Fragrance Reviews from May 2008

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    twinpeaker's avatar

    United States United States

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    Piment Brûlant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    You know, this is a very interesting "scent", and I use that word in the technical sense. I don't feel Piment Brulant works as a stand-alone gourmand frangrance; and I wonder if it was intended as such. It is more of a fresh burst of a idea -- chocolate and chili pepper -- almost monothematic, and it's lack of persistence supports this idea. It's a playful olfactory experiment, a brief scent-definition. I put in on yesterday before I headed to the garden for some watering (heat wave in SF) and the scent was incredibly refreshing and totally mood-congruent with what I was experiencing outdoors. Today, I was making a Caribbean lime/cilantro/pepper marinade for fish, split open a Serrano pepper and was immediately greeted with the scent of Piment Brulant -- fresh, green, hot and cool at the same time.

    I can imagine this scent being layered on-top of something cooler or floral, to add heat and complexity. I agree with what others have said here, but also appreciate the artistry that went into making such a Proustian scent mimic.

    17th May, 2008

    twinpeaker's avatar

    United States United States

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    Encre Noire by Lalique

    I recently fell in "like" with Costes (a fragrance of mostly topnotes)-- I liked the fresh, clean lavender and rose over a slightly musky/woody base. But it has very little persistence on me, and my skin ends up accentuating the rose, making it too feminine for my taste. Coincidentally I also recently tried Encre Noire (mostly basenotes), and liked it very much, but the lack of top notes and the steady inky dirty woodiness was relentlessly masculine. So I did the unthinkable and layered the two, and had a very pleasant couple hours experiencing a more masculine Costes. The old-lady rose association was gone, there was improved persistence, and the two complimented each other nicely.

    I know, I know: heresy. I should leave the perfumery to the experts, but it was a fun experiment....and I might do it again.

    17th May, 2008

    jschonk's avatar

    Belgium Belgium

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    Façonnable Homme by Façonnable

    One of the first EDT I bought. I liked it at the time (in my early twenties), but I've moved on. Nowadays I still wouldn't call it a bad smell, but a bit simple and synthetic...

    17th May, 2008

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Un Jardin Après La Mousson by Hermès

    Un Jardin Après la Mousson stroke me at first as yet another peppery-dry Elena scent (similar to recent creations, such as Osmanthe Yunnan, Paprika Brazil and Kelly Caleche). It seemed indistinct in that context for the first 2 seconds. And than came a surprise (well, not quite surprising because earlier reviews of the scent suggested note in that direction; yet still the effect was quite strange): this is neither watermelon nor melon, but rather – a ripe, juicy cantaloupe. Think of what it would smell like if you were just popping a fresh slice of Trident’s Watermelon Twist sugarfree gum into your mouth while spraying Omsanthe Yunnan all over yourself and you’ll understand just exactly what I’m talking about (Alternatively, try Bvlgari’s Eau Parfumee Au The Vert, if you can’t get a hold of Osmanthe Yunnan for this curious experiment).
    Like so many of Elena’s creations, Un Jardin Après la Mousson can be described as sparse, sheer, thin, gauze or veil-like and abstract. If you are not a fan of this style or approach you probably will not enjoy it very much. As much as I try to appreciate scents like that (and grew to be able to enjoy them for my personal use on several occasions), I find it very foreign to me and my flamboyant and dramatic Mediterranean upbringing. Something in me always searches for something deeper at the root of the scent; and in Elena’s perfumes I can’t find that, which results in me feeling like I’m hanging in mid-air like a big question mark awaiting and answer that will never come.

    18th May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver by Histoires de Parfums

    Hmmm… I don’t think I have ever come across a vetiver like this before – It’s one of a kind in its construction and performance as far as I’m concerned. Histoires de Parfums’ Vetiver opens with an accord that is thin and sharp, but the sharpness is not really of vetiver or even citrus, although I’m sure that both are involved. What I get is lots of iodine: Iodine is the note that stands out to my nose, and while I enjoy an iodine note, this one seems out of sync, out of place…it just doesn’t belong to anything. This is not a complex fragrance; it is linear and sharp, uncomplicated and short lived. Not a bad scent at all, and I would normally give it the benefit of a doubt for its undeniable uniqueness. But its strength and longevity – too weak and short-lasting even for an EDC – makes it pretty much of a thumbs down, so it averages out to a neutral. (But I really like that iodine note).

    18th May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fresh Citrus by Pecksniff's

    I wish the opening would remind me of Citrus Bigarrade – that would be good. I like the citrus in the opening very much until a few minutes into it when the lavender joins the citrus accord. This lavender in combination with citrus brings to my mind a comparison, all right, but I don’t think of Citrus Bigarrade – I think of Eternity for Men, which in my mind is not a good thing. The marine note in the middle is quite interesting and takes the fragrance away from Eternity, but I would like the marine note to be stronger. To my mind, the marine note, as it is, doesn’t make enough difference in the scent to warrant its being there. As with other Pecksniffs, I find the drydown very nice but too light and too short lived. Fresh Citrus is smooth and refined and complex. It’s not a bad scent but I don’t care for its combinations, and I think it has already been done.

