Fragrance Reviews from August 2008

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    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Thyme by Madini

    For the first ten minutes I get more of a motor oil note than a thyme note. As a matter of fact, immediately following the motor oil is a rubber tire thing that is pretty accurate. Is this meant to be another garage scent? Yes it is… now I get the vinyl seat thing. The vinyl must be the drydown because it stays a long time. I’ve gotta vote no on Thyme: the accords are not really pleasant, and it actually burns my skin where applied. It burns my nose, too. Uh uh, no… I don’t think so, not this one…it is vile.

    23 August, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Green Datura by Voluspa

    Datura, also called moonflower, is a floral that I am not familiar with, and I don’t think I’m much smarter after smelling this: I get a green apple note and lemon flower note and freesia, but I can’t identify the datura in it. The fragrance itself is subtle and quite nicely balanced in its floral abundancy. And there’s just a hint of darkness in the background – so soft that I can’t tell if it’s wood or leather or incense, but enough to add some intrigue to a pretty fragrance. Green Datura IS a pretty fragrance: linear, light, sweet, clean, and feminine.

    23 August, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jasmine Brown Sugar by Voluspa

    As simple as it is, I find it interesting. It is a brown sugary floral that I would definitely call gourmand. It is synthetic, but not to the point of bothering me. I realize the jasmine is there because it says so in the name and because the scent does not smell like pure brown sugar, but I can’t really tell that it is jasmine that I smell. This is a sweet fragrance… a feminine flowery / sugary sweet. It has definite sillage and good longevity, but, in the end, not very exciting. It might be of interest to someone who likes gourmands.

    23 August, 2008

    renperd's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Laguna by Salvador Dali

    All I get from this brew is a thick brine. It's so salty I can literally TASTE it. This juice is more annoying than its male counterpart and it comes in a fittingly gaudy bottle inside a horribly cheap box. Like all Dalis I know, it essentially smells cheap. If it were $1 more expensive, it would've been a major rip-off. Come to think of it, it probably is a rip-off at any price. I seldom give a thumbs down, but here goes...

    23 August, 2008

    Aiona's avatar

    United States United States

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    Perceive by Avon

    Instant headache! :( It's a floral. Heavy floral, with something like gardenia in it. I usually wait a while and see if a fragrance changes, but in this case, it was a scrubber in under 10 minutes. I tried! But a pounding headache does not make for a good start of the day.

    23 August, 2008

    fuzzybutt59's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Beverly Hills by Gale Hayman

    i remember launching this frag. in selfridges. (i worked for gale hayman) the top notes are very jasmine,also drier notes of bluebell.however,after the dry down,there is a lot of ginger and dry woods.a lovely fragrance,very under-rated.

    23 August, 2008

    fuzzybutt59's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Samarkande by Yves Rocher

    i loved samarkande...so hot and sexy....now it's been repackaged and called hoggar.
    the original hogar (1 g),seems to have vanished.shame.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

    A skanky floral chypre! I love chypres, so I want to like this, but I prefer for example the dry, cleanliness of Safari or the lush florals of Paloma Picasso. This one falls indistinctively between the two and the dirty wang leaves me turned off.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Le Chèvrefeuille by Annick Goutal

    This honeysickle worried me before I consented to try it because indolic scents usually do not behave on my skin. However, it quickly settled into a fairly nice straightforward floral. White florals are typically not my thing for the above reason, but this is well done and it definitely didn't go funky on me like most do, which is quite an accomplishment in my opinion. I wouldn't purchase it because it doesn't suit my personality, but I do appreciate the quality.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rare Gold by Avon

    What I think a traditional, mature, restrained perfume should smell like. A warm, rich floral that is not sweet or cloying or heady. Well blended florals with some amber resting on faint sandalwood. Sophisticated and elegant. Strong, good sillage, but not overwhelming. Nice job, Avon!

