Fragrance Reviews from August 2009

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    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Mandragore by Annick Goutal

    Annick Goutal Mandragore

    When I think of Mandrake the first thing that comes to mind are the shreiking plants from Harry Potter which are used to reverse the petrifying spell. Then I think of witch's brew as mandrake root usually follows eye of newt into the witch's cauldron. For those of a later generation there was even a comic strip called Mandrake The Magician. All of these associations tend to conjure up the magical and the mysterious. I was expecting the 2005 creation by Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen for Annick Goutal, based on the mandrake root, Mandragore to do the same. Mandragore is surprisingly a much lighter scent than I expected although there is a deep green aspect to it that does evoke some of the mysteriousness that the mandrake root represents. The top starts off very light and spicy with a bright mix of bergamot, anise, ginger, and a pinch of pepper. This is a well-balanced beginning if not as dark as I might have expected. The heart is where the mandrake comes in . Mandrake has an earthy deeply herbal quality. It is closest in character to the more earthy herbal patchouli that I most recently encountered in Reminiscence's Eau de Patchouli. That being said mandrake is no patchouli. The mandrake coveys the dark green herbalness but somehow it seems flat. Instead of being the star it becomes the support for the continued presence of the anise and ginger by adding a contrast to those notes. In the base there is a woody note along with some amber and musk, with the anise and ginger which really seem to last throughout the development of Mandragore. Mandragore has average longevity and average sillage, on me. Mandragore really is a scent that is not at all about the mandrake and more about the anise and ginger and while it might be misnamed it is a very pleasant summer scent, if not the witch's brew I was hoping for based on the name.

    22 August, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Idole de Lubin by Lubin

    Idole de Lubin

    Every great artist has their moment where they don't connect with me. Spielberg directed a misfired attempt at romantic comedy in Always. Jean-Claude Ellena decided to try an aquatic with Cartier Declaration Bois Bleu. These are examples where trademark assets of the artist are used in the wrong milieu and create a mistake, for me. Olivia Giacobetti has created some of my favorite scents, she has a style that allows you to feel as if you're experiencing a scent through a light layer of linen in translucent waves. When she chooses her milieu correctly she creates scents like L'Artisan Tea for Two. Frederic Malle En Passant or Costes. When she chooses poorly, as she did in 2005, she creates Idole de Lubin. Mme Giacobetti clearly was looking to adapt her light quality to a boozy, spicy, leather-based scent. The only problem for me is that when I want a scent like that I don't want it to be held at arm's length. I want it to be like a shot of rum which explodes on my senses and I feel it all over. Idole de Lubin holds true to Mme. Giacobetti's aesthetic and that keeps it from working for me. The top of Idole is an ethereal mix of rum, saffron and cumin. They are expertly balanced but they are so lightly apparent on my skin that it seems like they are only present for a heartbeat. They are quickly overwhelmed by a woody accord of sandalwood and another note that is more astringent which, according to the note list, must be doum palm. Here I'm almost glad this is being held at arm's length as the woodiness seems out of balance with the sheer spices of the top. The base turns into a lovely leather and here the opaque quality, that Mme. Giacobetti has used to detriment in Idole, actually works well and the leather applied with a light hand is the best part of Idole de Lubin, for me. Idole de Lubin has good longevity but like most of Mme. Giacobetti's scents does not project very much. Idole de Lubin will go down as one of those noble failures by one of my favorite perfumers.

    22 August, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Monk by Michael Storer

    Michael Storer Monk

    Over the last few years there have been a number of artisanal perfumers who have sprung up. One common thread to all of them is they present a distinct view of what they think perfume should be and then go about making perfumes that live up to those ideals. Michael Storer is one of this breed of artisanal perfumers and his creations are challenging olfactory fever dreams. His 2005 creation Monk is the scent that would seem to work best on me, as a lover of incense and birch tar, and with those notes at the top of his ingredients; Monk should be just what I'm looking for. With a name like Monk it is sure to conjure up images of European monasteries over a 1,000 years old and the top of Monk surely does that. At the top Monk smells like a musty hallway in an ancient stone edifice redolent of smoke and aged parchment, with only faint hits of incense. This beginning comes off a lot like CB I Hate Perfume In The Library but with the addition of smoke. I have to say this beginning is challenging for me as I appreciate the stage it sets for what is to come but it lasts almost too long on me before developing further. The heart of this is where Mr. Storer really does make things come alive because apparently his band of merry monks like cocoa. This is the dry cocoa powder accord I like so much from Chanel Coromandel and Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 and here it signals a shift in tone as the smoke and mustiness is left behind and the rich tones of cocoa take over. The base is a well-balanced animalic mix of civet and musk. Mr. Storer does a great job here of balancing two very strong notes and using them to bring out the best in each other. Monk is a very long-lasting scent with very good sillage. I find the first 30-45 minutes of Monk to be almost too much of an effort, for me, but the remaining 12 hours are well worth the investment of my time.

