Fragrance Reviews from May 2008

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    mc cannon's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    M by Mariah Carey

    I love the way this scent last and aroma during the day when I work. it make me feel fresh and clean all day long.

    25 May, 2008

    bbj's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare by Creed

    I don't know what's wrong with me--I got a sample of this and had to take a shower just to get it OFF. The effect on me is metallic, and totally horrible. I don't even like the smell straight from the bottle. It smells on me like a freshly scrubbed stainless steel fork, with some anti-bacterial lemon soap mixed in.

    Eeeeek.

    25 May, 2008

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Animale Animale for Men by Animale Parfums

    I've changed my mind about this one to some degree. I now view it as an irritating "blob" type of fragrance. Notes are not separated enough and so you get this nasty lavender/patchouli/gourmand that seems to pierce the nose. According to fragrantica.com, the notes are: "...nutmeg, honey, pineapple, lime, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, lavender, musk, galbanum, vanilla, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, tobacco, rose and lemon." I do not even get a hint of several of these. My guess is that this is made with cheaper ingredients than it should have been. Even Enrico Sebastiano Fine Cologne, which is selling now very cheaply, it considerably better that this one (ESFC is a lavender/patchouli/gourmand with a strong spice note). In short, I see AAfM as a real "drug store" kind of fragrance, lacking seriously in basic components necessary for something worth considering by an aficionado.

    My old review:

    This is solid, and I'd say Foetidus' review is right on the money. However, AA is not only linear, but it stays at the same level of intensity for hours, which some may like and some may not. I like A*Men better, because it is more intense at the start, then in about two hours you get nice, gentle wafts (assuming you only use one or two sprays, as I do). This is important for me because the chocolate smell can become irritating after a while if it's too strong. It may be that AA gets a bit weaker too with the chocolate after a while, but because you don't get the A*Men blast at the beginning, you don't notice the drop off in strength as much as you do with A*Men. Still, AA can usually be found at about half the price (if not better), so if you don't mind this difference that I described (or prefer the smoother ride of AA), I'd say go for AA instead.

    25 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 18 March, 2011)

    Lian's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    D'Humeur a Rire by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    It smells of strawberry creamy candy and I love it because it stays light and airy and sweet, it's nice to find a sweet candy scent not layered with vanilla to give it more depth and whatnot. It smells uncomplicated and sweet perfect for when you don't want to knock people out or make a statement but still have a nice pleasant scent around you that's cool and sweet.

    Lann-Ael reminds me of this, they share the soft candy quality.

    25 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 16 May, 2011)

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Havana by Aramis

    Spice bomb at the opening. Whoa! Knock me back! But things change and the wall of spice and citrus start to cancel each other out allowing the emergence of tobacco and leather to warmly dominate the finish.

    Smells of Cuba before the revolution - sunny and warm tobacco with a hint of spice in the background.

    26 May, 2008

    coolnose's avatar

    Morocco Morocco

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    Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss

    Starts out fruity and spicy then develops into a sweet middle and finally a nondescript ending. Not exciting, original or different to warrant a purchase. Even the name is boring. Not a blind 'middle of the road' buy though as it has an apple pie with cinnamon note that you may not like. Sample first.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cabaret by Grès

    The opening has a rose, lily of the valley, and peony projecting a potent mixed floral accord for a minute or two, and there’s a bit of powder shadowing in the background, probably orris or maybe it’s the peony — peony often smells powdery to me. Then comes a smooth mixed floral middle in which I cannot identify individual notes. But it is an attractive, neutral floral accord with nothing edgy to it. The drydown retains some of the floral elements of the first levels while adding a relatively rich wood / musk / amber base, complete with wisps of incense: All of these accords are balanced and quite good. Both on paper and on my skin the notes come through cleanly and crispy, but on paper, the fragrance is nicely delicate and airy. On my skin Cabaret by Grès is loud and boisterous and going into overdrive — it is sweetly floral to the point of being cloying. It must be that chemistry thing.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fieno / Hay by Santa Maria Novella