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bijan by Bijan

    Nice try for an amber oriental, but too soft and powdery for my taste. As others have noted, it's just not that interesting and there are many, many better orientals on the market.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Magnetism by Escada

    Sweet floral with freesia, black currant, almond, and a little vanilla. Also a little spicy-- a sweet, fruity oriental. It is lush smelling, with good complexity and layers, but I'm just not comfortable with anything this sweet.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Beautiful by Estée Lauder

    Very heady florals, too well blended to pick out the rose, jasmine, tuberose, etc., but they're ALL in there and then some! The flowers seems to rest on a chypre-like base. Alltogether too lush for me.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Intuition by Estée Lauder

    Sharp astringency lasts for over an hour on me before finally settling down to a nice floral on faint, creamy amber. By this time, the scent itself is very faint unfortunately.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

    I'm convinced this is one of those fragrances that smells very different depending on the wearer. And it even smells different on this wearer depending on the day. I sense the honeysuckle and jasmine, yet this juice is neither sweet or "wangy" (my word for the unpleasant, funky thing that indoles do on me). I have a very hard time picking out any individual notes, but the overall impression is that of a dry, green floral. Sometimes this starts out on me with a sharpness akin to hairspray, particularly in cooler weather. Fortunately this doesn't present in hot, humid weather and BP also works well in dry heat. I find many of my favorite fragrances too heavy to wear in very hot 90º+ weather, but this one seems made for it and is very enjoyable on those days. I first tried this while in vacation in Florida, loved it, and wore little else for the rest of the trip. However, I absolutely cannot wear this when the temperature is less than 80º. It smells persistenly like hairspray and cat urine!

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Delicious by Gale Hayman

    Very strong over the top floral. Mimosa, jasmine, mandarin, tuberose. Yuk.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Envy by Gucci

    Green! Languid, limpid, sparkling, delightful green! Technically a green, fruity floral with all kinds of notes I thought I'd dislike-- peach, pineapple, freesa, lily of the valley, jasmine. But there's also bergamot, hyacinth, rose. A little on the sweet side for me, it is definitely gree-een. I don't quite understand how something without the usual accords like vetiver or oakmoss or lime can smell so clearly green. And wet! But not damp forest or aquatic. It reminds me of my mother's yard in Florida on a late June afternoon right after a hard rainstorm. Thick, springy St. Augustine grass, vibrant hibiscus bushes, glossy green jasmine vine in bloom, and tall royal palms making green punctuations in the sky, all still dappled and dripping with raindrops in the bright sun after the storm has passed. I wish I could turn down the sweetness, but I think that would sacrifice the sopping (but not soggy) quality. Sparkling like raindrops on the leaves and petals of flowers. Wet, but not oceanic or swampy. Long lasting, about six hours. I enjoy this most on warm, summer days.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Safari by Ralph Lauren

    I love this dry, crisp chypre. It seems to live for the hot, dry summers here in California. At other times of the year I feel more so-so about this scent, but when I wear it in July and August, it really shines and I realize all over again how truly stunning it is. It does seem to conjure the scent and feeling of dry grasses and open, arid plains. It's not a casual fragrance-- what chypre is? But I think it is one of the more easily wearable fragrances in that ofttimes challenging fragrance family. Hoarding is a good idea for this reasonably priced classic.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    À la Nuit by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    A wearable jasmine scent! Almost all jasmine scents do something funky and evil on my skin, but this is truly gorgeous. More green than sweet, the jasmine rings like crystal. Pronounced yet, I want to say sheer, but it's more like a deep lake in green mountains with water so pure and clean that you can see straight to the bottom. I didn't know I could wear jasmine! I ended up wearing this with a brown linen dress in the springtime (when I typically wear pastels), and loved how it felt-- sheer, green jasmine and brown linen in warm weather rocks.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Really smells just like orange blossoms. Even though there is tuberose in here as well. Sweet and floral (obviously), but surprisingly very pleasant. Lush, yet not too heady. I love smelling this because it's a beautiful achievement. Unfortunately, it's not something I'd wear simply because it feels somehow awkward on me. I'm not big on wearing white florals, but I love the odor of my orange tree in bloom wafting on the air. Now I have this scent tucked away to enjoy any time of the year!

