Fragrance Reviews from August 2009

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    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Premier Figuier by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    This is a youthful, cheery, sappy-green sort of scent. It has a very green fig, leafy opening. This quickly is followed by some good wood and bark notes. The coconut adds a creamy, tropical aspect to the scent. This settles into a creamy woody scent, with continued hints of green fig and a developing lovely sandalwood note. It is only slightly sweet, so it is suitable as a unisex scent.

    17th August, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Premier Figuier Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    In comparison to the regular version, the extreme version seems more mature. It is a darker green, a bit sharper and less figgy-fruity, smoother and more subtle (at first) and ultimately more powerful (in the dry-down). The fresh sappy and leafy notes are not as prominent. The creamy almond and coconut milk notes emerge more slowly. The stone pine adds a marvelous coniferous note, a bit elusive but it appears once in a while. The long-term dry-down is an excellent woody-pine fig chord, which is very satisfying.

    17th August, 2009

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aramis by Aramis

    I find this leather chypre to be extremely sour and unpleasant smelling. Probably the least likable chypre I have tried to date.

    17th August, 2009

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Tubéreuse Couture 17 by Parfumerie Generale

    What a sleeper! This is dazzling - the perfect tuberose for a tropical evening.

    The top notes are delightful as they are unexpected, ginger rather than tuberose being the first thing I smell - I'm reminded of ginger beer. Quickly, the floral side emerges, ylang-ylang and a greenish jasmine, together with the defining "it" note that really sets this apart from other fragrances: sugar cane juice. The heart of the fragrance is an exquisite balance between the sugar cane note and the florals, the persistent ylang-ylang and jasmine being joined by a creamy, Fracas-esque tuberose in the heart ( this is certainly not a big tuberose, nor is the fragrance particularly dominated by the tuberose note, but it's the star as well as a team player ). Deep into the base, a coconuty benzoin note joins the softly fading florals, perhaps an infinitissimal drop of musk showing up, too.

    This fragrance is a nice balance of contrasts, managing to be sweet but never cloying, strange but never discordant, and complex without any heaviness. It's unique among the tuberoses I've smelled in its transparency and cleanness, but it has more than adequate sillage and decent longevity on my skin.

    17th August, 2009

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Tocade by Rochas

    Oh YIKES. This HURTS. Yes, it's vanilla and rose. That's it. But imagine the most searingly powerful of both, melded to create the most eye poppingly strong Turkish Delight accord. Luca Turin may be right about all the qualities of this perfume, and I'm glad it exists as concept and even (holding my heart) in fact, but please don't EVER make me wear it or wear it near me! Cute bottle.

    17th August, 2009 (Last Edited: 06th October, 2009)

    OlfactoryExperience's avatar

    United States United States

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    212 Sexy Men by Carolina Herrera

    I honestly really like this scent! I know its not fresh, or green like the original but who cares?! The world doesn't need another typically fresh scent anyway. The comparisons to Le Male are pretty valid but only to a certain extent. The beauty of this fragrance is in the key note that distinguishes it from Le Male: that musty, BO-ish, spicey note! It is this note that gives 212 sexy its sultry signature which is both compelling and divine. 212 Sexy is to the original 212 what Body Kouros is to Kouros. If you want to know what its like just imagine if Le Male had been created by a Spanish house. Muchos Gracias Senorita Herrera!

    17th August, 2009

    yeager4772's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    A poor imitation of Creed's Green Irish Tweed.
    They are similar in the opening but when G.I.T. grow up and evolve in a beautiful grassy sandalwood and floral world, Cool Water became sintethic and start to drydown.
    It give me nausea. Just for teenagers.

    17th August, 2009

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    Note Ambrée by Martine Micallef

    Let me preface this review by saying that I dislike floral scents in general. Now, with that said, if this is a floral, as the previous reviwers have stated, I love it! To my nose, this doesn't come off as a floral. In fact I don't smell any flower notes at all. What I get is a very linear amber/vanilla scent that's like powdery, creamy caramel, so the amber note never gets overly sweet and cloying the way amber can sometimes do in certain scents. On me this is a gourmand scent and everytime I smell my wrist or catch a whiff of the scent as the breeze swirls around me I think of a cupcake. Unlike Ambre Russe or Ambre Sultan, there's othing heavy, comlex or intellectual about this, just a nice pleasant amber for warmer days. The sillage is good and people will notice.