    18th May, 2008

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dior Homme by Christian Dior

    Who needs one more review of Dior Homme?

    If you think you do, here's my take on it: This was an unusual scent for men when it first came out. It seemed a bit too powdery, too floral, too sweet. Yet it made an instant hit in a big way, and other designer fragrances for men began to feature iris in imitation of it. I know this isn't for everyone but let's face it: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

    Having said that, let's look at the composition. Iris: powdery; lavender: herbal-floral; cacao and amber: sweet. But also, sage: green; bergamot: green-citrus; cardamom: spicy; vetiver and patchouli: woody; and leather. There is a lot of balance for the powdery, sweet, and floral notes. I believe that balance, along with the novelty of this kind of offering as a mainstream men's scent, is what made it a success.

    I wear it and like it; sometimes I think I like the even more reviled (and to my nose drier) Lanvin Arpège pour Homme even better. Both of these bring iris (orris root) back out of exile from men's perfumery; they set the clock back to 16th century Tuscany and made iris a men's note again. That wasn't easy. Others had been trying, mostly niche houses and "edgy" noses. This was the one that broke through to the larger market.

    18th May, 2008

    jingles's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Perfection by Marks and Spencer

    This rich fragrance combines topnotes of mandarin, cherry blossom and soft red fruits of raspberry
    I love this one very wearable not to sweet, smells more green than fruity A little like Happy

    18th May, 2008

    Joshaugustt's avatar



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    Parfums des Beaux Arts Gingembre by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

    I agree with Isaac's review below, completely. This is a terrific scent. If you like ginger and amber with warm spices, included, then you'll really enjoy this wonderful parfume.

    18th May, 2008

    Margareta's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Angel by Thierry Mugler

    I wish I could wear Angel, it is a big fraganse, longlasting and obvious quality... I have tried to wear it over and over again, but given it up after more than half a bottle. It doas not develope well on my skin, it just becomes messy, too sweet and not beautiful at all. I envy them who wears Angel well! - For the moment I am trying to wear Alien, and I think I can wear that one much better. I might get that one instead...

    18th May, 2008

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jicky by Guerlain

    I'll make this simple:

    edt = citrus, lavender, oopoponax/tonka with vanilla.
    I enjoy it very much. My husband hates it.
    Fleeting in longevity.

    18th May, 2008

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    Deseo by Jennifer Lopez

    I'm thankful Ayala reviewed this one, she is always articulate and detailed...for me, Deseo was suprisingly good. A beach scent is how I'd classify it, and it is extremely enjoyable to wear. Also, the bottle is much more attractive in person than in ads.

    18th May, 2008

    BlackAmberMoon's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Code for Women by Giorgio Armani

    My first impression of Code for women was, "Meh, another mainstream floral." Fast forward two years later; tried it again, and it clicked. It's quite special. Code is that rare oriental that could be worn all year - even in the heat of summer, this would never overwhelm. Not too sweet, either, just right. The orange and ginger are very refreshing. My only complaint is the sillage...after about an hour or two, it becomes more of a skin scent. I'd like it to have just a little more projection. Otherwise, very good, versatile scent for day or night. Will become a staple in my fragrance wardrobe.

    18th May, 2008

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Epice Sauvage by Ayala Moriel

    This has an excellent cedar up front: piney, even a bit minty, almost like eucalyptus. A good wood note, though unfortunately it is brief. The honey is like lovely beeswax, making this a very rich scent (in my opinion). The spices are a tight blend, I couldn't pick out the individual elements. The opopanax gives some musky green notes. The florals make this rich too. In short, this is opulent. It is not my style, but I think it is beautiful.

    18th May, 2008

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    Starwalker by Montblanc

    Starts with a rather generic citrus opening, then ginger emerges as the prominent heart note. The ginger is potent, but shortlived. After that, I don’t get much of anything. Not especially interesting.

    18th May, 2008

    Carl999's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Pour Un Homme by Caron

    Not what I was expecting: the lavander is a tad to sweet in my opinion. The sage, rosewood, cedar, rosemary and citrus don't seem to temper the very floral-sweet lavander/vanilla combo as they should.

    Theoretically, they should add some dryness and restraint to the blend - which is fine as it is, but I feel it could be richer in refinement.

    I guess when it comes down to it - I would have to agree with the majority of reviewers here - it is elegent, masculine, and very veryu period 30s.

    18th May, 2008

    Carl999's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Royal Bain de Caron / Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron

    Hmmm...an odd one.

