Fragrance Reviews from April 2009

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    ComplacentAmericons's avatar



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    360 Degrees for Women by Perry Ellis

    Sampled it at Walgreens...And let me tell yea, this bad boy made me sick to the point of a throbbing migraine and the clerk sneeze uncontrollably with red, watery eyes. To me it smelled worse than the cheapest hair spray on the market!

    07 April, 2009

    Nostalgie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cozé 02 by Parfumerie Generale

    Cozé is to scent memory what the Human Genome Project is to genealogy.

    When the phonemes in its name meet a first whiff of this pitchy brew, Cozé brings to mind “primordial ooze.” The rich blend, featuring canapa sativa seed oil, pepper, cocoa, ebony, coffee and pimento shocks at first, then eventually soothes by evoking something far away yet familiar, as mysterious as Easter Island, as mundane as rush-hour traffic. It is not the comfort smell of mother’s apron or grandfather’s pipe. No, one must dig deeper into the past. Cozé unleashes an imaginary journey through time and space, encompassing the La Brea Tar Pits, the African Savannah, a quest for fire, the Lascaux caves, exploration of the New World, and your favorite leather chair.

    Hot, tarry, dusty, as pungent as burnt rubber, and rather beautiful in an uncanny way. Not for the faint-hearted, but a must-try all the same.

    07 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 19 April, 2012)

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    Allure Eau de Toilette by Chanel

    A serene, feminine floral that starts out cool and leafy (which reminds me of a lily) and ends up warmer and delicately sweet, while still maintaining the overall impression of a floral shop. This fragrance is a bit prim for me. I might like the EDP better, according to reviews.

    08 April, 2009

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    Edwardian Bouquet by Floris

    Galbanum lovers, take note. This fragrance takes the bitter bite of galbanum and pairs it with the springlike sweetness of hyacinth--two of my favorite notes. The mossy base blends with these notes to create a forestlike accord that is like a breath of evergreen. Edwardian Bouquet is a misleading name. One would expect to smell a sweet, old-fashioned bouquet. Although it does include a number of flowers, it is in no way typical of floral perfumes. It is a classy, unusual fragrance that stands out in a crowd. And it is decidedly unisex. If I could change anything, it would be to make it less transparent. It seems to float into the air rather than allow itself to be captured on my skin. It is long-lasting, but it hovers in the space around me rather than on me, even though I long to possess it. Nevertheless, I love it. This is a must-try and my first experience with Floris, leaving me with a good impression of this perfumer.

    08 April, 2009

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    Belle en Rykiel by Sonia Rykiel

    A modern composition featuring heliotrope. This starts with a big fruit note. Red current is listed, but it comes across as a blend (a common occurrence these days) that smells like apple-pear and/or pineapple-mango. Just when I tire of the fruit, an unusually gorgeous heliotrope note emerges. It is smooth as butter, vanillic but not overtly so, a bit dusty and flour-like, and decidedly nutty. As the fruit recedes, a curious aroma develops which smells like coffee and cream, or perhaps hazelnut coffee, and it blends well in the composition. In the final analysis, it is the wonderful heliotrope that thrills me, but I somehow wish that it existed without the huge fruit combo. The entire fragrance borders on gourmand and succeeds in hooking onto current trends.

    08 April, 2009

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Claiborne for Men by Liz Claiborne

    Claiborne for Men stands out for several reasons: a) it is one of the few bergamot-heavy frags I really like, b) it receives little attention on Basenotes, probably because of its modest price,c) it has superb longevity, d) it has wonderful sillage (strong but not "crazy strong"), e) it always garners me tons of compliments and, finally, f) it's the only offering from Claiborne that doesn't bore me to tears and/or make me want to retch.

    A very nice late Eighties/early Nineties cheapie -- snarf it up before it all disappears from the shelves forever.

    08 April, 2009

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Soul by Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

    A bland, inoffensive offering from the "crank 'em out, churn 'em" house of Claiborne.

    Fruity opening with green heart and woody dry-down. Good for the "under 20 years and 20 bucks" crowd that (for some odd reason) wants most of its members to smell exactly like everyone else in that age bracket and budget.

