Fragrance Reviews from August 2009

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    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mûre et Musc by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    L'Artisan Mure et Musc

    Notes: wild blackberry, musk, citrus (from luckyscent.com)

    Mure et Musc goes on as a juicy citrus with an herbal backbone, and some salty, soapy musk notes. I can't say I smell any blackberry to speak of, although there is a non-distinct "fruity" note which is mostly eclipsed by the soapy white musk. I must be honest, with apologies to lovers of this fragrance, this is worse than mediocre. The soapy musk takes over very quickly, and is not even as good as low-end fragrance oils I have tried. After only a few minutes, the citrus smells cheaper than household cleaning products which use natural orange oil. If it were a strong and long-lived scent, Mure et Musc would be a scrubber.

    23rd August, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Eau d'Ambre Extrême / Ambre Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    L'Artisan L'Eau d'Ambre Extreme

    Notes: cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, amber, vanilla, rose, patchouli, sandalwood, benzoin, tonka bean (from luckyscent.com)

    L'Eau d'Ambre Extreme is not a more concentrated version of L'Eau d'Ambre. L'Ed'AE starts immediately into sweet traditional amber, with vanilla, labdanum and benzoin. There is also a doughy note that is almost like uncooked chocolate chip cookie dough--sounds strange, but it works! The labdanum is woody and tabacco-like, and lightly applied spices such as cinnamon complement the composition beautifully. Now the bad news. Later in the development, a soapy musk emerges. Up to that point, I would have said that L'Ed'AE is a good substitute for Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux. Sorry to be dramatic, but cheap white musk really destroys Amber Extreme for me. It is not in keeping with the richness of the resinous and balsamic core, and is quite jarring in its intrusion. Furthermore, when the same synthetic "play-do" note present in L'Eau d'Ambre starts to make its presence known here, L'Ed'AE no longer keeps my attention. Sillage and longevithy for L'Ed'AE are moderate. It is worth a sample, and maybe even a decant, but for traditional amber, MPG Ambre Precieux is a much better fragrance than Ambre Extreme.

    23rd August, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Eau d'Ambre by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    L'Artisan L'Eau d'Ambre

    Notes: geranium, patchouli, vanilla, amber (from luckyscent.com)

    L'Eau d'Ambre is not a lighter concentration of L'Eau d'Ambre Extreme. L'Ed'A starts with sharp cherry and a dash of almondy "play do" rubberyness. Beneath is a light amber (vanilla, light labdanum and benzoin) that is slightly sweet but not cloying. The notes list geranium, but geranium is not prominent--rather, it supplies a dry, herbal edge to the fragrance which seems to have the effect of keeping it buoyant. Despite that, the sweet latex rubber note is extremely off-putting for me--it smells cheap and artificial. For lovers of traditional amber, I'd say this will probably not satisfy. For lovers of herbal ambers, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan is far superior. Sillage for L'Eau d'Ambre is very light and longevity is short.

    23rd August, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Poivre Piquant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    L'Artisan Poivre Piquant

    Notes: white pepper, liquorice, milk and honey (from luckyscent.com)

    I was expecting a hot pepper experience when I applied Poivre Piquant. What I got instead is a sweet, powdery, warm and light oriental. The most prominent notes are peppercorn, cedar, vanilla and sweet musk. It is interesting and compelling for about ten minutes while the nose-tickling pepper and vanilla do a dance in opposition. Soon, however, the cedar enters, and it is a woody "pencil shavings" type of note--not very appealing to my nose. Needless to say, the composition falls apart, leaving seemingly unrelated notes with no strong base to give PP more long-lasting substance. As a vanilla-musk fan, I can't say this fragrance is unlikeable, however, it is rather non-descript after the top notes are gone. Deep in the drydown, some licorice notes are apparent, but by then I have lost interest. Serge Lutens Douce Amere is a far superior fragrance for capturing this same idea. PP's Longevity is extremely short, and sillage is close to the body.

    (PS, Iso E Super alert--this one gives me a headache!)

