Fragrance Reviews from August 2009

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    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    In The Library by CB I Hate Perfume

    I love the smell of libraries; not the smell of modern, suburban libraries where the oldest book to be found is twenty years old, but rather libraries with history and character filled with antiquarian books from the 19th century and before. Such libraries provide a unique, and for me quite satisfying, olfactory experience. There is a unique mustiness coupled with the smell of aging leathers that I just love. So I decided to try CB I Hate Perfumes offering, In The Library, in high hopes it would me a reasonable facsimile of the library smells I love. Alas, it was not. I get the shoe polish note, and a very sweet smell, perhaps slightly leathery, but to me it falls way short of anything I had hoped for. Libraries do not smell very sweet! I am not fond of this one at all.

    01st August, 2009

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    A complex blend of incense, dry woods and spices. I like it!

    01st August, 2009

    rickie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Anne Bonny by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    This is a softer version of Cathedral, which I also love. Anne Bonny could be worn in the warmer months, but Cathedral is too strong. I save it for winter.

    01st August, 2009

    rickie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Antique Lace by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    Lookingglass, I love your picture! Anyway, where was I.....Antique Lace was my first purchase from Bpal, without ever smelling it, just from a review here. I was not dissappointed. I will always keep a bottle of this too. Its very feminine, dried flowers, old linen, musky scent. mmmmm

    01st August, 2009

    rickie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Debauchery by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    I love Debauchery.....I have a very old/vintage bottle of Tabu and this smells just like it. So, if you like Vintage Tabu go get a bottle of Debauchery. The lab says it has in it, Civet, Egyptian musk, and opium. mmmm.

    01st August, 2009

    rickie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Snake Oil by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    I crave this. This is a wierd vanilla scent. bpal states this is their most popular scent. I can see why. Read lookingglass' review, she describes it beautifully.

    01st August, 2009

    KingFisher's avatar

    United States United States

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    Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men by Giorgio Armani

    To my nose, it is simply a cocoa & citrus affair. I could'nt detect any vetiver as someone wrote here, starts with a blast of hidden tropical fruits toped up with cocoa then a blast of fruits for a while & in the end it's all cocoa again. Not a complex composition though !!

    01st August, 2009

    eRL00p's avatar

    United States United States

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    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

    I really wanted this one to work. It reminds me of artificial grape stuff--(ie gum). it does not really smell like grape, it is what I would picture a grape barber soap to smell like. its like someone is trying to put a new artificial spin on something natural. This one really irritated my skin. I felt like my skin was burning. I originally bought this for my brother for christmas, but returnd it after the aftershave was destroying my skin in fear of the same effects on him. John Varvatos Rock 1 is fairly similar to this one, only not as long lasting. If you really like the barbershop smell, go for Givenchy Very Irresistible Fresh Attitude, it is what a new age barbersoap scent should smell like.
    Overall, I liked this fragrance but it worked horribly on my own skin :/

    01st August, 2009

    eRL00p's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lacoste Challenge by Lacoste

    I made a trip to the mall to test this new fragrance out. I was severely disappointed. I read these reviews and yes, the plastic note is not all that bad. It smells like some of the other lacoste fragrances I have smelled over the past few years. This one is pretty bad though, it took two separate washings to remove this stench. It was so distrubing i felt a nose bleed coming on. I regretted the two sprays on wrist instead of using a blotter card. I had high hopes for this one, but it let me down.
    I can see someone pulling this fragrance off. if you have a thick b.o. problem, this one may Cut right through it. otherwise, this one is too Sharp and bright for my tastes

    01st August, 2009

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain

    Goodness, no! The start-off, while loud and of its time, is lovely enough: white florals, indeed. But within 30 minutes there develops on me the oddest, simply strangest vegetal smell... I want to say celery? Root vegetable gone bad? Where does this come from, maybe the iris? Truly weird, like the cuttings from a rose garden two days after all has started to rot... I could never wear this, it seems off, but I'll try again on the off chance this was a once-off mess-up.

    01st August, 2009

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Roma by Laura Biagiotti

    Starts off with vanilla-orange ice cream dusted with fresh black pepper - very nice! And actually stays this way, pretty much, with the pepperiness dying down only somewhat. I'm conflicted. While pretty distinctive, this does not seem to have that much personality. I imagine I would tire of it quickly. But if I had it, I'd wear it, often and in abundance - it seems to wear lightly, little to no sillage. Very upbeat and happy, reminds me in feel if not in all notes of Kenzo's 7:15 am in Bali, which I own, so probably won't be buying Roma, sadly.