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier

    Spicy, woody patchouli with creamy almond and amber. It starts a bit sweet for me with the almond. Later comes the cedar aroma, which to me makes this feel a bit medicinal. I want to like this more. Definitely a winter fragrance, I'd wear this with black, or dramatic outfits. It's quite unusual and challenging. Very long lasting.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Purple Water by Asprey

    Lemon scented Pledge furniture polish, but in a good way. Lemony floral, very fresh and clean, yet it still smells purple. Kinda of like those fruit-colored hard, sour candies you used to get from the gumball machines. It's not grape, just ... purple. I don't understand it, but I like it well enough. Might prefer it as a room freshener, however.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Daim Blond by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Apricots, cardamon, and leather. Smells like fall-- leaves turning color, spices for baking persimmons and parsnips, soft leather boots. Sweet like pumpkin kadu from an Afghan restaurant. Sadly, it fades pretty quickly.

    23 August, 2008

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf

    Sweet vanilla flowers in a cigarette ashtray. Even sans the unappealing smoke odor, it'd still be too sweet.

    23 August, 2008

    nthny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver des Sables by Montale

    I kind of like the way Vetiver des Sables opens: and that would be, unlike any other vetiver fragrance I've experienced. In just a few short moments, though, my smile turns upside down. The vetiver quickly loses any semblance of the note I've come to know (and love) and becomes buried in a sharp, bright, somewhat shrill metallic fragrance that dries down to a light herbal aquatic. Having said that, I can see how this could be appealing to some vetiver lovers, or perhaps a Montale that would appeal to Bond No. 9 or Creed Millesimme aficionados, but it is just too sharp for my nose. Obviously, some of this shrillness subsides and Vetiver des Sables takes on a comfortable, casual summertime air, but for some reason I find it somewhat disagreeable and more than somewhat derivative. It's successful as a light, summery, grassy/seaside masculine, but I suppose my disappointment stems from the fact that I was expecting something darker and earthier from Montale. So I guess I'm more to blame than Pierre Montale.

    23 August, 2008

    taliaseki's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    Arabie by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Dates. Oversweet, sticky dried dates... so loud, so high. Top note is nothing but only and clearly dates that you can almost feel the taste on your teeth. After ten or twenty minutes rises a curry like spice scent. At the base there is amber musk and woods. The sweetness of dates stay there somehow. But at the base notes it can be confused with mapple syrup.
    The scent looks like a weird suit designed by a good designer, as an adaptation of the long dresses arabic men wear. you can see it on the stage and congratulate the designer for the creative work but never wear it and never congratulate any friend for wearing it.

    23 August, 2008

    distortech's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pi Neo by Givenchy

    I really like this! The top and mid notes are like a light Anise, but it smells straight from the flowers, not overbearing in any way, just light and beautiful and ALOT different than I was expecting - an awesome surprise, IMO :-). There is a very sharp scent that develops as well in a citrusy way (the bergamot/mandarin maybe?) - very interesting, it is so subdued in a nice tobaccoish accord that so presents itself in a very discreet way! NICE!

    There is definitely a large concentration myrtle, which I love that mixes well with the base which is much less, if at all, about patchouli than it is about soft amber and the signature Pi benzoin/vanilla note (toned way, WAY down). I also get a cocoa butter type of thing going on as well...

    I think the thing that makes this interesting is the way it all works together, it reminds me of things that are in the here and now, but, oddly, constructed in a different manner. It kind of warms you up, not hot, or anything, just warm - it makes you aware that there is something there. It develops like no other I have come across - smooth like the workings of the Matrix .

    So, that being said, I can see what was talked about and what the aim of the composition is - and, it's brilliant. I can not wait to see what other creations will come out of this and, of course, I'll be waiting . . .

    See:

    http://www.parfumsgivenchy.com/pineo/index_EN.html

    Nice job for those involved in the creation of this. A HUGE THUMBS UP!

    23 August, 2008

    pasha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    You smell it everywhere: it is like your girlfriend is sleeping with every other guy in the room.

    There is no personality left in this scent: no exclusivity. I must say, I loved the synthetic Cool Water back in the day, and still it is a fragrance that I admire and remember with fond memories, but I totally lost my respect to a scent which became the toy of 12 year old boys (this was the age when I used it), or 60 year old guys who are still chasing 20 year olds.

