Fragrance Reviews from October 2009

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    Jack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

    I just got the sample today and was exactly what I’m looking for. I will be treating myself to a bottle of this in a few days. I don’t think its to sweet, but I like sweet scents like original santal.

    13th October, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Cuir de Russie by Chanel

    I love the complexity of Chanel classics and this is no exception. Greener and more floral than contemporary favorite Cuir Pleine Fleur, CUIR DE RUSSIE is a gloriously beautiful leather-inspired scent which finds a rightful place among such illuminaries as Chanel No. 5, Guerlain's Shalimar, Lanvin's Arpège and Patou's Joy. It seems to me the 1920s was indeed a golden era for fine fragrances.

    13th October, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Encre Noire by Lalique

    Hmm...what else is left for me to say about this phenomenal vetiver scent? Grassy and green one moment, dry and earthy the next. I'd pick ENCRE NOIR over Guerlain's Vetiver on any given day and twice on Sunday. This could well have been a market share-grabbing release from the house of Lalique.

    13th October, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Domenico Caraceni 1913 by Domenico Caraceni

    A finely tailored rose-centered scent with an elegance that speaks of impeccable taste, very much like a bespoke suit. I used to think DOMENICO CARACENI 1913 is gender-neutral but with regular wearings I'm delighted to find it leaning ever so gently towards masculine territory, unveiling a slightly spicy muskiness underneath the plummy rose geranium. It also feels cool and dry as though a subtle vein of resinuous frankincense runs through a blend so smooth that I've long given up trying to decipher individual component notes. I'm just happy to join the discerning groups of fans in celebrating such an exquisite fragrance.

    Notes:
    petitgrain, styrax, geranium bourbon, neroli bigarade, rose absolute, tobacco essence, cypress, frankincense

    13th October, 2009 (Last Edited: 20th August, 2010)

    Mazenderan's avatar



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    A Scent by Issey Miyake

    I rather liked this. It was very green and citrussy at the outset, but then sweetened and became more complex as time wore on. Reminds me of Chanel Cristalle. I think it would be especially good in spring and summer.

    13th October, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hot Water by Davidoff

    This does not smell too good at all...not only does it not represent the yin to the yang that is Cool Water, but it just plain ain't that good. take a pass on this fart spray.

    13th October, 2009

    Grrlscout's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Bulgari pour Femme by Bulgari

    Roses, irises, jasmine and rose. Sparkling, clean and feminine - very civilised and ladylike perfume that's light and airy and clean without being citrusy or piney... and lasts! Similar to Flower by Kenzo, but more... adult? Elegant? The violet is present, but it's a fresh violet, not the sort of parma violets-y notes present in Fleur by Kenzo. Perfect for the office. This isn't a dramatic statement of a perfume, but it's one that I reach for when I want a feminine floral without cream or fruit or candy sweetness.

    13th October, 2009

    Grrlscout's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

    Oh, how I love this scent. It's bold, it's sexy, it's unashamedly seductive. It lasts and lasts. You need a bit of attitude to wear this perfume. I used to wear this and Byzance in my rocker girl days, and this was always the more rock and roll of the two scents. Warm incensey, sandalwoody, patchouli, floral, WOW kind of scent. It makes a strong statement. I used to wear this with my boots and my black leather bike jacket, and a whole heap of rock chick attitude. I still wear it from time to time, even with more, er, classically elegant clothing. I only wear it when I'm going out, though... this is an evening and into the next morning sort of fragrance. Definitely not for the office or anyplace you want to blend in a bit, or to feel a bit demure. But when you want a scent that's strong, a bit flamboyant, feminine without a hint of sweetness or strong floral, this is your first choice.


    13th October, 2009

    Grrlscout's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    FlowerbyKenzo by Kenzo

    I'm of two minds about this perfume, which seems to fit in with the split personality aspect of the perfume others have mentioned. It isn't horrible... it's quite pleasant at times. It's just that the violet in it smells of parma violets... there's a candylike aspect to the violet that can be a little bit cloying if the ambient temperature in the room or the season isn't quite right. That being said, Parma violets do smell nice... and the sweetness isn't overly pronounced. It's just that I would rather eat parma violets than wear them!

