Fragrance Reviews from December 2009

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    Indie_Guy's avatar
    Indie_Guy
    United States United States

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    D&G Masculine by Dolce & Gabbana

    For me, this is the perfect citrus cologne. Masculine is based on a big lemon note heavy with citral and facets of petitgrain. It almost seems just that simple, but then you get sparkles of basil and peppermint-- these unexpected herbal chimings give it a carefree, youthful Mediterranean lilt. I also perceive a soft floral that reminds me of honeysuckle. The fragrance then comes to rest on a subtle but vital foundation of vanilla and vetiver, giving it a soft, pleasant bump at the end like one experiences before getting off a roller coaster ride at an amusement park.

    01st December, 2009

    sbbbjm's avatar
    sbbbjm


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    Gucci by Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    when gucci came out with this one, i was a bit surprised. the marketing for this one just didn't seem as sleek and 'coveted' or grand or 'i'm a sexy beast come get me' - as a matter of fact my initial thoughts were 'did they just wanna push something out for the holidays?'

    on top of that, the name? when i think of the 'Designer + Pour Homme' or the 'Designer + For Men' in a line of scents i think of it as the anchor, the classic.

    this one manages to deliver a nice spicey woody top with violet and cypress. however those notes mellow out and all your left with is a generic patchouli/amber blend. it's sweet but nothing stands out about it. if you need a nice scent to give someone for christmas and don't want to worry about it being a miss - than this one is your man.

    01st December, 2009

    evinick's avatar
    evinick
    Greece Greece

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    Vetiver Oriental by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Balancing skillfully between woody vetiver and sweet oriental proves to so many other vetiver scents that creativity, in certain circumstances, is a risk you must take. To compose with a dry ingredient such as vetiver, within the strictly oriental boundaries of Lutens house and produce a crowd pleaser, is a challenge indeed. Using a a sensual palette of notes , ranging from sweet and woody to herbal and earthy, this one practically can please almost anybody. I wish only it could maintain this beautiful vetiver note for a little longer before passing to the sweet ambery base. Just great.

    01st December, 2009

    Caltha's avatar
    Caltha
    Sweden Sweden

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    Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

    Basically this is a warm - no, hot! - buttery smooth, woody/musky comfort scent. There's a boozy, steamy aspect to it that makes me think of mulled wine (without actually smelling like it) and all in all it feels perfect for Christmas! It smells a lot alike the Wenge Essence, only with something extra added to make it a complete fragrance - somewhere in between Wenge and Chaos. I prefer it to Chaos, which I found a bit loud and synthetic.

    01st December, 2009

    coastfansocal's avatar
    coastfansocal
    United States United States

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    Rocabar by Hermès

    For some reason this scent reminds me a lot of Burberry Touch. Its very clean and warm, but the vanilla and juniper make it very creamy. A musky scent thats slightly warm and slightly fresh.

    01st December, 2009

    coastfansocal's avatar
    coastfansocal
    United States United States

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    Santos Concentrée by Cartier

    Hands down the best dressy evening mens fragrance ever made! Warm, woodsy, creamy, amber, smooth, deep and mysterious. Like other writers have mentioned, its what I imagine James Bond to smell like.

    For some reason, it reminds me a lot of my trips to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the winter. It must be the leather, lavender and juniper, giving it a fresh spiciness. Maybe its the Amber and Oak moss? Whatever is in this great fragrance, it makes me reach for my leather jacket in the winter on a night on the town. It so mysterious and women go crazy over this fragrance. Perfect for a black tie affair and great for the winter time!

    I will agree with Foetidus, this is also in one of my top 3 fragrances of all time!

    Santos Concetree is a Handsome Man in a Bottle..this is what separates the MEN from the boys.

    01st December, 2009

    coastfansocal's avatar
    coastfansocal
    United States United States

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    Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

    Some people have compared this to Narciso Rodriguez, but it reminds me more of Eclat De Arpege by LANVIN. The apple martini, cedar and amber give it that fruity floral kick.

    The patchouli is very high quality and manages to keep the fragrance "musky" without ever becoming spicy.