    17th August, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    I was surprised and impressed when I first smelled Kouros a few months ago. Not only did I recognize it from my childhood, but it also wasn't quite what I thought it would be. I expected a beast, a tyrant of fragrance, something akin to a mountain of urinal cakes. Well, yes, it does smell a little like urinal cakes, but not enough for someone to say "Dude! You smell like urinal cakes!" And this is coming from someone who thinks Muscs Koublai Kahn smells too much like genitalia. Anyway, Kouros to my nose is more along the lines of a slightly honeyed incense over vanilla, oakmoss and a strong note of civet (which smells a bit like pee but makes this fragrance what it is). I like it, but I would never wear it, as I find it to be too dated, along with the parachute pants, mustaches and fanny packs of the 80s and 90s.

    If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, this is what your tall, buff and hairy grade 6 gym teacher who wore really small shorts and hit on all the female teachers smelled like. He was cool back then but when you look back on it you're not quite sure what to think anymore...

    A classic? yes. A masterpiece? Sure. But it's still not quite wearable for this kid here.

    7/10

    17th August, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Attar by Montale

    Creamy, slightly medicinal rose over a subtle sandalwood note, supported by clean musk. The whole thing is airy yet heavy, a little sweet, a little bitter and very sensual. I don't detect any aoud in this, although there could be a tiny drop of it in there. In my opinion, this is the ying to Black Aoud's yang, although I wouldn't say they smell very similar at all.

    Although Black Aoud is another beast entirely, I much prefer this to Black Aoud (my second favorite Montale), as it's easier to wear. Attar also gets extra points for not tainting any clothing it touches with hints of rose for weeks on end like Black Aoud.

    Overall, a mysterious and sensual rose with a strong middle eastern vibe. While Attar might be harder to pull of here in the west, I can see myself swooning if someone walked by me wearing this.

    8.75/10

    17th August, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Just Breathe by CB I Hate Perfume

    This is a review of the absolute:

    Starts out with a cheap, sweet and fruity shampoo vibe and a ridiculous synthetic attempt at a green tea note, then dries down into something floral along with some cedar. The only enjoyable note here is the cedar while the rest of this fragrance is a joke. I love green tea and this is NOT green tea, zen or relaxing at all. I agree with Odysseusm - AVOID.

    5/10

    17th August, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Gathering Apples by CB I Hate Perfume

    This is a review of the absolute:

    Gathering Apples is my favorite of the CB I Hate Perfume line, and probably only because some of my happiest memories involve apple picking in the fall as a kid. Granted, Gathering Apples does smell very, very close to the real thing - it's probably one of the most realistic fragrances I've smelled from CB I hate Perfume. I don't get anything candied here, just lush red apples (and the smell of tannin in their skin) along with wooden baskets. It's not 100% realistic, but like I said, it's as close as you can get.

    8.25/10

    17th August, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Jasmin Full by Montale

    Jasmin Full opens up with a beautiful, green jasmine note, reminiscent of the real flower, greenery and all. It soon dries down to a more powdery jasmine supported by heady orange flower. While I much prefer the opening to the whole, I do enjoy Jasmin Full from start to finish. Although I doubt it's all-natural, it smells completely natural, and ranks in my top 3 favorite Montale, among Black Aoud and Attar.

    Yes, Jasmin Full is a little anemic compared to Lutens' A la Nuit, but while A la Nuit punches your nostrils in the face, Jasmin Full soothes your soul and blows gently by you like a cool breeze. I've smelled natural jasmine essential oil, and although it's enjoyable in itself, it doesn't smell like a jasmine flower in bloom. Jasmin Full, on the other hand, does smell like jasmine in bloom, and that's why it's magical.