    22 August, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Intrigant Patchouli 08 by Parfumerie Generale

    Parfumerie Generale Intrigant Patchouli

    For those of us who grew up in the 70's our first exposure to exotic oils probably took place in a "head shop". That store of illicit smoking paraphenalia and along with that went incense and essential oils. The most pungent of those oils was patchouli but there were hints of others underneath the smell of patchouli which created a signature "head shop" fragrance. Pierre Guillaume in 2005's Intrigant Patchouli has faithfully recreated the smell of a "head shop" circa 1975. The only question is do you want to smell like that? Intrigant Patchouli gets right down to business form the first spritz as patchouli comes right to the front and for most of the development of this scent stays right there, center stage. There are supporting notes of sandalwood, cinnamon, and vanilla; which is appropriate becasue these were also common essential oils available in any "head shop". Intrigant Patchouli never really evolves from that strong accord from beginning to end, on me. Which makes it the only linear scent I've experienced from Parfumerie Generale. Like most of the Parfumerie Generale line this has above average longevity and average sillage. The funny thing I've learned is that while I like the smell of the "head shop" I realize I don't want to smell like a "head shop"

    22 August, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Eau Sauvage Fraîcheur Cuir by Christian Dior

    Christian Dior Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir

    I wonder what Alexandra Ripley felt like as she sat in front of the keyboard composing her sequel, "Scarlett" to Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With The Wind"? You have to be creative while taking into account the many who will bemoan the desecration of a legend, the others who want to laugh that you are even attempting a new take on a masterpiece, and the few who will actually give your creativity a chance to impress them. The perfume version of Alexandra Ripley is Francois Demachy who has taken on the task of making the sequel to three well-liked scents, all for Christian Dior, Dior Homme Cologne, Fahrenheit 32 and now, in 2007 Edmond Roudnitska's 1966 ground-breaking masterpiece with, Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir. While the first two sequels M. Demachy undertook were well-done; to try and alter a scent from one of the, arguably, greatest perfumers of the 20th century that is something entirely different. The original Eau Sauvage could be considered the forerunner to all of the fresh and clean scents currently (over)crowding the perfume shelves. M. Demachy in his design of Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir pays homage to the original but actually makes a couple of different choices than M. Roudnitska and ends up creating something all his own. The top of Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir is where the two scents are most similar. The beginning of Fraicheur Cuir is all light, tart lemon which lasts only a short while. It is in the heart that the first divergence from the original scent takes place as the similarity to the original is maintained with an herbal accord paired with cedar. The biggest difference comes in M. Demachy's use of hedione. M. Roudnitska was said to have pioneered the use of hedione in Eau Sauvage but while I'm sure it is there it never seems to be that prominent when I wear Eau Sauvage. That is not so with Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir as the hedione does its job here in all of its glory as the jasmine comes to life against the woody, herbal backdrop making this similar but entirely different. The base is where things take a dramatic turn as the promised leather appears paired with amber and the hint of oakmoss. The base is really mostly leather with the amber there to provide some depth to it all. Eau Sauvage is one of those very short lasting scents on me. Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir happily has much more longevity and lasts a good 6-8 hours on me. There is also much less projection than in the original. I know I wouldn't have the courage to try and pick up a previous work and make it my own. Bravo to Francois Demachy for not only trying but succeeding, spectacularly so.