    I have to hand it to Sarah Jessica Parker, I wouldn't touch most "celebrity scents" with a 10 foot pole, but she did her homework on this scent. A great women's scent for those who like musky florals. A hidden gem !

    01st December, 2009

    coastfansocal's avatar
    coastfansocal
    United States United States

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    Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

    A very tart and fresh floral. The grapefruit and green mango make the scent so tart and tangy you want to pucker your lips. The florals move in and the lotus blossom/incense combo gives you a false sense of vetiver. It keeps the tangy citrus edgy, a very different type of floral. Not quite spicy but not quite fresh. Very tangy and very sharp, an acquired taste if you like that sort of thing.

    01st December, 2009

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    coastfansocal
    United States United States

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    Kohdo Wood Collection: Lotus Blossom & Water Lily by Jo Malone

    What a stunning release from Jo Malone! Such a beautiful, bright and linear floral scent! It stays true to its name and blossoms into a clean floral. Its sweet, but not sickening. Its fresh, but not suffocating. A great women's every day scent!

    01st December, 2009

    coastfansocal's avatar
    coastfansocal
    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

    Success is a Job in New York is truly a great fragrance. Its sweet, creamy, spicy, floral and a paradox. Bond #9 fragrances are known for their incredible lasting power, and this one manages to stay "low key" its strong and you can detect the scent, but its not over the top. The vanilla and patchouli would typically make a recipe for a cream disaster, but the florals keep them in check. At first spray you can smell sweet cardamom and bergamot, it almost smells like almond oil. The rose and plum move it to make it fruity, and prevent the patchouli and vanilla from making the scent spicy.

    This scent is truly a master piece since I have never smelled anything like it before! A Success indeed!

    01st December, 2009

    Bruspotter's avatar
    Bruspotter
    Belgium Belgium

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    All these fancy descriptions to flower up a scent which ends up smelling exactly like Angel Men. End of story.

    01st December, 2009

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    bokaba
    United States United States

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    Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I was finally after much anticipation able to sample the fabled Muscs Koublai Khan. I must say that this fragrance has neither good longevity or sillage, but that might be quite overbearing for one like this. I imagine MKK as mixture of Eau de Hermes's prodigious sweaty cumin note up front and an animalic musk similar to Kiehls Musk, but higher quality than either of the former. MKK combines a sweaty cumin and civet opening with a floral heart and a dry down of musk, moss, vanilla, and tonka. I would get it if you can afford it otherwise get Eau de Hermes or Kiehls. I imagine MKK might become quite vociferous in warm weather though.

    01st December, 2009

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    cerulean
    United States United States

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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    It's all true. This is a wonderful classic scent and it's a horrible gagging thing. Though they say the scent was not changed in the 2000 re-design, it was. If you can find it in the pre-re-design version, you'll likely love it. Post-2000 version, you *will* be running to the sink trying to wash it off before you hurl. I'm getting kind of grey myself, but even for me the new version evokes a powdery visit to granny's underwear drawer. Hideous.

    01st December, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar
    SirSlarty
    United States United States

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    Jasmin de Nuit by Different Company

    Jasmine opening that turns into a powdery, spicy woods of amber and sandalwood. A bit of cinnamon gives a taste of a gourmanded jasmine. If you like powdery florals, Jasmin de Nuit is for you.

    01st December, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar
    SirSlarty
    United States United States

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

    Excuse me, waiter! Waiter! Yes, waiter, I'd like some more lemon and woods in my cologne please.
    Ah thank you, but a little more.
    Little more.
    Liiiiitle more.
    More.
    Little more...
    Ah too much take it back.

    01st December, 2009

    Fragranza's avatar
    Fragranza
    Germany Germany

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    Moschino Funny! by Moschino

    Basically, Moschino Funny is a fruity orange fragrance (bitter orange, mostly) with a clean musky base and a hint of flowers (peonies are most prominent) and green tea. It's a lovely and happy scent, quiet linear, not overly sweet, with excellent lasting power; it's easy to wear and joyful. I like it a lot. Of course there's nothing extravagant or groundbreaking about it, but a lot of things can go wrong with fruity florals and here they don't. Thumbs up!

