Fragrance Reviews from May 2008

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    foetidus's avatar
    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Wonderful opening. The current gives that sharpness to the opening honey accord – a sharpness that is needed to tone down that signature sweetness, which almost immediately is too much…almost. But there is a soft, textured element in the opening that gives it depth – I think it’s the jasmine, which is very soon replaced by a modicum of leather rising from the middle. This opening seems to be a little less Lutens than the usual Lutens fragrances. I find the opening more controlled in its honeyed sweetness. It is complex: its sweetness is in contention with some rougher, edgier, and more aggressive notes such as the aforementioned current and leather – smoked leather. And the opening is as compelling as it is edgy. The middle is rich and luscious with the smoked leather joined by the tobacco, and it holds for a respectable time. The drydown lacks the sweetness that the other Lutens’ scents present, and, come to think of it, I find the total fragrance to be much less sweet than most of the other Lutens offerings I’ve encountered.

    As others have noted, Fumerie Turque is complex and very well constructed, and it pushes the envelope a bit. It has too much leather for me so I won’t be buying, but I do admire its depth and breadth. I also admire the Lutens consistency in providing drama and passion in these fragrances – creative variations on an easy-to-overdo theme... but hardly ever being overdone...

    23 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar
    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Musc de Java by Les Néréides


    This is a very sheer fragrance. The musk and the berries form one of those endearingly charming feminine diaphanousnesses that are delicacy personified. I almost didn’t test this because of the violent leaf note listed in the pyramid, but in Musc de Jave the violet note doesn’t cause me any negative reaction. The hay / honey accord is lovely and forms a fine refined texture that platforms the sweet berries and echoes the musk. The dry down is almost nonexistent. As usual, with a scent this delicate, the longevity is short enough to be a problem.

    The aura, and even the notes to some extent, of this scent remind me of Hanae by Kieko Mecheri and Fraicheur Muskissime by Maitre Parfuneur et Gantier, both of which have much better longevity: They might be better alternatives for one who enjoys the transparent beauty of Musc de Java. Because of its beauty and delicacy I think “thumb’s up.” Because of its poor lasting power I think “neutral.” It’s a flip of the coin… (Edit of 23 May 2008 review.)

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 31st October, 2009)

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Thundra by Profumum

    Thundra is indeed weird. It opens with a strange aromatic green / herbal accord that seems designed by committee, with each committee member choosing his/her favorite note without consideration for balance or refinement of the outcome. There are no mushrooms for me in this aromatic herbal green salad – nothing but annoying green things. Next I get quick flashes of dirt that, for several minutes, fades in and out of the now-medicinal herbal accord – this could only mean that the patchouli has shown up in the salad. Finally there is a mediocre flloral base: There are just too many flaws in this fragrance. Thundra is a losing proposition all around … it just does not work for me. (Edit of 23 May 2008 review.)

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 30th November, 2009)

    foetidus's avatar
    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Santalum by Profumum

    I admire the depth and darkness of this. I don’t really think of it as sandalwood, but the sandalwood is there along with the other deep notes – the myrrh is especially notable and quite dominates. There is no sweetness that I can determine, neither the myrrh nor the cinnamon being of the sweet varieties. I can agree with those who say “medicinal,” but I don’t find that aromatic aura that I find in most medicinal accords – I find a clean, dry ponderousness of fragrance that is quite impressive. Santalum is linear; it has acceptable sillage; and it has excellent longevity especially when its final half-life as a skin scent is taken into consideration. In testing it, don’t look for a complex, pretty sandalwood; rather, expect a dark, masculine, almost dull non-aggressive dryness – something that many people might not care for. As for me, I find it intriguing.

    23 May, 2008

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    Joe_Frances
    United States United States

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    10 Corso Como by 10 Corso Como

    This is a subtle rose, cedar and sandalwood fragrance that is an introverted cousin of Rose 31 by Le Labo. Where Le Labo has a similar presentation, the personalities are different. In comparison, Rose 31 is more upfront, with greater projection and longevity. 10 Corso Como is wonderfully subtle and understated. A great place for a guy to experiment with rose. Why is this listed as a woman's fragrance only? Guys and gals will like this, or love this depending, on their appreciation for very subtle fragrances.