    08 April, 2009

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Privé Éclat de Jasmine by Giorgio Armani

    A very soft, somewhat fruity take on jasmine. Nothing cutting edge here -- for all intents and purposes, this could have been formulated in the Thirties or Forties. While I far prefer Creed's various jasmine frags to this one, I really can't say that there's anything (save the retail price) that's unpleasant about this Armani juice.

    For the life of me, though, I've yet to see just how (if at all) this frag qualifies as unisex. I find it very soft (though not weak), fairly traditional and unmistakably feminine.

    08 April, 2009

    Moneysuckle's avatar

    United States United States

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    Quorum Silver by Antonio Puig

    I don't think I've come across anything quite like it. Drys down into a gentle leathery/green citrus blend. I enjoy it thoroughly.

    08 April, 2009

    Rakhee's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

    I am disappointed that I was unable to appreciate the mermaid beauty in this fragrance - while I can see the marine female association, it is much more of a fish-like stench than the sparkling image that 'mermaid' evokes.

    This is the first perfume that has made me gag with nausea, and recoil; hours after washing it off, there is still a faint odour emanating from my hand, of clean corpse ready to be dissected.

    08 April, 2009

    tsar_perknip's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambush (original) by Dana

    When I heard they'd changed the Ambush formula, I immediately went out and bought a bottle of the old formula. Like the other reviewers, this is the smell of my mom in the 1970s. I held on to it for a while for sentimental reasons, but now I find I really enjoy it on its own merits. There's a sweet powdery smell to it, a little like Love's Baby Soft. Now I'm cautiously rationing it out to make it last.

    08 April, 2009

    tsar_perknip's avatar

    United States United States

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    I couldn't believe how much I HATED Shalimar. I love the "old lady" perfumes — especially Guerlains — and I expected to love this, but I could not get it off me soon enough. Overwhelming, cloying... yuck.

    08 April, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Acqua di Acqua Homme by Marina de Bourbon

    Not fair! Now I need to add to my "Three Blues"! These include Sander for Men, Gucci pour Homme II and Hugo Boss Dark Blue. Acqua di Acqua shares similarities between those three. A lightly peppery myrrh and a little sweet. THe drydown seems to last a long time on me. Nothing outstanding but it's very, very nice.

    08 April, 2009

    Gblue's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Outrageous by Kerry Katona

    If you've smelled Armani Code, then you know what this fragrance is trying to smell like. "honeyed" "orange blossom" and "musk".
    The body products didn't match the scent at all and had random scents thrown into them.

    08 April, 2009

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Noir Epices by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Oh man -- there is so much clove in the middle of this, it jolts me. It only really subsides way into the drydown and this is the stage I like best as the woods and patchouli soften. The opening couple of hours are a bit too camphorous and almost medicinal for my liking -- smells as though you may be treating a chest infection or something bronchial at least. It is not a scent I will wear regularly because the opportunities will be limited, i.e. not good for warm weather or an office environment imo. For ultra spice diehards only.

    08 April, 2009

    memechose's avatar

    United States United States

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    Unspoken by Roja Dove

    this is in my opinion the best 'modern' chypre available. As in the review above wish i can afford the pure perfume.you can find it @ www.beautique.com

    08 April, 2009

    spooneb's avatar

    United States United States

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    Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

    Birch tar & leather opening vaguely remiscent of Lonestar Memories, then settles down into the most umm…unique barbecue & bubblegum(Dubble Bubble, precisely) accord. I’ve never smelled anything quite like it and it lasts forever. It’s oddly compelling though not in a pleasant way. I would never want to smell of it.

