Fragrance Reviews from August 2008

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    Honeysuckle by Demeter Fragrance Library

    It’s a Demeter! Yes, it does smell a lot like honeysuckle, and, no, it doesn’t last long. Mehhhh.

    22 August, 2008

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    Je Reviens by Worth

    Aldehydic / floral opening which carries a lot of presence: This is certainly not a modern fragrance — but it’s a classic. I agree that for a while it is reminiscent of Channel No. 5, but that feeling didn’t last long in me. Because of the strong violet (which I dislike) the fragrance seems more simplistic and linear than it probably is. Within twenty minutes, the stronger original accords subsided, along with the intensity of the aldehydes; the fragrance has become an extremely pleasant floral bouquet. There’s lots of powder in the drydown along with a well-done sandalwood and a substantial moss. The drydown is delicate and refined and quite long lasting. Je Reviens has all the characteristics of a classic. It is a well-made fragrance but my dislike of violet makes my vote a neutral.

    22 August, 2008

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    Almond by Demeter Fragrance Library

    I was given this sample. I would never have sought out or paid for an almond scent: I haven’t found a scent with a substantial almond note that I liked. Don’t get me wrong: I love real almonds. But whatever perfumers use to make the “almond” note is cloyingly horrendous – it usually smells to me like Bazooka Bubblegum on steroids. The almond note in Demeter’s Almond is different – I certainly don’t love it, but it doesn’t annoy me, and that’s saying a lot. That’s why my neutral vote on this should be taken as high praise. The usual almond intensity has been toned down in this scent – it just doesn’t project those cloying notes I love to hate. It still smells somewhat like almonds and it is still way too sweet – if I obsessed about it, it would get close to annoying but I don't and it doesn’t.

    22 August, 2008

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    Aspen for Men by Coty

    From the first time I tried this about twenty years ago I didn’t like it. The opening accord is not as clean and sharp as I like them. The combination of conifer, lavender, and moss is something I find olfactorily muddled and a bit off putting (not only in this fragrance, but in almost every fragrance that uses that combination); I’d rather have straight-forward citrus / conifer notes without the interference of lavender and moss – all four are too much for me. On my skin the Aspen doesn’t change much and what comes off is the lavender / moss / conifer accord that I don’t like. It doesn’t change for the drydown. Still, Aspen is not a terrible scent, and the price is certainly not out of line. It’s a very good deal if you like the scent. 138

    22 August, 2008

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    BOD Man: Tekno by Parfums de Coeur


    Tekno reminds me a little of Ultraviolet Man. They don’t smell alike, but I think they are the product of the same kind of idea: They both attempt to represent elements of the modern industrialized world. Tekno accomplishes this with less subtlety, and less refinement than Ultraviolet Man has. Tekno is also clunkier, and much, much shorter lasting. I assume it was created with the same idea as Ultraviolet Man’s – modern, abstract, synthetic, light. It’s not a real EDC or EDT like Ultraviolet, it is a short lived body spray and it is sharp, purposely synthetic, metallic and fresh. It is quite youthful and not altogether unpleasant: It has a certain obscure panache about it that I can’t explain and that I feel I must give a grudging, respect… but in the slightly longer run… it doesn’t matter what it performs like because it has such a short life span. It not a good scent, just a unique one and I feel like I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m voting this barely neutral because it’s unique and it’s better than its price would indicate. (Edit of 22 August 2008 review. Changed from a thumb’s down.)

    22 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 27 July, 2009)

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    Cinnamon Toast by Demeter Fragrance Library

    No… this one doesn’t work. All I get is cinnamon and not the best quality version of it. There’s no toasted bread, no butter, just an indifferent cinnamon.

    22 August, 2008

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    Dulce de Leche by Demeter Fragrance Library

    This reminds me of a product I used in Mexico and I believe that product was made with goats’ milk and sugar – I can’t remember its name. What I mostly remember about it was that it was decadently delicious and something like caramel… only much, much better. I used to gift each of my aunts and sisters with a jar of this and many of them told me to stop because it was just too destructive to their waistlines – it was too scrumptious to be resisted. This version doesn’t smell as good as the one I remember, but it appears to be in the same category, and close enough to bring up wonderful memories of licentiously pouring that sweet decadence over ice cream and using it as a dip for cookies. Demeter’s Dulce de Leche doesn’t measure up in olfactory pleasure; nor is its longevity enough, but it deserves a neutral for delving up those great gustatory memories.