    23rd August, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mandarine Tout Simplement, by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    L'Artisan Mandarine Tout Simplement

    Notes: green mandarin, ginger, yellow mandarin, frangipani, red mandarin, and white cedar (from luckyscent.com)

    Mandarine Tout Simplement is...simply mandarine. Yes, the label and the contents do agree! MTS goes on light and juicy, with a slight bitter "baby aspirin" edge that mandarine fruit has naturally. Later, white florals kick in to give a little bit of substance as the top notes fade. MTS is fresh and refreshing, a very straightforward citrus that is neither challenging nor complex. At the same time, it is not necessarily outstanding in its composition, and is extremely short lived with low sillage. This would be a good fragrance for times when heavy or "perfumy" fragrances are too much. I must give some positive marks for the fact that MTS does not decay into laundry soap territory as many "fresh" fragrances do. MTS is nice and fruity, and sometimes that is what is needed on a warm day. However, a traditional cologne would be equally refreshing at a fraction of the cost.

    23rd August, 2009

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jack Black Signature Silver Mark by Jack Black

    This is not a "newbie" fragrance. It took me quite a while to appreciate the dark depth this possesses. I don't get much of the cardamom, perhaps because it is blended with the bergamot. In any case, I think this causes it to have a "bright" quality that plays off the dark base. There is also a dry herbal quality, though I don't get any strong woody notes. The patchouli is very interesting to me here, probably because I haven't come across this kind of combination. Oscar Pour Lui also has a deep, dark base, but it's more floral, and it doesn't have the bright accord that this one does. I'm not sure I really enjoy this fragrance all that much, though I do appreciate it as a composition. Only time will tell if my tastes change and I begin to enjoy wearing this one. If you want something similar but even stronger and more "niche"-like, then Encre Noire may be for you.

    23rd August, 2009

    rinosaur's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Smells really rich. Immediately reminded me of a few perfume oils I got from the Middle East as well as South Asia. But this penetrates you, the scent smells similar to the best of the oils I had gotten. I cannot give this anything but a thumbs up. Amazingly natural smelling and intoxicating.

    23rd August, 2009

    rinosaur's avatar

    United States United States

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    Red Vetyver by Montale

    A spicy version of Terre d'Hermes without the over ripe oranges. I don't know about the quality of ingredients but I bet they are good considering the Montale name. I personally prefer the Hermes though.

    23rd August, 2009

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pure Vetiver by Azzaro

    Well...I don't know what to think of this one. Overall it is an airily pleasant, innocuous fragrance. The notes are very muted and perhaps a bit harsh at first. Maybe it's the pepper. I agree with one review that said this would be good to layer with another fragrance, but which one? Its dry down is decidedly masculine and somewhat "ferny." It was on discount for $10 for a 75ml bottle-attractive container. Because of its agreeable sillage and bargain basement price, I'll give it a thumbs up.

    23rd August, 2009

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pure Cédrat by Azzaro

    A light and wispy citrus blend. Intriguing and ingratiating at first spray, but it's gone in a minute or so, and you're left with a faint ghost-like lemon and musk smell. I'd give it a thumbs up if it had more longevity.

    23rd August, 2009

    perfaddict's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    JHL by Aramis

    JHL!

    My mother's Cinnabar of years gone by, but with a macho twist. This scent has gravitas. Certainly not for boys, but for the confident gentleman.

    It starts off very strong (i like that) and would definitely overwhelm if not applied prudently. Like the ratings here indicate, this is a scent that will polarize opinions, depending on the demographic band the reviewer belongs to.

    From my wearings to date, JHL is about cinammon and not too much else. The florals, patchouli and vanilla come to play later on when my nose has recovered from the cinnamon punch it most happily received on application. Fortunately, i have plenty of time to enjoy the latter phases of JHL because its longevity is pretty impressive. Living in the tropics i notice that slight perspiration (more like increased ambient temperature) turns up the aroma volume noticeably.