    08 April, 2009

    Sybarite's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

    I don't understand everybody's issue here with longevity. I have a skin that usually swallows up scent, so I don't usually get much longevity from my fragrances. Well this Extreme lasted well up to six/seven hours on me, and I experience no problem with it being fleeting. And on a testing strip, the terribly delicious far drydown, I could still smell three days later, wafting off the strip. Actually this is somewhat unfortunate, because my absolute favorite part of this scent is actually this far drydown. Which develops on paper, two days later, which smells just heavenly. However when worn on skin it never gets a chance to develop, as the fragrance is long gone before reaching this stage.
    This scent, as has been noted here before, is totally different from the Tom Ford Man. There is not even a resemblance.. It should not be seen, or expect it to be the "extreme" version of the first scent. Because it is not. See it rather as a totally different fragrance , which just happens to be named Extreme. This makes much better sense.
    The opening notes of this fragrance are a very spicy accord, which is actually very remininscent (actually, almost exactly the same) as Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir. The similarity is actually quite striking. Now whereas Pomegranate Noir continues with the same scent, with very little development or change, till it's drydown. Extreme changes and develops into a completely different, smooth accord for it's heart. This is when the scent becomes truly captivating. With the entrance of that simply delicious Italian Black Fig, Plum and Saffron accord. That this scent truly comes alive. This fruity sweetness is tempered by the violet leaves and ceder. At this point all these notes are not actually seperately perceived, as they just blend beautifully together to bring this enveloping sense of warmth and comfort.
    And just when you think it can't possibly get any better ... With the drydown it certainly does. This whole wonderful scent lies on a rich bed of Amber, Rum, Vetiver, Incense and Leather. And not forgetting the truelly delicious Vanilla and Truffle, which all together create a just spectacular base to a very beautifully authored fragrance.
    Not ever having encountered the Truffle note before in any other scent. I cannot actually pick it out amongst the other notes. But if it's contributing to the deliciousness of this marvelous vanilla accord. Then bring on the trufffles, and I will gladly play the "piggy".
    To me this scent smells exactly how a man should smell like.
    A total triumph, to my nose !

    08 April, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Umbra by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    Holy Smokes, Batman! This is the type of fragrance I envisioned a house with the name 'Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab' would create, and a fragrance that fits in with the imagery and vibe of its website. Umbra is a dark, strong, and evil fragrance. Essentially linear, Umbra is a huge, unforgiving blast of cedar and vetiver. The cedar is brutally strong and brooding, the vetiver is sharp and bitter. A hint of cinnamon brightens on application but quickly recedes, leaving only the angry, sillage-heavy wood/vetiver. Although there is no distinct patchouli note, I believe it is present as published providing depth and strength.

    Perfect for the mosh pit or when you otherwise want to clear space around you, but not unpleasant or poorly constructed. It's different, it's strong, and it doesn't f-around.

    Notes: East African black patchouli, cedar, vetiver, cinnamon

    08 April, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Note Ambrée by Martine Micallef

    The tact I have taken over the last few months when trying a new niche fragrance is to - when possible - get samples of the entire line. I've been finding that trying all the fragrances reveals information and gives me perspective about each particular fragrance I otherwise may not have gleamed. The structure, the techniques, the style, the artistry, etc. all come into better focus when viewed in perspective. It's almost as though seeing the forest helps me understand each tree contained therein.

    Thus has been my approach with Martine Micallef fragrances, of which Note Ambree is my first review of the house. I'm reviewing this first because I feel it typifies the line in many ways. The style I am encountering with Micallef fragrances is that they are subtle and full of discrete notes. These discrete, subtle notes can be enjoyed individually as they meld in and out, appearing, settling, and resurfacing throughout the fragrance's life on the skin. The notes however also have the unique effect of conglomerating such that their confluence stands for an interpretation of one larger note. In this case the note is amber, and I assume the name 'Note Ambree' tells us that this is an interpretation of amber without the use of amber, per se. The same effect is created in various other fragrances such Patchouli and Note Vanillee to different degrees.

    On application Note Ambree presents a bouquet of florals brightened with citrus (bergamot). Ylang ylang and jasmine are the most prominent florals, and the composition is sweet in a floral - not sugary - way. The addition of bergamot gives the topnotes an amber feel to them. The different florals come in and out of focus, and slowly the bergamot loses visibility as the amber base becomes more prominent. The base is not pure amber, instead a well blended floral aspect always remains. The published notes of rose and iris are never distinct, but I assume they are present to both round out the composition and soften it as only iris can.

    As is typical with Micallef fragrances, sillage is light to moderate but longevity is excellent. For a floral/amber, this fragrance is largely unisex - at least as unisex as any straight amber such as L'Eau d'Ambre or Ambre Precieux. If you are a guy who enjoys fragrances such as those you will have no problem wearing Note Ambree.