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 14 June, 2008)

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    Ken_Russell
    Romania Romania

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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    How can I not love this scent? Despite the rumors about having changes and worsened along the years, for me it's one of the most classic, inoffensive and gentlemanly scents still available today. Besides the discreet, but persistent lasting power of 12+ hours on my skin (although after about 12 it becomes a very dim, yet not vapid presence, it's just that I'm marginally aware of it, even after so many hours after application). What i love about this one is the clean, crispy warmth, the exquisite impression of effortless distinct and the fact that it develops into something containing much more than Vetiver- it takes quite a while to discover what is beneath the initial earthy and resinous blast of vetiver, but after that, the finesse up to the point of imperceptibility of aromatic notes (although "green, very different from vetiver, the spice and even a slight leathery touch, which can neither be described as the dark, macho, Gothic leather found in some scents, nor the vapid, teeny suede note found in others, it's rather an uncommon tobacco-leather mixture, including the most complex and uncommon association this note can trigger, come to life). I think it's admirable that a fragrance from 1961 is not only still available today, but also upholds very conservative standards of quality seldom to be found in contemporary fragrance world. Almost an old-timer style trip into the depths of the (unfortunately) increasingly inaccessible of true Parisian chic. Hence, this one can be called- along very few other classics- one of the last scents of the golden age of French perfume,which, in spite of being a flawless masterpiece, a luxurious reflection of couture, of both exclusively elegant and highly intellectual salons, has managed to avoid the trappings, complications and restrictiveness of niche marketing- it's not afraid to show that it's "just" a designer fragrance, however finely crafted by one of these few famous designer houses which managed to avoid the hype, the overblown frenzy created around the niche frags lately, counterbalancing them with
    a simple, puristic reputation, a grantee for outstanding and continuously kept quality, for sheer, unaltered, but almost axiomatic, almost dogmatic quintessence of unquestionable elegance, that particular mood of French stylishness, which can be natural, sensual, bohemian, without failing one single second to be effortlessly mannered, elitist, high-class and high-culture at the same time. For this reason, i guess that GV and a very few other other equally clean-cut close contemporaries from other traditional designer houses, bear a name and a myth equal to an unlimited, always kept promise and guarantee of good taste, sometimes even putting some overrated, but much more moody, unpredictable and less sustainable niche houses in inferiority (and remember, this comes from a hardliner fan of niche frags)- compared to these, GV is a more sober, apparently more simple, but much more safe, inoffensive and discreet way to smell like niche and even beyond, for the cost and the implications of a designer scent.

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 06 December, 2009)

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    manicboy
    United States United States

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    Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Like the EdP's opening salvo, the EdT has a dark fruit hue too but it's sharpened up with star anise bringing out the blackcurrant more so. There's a dish that I like at the local Tapas joint that serves a stuffed prune with mint cream filling that reminds me of the EdT. In it's next phase, the black pepper and ginger bring the orientalness to the foreground. Each is excellently blended never tilting the balance too much over the edge. Finally, the vanilla/amber accord finishes off much like the EdP but with a lighter and slightly woody finale. Lighter and spicier than the EdP and more versatile for wearing too though I have trouble with this one in the heat.

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 12 July, 2009)

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    manicboy
    United States United States

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    Opium pour Homme Eau de Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

    The opening is a dark fruit hue that brings to mind prunes and raisins. It's says it blackcurrant but the blackcurrant I've come across never smelled this good. It's next phase enters into a deep vanilla/amber accord. Never overtly sweet or cloying, the accord lasts ages on end. Compared to the other two, the vanilla here is more rounded and smooth. There's also a lack of spice (pepper and star anise) that really stands the EdP apart from the other two. Definitely the most refined of the lot, it would be hard to wear this in any occasion other than a formal night out.