    JHL is a sophisticated powerhouse which needs to be used with some respect. It is not for everyone, but i feel privileged to fall into the group who love it. Those who prefer scents that remain olfactorily invisible or silent need not apply.

    Thumbs UP!

    23rd August, 2009

    perfaddict's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

    Although i used the original Oscar de la Renta pour Lui in my university days and up to the early 90's, this review is of the reformulated edition. An admittedly weaker version of the very rich original, but a good scent in itself. Unfortunately i did not have this positive nostalgic identification with the new Antaeus and therefore do not feel too short-changed having to use the new formulation.

    The new pour Lui is still a powerful scent and not for those who just want an aura of scent very close to themselves. In the opening "blast" my limited nose gets the aldehydes, lavender and anise, although lots more is going on. I will always remember my first sniff of pour Lui in 1983 in which i thought it smelt like no other scent i had come across. I still got that feeling in my "re-union" first sniff of this edition 17 years after last using it. pour Lui is a scent which i wish could retain its top-notes throughout its life on my skin, and THAT is unusual.

    A few hours into the wearing, i perceive a perfumey quality in pour Lui which reminds me of Sung Homme (which i only came across last month). It may just be me, but it is not a bad thing at all.

    Despite my wish for a protracted top-note phase, the drydown of pour Lui is yet another matter entirely. The (mainly) oakmoss and musk notes are an experience! An experience one has the luxury of enjoying for a while, as the longevity of pour Lui is significant. On me it is one of those scents that survive mere water and soap.

    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui (reloaded) is a very good scent which i will not hesitate to recommend any day, especially to those who appreciate 80s scents.

    23rd August, 2009

    sjohnjay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

    I'm really impressed with this; I find it totally wearable. Along with Grey Flannel, this is a perfect example of a 'manly' 1970's scent that (in my book) has not fallen from grace. Super-long lasting, and attracts a plethora of compliments & inquiries from women and men alike. This even beats CREED in terms of making an excellent use of the ambergris base. I highly would recommend this to any man over the age of 25. BONUS: It can be found anywhere for dirt-cheap!

    23rd August, 2009

    sjohnjay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Diesel Plus Plus by Diesel

    I can only wear Diesel Plus Plus in the dead of Michigan Winter. In any other season, it has the potential to be sickly sweet and headache inducing. It's almost like a muted version of Dunhill Desire (the red flask). I like this a lot better than Dunhill; the longevity is superior, it's not AS obnoxious, and, as I had said, it is muted so as to not evoke such a potential air of femininity. Although very synthetic, Plus Plus did an excellent job of re-creating a 'milky/creamy' scent. I will give this the benefit of the doubt by giving an 'apprehensive' thumbs-up.

    23rd August, 2009

    misscasey's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ferré by Gianfranco Ferré

    Gorgeous! I agree with mbanderson that this scent is well blended. Everything compliments everything, and I really have no complaints with this one. I love the fruit notes which are smoother and more realistic than most I've smelled and not at all syrupy/sugary. Artificial but tastefully so- not obnoxiously, cheaply, sloppily artificial but more refined than other scents. It also doesn't burn my nose which is a plus. A feel good scent which makes me feel young and happy and carefree. Though it was made in 2005, Ferre reminds me of scents I smelled as an early adolescent in the 90s. Maybe the Calgon spray that's supposed to smell like rain? Except this one is so much better. Makes me feel innocent- and reminds me of long lost adventures with long lost friends. Which is pretty impressive since I'm sure I've never smelled it before!

    23rd August, 2009

    misscasey's avatar

    United States United States

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    Versace by Versace

    The first impression is pleasant and pretty. This scent is fresh, crisp, and fruity- prefect for spring. I like the zingy, non sugary sweetness, and something maybe lemonlike. Reminds me a little of D&G Light Blue or Eclat D'Arpege. This soft fruity floral should be wearable and nonoffensive, but one of the perceived milky notes do not agree with me. Like some fresh fruit and flowers in a vase full of warmed milk and old vegetables. By the way: I've gotten that dreaded warm milk note in quite a few scents, so this could be "just me."