    01st December, 2009

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    saxifrage
    United States United States

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    LP No.9 for Men by Penhaligon's

    Honestly, I hate orientals. I'm just not big into the opulence and sweetness. It tends to get old to me after a while and then I get a headache. Keeping that in mind -- I absolutely ADORE this stuff. I tried a decant and one spray was enough. I had to spring for a full bottle. The bubblegum bit is spot on. This has a distinctively minty/clovy effect that is like some type of old fashioned candy. It dries down into honey and caramel sweetness. I normally don't like such warm/sweet/gooey scents, but this one is an absolute guilty pleasure. I get compliments left and right when I wear this! The staying power is amazing -- I can wear it and go to bed to wake up with warm sweet murmurs of this still resonating on my skin and I love every single second of it. Penhaligon's should really diversify this line into shaving creams, body lotions, deodorants, etc. I can see why some might tire of it -- normally I would too -- but that's where the eccentricities of taste come in. I don't like this genre at all, but I'm glad I kept an open mind and tried this one anyway. I prefer this to Endymion hands down as the "sweet, modern oriental" in the Penhaligon's line.

    01st December, 2009 (Last Edited: 04 February, 2010)

    Tony T's avatar
    Tony T
    United States United States

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    Kiss Him by KISS

    definately in the top 10 for worst scents of all time. this bijan,trussardi uomo,derrick black and many of the over the top80's scents. the odd thing about this is it came out a few years ago though, go figure.body odor,piss and an animal's cage is what this smells like.

    01st December, 2009

    Sybarite's avatar
    Sybarite
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

    I'm seriously confused by all the above reviews here for Ormonde Man !? And completely disagree with most, except a very few ! ... Far too many contradictions. I mean, half mention the scent being "light, with no longevity", whereas the other half profess "intense, with "excellent longevity" ??? ... This therefore leads me to believe that the fault lies not with the scent itself, but rather more so with some noses, I suspect !?
    Then a load of bizarre comparisons with a host of diverse scents, all of which smell nothing like it. (Tam Dao ??, CdG II Man ??, Nemo ?? etc. etc.? ~This really couldn't be further from the truth ! Sorry, no similarities whatsoever !)

    The scent "opens" with a blend of Juniper and spicy notes. Of which most apparent are Cardamom and Pink Pepper, and to a lessor degree Coriander. All enveloped in Bergamot, which very soon lifts. The spices soon after recede too, to give way to the most prolonged stage of the scent, it's heart accord of Black Hemlock and Oud. ...
    Now the Hemlock and Oud here are actually (supposed to be !) real/natural and not just some or other synthetic "note". ... (Ms. Pilkington (the perfumer) states that she uses up to between 2 to 3kg of "Hemlock compound" for every 150 bottles of scent). ... Which is actually pretty impressive, I thought !
    And the Hemlock I can certainly smell abundantly, sitting "centre stage", and it does smell natural to me. ... However, the Oud's presence completely escaped me unfortunately ! I'm afraid, I could not smell it at all ??? Or else, it's not an oud I could recognise (or am more used to). ... Unless, it's the Oud which is lending the scent it's woody aura perhaps ??? Which, of course, is quite possible. ... Though I suspected that was just the Cedar and Sandalwood shining thru from the base ???

    Now, on the Ormonde Jayne website, it mentions Hemlock being "Socrates chosen poison". However there is some "artistic license" going on here. For whilst this is correct, the hemlock that poisoned Socrates was actually entirely different to the Black Hemlock that's used here. "Poison Hemlock", the actual culprit, is actually a herb (with toxic root) belonging to the parsley family. Whereas the Black Hemlock used here is actually from an evergreen spruce tree from Canada ("Tsuga Canadensis"). And so therefore having a coniferous like odour. ...
    The essential oil derived from Black Hemlock is apparently very similar to "Black Spruce". (So much so, that apparently their oils are sometimes blended together). It smells sweeter and softer than most evergreen oils, with a balsamic resinous odour, with green woody notes. ... And that is pretty much what Ormonde Man smells like ! (with some added subtle spices).

