Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    ebbtide's avatar
    ebbtide
    United States United States

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    Yatagan by Caron

    Being female, I was surprised when I loved this scent on me. The initial application smells like a pine woods, yes; but once it dries down it's musky and leathery and woody and lovely. Give this one a try, ladies, if you're tired of the old floral tropes!

    03 December, 2008

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    josechan1
    United States United States

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    Gold Man by Amouage

    Dissapointing for such a high price. If you'd like to try this, just go to your local convenience store and for a $1.99 buy a small can or extra-super-hold Aquanet .....smells exactly the same.

    03 December, 2008

    Jemimagold's avatar
    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Gold Woman by Amouage

    Amouage Gold smells very similar to their Dia fragrance with Gold being the lighter of the two lush floral perfumes and having a bit less of the spicy oriental notes. Thanks to the iris and violet notes, Gold has a "cooler" smell than Dia but they both share the same powdery base which is reminiscent of Chanel No. 5. Between the two Amouage perfumes, I have a slight preference for Dia probably due to the presence of bergamot (and the absence of iris) but neither of them are "me" at all. They both seem heavy and rather formal.

    Here are the notes for Amouage Gold, as listed on The Perfumed Court: rose, jasmine and lily of the valley, apricot, lime and peach, silver frankincense, myrrh, orris,"rock rose of the desert", ambergris, civet and musk.

    03 December, 2008

    Jemimagold's avatar
    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Dia Woman by Amouage

    Amouage's Dia is a lush, slightly heavy floriental-style perfume with aldehydes, powder, frankincense and a touch of bergamot. Dia is a warmer fragrance than its sister perfume Gold and mellows into a beautiful fragrance that reminds me something that an elegant woman living in London in the early 1930's would spray on prior to putting on her white fox fur stole and going out into the evening. Amouage Dia is perhaps even more beautiful when it has had a chance to dry down and is a close cousin smell-wise to Chanel No. 5. I liked smelling Dia for testing purposes but I can't really imagine wearing or buying it as it is a little formal for my lifestyle.

    Here are the notes, from The Perfumed Court: Fig, Cyclamen, Bergamot, Tarragon, Sage, Violet Leaves, Bush Peach Blossoms, Rose Oil, Orange Flower, Peony, Orris, White Musk, Incense, Vanilla, Heliotrope, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, and Gaiac Wood.

    03 December, 2008

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    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

    I was expecting a fresh peppery perfume from Lorenzo Villoresi's Piper Nigrum but instead, in the top and middle notes I experienced mostly whiffs of pungently fresh oregano and thyme. Piper Nigrum is one of the more astringent fragrances I've ever smelled and while it is not awful, it sure isn't very likeable. Once the base note finally appears, I will concede that Piper Nigrum has a distinct black pepper aspect but I am not crazy about the journey to get there.

    If you want a superb and exciting pepper fragrance that you will never smell on another person, I'd highly recommend Ormonde Jayne's Isfarkand. For a stylish, English country house sort of pepper perfume, there is the faultlessly exquisite L'Artisan Parfumeur's Poivre Piquant.

    03 December, 2008

    Jemimagold's avatar
    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Given all the mystique enhanced by odd names and at least one nose-scruncher in the Etat Libre d'Orange line (guess which one that is!), I was a little wary of "Je Suis Un Homme". Well, I needn't have been because it is a relatively tame fragrance that smells like a variation on the theme of citrusy eau de cologne for men. In fact, I am surprised that Etat Libre d'Orange bothered to make this perfume at all as it just doesn't have any shock factor.

    Je Suis Un Homme is basically an inoffensive mixture of Petit Grain, Bergamot and Musk which is competent but doesn't knock my socks off. I think I'll stick with Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet, Roger et Gallet's Extra Vieille and Rochas' Eau de Rochas when I'm in the mood for a light citrus perfume.

    Here are the notes, courtesy of The Perfumed Court: bergamot, orange bigarade, citron, myrtle, cinnamon, clove, cognac accord, leather, patchouli and animalic notes.

    03 December, 2008

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    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Labdanum 18 / Ciste 18 by Le Labo

    Simply put, Le Labo's Labdanum 18 smells like an expensive sweet-ish amber baby powder from top note to base note. It is is similar smell-wise Houbigant's Quelques Fleurs and just as horribly cloying and awful. Le Labo makes so many wonderful, original perfumes and I am perplexed that Labdanum 18 is one of theirs.

    From what I can find, here are the notes for Labdanum 18: "labdanum (cistus) with a slightly animalic notes".

