Fragrance Reviews from July 2009

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    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nahéma by Guerlain

    The first perfume I ever fell in love with. I know this one is supposed to be all about the rose, but rose isn't the first thing I think of when I smell it. The top has a lovely, fresh greenness, like lily-of-the-valley. This part is beautiful, but what kills me is the second act, where it all of a sudden turns into naughty, musky little peach. Sex, sex, and sex.

    10th July, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jewel by Alfred Sung

    Ooh, yuck! The toasty coconut note is nice at first, and the white florals start out OK -- though "white florals" are one of my least favorite scent families -- but as the notes come together in the drydown, it just keeps smelling cheaper and cheaper. Finally, the fatty coconut and screechy florals combine to smell like cheap, hard, white soap. The stuff that makes kids hate baths. Scrubber.

    10th July, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Putain des Palaces by Etat Libre d'Orange

    I wanted to like this better than I do. The concept of a ditzy floral top hiding a raunchy animal bottom isn't bad, though it's certainly been done plenty of times before. Unfortunately, neither the top nor the bottom are particularly striking or engaging here . The rose/violet top has a weird singed note in it -- over-processed hair? burning mattress? -- that seems like it might develop into something interesting, but ends up fading into the general muddy mess of the base. The face powder note is quite recognizable, but for me it's a smell I've always disliked. The sweaty "animal notes" are certainly there, too, but it's not sexy sweat. It's like the sweat of a heavy, exhausted body. If this is a high-priced call-girl, this is not what she smells like on her way to a date, or even during. This is what she smells like at the end of the night, back in her apartment, smoking a cigarette and too tired to wash her make-up off. Altogether, this scent conjures up exactly what the name implies to me -- something that is supposed to be glamorous and exciting, but ends up a little unhappy and entirely conventional. If that's what the perfumers intended, bravo -- but I don't want to smell like this.

    10th July, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Yup. Smells like jasmine -- perfume, not flower -- and cigarettes. The tobacco notes perform the interesting trick of starting out as fresh tobacco in the top, unsmoked cigarettes in the heart, and cold ashtray in the bottom. The life-cycle of the cigarette in olfactory narrative form. Neat. But I don't want to spend the rest of the day smelling like an ashtray. I'll give a neutral for being entertaining, but as far as wearability goes, it's a big, fat NO.

    10th July, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Charogne by Etat Libre d'Orange

    As the name implies, this one exploits indole's common territory in both white flowers and decomposing flesh -- that "sweet" smell that makes you involuntarily take a second sniff of rotting roadkill before you gag. It's subtle...as if they put just a tad too much in, so you think you are inhaling a beautiful jasmine and end up with a snootful of something a little more unsettling. The ginger gives it much-needed fizz and lift, and the lilies fit in like a missing puzzle piece. A gourmand that's a little too gross to eat. Interesting olfactory trip, but I can't imagine when I'd want to wear it.

    10th July, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rossy de Palma / Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Wow. Just lovely. A serious, elegant rose -- by far my favorite of the ELO's I've tried, and to me the most successful use of the ginger/leather/incense accord also found in Charogne and Putain des Palaces. Here, the rose stays true and lovely all the way into the dry-down, with the base giving solid support but never overwhelming the fresh, honeyed florals. I feel like I could wear this anywhere and always feel perfectly dressed.

    10th July, 2009

    shermanirving's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aoud Leather by Montale

    There are two ways to approach a review of Aoud Leather; one is to review the scent by itself and the other is in comparison to other Montales.

    Taking Aoud Leather by itself, Montale presents a full and rich leather. If Knize Ten smells of freshly made boots, Aoud Leather is a new leather easy chair. Oud is not a distinct note but rather gives heft to the scent. Overall there is a similarity to Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, and if you like the Ford then this is a more affordable alternative. Sillage, longevity are good and typical of Montale.

    Montale's other leather, Oud Cuir d'Arabie (that I own) is a different beast. The oud is distinct, strong, and provides a 'shock value' not unlike the oud in Black Aoud. The leather accord is dry and secondary. I love Cuir d'Arabie, but it's really an oud, not a leather. Every house with more then a handful of offerings must have a leather, and until now Cuir d'Arabie was the only one. Therefore if you like leather scents - but not oud - Montale was not an option. Aoud Leather thus fills in one of the only gaps in its full line, and it does so very well. Perhaps the 'Aoud' in the title is misleading, but it doesn't detract from the scent.

