Fragrance Reviews from April 2009

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    silk4ever's avatar

    United States United States

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    Citrus Paradisi by Czech & Speake

    This, in-my-opinion, is the best of the samples that I received from the highly respectable Czech & Speake. I agree with jathans in regards to the opening. At first when I smelled this sample I thought this wasn't my "cup of tea" as the opening reminds me of one of those classic barber shop scents with a hint of citrus. However, once I forgot I had it on, my nose was receiving one of the most pleasant aromas and it turned out to be Citrus Paradisi's dry down which involves one of my favorite notes, Oakmoss. For the drydown alone, I am giving it a Thumbs Up. But, I do not know if I would want to wait out the opening as I am the type of guy who prefers to enjoy the whole composition of a fragrance!

    06 April, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Antihéros by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Lavender, musk, precious woods
    This is an excellent lavender scent: it is dry, herbal, with a lovely blue-green aura and a smoky tang. This is a very simple, minimalist scent centered on lavender with translucent hints of musk and wood. The dry down is airy, and the scent wears very well. Some of the negative responses may be due to the fact that some people don't like lavender. I love lavender, and this is a great scent -- better than Caron IMO.

    06 April, 2009

    goldiloks's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Virgin Island Water by Creed

    A big shot of lime and pencils! Top notes definitely wake you up, that's for sure. After 30 mins, it softened, losing the sharpness, and I could really smell the coconut.... sad to say for the remaining hours I was left with a boring, furniture polish type smell, not unpleasant, but certainly not evocative or emotional. The type of smell that makes a room smell quite nice (in a tickle your nose sneezy type of way), but you wouldn't want on your body.

    06 April, 2009

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Osmanthus Interdite by Parfum d'Empire

    Never having smelled real osmanthus, I cannot say whether this is true to life or not.

    What it is is fruity, roundly floral and somewhat tea-like. I cannot pick out recognizable notes in this, but the whole seems vaguely familiar - I just can't put a name on it.

    Very pleasant, but not spell-binding, especially as it reminds me of many shampoos. It's just not as impressive as some of the other offers from the PdE line.

    Sillage and longevity medium, despite accidentally emptying a whole 1 ml sample on myself.

    06 April, 2009

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mojo by Austin Powers by Gendarme

    Hmmm...

    All the Gendarme scents are different variations on a good theme,


    with Grabazzi being the exception, but not by much. This theme is also present in CK be.

    I'm afraid I couldn't tell you if Mojo is more "sixties" than other Gendarmes, but I can tell you that it's a little "darker," and is more reminiscent of freshly cleaned linens than the other Gendarmes, which seem to more closely resemble soaps.

    I've been told it's a sort of ethereal, muted, pleasant, yet obscure smell by other people who smelled it on me.

    The bottom line is that it's very nice, but I've yet to thoroughly examine my bunch of Gendarme samples to determine how it really compares. I will say this, even if I like another Gendarme better, for $25 you can be damn sure that I shan't regret my Mojo purchase.

    06 April, 2009

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lucky Number 6 for Men by Lucky Brand

    Boring, Indefensible Dreck.

    Lucky Number 6 is a mundane "fresh oriental." It stays in very safe territory and there are also some annoying "sweeter" notes that obnoxiously sneak around whilst you go about your day. I thought I'd learned my lesson about blind buying, but apparently some good reviews, a pretty bottle, and a nice price turn me into a ten year old at Gamestop.

    If you're already on this site scouting for scents, then you are well past this amateur concoction.

    06 April, 2009

    TaraYvonne's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vamp by Ava Luxe

    This is one of my favs. Lush, rich, sweet, heady-it's so many things I could go on forever. You see a word pop out here over and over again on these reviews? That word is SEXY. Nothing innocent here, the title fits. Vamp . Yep, that's right. Everything about it says "Come here...I have power over you, you are under my spell. You will give yourself to me." This sexy oriental will have no less than complete domination, baby! I don't think it sits too close to the skin as mentioned before. My husband could smell it on me just fine even with space between us. Perhaps on dry skin you might have problems with this, or maybe not enough was used to allow the fragrance to project well. It did fine on me and it lasted forever. I have no complaints, only rave reviews!