    23 May, 2008

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    manicboy
    United States United States

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    Opium pour Homme Eau d'Orient by Yves Saint Laurent

    This review is for the 2007 version.

    Finally, we reach the Orient. Created for Spring/Summer wearing, Orient is perhaps the most different from the other two. For its opening, the blackcurrant is replaced with grapefruit that adds a brighter hue that blends really well with the edgy star anise. Like the EdT, pepper and ginger are here but with added nutmeg which rounds off some of the orientalness found in the EdT. Now, the final stage is where Orient really stands out from the other two. Instead of vanilla, the base relies on a heady mix of vetiver and sandlewood with a dash of amber. It's dry, then sweet, then woody, then dry, then sweet, then woody all over again. Very distinct from the other two. I find the Orient works perfect in the heat unlike the other two which may have something to do with its lack of vanilla. Further, it is the most versatile of the 3 varieties as I could see wearing this in the colder months as well.

    23 May, 2008

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    syidi_radzi


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    Chic by Carolina Herrera

    smells like a fruit punch carbonated drink... breezy sweet, not to floral, fresh and welcoming. love this frag!

    23 May, 2008

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    Caltha
    Sweden Sweden

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    Bel Ami by Hermès

    Bel Ami opens with sour citrus, but not refreshingly sour, it's an oddly stale sourness, perhaps like old lemon juice or lemon water standing in a glass for days. Add to that dusty old herbs and spices rather than fresh ones and you get a pretty musty concoction. This smells nothing like the sweet and floral notes up there suggest (can they really be correct?) - I'd say it's a citrus, herbs, spice and leather fragrance. A pretty classic aromatic/leathery men's scent - yes, quite 80ies, but not quite as macho-extreme as some 80ies scents, this could be an older composition still I think. I have to say it walks a very fine line between the dated, herbal mustiness I detest and a pleasant spicy/leathery accord reminiscent of Yatagan. To its defense, it's actually getting slightly fresher as it develops on skin and that oddly stale citrus note disappears.
    As so often with me, I get two completely different scents on my wrists and in the crook of my elbows. In the crook of my elbows, scents stick longer but they also turn sourer, sharper - those notes that tend to turn to soap or powder do so galore, herbal notes get extra musty... On my wrists, scents are fainter and more short-lived but prettier, truer to their original self, drier, fresher, spicier... Hence, with Bel Ami, I get mostly warm aromatic spices on my wrists and musty leathery herbs in the crook of my elbows!

    23 May, 2008

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    Caltha
    Sweden Sweden

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    Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    At first I didn't like it. I'm no fan of rose scents and especially not of the sort of dry, aromatic, rose geranium like one in Hammam Bouquet. What saved the scent for me was the strong animalic/soapy/musty/powdery/warm ambergris basenote, which feels very traditional, very unlike modern ambers. To me the scent is intriguing, comforting and nostalgic like an old house. If you've tried Creed's Ambre Cannelle you'll now what I'm talking about.

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 08 June, 2008)

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    Caltha
    Sweden Sweden

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    Eau de Campagne by Sisley

    Somewhere in between the fresh leafy green scents I love and the aromatic green scents I have a problem with. Not as musty and sharp as a hardcore old style herbal, but rather sour (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and, at least on my skin, somewhat stale green notes like fresh cut grass, tomato leaves and similar things you'd find in a garden. It's quite "true" to green growing living things, especially tomatoes, but while I love to smell real tomato plants I've realised it's not something I particularly like to smell like. I don't find this genre of green aromas especially "fresh" just because they remind you of nature. Rather the other way around actually - smell them for too long and you get a little queasy, the odour is just too pungent and, well, "aromatic"... That said, Eau de Campagne is light enough to be quite passable as a refreshing cologne for hot summer days nonetheless, at least on someone else's skin than mine, which tends to turn herbal and aromatic scents extra sour and stale.

