Fragrance Reviews from October 2009

    Showing 391 to 420 of 1162.
    pluran's avatar

    United States United States

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    Or Black by Pascal Morabito

    "The northern face of leather chypre". It’s dark, green, and bitter, extremely dry and astringent, with barely an atom of sweetness. It’s bleak, Plutonian and monomaniacally focused. The smoke is persistent but soft. It smolders the scent of liquid grey suede, but it’s a little too clean for a leather chypre, with a dusty, peppered sage and well-integrated vetiver working throughout the development. The vetiver smells Haitian, and it’s responsible for some of the smoke, because it’s not the robust smoke you get from Knize Ten and a few others. Either way, the birch tar (the leather smells like it’s from birch tar rather than isoquinolines) is putting out its share. There’s little sign of anything overtly animalic but I’m sure there’s a few drops of castoreum in there to smooth things out. Luca Turin compared elements of Or Black to Rive Gauche pour Homme, “…like triple-distilled Earl Grey, a step beyond even Rive Gauche pour Homme in its saturine glory” and I can understand it. It’s grey and aloof like any good fougere should be, and it more effervescent than the average chypre. Another reason sampling is so deceptive. Because when you actually wear it, it can be a lot more aromatic (an energetic, fougere-like aromatic) than you may have been led to believe; and along with its dry, bitter, astringent nature, you’ll probably even taste it for a while.

    But classifying it doesn’t really matter. Mainly it just works its way down the road in a killer ride, smoother as it goes, a little rough at times, but mainly just delta waves and the occasional theta, until the suede’s so soft I could make love to it, or make pillows out of it so I can hold onto ‘em as I sleep on my furry bed. The evolution moves pretty fast, and even though the drydown isn’t all that interesting, it’s as clear and smooth as my girlfriend’s freshly powdered bottom. The balsamic labdanum softens everything, as a dusty oakmoss and a high quality and somewhat sensual musk hang around with woody vetiver and a drop of benzoin and amber. The stuff is seriously well blended. It’s also a decent example of the chypric balance and abstraction of bergamot, oakmoss, and labdanum. Or Black has bite, and it’s a great fragrance for getting out and taking care of business. It would also smell great on women. It might even work better on them. Women can wear any masculine fragrance, and they often smell more alluring than many of the feminines. Nothing's more sexy on a woman than a leather chypre. It also smells amazing on clothes as it deepens, softens, and maintains the scent of rich suede. That's true of most leathers. They smell great on clothes.

    Or Black is an excellent fragrance.

    10th October, 2009 (Last Edited: 23 September, 2011)

    RHM's avatar

    United States United States

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    Success is the Essence of New York / Andy Warhol Success is a Job in New York by Bond No. 9

    Complex in the best possible way. Completely unisex.

    Try it and see how it evolves on your skin. Mine does not "pull" the florals. Instead the spices are prominent for about two hours then they settle into the amber/patchouli dry down.

    The florals literally "pop" in & out.

    One of the best Bonds I've ever tried.

    11th October, 2009

    Dimitrios's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Black XS by Paco Rabanne

    This should never have been marketed .... its a shame to the classic Paco Rabanne PH .
    Why do i hate it ? >> because its a frag a little teeny bopper girl would want to wear . :(

    11th October, 2009

    taliaseki's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    Yuzu Fou by Parfum d'Empire

    This one is a sharp green citrus. The mint gives a cheap expression to it. After half an hour only sour juices remain.

    11th October, 2009 (Last Edited: 04 November, 2009)

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Portos by Balenciaga

    When ever I try anything from the 80's (or anything for that matter), I attempt to forget where and when I am. Most times I succeed but here I cannot help but be transported back to the 80's. Just like big hair and quirky techno bands, it's the 80's. I love the aromatic spicy opening or Portos and reminds me of Bijan for Men's opening and even the middle bits. But where Bijan's big spiciness dries into a sandalwood, Portos gives you the tired and true mossy leather drydown. Quite typically 80's but not as bold and brash as the others. I wish I had tried this one first before delving into other fragrances for men of this era. I might have liked those more after trying Portos.

    11th October, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    G-11 by Il Profumo

    Very piney on top. Feels a tad harsh for while, too. A little smoother than Pino Silvestre and the like but not as piney. The whole time it feels open and inviting and subtle yet sticks around for a while. Does feel "chemical" at times, especially at the end. Very odd woodsy drydown there. If you like green scents that are a bit powwdery, you might enjoy this.