    06 April, 2009

    persianpoppa's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Three days ago I picked up a sample of Musc Ravaguer from Skin Cosmetics in Amsterdam. The very same day I wore the fragrance to properly review it for myself. My first sniff of MR reminded me of...... medicine; a very sweet and sexy medicine! I applied one spray on each wrist first. I took another big sniff from my wrist and was amazed by the richness of the smell. In the opening MR is warm and relaxing. I just couldn't stop sniffing my wrists. At last I applied one spray in my neck. As I leave the store I couldn't help but notice there was already a cloud of dark sweetness floating around me. MR sticks to my body like some kind of freaky aura!

    After about half an hour the medicine smell evolves into a sweet masculine scent. Notes of Lavender and Cinnamon prevail with a hint of vanilla. At this point a young girl walks past behind me. I can hear her body inhale and her nose sniffing the air behind me. She yells at me from 2 metres distance; "Dude! That perfume you're wearing smells soooo good! I give her a smile and then reply; "I know." The range of MR is phenomenal. As I'm walking I just can't stop smelling myself. I even turn in circles just to smell the scent spread out.

    It's now six hours since I applied MR. Now the scent is turning more darker and softer, but still remains present. The sweetness gets soften out and darker notes of Sandalwood and Tonka of take their place. The scent is fitting for the view; as the final stage of MR illuminatesm the sun is setting slowly in the horizon. I think I've fallen in love...

    It takes more than twelve hours on my skin for the scent to fade away, and even now traces of sweet Clove and Musk are still sniffable on my skin. Musc Ravageur is a sophisticated scent with excellent longevity and extraordinary range. The perfume is sweet, warm, intimate, sensual, sexy and even erotic. I love it! Maurice Roucel has made a true masterpiece.

    06 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 22 March, 2010)

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pontaccio 21 by Gianfranco Ferré

    First, my main complaint is that did not last at all on me. It was rather brash in the opening with citrus and herbs but I paid no attention to it. I did not like the opening at all but I wanted to wait for a really great drydown like with other Ferre frags. This one did not sit very well. No drydown on me. not very exciting and unforgettable.

    06 April, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Soleil de Capri by Montale

    I remember reading a review in LT's book for a completely different scent (Versace Man Eau Fraiche) and is perfect for this one:

    "Light Blue, but with the light off."

    Which I'm sure he meant the men's Light Blue. Soleil de Capri is the women's version but with the light off. I can't say much else about it. True it has a bright citrus opening of florals but the light goes out quick and was are left with the dull dusk of fruit. Doesn't do anything else for me.

    06 April, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    M; Men by Masakï Matsushïma

    Sad this lives for so short of a time. It's a wonderful citrus opening with qualities like Guerlain's Vetiver but it's missing key components making it NOT a vetiver scent (even though there is vetiver). Maybe I'm rambling but when I first sprayed this I thought it was Guerlain. No wait it's Vetiver Glacee! No wait... M; Men? What the heck? It's a lovely light-hearted scent and stereotypical of most Japanese designer scents. It simply doesn't last long enough to be enjoyed thoroughly. What a great opening act. Too bad the headlining bad was terrible.

    06 April, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Skarb by Humiecki & Graef

    This has a lot of rough edges on it. It's wet and woody a lot like Nasomotto's Duro but mixed with the same house's Absinth. In fact, I thought I got the wrong sample out. Skarb also has biting edges like Mark Birley (must be the carrot seed accord? ha). Whoa, this scent is all over the place: deep woods, high pitched fruits and myrtle and an odd blabbering "freshness" amongst the dirt. Schizophrenic to say the least. There's also some woody incense (not the smoky kind) in there. If incense and woods is not your thing, stay away or at least try a little. Sadly, this disjointed Stravinsky-like ballet of aromas seems to disappear quickly. Methinks it's just too much to handle for me.

