Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    Stereotomy's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

    Indeed, not a groundbreaking scent. When I sampled this scent, I liked it. When searching for a bottle, I stumbled on L'Instant de Guerlain PH, which actually smelled the way Tom Ford for Men smelled in my mind!

    By comparison, Tom Ford for Men looked like an airy, pale, watered down version of L'Instant PH. So I chose to buy L'Instant and leave Tom Ford for Men as it is. Tom Ford for Men has a certain 'airy' vibe to it, that makes it less luxurious and more mainstream. It's a property that usually is only found in simple aquatics.

    However, on hot, humid, summer days, I think Tom Ford for Men is the lightest, best masculine oriental that you can wear. It's overpriced and it faces the burden of being a Tom Ford: I think people expect more. And rightfully so, perhaps.

    24 December, 2008

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

    This fragrance is almost two fragrances in one. The first isn't terribly remarkable - a pleasant, lemon-centered eau de cologne with a slight musky tinge. The second is far more interesting - a cumin-heavy animalic fragrance with a leathery side.

    Sadly neither of these two last at all long at all on me, and once the citrus has vanished, the sillage is poor. The top notes last ten, fifteen minutes at most, and the fragrance is gone in an hour or two on me.

    I can imagine this fragrance being wonderful in hot weather, where the frequent re-applications to keep it going would be welcome and refreshing, but for most of the year, I don't have much of a use for this.

    Thumbs up for a refreshing cologne with a funky animalic side, but be advised it has the faults and virtues inherent in the Eau de Cologne genre.

    24 December, 2008

    oldnose's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose Absolue by Yves Rocher

    I just purchased this, and although I am very impressed with it, I just don't know if it is for me yet. I gave my bottle to a friend who fell in love with it, but I think I will try it again sometime when I am in the mood for a scent that is more challenging than the comfort ones I usually wear. I adore the cinnamon-rose blend at the top, and wish that combination lasted longer. It makes me think of Gigi's grandmother, one of my favorite characters in literature and film, in that it is very old-fashioned but with a definite edge, and so very French. I had some bad experiences with rose on me in the past, and I think if I can get past that and remember that this is NOT one of those overly sweet, fruity, gag-inducing roses, I will not only salute it, but embrace it. It really is a work of art.

    24 December, 2008

    oldnose's avatar

    United States United States

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    Néonatura - Cocoon by Yves Rocher

    I purchased this on a whim when I was ordering Rose Absolut; it was $3.00 for a purse-size spray of a half ounce. Turns out that the Rose didn't work well on me, but I totally fell in love with Cocoon. It's warm without being overly sweet, very much as BlackAmberMoon said, dry cocoa from the tin. I usually don't do well with either vanilla or patchouli, but the combination of the two is just lovely. All I can think when I wear this is that this is how skin should smell. I got back on the YR site and took advantage of the current sale price and ordered five more half ounce sprays for a grand total of $15.00 - and qualified for free shipping at that! The regular price for a 1.7 ounce spray is $40.00 (not that anyone would pay full price with the sales they always have), so I think my 3 ounces for $18.00 is quite a steal. This may be my default everyday scent for a long time to come. Love, love, love it.

    24 December, 2008

    Merlino's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    I finally got around to buying this fragrance on which I had my eyes for quite a while! This is a perfume that is so harmoniously blended that it's very difficult to put a finger on which notes are in it. I don´t consider this a typical ´French´ perfume either, although the house is French and Ellena was obviously born into a family of French perfumers.

    Other than experiencing a clear and haylike opening, I'm left with describing the awesome experience that comes with this cute and to my nose very romantic scent. I say it's cute because it's nothing like an in your face sillage monster. Rather, it's a skin scent that I picture wearing sitting in front of a fireplace with my girl next to me drinking a glass of wine while it´s snowing outside. It´s an eau chaude in that the mere wearing of this perfume warms my heart, not because the scent itself smells ´warm´. I don´t think I know of any other fragrance that has this strong an effect on me and for that I thank Mr. Ellena from the bottom of my heart.