    Montale's frenzied pace releasing new scents is certainly curious, and the haste has produced some clunkers. However that is really a discussion in and of itself. Aoud Leather is a solid fragrance.

    10th July, 2009

    Jack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Straight to Heaven by By Kilian

    After wearing this a few days I agree with mrclmind. Patchouli is strong, and I don't care for patchouli anymore. I guess if you like patchouli this is the one for you.

    My wife loves it on me so I will give it a neutral.

    10th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 06th September, 2009)

    Nub's avatar



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    Fierce for Men by Abercrombie & Fitch

    Very synthetic smelling, not a big fan but ladies seem to love it. Not a bad scent but smells cheap.

    10th July, 2009

    artp's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Calèche by Hermès

    I have not smelled Caleche for many years and got a bit of a depressing shock. Can Hermes please stop fiddleing with them, they do not seem get better!!!!
    Once more they have taken the guts out of beautiful scents leaving them thin, limp and with a weak base.
    Belami has lost its peppery fullness and big warm soft after glow, Eqiupage is synthetic and lifeless compared with the original and Caleche is watery and transparent in the middle. Have the accountants taken over once more or in a rush to be "modern" turned to CK BE for new formulas and style??
    Pissed off and disapointed!

    10th July, 2009

    tarsmom's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vanilla Cream Cake by A Zaftig Woman

    This is a true vanilla with no dark, deep sugary-y scent. Just a pleasant vanilla. Some may find it a little boring but if more complex vanillas offend you, this may be the one for you!

    10th July, 2009

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chance by Chanel

    Okay...so you will hate me for this..but it reminds me of Calamine lotion we had to put on bug bites as a child. That said...I like it anyway.

    10th July, 2009

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sand & Sable by Coty

    Best Drugstore perfume ever. For some reason the first time I smelled Michael Kors I thought of this one...sorry Michael

    10th July, 2009

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bulgarian Rose by Fresh

    Having actually grown and smelled fresh roses, this is one of the closest to memory. If you want something that reminds you of a rose but takes you down a different garden path this is not your scent. But if you truly love the smell of a rose...well you just have to hope that Fresh will bring it back one day.

    10th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 23rd July, 2009)

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    Halston by Halston

    I still look back on this as one of my favorite scents of my childhood. No matter how snobby I get about perfume I'm still down with the old school Halston.

    10th July, 2009

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    Relaxing Fragrance by Shiseido

    This fragrance is amazing. It has never drawn anything but compliments. I think it may be discontinued but if not...find it!

    10th July, 2009

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

    You have to give this one a chance. Don't just take it at face value...it warms into it's notes sooooooo nicely and you'll be surprised where it takes you.

    10th July, 2009

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Scent of Peace by Bond No. 9

    The only Bond worth owning...from the one's I've smelled and sampled.

    10th July, 2009

    weylin's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

    M7 is a monumental creation in designer fragrances. Rich, mediciney, exotic. I can't add much more except to say that this is the most original and possibly best designer fragrance in 20 years and easily could pass for niche.
    You love it or you hate it.
    I love it.
    Sillage: Excellent
    Lasting Power: Excellent

    10th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 29th November, 2010)

    Zgb's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    Chrome Legend by Azzaro

    Very nice. Who likes Chrome, will like Chrome Legend.

    Longevity is quite good, so is projection. Original Chrome gets me compliments quite often, so will this one, I'm sure of it. The scent is fresh yet retaining this certain warmth as well. It's appealing to me to that extent that it evokes some kind of very positive emotions.

    10th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 18th March, 2011)

    Nostalgie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Iris Ganache by Guerlain

    Iris is one of my favorite perfume materials, although I find it is often interpreted too literally. Just when I thought here was not much left to do with it Guerlain came up with this brilliant blend.

    A good ganache provides chocolate a rich texture without adding sweetness: slowly blend a warm, heavy cream mix to dark chocolate, and deepen the flavor with cognac. Can you smell it?

    Iris Ganache delivers the scent promised by its name: cool, dry iris root tempered by a lush but not cloying gourmand blend that will make you drunk with olfactory pleasure.

    Playful, yet sophisticated. Unique. My only complaint is the eventual dry down to Guerlain vanilla. Enough already. But this did not prevent me from buying a full bottle. No regrets.

    10th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 20th September, 2011)

    ordai's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    5:40 PM in Madagascar by Kenzo

    Fine summer fragarance, for me it is reminder of my trip to Greece this (09)summer, warm sunny weather and flowers.
    So light, that you can add it during day. Not sweet at all, fresh floral scents.