    It's obviously a very well blended and accomplished fragrance. And even totally original, with it's unique first-time use of Black Hemlock in perfumery. However, I find I'm just not particularly attracted by it's scent, unfortunately. (Though I'm sure you "cone-head types" should really enjoy it ! Or, at very least, find it interesting).
    I'm afraid, it's just a little too "safe" for me personally. But I can also still see it's attraction, and think it would make a perfect "office type scent". Or perfect for you less adventurous types ! ... I'm sure many will luv it !

    01st December, 2009

    ausamamira's avatar
    ausamamira
    Jordan Jordan

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    Nina (new) by Nina Ricci

    i like Nina..its Ok ...but not very intersting to me...i dont smell apple! its more like cedar to me ...i dont even classify it as a feminine smell ....i consider it as a unisex fragrance .... i feel something common between it and Ungaro man ....

    01st December, 2009

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    xXjEnNyXx
    United States United States

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    Baby Doll Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

    I bought this blind without testing. I tried this on several attempts and all I smell is sickening soury grapefruit note from beginning to end...I guess Babydoll just doesn't work well with my chemistry or maybe it is supposed to smell this way? Whatever it may be, I can say Babydoll is NOT my cup of tea.

    01st December, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar
    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Pulp by Byredo

    Pulp is an unusual concept, but created with some panache. A fruit flesh compote, initially drizzled with sharp bergamot juice, and latterly bedecked with sweet and engaging florals. Beyond the opening, a waxy red apple note clambers to the peak of Pulp, and crows with gusto for several hours. Overall, the journey is a fairly brief one, but it rarely fails to entertain. For its pioneering spirit I mark it highly, but I have slight reservations about its wearability.

    01st December, 2009

    OctoberAmy's avatar
    OctoberAmy
    United States United States

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    Harajuku Lovers - Music by Gwen Stefani

    Doesn't work for me, too sweet, like those chewy sweetarts.

    01st December, 2009

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    Bo Darville
    United States United States

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    I was actually slightly repulsed by Kouros when I first tried it somewhat extemporaneously at Ulta or some similar brick and mortar outlet. It wasn't that I thought it to be fecal or urinous, as several others have indicated. I simply felt that, at least in the initial stages, it was too reminiscent of that institutional deodorizer aroma that I associate with public restrooms and the like - this is surely the genesis of Kouros' popular equation with all things "potty." After consequently dismissing it as interesting but totally unwearable, I was lucky (or charming) enough to coax a few random samples of Creed fragrances from a willing Neiman Marcus associate. Among these samples was Orange Spice which, although different from Kouros, struck me as similar enough to be considered as a possible (and likely) inspiration for it.

    As I came to know and like (but not love) OS, I felt the need to revisit the Big K. Truth be told, despite my serious initial misgivings the Kouros memory had remained stamped on my cerebral cortex, tempting me like a siren's call to give it another try. My positive experience with OS just cemented my determination - I swore to ignore any pre-existing associations, trudge bravely through the chaotic top notes, and at least see how it developed (none of which I had managed to do before). I think it helps to think of the Big K as General Patton. He didn't care what you thought or what your personal story was - he demanded subservience, loyalty, and patience. If you gave him that, he worked magic; if you didn't, he probably publicly embarrassed you and left you for dead in North Africa...or something. Kouros is literally no different. Literally.

    Although the initial complex, aldehydic blast featuring bergamot and coriander is powerful, if one persists he will be treated to one of the greatest second acts that I have had the pleasure of experiencing, an incense-y drydown that is floral, mossy, and spicy, featuring honeyed amber goodness and loads of civet (real or synthetic - who cares?). Sillage and longevity are phenomenal. You may find yourself thinking, "It's nice, but it's too much," but then the compliments start pouring in. On top of that, despite its age and apparent reputation, this is a fragrance that I never smell among the populace, probably because the top notes are too discordant to resonate with the short attention span of the average consumer.