    22 August, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Miel & Citron / Honey & Lemon by L'Occitane

    L’Occitane Honey & Lemon (Miel et Citron)

    L’Occitane is one of those Houses that I hae really come to appreciate. They do nice quality scents at reasonable prices. A colognoisseur could do much worse than to have a wardrobe stocked with the offerings from L’Occitane. One of my favorites from L’Occitane is the 2007 release Honey & Lemon (Miel et Citron). L’Occitane once again manages to pull off an excellent approximation of a much more expensive scent at a much lower price. Honey & Lemon is a full-on gourmand and while the titular notes are present there is also some other notes which really give a rich feel to this scent. The top is the promised lemon but also there is some other citrus, mostly orange, there so while there is the tartness of lemon it is lightened up by the presence of the orange. Next up is the honey and this is a beautiful sweet honey accord that seems to have a thickness to it that other honey accords have not had, on me, in the past. It is joined by a caramel note which might lead one to think that the addition of another sweet note is gilding the sweetness lily a bit. In this case the caramel does firmly land the heart in cavity-inducing territory but it makes it a rich guilty pleasure instead of the kind of sweetness that gives you stomach cramps or, perhaps in this case, nose cramps? After such a sweet middle phase Honey & Lemon pulls back a bit as vanilla and patchouli finish this scent off, in the base. This allows the vanilla to be sweet but not as sweet as the two notes in the heart and the patchouli brings some needed contrast to nicely round this out. The only drawback to the L’Occitane family of scents is their longevity and Honey & Lemon has the same issue as it makes it through a normal work day for me but not much longer than that. The projection is modest and as stated before the price is low. I wonder if this was presented in a blind sniff with other much higher priced gourmands, how it would fare? My guess is it would hold its own and might even win.

    22 August, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Bell'Antonio by Hilde Soliani Profumi

    Hilde Soliani Bell'Antonio

    Back in the 70's when I would go out dancing the clubs would close at 4AM in S. Florida. Of course we wouldn't be ready to go home and there was an all-night diner named Lester's not too far from the clubs in Ft. Lauderdale. We would come strolling in and I would always love the smell of Lester's at that time of the morning. I would walk in and smell the multitude of coffee pots on their hot plates and, in those days before non-smoking sections existed, the smell of cigarettes being lit. This was what pre-dawn smelled like in the 70's. In 2008 the artisan perfumer Hilde Solianai created Bell'Antonio for her "Teatro Olfattivo di Parma" line. Bell'Antonio was meant to evoke the smell of her father Antonio and his mix of coffee and cigarettes. One of the great things about the plethora of artisanal perfumers out there like Sig.ra. Soliani is that she can make simple scents focusing on a couple of notes like coffee and cigarettes and do it magnificently because her only focus group is her own nose. The top of Bell'Antonio is the promised tobacco but it is the unsmoked tobacco. The leafy slightly sweet version of tobacco, then the tobacco turns into the smell of a cigarette after being lit as there is a smoke accord that carries into the base of brewed coffee. The coffee accord in the base is that of a pot that has been left on the hot plate just a little too long as it smells a tiny bit charred but still rich. The coffee accord also carries a little more acidity to it than other richer ones in scents like A*Men Pure Coffee or Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe. This coffee accord is the smell of a cup of coffee at 4:30 in the morning. Sig.ra. Soliani has created a close wearing realistic piece of perfumery which can transport one to an Italian Coffee Shop or as it does in my mind to 4:30 AM at Lester's somewhere in the 70's.

    22 August, 2009

    blondex199667's avatar

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    KL Homme by Lagerfeld

    I think this is one of the best mens fragrances of all time, period. It does have similarities to all of the fragrances it has been compared to but beats them all. It is the only one of it's kind I've ever liked at all and I really love it. I still have an unopened bottle in the fridge. Just can't bring myself to open it! I'm hoping that if Giorgio for Men and New West can be resurrected, maybe KL Homme can be too.

    22 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 22 November, 2009)

    tanto's avatar

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    Passion for Men by Elizabeth Taylor

    I purchased Passion for Men went it first came out in Sept '89. OK, it's not a high end designer fragrance but it unique. Recently I was able to buy a 4oz spray bottle at Marshall's for $20. I like to periodically buy older fragrances because they have long been forgotten by most people When you wear an old fragrance people think you are wearing something new. Passion is real nice, too!

