia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Reihan by Madini

    Hmmmn, this definitely did not work for me. Some green tea, some rose and something plastic that felt like it was coating the roof of my mouth. The Madinis can be delicously complex and authentic, it's disappointing when they fall flat.

    10th December, 2008

    ianmedium's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    West Indian Lime by Crabtree & Evelyn

    I have fallen head over heals for this cologne! It reminds me of days gone by, it has maturity and freshness. I think a way I would describe this cologne is that it is for men, not boys! It is not about in your face "here I am" but more, "I am here but am not shouting about it!"

    The fragrance starts of very limey but give it an hour and the complexity really starts to shine through, there are subtle layers of spice and fruit but not sweet! This fragrance has depth and improves throughout the day, it changes it's charector subtly which I love.

    I would say this cologne could be worn for any occasion and is suitible for a man who knows himself and has nothing to prove to the world, a man who has maturity but spice as well!

    10th December, 2008

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo Explorer by Ralph Lauren

    A great fresh ambery-woods fragrance that can work in all seasons.....well, it can be a bit much in hot weather. If you're a fan of Old Spice Pure Sport deodorant/shower gel, then you'd like this. A great Ralph Lauren offering for younger folks, and I find this works best in the fall. I think it's better than most things that have been released lately.

    10th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 12 December, 2010)

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Eau Pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

    What more can I say? I've written two reviews for Armani Eau Pour Homme already, and all I really need to add is that it is, in my opinion, the best masculine chypre out there - even beating the beloved Chanel Pour Monsieur, but only by a little bit. To beat Pour Monsieur seems like a pretty bold statement to make about a masculine chypre, but the citrus and oakmoss combination in this is perfectly executed in this fragrance, and the citrus top is one of the most beautiful I've ever smelled, and it lasts the whole way through! This fragrance lasts a while without having to be a powerhouse like its contemporaries, and smells so natural and beautiful. It can work in almost any occasion, too! It is by no means dated. As I said before, longevity is excellent and sillage is good.

    Armani Eau Pour Homme is one of my favorite fragrances - and you can quote me on that.

    10th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 15 January, 2011)

    CoL's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo

    This is by far the best Ferragamo scent I have tried! Lovely fresh and fruity unisex fragrance thats all citrus and a little rose me thinks. Great stuff!

    11th December, 2008

    Indie_Guy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dior Homme Cologne by Christian Dior

    Though the differences are subtle, I find that I much prefer this reworked Cologne version of Dior Homme to the original EDT. It's got neroli and more bergamot, which lends it a depth and transparency. The powdery feeling is balanced this time with a slight effervescence. It feels a little "cooler" than the original. Also, it wears well in warm weather and after a workout.

    You can smell the precision in this one.

    11th December, 2008

    kewart's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Colonia Santa Maria Novella by Santa Maria Novella

    This has to be the most gorgeous way to wake up in the morning!
    A really classy edc with loads of personality. Neroli, citrus top notes
    and a beautiful spicyness in the drydown. This is as good as an eau de
    cologne gets and this one lasts longer than most.
    It was originally created for Catherine de Medici who went to France to
    marry Henry II and took her own personal perfumer with her.
    All I can say is the man was a genius! I want to bathe in this.

    11th December, 2008

    Renato's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Opium pour Homme Poésie de Chine Eau d'Orient by Yves Saint Laurent

    I was quite taken with this lighter version of Opium PH, and had to buy it the day after I gave it a thorough testing out on my arm.

    It has excellent lasting power, but lacks the great sillage and projection power of the EDT and EDP versions. Thus one may find it a tad disappointing if one is after a powerhouse scent akin to the other two. However, on the other hand, to me it's a lot more wearable than the original versions, which I tend to reserve mainly for night time/going out type usage.
    Renato

    11th December, 2008

    jimmyfresno's avatar

    United States United States

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    Duro by Nasomatto

    This scent is constructed mainly of an overdose of an off-the-shelf aromachemical "Oud Base" made by Firmenich company . This chemical was intended to be rounded and complexified by natural ingredients or other accords to soften it, and it was never intended to be used in such a huge dose by itself.
    Nasomatto did attempt to round it with a bit of Suederol to give it a leathery feel, but failed to overcome the bludgeon of the overdose of Oud base. This is a clumsy fragrance to those familiar with its components.

    It could redeem this to use half a spritz layered with something more complex with sandalwood or incense, I suppose. But for the price, this fragrance should be a masterpiece on its own.

    11th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 03 January, 2009)

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Perceive for Men by Avon

    Light citrus that starts off much like Rochas' Aquaman but settles quickly into a warm but (sadly) generic drydown. Not too much cedar here, but just enough to give the whole affair some woodiness.

    In a world filled with citrusy, "fresh" frags, you could do better. You could also do worse.

    11th December, 2008

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