    01st August, 2009

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Youth Dew Amber Nude by Estée Lauder

    A not very interesting sweetened incense. Certainly in 'improvement' in that I could wear this easier than the original Youth Dew, but nothing particularly interesting here. Also starts off way too strong.

    01st August, 2009

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Kelly Calèche by Hermès

    Wow, quite a weird one, much more so than I imagined. All leather, pretty much: but the softened, aged, veeeeery slightly musty leather found at the bottom of a much used handbag, mixed with some face powder, old spilled perfume and the papery zing of bits of toilet tissue. Very good! But not sure I could smell of my mother's handbag all day long, quite a melancholy scent, though soft, and not intrusive.
    EDIT Yeahhh... real melancholy. Very severe, in fact. Haven't yet worn this a full day, but suspect it might make me really sad and depleted.

    01st August, 2009 (Last Edited: 22 December, 2009)

    yasarzongur's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

    I have tried EDT. It is a strong one with mixed spices in the opening which give it highly oriental character. Maybe, it is too much for a person like me who lives in touch with an oriental society because it is more or less associated with traditional or religious spheres of the oriental life. However, the middle and base notes start to divert from this excessive oriental line for me to a more sensual one similar to that of Pi, which can be more acceptable and familiar for many. It is quite long lasting for an EDT and its sillage should be satisfactory. I can't imagine its EDP version. Both should be used sparingly. I will give it a neutral for its opening notes which are disturbingly too oriental for me, so try before you buy it.

    01st August, 2009 (Last Edited: 26 September, 2009)

    yasarzongur's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    Fuel For Life pour Homme by Diesel

    If you like Body Kouros, and Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin, whick are all Annic Menardo’s creations this is definetely the one that you will like, too. Diesel Fuel For Life is an exceptionally long lasting fragrance with pretty much sillage. It is more fruity and fresher than the other two.

    01st August, 2009 (Last Edited: 08 April, 2010)

    ortho123's avatar

    United States United States

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    Raw Vanilla by Coty

    The "raw" in this one is pretty much its status as an ingredient, not in terms of strength or character. Sure, there's "something going on here" but the cast of characters that make this one slightly different seem fewer than those listed in the credits. Still, smooth enough to blend in whether solo or layering.

    01st August, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau des Merveilles by Hermès

    Hermes Eau de Merveilles

    Notes: elemi, bitter orange, Italian lemon, Indonesian pepper, pink pepper, ambergris accord, oak, cedar, vetiver, balsam of Peru and tears of Siam (from NowSmellThis.com)

    I have read that Eau de Merveilles is supposed to have been inspired by ambergris, and with that in mind, thought it would probably be a little "beachy", as in salt and sun on skin. In the opening, I smell orange, cedar, patchouli, tea, and a strange antiseptic note that reminds me very much of Lysol spray, in the original "good for your health, germ killing" scent. To be more precise, the antiseptic note smells like a cross between sage and iodine, but in the context of the rest of the fragrance, is softened and bolstered by other notes that allow it to give a leathery impression. It is a real stretch to imagine EdM as anything close to what ambergris really is, and in fact, it smells nothing like the real thing. However, on a warm day like today, once the weird woody, medicinal, leathery strangeness subsides, the lingering base does smell a bit like ambergris--salty, a tiny bit sweet and with a bitter edge that is a tad like bile. Too bad there is also a sort of shampoo smell in the drydown. On the whole, EdM was far more gourmand than I expected--the cedar, patchouli and sage/iodine accord is quite masculine, with an effect very similar to Angel and its ilk. I give EdM some points for the unusual opening accord, but find that ultimate gourmand weirdness is better satisfied by Tom Ford's Black Orchid. Having said that, I am enjoying EdM today, and find it to be an acceptable warm weather scent, appropriate for both men and women.

    01st August, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    The One by Dolce & Gabbana

    Dolce and Gabbana The One

    Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Lychee, Peach, Madonna Lily, Muguet, Plum, Jasmine, Vetiver, Vanilla, Amber, Musk. (from Sephora.com)

    The One is a light composition of vanilla, mixed summer fruits, nondescript woods and pale amber. The vanilla is sugared and flavored with a bit of caramel. The effect is lightened with some lychee and other watery fruits such as peach or apricot. Overall the effect is extremely sweet, almost sickeningly so. I find it difficult to pick out many notes in this fragrance--the ingredients seem to blend together seamlessly. While this may be a desired trait, in the case of The One, it adds to the glossy one-dimensional quality that this fragrance evokes. I'd hesitate to call this a fruity floral, despite the heavy inclusion of fruits in the fragrance. In fact it is a pretty, albeit uncomplicated, feminine oriental fragrance that is not challenging in composition and not terribly loud or provocative. I like the way this one looks on paper, but on skin, it is formless and banal. Death by vanilla pudding. Neutral rating.