    23 May, 2008

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    Caltha
    Sweden Sweden

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    Malabah by Penhaligon's

    This is not the oriental they describe it as, this is in fact a very delightful, lightly spiced tea scent. The first thing I thought was "Five O'Clock Au Gingembre Light!" It's like the cologne version of the Lutens, with the ginger replaced with citrus and the woody/musky basenotes removed. Since I already love and own the Lutens I don't really see any need for an extremely watered down version that vanishes within an hour, but if you find the Lutens too heavy or cloying it might be a good alternative. Thumbs up for the topnotes, neutral thumb for the longevity.

    23 May, 2008

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    Caltha
    Sweden Sweden

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    8 88 by Comme des Garçons

    8 88 has the same mosquito repellant note as CdG 2 and Kyoto - must be their trademark, CdG's "Guerlinade"! Well, it sure is original, at least... 8 88 does not have the same emphasis on "dark" notes like incense, vetiver, cedar as the other two, instead it has a much more sweet and floral top and is oddly lacking in basenotes. This makes it sheerer and lighter than the other two, but also more high-pitched. I don't know what's worse really, the dense intensity of the mosquito repellant note in CdG 2 and Kyoto or the high-pitched, yes metallic, tone of it in 8 88. 8 88 smells like a lady out hiking who has had to ruin her floral perfume with mosquito repellant and gets warm and sweats away most of the mixed fragrance while the remaining traces turn even more sharp and sour...

    23 May, 2008

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    jrd4t
    United States United States

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    This is newly becoming one of my favorites. I finally bought a bottle after months of living on samples, and having a lot of it around is very comforting.
    It's incredible as many have already said so I second all of those comments. I get adamant compliments and I'm pretty much addicted to the smell. I had some on the back of my hand the other day and stayed glued to it all day.
    One of the best. Maurice, you do good.

    23 May, 2008

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    bxbwbk
    United States United States

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    Brit for Men by Burberry

    baby wipes is the dominant note. others say baby powder or citrus, but smell it again, it's baby wipes. wtf burberry, you've made a modern kouros.

    23 May, 2008

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    chriseast
    United States United States

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    Bois du Portugal by Creed

    Bois du Portugal is a great scent. I bought it several months ago and wear it every day. To Hell with day versus evening wear. I like it, I wear it, and that's all.

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 19 July, 2008)

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    kopah
    Canada Canada

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

    Strongly reminds me of Johnson's No-More-Tears baby shampoo. Definitely not worth the money...

    23 May, 2008

    Hoos's avatar
    Hoos
    United States United States

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    Fresco di Vetiver by I Profumi di Firenze

    Fresco di Vetiver is very nice. As others have noted, it's an especially well-done blend of citrus and vetiver. The citrus hangs around for about an hour before blending into a really nice, bright vetiver that really smells fresh green to me. There's a hint of earthiness to it that keeps it stable and substantial (without being heavy or cloying).

    It brings to mind being in a huge field of grass on a warm day in early spring: the sun's shining, the dew is gone, there's a nice breeze, blue skies, and a stand of oaks off in the distance (just to the right, up that way).

    Sillage on FdiV is very good. Projection is decent. It's not a power frag, but it holds its own. Longevity is great: 8+ hours. iPdiF has done a nice job with this fragrance.

    23 May, 2008

    illyria's avatar
    illyria
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Karma by Gorilla Perfume [Lush]

    I can't stand the edt - it's throat-manglingly harsh, and you can't get rid of it! It's the reason you can always tell when there is a Lush shop nearby.
    But having said that, the solid perfume version is miles better. It seems to skip over the initial harshness a lot more quickly, and it is warmer. I actually wear it, when I could never wear the other one.