    It does indeed start off with a "poisonous" openning - and yes - somewhat akin to rat poison...just you wait for ten or fifteen minutes, then...wow!

    Once you get past that initial oddness (I dont know how to describe it - sweet, but sharp at the same time - its like smelling something quite sweet and head-ache-inducing at the same time as receice a blow to the nose), you get to a unique, balmy, very bourjois, late-19th/early-20th-century evenning perfume. It smells heady, yet soft and gentle at the same time. As I said, it's balmy (incense notes), oriental, classy - with velvety lilac, plummy, incense, tonka, wisteria and mossy elements.

    This was unisex in 1923 when it was ORIGINALLY created. A lot of people would find that hard to say today. But then, I am amongst the growing number of men that find Shalimar and Bois des Iles quite workable for men. Therefore I find it unisex, but if u use it this way, do it discreetly.

    In the highly gender-polarised world of modern fragrance (which, ironically, is becomming harder to tell, once again), some people could easily have an adverse reaction to men using it - but used in the bath water, the shaving water, and splashed judiciously on the neck and behind the ears, it can be irresistable on us gents - as evidenced by recent experience!

    Thumbs up from me, and 8/10 (so-so longevity, top notes spoil it somewhat - otherwise, close to a 9).

    18th May, 2008

    phobos9569's avatar

    United States United States

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    Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

    Azzaro pour Homme is Paco Rabanne without the sharp biting pine top-note. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Paco Rabanne, but I think Azzaro does it that much better, and in all fairness to PR the pine top-note does diminish fairly rapidly, so I love both fragrances, but the Azzaro gets more of it right in my opinion. My wife loves the Azzaro too.

    What's not to like here?

    18th May, 2008 (Last Edited: 16th June, 2008)

    phobos9569's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

    I just picked up the 300 ml (10.1 fl. oz. for those on the left side of the Atlantic) size of Tabac Original for $25.00. I love this stuff. It's one part Clubman barber shop talc, one part medicated bubble gum, and one part very elusive mystery spice that I can't quite nail down. It's the kind of a smell that makes you nostalgic even if you've never smelled it before. I think it smells great (did I already say that?) and has great sillage and staying power for an E de C. There are many more expensive fragrances out there that wished they smelled this good. Tabac is a terrific fragrance bargain.

    18th May, 2008 (Last Edited: 16th June, 2008)

    phobos9569's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

    This is a layered, nuanced, spicey fragrance (oriental) which gets sexier as it dries down. While it is very similar to the Baldessarini in my opinion, the Baldessarini is only a E de C, while this is a E de T, which gives it more staying power. For those having trouble detecting the fragrance after a short time of wear, you may want to ask someone else if they can smell it - your olfactory sense might be immune after some time of walking about in a nimbus of fragrance.

    My wife loves it!

    18th May, 2008

    peevish_yolk's avatar

    Serbia Serbia

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    Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

    When I look at my bottle of Givenchy Gentleman I see how some ingredients, such as leather and civet, “float” in patchouli. This is the patchouliest (I don’t know whether this word really exist, my English isn’t that good) scent I’ve ever smelled. Its start is pretty alcoholic.
    The most often comment for this one is “it smells like the very old eau de colognes/after shaves”. The weirdest comment (more precisely, the most stupid) I’ve ever heard about some scent it was just for Givenchy Gentleman “it smells like burned ping-pong balls”. One of my male colleagues said that, but he is not a good example for a normal person, anyway.
    In sum, if you love “old-school” type of scents and adore patchouli, with this one your satisfaction is guaranteed.

    18th May, 2008

    peevish_yolk's avatar

    Serbia Serbia

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    Fleur du Male by Jean Paul Gaultier

    And what do we have here? An average/ordinary female scent became a modern male scent… No, I’m not surprised: in the strange world we are living nowadays.
    It’s floral, very long lasting, floral, partly powdery, floral, quite strong and… Did I say it’s floral?
    However, if you’ve already bought this one (like me, for example) you should know that it’s not so repulsive on very low temperatures.
    I agree with just a part of its name: “fleur”… oui, sans aucun doute, mais “du male”… je n’ai pas cette impression.

    18th May, 2008 (Last Edited: 14th July, 2008)

    Olfacta's avatar

    United States United States

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    Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Okay. Now, I know I'm supposed to like this. All the perfumistas seem to, and Dr. Turin gives it five stars. Well, I'm supposed to like lots of other things too, like Frank Zappa, show-quality classic Siamese cats, Blahnik shoes, Jeff Koons, half-rotted liquefying cheese, the fungus that grows on corn, and other such delicacies. I just don't. And it isn't because I haven't tried!

    It's like spraying vodka on your arm, and then it becomes...unpleasant, flat, metallic and it just won't go away.

