Fragrance Reviews from December 2009

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    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

    Do you love the smell of unsmoked dark vanilla pipe tobacco?
    So do I, and this ain't it.
    I'm not sure if I agree most with Asha's description of lovely spiced cookie dough or Stereotomy''s vanilla scented candle, but I understand the thumbs up from both reviewers and if i ever wish to smell like either description, I know where to find it.
    There are high quality tobacco scents that convey precisely what they're aiming for ( dry leaves being cured in Tabac Auera for example) but as for the scent of an unsmoked dark vanilla pipe tobacco, I give up!

    In a book of Japanese incense, whose name I can't for the life of me remember, the author mentioned the custom in ancient Japan of wearing a satchel or pouch of wood shavings of Kyara or Sandalwood in the inside pocket of a kimono--or was it a neck pouch? Those crazy samurai!

    Unless someone suggests an alternative, this may be the only way to go for the scent. Stop at your friendly tobacconist's shop.

    14 December, 2009

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Salt Air by Demeter Fragrance Library

    What Taolady said :)
    This might be the poor man's Erolfa but at least sea breezes are not required, it's a fun and uplifting scent--another black mark against you Happy!---This will make you happier than Happy.

    Great good morning frag.

    14 December, 2009

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio

    My thanks to Somerville Metro Man for answering my question for a frag that captures dry dark pipe tobacco. He didn't say this was it, but it sounded interesting enough, and I've liked some of the Sonoma offerings before to warrant a try.

    Yes, it's the smell of cured tobacco leaves being dried in the sun. Not quite my thing, though the frag is wonderfully well constructed and delivers what it promises. I can't help but compare Ford's overpriced Tobacco Vanlle to this one. TV just doesn't deliver the goods. This one does.

    14 December, 2009

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake

    Designed to be evocative of the English countryside, Oxford & Cambridge (OC) is a definite success. Having tried nearly all the big name and obscure lavender dominant fragrance, I find OC to be among the very best - a fleshed out and expansive lavender fragrance, with a rich lavender heart surrounded by a cast of concrete notes. No simplistic lavender water cop out here folks, this is a proper lavender fragrance.

    There's a smell and feel of density in the OC and it permeates from the very beginning. Minty peppermint and bergamot provide an inviting opening, with the mint devoid of any screeching menthol sharp edges. A few minutes later OC blossoms into a rich heart of one of the finest lavender oils on the planet...the star here is English lavender, with its low camphor content and distinctive sweet/herbal aroma providing a distinct sweet and herbal lavender accord which has a unique 'damp' feel sort of like the english countryside after scattered showers. Rosemary accentuates the herbal aspects of the accord but none of the starring notes feels out of place or proportion - the blending is superb and the fragrance moves slowly but assuredly towards the drydown. The kicker comes in the base .. the damp, full-bodied lavender accord lands on a base of (real) earthy and woody oakmoss providing a fitting end to a superbly realized experience of the english countryside in a bottle.

    If you are looking for a complex lavender fragrance, the OC needs to be at the top your list. Its one of the very few lavender dominant fragrance which features a large quantity of top grade english lavender absolute. The materials used are top notch, the fragrance is coherently put together and alongside Creeds Royal Scottish Lavender, its the only one I use on a regular basis. This is no 'put-good-quality-lavender-oil-in-a-bottle-and-sell' 5 star simplistic effort - in OC the perfumer J. Stephens has concocted a lavender experience of real joy.

    Rating: 9.25/10.0

    14 December, 2009

    goldiloks's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Essence by Narciso Rodriguez

    For those that love For Her, but found it a little too overpowering, try Essence. It is a softer, quieter and smoother, almost creamy alternative. It does indeed last for ages, but wont ebter the room before you do. I am still searching for my holy grail of fresh baby lotion scents, and although this isn't yet, it definitely hits the top ten in that category.

    14 December, 2009

    30 Roses's avatar

    United States United States

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    English Rose by Yardley

    This is a solidly good, wearable rose fragrance, still available online as of this review. I have received compliments from strangers for this one. I find the longevity quite good-- it lasts most of the day on me. Slightly powdery.