    I've been searching for a fragrance reminiscent of jasmine and green tea for quite some time now, and Jasmin Full's opening is the closest thing to it. L'artisan Parfumeur's The Pour un Ete comes close, but it's rather synthetic smelling and has something off-putting in it. While I'm not crazy about Jasmin Full's drydown, it never gets too overpowering, and maintains feeling like a gust of wind as you sit by blooming jasmine and orange flowers.

    8.5/10

    17th August, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    M3 November by CB I Hate Perfume

    Smells mostly like pumpkin pie and something along the lines of crushed, dry leaves. Interesting to sniff, but not something I want to wear. Fall (including the month of November) is my favorite time of year and sadly CB I hate Perfume's November is not quite "November" enough for me. Also, it kind of has a scented candle vibe. One of CB's better ones though, as it smells like a slightly better quality Demeter fragrance.

    7.75/10

    17th August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Louanges Profanes 19 by Parfumerie Generale

    Louanges was one of the last PGs I needed to sample to try the entire line, and in some ways I'm glad I saved it for last. Louanges is perhaps the most un-PG of the line. Fragrances in the line have a tendency towards the rich, with full compositions with loads of sillage that tend towards the gourmand. Conversely Louange typifies the line in the sense that Guillarme uses unusual combinations of notes for novel and successful effect. In this case we have a citrus/floral with a dash of incense. PGs line doesn't have a chypre, and in many ways Louanges approximates a chypre with it's combination of citrus, floral and woody notes.

    As vibert mentions, this fragrance moves quickly for the first 10 minutes. Starting off with a bright neroli/lily accord, Louanges quickly becomes powdery, lightly sweet, and a bit soapy. A mild incense note moves in to create a smoky and woody contrast to the citrus/floral accord. After moving so quickly at first this heart accord then persists for a long time. It's a very enjoyable accord - the balance of green, citrus, powder/soap, and woody incense sounds like it would be too much but in fact it is far more transparent then you'd think reading a description of it. What's really nice is that the notes are so well blended that the individual notes aren't distinct, and in this way Louanges resembles the 'chypre accord'. The sillage is less than that of most Parfumerie Generales, meaning it's typical of average niche fragrances and very good. This heart accord eventually fades to a mossy/woody base, also powdery. Overall I get about 6 hours of longevity.

    For people not fond of PG's gourmand style this may be a good fragrance to try. Of course the PG florals (i.e. Ether de Lilas, Ilang Ivohibe, etc.) aren't gourmand, but many are. Louanges is a unique position and occupies a unique position in the PG line.

    Highly recommended.

    17th August, 2009

    drummerboy20's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme Eau d'Été Summer Edition by Issey Miyake

    good stuff.....Lighter than the original, and much more wearable, but the original can be worn all year.

    17th August, 2009

    sjohnjay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Orange Spice by Creed

    This is excellent. Quite easily one of the best in the CREED lineup. There is a slight similarity to Kouros, which exists solely on a superficial level, for about a split-second. Very masculine; smells like bath soap from the first half of the 20th century, and exudes 'class'. The 'orange/citrus' note may only be evident upon knowing what to look (smell) for. OS has adequate projection, and astronomical longevity. I consider this to be one of the CREED perfumes worth the pricetag. I rate this: 9.5/10.

    17th August, 2009

    sjohnjay's avatar

    United States United States

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    West Indian Lime by Crabtree & Evelyn

    Very much like anything Gendarme has/would release. Delicious lime stays for about an hour, giving way for several hours of classic, high quality lavender and sandalwood. Superb, and suitable for any time of year.

    17th August, 2009

    Hob Dobson's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    While No. 5 is not my favorite fragrance, or even my favorite Chanel, I admire the way the slightly fruity aldehydes blends with the florals to float over the powder notes, themselves over soft woods, and possibly a buried hint of leather or warm skin. And while it does not project loudly nor build quickly, the perfume does embrace quite a bit of space over time. Perhaps another hallmark of just how well No. 5 was executed? This is good stuff.

    As dated as Chanel No. 5 may seem to some, I think it (the perfume at least) truly is suitable for women of nearly any age. Some men may find it easier to wear than some of the more omnisex Guerlains.