    22 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

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    2 Oeillet by Prada

    Holy smoke! Where has this fragrance been all my life? I've been on the hunt for the perfect carnation fragrance and in the process came across this one, and in so doing found a truly amazing (all-around) fragrance. Carnation has a naturally clove-like smell, but the success of a carnation fragrance depends on whether it has the proper accompanying notes. Scents like Ava Luxe Kretek and Floris Malmaison can take it too far, becoming too spicy and Guerlain Terracotta Voile d'Ete (an excellent fragrance) dilutes the carnation note with too many floral notes. The Terracotta is good but it's not the carnation-centric fragrance as it purports to be.

    No.2 Oeillet gets it just right. The intial blast of carnation is woody and rich, with its natural clove spiciness and a twinge of sweet rose in the background. This fragrance, like the other Prada Exclusif parfums, is fairly linear. However there is a slow and subtle development. Over the first half hour there is a mild sweetening as the sharpness of the carnation blends into a sandalwood-like background and the composition itself becomes slightly powdery and musky. After an hour the fragrance settles into a musky sandalwood with a hint of heliotrope and a lingering carnation aroma.

    The sillage and longevity are superb with No.2 - again, typical of the line. It's truly a shame that Prada keeps these parfums so quiet because it would truly add luster to the house of Prada Parfums if only a few more people could experience them.

    22 August, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

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    Greenbriar by Caswell-Massey

    Within the same family as Cool Water or GIT, but with more natural-smelling botanicals...it really feels like I'm smelling a bunch of mashed and extracted plant parts, much more so than with CW or GIT. The sweetness is much less than in GIT (which I think is a bit too sweet) and it also doesn't have the sharp astringence that I get from Cool Water when I breathe deeply over the spot that I sprayed. It lasts reasonably well to boot. Just watch out when buying because with Greenbriar you get 1.7 oz at the same price as 3.0 oz of most of the others (not that it's expensive by any means). Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) it has its own unique bottle, as opposed to the standard C-M men's one. I might replace my Cool Water and GIT sample with this when they run out in about 5000 years!

    22 August, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

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    Hai Karate by Leeming

    I don't think this one is necessarily as bad as people are saying. It's almost thumbs down for me personally because it's anisy (or something along those lines) and powdery, and these are common offenses of scents that I don't like. But aside from that, I find it to be adequate...fairly similar to others from days of yore that survived and became cheapies. Paul Sebastian? Canoe? British Sterling? Maybe the age of my sample's source bottle accounts for this, but it didn't seem strong enough to be offensive, in fact it's significantly weaker than I expected from what I had read here. I would survive wearing this every once in a while.

    22 August, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

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    Lucky You for Men by Lucky Brand

    Man this stuff is tenacious, and very artificial smelling. It falls under the category I think of as "free sample frags", that come with orders from etailers when you didn't request anything...presumably trying to get rid of stock of vials of cheap brands. It's a greener, somewhat floral variant on the faux-melon genre, gradually morphing into a green musk. The top provides a really unusual caricature of green that comes with some fruit, but doesn't absolutely sing forth fruitiness (not that I would want it to). It reminds me somewhat of smelling detergent right from the bottle, when it's so concentrated that it doesn't actually smell good anymore, but harsh and chemical. Every time I try it again, I think I should like it, and every time I get annoyed with it by the end of the day because it's juvenile, and the drydown just won't shut up. Not quite worth using up the sample vial.

    22 August, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

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    Newport (new) by Caswell-Massey

    As a disclaimer, let me say that I've never tried the original Newport, so in no way am I writing this out of anger at reformulation...it sounds like it must have been pretty different! The new Newport smells like every free sample vial I've ever gotten from every e-tailer in my life...i.e. Exceptional Because You Are, Perry Ellis America, those types of things. A fresh citrus aquatic at first that goes greener and muskier for a while, then dries down spicy and woody. Cheap-smelling at all stages, and feeling to me like it's trying to cover all the categories in one blend and failing miserably. Longevity is medium-short, though it's not actually that weak while it's still going. It's very hard for me to remember more details about how it smells because it changes so much, and all the stages are generic.

    22 August, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

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    Exceptional Because You Are for Men by Exceptional

    Another "free sample frag" that came with an order from FragranceNet.com. It's a grapefruity citrus at first that goes greener for a while, then dries down into a rather spicy oriental. A little cheap-smelling, but not as bad as the new version of Caswell-Massey Newport, which it reminds me of a lot. Both feel to me like they're trying to cover all the categories in one blend, thinking "citrus is good, and green is good, and spicy is good, so doing them all must be the key to saleability." Longevity is mediumish, but it's kind of weak. I really can't believe the price that FragranceNet.com charges for this "exclusive" of theirs. If not for the fact that so many designer frags smell like this nowadays, it would be a complete joke at this price (not that I'd even pay half personally). Still, it's nice enough that I'd eventually use up the sample vial.