    14 December, 2009

    dogsinatub's avatar

    United States United States

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    Havana by Aramis

    Once I finally got my hands on this amazing juice, I wasn't disappointed. I don't have near the intricate nose that many on here have, but I have never smelled anything like it. I don't know how I ever missed the stuff before it got discontinued. I'm only gonna say one more thing; I wore it out the other night to a club and was told I smelled amazing by several women and another said I looked like Antonio Sabado Jr...So i got that going for me :) Anyway, I have worn many other colognes and have never gotten a response in such a short amount of time. It's the perfect time to wear it with all the sweet scents out there. Peace

    14 December, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sicily by Dolce & Gabbana

    Full sweet sandalwood reminiscent of the same overtly sweet sandalwood found in Joop! Homme. Just not as potent and medicinal. Aside from a light heliotrope and rose accord, the sandalwood is the dominant player. From the opening of fresh bergamot and a ylang-ylang/banana accord to the minimal florals, this is nothing but sandalwood. And maybe some musk. There's always musk in these things! I will add that this stuff is very strong so be gentle with the application. Great composition but to me it's a little too much.

    14 December, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Effusion for Him by Iceberg

    Eh, nothing much to say about this. Leaves a spicy cedarwood accord on your skin for a while.

    14 December, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    St Johns Indian Gold by West Indies Bay Company

    Sweet spicy sandalwood that's not cloying. Slightly powdery, in an odd medicinal way like "cheap" drug store shaving cream. Hm. not bad and it's quite warm and comforting. Fans of Rive Gauche pour Homme and the like would enjoy this spicy and light alternative.

    14 December, 2009

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Le Feu D'Issey by Issey Miyake

    I haven't tried Douce Amere, but I have tried Bvlgari Black, Kenzo Amour EdP, and Etra. None of them are especially similar to LFD'I, in my opinion. I enjoyed the first hour or so, getting nice wafts of an interesting blend, but then it was very weak, which is rare for me. I usually can smell things that nobody else seems to be able to for hours, even with just one spray to the chest. So, on the basis of longevity and projection/"sillage," beyond the first hour or so, I can't give this a positive rating. I can't say that this is so dynamic or unique that I need to obtain even a large decant, and the longevity is a major issue for me.

    14 December, 2009

    ausamamira's avatar

    Jordan Jordan

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    Cuba by Czech & Speake

    I would not imagine that this "perfume" may have positive reviews!!!!!!!?????!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry every body ....its the worst of the worst smells i have ever smelled ...... a very disgusting smell .... 100 thumbs down

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 02 March, 2010)

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Joy by Jean Patou

    This is my 2nd review for Joy parfum but this is for the Proctor and Gamble version.ie. non vintage.
    This is p[robably as good as Joy vintage parfum and I am very happy to say that. Yes there are probably minor tweaks here and there but essential Joy remains the same. I am sure some people will disagree with me but my nose is my nose only.
    On applicaton ,it's a pure burst of rose and jasmine - finest quality, rich deep, that jasmine is richly indolic and a little undercurrent of civet sharpness right from the start. The parfum remains smooth to the ned wherre I am left with a civetty dry down .
    The change I notice is probably this newJoy is slightly brighter and just a little velvety than vintage. It's has probably 30 % less longevity but this new Joy extrait still is tenacious.
    I have read that some people find that there is a lemonny artificial note in it but I cannot detect that. I do notice a little 'green, slightly fresher note' come forth as the perfume progresses.
    The other change is the civet which is not from a cat's bum anymore but from a lab ! I don't mind that at all . It's still got that civetty 'flavor' and probably in this case, 'less is more' . :)
    I have to give P & G credit. They answered all my emails in re. to Joy reformulation. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this P & G formulation and I will happily wear it. Nothing has been dumbed down ,the packaging is as luxurious as ever and the so is the bottle.
    This is fine stuff. Go buy it.

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 10th June, 2010)

    Pollux's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    Lapidus pour Homme by Ted Lapidus

    LpH has the strongest opening of all the scents I ever tried in my life, to such a point that I felt upon application that I doused in it unvoluntarily, with the added disgrace that I find the inital notes offputting. Of course, the first time I tried it I simply rejected it without much ado, but retrial made me discover a unique scent in this era of raquitic, squalid and characterless scents.

    Top notes are descirbed as pinapple. Albeit listed in the pyramid, I cannot identify these first accords with this note, unless we are dealing with a very sharp, synthetic kind of aromachemical resembling it: to my nose, this feels like a mixture between aniseed and lemon. From then on, it evolves in a flowery way along the top notes, these playing the role of a leitmotiv - jasmine and roses accords are clearly perceptible, soothing LpH's initial boldness and turning it into a scent along the lines of classical accords I found in what used to be femenine scents dating from mid XX century. As a point in case, I recall analogies in this sense betwee TLpH, YSL's Kouros and Balenciaga pour Homme: even thought present time masculines, there are flowery notes mixed with animalic accords I had the chance of identifying in some women's forgotten classics - to be more precise, Schiaparelli's Shocking and Pucci's Vivara.