    Dolce and Gabbana L'Eau The One

    Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Lychee, Peach, Plum, Floral Muguet, Jasmine, Madonna Lily, Amber, Musk, Moss, Vanilla, Vetyver (from Sephora.com)

    L'Eau The One opens a bit more tart and bitter than the original namesake, and as the original, features prominent sugared vanilla, light amber, woods and mixed fruits. The fruit blend, however, was reorchestrated with a heavier dose of citrus such as grapefruit or mandarin and a stronger, watery lychee. The published notes appear to be exactly the same as in the original The One, but perhaps are used in different proportions to achieve an overall more buoyant feel. The woods are more aggressive in L'Eau, and there is a touch of patchouli that was not apparent in The One. Considering the original is exceedingly polite, this little bit of edginess is quite welcome, and gives L'Eau some needed dryness to balance out the super sweet vanilla dessert notes. In the case of L'Eau The One, I definitely prefer the added personality that affords this fragrance some nice structure to keep the flabby pudding top notes from being suffocating. Positive rating.

    01st August, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Elixir des Merveilles by Hermès

    Hermes Elixir des Merveilles

    Notes: chocolate-covered candied orange peel, caramel, vanilla biscuit (vanilla sugar, tonka bean), creamy milk, sandalwood, incense, resins, ambergris, Peru balsam and balsam of Siam, oak, patchouli and cedar (from NowSmellThis.com)

    What happens when you take a weird, top-heavy woody gourmand like Eau des Merveilles and amp up the sweetness with excessive amounts of vanilla-orange creamsicle and some chocolate? You get an orange-creme truffle of a fragrance that smells like cheap food flavorings rather than a fine fragrance. Ok, so it does smell a bit yummy, in the same way that I loved my grape flavored Bonne Bell lip gloss when I was young. I apologize to those who may love this fragrance, but to my nose it smells of inexpensive body care products. I enjoy the dissonance of dessicated cedar wood and tea contrasted with syrupy sweetness, but I can't ever see wearing this with any regularity. In other words, it is nice for an occasional diversion, but is ultimately boring, loud and unsophisticated.

    01st August, 2009

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fleur de Narcisse by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Maybe it's a skin chemistry thing, but this seemed to have gone into my writs and totally disappeared. I literally smelled nothing after applying more than a few drops on each wrist from the sample I'd ordered.I can't comment on something I can't smell. I'm curious to know if anyone else has had this experience with Fleur de Narcisse.

    01st August, 2009

    Sybarite's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Tomorrow for Him by Avon

    This is without a doubt the best scent Avon has released for men. (Along with "Black Suede Touch", for those of you who prefer your "leather scents" a little more subtle). ... I would wager a small fortune (well, maybe someone else's small fortune ;o) that "Tomorrow" would receive more acclaim and favourable praise were it sampled in a "blind test", for example. Or had it been released by some or other designer house. (Good value for money, in other words).
    An oriental gourmand, with principal notes of cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, patchouli and anise amongst a soft ambered woods base. It's a surprisingly decent scent. (Especially for it's "very affordable" price).
    The reviews that have likened it to "Lolita Lempicka au Masculine" are quite "spot on", as they are certainly quite similar. However here in "Tomorrow", the anise has been "dialed down" to a (for me at least) much more acceptable level. It is also not quite as sweet a scent.
    So if you've liked the sound of the "Lolita", but have been weary of it's sweetness or the "in your face" assault of licorice/anise. Then I would recommend you give this one a try instead. You might just be pleasantly surprised. ... On the plus side, it's much more affordable. On the minus side however, the longevity and sillage will also be somewhat reduced. (But hey, that is a preferable trait for some !). Though, don't get me wrong, it still has acceptably average (?) levels of both.

    01st August, 2009

    tanto's avatar

    United States United States

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    British Sterling by Dana

    People have given British Sterling such negative reviews but I like it. Yes, it is old school from the 60's but it is still a clean fresh scent. There is a vast difference in the after shave and cologne. I think the cologne is a little richer and very close to the original 1965 fragrance. It is also clean and soapy and smells good all day long. Come on, there's nothing wrong with old school fragrances that are "classics" and when you wear one of these classics today, people will always ask you what it is (because it doesn't follow the fragrance trends of the present day).

