Fragrance Reviews from December 2009

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    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Citrus Paradisi by Czech & Speake


    A polarizing fragrance, it seems. Well, count me in on the thumbs up side as far as the opening is concerned, but two of three thumbs down when we get to the middle and the base. I understand that the initial grapefruit note has to be somewhat doctored because the clear and straight-forward citrus notes do not last very long… and in order to make them last, they have to be presented in combination form that reduces the purity of the citrus. I think that the perfumer did a brilliant job in the opening’s grapefruit note. It is rich and full and long lasting and I’m willing to believe that it’s an adequate citrus / grapefruit note. Thumbs up for the opening! But when the middle and the drydown are reached, the minor sins of the opening become magnified into major problems as far as I’m concerned. The accords of the heart and base are just too plastic for me. I smell like I have rubbed my skin with Tupperware, and that’s something I conscientiously try not to do. Of course maybe it’s a skin reaction thing, but it’s pretty clear that neither my skin nor my nose likes most of Citrus Paradisi.


    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Individuel by Montblanc


    Sweet, synthetic, a bit metallic… Not the kind of fragrance I like, but this type seems to be so popular among the designers. I do see a similarity to Joop!, but this one is a little tamer. There are times when I actually like Joop! (quarter of a spray, of course) and I could see myself liking this one in a moment of weakness. It’s certainly not the worst of this type of fragrance, and I can understand someone enjoying it. It’s pleasant genericness earns it a neutral in my opinion.

    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver pour Elle by Guerlain


    Now THIS is a vetiver! It is so much better than the men’s version of Guerlain Vetiver. It is so much better than a whole host of vetivers out there. It is primarily a floral vetiver and it has a recessive nutmeg warmth – adding a tiny bit of spice to the mix. The “sweet” in the fragrance is furnished by tonka bean for a sweetly refined somewhat vanilla note that has strength but doesn’t seem to overwhelm with its sweetness: It’s so well put together that, if I concentrate on the tonka bean, the fragrance seems overly sweet, but when I concentrate on the whole, the sweetness disappears and the exquisitely balanced whole comes forth. The vetiver presented has the necessary edge to it, but the slight edginess goes unnoticed within the matrix.

    Vetiver Pour Elle is a masterpiece of proportion and style. It has enough sillage that it’s not a skin scent, but the sillage isn’t strong. Its longevity is very good. Personally I find this quite feminine on my skin so I wouldn’t choose to wear it, but it could very well be the most beautiful vetiver fragrance I’ve experienced.

    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia by Guerlain


    The mint in Mentafollia has a bitter tinge to it that I enjoy more than the usual fresh mint note. Also, the mint note is strongly augmented by the green tea note – I like the combination very much, but to be honest, I think I get a bit more of a green tea note than a typical mint note. The use of mint in AA Mentafollia could have been an inspiration for the mint in Cartier’s Roadster – another mint fragrance that I actually like. The dry, bitter mint / green tea dominates to the point of overwhelming the opening’s citrus to my nose.

    The top and middle levels hold on for a time – way longer than its “aqua” status would suggest. Mentafollia doesn’t seem to have much movement to my nose. It stays pretty linear with its mint / green tea accord. It takes almost two hours before I notice the cedar of the base, which is about all I get from it. The base is rather generic, but it is OK because I already had an extended time with the part of the movement that I most enjoy – the top and the middle notes.

    Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia is a surprisingly enjoyable, well made mint / tea fragrance and a very nice change from the more usual citrus. I find it surprising because I didn’t think that I would enjoy the mint note.

    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Love In White by Creed


    I somewhat agree with Luca Turin’s assessment of Love in White… I’m not sure that his “disastrously vile” label is deserved, but it does smell more “chemical” than any other Creed I’ve tested, and much more chemcal than I expect in a quality fragrance. Of course there are many, many chemical-smelling fragrances out there and some of them I enjoy… but not Love in White… and not Beyond Paradise for Men, for that matter.

    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Starwalker by Montblanc


    The modern litany: Unoriginal, synthetic, cloying, generic. A total mediocrity… Not worth complete sentences.