    Of course, for many this would mean Ted Lapidus is dated and "old - lady" like. Not for me, I enjoy this boldness and complexity, so rare to find among contemporary designer and drugstores scents. So, if unsure about this one, play safely: test before buying, not once, but many times.

    14 December, 2009

    Kabamaru ninja's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    212 Men by Carolina Herrera

    This is a nice refreshing scent with notes of fresh grass pepper and some sweetness on the dry down which is more powdery...
    I use it as sport scent cause its energizing and alluring but thats all!
    I wouldnt wear this one for a date or a night out..
    Its a daytime frag for warner months. just good!

    14 December, 2009

    Kabamaru ninja's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    John Varvatos by John Varvatos

    As a greek its hard to be objective!
    But JV is really an amazing versalite subtle classy scent!
    I categorize it close to Code which I like but both have the same problem...
    they dont project nothing in a distance more than 10-15cm!
    So sillage is poor and longevity is average,but this dry down is amazing even its just for you....

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 26 March, 2010)

    Kabamaru ninja's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Hypnôse Homme by Lancôme

    I was tricked!!!! thought it was nice from the tester but I was wrong...
    its bland and boring and even I cannot found something similar it smells so common.
    A mix of sweet and some like peppery notes...
    Longevity on my skin was poor...
    Not a crap but I was expecting more from Lancome.

    14 December, 2009

    Kabamaru ninja's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Ultrared Man by Paco Rabanne

    Ultra series of Paco is great!
    I like both UV and UR, this one is a little bit in the edge between men and unisex!!!
    Specially the top notes smelling like berries or strawberries....to my nose it has some common notes with Black XS which I found bad....
    I read a review mentioning it as sweet strawberry dust! this is it!

    14 December, 2009

    Royal's avatar

    United States United States

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    David Beckham Instinct by Beckham

    Whoa, this seems like I'm sniffing something completely different than anyone else. What do I get? Vetiver, vetiver, vetiver in spades, supported by some citrus. And, it's very nice, natural smelling vetiver with a nice lifespan. I can even see chunks of it floating around in the juice. A great buy for the fifteen or so dollars it's found. The Beckham line in a whole is very above-average.

    14 December, 2009

    Zgb's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    Davidoff Adventure by Davidoff

    Not bad, but nothing representative about it. Sillage is moderate, longevity some 8 hours. Easily forgetable scent.

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 18 January, 2010)

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I don't quite vibe with all the "darkness" and "danger" comments. To me this goes on as a warm and fuzzy rose with lots of honey and maybe some red fruits. Nice enough, although it doesn't hit me anywhere special. The middle phase is nice -- I do get soft apricot/skin notes and there's an interesting sour/off note. It does have a bit of a chypre character, and I'd believe that there's leather here, though it doesn't come out strongly. The dry down is a sour, rather thin, and long-lasting accord of glue/wine/underpants. Entertaining to sniff, but not something I can imagine wearing. I can see why other people like it, but at the end of the day it left me completely cold.

    14 December, 2009

    Tedster's avatar

    United States United States

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta by Acqua di Parma

    Acqua Di Parma Colonia Assoluta and Green Irish Tweed are my two favorite frags as of Dec. 2009. Assoluta is the type of fragrance that can work for just about any climate and situation. Sophisticated, yet restrained. Clean, but won't make you smell like the typical fresh aquatics that rule the world today. Luxurious, and confident. These are qualities I associate with Assoluta.

    The fragrance itself starts out with a citrus blast but quickly some spice and woods enter into the picture. Everything is harmoniously blended together and I have a difficult time picking out single notes. I just know I really like what I get out of Assoluta.

    I get tremendous longevity (for an EdC) from Assoluta. 8 hours plus, easy. I have dry skin and fragrances tend to get swallowed up faster than I like, but Assoluta just keeps on going. I've even smelled it faintly on my skin 24 hours later. Assoluta is not a loud scent, and I'd rate the silage to be about average, or a bit below that. I feel like it projects about 1 to 2 feet off my skin. Perfect for work, school, or whatever.

    Thumbs up!

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 01st March, 2010)

    Hartman Design's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lucky Number 6 for Men by Lucky Brand

    I don't get the comparisons to Fahrenheit or musty Grey Flannel at all. Begins very and warms to a sweeter woodsy spice within a few hours. Offers very decent projection and longevity. Nothing quite as exotic as the bottle label suggests, but overall a very pleasant experience. I've spent considerably more for inferior, less unique colognes and find it a nice change of pace once a month or so.

