Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    theLateDoctor's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

    For reasons irrelevant to this review I spent six months in 1989 working for a Japanese lumber company here in Vancouver, a profession I had entirely no ambition for and which was mercifully short-lived. During this time I had occasion to visit a few lumber mills that were in the process of cutting up yellow cedar logs. The Japanese like to use yellow cedar as a replacement for the much more expensive indigenous (to Japan) hinoki. Now, yellow cedar smells totally different from whatever type of pungent cedar they use for making cedar chests, and different again from western red cedar used to make cedar shingles, etc. In fact, the unique smell of yellow cedar logs being cut was my favorite part of that job and I always thought that it would make a great essence for use in perfumery. Having never smelled hinoki (the wood) itself, I can't say how closely Hinoki (the fragrance) comes to replicating it, but I can say that it does sort of remind me of the smell of those yellow cedar logs.

    It should be fairly obvious that I do like this stuff. The fact that I'm down to the last third of my second bottle tells you I probably like it a LOT. In fact, there was a long period where it was my hands down favorite of the several dozen bottles that I own. Nowadays I wear it occasionally as a trusted old standby, and really have to be in the mood because it's a scent that I find to be a little overwhelming at times. I totally get why there are people who are put off by it... It's sort of like how the smell of coffee can be intoxicating for some, while others can't stand it. Rich smells can sometimes be too rich.

    It just occurred to me that it is too vague to say that something smells like wood. As I have touched on above, wood smells can really run the gamut, and whereas CdG+Monocle Hinoki smell sort of like yellow cedar (and, presumably, hinoki), something like Gucci pour Homme kind of reminds me of Douglas fir (that typical pencil shavings aroma). That's about the extent of my obviously limited ability to connect wood varietals to commercial perfumes, but I'm sure there must be others. Perhaps somebody with more initiative than I needs to do a comprehensive olfactory survey of wood essences.

    26 December, 2008

    eRL00p's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tommy Summer Cologne 2003 by Tommy Hilfiger

    not the summer scent I had expected, but it works quite nice on my skin. It is a watery -slightly sweet- soap scent. I usually dislike soapy scents, but this one has a light touch of soap instead of the in your face soapy notes other fragrances have. It does not last all day, but it is winter right now so im eager to test it out in summer time.

    I use this more as a sport cologne because of how the soapy accords give off a nice clean scent.

    26 December, 2008

    eRL00p's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tommy Summer 2008 by Tommy Hilfiger

    blah- search for an older tommy summer bottle. "Anchors away" bottle smells amazing.
    back on topic, this one smells deacent, but i get a hint of vanilla or some other creamy scent which put me off as a summer scent.

    26 December, 2008

    Regis Philbin's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paris Hilton for Men by Paris Hilton

    Smells good. $10 for 1.7 oz at Marshalls. Smells nothing like cucumber to my nose... I believe people are mistaking the melon note for cucumber. Either way, it's simply, fruity, and fresh. Women love it too.

    26 December, 2008

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nicole Miller for Men by Nicole Miller

    I can't give this a negative, though I don't think it's for me. It starts off boozy and fruity, then once the top notes fade, the boozy fruit plays off against a leathery note for at least 4 to 5 hours (two sprays to chest). I think I just don't like the boozy fruit accord, but there's nothing "wrong" with it. If there weren't several fragrances that fill this niche for me, I might look forward to this in my rotation, but as things stand, I wouldn't mind swapping this off for something that I think I'd appreciate more. Everlast Original 1910 is a citrus leather that I prefer to this one. I feel that EO 1910 is balanced better, has better sillage and longevity, and I like the smell of it, whereas I really don't find anything especially pleasant about Nicole Miller, for whatever reason. I made the mistake of smelling EO 1910 up close on the skin when I first sampled it, but it needs to mix with the air. Nicole Miller can be smelled up close, by contrast.

    26 December, 2008

    Pollux's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    Moustache by Rochas

    The present version is the original one on a louder volume: think of a very traditional eau de toilet for men who has been reformulated in an effort to satisfy modern tastes. Present day Moustache opens with pungent citric top notes, the original also had hesperidic top notes, but they were far more subtle. However, drydowns for both are wonderful.

    Take note this is not for those into the latest fashion. Roudnitska's creation is, even though a reformulation that sacrificed a good part of its character, still a classic, specially when compared to present day scents.

    26 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 03 July, 2009)

    Adama's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Old Spice by Procter & Gamble

    I really can't get into this stuff. I've used the deodorant for years, but when I apply the cologne all I get is a very harsh, offensive scent. On some guys it might be okay for the price... I got mine for about $3 in a combo pack.

    26 December, 2008

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Gold Man by Amouage

    One of the great mysteries to me. This smells great on my sister as does Gold for women, it is just ok on my mother (as is women), but on me it's just a disaster. Offensive when it first goes on, it then dries down it a baby powder, then it just gets nastier in a way I can't adequately explain.

