Fragrance Reviews from October 2009

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    Indie_Guy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Michael for Men by Michael Kors

    If I had to name the one timeless and perfect fragrance for Autumn, it would without a doubt be this one. I break this one out every year in late September as soon as the first chill hits the air.

    Michael for Men is bone-dry sueded leather and patchouli, with subtle dark plums, pipe tobacco and an herbal breath of thyme. It has a nice booziness but unlike other similar fragrances, it remains arid and avoids sweetness. When this was released back in 2001, it was widely praised and much talked about-- it was really unlike its fresh contemporaries and was more of a throwback to the archetypal 70's patchouli-monsters like Ralph Lauren's original Polo. Over the last few years, its popularity seems to have waned some. It hasn't fallen out of fashion, it just seems to have been forgotten, almost carelessly misplaced.

    This one destroys every other Fall fragrance out there.

    01st October, 2009

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pour Un Homme by Caron

    A word to the wise - PuH wears like a man caught between a heavy metal concert and a symphony concert. The opening has the volume turned way up to “11” (Spinal Tap reference) with herbacous, dirty lavender smacking around in your nostrils. If you don’t like lavender, go get the soap and start scrubbing. I must admit that the older (and more depressed) I get, the more I like lavender, go figure!?!?!? Anyway, the lavender pretty much tramples everything in its sight. Nobody will ever accuse Caron of going light on it. Plus it is very natural smelling. After the screaming has died down, the symphony begins to warm up. Yes, the wild lavender is leaving with a bunch groupies to catch the tourbus to the next town.
    Somewhere a cello is warming up in the distance. Violins, horns and flutes are joining in. Must be the second wave starting. Suddenly, I see a man in a tux waving a thin stick making beautiful music that Grandma would like. Natural movements are buttressed with natural smells that are so good that you can pick out each instrument in the mix (vanilla, musk, oak moss). The ornate music keeps going long into the night. And then it’s over as the lights finally come on. I don’t know how you feel, but 1934 produced some really good music.

    01st October, 2009

    smells's avatar

    United States United States

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    Désir de Rochas pour Homme by Rochas

    This is one of my favorite scents, I get a lot of compliments from it. Its a slighty flowery and fresh at the start, but the base is very addicting to smell. its smell to me like a very amped up boss selection with better quality.

    01st October, 2009

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Vetiver de Java by Il Profumo

    No, this will not win a prize for fragrance innovation. But if you want a perfectly crafted green-floral-woody masculine with "gentlemen's sillage" and excellent longevity, then Vetiver de Java (the osmo-parfum version) is for you. Vetiver, as noted in the other reviews, stands for green woody herbacity here more than for the actual smell of the grass, for which I'd suggest Villoresi's brilliant creation or Givenchy's profound Vetyver. Il Profumo's offering is indeed a classic men's scent. arlecchino describes it very well, though I get no sourness, just a very green powdery lavender-bergamot note in the top and find the floral aspect to be quite pronounced - but perfectly set in a ring of strong herbs and woods. That long-lasting interplay is what I love about this fragrance. It may seem to fade at times, but always comes back wafting pleasantly, easily throughout an entire working day. Persistent, unobtrusive and classic, with an Italian vibe, this is a perfect office scent - but it's so good it really deserves a very fine Canali or Corneliani suit, plush carpeting and mahogany furnishings.

    01st October, 2009

    evinick's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Gaultier² by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Not for diabetics this one. Although I generally like sweet scents, this one just exceeds my limits. It is so unfair for the whole blend (which is not totally bad), to be ruined from the very beginning. Blame the huge doses of Amber and Vanilla for this rude oversweet opening. Give those two a few minutes to calm down and you ‘ll get the feminine version of Le Male. The powdery sweet musk notes at the base just finish you off. So uninspired and linear. Definitely not a commercial success for Gaultier.

    01st October, 2009

    evinick's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men by Giorgio Armani

    Don’t buy unless you try. Don’t buy unless you try. Don’t’ buy unless you try. (I should write it more than 3 times just to punish myself for ordering this, relying just on the Armani brandname). Aggressive and synthetic opening that clogs the nose. Just bearable mid notes, (still synthetic) and average base. Dysfunctional spray (at least mine). A complete disappointment.

    01st October, 2009

    TaoLady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cool Water Woman by Davidoff

    Picked this up by mistake - thinking it was the well touted original. PLEASANTLY surprised....a nice aquatic with light citrus come-on. The melon/lotus notes are not overpowering and the underlying florals sustain nicely. This is a floaty summer dress kind of frag on me and I'm glad I made the mistake!

    01st October, 2009

    TaoLady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Harajuku Lovers - G by Gwen Stefani

    I gotta have my jellies and my neon scrunchies and something like G to bolster my belief in all things silly. On me the fruit notes are light and crisp and the coconut right out of the shell. Even the tropical florals are airy....works terrific on my older (drier?) skin. Yumsters.