    22 August, 2009

    andyman32's avatar

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    Cuir Pleine Fleur / Fine Leather by Heeley

    Heeley just can't put together a fragrance I REALLY like, and it seems that I like offerings of the same category from many other houses. Menthe Fraiche has a sour note that reeks a little too much; Cardinal is far too dry and astringent and and smells like fresh cedar chips and a dash of incense. Cuir Pleine Fleur continues the trend. Good, but just barely. It has some interesting stuff happening very quickly, top & mid notes, and the emphasis changes dramatically, but it's so fast that it's hardly worth describing. The dry-down is in 5 minutes and it is a rather astringent, medicinal fragrance. It is overwhelmingly clove and ginger. Very, very subtle suggestions of leather come & go for the first 10 minutes, but once they're gone, they're gone. You also need a bit of an imagination to smell leather in this at any point. I had to think "leather... leather... leather???..." to experience it. On the "leather fragrance scale" this one is a 1 - it's subtle and you might not even notice it at all if you don't REALLY focus; Aoud Leather is a 10 - it smells like LEATHER, long, strong and hard.

    Of fragrances that are supposed to have leather, Cuir Pleine Fleur is similar in composition to Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire - minus the actual leather smell. Given its prominence of clove (by far the strongest component), I'd say this is closer to Clove Absolute by Washington Tremlett than any other leather scent I have smelled. Of course, Clove Absolute does the clove smell far better, it's a rich, almost sticky, and quite delightful fragrance.

    Despite my complaints - it's NOT a leather scent, it's a clove scent - it is decent. And, strange to say, it would smell nice ON leather, or WITH leather. Perhaps I'll add a few sprays of this to the cloth next time I oil the hyde on my Jag. Overall it's a neutral, good but not great, because it is an OK scent, wearable and elegant, albeit not a leather scent, and not the best clove scent either.

    22 August, 2009

    derad's avatar

    Czech Republic Czech Republic

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    Poivre Piquant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Poivre Piquant is permeated with eroticism - but no burnig passion dripping with bodily fluids - rather an affectionate sensuality, a carnality tender like a warm clean skin being kissed by loving lips instead.
    The scent is like an enjoyment of voluptuosity granted only to the fallen in love. It's up to you whether you feel PP more like lovers makong out or a young beautiful mom breastfeeding her sweet baby.

    22 August, 2009

    lisalucille's avatar

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    Merveille by Johan B

    Very subtle, sweet -- but not sickening, long-lasting eau de perfume. One of my favorite scents. Not the kind of scent that's going to scream "perfume," just draw people to how good you smell.

    22 August, 2009

    lisalucille's avatar

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    Touch by Tocca

    I'm giving Touch a neutral, even though I don't really like it, because it's not totally repulsive to me. I smelled a heavy peachy (almost a spoiled peach) topnote, drying down to a powdery, spicy strange mix. The eau de perfume was definately interestering, though not pleasant to my senses. I anticipated more of a floral oriental (along the lines of Narcisse, but not as sweet). Will never wear it.

    22 August, 2009

    ChrisJPN's avatar

    Japan Japan

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    Comme des Garçons 3 by Comme des Garçons

    I agree the opening is like a continuation of the Odeur's, it sort of reminds me of the cellophane wrapping on a small bunch of flowers. After a couple of minutes the fresh, green, citrus appears - softly sweet and comforting and, like somebody else said, almost juicy. Later a soft wood moves into place which compliments and blends in perfectly. At the moment, I don't like this as much as 2, Sequoia or White but there's something wonderfully comforting and soothing about it. Like White, I find it perfect for days when you feel a little sick or the weather is too humid. I think this is something that will grow, expand and improve with experience. It's really quite beautiful.