    My bottom line: I don't care if you take my advice and give Kouros a fair shake. Worldwide sales of the juice are so good that I should always be able to find a bottle somewhere. It's relative obscurity and apparent lack of popularity with the masses (at least in the U.S.) means that I will be the greatest-smelling person in the greatest country in the world for the rest of my life. I can live with that.

    01st December, 2009 (Last Edited: 02 February, 2010)

    moss1310's avatar
    moss1310
    United States United States

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    Cologne pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    For me this opens with a a dark, dusty, liquor-y rose. Very rich and deep. Soon a powder comes in that overwhelmes everything else. The powder note in fragrances just doesnt do it for me, and this one is long and strong. At the base the powder subsides, but by this time my curiosity is gone. Not a bad scent, but so far the weakest of the Maison Francis Kukdjian's that I have tried.

    01st December, 2009

    cheekyhamsta's avatar
    cheekyhamsta
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Horizon by Guy Laroche

    A totally unique smell with a mesmerising aura. Once you’ve smelt this memorable scent it’s impossible to forget it or confuse it with anything else. I’ve been using it on and off since it was first released. I used to love to keep it in the ice box of my fridge and spray it on ice cold; the bottle’s appearance itself encourages this method of storage. Despite the blue colour of the bottle and box, it doesn’t smell very “blue” to me; perhaps “turquoise” would best match. It is a very individual take on herbal masculine scents IMO, being at once refreshingly cool, crisp & oceanic, and wonderfully warm, fruity and herbal. There is a lot going on here and it all works harmoniously: it really is intriguing and full of interesting juxtapositions. The warm herbal –fruity basenotes are strangely assertive and calming at the same time much like ocean waves breaking on a beach. They are evident right from the beginning and remain strong to the end, ensuring that this scent is penetrating and has astronomical sillage. Horizon has a timeless smell as it was and remains so unique and ahead of its time. It is also unmistakably masculine and sensual and would make an excellent signature fragrance whilst still available. However, this scent also falls into the love-it-or-revile-it category and is not recommended as a blind buy. I love it. All in all a true work of art and I’m dismayed that it is being discontinued.

    01st December, 2009 (Last Edited: 24 February, 2010)

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    cheekyhamsta
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Sergio Tacchini Sport Extreme by Sergio Tacchini

    I had a large blue bottle of this in the mid-90s that I used to use in the office in Dubai. What I remember of it was that it was a pleasant enough smelling fragrance with a sweet lemony edge, that I eventually got bored of and couldn’t wait to finish the bottle. Overall, nothing very special.

    01st December, 2009

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    CateSK
    United States United States

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    Mitsouko by Guerlain

    I've been a Guerlain lover from my rosy days of youth...L'Heure Bleu and Shalimar have been my staples for over 40 years.
    Not that I haven't strayed, as a true lover of fragrance, I've tried and loved, loved and discarded more than a few other fabulous perfumes over the decades; Chanel, Gres, Lauder, Chopard, so many others....
    But the one elusive prize I've not possessed has been Mitsouko.
    Now that I am in my (50ish) dotage, and should be respectable enough to find at least one true lover, er, fragrance, I dared to flirt with Mitsouko.
    So, I shall confess: while dancing the tango with Tom Ford, I saw an old, used bottle of the Mitsouko on a dusty shelf. Unseen, I slipped it into my hand, and onto my skin, meaning to return it to its place, unknown...but the swirls of scent and elegance and beauty and decadence and exquisite timelessness overwhelmed me, and the little dark bottle slipped gently to the floor.
    And so now, while Mr. Ford and his Black Orchids escort me much of the time, I secretly love Mitsouko; my inner self swoons with pleasure whenever we are together.
    That is Mitsouko.

    Cate

    01st December, 2009

    Jonte's avatar
    Jonte


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    Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    Masculine evening scent. Love it!

    01st December, 2009

    Jonte's avatar
    Jonte


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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

    Very feminine but nice scent. It may work on hot summer days but it´s nothing for me. Poor longetivity. Pretty good sillage.

    01st December, 2009

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