    01st October, 2009

    street_a_licious's avatar

    Austria Austria

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    Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

    it smells like...... honey tea to me. basically LOTS of honey, warm honey, only honey.

    i like honey, i sure do, but i wouldn't pay for this.

    01st October, 2009

    eRL00p's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ed Hardy Man by Christian Audigier

    The chalky brown candy people have been mentioning, is a sort of tootsie roll chocolate, with light sharp citrus. I originally bought both this and love and luck for men, and let my brother choose which one he wanted for christmas. He choose this one and I remember being disappointed--it was the good one. After not smelling it for so long, I can pickup a synthetic background which reminds me of freshly opened plastic sealed packages. It is somewhat like a polo double black with less fruity notes, and thicker chocolate/coffee? notes. Fall has just begun, and this seems like the perfect time for me to start using my .5oz bottle. The air here gets really sharp, dry and cold--these thicker gourmand type fragrances thrive in that atmosphere.

    01st October, 2009

    johnponder's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Just purchased from aedes.com. Purchased un-smelled because of rave reviews. Does not disappoint -- many compliments already! Sweet, strong, distinctive, unique. Does not smell like hay to me. Excellent longevity, sillage. Consistent with high quality of Serge Lutens.

    01st October, 2009

    derekp's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    This is an example of a scent being greater than the sum of it's parts for me. Some of the notes listed for this one are among my least favourites, but the end result is a scent that I think lives up to it's hype. It dries down to a slightly vanilla-tinged amber, with incense and faint citrus notes dangling above. Thumbs up.

    01st October, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

    Basic citrus "eau de" something or other but the floral heart really plays a huge role in this. Really wonderful drydown. Floral and refreshing with a soft yet deep green base.

    01st October, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Lierre by Diptyque

    This is without a doubt very green but not piney green. Leaf greens. With musk. Very nice, different and full of the smell of bitter ivy. You gotta love ivy in order to really like this. Beautifully done but I'm not a fan.

    01st October, 2009

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Habit Rouge by Guerlain

    Habit Rouge EDT is a powerhouse. One spray is about all one needs to smell it all day. Definitely starts with the aforementioned lemon Pledge, similar to YSL's Pour Homme. Where YSL stays on the citrus track, Habit Rouge moves to a vanilla/spice mode in the Ho Hang, Equipage, Royal Bain tradition, but retains the lemon character, calming down to a powdery and spicy amalgam.

    While certainly not "natural", what it does is unique and instantly recognizable and the Guerlain quality shows. Good stuff.

    01st October, 2009

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Zirh Ikon by Zirh

    very soft and tamed incense/woody scent. it might lasts on your skin but 30 minutes on mine.i found it cheap so i have 8.4 oz of this stuff. not a bad smell if you like discreet fragrances but i will stick with gucci pour homme.

    01st October, 2009

    Sybarite's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Rose Poivrée by The Different Company

    This stuff certainly has changed. I mean, I've never really been a fan, even from before this new formulation. But at least it was a passable somewhat realistic rose bush fragrance ~ petals, leaves , stalks, thorns and all, and some added interest. And the first hour was/is pleasant-ish enough. An unusual rose, but then .... a couple of hours in and this stuff just turns seriously nasty. And I should first say that I hardly ever find a perfume "skanky", even when it actually is, it just does not bother me. I fully understand the function of these notes in perfumery. And even enjoy most of them, in moderation. But here, I'm afraid, the urinous notes are just far too much for me.
    It's like a blend of rose, dry grass, pepper, sweaty socks, and piss. Sorry, but I just do not find it at all pleasant after that first hour or so !

    01st October, 2009

    Sybarite's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    African Queen Black Panther by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

    To me this fragrance smells almost exactly like blackcurrant wine gums. In fact just about any blackcurrant sweet I can think of. Even just freshly picked blackcurrants off the tree. Though the wine gums are most accurate. Spot on in fact ! ... So I can only presume that there is some blackcurrant (or perhaps blackcurrant bud ?) in this fragrance ??? Or else the blend of accords just somehow happen to smell blackcurrant-y, which is probably more likely ?? But that's definitely mostly what I get from it ~ lots of "dark" blackcurrants !
    Sometime later in the development I can also detect the scent of the Karo Karounde flower. Which smells much better here in a blend than it does when sniffed by itself, which can be a little far too much when in isolation. But here it works well, and gives this fragrance it's interesting and unusual "edge". There is also perhaps something a little reminiscent of clary sage ??? Though I do not think it is actually clary sage, but it does have similarities to it, I'd say. It's the only way I can think to describe it ??? With subtle tobacco hints too !? Underneath it all there is some subtle woods and a distinct animalic undertone. Of which I think is good ol' civit, "purring" away nicely, if I'm not mistaken !? Which of course gives the scent even more added interest ! (Though I suspect this scent will/might be a little scary for some ??!!) ... This is most definitely not a scent for just anyone. It aint "pretty", and certainly not an easy one to like ! It's one of those scents that will either elicit a strong like, or else a great instant dislike.
    But all in all, it is certainly a most unusual fragrance. It's deep and mysterious, and will be like nothing you've ever smelled before (except from blackcurrants of course). And it will certainly take an interesting and unusual person to carry it off.