    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ralph Hot by Ralph Lauren


    I never expected to enjoy a fragrance named “Ralph Hot” but it’s actually interesting, pleasant, and even a bit appetizing. It’s a sweet gourmand that isn’t at all over the top in its foodiness, and it is full of attractive, enjoyable accords and nice movements. The first food accord I get is the combination of almond blossom and cinnamon – sweet and nice… a bit floral, a bit foody, but most of all, enjoyable. Then the mocha cream, jasmine, milk, and fig come in with another floral / food compilation and this one is funky and fun. The drydown moves in with the maple syrup, which goes well with the amber and musk… There is an actual uniformity in the movement of the fragrance and it strikes me as being a somewhat linear, but that is no problem because the scent is so enjoyable. This one has been a very fun surprise.

    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Walnut by Banana Republic


    I don’t get cognac in the opening – about all I get in the whole fragrance are the cedar and a little tobacco. At first the wood and tobacco notes are quite nice but they turn synthetic after a half hour or so. Even synthetic, they are not really bad notes, just indicative of a blend that should be of better caliber. Black Walnut has weak sillage and very poor longevity. I usually like Banana Republics fragrances, and I think that this one began as a very good idea, but they cut too many corners with the quality of the ingredients.

    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ralph Rocks by Ralph Lauren

    I rather admire the restraint of this fragrance. With its name, list of notes, and gaudy bottle, one might think it would be one of those over the top, overdone “Rockin’ Rio” type abominations. It isn’t over the top. After the very alcoholy blast of the opening, Ralph Rocks settles down to a gentle, semi-tropical fruity floral. Even though this is not my favorite category, I like very much the way this is done. Of the fruit, I mostly smell citrus – particularly orange – and passion fruit. The middle florals are reduced to a pleasant texture with a bit of green; I can’t separate out the individual notes, but it works well with the prominent citrus. The base is very well done. It is a bit tropically unique with its coconut milk lightness and it’s soft, discreet wood base… not too sweet, either. I think Ralph Rocks is a delightfully feminine, slightly equatorially unique fragrance that has a tempered sillage and acceptable longevity.


    04th December, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    360 Degrees Black For Women by Perry Ellis


    Perry Ellis’s often makes clones, but I’m not sure that this is one - it doesn't remind me of anything I've smelled even though it seems rather generic. This is a fruity / floral with a sandalwood / vanilla base. The fruit is a rather peachy-apple affair that is somewhat generic and not very absorbing. The rose notes in the middle does seem to be too strong, but I usually don't care for rose, and this rose note is not the worst I’ve smelled. I’m happy that the violet is not overwhelming. The dry down is an amber, vanilla, sandalwood that I've smelled many times in many fragrances. 360 Degrees is simply a neutral kind of fragrance.

    04th December, 2009

    jellybean1973's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Bandit by Robert Piguet

    Rough, forceful, coarse...and other synonyms from ".doc" - and I like :) A few days ago I read the thread about "dark chypres" and this is the ultimate IMHO. My bottle opens with a beautiful flowery something, but like 10 seconds thereafter the roughness comes through. At first I though wt* but I subsequently "got" it. This is how I like my fragrances - take no prisoners. Mine is the EdP of a formulation I don't really care to know. It just gives me that oomph that is needed in this wardrobe. It takes a while to get to the drydown, but when it does, I'm happy I got myself a bottle of Bandit. Give me more!!!

    04th December, 2009

    cpk's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Sagamore by Lancôme

    If I had to pair this with a person description it would have been "funky old guy". As foetidus says the opening is quite unique. Like smelling two scents at the same time. It felt like my head was banging inside a glass bell. First thoughts: this has gone bad! But no. This is it This is just wild composition. Different notes running wild on your skin for the first five minutes, competing for domination of your nostrils. Something tart peaking its head every now and then. And then it all calms down to a peppery, woody, powdery delight. What is really striking is how such a classic base can pair so beautifully with such an individualistic opening.

    04th December, 2009

    bonzo's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Y by Yves Saint Laurent

    another great french perfume - a green chypre-clean, proper and fresh.very refined and classical.

