Fragrance Reviews from August 2009

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    scentsitivity's avatar
    scentsitivity
    United States United States

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    A complex spicy opening with an ambery drydown. Sweet, but not excessively so and very pleasant for the duration. About 8 hours into my first wearing, I said to myself, “Is that patchouli I smell?” I looked up the notes, and yes, there is patchouli. The latter parts of the drydown remind me of Mazzolari’s Patchouli, a bit tempered compared to Mazzolari’s beast, and I am quite fond of it. Apply sparingly as this is quite potent.

    28 August, 2009

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    scentsitivity
    United States United States

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    Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

    I just finished reading about the creation of this fragrance in Chandler Burr’s “The Perfect Scent”. The opening strikes me as different: unripe mango supported by grapefruit. The grapefruit reminds me of the 2009 Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, although it is in the background here. The drydown strikes me as dry and earthy and reminds me somewhat of the earthiness of the 2006 Terre d’Hermes. In fact, it doesn’t feel very much like a garden to me at this point. Longevity is not so good for me. I would be curious to smell this on someone else, but I won’t be buying it.

    28 August, 2009

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    scentsitivity
    United States United States

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    Mandalay Bay Blue for Men by Vapro International

    Starts out with ripe tropical fruits and a touch of booziness. Generic woody drydown is a bit disappointing. Nothing I would wear, but inoffensive.

    28 August, 2009

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    chengfun
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Harrods for Her by Bond No. 9

    Harrods for Her is not unique or groundbreaking as it reminds me alot of Narcotic Venus and Michael by Michael Kors. It is, however, less overtly feminine than the former and more restrained than the latter. The opening of the fragrance is slightly citrusy and cool, and feels quite unisex to me. As the tuberose emerges, the other notes lent it a slightly cool character, stopping it from becoming too cloying or tropical. As is usual with Bond No. 9 fragrances, the longevity of this is excellent. For me Harrods for Her is the best of the three so I will be adding it to my wardrobe.

    28 August, 2009

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    loveless
    Taiwan Taiwan

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    Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

    One of my most trusted companions in summer. In Taiwan summer usually gets so very hot, nearly burning. People's skins are all sweaty and clammy, and i honestly don't appreaciate smelling Chanel Chance or Lancome Miracle on passers-by... I think the air quality is a main reason -- the air is not fresh and usually mixed with other smells like foods from street venders, dust, car pollution... so really, in summer here i can only wear scents that are straight-forward, herbal, and either very minty or very citrusy.

    O de Lancome always lifts my spirit with it sharp citrus and stylish woody notes underneath. Very clean but not usual, having this wonderful unisex character, and how i just love the old ad poster... the girl smiling, standing on a grassy ground when wind blowing her skirt high. That's probably how i feel about this perfume as well. Free-spirited, elegant, and old style.

    ps. it has some similar qualities with Clarins Eau Dynamisante. But Clarins is more herbal and is like a pick-me-up therapy spray (very natural ingredients but doesn't last), while Lancome is more perfumey. I love both.

    28 August, 2009

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    Sugandaraja
    Canada Canada

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    Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    What is the "bois" note? To me, it smells of cedar, pepper, and pickled apricots, and to a greater or lesser degree is present in all of the Lutens' Bois series. Here it is the dominant note, with a slightly dusty incense in the background softening the focus a touch.

    It's well made and not exactly unpleasant, but there's something about the sourness of the fruit note that just makes this a no for me.

    28 August, 2009

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    Sugandaraja
    Canada Canada

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    Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    The ginger here reminds of the dried, powdered spice rather than the fresh living root. I have a strong preference for the latter, so something like Five O'Clock wasn't meant for me anyhow, but it's a decent if uninspiring rendition of ginger with a woody-gourmand base. Surprisingly for a gourmand, it's not especially sweet. I don't smell tea in this, but perhaps that's the woodiness I smell here - it does have a rather tannic quality.