    Skarb means "treasure" in Polish and a little bit of research tells me that Humiecki & Graef is based in Poland and Skarb is supposed to represent "the Slavic soul".

    06 April, 2009

    sean-dt's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Tweed by Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics

    If an alien came from another planet and wanted to know what perfume smells like, I would give him a bottle of Tweed. It has all of the things that a perfume is supposed to have -nothing more, nothing less. I find it quite elegant and sensual, without any hint of pretentiousness.

    06 April, 2009

    juliek's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bandit by Robert Piguet

    After spending a glorious year sampling fragrances to my heart's content, I have ended up where I began. Bandit is my true love, the sultry fragrance that is "best friends" with my dark side. I wear this on days when I need inner tranquility - and intestinal fortitude. The whipcrack of leather and galbanum is just what I need for "me" days. It is not for everyone, but if it is for you, you are so lucky! I admit to sparing my office mates by wearing Cabochard on most days, but some days just require a light mist of Bandit. Deal with it, people.

    06 April, 2009

    Douglas Stewart Decker's avatar

    United States United States

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

    I first heard about Muscs Koublaï Khän in the Basenotes article by Liz Upton, 20 June 2008 in which she says she believes there a very few men who could wear this fragrance and get away with it. Call that a red rag to a bull for me!! I love animal notes, especially Musk and Ambergris, and I have very little problem with wearing any of them so when I read Ms Upton's review I had to run out and buy all the scents she listed, feminine or masculine, just to see if I agreed with her.
    I manufacture Ambergris extracts for a leading world supplier and have sampled many musks in the course of my work as a perfumer also. I can see how those individuals who have grown up in the last 3 decades with the ever increasing synthetic fresh monotone (ozone) fragrances would not get the point and genus of this scent. Perfumes which used White Musk and other gutted soft forms of the musk note which smell more of powder than anything else and have predominated the perfume industry since the 1980's, this would be a challenge perhaps.
    But to those who understand the secret world of natural pheromone and the sexual and social role it plays in every moment of human interaction, this scent will please them to no end. A role which is as intrinsic to issues of trust and comfort as they are to attraction and mating.
    I rarely wear commercial fragrances and so much to my surprise Muscs Koublaï Khän left me wanting more of this wonderful elixir. It is a truly exalted form of the Musk note that to me is floral, soft and erotic / exotic. One of the most sophisticated musks I have come across in the many years I have fascinated over such fragrances. So for those who find it offensive I beg forgiveness should we ever meet in public. But I am sure this will be one fragrance that will remain in my wardrobe for many years to come. It strikes to the heart of that which those classic perfumers books like Odoratus Sexualis and The Scent of Eros attempted to define. Not the most animal scent in my wardrobe but one of the richest.
    My only complaint is that it doesn't stay on the skin as long as I would like. I suspect layering it with real Ambergris will fix that problem with out changing the scent even a little and if you can afford to retrieve a bottle of Muscs Koublaï Khän all the way from the salon in Paris you can afford the Ambergris to go with it I suspect.

    06 April, 2009

    Diverdown's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

    I received a sample of Secretions Magnifique and tentatively tried out a swipe of the applicator after I made sure I had a clear run to the bathroom for when the waves of nausea and inevitable scrubbing would occur.

    I precariously sniffed the forbidden fragrance and .... was extremely disappointing. I found it to have a floral note and none of the unpleasantness that people talk about.

    I asked my wife (an OR nurse who deals in blood everyday) and she said it smelled nice. I asked her if it smelled like blood to her and she laughed and laughed. I asked my teenage daughter to smell it , and she said it smelled nice (and believe me they tell me when they don't like the way something smells).

    This is the Secretions Magnifique of legend? I find it very hard to believe that this is the fragrance that has people feeling nauseous and is considered by many to be the worst fragrance ever?

    There is a light floral scent to it, that although not unpleasant is not something that I would consider wearing regularly. I worked in the ER and in Trauma in hospitals previously, this smells nothing and I do mean NOTHING like blood or sex.