    The Demeter version of hay made me sick to my stomach – this one is sooo much better. But I do have a difficult time calling this Santa Maria Novella version “hay” because I don’t really get a hay note here. If I use the Italian “fieno,” I can ease my conscience in respect to truth in labeling. The beautiful, rustic opening is quite catching – it is very rose dominated to my nose. The accord is rose and …fieno? …Anyway it’s something vegetal, neutral, sweet, and natural. For three or four minutes I could believe that that background note is hay, if I force my imagination. It’s a nice background note but it doesn’t stay long because the accord quickly becomes fully fledged floral: The notes are rose and myrtle, says the pyramid, I say rose. I love it. I love its simple and rustic rose note, and I can easily see myself wearing this particular rose. The drydown is soft – a bit herbal, sweet, and powdery: too powdery for my tastes, but in a pastoral fragrance like this, it is quite forgivable.

    I appreciate Fieno because of its charm and simplicity. There’s that rural pleasantness about it. The “hay” note is very nice – especially as interpreted through my imagination. Fieno seems to have an acceptable longevity. My purchasing it would not be a mistake.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Etra by Etro

    I wasn’t expecting much when I tried this because I am hesitant about coriander and cardamom in fragrances; however, rosewood is one of my favorite notes, so I was extremely pleased to find that the coriander and cardamom were used subtly and brilliantly in a rosewood accord that I can only describe as ethereally delicate and beautiful. It is so well done! The coriander and cardamom are translucently supportive in a rosewood accord whose aromatic lightness are more woody than herbal – almost smoky. This is a superior use of rosewood, and a superior opening. For florals in the middle level I get primarily geranium smoothly combined with what might be sandalwood because that’s what the pyramid says, but I think it smells more like lavender. Regardless, it’s well done and beautifully continues the translucent direction of the fragrance. In the base I get wood and musk but very little vanilla. It’s a pleasant accord but not up to the standards of the top and middle notes – and it has less than average sillage and longevity.

    In the three weeks that I tested my decant, I have found that Etro’s Etra is quite an accomplished shape-shifter. Almost every time I’ve tried it I have gotten somewhat different results. The description I’ve given is an approximate average of my wearings. But I’ve enjoyed it in spite of (more probably because of) its variability. It’s a well-made fragrance; it has an enchanting opening; and it’s a comfortable wear.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Anice by Etro

    An explosion of anise opens the fragrance and I’m immediately tempted to wash it off – too much like ouzo. But the excesses of the opening immediately dissipate into a rather straightforward but now nonthreatening anise note. And that’s the whole story. This is not a very complex scent: It is simply…anise. It’s a gourmand that smells like licorice. It moves very quickly from the opening explosion to a discreet skin scent, spending very little time as a sillage producer. Etro’s Anice is an ok scent. Personally, I neither like nor dislike the smell of anise or licorice, and that’s pretty much my feeling about this scent. I must say, though, that I don’t get the usual Etro synthetic sub-vibrations from this one.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    l'eau de parfum #3 green, green, green and green by Miller et Bertaux

    At last! Truth in labeling! My first sniff told me that “Green, Green, Green and Green” is the perfect name – there’s not one green too many in the name. This fragrance is dynamically, blatantly, surrealistically, neonly green. The opening green is not really “sharp,” but it does have a very clean, defined edge to its greenness. It is a bit bitter in its greenness, but it’s not herbal green. It is a grassy / bay leaf / dream green that gets its primary complementary support from, I think, verbena. This verbena seems to come across not as floral, not as citrus, but as green, and it works beautifully as green. I certainly relish the unmitigated energy of the greenness of this fragrance. I find Gx4 quite linear, and its linearity is centered on its grassy, bay leaf core… even in the base where the green is coupled with a light wood note. I applaud its linearity because the whole fragrance is such a fresh, lively, gentle delivery. This fragrance delivers a brightly sophisticated, absolutely intoxicating green, and I vote it thumbs up, up, up, and up.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oriental Lumpur by Les Néréides