    Who on earth wants to smell like this? "Bug spray," said my plain-spoken husband, and for once I agree with him.

    Is there some form of mass hysteria at work here? Like when that housewife in Georgia was certain she'd been visited by the Virgin Mary, and throngs of the like-minded showed up to camp out in her yard?

    People, it may be Serge, and it may be ultra-exclusive, and liking it may admit you to some secret society of the olfactory intelligentsia, but...it doesn't smell good!

    It doesn't smell good.

    18th May, 2008

    mcjra's avatar

    Philippine Philippine

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    Central Park by Bond No. 9

    UBER-green frag., really really clean smelling, really really impressed with this scent...so impressed that I bought a bottle. I fell in love with it at first sniff. My taste in fragrances are really eclectic, so I like switching it up quite a bit. This frag. is perfect for those warm summer days OR nights. I would even condsider wearing this frag to the club b/c it stands out. I'm not very well versed as far as green frags go but, I've never smelled anything like this before. If you're into green scents, I would recommend giving this offering from Bond no.9 a try.

    18th May, 2008

    bookbadger's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mon Peche / My Sin by Long Lost Perfume

    Based on comments, I hesitate to shell out at all to try the dupe version by Shorell. I discovered the original when Le De got discontinued (it is now back with a facelift, and while they stopped short of ruining it, it isn't the same). I wore it almost exculsively at night, often with a black merino wool sweater. "buttery soft and well tanned, like that of a woman's dress glove that has picked up the scent of her skin" is quite apt.

    18th May, 2008

    brokenose's avatar

    Israel Israel

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    Roses Musk by Montale

    This is a powerhose - one squeeze and you'll be walking with a halo of rose scent for something like 18 hours. At least, that's how long it kept going for me. However, it doesn't project far but rather stay close to the skin and I find it includes a touch of smokiness that don't distract from the rose scent, only make it more interesting. Other than rose main theme, I find a slight smokiness and vanilla. This is not a scent I'd use during hot days for sure because of its sweetness. Cold and rainy days or night time use would be great for this one.
    Again, I feel that caution must be used with this scent as it is so concentrated - one press should create enough of a cloud to walk in to and smell great for many hours. On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 would be male and 10 female (obviously), I'd call it a 4.

    18th May, 2008

    knightz's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Chaps Musk by Ralph Lauren

    Chaps Musk is a fresh everyday-wear fragrance for me, and IMO much better than the original Chaps. About 15 to 20 years ago I picked up a bottle at the drug store, not expecting too much for the low price. I was surprised that I got more compliments on it, from both men and women, then any other musk I had worn up to then. Some time after I ran out I went to get another one and it was no longer available. Recently I found a liquidation company on eBay that was selling a fragrance store's inventory. I picked up 5 bottles of cologne, 1 after-shave, and a deodorant stick.

    To me, the original Chaps is too musky, it's the first thing that hits me, and it has a continuing slightly-sour note to it that I just can't identify. Chaps Musk is musky too, but the top and mid notes are fresher and cleaner smelling, so the focus is not so much on the musk as the regular Chaps seems to be. The lighter, sweeter notes stay on top for a long time so it doesn't tend to get sour. It's a little sweeter than Chaps but nowhere near as sweet (and generic smelling) as Royal Copenhagen Musk.

    Sillage and longevity are both good. Maybe I would touch it up slightly after 4 or 5 hours to bring the fresher notes back up. If you like musk and want a low cost fresh musk, give Chaps Musk at try.

    "Chaps Musk. Living without boundaries."

    18th May, 2008

    Stace77's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Obsession Night by Calvin Klein

    This is my favorite perfume ! I looove it ! It smells fantastic ! There is something in it that reminds me of cigars and I love the smell of cigars.

    18th May, 2008

    Stace77's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

    I had read an article about SJP in "Vogue" and she was very enthusiastic about her perfume which she created herself. I thought it would smell fantastic, so when I saw a sample bottle I sprayed on quite a lot. Right away I knew I didn't like it...it reminded me of the rheumatism linament my grandfather once used.
    I went around for the rest of the day stinking to the high heavens !
    There must be something wrong with SJP's nose. What woman wants to go around smelling like an elderly man ?

    18th May, 2008

    coolnose's avatar

    Morocco Morocco

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    Emporio Armani He by Giorgio Armani

    This is extremely mediocre. Smells too green, no sweetness to counterbalance it and not even a typical definition of 'fresh'. I can't believe people are claiming this gets complements from women; they clearly haven't tried a vast array of other fragrances that women like much better. Average sillage, average longevity but very typical of Armani these days save Eau Pour Homme. I bought two tubes cheaply and reluctantly kept one because I opened the box and sold the other on eBay. Once reminded me of being on an enjoyable lazy summer holiday but no such connotations these days, so it's a neutral only I'm afraid.

    19th May, 2008

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