    It is very synthetic, yet a good one at that. They claim that a crazy number of bottles are being sold every minute, not unlike No. 5. I suppose this is the men's No. 5. I guess I am the only person who does not think that this scent is cool or refreshing. I just don't get the 'splash on the face with a wave from Pacific' type of sensation. One of its opening ingredients is the mysterious 'sea water' note, but another one is lavender, and this is the note that hits my nose right away. This, and another line of greenness like mint and rosemary. Then you smell Coriander, Geranium, Neroli, and Jasmine with Sandalwood. It is not all that blue/Oceanic afterall.

    Later comes the basenotes, which are a very well used pine, also oakmoss, musky and amber-y accords, and a little bit of tobacco. Yes, pine does give it a fair amount of freshness, but I must say, if this fragrance's name wasn't 'Cool Water' and the packaging was not the famous dark azure blue, I wonder if anybody would think that this very heavy fragrance is in fact 'fresh'.

    It is nice, it is a signature and a statement, but when so many men all over the place are using this fragrance and chose to smell exactly like you, the elixir loses its once magical spark. And yes, it does have a rawness and slightly cheap character to it as well that some people complain about, but maybe it is not because this scent was not well-made at the time, but maybe it is because the perception about the frag has changed for the worse over the years by its self-destructive popularity. It is just too common to be precious, nor intimate.

    23 August, 2008

    pasha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Déclaration by Cartier

    I would say this is the safest scent Cartier has ever put out in the market. It is obvious that this is a scent marketed for the American customers, and other men who love linear, safe, lean, slightly bland fragrances, which had become increasingly popular in the late 90s and early 2000s, and still keep their popularity full intact.

    Declaration does not 'declare' anything reasonably interesting per se. It is just a nice and comfortable scent, smelling slightly young, and to me, a little cheap. The scent works usually well with anyone's skin chemistry: it doesn't have that much climax, or originality to offer. A very dear friend of mine used to wear this scent all the time back then when, and I had always associated it with him. Maybe that is why I had only recognized the positive sides of this scent. Like I said, it is a well-behaved scent that doesn't say all that much. Unfortunately all these years, I could never see the subtle elegance of this scent that some people mention, even on him.

    Years later, I met another guy who was wearing this scent constantly. He was, to say the least, was a complete imbecile. And I guess on him, I got to discover the not-so-pleasant side of this scent. It is woody, yet the woods are not well-balanced, and they feel raw, out of place. It has a very under-seasoned nature to it, quite wet at times, like an undercooked meal. The cheapness that I talk about comes from the very synthetic accord of citruses and flowers on the top notes. They are so tacky to be taken seriously. It is quite soulless in many ways, and far to safe to be anything remotely original. It is not loud, but also it is barely masculine. I feel like Declaration tries very hard to be a Bulgari scent with the beans like Cardamom as an ingredient, or like the tea note at the base, which are signatures of a true and tried Bulgari scent. Declaration really falls short of meeting expectations.

    The have created many different summer versions of this scent, which obviously means that it is a crowd-pleaser. In fact, I even claim this may be the biggest selling mens scent of Cartier. It is not elegant like Pasha, it is not sexy like Must de Cartier, nor is it Earth-shattering like Santos. It is just not refined, and it is way too "I have too much money to spend on scents, but my taste does not necessarily match my wallet." I will test this scent again, on me, one more time.

    However, I do not think that I will change my mind. It is painfully mundane, and even though I cannot say that it is a bad fragrance, it is far removed from being a true elegant jeweler's scent.

    And one last thing, the bottle is absolutely atrocious, surprisingly so, since Cartier is known for their gorgeous and deeply-inspired Art Deco decants.

    23 August, 2008

    dpak's avatar

    United States United States

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    Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

    Classy and distinguished, yet suggestive and almost rugged. There’s lavender, spice and vanilla, but also an undertone of something funky and dirty that makes it captivating. From two feet away it says, “I am a gentleman.” From two inches away it says, with a wink and a low voice, “I am most certainly not a gentleman.” The warm, floral cousin of Eau Savage. Wear with a tuxedo and one eyebrow salaciously raised.

    23 August, 2008

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