    24 December, 2008

    lizzie_j's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chocolat Frais by Il Profumo

    I don't find Chocolat Frais 'FRESH' at all. In fact I might rename it (at least for the first hour) Chocolat Musc or even Chocolat Skank! It opens on me with a very heady musk note and then starts to blend with dark chocolate. Not too sweet and one of the least gourmand-y scents I've every tried. It's definitely not overdone on the chocolate. A hint of vanilla, a tiny pinch of fruit and generic white flower, but mostly musk and chocolate. I like it. Only problem...it doesn't last long and fades into nothingness in 2-3 hours. Reminds me of Angel, but, whereas I find Angel repellant due to a strong body odor accord, I find Chocolat Frais wearable. Must come back to this...It might be FBW.

    24 December, 2008

    ksquare's avatar

    Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

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    Un Jardin Après La Mousson by Hermès

    A very sweet product for my usual taste - it is so candy-ish floral, and strangely enough remind me of a temple with lots of temptation, but unfortunately under my expectation.

    24 December, 2008

    LaNose's avatar

    United States United States

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    Arpège by Lanvin

    After 40 years of appreciating scent and sticking my nose in more fragrance sticks than there are stars in the sky, more trips to fragrance counters than there are steps in the Statue of Liberty and more purchases than I care to admit to, I can say that Arpege is the unsung heroine of olfactory genius: timeless, soft, creamy, dark, deep, long-lasting and endlessly fresh and interesting; I never tire of it.

    They don't make them this way anymore.

    24 December, 2008

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nuit de Noël by Caron

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I don't really get the reason some say that this scent evokes Christmas, unless it's about roasted chestnuts, plum pudding or some other such olfactory association that doesn't resonate with me because I've never had the opportunity to smell it. It was a coincidence that I bid for and won, not one, but two vintage bottles of this on Ebay this past week (guess it was meant to be). This is definitely a scent that has both masculine and feminine qualities and I think it's the overall woodsiness that makes it wearable for both men and women. I am not a big fan of rose scents and while there is rose, the notes are so well blended that nothing really stands out. The word that comes to mind as I sniff at this is BEGUILING. It makes me close my eyes and swoon because it's so mysterious and undefinable. I'll leave the description of notes to others here on Basenotes that can describe it to you much better than I can. I'll just say that smelling something like this makes me sad that our culture has become so wimpy in the 21st century when it comes to scents. They don't make them like this anymore because most people can't handle it, and that's a shame. Where are all the tough "broads" in this day and age? As much as I admire Luca Turin and his judgement on most scents I can't disagree with him more on this one. There's nothing "boring about it".

    24 December, 2008

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gendarme by Gendarme

    I smell grass.....didn't evolve on my skin.

    24 December, 2008

    jon47's avatar

    Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    Cool water has a very appealing smell to me. On paper. On me, it smells kind of like piss or pasta apparently according to those around me. To me, its strong and it doesn't smell great. Its distinctive and too many people wear it. So you are likely to end up smelling just like that other guy.

    24 December, 2008

    jon47's avatar

    Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

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    Lucky You for Men by Lucky Brand

    This is a very nice fragrance. Girls love it. It smells very similar to Fierce by Abercrombie and Fitch but is slightly sweeter and subtler. In my opinion much nicer option and you wont have to smell like every other guy 15-30.

    24 December, 2008

    jon47's avatar

    Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

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    Calvin Klein Man by Calvin Klein

    To me, this smells like pepper and smells strongly. Its overpowering. I think a cologne should be much subtler.

    24 December, 2008

    perfaddict's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Endymion by Penhaligon's

    After exeriencing Duoro, Endymion proved to be an over-hyped blind buy. Apart from the latte note, Endymion doesn't have much going for it.

    24 December, 2008

    julybee50's avatar

    England England

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    Sa Majesté la Rose by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Don't spray this in an enclosed space! You get a huge blast of rose, a hint of green tea, and so much citronella that you could stand on the patio and ward off insects. It does fade eventually and develops a gentler, more soapy feeling with a hint of gents' toilet (pine disinfectant and pee), but still fairly strong and cheap, as if you've been brushing up against the merchandise in Lush.

    24 December, 2008

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Essenza di Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna

    The opening is awash with wet pine,flora and citrus but it recedes exceptionally quickly.I agree with the previous reviewer who noted the similarities with Bulgari, but in my opinion this has a little more depth and sophistication. It will not blow you are away, but it settles into a fine summer fragrance. It is nowhere near the top of my favourites list, but I could easily live with this.

