Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    frug's avatar

    United States United States

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    Set Sail South Seas for Men by Tommy Bahama

    Such a crisp, cool scent. It achieves a light, summery feeling with its innovative use of violets and without the usual citrus overkill or marine accords.

    Opens with a rumrunner, sweet and tart, then it's off to sea... the violet provides miles of open blue water. There's a touch of salt, but not as raucous as in St. Bart's margarita. There's an undertone of mellow wood on this vessel. The rum is a white, not the "dark, buttery rum", as Diego points out, in Tommy Bahama's namesake. This one is the south seas offshore, with a hint of flora in the distance.

    Significant development over the course of a wearing doesn't seem to be a feature of Tommy Bahama's scents. The fragrance makes a statement and stays with it.

    17 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 24 July, 2012)

    stevolution's avatar

    United States United States

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    Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I just got a sample of this. It smells alot like Padparadsha (Satellite) which I own. I did a side by side comparison. Serge Noir has sweeter notes, where as Padparadsha is drier and woodier. It's the sandalwood that puts them so close to each other.

    Serge Noir is very nice, but you can save alot of money by getting Padparadscha instead.

    18 December, 2008

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    L'Eau Rare Matale 06 by Parfumerie Generale

    A very lovely fresh black tea scent, but it fades too fast. I'm hoping Hyperessence Matale will be the solution to this problem...

    18 December, 2008

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Hyperessence Matale 12 by Parfumerie Generale

    I had hoped for a "L'eau rare matale extreme" but this is a little too different and I'm not even sure it's stronger or more long-lasting. It's also distinctly black tea, yes, but not as fresh and clean as L'eau rare matale. It's more like flavoured black tea, though which flavour I'm not sure - I pick up both bergamot, jasmine and smoky notes. The leathery/rubbery aspect inherent in black tea scents is more pronounced than in L'eau rare matale, which I personally don't mind at all. I think I like L'eau rare matale a little bit better in it's refreshing simplicity, but they're both very nice.

    18 December, 2008

    fraddicted's avatar

    United States United States

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    R de Capucci by Roberto Capucci

    When I first sprayed R de Capucci (I had bought blind due to the recs of BNers) I was immediately reminded of the opening blast of Monsieur de Givenchy. That is, however, where the comparison ends.* This is one of the most interesting fragrances in my wardrobe. Beautifully balanced and very long lasting. The dry down is fabulous without ever becoming cloying or "stale". Truly a "sleeper".

    *shouldn't say comparison ends. As I think about it, is is very much like MdG only with more "oomph".

    18 December, 2008

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royal Secret by Royal Secret

    A rich and complex Oriental, and a real bargain for the price! If you like Tabu, this one's going to be right up your alley. (Same holds true for Youth Dew, IMHO.) In fact, I've always thought that Royal Secret smells very like a hybrid of the two, although it leans slightly more in Tabu's direction.

    A warm and memorable treat (with great sillage and outstanding longevity, btw) for very little moolah. I'm SO glad that Monteil sold the formula to someone else so this juice could stay in production!

    18 December, 2008

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royal Secret for Men by Royal Secret

    A pleasant but somewhat pallid reflection of the women's original. (Imagine the feminine version with slightly more sandalwood and lots more powder.)

    I'm giving this one a thumbs up, but only because a) I'm so fond of its feminine predecessor and b) it's so darned affordable.

    18 December, 2008

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren

    Finally, a decent fragrance from the house of Lauren. No, make that a great fragrance. This one's a keeper, and not just because it's based on a tried and true classic. It's actually a real rethinking of the original that's so nicely done, it stands on it's own. Some low-key peppery combo that tamps down the runaway pine/leather accord of the original. It's like Polo Green "Lite" and it's not just some slapped together juice that you'll forget in a month.
    So, why did they drop the ball on the bottle. Come on Ralph! Who's running the show over there? They've just slapped some truly tacky typeface that says "modern reserve" under the polo pony logo. No other change to the packaging. Big mistake! This one deserved a bottle as well thought out as the fragrance.

    18 December, 2008

    ryanm's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Blue Jeans by Versace

    This would make an absolutely charming gift to a boy as his first cologne. It is sweet, comforting and yet intoxicating, with anise reminding me a little of Lolita Lempicka.

    On a mature man, I'm a little less positive. In strictly limited quantities, it could work well - otherwise it WILL become cloying very quickly.

    18 December, 2008

    Tabeau's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Baby Doll Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

    Save your money ladies, you can buy 30 bottles of Princess twinkle toilet water from toys r us for the same price. Shame on anyone over 12 wearing this. Dated very quickly.

    18 December, 2008

    lizzie_j's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Unicorn Spell by LesNez

    I find this opens with a blast of green beans. And though the green beans dissipate over time, they don't go away, just become slightly sweeter and more powdery. Interesting, but not for me.