    22 August, 2008

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    Funeral Home by Demeter Fragrance Library

    This smells a little like my grandmother’s house did long ago: Heavy old wooden furniture kept spotlessly polished: the polish that was used on the furniture and the wax that was used on the wooden floors… Then there are those French rugs that I had to take outside and beat about once a month – they always seemed to give off a bit of a dusty scent. The most prominent note is the cut flowers with the greens: she always had flowers. Everything in the fragrance seems to be a little dusty and closed in, which is appropriate for a funeral, I suppose, so it does kind of smell like a funeral home. It is an interesting fragrance but it is too floral for me. It lasts a bit longer than most Demeters.

    22 August, 2008

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    Gin & Tonic by Demeter Fragrance Library

    Gin and tonic smells startlingly like the real thing complete with the fizz from the tonic. And it gives a sillage that smells like a refreshing citrus / conifer cologne: Great scent – Poor longevity.

    22 August, 2008

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    Gingerbread by Demeter Fragrance Library

    I’m not too familiar with gingerbread so I can’t say how authentic this one is. I get a lot of spice, particularly ginger (duh), cinnamon, cloves, and a tiny bit of curry that seems out of place. I also get a heavy dose of molasses. This is a nice spicy gourmand scent and it smells a lot better on my skin than it smells on paper. This one has pretty good longevity.

    22 August, 2008

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    Graham Cracker by Demeter Fragrance Library

    There’s not much to say about this one: It smells exactly like a graham cracker and it doesn’t last very long. An excellent Demeter scent – makes me think of smores.

    22 August, 2008

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    Gravity by Coty

    This one is annoying. It’s not only synthetic and mediocre; it has something in it that comes across as bothersome if not unpleasant –probably the leather from the base. Gravity seems a bit metallic (a synthetic clove note); then it moves to a floral middle, which is also somewhat metallic and kind of sharp. It ends with a mediocre leather, which, as I said, is probably responsible for the off aspect that is in the background of the fragrance. NaturalBornThrilla is right in that it smells a bit like Blue Strados, but it’s a hollow copy: Blue Strados was much more refined and more cleanly put together with better quality notes.

    22 August, 2008

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    Greenhouse by Demeter Fragrance Library

    No, no, no…this doesn’t smell like the greenhouses I’ve been in. I suppose that there are many different kinds of greenhouses that produce many different types of plants, but to me, this one doesn’t get it right. It’s green, and the green is done quite well, but I miss the florals – it’s hard for me to conceive of a greenhouse without a heavy aura of flowers. This is a very nice green scent, that doesn’t last long, and that doesn’t smell like my experience with greenhouses. Maybe Demeter meant it literally: after all it does call itself “green"house. 98

    22 August, 2008

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    Holy Smoke by Demeter Fragrance Library

    Incense and smoke: This does remind me a bit of the incense in Catholic churches, but I think there is more to Holy Smoke than just Catholic Church incense. At first I get a lot more smoke than I get incense and there is a background of some nice smelling wood in there, along with a suggestion of spice. As the scent progresses, the incense becomes more prominent than the smoke. It’s a very pleasant fragrance, especially because of my church flashbacks. I had supposed that Holy Smoke would last much longer than the usual Demeter… it lasts a little longer but not much.

    22 August, 2008

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    Honey by Demeter Fragrance Library

    It does smell quite a bit like raw honey. It’s sharp and it has a bit of floral tint to it, which seems appropriate considering where the ingredients of honey come from. I like the scent but the best thing about it is that it has some decent longevity: this is one Demeter I’ve tried that has some lasting power. I’m not too into the smell of honey so I can take it or leave it, but it is accurate, it lasts, and it wears well.

    22 August, 2008

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    Laundromat by Demeter Fragrance Library

    It’s missing lint. Lint is one of the smells I often smell in laudromats, cotton lint, fabric softener, soap, warmth from the dryers, and a slight aquatic feel from the water. Demeter’s Laundromat gets the fabric softener and soap and it even gets the water (a bit of ozonics) and a little of the warmth from the clothes dryer. It’s a very good scent – a clean scent and an enjoyable and comfortable wear. It’s also a Demeter’s scent, which means that it could last longer.

    22 August, 2008

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    Mesquite by Demeter Fragrance Library

    I was hoping that this would smell like the mesquite trees in the Chihuahuan desert instead of a bad imitation of a barbeque. It’s too artificial to be a good representative of a barbeque, and it doesn’t have enough smokiness to it to fit into the barbeque’s mesquite mystique. It certainly doesn’t have the delicate ambiance of brushing against the mesquites in the clean desert air. Demeter’s Mesquite is stomach turning and very repugnant.