    24 December, 2008

    frug's avatar

    United States United States

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    Essential by Lacoste

    Green, sporty, fresh, and paradoxically - a hint of stale beer. I like it.

    24 December, 2008

    gisette27's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ysatis by Givenchy

    wore this as a teenager. rediscovered as a 40 year old. still love it. a lot. very warm and womanly. there is an unoffensive sweetness to it that i find irresistible. it's not run of them mill, either. I have yet to come across another person wearing it. or maybe i dont recognize it on other women.

    24 December, 2008

    W_Hayes's avatar



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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    this is the most beautiful thing i have ever perceived. that's all.

    24 December, 2008

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dune by Christian Dior

    This was the first "grown-up" fragrance I ever wore.  I bought myself a mini when I was 12 and LOVED it.  Maybe it was sandalwood I perceived; maybe it was the amber; whatever I smelled in it was dramatic and complex, and to my adolescent nose, was unlike anything I had ever smelled before.  I was aware of its power, though, and stopped wearing it by high school, feeling I was too young to be wearing high-end fragrance.  I adopted the scented lotion.  Now I'm almost 30 and recently, purely by chance, came across a tester and remembered, excited to once again experience the fragrance that captivated me so as a girl. I sniffed the atomizer and could not bring myself to apply such a synthetic, incense-y, altogether nose-hair curling potion to my skin. Blech. What a difference 18 years make.

    24 December, 2008

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior

    My two faves-- Hypnotic Poison and Lolita Lempicka original-- smell like nothing else out there. I wore this briefly in my early 20s and have come back to it almost 10 years later. It adds je ne sais quoi to my work wardrobe as well as jeans. Comfortingly sexy, warm, distinctive. Definitely a cool weather scent. A spray on each wrist lasts a good 8 hours-- lucky me!

    24 December, 2008

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

    My husband and I found this one while searching for my wedding fragrance. Pure Poison won, (more elegant) but this one haunted me for three years, until I opened a bottle this Christmas! It smells like nothing else out there, and I was not too surprised to find that its creator also did my other favorite, Hypnotic Poison. LL reminds me of a mid-summer night's dream-- sultry, heady, a little otherworldly. It will be my warmer weather counterpart to the wintry Hypnotic. I thoroughly enjoy wearing both.

    I keep reading how similar it is to Angel. I've only smelled Angel on a test strip, not interested enough to put it on my skin, actually compelled not to. For their similarities, and there are some, Angel smells powdery and peppery, and lacks the warmth of LL.

    24 December, 2008

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blu Notte by Bulgari

    This is a beautiful fragrance, smells nice on my skin, and has staying power on me. I got a sample and used it all, but every opportunity I've had to buy it I have not. While it is beautiful, it isn't really intriguing and I have nothing to wear it with, unless I wore it ostentatiously with jeans. But I have Pure Poison for that. Besides, it smells a little uppity to me, and not much fun. Maybe I'll revisit it when I'm 40. Maybe.

    24 December, 2008

    seasquirt's avatar

    England England

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    Aqua Manda by Goya

    Why, oh why, don't they revive it?

    24 December, 2008

    Rhinehart's avatar

    United States United States

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    Altitude by Swiss Army

    This is an interesting product with, I think, a long history. In 1992 one of the Bath and Body boutiques came up with a men's cologne, altitude. It was sold in a green bottle and the scent was ethereal, unlike any that had come before. Shortly after that it vanished from the shelves, but the scent itself reappeared in a more refined, subdued version (sort of) as "Tommy," and won an award. That was about the time "Eternity" showed up with the same ethereal, ketone-based scents. So, there appeared to be a refinement of the scents throughout the process and over the time period. Finally, in 2001 Altitude showed up again, and interestingly, it had nearly the same scent as the original (and I do still have the original to compare.) This particular biz is more "bizantine" than just about any other (excepting the fashion industry), so who really knows how Altitude became Tommy became Eternity became Altitude (sort of.) But my uneducated guess is that radical new scents are first tried out on an obscure stage, such as a Bath and Body shop. If it's a hit, then the scent is repackaged and sold under a different name.