    13th October, 2009

    Grrlscout's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Paul Smith Extreme Women by Paul Smith

    Nothing extreme about this perfume. It's clean, pleasant, and kind of like the olfactory version of magnolia white paint in a house. You need a bit of magnolia white in a house, but the whole thing painted in the colour would be a bit too dull without some sort of accent. This perfume is perfect background sort of scent when you need one. Floral without being too lush, musky without being too sexy, and mercifully, clean and only very slightly sweet.

    This and Bulgari for Women are my default office perfumes. I get a lot of compliments on Extreme Women... and I like it. I particularly find that this perfume is one of the few perfumes that I own that I know will not be too strong for me to wear around pregnant friends and coworkers (sharpened/altered sense of smell).

    13th October, 2009

    Grrlscout's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Byzance by Rochas

    Byzance and Cinnabar used to be my perfumes of choice in my rocker girl days. It made me feel sexy and exotic, made a strong statement, and was unique. No one else wore this perfume... back in those days, lighter and fruitier scents were all the rage. It smelled good on my skin. I always had compliments on it. But then, my lifestyle changed, and I stopped wearing it.

    The other day, I got hold of a bottle of Byzance and decided to wear it out to a rock club. And it smelled just as good now as it did back then, even without the leather bike jacket!

    I'm sure you can wear this perfume without a leather bike jacket and boots, but I think a strong, rock chick or goth queen attitude needs to come with it. It's feminine, spicy, strong and sexy. Not shy in the least, and ready for all comers. It lasts and lasts... I dabbed on a bit yesterday and it still is faintly on my pulse points.

    Not to get too overblown on the poetics, but the incensey spice and rose smell like you'd hope a gypsy fortuneteller might smell before she read your cards. It's what Carmen of the opera would wear. Not for the office, this perfume, and definitely not demure.

    13th October, 2009

    The Ghost's avatar

    France France

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    Joop! Homme by Joop!

    I wonder why guys wearing it never question WHY a lot of women love it. I'm horrified about how many dudes actually tell me it's one of their favourites scents, to me it's just feminine all the way.

    13th October, 2009

    latelittlesleeper's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

    I love this perfume, but it comes up all soft, herbaceous roses on me, is rarely cloying after the first top notes and has a very velvety, light sillage. Which I find strange, because most reviewers complain about its overpowering sillage and say you would do best to walk into a mist of it, instead of spraying the skin directly.

    I've never found this to be the case! After the very strong topnotes, this fades beautifully into a skin scent for me. If I want it to be stronger, I have to layer or reapply. I don't mind it though, because it's the first rose scent I've found myself able to wear. It's not sweet or too green, and the animalic notes cut through just a little to give it a wilder, less-garden-variety rose scent. Sadly, though it is lovely, i don't get any patchouli.

    Anyway, it's a favorite in my rotation.

    13th October, 2009

    Black lily's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Alchimie by Rochas

    This has always been a favourite of mine.
    It's fruity top note of blackcurrant, plum, peach,grapefruit, pear and bergamot flows seamlessly into a floral mid note of lily of the valley, jasmine, wisteria. heliotrope. rose and the milkiness of coconut. All these wonderous notes are then warmed with the base of vanilla, caramel, amber, tonka bean and musk only to be finalised by the finest hint of liquorice.An exquisite gourmand that can be worn a warm summer day or a cool evening walk..

    13th October, 2009

    Black lily's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Ambre Gris by Pierre Balmain

    This is one perfume that should be a must in anyone's scent collection. A completely unique unisex scent which opens with a zing of pink pepper only to be sweetened by the cinnamon and lulled into a soft sensuality by the tuberose and imortelle. All this merges seamlessly with the smokiness of the gaiac and myrrh leaving a sillage of musky softness by the white musk and ambergris. A true masterpiece in the world of fragrance.

    13th October, 2009

    Joe_Frances's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver by Floris

    Floris Vetiver is a wonderful combination of natural rustic vetiver with sophisticated smooth notes. An amazingly unique fragrance, this has much of the suave elegance of Creed (1948) with orders of magnitude more staying power. How can something be this suave and yet so raw and (at times) almost as wild as RdeV? Floris Vetiver is a mystery one can wear. This makes me think of Jimmy Cagney, the gangster turned song and dance man. Be enigmatic, try it and wear it and smile that enigmatic smile.

    Almost perfect and almost impossible to find, Floris Vetiver is too good to last, its got to be discontinued soon. The golden age is over boys, let's have a drink!