    If you're starting with Micallefs, I recommend this fragrance (highly), as well as Vanille Aoud (one of the more unique from the line), Aoud (Boise) Men, Gaiac (my favorite), and Anabar.


    bergamot, fennel leaves, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, amber, iris

    08 April, 2009

    Myspunge's avatar

    England England

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    Blanc by Paul & Joe

    silvery almonds, quinine and briar, chamfered musks and other touches of sweetness. Does not smell like a glass of milk, smells like a more fey L’Eau d’Hiver carrying lilies, or a glass of horchata de chufa. When the sparkly top dies back, it is, you know, a shade bland and BCBG [bon chic bon genre or ‘preppy’ as they say in the USA]. Also has a doughy finger pointing in the direction of Bois Farine. Faintly cuddly, like the ghost of a hamster.

    08 April, 2009

    msleslie's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Cuir de Russie by Chanel

    Reviewers' descriptions of this scent always alarm me and I keep sniffing my wrist to try to make some connection - plastic? manure? danger? naughty? improper? urinous?! Huh. Well, these sensations do not apply to my bottle of Cuir de Russie, anyway.

    As a vegetarian I should be repelled by the thought or smell of leather, and am; this thankfully smells like no leather I have ever encountered.

    It does smell rich, warm, sensual and wonderful. It evokes the same feelings in me as Hermes Amber Narguile. It is beautiful - and I feel wrapped in a cloud of privilege and pleasure when wearing it.

    08 April, 2009

    jmaddux23's avatar

    United States United States

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    Red Door by Elizabeth Arden

    If you want to smell like cheap perfume and cat-pee, this is the fragrance for you. Otherwise, DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!

    08 April, 2009

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Red Door by Elizabeth Arden

    Red Door behaves demurely on my skin, neither strong nor sickly. It reminds me of old candles-- the ones in the textured colored glass jars. I had one such candle in my room for a while growing up. I'm not sure where it came from or how old it was, but and its fragrance had *almost* faded, but there were light, perceptable white flowers and ever-present waxiness. So it is with Red Door. It is a bit of a nostalgic throwback, which probably wasn't its creators' intention. It's novel, to me, but not something I'll wear again.

    08 April, 2009

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Silver Rain by La Prairie

    I don't get the name in conjunction with what Silver Rain actually smells like. It isn't evocative of anything fresh or sparkling. The fruit and the anise fight with each other, and the flowers linger, barely perceptible, in the background. I can see the anise and patchouli plausibly working (the transition from one to the other was the most seamless in this composition), but patch is a difficult note for me to begin with, and in the context of the rest of the perfume, it is dischordant. It all feels like a mishmash of notes, not in harmony with each other...at least, not on my skin.

    08 April, 2009

    decillisjl's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

    I absolutely detest the taste of licorice, especially the "noir" version, but this is my favorite female fragrance BY FAR... If there is anise in this it is so subdued by the amazingly deep violet and earthy ivy that I cannot even detect it. I bought this for my girlfriend recently, and I say proudly that on every single occasion she wears it "business time" comes very early. In fact I have missed many episodes of American Idol, Family Guy, House, and whatever basically any show that comes on the television because when she comes out of the bathroom wearing this, nothing else really . Thumbs up for keeping the fire alive~!!!