    24 December, 2008

    Aredore's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ginger Essence by Origins

    I rather like this one.

    It's light enough for everyday wear and not too complicated, while still being interesting.

    24 December, 2008

    Aredore's avatar

    United States United States

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    Romance by Ralph Lauren

    This a fragrance I would wear sometimes, even if it is too generally too light and floral for me.

    I got it as a hand me down from my mother (evidently, she didn't like it) and my uneducated opinion of it was that it was "okay." Light and nice smelling, but a little alcoholic.

    I given it a few goes since then and my big problems with Romance are first the super floral start - there's WAY too much going on with the topnotes at the start and the fact that it never really seems to settle into anything more interesting than an enormous bouquet of flowers. I would like it to settle into something a little more sultry and earthy after a few hours with some floral and a hint of sweetness. Instead, it's just powdery.

    Final vote is a "meh." A good "meh," but a "meh" nonetheless.

    24 December, 2008

    Aredore's avatar

    United States United States

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    The One by Dolce & Gabbana

    This was the perfume that got me into perfume.

    At 20, the word "perfume" was sort of a turn-off and I usually associated the word with traumatic memories of my hideous old religion teacher prowling down the unventilated halls of my high school wearing far, far too much of some bowl-you-over musky floral so potent that I learned to hold my breath whenever she passed or literally gag.

    Or alternately, my mothers collection of alchoholy things, the Chanel No5 that was *hers*, the dusty smell of old ladies (thus, perfume = death) or the Jolly-Rancher-in-a-bottle that I got sick of before I was 15.

    Bored at work, I was flipping though the edition of vogue that had the three-page Gisele ad and sniffed the scent strip.

    Is it too dramatic to say that the scent made part of my life change? Or that my entire sense of of smell suddenly sprang to life? It is too dramatic, but its sort of true in that I realized that perfume didn't have to be bad, or smell like old ladies, or death, or candy, or dead flowers in alcohol. it could smell warm and alive. It could *not suck.*

    (Amazing!)

    I got a bottle soon after and while I don't have the same opinion of it that I had when I got it I still like it a lot and I give credit where credit is due.

    It's not the most complicated or nuanced fragrance in the world, this is its weakness, but its warmth is what attracted me to it and that where "The One" succeeds. It really smells as warm and inviting as the gold juice in the bottle. It goes on floral and little spicy and sweet. It almost gets too sweet in the middle, about an hour or two into it, but stops just short of candy-bar territory and mellows out into something like a smooth woody vanilla that lingers for a while.

    I think it's a bit too strong/noticeable for everyday wear, and the sweetness is sometimes too much. It's a "night" fragrance for me, or for whenever I want to be slightly intimidating in a fun way.

    I've also gotten compliments from men while wearing this perfume. When I tell them what it is they lean in in for a better sniff. Sort of funny.

    24 December, 2008

    Aredore's avatar

    United States United States

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    Infusion d'Iris by Prada

    The fragrance goes on very powedery on me and stays that way. It's a very light and beautiful scent but it doesn't seem to evolve on me.

    I tried having D&G The One on one arm and Prada on the other. At first the Prada was much preferable but after an hour or two the One had mellowed into a soft and delicious scent while the Prada had gone just a tiny bit sour. It's not bad at all, I'm afraid that it just doesn't work so well on me.

    It smells FANTASTIC on my mother. Something in her body chemistry gives the perfume a "kick" in all the right ways. It's her Christmas present this year. She's usually devoted to her Chanel No5.

    24 December, 2008

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    No.032 Bay Rum by C.O. Bigelow Apothecary

    Not quite my favorite Bay Rum anymore, but still a decent one for what it's worth. It lasts longer than other Bay Rum fragrances and has a nice warmth and complexity, with a bit of spice to it.

    My main gripe that turns me away nowadays is that I find it smells too much like a Christmas potpourri or something of that ilk. Now, some may find that pleasing, but I'd rather not smell like a potpourri. I guess it's back to Old Spice! Also, I think this has been discontinued.

    24 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 23 December, 2010)

    Showing 1171 to 1200 of 1472.