    22 August, 2008

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    Rye Bread by Demeter Fragrance Library

    I do not quite agree with the naming of this one… Okay, they got the caraway right, but I’m getting just a little of the rye: Maybe this should have been named “caraway” or “kummel” instead of “Rye Bread.” This olfactory emphasis on caraway is very prejudicial because caraway seed isn’t the only thing that is good as a seasoning taste in rye bread. I like also like dill seed as the “seed” ingredient. Under Demeter’s labeling system, rye bread that’s made with dill seed would not pass as rye bread.

    But all that’s beside the point because I actually I enjoy this fragrance very much. The caraway note is aromatic and refreshing. I don’t really want to smell like this but it is a fun scent. Like most Demeters, it has poor longevity.

    22 August, 2008

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    Snow by Demeter Fragrance Library

    It sort of gives me the impression of snow if I allow my nose and brain to stray to an extremely loose interpretation. I grew up in a place where snow usually covered the ground for five months of the year. Snow doesn’t have a smell, but snow has an ambiance because of the environmental surroundings of those places where there is a lot of snow: those environments have smells… pine trees, mud, fallen leaves, soot, even. I guess Demeter’s Snow ambiances those smells very well well: It is ozonic and fresh, and there are traces of grass and dirt and other miscellanea. I like this scent, but I don’t think it smells like snow. 113

    22 August, 2008

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    Tomato by Demeter Fragrance Library

    I love tomatoes, but I was not looking forward to trying out this fragrance because I don’t think of the tomato smell as highly desirable as a fragrance. There are a couple of green fragrances I like that have a tomato leaf note in them, but to have that note as the total fragrance isn’t a great idea as far as I’m concerned. Demeter Tomato smells like a tomato plant / leaves rather than an actual tomato, and I find it somewhat okay as a scent – it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, if fact, as a copy of the tomato plant, it is quite successful. What more or less saves the fragrance is that it gets more complex as it moves through its pyramid. It begins as a tomato leaf scent and stays that way for a rather long time, but then takes on a slight, but important floral note. The result is a nice scent that I can appreciate but don’t want to wear. Good job, Demeter, and you even made this one with more than typical Demeter longevity.

    22 August, 2008

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    Vétiver de Puig by Antonio Puig


    Vetiver de Puig is a good all-around vetiver value. It’s a clear, rather simple vetiver without the citrus, the tobacco, or the price of Guerlain’s. More subtle than many others and not dependent on other notes to fulfill its vetiverian mission, Vetiver de Puig meets my requirements for a decent daytime wear. And the fact that it is not expensive contributes to the cause. I used to wear it often, because its performance was quite good, except for the occasional alcohol after-tang that sometimes occurs with its use. The vetiver accord itself is a compromise between the raw version (which I love) and the refined version (which I also love) of vetiver. Its application is not fussy. For light vetivers I have since come to prefer the vetivers presented in the traditional cologne format. I now prefer Roger and Gallet Vetyver for the casual purposes where I used to wear Puig Vetiver. R&G’s doesn’t last as long as the Puig, but it’s a better smelling, more refined, and even more wearable fragrance. (Edit of 22 August 2008 review.)

    22 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 19 June, 2009)

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    Cologne Sologne by Nicolaï

    A very good citrus splash cologne that could compete with some of the best of the citrus cologne category: Cologne Sologne by Parfuns de Nicolai is refreshingly interesting because of its softer take on the cologne concept. It begins with a strong neroli, bergamot, and lemon verbena accord – quite pristine, but without the usual sharp preciseness of such accords. I get an aromatic rosemary note along with the citrus, but, on moving to the middle, the fragrance becomes pretty much a floral fragrance: orange blossom… orange blossom with a strong citrus background. As floral as the fragrance is, I find it acceptably masculine. The entire ambiance is clean and fresh in a sort of polished way. Cologne Sologne is an excellent splash. I, myself, am not going to buy it because I prefer a brighter, sharper, more traditional citrus than this one offers. This is too sophisticated a version of cologne and I, at present, prefer the more rustic, traditional types, but it is only personal preference, not a judgement against the very real high quality of this fragrance. Like most cologne splashes, it has poor longevity.

    22 August, 2008

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    Thunderstorm by Demeter Fragrance Library

    OK! Here is my thunderstorm history: For almost fifty years I’ve experienced thunderstorms in an important thunderstorm corridor of North America: from the forests of Ontario around Lake Nipigon to the northwest corner of Missouri and many points in between. I think Demeter Thunderstorm is realistic: The ozone, the smell of electrically charged dust, the rain, the dry dirt disturbed by raindrops. This catches those odors: It’s almost like experiencing an actually thunderstorm – the only things missing are the sounds and the feel of that palpable bit of electric static in the air that is especially prominent around and amid trees. I don’t really use Thunderstorm as a cologne, but I enjoy the room spray, and it lasts longer than the personal spray.