    23rd August, 2009

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren

    Polo Sport is the antithesis of the type of fragrance I would buy. I hate acquatic and sports fragrances. But I really like Polo Sport. What sets this fragrance apart from all the other dreck containing the words "Sport", "Blue", "Fresh" or "Energy" is what I assume is the "seaweed" note. If I'm correct, it gives the rather mainstream Cool Water-like accord a warm but salty and earthy tinge, and it smooths and rounds out the sharper edges of the accord much in the same way a musk or deep amber would. It is quite unusual and very interesting. Luckily, this seaweed note lasts into the drydown. Don't be a snob, ignore the word "sport" in the name and the blue bottle, and give Polo Sport a try. It's really very good.

    23rd August, 2009 (Last Edited: 24th August, 2009)

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo Double Black by Ralph Lauren

    Being a big fan of the original Polo, I really wanted to like this, but no dice. The opening is peppery and quite promising, kind of like a milder Egoiste. But within minutes, things fall apart, and it's reduced to a dull, sweet, and very generic scent, smelling like hundreds of other boring men's fragrances that designer firms have been releasing for the past ten years. Its drydown is even worse, and smells exactly like one of those pine tree air fresheners for cars you'd buy at a gas station.

    23rd August, 2009 (Last Edited: 24th August, 2009)

    lisalucille's avatar

    United States United States

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    Realm Women by Realm Fragrances

    I'm not particularly fond of the scent itself; too much honey, and on me anyway, the mandarine and other notes are barely noticeable. What I HAVE noticed, however, is that inevitably, whenever I do where it I get complements. There have been times I wore it at work and my male coworkers went crazy! Pheremones? Who knows. It definately wasn't my "increased confidence," or my intention to provoke that reaction. It was more like I ran out of my usual Chloe Narcisse, which is my alltime favorite, can't shake it, signature scent

    23rd August, 2009

    Yumm's avatar



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    White Shoulders by Elizabeth Arden

    White Shoulders smells good, but doesn't last ten minutes on me. On and gone. Glorious on others, and not outdated, but it can do a vanishing act on some of us.

    23rd August, 2009

    Yumm's avatar



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    Charlie / Charlie Blue by Revlon

    I was always intrigued with the 3,000 variations Revlon spun on this one and never bought any of them. They simply do not smell good to me nor on me. Everyone is different. I don't hate it, but don't like it either.

    23rd August, 2009

    Yumm's avatar



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    Ciara by Revlon

    I like Ciara, but only for the winter. This one hugs you. Men like it, so maybe one of them will hug you too! Not my favorite scent, but very nice. Someone mentioned the smell of a sharpened pencil when describing a different Revlon perfume. Ciara has this as well, at least on me. Play around with the different strengths.

    23rd August, 2009

    Yumm's avatar



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    Jean Nate by Revlon

    Generally I do not like citrus scents, but have worn Jean Nate on and off for years and grew up with it. I still like it, and still use it occasionally during the summer months. It's really an after bath splash.

    23rd August, 2009

    Yumm's avatar



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    Dream Angels Heavenly Bloom by Victoria's Secret

    This one smells OK after the dry down. All of the Angels have a base that grabs the back of my throat, and leaves me physically uncomfortable and reeling from allergies. This one isn't quite as bad, but that grabber is still there. Pretty expensive everything considered. I'd rather have four or five good bottles of wine. Of the entire line, I like this one the best.

    23rd August, 2009

    karenb's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Burberry London by Burberry

    I despised this fragrance for the first few times that I tested it.
    Now I would say that both London (for women) and Brit are the two fragrance(s) that I automatically reach for everyday use. This is a most curious turn of events as my initial reaction to London was that an 1980's fragrances had hit me on the head. I couldn't make out the various notes,possibly as others have noted blackberries for the top notes,but I am definitely appreciative of the base notes such as sandalwood and musk. I was a child of the '70's and have to tread carefully but not wearing a perfume too young for me or even worse,a sophisicated fragrance such as Shalimar which does not suit my chemistry.
    Without sounding like an advert for Burberry (believe me, I am last person to follow a particular house I hope to continue to derive pleasure from Burberry for some time. Marks wAAAAAAAy Up.