    03 December, 2008

    Jemimagold's avatar
    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    8 88 by Comme des Garçons

    888 is one of my current favorite perfumes but it is so artfully blended and unusual that I can't figure it out. For some reason, I always think I smell a bit of red or black grape in 888 (a la Mona di Orio's Nuit Noire). At other times it seems like a wonderful spicy mixture of white flowers (esp. orange flower) and white musk. The "official" information put out by Comme des Garcons is that 888 is meant to smell like gold but whatever it is, it always smells wonderful and "like me". And like a magpie attracted to shiny objects, I can't get enough of 888's stylishly flat gold bottle. Divine!

    Per The Perfumed Court, here are the notes for 888: "Safraline (a molecular derivative of saffron, created by Givaudan), pepperwood, curcuma, coriander, geranium and amber."

    03 December, 2008

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    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Pulp by Byredo

    After having heard all the praise about Byredo's Pulp, I couldn't wait to try it. The first time was this past autumn at Colette in Paris and the second time was a month later at Les Senteurs in London. Even now, I am still wondering ........ what is the big deal about this perfume?? On me, Pulp is basically a grapefruit scent which evolves into black currant, blackberry and various other fruits. It is powerful and smells a lot like those sharp-ish fruity perfumes created by Jo Malone such as her Wild Fig and Cassis (which I don't like).

    I guess one of the other reasons I am also intrigued by Pulp is due to a story that I recently read on-line. Apparently a perfumista/bride-to-be wanted to have Pulp as the signature scent at her wedding and so obtained the church's permission to have several bottles of the not-inexpensive Pulp liberally sprayed before and during (hopefully discreetly) the church service so that her she, her groom and her guests would would forever associate Pulp with her wedding day.

    Courtesy of The Perfumed Court, here are the notes for Pulp: top notes of bergamot, cardamom and blackcurrant; middle notes of red apple, fig and tiare; and base notes of cedar wood, praline and peach flower.

    03 December, 2008

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    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Terre de Sarment by Frapin

    I smelled Terre de Sarment recently at Les Senteurs in London and was very impressed. It is a wonderful manly sort of fragrance which has leather, birch tar and bergamot notes calmed down by a light floral overlay. In short, Terre de Sarment is quite elegant and my boyfriend loved it!

    Here are the notes for Terre de Sarment, per The Perfumed Court: top notes of grapefruit, neroli and cumin; middle notes of incense, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange flowers and myrrh; and base notes of benzoin, amyris, vanilla and tobacco.

    03 December, 2008

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    Jemimagold
    United States United States

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    Poivre 23 by Le Labo

    I recently smelled Le Labo's Poivre 23 at the Le Labo counter at Liberty's in London and was pretty disappointed. From all the reviews I'd read beforehand and given its apparent emphasis on pepper which is one of my favorite notes in perfumery, I was sure I would love it. And I didn't. Not even a little bit.

    To me, Poivre 23 is chiefly a sweet ambery fragrance to which has been added a glug of vanilla, dollop of tobacco and a meager sprinkling of pepper. It smells like an inexpensive, cheap-ish cousin to Le Labo's Patchouli 24 (which I like but in very sparing amounts as further explained in that review) and shares a number of the same notes.

    If you want a quality "rev up your engines" pepper fragrance that you will never smell on another person, I'd highly recommend Ormonde Jayne's Isfarkand. For a stylish, red cashmere turtleneck sort of pepper perfume, there is the endlessly exquisite L'Artisan Parfumeur's Poivre Piquant.

    Here are Poivre 23's notes, courtesy of The Perfumed Court: pepper, cistus labdanum, incense, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, gaiac and styrax.

    03 December, 2008

    Goldaline's avatar
    Goldaline
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Jean Paul Gaultier Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

    The EDP is a different fragrance from the EDT because they have different constitutents. The bottles are different, too, so I don't know why some people are so confused about the fact that they smell different!

    I prefer the EDT. It's a pleasant fragrance and long lasting. My only problem with it is that it's so popular here in England that one tends to smell it on virtually every young woman and it's instantly recognisable as JPG.

    03 December, 2008

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    twinpeaker
    United States United States

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    Zizan by Ormonde Jayne

    I found this to be reassuringly nostalgic without being a blatant copy of anything else. There is a very warm floral heart amid the earthy spiciness. It is not high art, but there are times when I enjoy a scent like this, the olfactory equivalent of comfort food.