    11th October, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kapsule Light by Lagerfeld

    This feels like M7 Fresh Light. I really get the agarwood/soapy musk. Clove is a dominant note as well but not as big as stuff in the Diptyque scents. A nice scent if you enjoy these aspects.

    11th October, 2009

    OlfactoryExperience's avatar

    United States United States

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    Séxual pour Homme by Michel Germain

    Man, with all the talk of spices, I expected something much more oriental (something like a hybrid between Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur and Jaipur Homme ; perhaps Obsession by CK??). This is far from a classy oriental, and I'm not entirely sure that I would describe it as sexy. Some of the comparisons that have been made to this scent are somewhat misleading. I would say that this comes off smelling most similar to CK's Eternity but more fresh, and Paco's XS but less floral. In fact, it smells just like Faconnable for Men (slightly green juice in the frosted glass bottle).

    Sexual is aromatic, fresh, and slightly sweet with the prototypical, amber dry down of the 90s fougeres. In that regard, it may be marginally reminiscent of D&G PH but not really. All in all, I think its good as an everyday fragrance. Its not especially unique, but its better than the other fragrances its been compared to because it has nothing off-putting. Avoid it if you want something special and original; try it if you just want to smell good. And if you want something more unique or outstanding, go for Jivago 24K which is similar.

    11th October, 2009 (Last Edited: 13 October, 2009)

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tendre Kiss by Lalique

    Lalique Tendre Kiss

    Notes: nutmeg, pepper, musk and amber (from fragrancenet.com)

    Tendre Kiss starts fresh with green herbal notes and citrus, but soon turns into "wet dog" on my skin. There is also an unappetizing ozone-aquatic note mixed with spearmint and peppermint. As the "wet dog" note settles down, turning a bit to the smell of wet sheep's wool, TK becomes more salty and nutty, with nondescript woody base notes (probably Iso E Super, because it is giving me a headache). TK is certainly not what I expected, considering the label reads "...a transparent and sparkling fragrance...." At any rate, the drydown is much drier with more prominent woods and leather. Still not transparent and sparkling, but a huge relief from the initial animalic weirdness. In fact, the salty leather, herbs and woods of the mid to late drydown are actually quite pleasing. Thumbs down for an inexcusably lop-sided composition that is half-way to Etat Libre d'Orange's Secretions Magnifique for the first part of the development and an overdose of unimaginative, banal woody aromachemicals for the latter part.

    11th October, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Ombre dans L'Eau by Diptyque

    Diptyque L'Ombre dans l'Eau

    Notes: black currant leaves and Bulgarian rose (from luckyscent.com)

    Despite the meagre listing of notes, to my nose L'Ombre dans l'Eau starts as a bright and uplifting blend of grapefruit, tart berries and rose. The rose is very classical, akin to an old-fashioned rosewater or French milled rose scented soaps, that is to say, "tea rose" or similar. The rose note is very evocative of the type of rose soliflore that make most people hate rose soliflores. Yet, here in L'Odl'E, the rose is brightened marvelously with sour and bitter grapefruit and berry notes. This is one of those synergistic blends where it is possible to recognize the component parts and still appreciate the whole composition which becomes more than the sum of its parts. Classic rose is modernized and made low calorie, in a sense, by the use of fresh fruits. The grapefruit does get a bit sulfurous in the drydown, and I was thinking at first that it was off-putting. Then I realized that paired with the liquor-like rose note, this edginess makes the rose seem even more luscious. It is as if the rose is on the verge of that extremely full-bodied stage of being fermented while still on the stem. The drydown is quite a bit more herbal and green, giving an impression of rose geranium. My only real complaint is that overall the fragrance is a bit linear and not terribly complex. Regardless, this is probably what Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose should have been--it is clear that grapefruit and rose can be very good friends.

    11th October, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Flora Bella by Lalique

    Lalique Flora Bella

    Notes: vanilla, almond, amber and musk notes (from fragrancenet.com)

    To my nose, Flora Bella smells like a cross between Dior's Poison and Lancome Hypnose. The light tuberose note in the top and mid notes reminds me of Poison, while a vanilla powder and clean vetiver combination is evocative of Hypnose. It is pleasant, although FB certainly does not have much to distinguish itself from the huge field of soft and sweet modern feminine floral-orientals. Since both Poison and Hypnose entered my consciousness long before Flora Bella, I must give them the proper due. Having said that, FB is a very well constructed fragrance--it is balanced, subdued and modern, and is certainly not the worst offering of its kind. Flora Bella is probably one of those fragrances that will appeal to individual tastes rather than have broad acceptance or widespread buzz. It is definitely worth a try for lovers of the milky vanilla over amber, clean floral-oriental genre, or anybody who wants a toned-down tuberose fragrance.