    11th July, 2009

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    L'Homme de Coeur by Divine

    It may just be the weird effect of the comingling of juniper, angelica and iris, but the end result to me is old-fashioned powderiness in a cheaply synthetic-smelling "modern" context. The typical "violet leaf" note doesn't help either. A sinus-irritating bother of a fragrance. I find dior homme or TDC's Bois d'Iris far preferable.

    11th July, 2009

    cpk's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Vétiver by Annick Goutal

    I just cannot believe this was released in 1981. It is an abstract impressionist scent up there on the same rank as most Duchaufour creations. If you are looking for another vetiver steer clear. If you are a hardcore vetiver fan give it a try with an open mind. The driest, most bitter vetiver and all over fragrance I have ever tried. In a nutshell, the scent of naked tanned skin after a long day lying on the beach, no suntan applied. There is a late afternoon, late summer feel to it. Something that is going away, fleeting, reminiscent. Unique!

    11th July, 2009

    Backtable's avatar

    United States United States

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    Yatagan by Caron

    If you've ever driven anything with a diesel engine and bogeys, know what a torque wrench is, have herded cattle, or can juggle chainsaws while holding off a grizzly bear, then Yatagan MIGHT be for you. Strong stuff. I don't get celery as much as strong patchouli, a scent I normally don't like, but Yatagan is so unique that oddly enough I find myself drawn back to it again and again. And every time I like it even more. Blues jeans and pointy boots cologne, the kind that hired hands would wear for a night out on the town. Gritty, strong, astringent stuff. Two thumbs up.

    11th July, 2009

    vukoicicd's avatar

    Serbia Serbia

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    Private Collection - Bois Blond by Parfumerie Generale

    lovely. very nice.

    lasts for five minutes TOPS.

    would I give $120 for 50ml (a bottle would be gone within a week. I swear it is THAT discrete) - not even if I had money to burn!

    11th July, 2009

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain

    It is with great jubilation that I have decided to change my mind about Mouchoir de Monsieur. Perhaps my sample was bad? I found a good deal on a full bottle in the States and sprung for it. The opening certainly maintains the “fecal” opening blast of civet but this gives way rather quickly to lavender, bergamot, and white flowers, which dries down to classic guerlinade of vanilla, tonka, iris, musk, patchouli, and rose. MdM has little longevity and little sillage, but such monsters were not popular in a more cultivated, more refined era at the turn of the century. Quite good. Get a bottle if you can.

    11th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 23rd November, 2009)

    charme's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    Jeanne Lanvin by Lanvin

    This perfume smells as if I spilled forest fruit tea on myself. I fully agree with Ms Rochambeau's review. I would like to find this scent on a child, rather than a grown woman. However the lasting power is tremendous, despite the fact that the scent stays quite close to the skin. I could still smell it on my skin in the morning, after about 15 hours from application!

    11th July, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bowling Green by Geoffrey Beene

    It is true that the very top notes have something in common with Drakkar Noir, but Bowling Green is, first and foremost, green. It's a slightly stilted name, but actually quite perfect when I think about it. The top is sharply citrusy and the base gets leafy with a little sweet spice: sort of an evolution from a vivid yellowish-green to a brown-tinged forest green. Just about every stage of it is pleasant and I don't think many people would find fault at all, which in and of itself is an accomplishment. I don't know why they discontinued it (or did they?); I think it may have been their best because it seems so much more universal in its appeal than Grey Flannel, and Eau de GF is cheap and dull. I feel like you could wear a big dose of this at the office (as I once did by accident) and be perfectly fine, or so my female coworker seemed to think.

    11th July, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    California for Men by Dana

    Happy orange peels and musk, basking in a glorious sun! It's even darkly-colored enough to look like a little bottle of orange extract, much to my chagrin as a shirt-splasher. I'd say it's like a sweeter, calmer Drakkar Noir, or maybe Tuscany without the brisk herbiness. I can't decide which type of Californian it reminds me of more: the tanned 80s surfer dude in Manhattan Beach who was focused but too cool for school, or the cocksure day trader sitting in his skyrise office in Century City, waiting for the next big deal and the next big score with one of the secretaries. Ah, junk bonds and testosterone! But buyer, beware: I have a newer spray bottle, with a rounded rectangular design and blue cap, and it has been reformulated from the deodorant-stick-shaped silver-capped version to be less cigaretty and more sugary, which I think has largely ruined it.

    11th July, 2009

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