    22 August, 2009

    justaguy's avatar

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    Joy by Jean Patou

    For a few days I've been wearing the EDT out of a tester and can say its a grand summer scent. Not too feminine, however definitely not masculine, Joy EDT is a green floral with very good sillage and amazing lasting power. It opens with a booming green neroli and galbanum combo that is unbelievably perfumey and aldehydic. The beginning is edging on bugspray (in the best sense) when it slowly descends into a rosy heart with a calm jasmine weaving in and out. Further along, it breaks down to a musky jasmine and sandalwood base. The changes happen slowly and are very subtle. I can only imagine how great the parfum is.

    22 August, 2009

    justaguy's avatar

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    1000 by Jean Patou

    Unfortunately, I find 1000 EDT to be nothing like the reviews. For me, it starts with a very soapy and bright neroli that lasts around an hour until it gives wayt o a light jasmine dripping in honey. The ending, however, reminds me of Joy's base, but weaker and sweeter. For me, 1000 is a less impressive form of Joy.

    That was what I used to think of 1000, but after trying it again and again for some unknown urge, I have realized how intensely beautiful it is. In my mind, this is what a "fresh" floral should be. Bright but not strident florals exist throughout almost all of the composition and make everything you do feel lighter and less serious. Its a perfume that sets the mood for the day, and with 1000 its always good.

    22 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 06 January, 2010)

    MysteryBuff40's avatar

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    Aqua pour Homme by Bulgari

    I had high hopes for this one, but alas. I get a strong note of what seems like jasmine. Very flowery. This would smell romantic on a woman.

    22 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 December, 2009)

    EduardoBRA's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Very Irrésistible for Men by Givenchy

    An Extremely Night Perfume, Chic, sexy. He really is sweet, but does not come close to being Male, This Perfume is very manly, he is more for "Men" than Young ... Despite being a perfume Praised and noted by many, I advise buying the Dark, Because your notes are very striking, then you would be nauseating to some. Note 10 for GIVENCHY.

    22 August, 2009

    EduardoBRA's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Aqua pour Homme Marine by Bulgari

    I appreciated this essence...it's quite clean ...when using it, people say that it smells like just-after-bathing...even after hours...I personally believe that's better than the Tradicional Bvlgari Aqva.

    22 August, 2009

    Bigsly's avatar

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    KL Homme by Lagerfeld

    A great oriental blend featuring lots of strong, contrasting notes that nevertheless work well together. However, some may need to wear it a few times and to get acquainted with it. I can detect spices, geranium, lavender, wood, castoreum, and a little syrupy sweetness with a hint of vanilla. There are also clearly softening floral elements. In some ways, fragrances like this represent the pinnacle of the "art" of perfumery. If you didn't like the original Lagerfeld men's fragrance, that doesn't matter, because they are quite distinct. That one (the original, not "Classic") is drier, doesn't have the strong lavender or geranium, and is subtler. Nor does it have an animalic note. It does have strong opoponax, however, which KL Homme lacks. I enjoy both, but if you want to avoid loud fragrances, KL Homme is probably not for you. After a couple hours or so, it mellows out quite a bit, but the longevity is quite good.

    My old review, from August, 2009: This is just too strong for me (even one spray), so I tried diluting it and also mixing it with a similar fragrance that is much gentler. If I get it just right, it's a great combination of notes. The geranium, which I hate if too strong, really brings the other notes out. However, if I didn't dilute it, the geranium and amber would be too much (the aldehydes might also be part of this problem). A newbie might like this at first, but then find it unbearable a month later (which is what happened to me), but I'm glad I have a bottle of this one, even if I can't use it as is.

    I think it's worth comparing this to another "power frag," in this case, I'll mention Horizon. With Horizon, if you don't like the marine notes or the lavender, you are done with it. There is no way (AFAIK) to diminish certain notes while keeping the others intact, and even if you could, what would you get with Horizon then? KL Homme, by contrast, is just too strong. If I tried to adjust to it, then other fragrances in my rotation would be perceived as too weak, so dilution is the only option that makes sense for me. Putting so many strong notes in a fragrance is quite a risk, but this one was successful, though too much more today's less pungent olfactory sensibilities.

    One last point, which is that I can understand this being compared to several other fragrances. One that hasn't been mentioned is Jovan's Sex Appeal for him. I prefer KL Homme to these, some of which have a sickly sweet "synthetic" quality that nauseates me (even if diluted) or have a "nose twisting" quality, such as Habit Rouge. I think I'd like KL Homme more if there was less amber, which does seem to be oppressing most of the other notes (though the geranium more than holds its own), but I don't mind having to dilute it, because that just means it's costing me less, so the tradeoff is acceptable. Longevity and sillage are excellent.