    28 August, 2009

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    Bigsly
    United States United States

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    Horizon by Guy Laroche

    I liked this at first, but since then I've come to dislike "marine" notes and lavender, and you will get a heavy dose of these two if you spray Horizon on you. Also, as Myohoman said, there is a "synthetic" quality that is unpleasant here, and I imagine if you spray more than once per wearing (I wouldn't ever think of doing so) you may find yourself fighting off a migraine. Longevity and sillage are excellent. Beyond these points, I probably shouldn't say more about Horizon, because I don't like aquatic fragrances and this could be a "bridge" fragrance for some, as they transition from their watery scents to more traditional "masculine" ones. I will mention that if I'm in the mood for a fragrance with more traditional masculine notes, I would much rather wear ones like Equipage or Vetiver de Puig, which are more natural and dynamic, as well as better balanced.

    28 August, 2009

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    Bigsly
    United States United States

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    Mémoire d'Homme by Nina Ricci

    I'm not sure whether I should give this a neutral or a negative. It does last a long time and has at least very good sillage (I only sprayed once and that was strong enough for many hours). It quickly dries down to a scent that is just not especially pleasant, though not horrible. The grapefruit and wood seem strongest on me, but then there's this slightly metallic and chemical quality (almost watery, though the wood note is dry), and it just doesn't seem natural at all. I kept thinking that I'd rather be wearing other fragrances. This also gets really boring, lacking in both dynamism and development. Because there are just so many fragrances I find clearly superior (and similar in particular ways), I can't imagine ever thinking that I'd like to wear this one.

    28 August, 2009

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    Bigsly
    United States United States

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    Jack Black Signature Black Mark by Jack Black

    I can imagine being in the mood for this fragrance, but not very often. There's nothing particularly special about it, especially considering that I also have the Derek Jeter Driven Black fragrance, which features a lot of orange up top, but is otherwise similar. I think I like having that big orange note up top, but as I said this is not my favorite kind of fragrance so I don't wear them often enough to really develop a strong sense of either one. Unlike others, I prefer Gucci Pour Homme this, though I don't wear that one often either. I also find this lacks enough dynamism for me, though it's a nice scent (unless you don't like saffron, as foetidus said). If you like woody fragrances and you enjoy the smell of saffron, this should be a safe "blind buy," but don't expect anything incredible here.

    28 August, 2009

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    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Hiris by Hermès

    Hermes Hiris is, to me, the 'standard bearer' of iris fragrances. There's nothing overly complex going on - Hiris is a straightforward and simple presentation of an iris soliflore. The presented iris note is powdery, earthy and slightly 'green'. I put Hiris in the same class of iris fragrances as TDC Bois d'Iris and L'Artisan Bois Farine. Hiris isn't a 'bready' as those two, and it's nowhere near as fierce and cold as Lutens' Iris Silver Mist.

    Hiris is a skin scent, and both the sillage and longevity are mild, even within the genre of iris fragrances. Even though it doesn't come off the shelf often, Hiris is my one and only iris soliflore. It goes without saying that Hiris will not appeal to you if you don't like iris. For everyone else I suggest you forgo sampling and just find a discount bottle!

    28 August, 2009

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    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Kelly Calèche by Hermès

    It's taken me nearly 18 months of sampling and wearing Kelly Caleche to feel confident enough to write a review that means something. This length of time is testament to just how interesting and subtle Kelly Caleche is. The fact that all KC's subtle components form to make a seemingly simple whole illustrates the genius of Jean Claude Ellena. Now that Hermes has introduced an EdP and parfum we have different variations on the KC theme to choose from. This review is of the EdT, with comments on the other concentrations following.

    I did not care for KC the first few times I sampled it. I have no explanation why, but I was determined to keep sampling it until I wrapped my head around it, as if once I understood it I would like it. KC is frequently referred to as a 'leather' fragrance. From discussions with many people I've come to the conclusion that a percentage of the population smells the notes that comprise the leather accord as 'leather', and another percentage of the population does not interpret these notes as leather. I am in the latter population, and I have strained to make my brain interpret the notes as 'leather'. Therefore do not be confused if you sample KC and the leather that others describe doesnt' jump out at you - you are not alone.