    17th August, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nymphéa by Il Profumo

    I don't smell anything marine or watery about this. It goes on as a veil of shimmering, slightly sneezy white musk that parts suddenly to reveal a heart of honey and fruit. In the drydown, the musk returns and tends to predominate, and the soapy quality of it reminds me a little of a very nice bathroom. Apart from that, really lovely, and one that has grown on me. I find myself reaching for it more and more. I do wish it lasted a bit longer, and that the lovely fruity notes projected more.

    17th August, 2009 (Last Edited: 15th September, 2009)

    bentan's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    D&G Pour Homme's simplicity in its packaging of a bell jar bottle and dark velvet packaging doesn't really highlight what is to be expected.

    First impressions were of a highly complicated floral herbal fragrance. It must have been well blended considering that no singular note stood out distinctively. One associates it with grassy mountains and the complexity was pleasant. At a point in time though, it felt as if I've rubbed Ricola all over my wrist; the swiss mountain herbal sweets

    Both the bergamot and the cedar were detected making this is rather green and medicinal scent. There were clearly blended citrus notes which got me a bit worried when it started to smell like heavily diluted CK Eternity. It was like a "Oh no, don't get me started on yet another one of those" moments.

    D&G Pour Homme could have been any other generic men's fragrance, with a little bit of citrus freshness, a little bit of the green barber shop cleanliness and a little woody masculinity. Thankfully it steered away from it just as it was reaching the edge.

    It does have its own unique standing, unfortunately, not enough for a thumbs up from me. I don't take too well to risky adventures especially with Eternity moments.

    17th August, 2009

    bentan's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Yohji Homme by Yohji Yamamoto

    What was a promising start turned out to be a disappearing act.

    Yohji Homme reminds me of a typical Yohji Yamamoto presentation. A simple linear environment (bottle) that due to its starkness, makes you wonder what to expect. Then the opening, usually shocking and then a focused intensity that continues that theme of linearity. As it builds to the climax, you get bursts of colour or vibrancy, never both, but still remaining disciplined,

    Like his design, Yohji Homme was a very focused fragrance for me. The initial blast was a cross between the intense gourmand notes of A*Men and the citrus-wood foundation of Loewe Escentia but it funneled into a very licorice and anise-seed type; a powerful entrance.

    The starkly sombre greyish-black licorice and anise-seed is artfully combined a herbaceous green parsley, brown cinnamon and lilac lavender. Subsequently, it took a turn and become strongly Kouros-like for me, with the occasional reference to A*Men with the faint coffee.

    Could that be the avant-garde Yohji Yamamoto at play, combining the classic Yves-Saint Laurent with outrageousness of Thierry Mugler? Whatever it may be, this was enjoyable.

    Pity about the projection and longevity though...

    17th August, 2009

    LA2000's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

    This fragrance should really be called "Black Kashmir" because this scent has nothing whatsoever to do with the soft swaddling of woolen sweaters and blankets. It is all about Kashmiri saffron, amber, and dark smokey incense. I like this one, but I would never call it "pretty." To my nose, it has a bit of dirty edginess which makes it interesting.

    17th August, 2009

    jbr's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme Eau d'Été Summer Edition by Issey Miyake

    Very similar to the original, only a bit brighter with more upfront citrus on the top notes. Same warnings apply as with its predecessor - go easy on the trigger, this stuff is potent! Three to four sprays are enough to let yourself and anyone within arm's length be very aware of what you're wearing, any more than that and you'll be clearing out the room in no time flat. This is a bit brash for my taste - when I'm in the mood for a good aquatic I usually reach for Bvlgari Aqua, which I find to be a more subtle composition. Also, this stuff doesn't seem to get along with my sinuses - I get sniffy and sneezy whenever I wear it, and I usually don't have strong adverse reactions like that to fragrances. Pass on this if you already own a bottle of L'Eau d'Issey, if you don't, though, this could be worth a look if you want a strong citrus-y aquatic, it's just not really for me.