    01st October, 2009

    tanto's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ricci Club by Nina Ricci

    This was one of my favorites and still is. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find in NYC. Too bad because it is truly a nice, clean citrus with excellent staying power. Smells very manly and never overbearing.

    01st October, 2009

    tanto's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jean Nate by Revlon

    This is sort of a unisex scent in its own way. My mom loved it in the summer way back in the 60's. I could still smell it to this day. She had the after bath splash, spray cologne, talc, and soap. It was easy buying a gift for her. Even though she had many costly frags, she LOVED Jean Nate'. Actually, I think it still smells great, too!

    01st October, 2009

    glitteralex's avatar

    United States United States

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    Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

    I am disappointed to see the formulaic, reactive, and immature comments on this fragrance, along the lines of "old granny juice", "stinky and outdated", etc. While we may not find the style of a particular perfume particularly timely, according to fashion, shouldn't we, as perfume "experts", look beyond the style of the time to the craftsmanship, raw materials, and spirit of the scent? I am lucky enough to work in a perfume shop where I champion the personal choice of each customer-the scent that makes him or her feel splendid. Of course, not all of these scents are equally crafted, at least in my mind, but who is one to critique the taste of another in perfume? (ala Underglass' review)

    Youth Dew was EL's first perfume, introduced as a perfumed bath oil in 1953. During the war, perfumes were not commonly available, but bath oils were-so EL smartly created something familiar in form-if not in scent-to American women. She also told her audience of post WW2 customers that she had based this scent on a perfume her uncle had created for a Russian princess. This was quite a romantic image for a post-war suburban woman (of course, princesses did not exist in Communist Russia, making this fantasy politically acceptable as well). It was a smash success, and put the name Estee Lauder on American women's lips.

    I find Youth Dew beautifully made, and the ingredients of the highest quality, even in the current formulation. Jan Moran provides these detailed fragrance notes in her "Fabulous Fragrances II":

    Top Notes: Orange, Bergamot, Peach, spices
    Heart notes; Clove, Cinnamon, Cassie, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Orchid, Jasmine
    Base Notes: Franckincense, Amber, Vanilla, Oakmoss, Clove, Musk, Patchouli, Vetiver, spices.

    Of course, the Civet and Musk are now synthetic, and the Oakmoss may be too, but still this perfume boasts a preponderance of high quality ingredients, many likely natural in origin, put together in a distinct and timeless manner. Today, I compared the current Pure Fragrance Spray with the current Perfumed Bath Oil. The Bath Oil seems to have changed the least over time, if my memory serves me. It has the linear quailty of an oil, and is dominated primarily by orange, cloves and patchouli. The other notes are there, but in the background...seems like only the strongest survive in the oleo-substrate. The Pure Fragrance Spray has more lift, and goes through the 3 stated stages well. the presence of clove in both the Top and heart Notes makes this the main player in this perfume. The floral heart is beautifully blended, but plays like a background quartet to the smooth tenor of the Clove. Sillage and longevity in the PFS are very good, but no comparison to the Oil, which, if applied on the skin, remains strong and identifiable all day (or rather, night, as YD really is a nighttime fragrance). The Vanilla so discreet in the Oil shows nicely in the Pure Fragrance Spray after about 20 minutes, giving a soft and full quality to the larger than life spices. Both the Oil and the Cologne are soapy in the last stages of the drydown where the vetiver shines through.

    01st October, 2009

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Angélique Encens by Creed

    I have the same experience with Angélique Encens that 'the_good_life' has, really enjoying the first hour then finding the dry down increasingly hard work. I'm not going to give a run down of the fragrance as others have pretty much covered everything, rather I'd like to comment on the element that pretty much governs Angélique Encens, ambergris.

    For those that are a little squeamish now would be a good time to stop reading.....

    Created by the bile duct of sperm whales, ambergris is a waxy substance that helps the whale pass sharp bones of large sea creatures that it inadvertently ingests. How it is expelled is another matter. I apologise if this is more information than the reader needs but I feel that the back story to ambergris is important and why the idea of smelling it in it's pure form can be more than some can bear. Ambergris smells waxy, sweet, creamy, syrupy, slightly smoky and a little animalistic. With a little used in a blend ambergris can give a smooth and round finish, but here in Angélique Encens it is left alone and unadulterated. I find this smell nauseating in much the same way that hot fudge cake is if you have eaten way too much for main course, though the dessert has a more pleasant story to it's creation.