    I see KC as being comprised of three distinct parts. First there is a 'vegetal/green' part, second there is a 'rose/mimosa' part, and finally there is a leather part. On first application the vegetal/green accord is most apparant. Light green notes and discrete florals combine to create a "vegetal note". This opening is touched with a hint of rose that balances and sweetens it. Burr's description of the notes being akin to 'tomato stems' is very apt. The vegetal opening fades fairly quickly, moving smoothly to the 'rose/mimosa'. The central rose accord is really the star attraction of the fragrance. Unlike Hermes' own Rose Ikebana, which is balanced by strong citrus, the rose in KC is soft and lush, sweetened by a vanillic mimosa that adds a touch of powder to the heart. It is at this point that the leather accord begins to appear. If I close my eyes, relax, and inhale the aroma of KC I can detect a soft, smooth swatch of leather covered in roses. The leather doesn't jump out at me personally, but there is no question that there is a smoothness in the central rose accord that is totally unique to this fragrance. The vegetal/green notes don't fully recede, and for a while the vegetal, rose, and leather components are in perfect balance. Not smelling the distinct leather that other experience doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the fragrance, and as a rose/green scent KC is superb. The heartnotes persist for a long time - hours. The vegetal notes slowly become less distinct and fade out, leaving the rose and leather accords. Light woody notes join the leather accord and become the base of the fragrance, all with a hint of rose. Sillage and longevity are both very good.

    The new EdP offers a distinct interpretation of the EdT - not simply higher concentration. In the EdP version the volume of the rose accord is turned up to max. Vanilla is added to the mimosa, making the rose accord both bolder and sweeter - which totally overshadows the green/vegetal notes of the EdT. Rose and vanilla are prominent from first application, all the way through the base. On the whole, the EdP is louder and not as well balanced, but it's also more 'fun' and at times borders on being a rose/gourmand. If you're looking for a stronger version of the EdT try the new parfum, the composition of which is closer to that of the EdT but much stronger.

    As many other reviewers have commented, Kelly Caleche is firmly unisex and can be enjoyed by guys and gals comfortably.

    28 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar
    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Wood & Absinth by Mark Buxton

    Mark Buxton's Wood & Absinthe present a huge whallop of the 'woody amber' material used in many modern masculines, ranging from Givenchy Play to two different Boadicia the Victorious fragrances (Intense is one of them, the other I believe is Exotic but I may be wrong on that). Basically the fragrance is this woody amber with a progression of different accords that attempt to mask what we're really smelling. The intial blast of an herbal/anise accord similar to absinthe readily gives way to 'the' woody amber accord. At first there is a sweet floral/woody note (rosewood? perhaps) that joins the woody amber, then a sharper, more peppery accord takes over trying to hide the woody amber. From this point the fragrance persists for a few hours and fades out without further development.

    For the purposes of full disclosure, this review is not based on a full wear but rather only three arm-samplings. Normally this would be wholly insufficient experience to gather enough information for a review, but sometimes you just know what you're smelling. I'm surprised Buxton, an excellent perfumer, would put his name on something like this. There's little structure and zero that distinguishes it from the myriad other woody ambers available at the mall these days. This is a rare thumbs down for me.

    28 August, 2009

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    Mimi Gardenia
    United States United States

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    Kiehl's Gardenia Essence Oil by Kiehl's

    Truly a gorgeous buttery gardenia oil - it's fairly simple, linear and long lasting. I love it !

    28 August, 2009

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    Pollux
    Argentina Argentina

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    Aqua pour Homme Marine by Bulgari

    How can I sense a feeling to my nose common to what I smell when in the seaside? I have to admit this is a statement of the obvious, "Marine" syas it all. However, the beautiful version of algae smell or whatever it is accompanied with strong, pungent citric notes, tangerine to my senses, that even though appealing at first, keeps on present as the scent evolves. This makes Bulgari Aqua Marine a linear scent that ends up being quite tiresome due to its persistency and sillage.