    17th August, 2009

    Kitty_'s avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    I was disappointed by Shalimar, especially as so many others praised it so highly. Maybe the formula has changed over the years?
    To me this is a fairly simple perfume, slightly sweet; I detected vanilla and lanolin with maybe some orange. Something slightly off? Lanolin isn't a smell I like, and Shalimar makes me think of freshly baked vanilla cupcake aromas wafting through a barnyard.
    I think most Guerlains have a hint of stinky animals woven into the formula somewhere, but usually the droppings, fur mud and straw scents, rather than territorial and reproductive smelly bits which I think make a perfume more provocative. Eeeeek!
    I woludn't buy or wear Shalimar, but I will try it again if I see it elsewhere, maybe some vintage stuff is still out there somewhere and I will see why so many like it so much.

    17th August, 2009

    Scentsamillion's avatar

    United States United States

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    Onde Mystère by Giorgio Armani

    I just got this perfume and discovered that it smells incredibly similar to Feminite Du Bois by Shiseido and is a little less heavy on the woodsy undertones. I like this perfume as an alternative to the Shiseido perfume because it is lighter and has a fresher composition. I wore the Shiseido perfume for many years until it became too difficult to find and have always wanted to find a perfume which smells similar but has an updated feeling. All of the qualities I loved about the Shiseido perfume I also found in Onde Mystere. This perfume is lighter and on me did not endure as long as Feminite Du Bois. The rose notes lingered the longest on me with Onde Mystere, and the woods lingered longer on me with Feminite Du Bois. They're both two of my favorite perfumes.

    17th August, 2009

    sunny baybay's avatar



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    Blue by Ralph Lauren

    really casey!? how weird i wonder if i told u it was one of my top faves once upon a time.... i havent smelled it lately to give a worthwhile review but i just thought that was funny how i was once like in love with it and now i cant remember anything besides that it made me feel fresh..

    17th August, 2009

    MysteryBuff40's avatar

    United States United States

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    Arber by Body Shop

    A young, attractive Body Shop employee sprayed Arber all over herself and invited me to sniff. Perhaps an unfair sales tactic, but I bought it. I enjoy it, especially after the pungent top notes burn off, but for me it remains a secondary fragrance for casual times after Tommy Hilfiger's Athletics (now sadly discontinued).

    I'm intrigued by Carlos' statement that this is a "carbon copy" of Floris Santal (minus the pepper), which I am about to buy for the first time. I hope it's not. Let's compare ingredients:

    Arber
    Top notes: Lime, orange, geranium
    Mid notes: Coriander, mint, watermelon
    Base notes: Sandalwood, vetiver, tonka bean

    Floris Santal
    Top notes: Bergamot, black pepper, cardamon, green grass, lemon
    Mid notes: Clove bud, lavender, nutmug
    Base notes: Amber, cedar wood, frankinsense, musk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver

    Overall, Arber is OK, but I wouldn't buy it again.

    17th August, 2009

    Chinacat_Sunflower's avatar

    United States United States

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    Magnifique by Lancôme

    my wardrobe has three faces - the woods, the citruses, and the presents I've gotten from friends who think that I've done the whole Vetiver thing to death...

    and heck, Lancome makes Mascara, its perfumes are for the Ladies who Lunch, not the day-glo gardener...

    so I was not prepared for my reaction to the sample, I was kinda thinking it would be nice for my mom.

    hmm - sun on a cedar shack where someone is cooking jams? red raspberries growing outside a wood-workers studio? something my grandmother would have invented in college, to stand out from all the girls in Shalimar?

    I figured it would smell like air freshener on me, but the reviews from friends, family, and the housecats have all been positive so far - my mother in particular is amazed that I don't smell 'like a guy' for a change.

    17th August, 2009

    DarwinHoel's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dunhill for Men by Dunhill

    This is still available through Dunhill NYC.

    I've been wanting to try this so I called Dunhill NYC and purchased a bottle over the phone. They have been having small batches made just for them because of their large clientele. It was expensive but it's also new. $81.11 after tax. We'll see.

    17th August, 2009

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