    14th October, 2009

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Mackie for Men by Bob Mackie

    Reviews so far are right on: sweet, green, citrusy, fizzy, and inexpensive. There are some fragrances you can't go wrong with, this is one of them. Caveat: It is CoolWater like, which for some might be a bad thing. It actually would fit as one of the CoolWater flankers...Summer Fizz maybe? Thumbs up for bargain price and quality of juice.

    14th October, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Aqua Allegoria Gentiana by Guerlain

    This is a nice scent. It opens with a very citrusy-green chord. The citrus notes are crisp, appetizing and invigorating. I’m not sure what gentian smells like, but I do note a grassy-green note, perhaps it is that. Gradually a pear note emerges, and it is interesting. It starts off like the dusky green skin of a pear, gradually it rounds in to a more fruity-earthy scent. This rounding process is aided by the emergence of the musk. Thankfully, the vanilla is extremely subdued here. The scent finishes with a soft, round and mellow note of good longevity. This is not my style of scent, but I can say that it is very well done and attractive.

    14th October, 2009

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

    It is interesting that the Ormonde Jayne website classifies this as a chypre. There is nothing in the basenotes described that lends itself to a chypre accord (e.g., oakmoss, labdanum). Nor does it smell like a chypre. The opening strikes me as a pleasant citrusy-musk dominant blend. The citrus fades and woody notes emerge; the muskiness remains throughout the drydown. If aoud is one of the woods, I cannot discern it as such; there is none of the medicinal character that I have come to associate with aoud. One could consider this to be a well-blended fragrance, as one gets impressions of accords as opposed to notes. I find it to be quite pleasant smelling, a bit sweet, and not one that I would buy for myself.

    14th October, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kapsule Floriental by Lagerfeld

    Sweet flowery woodsy scent with touches of dark spices. Violets too but they are not too harsh in this like Fahrenheit. More like the violet/vetiver accord from Curve for Men. But the overall powderiness of the woods in Floriental subdues all the other notes in the scent. More or less a sweeter version of Kapsule Woody. Longevity problems 2-4 hours it seems.

    14th October, 2009

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    I have alluded to this fragrance before in other reviews, but never actually reviewed it per se. This ships shedloads for Creed so won't have any effect anyway. The progression and blending of the notes is brilliant in GIT --- a lot of thought and effort has gone into this and it is an ultra smooth ride. The problem for me is that I just don't like the scent. GIT has a ubiquitous smell, which shouts 'I am a bloke - back off'. You know, that fresh green masculine one with a woody finish (yawn). When I smell it or others like it (too many to mention), I always expect to turn round and see either a prominent hairy chest with a ridiculous medallion swinging from it or a suited and booted money market dealer whose raison d'etre seems to consist of being as obnoxious as possible to as many people as possible. GIT smells of money, but with no style or taste.

    14th October, 2009

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella

    The adviser in SMN said that they can't understand why people would want to spray this on themselves. Now, I'm all for honesty in life but I think the sales pitch needs honing a bit.

    It's so uplifting to sample something like this straight after reviewing Green Irish Tweed (so much negativity). The opening is pretty drastic -- mechanics overalls no less, but it soon changes into a glorious leathery drydown with a touch of sweetness thrown in -- yeah it's synthetic, but what isn't nowadays -- (look out for the newly created 'vinyl' notes appearing in fragrances). The sillage and longevity are ok, but it is a little shy late on -- that's pretty much a given with the whole range, so will need to spray accordingly. I have no need for Nostalgia at the moment as Mark Buxton's sublime 'Hot Leather' is in rotation, but I will return for this when that dries up.

    14th October, 2009

    BlackCat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Une Folie de Roses by Les Parfums de Rosine

    What a pretty, spicy, rose chypre! I agree, it's definitely more chypre than floral. I could see how, if this one goes wrong, it goes really wrong, because it's definitely not a shrinking violet. NB: I dabbed, rather than spraying, which probably reduced the aldehydes, as well as the potency.

    14th October, 2009

    djolney's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Baie de Genièvre by Creed

    Baie de Genievre is an outstanding fragrance from Creed. As has been made clear by previous reviewers, it smells great.

    The juniper berries are crisp and aromatic, and lend Baie de Genievre gravitas without heaviness.

    The cinnamon leaves are warm and deep, and I think that there must be other spices behind them. As I detect an animalic note early on in the development of the fragrance, I wonder if there might be a bit of cumin in Baie de Genievre.

    The animalic note lasts right to the end of the vetiver, and it isn’t the normal Creed ambergris. It is a sexier and less sweet animalic note than ambergris.