    04th December, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Angel by Mark Buxton

    Mark Buxton Black Angel

    Notes: citrus, bergamot, mandarin, orange, rosemary, ginger, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, jasmine, lily of the valley, orris, styrax, guaiac, patchouli (from luckyscent.com)

    Mark Buxton certainly knows how to assign evocative names to his fragrances. So far, despite the sex-appeal of the images he creates, I have found the juice itself to be solidly composed, with homage to classic fragrance structures. Black Angel is one that does not quite fit this mold, although I still do not find it terribly ground-breaking. It is very modern, with ginger, tea, bergamot and mixed citruses in the top notes. The effect is somehow very green, despite the strong fruitiness of the orange and accompanying citrus notes. The middle development is slightly leathery with mixed white florals, iris root and some sweet, powdery, vanillic amber. I was all set for a perfect finish, but the base turned out to be a let-down. It is primarily composed of Iso E Super and some other vague woody, smoky incense notes. Although Black Angel bears very little resemblance to something like Bulgari Black, both these fragrances firmly fall into the vanilla-woods, modern oriental model. Try Black Angel as a nice, though not ground-breaking, alternative within this fragrance family.

    04th December, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford

    Tom Ford Grey Vetiver

    Notes: vetiver, grapefruit, nutmeg, orris, orange blossom, aromatic sage, pimiento, amber woods and oak moss (from NowSmellThis.com)

    The notes I smell most in Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver are vetiver, mixed citrus which may include grapefruit, bergamot and lemon, vague and nondescript woody notes, and a herbal accord which is reminiscent of rosemary and lavender. There is a slight plasticky note in the mid-development which reminds me of the creamy floral accord from Tom Ford's White Patchouli. In the context of Grey Vetiver, it gives a bit of sweetness and roundness to an otherwise rather dry and astringent composition. The vetiver is of good quality--it starts nutty and ends smoky and dry. The vetiver is much more subdued in GV than it is in vetiver powerhouses such as Lalique Encre Noir, although it is obviously vetiver from a similar source as EN. Later in the mid development, as the vetiver is transforming, there is a stage where the combination of vetiver with the creamy floral and herbal accord is quite pleasing--it is refreshing and uplifting without being heavy or harsh. Late in the development, the early creamy floral transforms into the same soft woody accord from White Patchouli, but this time is overlaid with smoky vetiver, very faint mossy notes, a masculine musk and persistent herbs. This would be an excellent alternative to lighter vetiver scents such as Guerlain Vetiver or Comme des Garcons Vettiveru. Gray Vetiver seems modern but not edgy, longevity and sillage are moderate--a great all-around masculine fragrance, and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

    04th December, 2009

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jungle L'Éléphant by Kenzo

    There's something I find disgusting in this one. I don't know what it is and I don't really care (because I swapped my bottle off). The clove is strong, but there is a creamy quality to it, which I don't mind, and often enjoy, but this one has something nasty in it. I enjoy a strong clove note and don't mind wearing fragrances like Jacomo de Jacomo once in a while, but this one is stomach turning. Obviously, sample first !

    04th December, 2009

    saxifrage's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Verveine by Penhaligon's

    I'm not sure how to adequately describe this one. Expecting this to be a fresh, citrus heavy fragrance, I was rather disappointed when I was met with something that smelled suspiciously like Brut. A woodsy, mossy, fougere accord with a soapy/powdery effect. There is no doubt of the quality of this fragrance, but by the end of the day, I was ready to wash it off. The good news is that the longevity is feeble-to-moderate. Starts off fantastically strong and glows for a good 30 minutes to an hour, but then it quickly fades.

    04th December, 2009

    saxifrage's avatar

    United States United States

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    Extract of Limes by Penhaligon's

    I agree with Caltha. At first spray, this stuff is marvelous. You can really detect the juiciness of the lime, mixed with the bitterness of the peel. Very refreshing on a hot, humid summer morning.

    After about 15 minutes or so, a minty/camphorous note emerges that very quickly takes precedence over the lime. It melds with it to create a very synthetic aroma.

    The longevity is very poor, so the only way you can get a decent amount of staying power is to really marinate in this stuff. Make sure you get some on your shirt. Spray on your chest.

    Unfortunately, at the end of the day as I was walking out of my office to go home, I walked past one of the carts that my building's janitor uses to clean the floors with. He had his mop bucket out filled with water and the mopping solution. It smelled just like my shirt. I finally realized that by the end of the day, I smelled like a urinal cake, airport restroom, and/or janitorial cleaning solution.

    A pity, it really does start off beautifully.

    04th December, 2009

    Balvon's avatar

    Lithuania Lithuania

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    Blu Mediterraneo Tuscan Cypress / Cipresso di Toscana by Acqua di Parma

    Blu Mediterraneo Tuscan Cypress
    Green and fresh fragance in which I get the notes of pinetree, lavender, cypress, vetiver and cedar.
    This is a good scent for women and men, but I think there is something traditionally masculine in it.