    Very spicy – immediately in the opening I get something very aromatic… something rather like eucalyptus or aoud, but it couldn’t be those because it’s gone after a few seconds. I really love those opening seventeen seconds with that great aromatic onslaught. The spice comes through magnificently… I get more nutmeg and ginger than I get cumin. There is also that curry note that some of the other reviewers talk about. Except for the first seventeen seconds, I find the opening accords only enjoyable – nothing more. The fragrance’s spice accord isn’t the sort that speaks to me of “food” – in fact it doesn’t speak to me at all. It’s very spicy and I’m not certain I want to smell like this, and, if I did, I think I would be satisfied with my Catalyst for Men: Catalyst isn’t as refined, but after those first seventeen seconds, Catalyst is just as spicy and has better sillage and longevity for the midnotes and the drydown. Pigeon Murderer’s suggestion of Diptyque’s L’Autre is also merits consideration and comparison. Oriental Lampur has rather poor longevity. Oriental Lumpur is an acceptable fragrance and I really love the first seventeen seconds, but its performance is mediocre at best.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Intrigant Patchouli 08 by Parfumerie Generale

    The opening presents a powerful sweetened patchouli with spices, amber, and more patchouli. This is much more patchouli than I usually desire in a fragrance, and it certainly is dressed up in spices, woods, and amber. It comes on powerfully dark, but quickly settles down to a shadow of its former self – it remains dry and even a bit bitter except for that bit of sharp sweetness that is typical of honey / amber accords – Lutens dry… stirred, not shaken. I can’t really smell the sandalwood, but it is apparently there, providing a solid woody platform for the rawness of the patchouli and the aggressiveness of the animalic musk. There is also a strong medicinal element is the mix. Even at its reduced middle level, the patchouli accord is a little too aggressive as far as I’m concerned. The dry down is excellent; the sweetness of the base finally amalgamates with the rawness of the patchouli into refined accord: the patchouli is no longer fighting the sweetness. Intrigant Patchouli 08 has an excellent drydown, but it seems to have lost its sillage and longevity. This is a well made, balanced, thoroughly masculine fragrance...It just doesn't speak my language. The reviewers who voted thumbs up have made excellent pro-IT cases, and this fragrance is a must test for any patchouli lover.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Iskander by Parfum d'Empire

    Ambiguity: Iskander’s take on citrus is a bit ambiguous to me because I get a slightly different reaction every time I apply it. Most often I get a beautifully sophisticated citrus / herbal opening – rich and full… at other times it seems a little artificial: citrus furniture polish. The tarragon (estragon) is probably responsible for this ambivalence: It has long been an iffy note for me. When the citrus responds well, it more than makes up for those few times that it balks, because it is an entirely engaging accord that puts this fragrance at or near the top of my citrus fragrance preference list. The heart notes are strong in floral – orange blossom to be specific. It’s a luscious accord that keeps a hold on masculinity because of the remarkable balance of the components within the heart accord. As others have said, the citrus accord has excellent longevity. I had noticed traces of the moss almost from the beginning, and by the drydown the moss has established a firm position: The moss – as well integrated as all the other notes in Iskander – provides that special sharp, slightly sweet, musty woodiness which considerably warms the base. I don’t get much musk or amber.

    Citruses tend to exist near the bottom of the list of my favorite types of fragrances. I am not easily impressed, but I find Iskander quite impressive.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Maze by People of the Labyrinths

    Never did care for saffron as a note in fragrances. Usually I can grudgingly get along with it, but in AMaze the saffron dominates my olfactory sense to the point of overwhelming the other notes. What I get out of A Maze is a disagreeable leathery saffron note overshadowing a very nice rose note. There is supposed to be civet – I wish I could smell it – that would be a tremendous improvement over the saffron note. I just don’t like this one.