    23 May, 2008

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    questor
    New Zealand New Zealand

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    Miss Dior Originale (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

    I used to favour Miss Dior in my early twenties. I think I was reacting against the heady and in my humble opionion, overbearing releases of the late eighties and early nineties! Miss Dior was so much more restrained and sophisticated in tone and style compared to her descendent, the outrageous and attention seeking 'enfant terrible' that was so aptly christened 'Poison.' When I discovered Miss Dior in all her classic almost stately grace and sharp incisiveness, I became a patron in the face of an ever increasing gang of groupies who seemed to positively bathe themselves in Poison and the equally overbearing and cloying Giorgio Beverly Hills to name but two of the perfumes favoured by those 'empowered and shoulder padded' to the hilt.

    Although my nose has matured and my tastes have evolved to embrace others, Miss Dior still remains a cherished Alma Mater in my collection of favourites. Someone said she is motherly, and I think that is part of her charm. She has all the right elements, reminiscent of warm tweed, lustrous pearls, earthiness and a bright sharp opening presence that softens and deepens with familiarity and she is a stayer too, always there, always consistent and true.

    23 May, 2008

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    dreams&drafts
    Canada Canada

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    Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

    It’s not that I don’t like this, it smells good, it’s rich, and has an intriguing vibe of ‘c’mere, baby, and let me hold you close’, combined with, ‘I’m too hot for you, boy, you’re going to have to work very hard to get into my arms’. Perhaps that’s an attitude I can’t carry off, or maybe it was revealed as a poseur all along, but I don’t find it very wearable. I swear, it gets stronger and more aggressive on me as the hours pass, I start to have regrets, and it’s all a bit ‘the morning after’. I do find it well done; it’s reputed to have a ‘ladies’ parts’ note, which may be the viburnam, viburnam has a ‘fleshy’ quality, although orange blossom sometimes smells that way to me. For anyone with the enthusiasm to wear it, go ahead, but it demands more energy from me than I’m up for.

    23 May, 2008

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    jatetxea
    England England

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    Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

    Quite a shocking opening, Citrussy and sharp with and floral backing that smelled to me quite artificial. Once that disspated, the heart was quite powdery and smelled a bit old ladyish. It dries down after a while into nice sandalwood, maybe a little patchouli.

    This reads like a bad review, but I actually found it quite interesting. The transition between the very different stages was pulled off effortlessly, with each new note developing when it feels like it should. I tried it on a day in the house in winter and was not keen, but after wearing it out on a warm spring day i found it to react better to a warm climate and humidity.

    I'll try it again, maybe on a hot summer

    23 May, 2008

    Zoi's avatar
    Zoi
    Israel Israel

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    Chrome by Azzaro

    cute fragrance, used to wear it during my teen years :P

    23 May, 2008

    Zoi's avatar
    Zoi
    Israel Israel

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    Xeryus Rouge by Givenchy

    Upon application of this fragrance you will immediately receive uncontrollable urges to caress yourself all over.
    Self Encompassing and never-ending shield that destroys any undesirable public odors attempting to penetrate.
    Only for individuals with absolute intensity.

    23 May, 2008

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    Zoi
    Israel Israel

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    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

    It smells very clean. I like it but I don't think it is worthy of being anyone's signature scent.

    23 May, 2008

    Mr. Kurtz's avatar
    Mr. Kurtz
    United States United States

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    4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

    And what relevancy will any of the many "trendy" brand cluttering the Sephora shelves have in short order?

    23 May, 2008

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    Mr. Kurtz
    United States United States

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    An amazing scent. I'd say for a gentleman of a certain age it is perfection. It definitely has an old-school charm. It is assured and confident, yet never over-bearing or loud. I also use the Colonia bath oil, which is like moisturizing your skin with honey. Splash on the cologne following and you're ready to create your own Fellini escapade.

    I do not understand the gripes about this scent being short-lived. On the contrary, it will get me through cocktails, a two hour plus piece of theater, and a small bite after. How can that possibly not be enough?

    23 May, 2008

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    Gerco


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    Dunhill for Men by Dunhill


    great scent, fitting to a english bespoke suit and expensive leather shoes. Medium sillage an longetivity on me.

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 29 June, 2008)

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