    In reading the many reviews it would appear that either many Basenoters have not smelled real blood and sex before or that their preconceived notions, delicate constitutions and creative imaginations get the best of them :)

    If my wife and daughter who dislike or are indifferent to much of my fairly extensive wardrobe like this and I enjoy it as well, it definitely gets a thumbs up :)

    06 April, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gluttony by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    A brief glance at the notes (in foetidus' review, below) would lend one to think Gluttony smells like a 4-scoop ice cream sundae, but it's actually much more successful (per the BPAL website, 'hops' is a note that foetidus missed). There is also a little more development and progression then I've experienced in the few BPALs I've tried (but that is so few I cannot generalize from them).

    It starts of with a distinctly nutty, hazelnut blast. The nuttiness eventually subsides into a less distinct toffee note sitting on a light bed of buttercream, the effect of which is to smell like a buttercream-nut cookie batter. The toffee lingers, eventually meandering into a coffee/cocoa base. Longevity is incredible 10+ hours with just a dot of oil.

    While sweet, the composition is just dry enough (probably the hops) so as to make the composition miserable, though if you don't like gourmands you should stay far, far away from Gluttony. It's important to remember that BPAL fragrances are highly conceptual and are one aspect of an artistic 'piece' that includes the art, themes, poetry, and other writings on the BPAL website. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, and thus one must view its absurd over-the-top gourmand nature in that perspective - it's supposed to be sinfully rich and decadent. As to whether it's wearable that is on the skin of the beholder, but for a few bucks you can own a truly outrageous gourmand.

    06 April, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tamora by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    Notes: Amber, Heliotrope, Golden Sandalwood, Peach Blossom, Vanilla Bean

    What really stands out in Tamora is the peach, which lasts from the topnotes well into the drydown. In the background a light vanilla slowly melds into sandalwood, and the entire composition is made slightly powdery and floral via the heliotrope. A mild and fun little fragrance, worth sampling.

    06 April, 2009

    surreality's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Précieux by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    I don't know if too much more can be added; just about everything to be said about Ambre Precieux has been said. This is a hauntingly beautiful fragrance, powerful, spicy but very classy and refined. AP lasts forever, I can put this on at 7am and smell it when I shower the next morning. I would recommend this to all who love or are exploring amber fragrances.

    06 April, 2009

    MFJ's avatar



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    Black Jeans Homme by Roccobarocco

    This scent is currently under review

    06 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 25 July, 2009)

    MFJ's avatar



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    Versace Man by Versace

    Very Skeptical initially, coz it looked like another one of those generic fresh scents. Boy was i pleasantly surprised. It has a pleasant spicey fresh opening. Like many 21st century scent, this relies on florals, herbs and woods. I find it a tad powdery/smoky towards the end tho, but nothing offensive at all. one of the best after blue jeans

    06 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 16 June, 2009)

    MFJ's avatar



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    Very Irrésistible for Men by Givenchy

    I retested this and tried to get it, but I don't. Unfortunately this is a wannabe gourmand blend that failed to impress me with its synthetic quality.

    06 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 01st August, 2009)

    xmen's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Arden Men - Sandalwood by Elizabeth Arden

    If you love sandalwood, and I do, Arden Men should be in your wardrobe. Pretty lenient, this eau do cologne scent has surprisingly strong sillage and longevity. If you want to smell as if you've just stepped out of the barbershop, all clean and lightly powdered, you can't go wrong with a genial classic like Arden Men. I ardently love it.

    06 April, 2009

    Cumarin's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    L'Instant Magic by Guerlain

    How nice and comforting. L'Instant Magic gives me stronger than usual images of colours and fabric. The colours are lilac, beige, eggshell white, pearl gray, peach. And the fabric I almost feel is a hand woven silk carpet in the lightest pastels, with some silver and gold. L'instant Magic smells like iris, almond, bergamot, musk and powder to me, and I always, always enjoy wearing it.
    There is a trick though to this perfume's wonderfulness. Spray it on clean cotton clothes (shirts, jeans..) and it stays so good. Spray it on skin and there's a good chance it turns musty, dirty, sweaty musky.