    01st August, 2009 (Last Edited: 29 September, 2009)

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mimosa by Czech & Speake

    Wow - so many bad reviews! I'm glad I sampled this a few times before writing a review. Mimosa is a fairly straightforward white floral. It starts of with a light mimosa note with a touch of geranium. Slowly jasmine joins the accord and eventually a tuberose base takes over. I'm not much of a tuberose fan so I stopped enjoying the fragrance as the basenotes emerged, but until that point I felt Mimosa was a darn good white floral (a genre I usually don't care much for). There are better mimosa scents out there, but this one isn't bad. Sillage was what you'd expect from such a fragrance and the longevity was well above average. As for whether paying C&S prices for a white floral is 'worth it' I leave that up to you.

    01st August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose by Czech & Speake

    A very well done, simple rose with a light green and woody background. The rose note itself is not too sweet and certainly not sugary. I prefer Dark Rose, especially in vintage formulation, but that's an entirely different ballgame. C&S Rose is completely unisex and wearable by anyone and everyone.

    01st August, 2009

    Myspunge's avatar

    England England

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    L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque

    The nose also composed Arpège pour Homme which is best as a cuddly shower-gel. This one is in a different league. Blood oranges at the start have a dizzy mix of zing and flesh which makes me want to get right up there to the terraces in sight of Etna where they grow. Of course, so aerated an opening can’t last but what follows is good too, though not quite as good – a musky cushion of ginger, rose and saffron, soft but slightly rasping like a cat’s tongue. For a cologne, the persistence is fine, though it stays close to the skin which is how I like ’em. The best of the four Pescheux colognes. “Tarocco oranges, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, rose, cedar, frankincense, saffron, Serenolide and Cosmone”

    01st August, 2009 (Last Edited: 30th August, 2009)

    MFJ's avatar



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    Cèdre by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Now, I love Cedre, given my general partiality for Tuberose. But I am left wondering each time I wear Cedre: Am I not wearing Tuberose Absolute and some fruit candy flavoring? It certainly seems like it. Lush, candy floss Tuberose. Someone's got the names mixed up, so don't be blind-buying this expecting cedar. Expect a highly enjoyable and wearable Tuberose, and you will not be disappointed. Any cedar you are able to detect, is a nominal bonus.

    01st August, 2009 (Last Edited: 18 March, 2010)

    perfaddict's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Dark Rose by Czech & Speake

    Dark Rose is a beautiful Rose/Oud fragrance. It starts of with a rather astringent oud note in harmonious accord with the rose and saffron. It does have a comforting berry accord in the dry-down.

    DR has good sillage and longevity. I was impressed with its longevity, especially when i got slightly drenched in the rain, and it still smelled strong on my wrist.

    I had always thought DR would be a darker, deeper scent than No. 88. I was proven wrong. The colours of the bottles should have been a good indication for me. Now i understand why DR is listed as a female scent, although its a perfect unisex.

    I have only one "problem" with Dark Rose: I already have Micallef's Aoud Homme. As good as Dark Rose is, it pales significantly beside the Micallef. considering the relative scarcity of Micallef, DR is a very good alternative Rose/Oud/Saffron scent.

    DR is a fine fragrance and earns several thumbs up.

    01st August, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Echo by Davidoff

    At least by producing such ordinary stuff like Echo, Davidoff are making Zino and Cool Water look like masterpieces. The fruity and aquatic pretensions are evident from the first inhalation, but it recedes quickly into a procession of faux modern accords that resemble the air one might find inside a new training shoe sole, or a tennis ball. Echo is quite long lived, with a moderate presence, but the fragance itself is an exercise in banality.

    01st August, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme Intense by Issey Miyake

    Although it is not a difficult task, I actually prefer this to the original. A brief,tart, yet fruity opening is quickly replaced with a smoked spice accord that lingers for several hours. This middle phase is quite long lived, but it does usher in a rather disappointing phase towards the end, that lacks the simple pleasures of the previous phases. The dry down is a little too meek and lacks the warmth and interest that the heart notes have. All in all, not a bad effort, but not quite worthy of a bottle purchase.

    01st August, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Calvin Klein Man by Calvin Klein

    Much as I enjoy subtle fragrances, this one drifted in and out of my consciousness too often for me to get a handle on it. A very pleasing opening, represented mainly by a rosemary and violet accord, is probably the highlight of my experience with Man. I was hard pushed to find anything interesting in the middle and base notes, a primitive woody blend in the closing hours is simply not good enough.

    01st August, 2009

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