Fragrance Reviews from August 2009

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    Johnson73's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Aoud by Montale

    Black Aoud is certainly a "try-before-you-buy" scent (though, that really applies to all fragrances). The oud-rose combination just comes across as too harsh and medicinal for me to enjoy. It doesn't seem to develop much, either. However, the sillage and lasting power of this are superb, so if you are a fan, you should be able to get a lot of mileage out of a bottle. I'm glad I tried Black Aoud, but I don't like it.

    11th August, 2009 (Last Edited: 12 August, 2009)

    Johnson73's avatar

    United States United States

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    Encre Noire by Lalique

    Encre Noire is simply an excellent vetiver. Very appropriately named, Encre Noire starts dark and stays that way; the vetiver is black and earthy throughout. I don't mind the linearity, as the fragrance smells fantastic and conjures up some very vivid scent associations - to me, this smells just like the inside of an old, dimly lit, wooden church. Though it wears close to the skin, Encre Noire lasts all day on me, and the gorgeous bottle is an added bonus. Now, if Lalique would just release the eau de parfum at a reasonable price...

    11th August, 2009

    Johnson73's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Attitude by Giorgio Armani

    Nothing groundbreaking here, but an excellent scent nonetheless. Attitude is a very well blended fragrance; although I can pick out coffee and lemon, the general impression I get is a clean, woody gourmand scent that doesn't have any notes really sticking out. Comparisons to other fragrances such as B*Men are valid, but I find Attitude to be much smoother, less brash, and more enjoyable than Mugler's creation. All in all, Attitude probably won't shock anyone, but as far as simply smelling really good goes, it fulfills its purpose admirably.

    11th August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver by Floris

    Whether or not I like a vetiver fragrance is very much dependent on the vetiver's accompanying notes. Too bitter or sour (Goutal), salty (Lalique), or herbal (Villorosi) and it doesn't appeal to me. A few months back I went on a quest to find *the* vetiver that was right for me, and after sampling pretty much every vetiver available I decided on Floris. A pleasant vetiver is joined by mild citrus and geranium on application, as well as some light spices in the background. The strong vetiver note moves to the heart, and the vetiver itself is presented to emphasize the grassier aspects of the note (as opposed to the earthier), and the vetiver joins a very stately sandalwood-heavy woody accord. From there a woody/incense base closes out the fragrance.

    Since going on my quest I've come to appreciate other vetivers - Givenchy, LezNez, and Malle, but Floris remains my go-to when I need a crisp vetiver that fits any situation, season, or mood. It's discontinued so stock up before it's gone!

    11th August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Réglisse by Caron

    Odd that this doesn't get more - or any - attention at all. Perhaps it's just too obscure, or perhaps because it's a 'new' Caron whereas nearly all others have significant lineage. Either way, it's really quite interesting.

    The topnotes are a tasty accord of lemon and coffee - there is an initial quick blast of anise that immediately recedes (I assume it's there to be smelled on paper), leaving the lemon/coffee for a good 20-30 minutes. As the citrus fades the anise/liquorice comes in for a more solid appearance of a couple hours. I believe there's some subtle patchouli backing up the anise, and the heart eventually fades to a woody base. Overall Eau de Reglisse is a simple but unique fragrance and something that works in pretty much any situation or weather. Nice stuff.

    Unlike Yohji Homme this scent isn't nearly as gourmand or sweet (Yohji is still my preferred liquorice fragrance). The longevity and sillage is good, and compared to Hermes Brin de Reglisse the Caron has more presence (and lasts 10x longer). As with many Carons there is a huge disparity between suggested retail price and the discount sites - I picked up a bottle for about $25.

    11th August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose Aoud by Martine Micallef

    While it seems that many niche houses are releasing oud lines these days (or at least oud-heavy scents), Micallef's Aoud line stands out above the rest, including (and especially) Montale. Montale seems to be in to release as many fragrances as possible, causing many of their new releases to be lacking in different aspects. Especially the rose/ouds fragrances, of which Montale has at least a half-dozen, seem to just be rose and oud thrown together in different ratios and bottled.

    Micallef's Aouds are meticulously balanced, with the oud simulaneously balancing and allowing the contrasting notes to shine. Rose Aoud is particularly well balanced. The rose note is full and sweet, obviously derived from high quality rose oil. In fact the rose note surpasses the quality of Montale's Highness Rose vis-a-vis depth of the rose note. The oud note is at first strong and medicinal but without being overpowering. The strength of the oud recedes somewhat rapidly, though it never fully disappears. The rose itself starts out as fairly sweet but is slowly joined by subtle green notes and eventually a lightly sweet woodiness. The sillage at first is extreme but it settles into a reasonably strong fragrance. As with many of the MIcallefs, longevity is very, very good. When I sample this on my arm at night it's present well into the next morning.