    I do not fancy aquatic scents, but I would make a disservice to this community if I don't try the original version, Aqua. After all, many state this is the best of its kind, so it must be tried.

    28 August, 2009

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    Cool Water Cool Summer by Davidoff

    This is not a bad effort from Davidoff. The summer 2009 edition of Cool Water is definitely better than previous years' flankers. There's a nice blend between the original Cool Water and some citrus here. I find this formulation superior to the original and a good scent to freshen up with after a long day under the hot sun.

    28 August, 2009

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    hollyc
    Canada Canada

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    Amber & Spices by Montale

    As an addendum to my review, would like to say that I have also recently tried Boise Fruites which was nothing more than a thin, watery, diluted version of the lovely Fougere Marine. Zero lasting power, zero sillage, zero originality. What really worried me though, was I also ordered a new sample of Black Aoud to revisit. It too had no lasting power (I know, can you believe it of this sillage bomb?!) I'm really panicked that Montale is abandoning its standards of quality and has begun reformulating. What will I do without this touch stone of quality in the perfume industry? No more Aoud Queen Roses, one spritz to last days and days on clothes, bed linens, etc. Same of Aromatic Lime, Red Vetyver, Vetiver des Sables,. Ta'if Rose, Orient Extreme, God this is getting too depressing, Must stop now. Really hope I'm wrong . . . .

    28 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 10th October, 2009)

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    Apicius
    Germany Germany

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    l'eau de parfum #1 (for you) / parfum trouvé by Miller et Bertaux

    Very strange perfume.

    For me, this is a little spicy, fruity, alcoholic, like raisins (maybe prunes?) in malaga wine. Reminds me a lot of the taste of malaga ice cream. Also, I detect a strange mellow note that reminds me of cooked chestnuts. Not at all powdery on my skin. I do not get any iris.

    This gourmand style is balanced by some woody notes.

    Probably a scent that you have to wear for a while before you start to like it. At the moment, I don't.

    28 August, 2009

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    Promethea
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    L by Lolita Lempicka

    Finally a Lolita Lempicka scent I can wear! Strangely, I don't find this anything like as cloying and overpowering as the regular or the au masculin. Beautiful vanilla & orange and I seem to be in the minority of thinking it does indeed smell like the ocean, a sort of salty note cutting through the sweetness. I'm not really getting the cinnamon which is a pity as I love cinnamon greatly but I'm more than happy with this perfume.

    28 August, 2009

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    Giustino
    Netherlands Netherlands

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    A Taste of Heaven by By Kilian

    A taste of Heaven. The one and only By Kilian wich hit me in a very positive way. A few days ago, I couldn't resist this perfume anymore, and bought the Travelset wich contains a lovely atomizer with 4x 7,5 ml. vials. A taste of Heaven is one of the most unique smells I've encountered so far. The blending is perfection, they only use natural ingredients, longetivity frightening in a good way (definently 20.. 24+ hours) and a fabolous smell. The perfume itself smells rather simple to me, because Calice Becker pulled of perfection with this one. The Bergamot note can only be detected if you really know what's in this blend, but you need to be quick, since it's gone in an instant. As far as I can smell, this hardly changes, and the top, heart and basenotes fade away to perfectly, there's no trace of the 3 different layer notes. A taste of Heaven is a masterpiece, Lavender and Absynthe for more then 24+ hours. Like said before, this one is addictive, and me, and everyone else keeps sniffing it. To give this a rate, this might be personal, but it's a 10/10, and I only use this jewel for special occasions. It costs a fortune, but this one is worth all the money!

    28 August, 2009

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    shamu1
    United States United States

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    Vétiver by Annick Goutal

    Some vetiver fragrances, such as Creed's Vetiver, obscure the vetiver note by burying it under a pile of other notes. Not so here. You'd better really like the smell of vetiver if you expect to like this, because the vetiver note is right out in the open and in your face.