    18 December, 2008

    Katrinket's avatar

    United States United States

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    Element-of-Surprise by Beth Terry Creative Universe

    I really think this could be a beautiful fragrance, if only the volume could be turned up a lot. I know my smeller works reasonably well, but both times I've tried this, it's been so annoyingly light. To be fair, I was dabbing on with a tester, no spray. I'd put some one, catch the tiniest whiff of something really nice, and put on a bit more, but still it's faint. Kind of like the whos in Horton Hears a Who. I expect citrus scents to be fleeting, but I'd at least like them to be strong in the beginning.

    This seems like a really nice scent that has been dilluted by at least half with water. If you find almost everything you smell completely overwhelming, then perhaps this is the scent for you. I, for one, would rather have Din Dan or i profumu limone di sicilia for lemon, or L'artisan Thé Pour Un Été for tea.

    18 December, 2008

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Encens & Bubblegum by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Don't be fooled by the name - there's no bubblegum here. It's basically just another quite pleasant orange blossom scent, of which there are hundreds. Too feminine for me though.

    18 December, 2008

    qxtc07's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is a rich, powerful scent that I would only wear in winter. The amber is flanked by some herbs, which make themselves known throughout. This fragrance makes me think of persian spice markets and, well, sultans. It is opulent, lush yet defined, and absolutely intoxicating. It smells exotic and will certainly be noticed. The scent has extraordinary sillage and longevity on me (in fact, I had to scrub it off my coat when I wanted to wear a different scent). I am still on the fence whether I will try to purchase more--but it's tough for me to stop thinking about it! It wouldn't surprise me if this was a love-or-hate sort of fragrance.

    18 December, 2008

    qxtc07's avatar

    United States United States

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    Une Fleur de Cassie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    What a stunning fragrance! The cassie, violet, and musky sandalwood are the notes that stand out the most for me, but this is a very complex fragrance to my nose. It is wet, powerful, and animalic--it makes me think of a jungle, full of both growth and decay. Violet is sometimes a difficult note for me if it is overpowering, but here I find it pleasantly challenging--still strong, but just enough restraint. I think the unisex label is correct on this one, although I personally like it much, much better on a female friend of mine than I like it on myself.

    18 December, 2008

    qxtc07's avatar

    United States United States

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    French Lover / Bois d'Orage by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Edited.

    After wearing it a few times, this is wonderful. Dry crisp green smoky animalic. At first it was too dirty for me--like a forest with some sort of druid/spiritual burning ceremony (frankincense smells religious to me), witnessed by mosses and plants, AND animals--but now that I am a bit accustomed to it, I am not afraid.

    Wow, just absolutely stunning.

    18 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 17 July, 2009)

    Nathan214's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gaiac 10 by Le Labo

    A minimalist wood fragrance. It's well done, but there's not a lot of oomph to it, though I think that's the point. Gaiac oil as a raw material has a smooth, flat character, and this is reflected in Gaiac 10.

    Listed notes are: gaiac, cedar, musk and olibanum, so it smells a lot like your own skin, but as if sniffed through a filter of mild tree resins. Some people will find this fragrance extraordinary, while the majority will likely respond with indifference. Niche to the max.

    18 December, 2008

    twinpeaker's avatar

    United States United States

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    Homage Attar by Amouage

    Breathtakingly beautiful. It sings QUALITY with the voice of a thousand angels. Oud, Frankincense, a very expensive rose absolute, neroli. Those are the four notes I smell in perfect harmony. It's listed as unisex, and I totally believe that a thing of beauty transcends gender, but it is hard (for me) not to think of this as quintessentially feminine. It is incredibly potent, leaving a long trail of sillage, and is tenacious on the skin.

    18 December, 2008

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vol de Nuit Évasion by Guerlain

    In case anyone was wondering, Vol de Nuit Evasion is the EdT version of Attrape Couer in a 50ml bottle. Weird how Guerlain does that. Because of the lower concentration, I didn't find VdN-E to have the same 'creaminess' of A-C, but I also find A-C to almost get a little too intense until it settles to the base. It's a good middle ground.

    18 December, 2008

    ausamamira's avatar

    Jordan Jordan

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    Cool Water Woman by Davidoff

    i find it fresh and sexy....the sharpness wear off quickly to a subtle and nice perfume.... honestly, i used to apply very small amount of it with my main fragrance and it was really a good mix .....

    18 December, 2008

    Theasylph's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    is that why this was kind of addicting? tobacco as a basenote, eh? This scent was everywhere when I was a teenager and first started going out to clubs. My best friend wore it and I adored it on him most. We were convinced it had some sort of attractive pheromone added to it. But I can see why I liked it so much, it has some of my favorite smells, bergamont, neroli, lavendar, sage and cardamom? Dang. I haven't smelled this in a while but I am SO curious to now...