    03 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 14 December, 2008)

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    perfaddict
    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Amber Sultan! This scent delivers as much as the name evokes. Starts with an opening blast of spicy amber, drying down to an interplay of vanilla and amber, amber being dominant. I suspect that some animalic musk lurks deep in the mix, as i get this almost fleeting, almost subconcious whiff especially in the high temperatures here.

    I bought AS for my wife and have had plenty of time to "experience" it on her, and she does likes the powerful stuff! I actually scored investment-volume brownie points with the gift. It seems AS will always feature in our wardrobe from here on.

    A powerful, erotic fragrance. You want compliments? Spritz on some AS. Multiple thumbs up!

    03 December, 2008

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    DawnLady
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Louve by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I have to be in the right mood for this one. I actually like the initial strong bitter almond, which later settles down and gently mingles with the fruit, vanilla and amber notes, though the almond and sweetness still predominate. I find it lasts a long time on my skin - still definitely present after 9-10 hours. Sometimes I find it soothing and comforting - but other times I just find it too sweet and a bit sickly, so I won't be buying a full bottle. Definitely worth a try, though.

    03 December, 2008

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    da_markos
    Poland Poland

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    Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

    hmm it's quite nice... but it just smells like nivea shaving cream for 1$ !!!!! so i will buy this cream....

    03 December, 2008

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    Bardfield
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    You can't improve on some things, HP sauce, Marmite, Mozart, Shakespeare, Laphroaig. You might not like them, but of their type they are unbeatable, because of their type they are the best. In my opinion of course !
    Cool Water is in this eclectic grouping for me. If you like the fresh fougere types, then this is surely the one.
    This part of the fragrance sphere is not actually my favourite, and Cool Water is the only one I wear.

    03 December, 2008

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    Bardfield
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    Musty Musky.
    There is something slightly strange, it is very masculine, but its the type of masculine you find creeping eeriely out of the shadows. I can imagine it being worn by Valentine Dyall as "The Man in Black"
    The basenotes go on for ages.

    03 December, 2008

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    Truffles
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Infusion d'Iris by Prada

    I sprayed a bit of this on my hand today. Can't decide if I like it or not but suspect I wouldn't be able to wear it. It smells a little bit like Moschino's Cheap and Chic to me.

    03 December, 2008

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    derango1
    United States United States

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    Michael for Men by Michael Kors

    I really, really like this scent. Unfortunately, I only get around 2 hours or so before it seems to fade completely off my skin. This is very disappointing because the opening punches me in the nose, but the dry down smells great.

    03 December, 2008

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    Hema
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

    A stunning name and much positive praise for this scent together with a real desire to find that this is also my ‘one’ was simply not enough to convince my olfactory senses. As smells can evoke strong memories, I expect we all have in common the memories of older style scents on our more senior family/friends when we were children so it has a certain comforting ‘roundness’. For me, it brought forth images of an old lady tending her lavender flowers, who, because of personal problems has to wear a lot of talc to, ahem…mop things up. A lady who bakes a lot of cakes and has been wearing the same apricot lipstick for ten years (which now emits that old lipstick smell); the odours of which all combine to give us l’heure bleue. I was really disappointed with this one, didn’t suit me at all.

    03 December, 2008

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    aithlon
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Shogun by Alain Delon

    I just love this scent , its amazing .... so fresh and clean ...true it only lasts about 4 hours but that means I can put some more on ....

    03 December, 2008

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    CoL
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Porsche Design Essence by Porsche

    Well as usual I rather like this! Its part of the range I'm selling at the moment and is proving rather popular too! Maybe you need to give it some time on the skin?

    04 December, 2008

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    gmm150
    United States United States

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    Polo Black by Ralph Lauren

    I agree there is nothing Black about Polo Black. BUT I do like the scent. It may not be unique and have depth. It does smell fresh, a bit citrusy, and very likeable. It is far from offensive and I do not think many people would say that they hate it. They just might not like it.

    04 December, 2008

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    JaimeB
    United States United States

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    Marquis by Anglia Perfumery

    To my nose, this is very reminiscent of Floris JF. Looking at the published pyramids, there is only a superficial resemblance, but I feel haunted by the similarity in overall impression. The biggest difference is in the opening, where the neroli note in this gives a much sweeter impression than JF. The wormwood (artemisia) note makes the JF a little more "medicinal" also. In Marquis, juniper, neroil, and galbanum join citrus notes to add complexity in the top notes. Lavender and herbal notes are the chief components of the heart, with clary sage, rosemary, basil and mint featured there; spicy coriander and green angelica add depth in the heart as well. "Exotic spices" make the interest in the base note, supported by the usual suspects: amber, moss, and woody notes. Overall impressions of Marquis include: an opening that is fresh, but also a bit sharp and definitely sweet at the same time; good projection and sillage with a decent longevity; and a markedly mellower drydown, for which one must wait a good hour or more. Not for the timid, but if you like green, herbal, a little sweet, lavender, and hints of spice, this could be for you. As for me, I'm quite happy to wear this bit of nostalgia from 1928.