    26 May, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mazzolari Mazzolari by Mazzolari

    Yatagan with a little less pain, I think. Mazzolari is strongly aromatic and medicinal. I can’t find anything in the listed pyramid that accounts for the aromatic potency, so I can only assume that it has something to do with the green notes. It features what smells to me like a wormwood note – I guess that might be called a green note, and to my nose that note hangs on for the run of the fragrance. The aromatic accord pushes my tolerance to the limit, but I must admit that six hours after application the softly aromatic skin scent that is left is incredibly good… but the journey getting there was just too harsh for me. No, I can’t handle this one – I admit that I’m not man enough for it. I surrender...

    26 May, 2008

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

    I never knew what Agarwood smelled like until I got this. Groundbreaking to use in modern designer scent. Didn't pay off for YSL as it went straight to the bargain bins. Anyway, the opening notes say that Bergamot, Mandarin & Rosemary. I detect none of them. It's as if it goes straight to the heart of Agarwood. Smells a bit like Listerine of days gone by. Bracing and hard to accept at first. Has a burnt quality as well. The Vetiver gives it a very earthy and tuberous-root feel. Somebody mentioned that there's mandrake root in here and I believe it. After about 30 minutes, it starts an ominous brown glow of musk & amber. Captivating, intriguing & smooth. Lasts for ages too. I will add that this scent is suitable only for Autumn & Winter nights.

    26 May, 2008

    musclegod007's avatar



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

    Love the clean Heliotrope note that comes in 15 minutes into the scent, this is a comfort scent which can be worn anytime.

    26 May, 2008

    musclegod007's avatar



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    Outrageous! by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    HMMM 5 stars from Burr, 4 stars from Turin. I totaly agree, I love wearing this one. Genious!!

    26 May, 2008

    RobX's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Agua Lavanda by Antonio Puig

    Lovely fresh lavender - smells so clean and soapy - excellent splash on

    26 May, 2008

    RobX's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

    Tried this only once as a tester in a shop - well - it must have zoomed straight to my brain's pleasure centre coz I keep thinkin about it - gonna have to buy it sooner or later - a very noticable fragrance and fresh too - very good one this

    26 May, 2008

    nenugal's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    FCUK Him by French Connection

    This one is minty and fresh, not a bad scent at all; although a bit feminine.
    It seems that the somewhat unfortunate choice of name have placed it an undeserved position of not being taken seriously, although it seems to be clear that the amount of money spent on the quality of ingredients or the bottle itself is nothing to write home about.
    Some days, I just want to wear something simple and unpretentious. For these days, French Connection UK Him is quite OK. It's quite cheap too. But I have many that are much better, so the best I can give it is a neutral thumb.

    26 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 25 June, 2008)

    nenugal's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

    This smells quite far from how I imagine paradise or anything beyond. Clearly the presence of oak moss has something to do with my dislike for this scent; I have quite often noticed that the scents that I really can't stand, contain moss. But Beyond Paradise for Men's other notes also fail to please my nose. Thumbs down from me.

    26 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 28 May, 2008)

    mikeperez23's avatar

    United States United States

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    Baie de Genièvre by Creed

    My first olfactory encounter with juniper berries was Baie de Geneivre. 'So, this is what it smells like!', was my first thought.

    However, who could have imagined how that crisp, aromatic and very tailored accord would blend so skillfully with cinnamon leaves? Incredible. Not so much as spicy as some cinnamon prominent fragrances that I love, BdG's cinnamon leaf note is subtle, muted and diffuses on skin and in the air like a fine cornstarch talc powder.

    I think the effect of formality and stiff formalness that the scent presents itself with at the top loosens itself up as it dries down to a pleasing and light almost eau-de-cologne base note. I also treasure this as a Creed scent that does not have a strong prominent ambergris base note.

    BdG should appeal to lovers of spicy fragrances, who want something brighter than JHL, yet more serious and conservative than Comme des Garcons Eau de Parfum.

    26 May, 2008

    mikeperez23's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

    This was one of the first of Tom Ford Private Blends that I instantly loved.

    It is sweet, spicy and comfortable and yet still manages to be formal and luxurious. What I love most about this scent, is the olfactory association I have with this scent: pipe tobacco. The smell is not someone smoking a pipe (TV has no 'smoke' notes) rather the smell of the unlit pipe tobacco itself. It conjures up visions of a distinguished gentleman, masculinity and heritage. It is also just sweet enough to keep the tobacco accord from smelling too sour or harsh.