    11th October, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Liaisons Dangereuses by By Kilian

    By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses

    Notes: Coconut flesh, prune absolute, plum, blackcurrant buds absolute, crystallized peach, cinnamon bark oil, ambrette seeds absolute, rose Damascus, geranium bourbon, Australian sandalwood oil, oakmoss extract, vetiver java oil, clear woods, vanilla extract, white musks (from luckyscent.com)

    Liaisons Dangereuses is a feminine rose done with a twist. The fragrance starts sweet and powdery, with a floral vanilla vibe that recalls pretty dusting powders that ladies of yore always had at their dressing tables. And yet, LD seems completely modern and fresh, rather than being heavy or musty. Joining the vanilla powder accord is a delectable fruit and rose accord which is so juicy and jammy as to make ones mouth water with the anticipation of tasting it. Despite what sounds like it could provide a high-octane sugar rush, LD is actually quite mellow and controlled. There are no shrill notes screaming out of control. There is no heavy handed spice or wood. There are no "fad" accords or notes to speak of. The fragrance is in perfect balance--the sugar well tempered with the right amount of acidity, fruit and bitterness. In the later development, LD becomes more spicy, woody, tannic and dry--a lovely finish that is a great counterpoint to the top and mid notes. The drydown accord allows a different, more sombre side of the rose come forth, a welcome respite after all that came before. Overall, LD has a wonderful classic sensibility that is complex but not dated, and a modernity that avoids being trite, minimalist or simplistic.

    11th October, 2009

    funnyboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Joseph Abboud by Joseph Abboud

    Got hold of some of this last week as I thought it would be my kind of fragrance.Can smell the ginger and bergamot but not overly impressed.Lasting power only moderate.I have many more fragrances in my collection that I prefer.A little similar to Gianfranco Ferre for men but not as spicey.Will use tis in the Autumn/winter for maybe daytime use

    11th October, 2009

    vintage*red's avatar

    United States United States

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    Exceptional Because You Are by Exceptional

    After an initial burst of aldehydes, this marine white floral centers around lillies. The drydown is ever so slightly spicy and the lilies stay intact. Although not original, this fragrance is a nice example of this sort of thing and it is priced right. Worth a try for lily lovers; I would wear it in a pinch.

    11th October, 2009

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera

    Much like Fracas - this is tuberose heaven - sweet . It opens strong sweet tuberose which mellows after a short time . Very tenacious. There is a very beautiful lily note that compliments the tuberose very well. This is FBW for me in EDP.

    11th October, 2009

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Suede by Avon

    I always thumped my nose at Avon fragrance for men because I thought them inferior in quality and longevity to the designer perfumes. I remember this one as being nice and pleasant. I also remember an Avon cologne from my youth called simply "Leather." It came in a yellowish-orange bottle with rubber lining. "Leather" smelled like Madras by Myrurgia, which I can only find in perfume stores in Mexico City. Madras is a richly sensuous and seductive medley of fine aromatic wood and amber notes. It is definitely worth seeking out.

    11th October, 2009

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cacharel Pour L'Homme by Cacharel

    A headache-inducing slap in the face of a fragrance. It is annoyingly loud and crass. Not recommended for casual or formal wear, except perhaps to a Nascar race.

    11th October, 2009

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Carven Homme by Carven

    It does smell like Gucci Envy, but more subdued and not as cloying. At more than half the price of Envy, it is a sweet scent indeed. I don't detect the vetiver others have mentioned, but I do smell the patchouli and the carnation. Carnation is not a favorite of mine, but in this fragrance I guess it's OK. A bright, happy-go-lucky scent.

    11th October, 2009

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    I don't think you ever rid yourself of this fragrance once you spray it on. I don't own it, but I used to spray it on in department stores, and it wouldn't wash off. It has industrial-strength longevity. That is a plus for its aficionados, and a symphony of horrors if you can't bear it. Cloying and suffocatingly penetrating beyond words. Le Barf!

    11th October, 2009

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sung Homme by Alfred Sung

    Much too peppery and bright. There are some attractive notes in it, but it is an unusually lurid scent. I cannot imagine any place I'd want to wear this strange tonic. It would do well as a bathroom spray, or car spray for a Porsche, or any exotic vehicle.