    23rd August, 2009

    jbr's avatar

    United States United States

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    M7 Fresh by Yves Saint Laurent

    I was not too enthusiastic about this juice the first time I tried it. I sensed a deep, damp woodiness which reminded me of a forest after rainfall, which I enjoyed. Unfortunately, it also reminded me a bit of the compost pile in the woods behind my house, which I did not enjoy so much. Still, despite the funkiness there was something in this brew which kept me sniffing my wrist throughout the day - I could sense that there was something very interesting going on here, and so resolved to try it again on another day. I'm glad I did. The deep woodiness which was slightly overwhelming at first is now tempered by what I sense as a lovely cinnamony sweetness. Still, despite the "Fresh" appellation, this is not exactly a light scent, for me at least, and not something to be worn on just any day. On the days which I find to be appropriate for, though, I am very glad to have it around.

    23rd August, 2009

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    Déclaration by Cartier

    smells the way bamboo shoots taste...DISGUSTING!!!

    23rd August, 2009

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Old Spice Fresh Lime by Shulton

    Like many others I miss Old Spice Fresh Lime as it was my favorite daily fragrance back in my teen years. OS Fresh Lime was my favorite from the Old Spice range and I have not gone back to the brand since they discontinued it. The balance of tart lime with spice aromatics of the original was the key to what made this lime fragrance so good. It was refreshing but had substance beyond the limes. Lime as a scent was the big trend back in the late 1960's mostly due to the success that Royall Lymes of Bermuda was having selling their pure lime fragrance on the men's clothing store fragrance counters back then. Most of the other common brands (Old Spice, English Leather, Pubman, Aqua Velva etc) felt compelled to offer up lime versions of the originals to grab some of that lime business. The most succussful of these trend riders was Old Spice Fresh Lime. Why it was discontinued is still a mystery . . . and a disappointment.

    24th August, 2009

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    English Leather Classic Form by Dana

    I picked up a bottle of Dana's modern day version of English Leather at my local pharmacy drugstore to compare it to the Mem Co. version that was so popular back in the late 1960's and early 70's. Well it smells very much the same as I remember English Leather from the original version with the major exception of its lack of strength of fragrance and the toning down of leather note. The new version takes away one of the objections of the older Mem version which was its harshness and overpowering bite of the dry leather note. That strength is what many loved and also what many hated about the original.

    English Leather is a refreshing after shave splash version of bracing ingredients. It works well for what it is intended to do. It has mild strength, but is a sharp toned spice leather fragrance that is perfectly good for a wake up call splash in the morning. This newer Enlish Leather is masculine, bracing and very fresh for a leather scent. My only complaint is it is short lived but that's to be expected from an after shave strength fragrance. Nice for the price.

    24th August, 2009

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    Versailles pour Homme by Jean Desprez

    Received a generous spray sample from a cool Basenoter. All I can say is that Versailles Pour Homme comes off with a dark, sophisticated, and sexy character.

    The opening accord is the most unique I've ever smelled, strange beautiful and remarkable. As it disappears, there are strong musky (styrax) and green notes. People definitely know that you are not some castrated clone of the modern age--you definitely know what type of person you are and not afraid of telling the world!

    Dark and powdery notes emerge, with the zing of pine, the spicy note of carnation, and jasmine and geranium in the background.

    The base is warm, woody and resinous, though not as animalic. There are leathery tones to the scent but the effect is more powdery. I look back at the transitions of this scent and this is no doubt a powerhouse scent that should've never been extricated from the perfume world! Scents that also come to mind like this powerhouse would be Patou Pour Homme (also defunct), Third Man, Bel Ami, and Antaeus.

    24th August, 2009

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