    04th December, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Green by Byredo

    A sweet and nutty floral that contains some satisfactory episodes. The opening is rose dominated, served with a light herbal garnish. Any sweetness from the jasmine and honeysuckle is subtle and still emerging. Beyond the top notes, the almond in the base is already making its presence known, becoming more prevalent as the rose begins to wane. The sweet nutty almond is underscored by a slightly bitter violet note, that quickly gains the ascendancy. The violet’s presence is pivotal, as it ensures that the fragrance does not become overbearing and cloying. Longevity is well below average, and it is much too softly spoken to gain too many friends. I liked much of Green, but it lacks potency and real invention

    04th December, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Encens Chembur by Byredo

    Chembur is clearly in a great deal of distress. An ugly addition to the Byredo family - it has so very little to commend it. The opening is astringent, with a potent ginger presence that exacerbates the harshness in the citric elements. Beneath the unsympathetic opening is a warm and sensitive core. Heart notes of incense and nutmeg provide a welcome, if brief distraction from the preceding unpleasantness. Sadly, the base lacks the necessary ingredients to complete the rehabilitation, the dry woody components lack the vitality and potency to retain any continued interest.

    04th December, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sarrasins by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Starts very fruity and very sweet and stays that way into the dry-down. There's a persistent "artificial" note (I'm not experienced enough to know if what I'm smelling is truly synthetic or natural, but it makes me think of artificial things) but maybe I'm being unduly influenced by the grape-soda color of the juice.

    Overall, the impression is light, transparent white flowers -- pretty and fresh, with only a bit of Lutens weirdness. I could swear I smell a little bit of rubbery tuberose in there with the sweet/rotten jasmine and some green facets. The leather is very light, or almost completely absorbed up into the flowers. I was hoping for more. The dry-down is principally jasmine, with an interesting ripe-cheese note.

    I can tell it's an interesting, quality composition. If I liked white flowers more I'd probably find it more enjoyable. Not my favorite.

    04th December, 2009

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Tuscany / Etruscan by Aramis

    A heavy masculine disguised as a citrus. A lemon trapped in a leather jacket. This is one of those lemons dropped in the shadows in the paintings of the Dutch masters. It stays there for almost 6 hours. Then leather stays one day more. And I'm talking two sprays at most.

    04th December, 2009

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    This is something you'd wear at a world ecology conference or as a UN goodwill ambassador. It's peaceful and it's strongly connected to Mother Earth. In fact that's how I imagined Terre d'Hermes before I smelled it.Smells expensive and humble at the same time. Represents absolute state of tranquility, challenged only by a beautiful spicy note. I don't imagine many occasions in my real life where I'd choose to wear Dzongkha. Thumbs up for craftsmanship, definitely.

    04th December, 2009 (Last Edited: 08th February, 2010)

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chantilly by Dana

    I thought it smelled like spicy baby powder

    04th December, 2009

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Demi-Jour by Dana

    I remember this as a warm, ambery-scent that would be most appropriate for fall and winter- I picked up much more spice than flower-
    I think I bought two of them just so that I could give one to my mother-in-law, because we both thought the bottle was so beautiful-

    04th December, 2009

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills

    wow, talk about over-exposure...
    Looking at the list of ingredients (tuberose, orange blossom, jasmine, gardenia, ylang ylang) I should love this stuff- because I am a white flower fanatic- but this stuff made my stomach turn- maybe, as others have noted, this is because people tended to load it on- and that it actually smells nice in small doses- but my olfactory memory of this scent is so negative, that I don't want to get anywhere near it-

    04th December, 2009

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Night Blooming Jasmine by Jovan

    I adored this one- a bargain gem of a white flower fragrance

    04th December, 2009

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Curve for Women by Liz Claiborne

    I think this fragrance paved the way for the fruity/aquatic florals that are so popular today- it's ok, but I found myself getting tired of it rather quickly-

    04th December, 2009

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Michael Kors / Michael by Michael Kors

    I loved the white flower power blast of the top notes, but it faded into eau de shampoo on me- and I caught no hint of incense anywhere-

    04th December, 2009

    Showing 151 to 180 of 1001.




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