    08 April, 2009

    decillisjl's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    It seems I can never stress enough how certain scents will force an immediate deja vu that conjures up memories so long forgotten you weren't sure whether you dreamed it or if it actually happened. I just got a bottle of GPH today, and excited as I was from both the reviews and the perceived pyramid I was not quite ready for the mental fatigue I've just gone through for an hour. Since I was already wearing my SOTD (creed chevrefeuille, although by this point in the day the relatively weak longevity had long since rendered it imperceivable to my nose) I decided to spray the back of my hand... just to get a feel for it before I showered and could enjoy a full wearing. The first couple of minutes I wasn't really impressed, as the weak capsaicin in the pepper mixed with the tiniest whiff of ginger didn't really do much for me... after five minutes I found myself absolutely entrenched in my own wrist (luckily the geriatric playing golf didn't notice me inhaling my arm from my balcony, but whatever I wouldn't really care if they did). Something in this kept stoking my memories... at first I went through every single fragrance I've ever sampled, worn, smelled on someone else, you name it... I was left with nothing. I started to get a bit angry that something that smelled so familiar was lost in my memory banks. Then, alas, a revelation. I was probably around ten years old visiting my Nana up in Connecticut, and we went to a "true" Catholic church... being a florida boy I was raised in a "progressive Catholic church", whereas everything was a bit watered down to compete with big boy Baptist right across the road. Anyways my first journey to the "real" church was incredibly intimidating for me, with the massive architecture, the massive ensemble of choral units, and the 3 story organ pipes that seemed to erupt from the organ and blast the hymns straight to heaven. Needless to say I was blown away by the sheer immensity of it all; the most intriguing part of the entire visit, however, was the priest wading through the crowd of pews with the ball of insence hanging from the chain, filling the entire structure with the most putrid, irritating, yet pleasurable fragrance I had yet known... After that whenever my family went back north to visit, all I wanted to do was to go back to that church. Not for the rhetoric, not for the incessant kneeling, standing, sitting and watching what everyone else did just so that you wouldn't make the wrong move. I begged to go because although the fragrance hurt my eyes, although it burned my nostrils, and although it left a pasty film on the back of my tongue it was the most exhilarating nuisance I had ever felt. After an hour into GPH I'm left with that same sort of irritated satisfaction. The scent pyramid from the middle down is absolutely worthless to me, because I have no idea whatsoever how orris rhizome smells in its natural state, and if there is amber in this I cannot feel it. What I do get is a tremendous amount of pew wood, leather from the "books of the lord", and that powerful incense that psychosomatically never really goes away. The irrational thing is that I can almost smell the top notes of Tommy Bahama in the drydown, which makes absolutely no sense at all, but somehow that which I loved in the latter is that which I love in the former... All in all I can't really make a solid recommendation for this fragrance, because so much lies in the subjective manifestation that causes me to love it, but I could never see this as getting a negative comment it is just too beautiful. Thumbs up for yet another unexpected trip down memory lane

    08 April, 2009

    Uppercut's avatar

    United States United States

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    Castile by Penhaligon's

    Love at first smell. This frag is one of those once-in-a-couple-years scents that makes you pause like Indiana Jones did when he laid eyes on the golden idol statue in the cave. Oft compared to AdP Colonia (and its Assoluta sibling), this frag is even better, which is saying something since I absolutely love the AdP colognes and have worn them religiously for years.

    On my skin, this frag has staying power and transforms from a bright neroli opening into a mindblowingly pleasant musk. It's not a white musk or a dirty musk - its a refined and comforting, distinctive musk. But it is NOT musky. It is the kind of scent that makes you want to nestle your head and stuff your nose into your own neck. . . oh. to be a flamingo and be able to do such things!

    In addition to AdP Colonia's opening, the drydown actually reminds me of Dunhill Man (tonka bean 2004 frag) - not necessarily in scent, but in the emotion it gives - comfort, soothing, distinction.

    From opening through drydown this is both sophisticatedly noble and classy, yet liberating and invigorating. You're not the Crown Prince, with the weight of history and your country's future on your shoulders. Rather, you're his youngest sibling. All the aristocracy of your older sibling, but none of his responsibility. Go play, Young Man1 Fly planes and drive roadsters with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a flask! Ride horses without a saddle, holding onto nothing but the beast's man!!. Date whoever you want and then tell them "mother would never approve" when you inevitably get bored of their lack of complexity.

    You're a lucky SOB and you know it. You couldn't have it any better.Castiiiiiiile!

    08 April, 2009

    Prop's avatar

    France France

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    Michael for Men by Michael Kors

    I like this one very much. To me, very similar to Burberry London for Men but richer, smoother and with a better longevity.
    I agree with other reviews that the opening is a bit messy (bergamot + an herbal mix) but the top notes don't last long. Then a beautiful accord of tobacco, leather and incense is sweetened by a dried fruit note (plum) in the heart of the fragrance.I can also smell spices (cardamon).This stage stays a long time on my skin, and after that, for the drydown, I've got a very sensual and close-to-skin patchouli/tobacco accord. The plum also shows up from time to time with the heat.
    I wear perfumes for myself at first place, but I had a lot of compliments from girls with this one (from my experience, I noticed girls are always unexplicably drawn to tobacco notes), so it's a plus.
    The bottle is pretty cool too, very similar to the Gucci PH I.

    08 April, 2009

    Prop's avatar

    France France

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    Burberry London for Men by Burberry

    I like this fragrance. The other reviews describe it perfectly.
    However, on my skin, it vanishes in one hour :-(
    If you have the same problem as me, try Michael by Michael Kors. Very similar to BL but with an astonishing longevity.

    08 April, 2009

    Showing 301 to 330 of 1217.