    04 December, 2008

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    JaimeB
    United States United States

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    Sandringham by Crown Perfumery

    Some have called this a chypre, but the predominance of lavender in it makes it seem more of a fougère to me. That is neither here nor there, I suppose. What is interesting about this is the sort of old-world, old-school masculine vibe that was so dominant in men's scents until thirty years ago or so. Dating from 1873, Sandringham (named for Sandringham House, a crown estate of the British royal family in Norfolk) seems like a snapshot of mid-to-late-Victorian masculine elegance and (perhaps not too happily) probity. It does have a bit of the stuffed shirt about it. At the same time, the woody base in the back note is a tad rougher, leading the redoubtable Baron de Charlus (channeled as archly as ever by our own Naed_Nitram) to allege that it has "perhaps a hint of the royal brothel about it." The drydown is softer, and comes fairly promptly, though it lasts quite a long time. In fact, for longevity, this is one of the more remarkable scents. It is getting hard to find, as with so many bygone classics; nonetheless lovers of period pieces will quite likely adore this.

    04 December, 2008

    RCavs's avatar
    RCavs
    Brazil Brazil

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    Davidoff Adventure by Davidoff

    Well, I bought this one blind after reading somewhere it as refreshing, revigorating and all that "bla bla bla"... It was cheap and even though I knew the risk I was taking, I decided to get it. My impressions are far from others basenoters ones. For me it's pretty similar to Burberry (the old one, that was once called London).
    It's really close, just fresher, less pungent. I'd say it should be called "L'Eau de Burberry". I don't recommed it for the ones that dislike pepper. Although Adventure can be classified as a refreshing fragrance, its spicy character is stronger than its freshness.
    it's for sure, non-original, but still an enjoyable casual fragrance.

    04 December, 2008

    the_oriental's avatar
    the_oriental


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    Jivago 24k Men by Jivago

    Incredibly sweet at the outset - but not in an unpleasant way. Stays sweets for a long time and certainly fills the room. I had a colleague across the hall turn over make 'take it easy' gestures when I spritzed it on in the office. Reminds me Creed imperial, and not just because of the gold associations, albeit at a much lower price point. So all it good.

    04 December, 2008

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    zztopp
    United States United States

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    Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

    Notes:
    Top: Clary Sage, Lemon, Bergamot, Rosewood
    Heart: Nutmeg, Clove, Thyme, Ozone
    Base: Cedar, Sandal, Fir, Musk

    Kenzo pour homme (KPH) is one of the first and (still) one of the finest marine/aquatics on the markets. Jump into the boat, take in the fresh sea air, and lets go on a sailing adventure !

    Kph initiates the adventure by opening with a burst of lemony citrus tag teamed by the woody-floral aroma of rosewood which slowly leads to a rumbling ozone/marine note. The "ozone" note at first displays light seaweed-y facets before increasing in intensity to transform into an iodine like note with salty highlights (due to nutmeg) and then further morphs into a "fisherman BO" smell...before it all becomes overwhelming, the airy clove note kicks in and forms a bridge to the wonderful base of balsam fir, sandalwood and musk. There is no "aLL marRinez Are chEapo syhteTiXs" feel to the marine note, and the green-minty-balsamic fir provides an refreshing counterpart to the marine splash of the first half. The shift between the two phases is handled with utmost skill (the clove providing the link).

    KPH is not as stormy or daring as Erolfa, or as floral as Mare, nor as seaweedy as Bulgari Aqua. It has its own distinct character. The bottle illustrates the experience well: Imagine sailing down the Pacific ocean, with the air redolent of the salty sea aroma and coniferous trees of the nearby land shore..

    Rating: 8.75/10.0

    04 December, 2008

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    tvlampboy
    United States United States

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    Mat; Very Male by Masakï Matsushïma

    Fan of anise notes? This one's far more subtle in its use of anise than are Rive Gauche (star anise) and Lolita Lempicka for Men (traditional anise times ten).

    Still, I would think twice about buying this one for a romantic frag or a "party" frag as it's got longevity, yes, but very little sillage. Nice office choice for colder climes.

    04 December, 2008

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