    22 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 03 July, 2011)

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Island by Michael Kors

    Top notes:
    Kauai Waterfalls Note, Oxygenated Water, Chinese Kiwi
    Heart:
    Honeysuckle, Parrot Tulip, Ginger, Rose
    Base notes:
    White Bark, Galapagos Driftwood, Rice Fields Accord

    Island might have been based on an actual island that Kors used to visit, but one glance at the notes pyramid reveals that the marketing machine is in full flow here. Waterfalls note? Oxygenated water? Rice fields accord? This is an island perfume constructed in lab with the most generic materials available and comes off as a mediocre plasticky white flower fragrance with a forced aquatic note. The initial micro seconds are a pleasant blast of a fairly competent kiwi-like citrus note with a somewhat plasticky aquatic sheen. A few milliseconds later you are transported to an artificial island with plastic white flowers from Toys R Us....this is a white flower accord you have smelled in a thousand other generic juices but it doesn't stop here; Island gets even more generic and synthetic with a woody base anchoring this Lego island.

    If there was a poster child for generic, Island would be at the top of the list. It smells like a base for a concept, an internal structure which needs fleshing out, a product line waiting for a distinguishing character to quickly roll out. A look at Kors perfume line reveals that thats indeed what happened...theres Island:Hawaii, Island: Fiji and others waiting to tell us Kors vacation memories. I just hope the suits have taken a vacation to allow perfumers a budget to afford more than cookie cutter discarded materials to design these fantasy landscapes for us consumers.

    Ratng: 5.25/10.0

    23 August, 2009

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Marc Jacobs Splash Cucumber by Marc Jacobs

    Notes:
    Top: Watery cucumber accord, lotus leaf, cactus flower
    Middle: Linden blossom, blue tiger lilies and Dutch freesia
    Base: Frosted musk and blonde woods

    Cucumber is a limited-edition fragrance from the Marc Jacobs 'Splash' series...ethereal/edc-like, pleasant fragrances which eschew avant grande over-the-top 'trying to0 hard to please' perfume design, and come in massive bottles for your splash-on pleasure. Quite a bit like the recent Marc Jacobs heavily stream-lined and conservative military garbs.

    Cucumber starts with a pleasant herbal/aquatic cucumber note melded with a (highly diluted) pink lotus note which creates an ethereal earthy floral watery accord. The heart notes introduce a watery floral lily and a cotton wool-like linden before drying down to a musk base 3-4 hours later. Cucumber had the potential to be a chemical mess, what with the cucumber, linden and note featuring prominently in its pyramid. But due to its light concentration, use of decent materials and a blend which coherently links cucumber-lotus & lily by recognizing their shared watery-aquatic profile, Cucumber actually becomes a very viable hot summer splash candidate. I still prefer Bond no. 9 Wall Streets more complex composition (+ its still my go-to for a top shelf cucumber note) but Marc Jacobs Cucumber is certainly a good option for those not willing to splash out $200 a bottle for a little energizing green.

    Rating: 7.75/10.0

    23 August, 2009

    kbe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani

    Quite good as a warm weather fragrance actually. The explosive right out of the gate green tangerine note is perfect for fighting the warm weather blues. Saffron lifts the tangerine as it tires and carries it through to a soft, aquatic-like ending. Different and enjoyable.

    23 August, 2009

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Fahrenheit Absolute by Christian Dior

    Only related to the original in name, to my nose anyway. I get a delicious blend of a few of my favorite frags: a little Azzaro Visit, a little Lolita Lempicka Au Masculine (most prominent, anise seed like aura) and some leather? I guess the oud amd myrrh conspired to that end. The box mentions something to the fact that it is an intense version (though still an eau de toilette) and rightfully so. I would recommend this only for a hot humid summer, as the heat allows the the notes to project excellently. Outright quality throughout. When you sample this, sample nothing else to enjoy this, otherwise you will miss out on the genius that is Absolute.

    Awesome, several thumbs up, a gem that is sure to be a hit, maybe surpass the original.
    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    23 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 29 November, 2009)

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