    I gave this 24hrs and it just got worse, it can be said that it has excellent staying power because I had to scrub myself twice to get rid of it.

    Lovely on some, just plain nasty on me. Try before you buy!

    26 December, 2008

    Marcelle's avatar



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    Roma by Laura Biagiotti

    I first wore Roma in 1990, when I bought it in a duty-free shop in Germany. It was a very wearable scent, distinctive but not obtrusively so, but since it was not readily available in US, once the bottle ran out I moved on.

    Just recently bought a bottle online. I was blown away by the opening notes of citrus--not the cassis/mint I remembered but something more like a full-on blast of grapefruit. After the first 5 or 10 minutes, the citrus calms down and the floral and creamy notes I remember from before take over. I noticed that this is now produced in the UK rather than Italy and suspect it may have been reformulated once the site of production shifted. Too bad--I think the new version is a bit less balanced.

    As others have noted, this is pretty powdery, but the carnation, a bit of patchouli, and the hint of civet in the base give it enough spice to be interesting.

    26 December, 2008

    Mapletop's avatar

    United States United States

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

    I bought this one based on a solo review. The smell is unique. It has a more green scent rather than blue. Opens up with a chemical like odor or should I say medicinal is a better word. This reminds me of how a fake christmas or other evergreen tree smells when it is new upon the first sprays. The dry-down is plugs my nose with musty moss. Moss is good in fragrances but I didn't like it in this one. No joke, It smells like the interior of a cave. It is one of those try before you buy. I think that it does have that dirty yet clean smell that girls like, but I couldn't stand to smell it. I gave this stuff away!

    26 December, 2008

    raphael's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

    Sexy, sensual, mature. Very complex and evolving. Smooth, sugary and smoky with spicy undertones that are more cinnamon than pepper. Longevity very much above average, sillage above average. Better for night time, formal occasions. Best suited for a woman in a little black dress.

    26 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 19 January, 2009)

    Aredore's avatar

    United States United States

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    Trésor (new) by Lancôme

    I Just tried Tresor on my right wrist and I'm trying to pick out the individual notes in it, but they're so well blended that what I'm smelling is honestly a bit of a mess.

    I'll have to agree with whomever it was who said that this perfume smelled confused. What I smell is a miasma of a green floral with the the fruit notes biting in with more of a sticky sweetness than a fruity scent. The overall impression is of a soft floral scent with a bitter twang. It smells, on me, neither pretty nor appetizing.

    So no. Just No.

    26 December, 2008

    ural0000's avatar



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    Miracle Intense by Lancôme

    Got this after finishing a bottle of the "normal" miracle - has a very catholic incense note which makes it a bit more edgy than the regular version. It's listed here as being limited edition, however I'm on my 2nd bottle of this and as far as I know it was still available in Germany a year or so ago?

    26 December, 2008

    JoeBlokey's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Tokyo by Kenzo

    Bought this after having tried a free sampler.

    Frankly, an annoying fragrance. As in, some days I love it, I really do! And others it smells like mould soaked in ethanol.

    Don't wear it any more, just because it's too inconsistant.

    26 December, 2008

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aqua Velva Ice Sport by Williams

    I think Ice Sport smelled better than original Aqua Velva, but that's not saying much. Ice Sport was a cheap blue sporty aftershave in a plastic bottle that had a bit of a cooling effect on the skin due to the menthol, like the original. I guess was a bit "sportier" smelling than the original Aqua Velva. Lasted about an hour on me.

    26 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 06 January, 2011)

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royal Scottish Lavender by Creed

    One of the nicer old Creeds, from 1856. This is slightly 'soapy,' but not in a bad way; the lavender and slight clove note are very fresh. Supporting in the head note is bergamot and neroli, and in the base, sandalwood, vanilla, and a bit of amber. This is not one of the ambergris-dominant Creeds. No need to be too sparing with this, for if you go too light, it will not last or project. A moderate dose will achieve a better effect, and then the sillage and longevity will be worth the trouble. Overall, a very classic old-school lavender, elegant, but not stuffy; a good country or more relaxed town fragrance. Soothing, tranquil, but not sleepy; rather, I would say it is more energizing than otherwise.

    27 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 10th March, 2010)

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Silver Black / Onyx by Azzaro

    A bland, inoffensive juice that opens with sharp fruity notes and soon settles into a woody middle with a masculine, musky vibe. Beyond that it's all musk and warmth, but never anything spectacular.

    I'll give this one a thumbs up, but only with the proviso that Azzaro Onyx can't hold a candle to the original Azzaro pour Homme.

    27 December, 2008

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Can Can Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton

    A sweet gourmand I found to be surprisingly good. A tad syrupy at times, true, but the same can be said of most sweet, vanilla-heavy frags.

    An awfully good choice for young ladies 21 and under, and maybe for some well over 21. Pity one has to give his/her dollars to that talentless Paris Hilton in order to get this affordable fragrance.