    14 December, 2009

    olfactorium's avatar

    Belgium Belgium

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    Fidji by Guy Laroche

    about my emotions: this has made me think of times spent in one of the former soviet countries in the beginning of the 90's.Those posh overweight ladies somewhere in their mid 30's who just happened to get this as a gift that was cosidered to be of a divine value because by that time fidji was THE french perfume for ladies.And especially during hot summers whatever governamental institution one could ever visit back there, one would encounter a sweaty, "moisty" , almost puffing with steam administrator with a body full of redundant matter stretching her clothes who would smell of fidji and just because of this still have a trace of femininity.And curiously enough that smell was ubiquitous no matter what kind of institution or commercial enterprise one visited especially during summertime.
    about the perfume: to me it can not get any more simple and uncomplicated.The classics are always the best when it comes to the proportions.Everything seems to be so geniously harmonised and well orchestrated.I just didnt happen to encounter this kind of harmony in those modern female perfumes that i have sniffed so far. But still the main theme in fidji is this tropical sweaty-ness that on a woman looks incredibly attractive. If you are going to wear this, do it on a hto sunny summerday,maybe even to a beach. And from my experience i can tell, this suits any woman of any age.

    14 December, 2009

    olfactorium's avatar

    Belgium Belgium

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    Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

    i know,there has been enough said already,but...if there's still a bit of space left for another positive review, well...For this moment this is the best male fragrance i have ever smelled in my whole life.Even forgotten about all those fragrances that i used to like and thought that them were real men's perfumes.But ApH - that's what a male fragrance is supposed to be.It is just serious and "detained" within the clearly shaped frontiers of masculinity.While so many perfumes for men nowdays tend to bind you with that special sweet female tint in a form of glorious flowers or sweet vanilla/tonka or any other redundant elements in a well scetched men's scent, ApH is just all what there needs to be and no more.And this is what i personally appreciate in it.That's why classics are forever and this one is certainly too.

    14 December, 2009

    olfactorium's avatar

    Belgium Belgium

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    Miyabi Man by Annayaké

    Sometimes the spirit of commerce and the power of money take complete control of the ideology and this sort of utopic striving of the artistisme and creativity to reach "a better" destination. This was launched in december 2009 obviously to compete in " the christmas shopping olympics", when all the brands make their final most tough effort to gain some cash. It's a great dissappointment! After Annayake's male scents which to me were kind of a token of the alternative japanese manner of perception and creation of things like perfumes (but not only them),miyabi man comes as another commercial clone,some kind of anti-wanna-be perfume that actually tries to be more like the "rest of them" rather than to represent something particular and unique. What is it all about? Actually i didnt even studied this smell well when i got this test strip from the store because my first impression was just "commercial bull***t!".Sweet,fruity,peary,peachy,cloying without any particular male properties.Like eating the whole pack of fruit jellies all together instead of one by one.No developement what so ever,no character and no real value.

    14 December, 2009

    Marie84's avatar



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    Organza by Givenchy

    Elegant in a mature way. Sensual in a subdued manner. It is strong but restrained. A classic. An evening perfume for the mature, elegant woman.

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 March, 2010)

    Marie84's avatar



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    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    This is my current favourite. I am no expert in terminology but to me it smells so otherworldly in a fantastic way. A huge plus for me (and which led me to buy it) is its longevity. Nothing lasts on me except some four or five fragrances from the myriads that I've tried. It not only lasts long but it smells better and better as time goes by. It may have absolutely nothing to do with it in scientific terms but it also reminds me of one of my boyfriend's perfumes, 'Sculpture' by Nikos, this may have made it so familiar and comforting to me. Nothing to stand in awe of but entirely to be enjoyed. It is also intoxicating and addictive...so alluring, warm and sexy...I just can't stop smelling my wrists when I put it on. Definitely a thumbs up...two thumbs up I say!!!

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 March, 2010)

    Marie84's avatar



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    Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

    I used to really love this one but somehow I have grown so used to it that I cannot even smell it any more! It is an excellent perfume for daily wear. It can be smelled from a distance but is very mild and composed. It has excellent longevity and leaves a lovely fragrance on coats and scarves. It is very very clean. It is not a fragrance that shouts out, it is not something fantastic but it is 'lovely', exactly as its name implies. Quiet and unassuming, unlike the name of the woman it bears, it still makes a statement.

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 March, 2010)

    Marie84's avatar



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    Versace by Versace

    A happy perfume. Sets me in a good mood. It is not to be compared to any of the great melancholic classics like the Guerlain gems. Comparing everything to them would result in not liking anything. I just love it. Its golden juice is full of life like the sun. It has excellent longevity and is rather strong but still suitable for daily use. In fact, despite it's being strong, I would not recommend it for an evening function. It is too happy, solar and flowery for that.

    14 December, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 March, 2010)

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