    There are some guys for whom anything with rose will be considered feminine, and they will likely not want to wear this. For everybody else Rose Aoud is fully wearable and highly recommended. The only other rose/oud I'd consider would by Amouage Lyric Men, though that's an entirely different take on the accord. I would take the Micallef over any Montale rose/oud, regardless of price.

    11th August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Extreme by Guerlain

    Count me among those who like the original but not enough to own it. The EdP however, is a favorite. The citrus from the original is condensed into a tiny moment of tartness that recedes within the first few minutes. From the first moment L'Instant Extreme blasts you with a powdery cocoa, vanilla, anise, and subtle woody notes. I suspect some heliotrope and perhaps even some iris underpinning the composition based on the powderiness and the light subtle florals that fill out the fragrance. As other reviewers have notes, this fragrance is wonderful study in balance between bitter and sweet gourmand notes. The woody notes keep L'Instant EdP from ever being too foody or a full-blown gourmand. Sillage and longevity are fantastic.

    With respect to Guerlain, I see L'Instant as foreshadowing the gourmand/floral style that has become the trademark of the current Guerlain fragrances released after Jean-Paul's retirement. Playing off the traditional Guerlinade, this new generation of fragrances (Quand Vient la Pluie, Cuir Beluga, Iris Ganache, etc.) use the vanilla/heliotrope to full effect balanced against other notes and accords. They are half gourmand and half something else. L'Instant - and the EdP in particular - were among the first of this generation of fragrances. I would be remiss not at least briefly mentioning the comparison to Dior Homme (especially the EdP). Yes, they both use cocoa, vanilla, and iris. Yes, they are both masculine gourmands. However, for some reason the two fragrances are different enough - perhaps the leather in Dior Homme - to not duplicate each other at all.

    According to the 2008 Guerlain catalog L'Instant Extreme EdP was still in production. As of spring 2009 it was not available at the exclusive US outlets such as Bergdorfs. I don't know whether it's still available from La Maison, but it does make the occasional appearance on eBay and through random online retailers. I suggest grabbing a bottle if you're a fan of Guerlain and/or masculine gourmands. You won't regret it.

    11th August, 2009

    cee-go's avatar

    Slovakia Slovakia

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    Boucheron pour Homme by Boucheron

    very classy, musculine "old school" piece, with great longevity. first minutes is very strong with citrusy accords, later on comes to nice warm woody-floral accords and at the end converts to nicest vetivery-moss phase.

    11th August, 2009

    Chasing the Dragon's avatar

    United States United States

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    Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    If you're looking for a dirty citrus, this is the one to get.

    11th August, 2009

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fracas by Robert Piguet

    When I first tried Fracas ,many moons ago, I did find it obnoxious . It was heavy and like another reviewer said- it smelt like some indian hair oil to me. I was not into white florals then . So tastes change !
    After a hiatus, I went back to Fracas and tried it once more. It took me several tests to decide that finally, I could not live without it.
    I do not find it heavy . Opium is heavy ! Fracas EDP is more breezy deep ,creamy, white flowers with a candied aspect swirling in the mix. it actually doesn't last that long on my skin.
    The parfum is a surprise - it is smoother than the EDP, closer to the skin, longer lasting, gloriously golden in smell ,slightly powdery but not overly so . If the EDP scares you, try the extrait it's less formidable.

    11th August, 2009

    goldie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Essence by Narciso Rodriguez

    I impulse-purchased this on a hot summer day in the city- a perfect time to enjoy this fragrance. The notes are iris, rose, amber, and white egyptian musk. I am very fond of the soapy opening which is clean and refreshing- nice enough but done many times already. However, after awhile it gets really interesting. There is musk in here and it gets sexier as the fragrance wears on. I found the dual quality of this fragrance to be a pleasant surprise and certainly not what I expected when I bought it. I have found myself reaching for it very often since purchasing. It wears well and is suitable for work or any other time when you don't want a highly assertive fragrance.

    As a side note, the mirrored bottle is truly elegant. The pictures don't do it justice! It feels cool and lovely in the hand.