    I must wear TV lightly applied (it lasts exceedingly long) and in cooler temperatures (somehow wearing this in the heat/humidity proved nausea inducing). In addition, the scent is extremely linear. Tobacco, then vanilla, and then spices (that remind me of gingerbread), a very quick whiff of dried prune and then a slight beeswax accord - and that's it.

    Fans of Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain or Ambre Narguile by Hermes should try this one.

    26 May, 2008

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

    Since no one has given a list of notes for this, I will do so, per Sephora: Honey Flower, Solar Musk, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Amberlyn, Vanilla, Tactile Musk, Tactile Woods, Vetiver. Regrettably, I am in the minority who feels sickened by the smell of this perfume. So I can’t recommend it.

    26 May, 2008

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    cK one Scene by Calvin Klein

    My expectations weren’t high (mostly due to the packaging aimed at early 20-somethings), but I like this one. The opening initially reminds me of other Calvin Klein openings and I immediately get concerned that this is heading somewhere that I don’t like. However, very quickly the ginger comes through and it is in the dominant feature of this scent. It is a nice presentation of ginger, a bit mellow. It is complimented by woods and amber, clean and a bit sweet. Not bad.

    26 May, 2008

    Stereotomy's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

    I like edible smells and gourmands in general, and L'Instant de Guerlain is one of my faves.

    Once I sampled Tom Ford for Men and liked it. In a search for a cheaper alternative, I stumbled upon L'Instant. Funny enough, when I later purchased Tom Ford for Men as well, I found out that it was actually L'Instant that had the smell of Tom Ford for Men in my memories! And instead, Tom Ford smelled too fresh and calon-ey.

    I don't like L'Instant's topnotes. I think the anise and bitter cacao beans are a bit weird and don't particulary smell nice. But it's very original, compared to all the citrus openings of other scents. The middle and basenotes are what I love about L'Instant. A very refined, warm, distinguished scent, suitable for a dinner, a date, a party, the theatre and well, even the office, actually.

    Nice one.

    26 May, 2008

    exbrit68's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    Having smelled SMW on a spray sample card at a local fragrance shop last summer, I was mesmerized by the warm (milky?) tea and black currant notes. Truly exhilarating! I filed the smell away for future reference, vowing to acquire this cologne as my first Creed when I felt I could afford to pay the high price. Imagine my joy when I received a 4 oz bottle a few days ago for my birthday! Well .. the joy turned to consternation when I sprayed it on my wrist to test the smell again. At first there was a kind of gasoline-like opening that (thankfully) disappeared after a few seconds and then I did encounter the wonderful scent I had smelled on the card last year. But .. it seemed much weaker than I remember and I felt troubled. The next day I decided to wear SMW and see what happened. Again, the slightly pungent gasoline smell followed quickly by a wonderful yet weak tea and black currant scent. I could smell it on my wrists for about 45 minutes to one hour. I'm assuming the same for what I had sprayed on my neck and upper chest. Very understated but nice for about an hour and then completely gone. Is it possible I got an older bottle? Perhaps not, since I've read elsewhere that SMW actually improves with age and develops much stronger presence and longevity. It is certainly not a fake as it was purchased through Fragrancenet.com and cost about $150. I'm really baffled .. maybe it just IS what it IS. But how does one account for the perceived difference in strength of scent from last year's spray card and now? The inquest continues ...

    I give the scent I remember from last summer a thumbs up, but a thumbs down for the bottle I now own. Final verdict - a baffled neutral.

    26 May, 2008

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    This is for the Sensual Elixir version: If you want a good musk, go for this if you're in the money. It seriously smells like nothing more than an ordinary 'drugstore' musk, taken to an expensive (and high-quality, let's be fair) extreme. I like it, I'd wear it if given it, but I think the emperor is in the alltogether.

    26 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 30th June, 2008)

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