    27 December, 2008

    coastfansocal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chinatown by Bond No. 9

    Incense and a touch of Jasmine, Smells like the inside of a temple in India or China. It reminds me of that smell when you walk inside an Indian grocery store, spices, cardamom and jasmine, not a bad scent, but its not something I would want to smell like personally.

    Maybe with the right chemistry on a woman, but no man in his sane mind should wear this.

    27 December, 2008

    coastfansocal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bleecker Street by Bond No. 9

    Smells clean and fresh, no woodsy/warm/caramel dry down from me. Sillage and longevity is great, but it smells rather common lik OV by CREED

    27 December, 2008

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Ferré for Him by Gianfranco Ferré

    Kaern adn GeorgeBernard are very much on point. I will add that it smells quite a lot like Dunhill by Alfred Dunhill, which smells like Davidoff Goodlife plus D&G ph. Ferre is very subtle and nice...likeable too. I give it a neutral because it makes a light frag very likeable. If it was stronger it would be a plus.

    27 December, 2008

    Stereotomy's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Incense Extrême by Tauer

    To me, it's the Tauer-housenote (dry incense) together with a play-doh like sweet property. I find this scent difficult to wear: it's quite linear, and I'm not sure what to make of the playful sweetness in the background that clashes with the dryness of the incense on the foreground. It does feel unisex to me, with the incense contributing to the masculine side, and the sweetness to the feminine side.

    Longevity is alright, sillage too.

    5.5/10

    27 December, 2008

    schumi's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Aramis by Aramis

    Rough, very rough, rugged, heavy and very masculine. I guess this is hairy chested men only territory.

    27 December, 2008

    ronote's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bois de Santal by Keiko Mecheri

    Sure smells like Sandalwood to me, and for quite a while. It actually smells like the incense used in the Jade Buddah Temple in Shanghai which I cannot get enough of. The last time I was in Shanghai was in 2005 and I am running out of the incense. Luckily I can still smell it by wearing this.

    27 December, 2008

    Trepiodge's avatar

    United States United States

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    360 Degrees Black For Men by Perry Ellis

    A very warm and accesible fragrance. I don't understand the comparison to bvlgari black, this does not have the synthetic tones to it that bvlgari black has. I heartily recommed this for evening or winter wear.

    27 December, 2008

    Trepiodge's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chrome Legend by Azzaro

    Much better than the original Chrome - more unique. It gets complimentsfrom the ladies. My new favorite for daytime and summer wear.

    27 December, 2008

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Curve Kicks for Men by Liz Claiborne

    Herbaceous and minty, sounds like they should go together (ginger and mint? blech) but alas it's truly terrible and medicinal. Take it back.

    27 December, 2008

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Escada Collection by Escada

    I consider this the finest fragrance since the "classics," and I don't really like the classics due to my skin chemistry (but I certainly acknowledge the artistry), so this is "#1" to me. I like sweet fragrances, and on a scale of a little sweet, moderately sweet, quite sweet, and too sweet, I would rate EC at moderately sweet at most. The cola is quite strong to begin with, but then it smooths out fairly soon and it's fragrance perfection for hours after that (with two or three sprays!). And if you a guy and don't mind fragrances like A*Men (which I rate as quite sweet), this is "unisex." I was fortunate to get some samples at a reasonable price because the bottles have become "collector's items" and now it's very expensive (due to being discontinued; a fragrance abomination). The mandarin and sandalwood do not come across strongly. I guess this can be described as mild, slightly sweet and floral tobacco interacting with the cola. If you consider yourself a fragrance aficionado, get yourself a sample !

    27 December, 2008

    depmodal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    A personal favorite. Masculine and clean. After the refreshing minty top note comes the warm dry-down, reminiscent of that great talcum the barber would dust across the back of your freshly buzzed neck. Well blended, a bit synthetic, but who cares? Great sillage and longevity.

    27 December, 2008

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Orient Extreme by Montale

    I was horribly mistaken... I thought this would be a sweeter, more extreme version of Sweet Oriental Dream - I should have read these reviews first (of course it's just a decant I bought, no harm done). Instead of an oriental, this should be in the Montale Chypre series (Chypre Vanille and Chypre Fruite)... this should be Chypre Aoud or something. I get a touch of oud at the beginning - or perhaps it's something similar to Aoud. There is the slightest touch of sweetness, perhaps rose, that appears along with this oud note. The fragrance that changes again to become what I can best describe as a 'rosey chypre'.... oakmoss may or may not be present, but it comes off to my nose as a traditional chypre base, not dissimilar from Givenchy III or Pour Monsieur, but with a touch of rose and sandalwood. The base is also similar to Montale's Chypre Vanille, replacing vanilla with sandalwood.

    I agree with the reviewers who say that something seems to be missing - it's a base without a top or heart. One of the few Montales I'm not overjoyed with.

    27 December, 2008

    Showing 1261 to 1290 of 1472.