    Angélique Encens is indeed a classic and unique blend, and with fantastic longevity and sillage, one could hardly not recommend that everyone try it out. 8.4 oz is just too much for anyone though, like Blue Amber by Montale a little goes a long, long way with this much ambergris present. The Neutral is only for my personal taste rather than the quality.

    01st October, 2009

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    A very peculiar opening indeed for this one. I can pick out vetiver, ambergris and in particular cedar, but I can't quite understand why the overall result is a damp rag that has become a little mildewy. No matter, as within 15 minutes L'Air du Desert Marocain has completely transformed and is radiating out the most wonderful dry cedar and incense aroma. The incense does catch the back of the throat a little but not so much as to be turned off it. That said there is no escaping the smell of the incense, I feel like I'm surrounded by a cloud of invisible smoke when wearing this. L'Air du Desert Marocain is also spicy but not fresh and vibrant spices. Instead the spices are stale and woody, like a bag of Garam Masala that's well beyond it's use-by date. The result in summation is a fragrance that smells ancient and mystical.

    01st October, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Diorissimo by Christian Dior

    This crazy pianist plays the black keys with a swagger and a charm that has you up on your feet. My memory of his playing is distinct, with the decaying mulch from the floral arrangement atop his baby grand giving a long drawn out accord, that seems to be without end. When asking what it’s called, I am told by the patrons in unison that I must know it’s lily-of-the-valley. Who am I to argue? As long as it never ends, I shall be a happy man. Some things are best not understood, just enjoyed.

    01st October, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Givenchy pour Homme by Givenchy

    A lacklustre piece of perfumery, with very little to enjoy at any stage of its rather limited evolution. Fragrances like this are legion, and you really are going to have to produce an exceptional take on this predictable mall-centric template to stand out from the crowd. It can be described simply as a moderately fresh opening gaining a slightly herbal edge in the heart and drying down to a cheap smelling dry wood base. It really is difficult to convey the feelings of sheer boredom that a fragrance like this inspires.

    01st October, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Lanvin L'Homme Sport by Lanvin

    A modest fragrance with a wearable take on the smell of freshly pressed laundry. There are no distinct phases to point to, merely a series of similar notes harmonizing to create a simple product. Not that it is difficult, but it does exceed my expectations of a fragrance with the word “Sport” in the title. I am fan of minimalist perfumery, but this doesn’t quite contain the quality and balance for me to purchase a whole bottle. The original L’Homme is a much more remarkable and appealing creation, making this “Sport” version rather superfluous.

    01st October, 2009

    leogeee's avatar

    United States United States

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    4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

    My mother was born in Holland in 1925 and her mother in 1901 and her mother in 1875 and they all used 4711. It was customary to place a little on your "hankerchief". At any rate, it has been a worldwide staple since 1792. It truly is refreshing. I remember buying Imperiale by Guerlain and Eau Savage by Christian Dior and paying premium prices for each. (They are so similar to 4711) I don't know who said 4711 was overpriced but they're shopping in the wrong places. 4711 is available in nearly every discount perfume shop and at a very resaonable price.

    01st October, 2009

    Zgb's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    Gaultier² by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Longevity is great, sillage also. Nice vanilla scent, but very similar to Givenchy Pi, wich I see as a bit of a problem...

    01st October, 2009 (Last Edited: 18th January, 2010)

    JimHeckel's avatar

    United States United States

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    Axe Dark Temptation / Lynx Dark Temptation by Axe / Lynx

    I purchased this bodyspray about yesterday. It's pretty meh by itself, but add Caswell Massey's Aura of Patchouli cologne spray and you've gotten yourself something that smells perfect and lasts a long time. A hint about bodysprays. Spray them everyplace below your neck where you have body hair - yes, including "down there" - and it will last all day.

    01st October, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire

    If you like your leather scent to be less floral but more leather-like, look no further. This is the real deal. Unlike fine leather impressionists such as Heeley's Cuir Pleine Fleur and Serge Lutens' Daim Blond, CUIR OTTOMAN's florals are subdued enough to allow for a more realistic projection of the leather scent you smell off shoes, bags, even furniture. There is also a certain dry 'saltiness' about it that reminds me of preserved fruits and I find myself salivating. While I can imagine men wearing this, this is not for me - I don't wish to smell like a pair of shoes. I also think the only women who can pull this scent off with panache are the leather-clad rock chicks. But then again, with that much leather in their attire, they probably won't be needing this scent at all.

    01st October, 2009

    Showing 1 to 30 of 1162.




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