    The vetiver in Baie de Genievre takes turns being nutty, earthy, and woody, and is one of my favourite vetivers. Baie de Genievre is worth sampling for anyone who is looking for a lovely vetiver fragrance.

    Longevity is very good and sillage is reasonable.

    I will always have a bottle of Baie de Genievre on hand.

    14th October, 2009

    djolney's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    L'Essence de Déclaration by Cartier

    An excellent fragrance by Jean-Claude Ellena for Cartier: transparent, minimalist, and substantial.

    On the basis of the excellent reviews here on basenotes I ordered L’Essence unsniffed. L’Essence is definitely worthy of all of the good reviews it has received.

    The first thing that grabbed my attention when I sprayed L’Essence on my wrist was the beautiful almost bitter orange note. This is orange done right: clear, light, and persistent. As the fragrance develops the orange melds with the rosewood to form a central slightly sweet accord, which enhances both notes. The orange gains depth and persistence from the rosewood, while the rosewood gains lightness and brightness from the orange.

    The cumin and cardamom add depth and a subtle animalic tone to the slightly sweet accord, and all of the citrus, spice, and sweet notes together add up to a simultaneously substantial and ethereal effect.

    Even though woods play such an important part in L’Essence, they never overpower the rest of the notes. The woods are presented as an essence rather than as logs or as sawdust.

    The oak moss and vetiver maintain this transparent theme, and give a sense of being of the earth rather than in the earth to the fragrance.

    L’Essence is not an attention seeking fragrance, but it is very easy to get lost in the pleasure of charting its progression.

    14th October, 2009

    soirdelune's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Vetiver Dance by Tauer

    On this low-cloud, autumnal day, Vetiver Dance works a curious magic: grassy green, woody and exquisitely *creamy* (the tonka, I guess?). It is simultaneously soothing (in this brisk climate) and stark. Projects massively, wraps and lingers on the skin. For a vetiver scent, it's unique -- and good!

    14th October, 2009

    underglass's avatar



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    White Shoulders by Elizabeth Arden

    A boy presented a bottle of White Shoulders to me on our first date. I literally thought you could only wear it on your shoulders! Although I have not worn it for many years, I still have a pleasant memory of it--rich, flowery. elegant, sparkling, green and never sweet or ambery. I ordinary cannot stand gardenia fragrances, but this gardenia is so wonderfully mingled with the other florals that it remains well-behaved and does not become too tropical smelling or gooey sweet. Also, Tatiana reminds me a tad of this as well.

    14th October, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    I've given up trying to make sense of NO.19; it's just too temperamental for me. Fresh and green on some days, floral and powdery on others. And when the mood strikes, it's simply undecipherable. But through all these permutations it always retain a cool, immaculate feel about it. I love it. Maybe I've grown to appreciate this facet of unpredictability from such a fine 1971 classic.

    14th October, 2009 (Last Edited: 15th October, 2009)

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Coco by Chanel

    Having created the hugely successful No.5 and the beautiful Bois des Iles in the 1920s, Ernest Beaux left behind a pair of proverbial shoes the size that of Bigfoot's. For a long time these shoes were simply too gigantic for anyone to wear. Henri Robert made an admirable attempt with No.19 but I believe it is Jacques Polge who finally nailed it in 1984 with his masterpiece, COCO. Forget about identifying individual accords here for life is simply too short ( and samples too prohibitively costly! ). Just enjoy this luxuriant beauty and revel in the sophistication and womanly charms of a true Chanel classic. A full bottle for my missus for sure!

    *** This review is of the EDP ***

    14th October, 2009 (Last Edited: 15th October, 2009)

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

    The opening is stunning. Certainly not what I've come to expect from a typical orange, grapefruit and bergamot combo. Credit must go to Jacques Polge for adroitly allowing the heart notes to join the top in the opening act, and particularly for the inspired use of lychee which adds an oddly 'fruity-yet-flirty' dimension to what could have been just another citrus-floral-vanilla scent. I feel COCO MADEMOISELLE is decidedly contemporary and captivatingly feminine but falls a little short of the class and sophistication of Coco or other Chanel classics; I would even say this is one of the least Chanel-like releases from the house. Nevertheless it seems perfectly suited for anyone who is no longer a girl, but not yet a woman.

    *** This review is of the EDP ***

    14th October, 2009 (Last Edited: 15th October, 2009)

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