    11th October, 2009

    xiikzodz's avatar



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    Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules

    The most synthetic, to my apparently incompetent nose, scent I know comes from one of my passion flower hybrids. Though I suppose the composition is rather intricate. It seems to be a penetrating odor of some primitive and volatile component presumably insect repellent. I came to like the scent a lot but it took some time as it is obviously an acquainted taste. The chemical supposedly responsible for the Molecule 01 scent is quite opposite to it. It, in my opinion, is smooth elegant and has a soothing effect. By no means is it a primitive olfactory experience. Apparently the trick occurs in the process of the translation of the olfactory input into the sensual experience. Just as if it were a simple key to some complex mechanism. Perhaps what I falsely read as a olfactory intricacy is simply the way my brain copes with the lack of reference. In any case the experience of M 01 is to me interesting (thumbs up for revealing how tricky scents may be) and quite pleasant. No matter the cost of the product and the components.

    11th October, 2009

    auee's avatar

    United States United States

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    Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

    A very poor synthetic floral, without any redeeming masculine features and, thank goodness poor longevity on me. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to sample this fragrance and did not buy it blind as that would have been a real waste of cash. I simply do not perceive any merit to this fragrance. This is a big disappointment from a House with a very fine reputation.

    11th October, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Bois des Îles by Chanel

    In a world where fragrances tend to play like in-your-face rock music videos, Chanel's BOIS DES ILES performs more like a classical symphony from the likes of Beethoven, Bach or Rachmaninov. Some may even compare it to an opera. That this beautiful scent is nowhere near as successful as Chanel No. 5 borders on 'criminal'.

    **** This review is of the EDT ****

    11th October, 2009

    cherryred's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Fusion by Fabergé

    I only gave this two stars rather than one because it was my first proper fragrance. It was pulled from the shelves after drug-themed advertising caused uproar.

    It was as offensive as many of the other scents around at the time. I actually missed it when it was gone but I've learned a little now.

    It does, however, smell like fly spray...

    11th October, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Soul by Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

    I like this. I wasn't a fan of the original curve when I tired it, but I like this. I get an aquatic with a lavender heart. It's the perfect fragrance Ive been looking for to fit in for when im playing tennis. Not too expensive, and a nice smell (heat activated). Longevity is pretty poor. About 2 hours but 4-5 in the heat. I managed to get this for $3.00 at Wal-Mart! It makes a nice addition to my collection.

    11th October, 2009

    Celsius32's avatar

    Israel Israel

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    Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

    Bug spray, cat pee, you name it...
    This is truly the worst cologne I've ever smelt. It's one of those scents that you think to yourself: "this fragrance must have gone bad - no way that's
    how it's suppose to smell." It's not about it being sweet or syrup-y, it just smells bad. I know for sure it's not my skin chemistry, because it's smells the same way from the spritzer. I hate it so much.

    11th October, 2009

    tawfiq's avatar



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    Bolt of Lightning by JAR

    My first visit to JAR PARFUMS in rue de Castiglione, Paris was soon after it opened, it is possibly one of the most magical places you are likely to encounter. From the street you will see a dimly lit interior the colour of deep Lilac soft and rich. This also happens to be the colour of the soft suede pouches JAR has used to present his jewellery for more than three decades. The large glass window is empty except for one small pebble shaped bottle of amber coloured liquid which seems to be floating in the air - Diamond Water. The interior appears empty. Every surface of the panelled interior is covered in deep Lilac velvet. The back wall has a large mirror on it reflecting the crystal chandelier with two shaded wall brackets creating pools of warm light either side. As you walk into the hushed interior a door opens and the charming boutique guardian appears to help.

    In the middle of the room there is a mirrored table under the chandelier with what appears to be a number of over-sized glass petri dishes with some material or fabric hidden under the lids. Painted on the ceiling is an exquisite mural of a Bold of Lightning in a stormy sky. There are two chairs if you feel the need to sit. You are then invited to sniff the contents of each of the glass dishes which in fact contain pieces soft chamois soaked in each of the seven perfumes Ferme les Yeux - Diamond Water – Jarling – Shadow – Jardenia – Golconda – JAR (the perfume without a name often referred to as Bolt of Lightning).

    You are told to just let your sense of smell inform your views, no more and no less. You will not be given the ‘notes’ or told anything at all about what you are smelling not even if it is gender specific. This is a very deliberate and important part allowing you to experience the perfumes without any preconceptions. For many reviewers this has been a major criticism of the JAR Parfums, I disagree. All you are simply asked to do is to allow your own perceptions to inform your views and experience without your preconceptions of what to expect by knowing the notes and ingredients. We mortal beings are creatures with an ego and if we encounter something beyond our experience and understanding we will either elevate it to the level of the divine and the supernatural or reduce it banal criticism.