    18 December, 2008

    xXjEnNyXx's avatar

    United States United States

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    Subtil by Salvatore Ferragamo

    I loved Subtil as soon as I smelled it. The red twisted bottle is very attractive and elegant. This is a light feminine fragrance that smells like sweet flowers (It's not too flowery or too sweet, just the perfect amount). It is fresh but elegant, lushious, and luxirous. It is somewhant sexy and it has the strength to linger after the person that wears it has left (it's not an obnixious scent, it's a plesant scent that I enjoy smelling over and over). Lily of the valley and tulip with it`s fresh and bitter undertones soften this celebration of fruit and flowers. It dries down with a nice musk that still has the sweetness of jasmine in it. It lasts all day on me all but it is never too strong or overpowering. I grab this one regularly, Subtil definately is not a sleeper in my collection.

    18 December, 2008

    xXjEnNyXx's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vintage Soul by Curve by Liz Claiborne

    Some might say that this is unisex, but to me it smells more like a men's fragrance than a women's fragrance. This smell like men's cologn on me. When I first sprayed Vintage Soul, it smelled like pure pine which lasted for about 20-40 minutes (I felt like I was walking through a field of Christmas trees or if I had sprayed pine on myself). It has a strong patchouli base maybe that is why is smells like men's cologn? A hint of sweetness came after that and the sweetness mixed with the pine scent (not my type of perfume). At the very end, the pine faded and it smelled more feminine with hints of vanilla and citrusy fruits. It's not a bad scent but it does smell like it is better suited for a man thats why it is neutral for me.

    18 December, 2008

    AnnS's avatar

    United States United States

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    Velvet Flowers by Montale

    I really like Velvet Flowers as a lush, bright, floral-fruit oriental - the type I normally would wear in the summer. The smell is rich and gourmand without being too sweet. The lasting power is excellent and the sillage medium. I think it would be easy to overdose this one. I can't decide, however, if it's full-bottle worthy, because it smells very much like 2007 Organza Jasmine Harvest by Givenchy (which I already have), except with better quality ingredients and better blended. It also smells like the dry-down stage of Bagdley Mischka's original fruit oriental after the wow-y sweet fruit opening wears off. Still a nice sunny oriental.

    18 December, 2008

    Aries81's avatar

    United States United States

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    Daisy by Marc Jacobs

    I agree with the last post - it's nausea-inducing and terrible. Sniffing it reminds me of the feeling I've gotten when sniffing alcohol after a night of heavy drinking that did not end well. Maybe the artificial strawberries, which are barely there to my nose, remind me of a cheap wine cooler that I over-consumed once at a high school party? Definitely not for me. I applaud the perfumer's attempt at putting the most boring (not to mention nauseating) of scents into a bottle and labeling it with the name of a flower that actually has no scent. If this is what a daisy were to smell like if it had an aroma, I am thankful that it does not, as I adore them in all of their scentless glory and couldn't stomach them, even in beautiful vases and gardens if they smelled of this stuff. My heart goes out to all the young women out there who've fallen in love with the bottle and thus, tolerate the scent until it grows on them. There is nothing on today's market that is similar to the exploding warmth and beauty of the scents of my teenage years. No Obsession or Gucci Rush or Angel to contend with; instead it's all scents that merely hint at something greater while disappointing immensely, that are aimed at young girls these days. No, Mr. Jacobs got the job done a bit too easily with this one. It makes me thank my lucky stars that there is Pink Sugar to divert the attention of so many who would poison the air with this atrocity (and that's quite a feat).

    18 December, 2008

    Sazi's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Truth Calvin Klein Men by Calvin Klein

    Really nice smell and it lasts.

    18 December, 2008

    CYoung234's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

    This one was okay when I put it on, but it was really starting to get to me by the end of the day. Too sweet/tobacco/chocolate/caramel-ly for me. I can see why it would appeal to others - not my thing though.

    18 December, 2008

    BLADE's avatar



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    Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    In my, albeit limited, experience, Opium perfectly describes a spicy oriental... it smells exactly like what those words conjure up when I hear them.

    I get a very warm, rich blend of spices that bring to mind wandering through some far eastern market on a humid day, followed by an equally rich, but sweeter dry down. I can imagine it wouldn't be to everyone's taste, but so far I love it. Longevity is tremendous.....I washed the dishes last night 10 hours after applying it and instead of being washed off it came back full force...... amazing.

    18 December, 2008

    BLADE's avatar



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    The Dreamer by Versace

    I was disappointed with this. I expected the horrendous opening (and it is) and expected the pleasant drydown...... but that's all it is to me - pleasant.

    I've had compliments wearing it but as nice as the drydown is, there's a really cheap and synthetic flavour to it that puts me off considering a further purchase.

    18 December, 2008

    BLADE's avatar



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    L'Eau Bleue D'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

    God I love this. It is very medicinal in the opening, but once you get through the first ten minutes it's an amazing, fresh blend of wood and patchouli. Imagine walking through a forest. It's been raining overnight, but now the sun is breaking through the canopy overhead and all around you is the vibrant smell of ferns and spring.

    This is my favourite, and versatile enough for any occasion. I received more compliments in 12 hours wearing this than everything else i've tried combined. It was on sale at a ridiculous price too..... I couldn't help myself - I cleaned out their entire stock :)

    18 December, 2008

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