    06 April, 2009

    maeculpa's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Rush by Gucci

    I love this fragrance, but I do object to the packaging as I think I must have chucked it away with the trash - I can't find it anywhere and it is plastic.

    Very silly review I know, but I would never throw out a nice bottle by accident.

    This fragrance is big, bold and sexy BUT unlike everybody else seems to say it has no staying power on me. I have to keep topping up and I did check with my sisters and girl friends, I am not imagining it - they get nothing after two hours: Must be my chemistry.....

    I can't find it in EDP, so maybe that is the problem.

    06 April, 2009

    Zgb's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel

    I like this smell. It is sweet and creamy, could pass as a gourmand (cake with lot of lemon cream). Longevity is quite fine and projection as well. I gave this one a second chance after couple of more testing. Turns out it is very nice, but is not something I personally dig very much so I'm neutral about it.

    06 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 26 March, 2010)

    RJR's avatar

    United States United States

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    KL Homme by Lagerfeld

    The comparisons of KL homme to Obsession for Men are on the money! If the pyramids from JaimeB and Basenotes are to be believed — and I believe them — these two fragrances share many notes. There are notes not shared, of course, but to the nose, these are twin brothers, born together in 1986, and I'd bet that most people (Basenoters excluded) wouldn't be able to tell them apart in a sniff test.

    There are differences, but they owe to personality, not essence. Obsession certainly isn't meek, but it doesn't jump off the skin quite as boldly as KL homme does when both are freshly applied. On the other hand (or arm, in my personal testing) KL homme dries to a smoother middle and finish than its brother. While the spice in Obsession continues to stick up like a sharp tack piercing the other elements during the heart and dry down, the spice in KL homme blends with the surrounding notes to create a velvety, soothing quality.

    I disagree with references to KL homme as a powerhouse. It certainly doesn't stomp into a room, demanding attention like Bijan for Men, or even the more composed Grey Flannel. Lumping KL with these, or Polo or Quorum, risks turning people away from a frag they just might like. In fact, KL homme might be a good "transition" frag for those looking to escape the watery depths of the current trends.

    Truth is,KL homme and Obsession both odeserve thumbs up and a place in your wardrobe. But if cost is an issue, having just one of them will suffice.

    As a practical matter, KL homme may have been discontinued years ago, but I recently found NIB, sealed product in a small fragrance store. I was able to test before buying, found it to be fresh, and bought multiple bottles. Apparently some of the good stuff is still going around. Buy it.

    06 April, 2009

    monsieur_sparkle's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gaultier² by Jean Paul Gaultier

    First, I have something to confess: I'm crazy for sweets. I love ice cream, candy, cake, pie, you name it. And I'm also a sucker for fragrances that smell like the sweet stuff. So naturally, when I first tried out Gaultier2 - which reeks of bubblegum, milkshakes, and vanilla pudding - I had to have a bottle. That's when the trouble began...

    After wearing the stuff for three days, I got sick. For the whole weekend I was stuck in my bedroom guzzling down nyquil. Of course blaming it all on poor G2 would be unscientific, maybe it was allergies or the flu or whatever. So last night I did an experiment. I was in perfect health so I took a spritz of G2. The results? Migraine. Nausea. Vomiting.

    I don't know what kind of crazy neurotoxins Kurkdjian put in this stuff, but it's BAD. I mean chemical warfare in a bottle bad. I wish I were exaggerating, cause I really liked G2 at first, but I think you could probably kill a crowd of people by breaking open a bottle of this stuff in public.If Al-Quaeda gets their hands on G2, western civilization is finished.

    Please, for the love of god, don't wear it.

    06 April, 2009

    omegapd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum by Pinaud

    A bit too much clove for me, but still decent- especially for the price point.

    06 April, 2009

    Cumarin's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    Pink Sugar by Aquolina

    There is a way Pink Sugar smells good, and that way is dabbed. It stays more anisey and even kind of fresh -if that is possible. But when sprayed -I do not like it. It's (even) sweeter that way, the fresh anise accord disappears and it's just sugar. The difference is quite significant.

    06 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 11th February, 2011)

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