    Very few people know and understand perfumes unless they happen to be a perfumer with an extraordinary talent and a highly trained sense of smell. In our modern times with the massive amount of advertising we are exposed to and the proliferation of vast amounts of information (and misinformation) we mortals like to think we are more knowledgeable and better informed than we really are. So the deliberate way that JAR perfumes does not engage with this leaves many frustrated. A perfume, a smell, a scent is something we experience in a very personal and intimate way. JAR perfumes only asks that you to do exactly that but on its own terms.

    Then you will be asked if you wish to sample any of the perfumes on your skin. I suggest that you choose carefully and try one or two on your skin. You will not be told the prices unless you express an interest in a purchase but you will be encouraged to let the perfume develop on your skin and not make an immediate decision. All the bottles are small and pebble shaped, with simple gilded caps. They are presented in small soft suede pouches the same deep Lilac colour as shop interior and set into very simple boxes with the name of the perfume (or simply a bold of lightening) and JAR Parfums Paris.

    All the perfumes are complex and it will take several hours for each of them to develop on your skin so I would not recommend an immediate decision.

    However, I loved JAR immediately, it was a revelation in what a perfume can be and it has never in my mind been surpassed. I was not even sure if I will ever wear it but I know I had to have it to smell just to remind me of the smell. It completely changed my perception about smell and perfumes and ultimately about that I will choose to wear on my skin.

    I happen to love tuberose, the real flower not the notes you sometimes detect in perfumes. It is heady, rich, green and very powerful. The tight buds give you a tantalising hint of their power mixed with the green of the stems. As the buds start to open the scent can be almost too potent, but always deep and sensual. It is floral but not sweet and you can soon start to detect the smell of decay as the flowers start to die. In South East Asia this flower is associated with death since it was traditionally used at funerals to mask the smell of the decaying corpse in the heat of the Tropics.

    So JAR made me think of tuberose; I do not know if this is relevant to the creation of this perfume and I did not care to ask. The complexity of the perfume is such that you cannot but let your olfactory senses be overwhelmed and stop your discursive mind from trying to analyse and understand. As the perfumes settles it becomes a presence on your skin - very powerful without the need to assert itself. And it will last for a long time. I will occasionally take out a jacket or a sweater from my wardrobe, one which I had not worn for a while and I will instantly know that I had worn JAR the last time I used it.

    I have had the same bottle in its pouch for almost ten years and it has travelled with me all over the world. It never fails to captivate and enchant me when I smell it and wear it. And it still retains all its unique and characteristics smell. The soft suede pouch helps to protects it from the degrading effects of daylight. Incidentally, I keep my few other perfumes in my wardrobe for this same reason.

    Much has been said about the cost and exclusivity of the JAR perfumes and the fact you can only purchase them in the boutique in Paris and in BERGDORF GOODMAN in New York. The JAR parfums are not for everyone, I do not believe they were ever intended to be. They will not appeal to most people and will not be considered worth the cost by almost everyone, but I doubt if anyone can deny that they are masterful creations. And what is essential is that what you are paying for is what is in the bottle, the perfume and the experience of purchasing the perfume is part of it. There are no advertising campaigns and the bottles they are sold in simple. The legendary, masterful and very private Mr Joel A. Rosenthal has created something unique as only he knows how to. How the rest of the world does and sees things is utterly irrelevant because Mr Rosenthal knows what he wants to achieve and will not accept anything less then perfection in his own vision. I believe if you value something then the cost is immaterial.

    Incidentally, the Bergdorf Goodman boutique is a miniature recreation of the Paris boutique with the same enchanting experience on offer. To those who criticise the exclusivity of JAR Parfums this should be another clue as to what the creator intend for you to experience. To go through the effort of recreating the experience across the Atlantic with so much care and attention is an indication that this is as important for the creator as the perfumes.

    And perhaps the most important clue about JAR Parfum is right there in the shop window for all to see:

    Diamond Water the paradox of value

    11th October, 2009

    spasticpeach's avatar

    Israel Israel

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    Burberry for Women by Burberry

    Though not my personal favorite, it seems that guys seem to really like this scent. Doesn't seem very feminine to me.

    11th October, 2009

    spasticpeach's avatar

    Israel Israel

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    Weekend for Women by Burberry

    By far my favorite perfume from burberry. Absolutely love the fresh yet fruity smell of it. Great day scent or even for night. This is one of those perfumes that I just want to smell all day long.

    11th October, 2009

    spasticpeach's avatar

    Israel Israel

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    Tender Touch by Burberry

    My first Burberry perfume, It was love at first sniff.

    11th October, 2009

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