    22 August, 2008

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    Cuba Orange by Cuba Paris

    Cuba Orange is one of the few complete losers in this house of economical fragrances. Its main note is a super sweet plasticy orange note – I think it has some lavender and some spices in it too, but the synthetic orange note takes total control. EricM is right in that the accord doesn’t develop; it just stays on as cloying linear boredom.

    22 August, 2008

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    Wet Garden by Demeter Fragrance Library

    Wet Garden smells like a wet garden. It has rose, carnation, earth, water, and green notes combined in complex, rather refined accords. It’s unusual among Demeters in its complexity – much more so than most of the other Demeters I’ve tried. The floral and green quite nicely balance each other, and the water and dirt are excellent supports to the main accord. It’s a nice fragrance – very accurate – too floral for me personally but it’s a well put-together fragrance.

    22 August, 2008

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    New Zealand by Demeter Fragrance Library

    This one puts me at a disadvantage because with most of the other Demeters, I’ve had some acquaintance with the object(s) that the fragrance names. Unfortunately I’ve never been to New Zealand, but I’m thrilled to think that now I will have to travel there just to see if this fragrance is accurate.

    The fragrance mainly smells of green, lots of green – sharp, strong, mostly unidentified green, but there is an identifiable grass smell in it – I’m not so sure of what the other greens are. I get some earth in there and I get leaves and bark from trees. So, New Zealand is a place of grass, dirt, and trees…. hmmm… imagine that!

    I think it smells quite masculine. It’s an okay scent.

    22 August, 2008

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    Embrace by Mark Cross

    Whoa, something different about the way Embrace begins — I’m not sure what accounts for the unusual accord, perhaps the combination of champagne and rose – magnified, I suppose, by the aldehydes. It’s interesting to say the least … sort of citrus – rosy - boozy - metallic. The top doesn’t project very strongly from my skin, and the fragrance eventually settles down to a neutral, floral middle that sends off barely adequate sillage. Embrace is floral, but it’s not flowery in the usual sense, especially when the sandalwood from the base kicks in with its light, rather rustic musky / woody accord. Embrace started out interesting, dulled down, then picked up a little more interest at the end – but not enough. It’s an okay fragrance but nothing special.

    22 August, 2008

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    Jelly Belly Mango Pineapple Salsa by Demeter Fragrance Library

    This one came as a free Pick-Me-Up bottle in an order from Demeter. I can’t find it on the Demeter website so I assume that it has been discontinued. Mango Pineapple Salsa? Certainly not one that I would have ordered myself: All three of the “ingredients” are things I would much rather eat than emit odors of. But Mango Pineapple Salsa is a downright pleasant fragrance: Strongly tropical with mango and pineapple, of course, and with a salsa sharpness in the background. The fruit, especially pineapple, come through more strongly than the salsa, but the salsa does a good job in reducing the tropical exuberance of the fruit. It’s not something I would wear unless I’m at a theme party, but I can easily see it as a good fragrance for those who like this sort of thing. This is one of the first fragrances I’ve come across in which the use of pineapple isn’t mishandled – I like the pineapple in this one. Like most Demeters this scent doesn’t last long, but it’s fun.

    22 August, 2008

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    Ginseng Root by Demeter Fragrance Library

    As a youth in high school, I did occasional work in the “shang” fields: Large fields covered with a roof of wooden fencing four or five feet off the ground so the valuable ginseng plants would grow in partial shade – the fencing simulated the lighting under trees in a forest. The roots were the parts of the plant that were the object of the all the labor: For a root that is said to contain so much health and energy, it didn’t have a strong aroma. Ginseng Root captures the delicate, healthful, and unusual smell of the root quite well: a clean somewhat medicinal note that vibrates “well-being.” It is a very subtle aroma and it make for a wonderful subtle fragrance that seems to beat the Demeter curse of lack of longevity. For anyone who wants an energizing, sheer fragrance, this could be the one…it is uplifting and unique and has some longevity.

    22 August, 2008

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    One Man Show by Jacques Bogart

    Man, this is so harsh with a sparkling bitterness that takes a long time to give way to some woody sweetness in the drydown. After about three hours One Man Show smells rather good and much smoother and friendlier than the initial olfactory assault. Wear it for the hell of it! That is, IF you have a pair... It's an anti-scent in today's context.

    22 August, 2008

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