    11th August, 2009

    Palicao's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Paul Smith for Men by Paul Smith

    the opening was unbearable for me, totally. I could smell only grass and the mix with orange... it was totally unappealing.
    to the point I was cursing myself for just spraying it on my skin without trying it on the usual little card.
    then the middle tones, after a while, went out and I could smell a floral presence alongside the iris-violet notes...
    and the perfume became suddenly pleasant.
    it's quite refreshing but the most sensible nose could feel a slightly industrial/chemical appeal to it that could lead to unpleasant olfactory experience if looking only for natural fragrances.
    I tend to like that notes but in this perfume they stand out more than usual, making it a little bit odd while mixing with the floral notes.
    It's a good perfume though, fresh but predictable.
    A good choice for a basic perfume for a modern man.
    Not very distinctive though

    11th August, 2009

    Palicao's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Truth Calvin Klein Men by Calvin Klein

    pretty clean and fruity at the beginning, with the basil leading the central notes towards an accord pleasant but quite sweet and zesty.
    to be honest it has a very strong synthetic edge, that I somehow like but could definitely found unappealling by a lot of people here.
    although there is a certain amount of notes, it tends to smell very basic and simple, with being fresh and masculine though.
    it's not daring or very interesting... it's just there and it makes you smell nice and clean
    but I can't say it's really creative too :D

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lily of the Valley by Penhaligon's

    supposedly men can faintly detect Lily - must admit that is me - I think this is quite nice given wife and daughter's reviews

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Victorian Posy by Penhaligon's

    nice opening on this clean refreshing fragrance . . .

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Elisabethan Rose by Penhaligon's

    One of the top five roses IMHO - very lovely scent

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    English Rose by Yardley

    beutiful and fragrant nose of Rose . . . one of the top ten Roses IMHO

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    Like this one (as I do most Penhaligans). Very nice start and finish - long lasting

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Verveine by Penhaligon's

    So glad they ressurected this one - very much appreciated its character
    Excellent summer scent

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    English Lavender by Yardley

    very nice Lavender . . . decent silage

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    wickedly strong and stays for awhile . . . too much for my liking however

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lavandula by Penhaligon's

    One of the top three lavenders IMHO . . . wife loves it as one of her favorites . . . strong silage and lasts and lasts
    Two thumbs up

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ellenisia by Penhaligon's

    Gave this to my wife which she enjoyed - two thumbs up

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aoud Damascus by Montale

    Very nice Rose and Aoud . . . this is in my top five Rose products - silage is remarkable

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paestum Rose by Eau d'Italie

    Well done - one of the top three Roses that I have encountered . . . this one has a regular spot in my rotation . . . decent silage too

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blue Amber by Montale

    Very much liked this one . . . it is the perfect blend . . . harmoney - ying and yang

    11th August, 2009

    rhodes22's avatar

    United States United States

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    Honeysuckle by Yardley

    Absolutely enjoy Honeysuckle - I remember when driving down my Aunt and Uncle's long private driveway which was filled with honeysuckles . . . reminds me of that era

    11th August, 2009

    Zgb's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    Lacoste Challenge by Lacoste

    This citrusy, fruity smell is something I've smelled a thousand times already, at least that is the impression it creates. Absolutley no imagination. Hey let's make a nice bottle and get an popular actor to advertise it. The bottle is cool, actor is so-so, the scent itself...well, it doesn't make you wanna puke, it's just plain and ordinary.

    11th August, 2009

    dan's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Escape for Men by Calvin Klein

    I read somewhere a few years ago that Escape smells of "freshly sliced cucumbers". I would have to agree to a certain extent, albeit the cucumber would be sweet and have a healthy accompaniment of ripe melon thrown in, along with a hint of lemon. I known these notes aren't part of the actual scent but these are the notes that my nose picks up for some reason.

    It's a great summer scent, fresh and tropical, almost good enough to eat (or drink!!!). If you enjoy scents such as L'eau D'issey and Aqua di Gio, theres a very good chance that you will like this.

    I've been wearing this for years and I would have to say this is probably my favourite scent. It gets a lot of compliments from the ladies as well. The best memory I have is from my college days, when two girls grabbed me and wouldn't let go until the next class because they loved the smell of Escape so much..... Unfortunately it never happened again!!!!

    For me this is the perfect pick me up scent, refreshing and delicious yet seductive at the same time.

    11th August, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 September, 2009)

    dan's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    23 by Michael Jordan

    I think this scent is perfect for everyday wear. Its starts off fresh and mellows out as the fragrance settles down. Its reminds me off a cross between Aqua di Gio and Polo Blue. A very good, refined scent, especially for the price.

    I couldn't find a fragrance pyramid but some of the fragrance notes are as follows : magnolia, grapefruit, musk, geranium, fig leaves, watermelon, and black currant.

    11th August, 2009

    Showing 511 to 540 of 1443.