    Raw, sharp, and earthy best describe Goutal's Vetiver, which is exactly the way vetiver is supposed to smell. No buried vetiver notes here. The reason I like this vetiver so much is that it has a salty smell that is very much like the smell of ocean water. There's also a slight, dark smoky note lurking in there as well. The overall effect is like being at the beach at night with a campfire off in the distance.

    This is a wonderfully natural smelling fragrance. So get yourself a bottle, spray yourself all over, and breathe in deeply. You won't regret it.

    28 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 24 April, 2010)

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    bentan
    Singapore Singapore

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    Among all three that I tested on the same day, Assoluta, Intensa and Colonia, this is probably the most short lived that I actually had on my notes "Where is it??" Afterall, if one was paying nearly US$100 for a bottle, you'd expect it to actually be there.

    Well, in retrospect, it is a cologne after all, and to me, by far the most interesting of the three.

    There is no denial that all three have a citrus undertone, but what worked for me in this one was less of that. Instead, Colonia transported me into what seems like a forest of lemon verbena, juniper, cypress and rosemary. I couldn't detect the floral tones in this one, but what I got was japanese incense (and yes, I compared it with the ones I use at home) which fascinated me. I simply enjoyed the fact that instead of grapefruit and lemons, here it was green citrus of verbena and geranium types which complemented the whole structure of the scent.

    Now, if only something could be done about its longevity...

    28 August, 2009

    bentan's avatar
    bentan
    Singapore Singapore

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta by Acqua di Parma

    Ah, the dream team of JC Ellena and Betrand Duchaufour. Very typical of them. Transparen, delicate and refined. Unfortunately, the usual Duchaufour issue of longevity.

    Turin describes this at most as refine cologne and I have to agree. Less of the freshness (which I appreciate) and turning up the woods. Reminds me of the sun baked Mediterranean orange groves blossoming with orange flowers and neroli. Bitter grass and vetiver adds a touch of masculine aridness, keeping this scent very clean.

    Interestingly, there's not much evolution of this scent and basically, you get what you get from the start to end. All in all, a very well-made piece without much excitement or interest.

    28 August, 2009

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    bentan
    Singapore Singapore

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

    Ouch. What happened here? This wasn't what I expected of Acqua di Parma as I was hit but waxy fruits, almost melon like. For a moment, I thought I sprayed on a generic aquatic to the point I almost threw this away.

    Thank goodness I was patient enough to allow it to settle into a mellowed aquatic cologne, picking up notes of cardamon and ginger, reminding me of one of the Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme and La Nuit Pour Homme.

    The dry down was clearly wood. Cedar and nutmeg being prominent notes.

    Among all three, the most disappointing one for me. At the fairly restrictive prices, I think I'll pass on this one.

    28 August, 2009

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    ChrisJPN
    Japan Japan

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    Daim Blond by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Ahhh... This is gorgeous. Incredibly sophisticated and perfectly blended. The mixture of apricot and suede far exceeded any hopes I had for this. The faint iris adds a beautiful richness to the leather. This might be my favourite leather ever. So delicate and soft. Truly like a pair of fine ladies suede gloves in cream. I usually prefer the heavier, weighty Lutens perfumes but this is way up there on my list of favourites. It's just so comforting and relaxing. Highly recommended.

    28 August, 2009

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    pinkfizzy
    Canada Canada

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    Rose Poivrée by Different Company

    Oh my goodness, I love this! In fact, when I first put it on from a new sample, I said "F**k yes!", loudly. I get a beautifully realistic fresh peppery rose. It dries down to a less spicy but still gorgeous rosiness. But not a polite rose, a rose with attitude. For lack of a better word, a rose with sass.

    I certainly don't smell any cumin, melon, or dirty underwear. The longevity isn't what it could be, but I might have to buy a bottle anyway. I would never have thought that rose and pepper would go together so wonderfully!

    28 August, 2009

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    fennec
    United States United States

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    Oud Wood by Tom Ford

    Not bad at all, but not great. Unimpressed. I know it's not supposed to be a scent for oud afficionados/purists but I think it could have been formulated a little better. The vetiver takes away from the potential oud drydown but this could be a result of the aromachemical used in the formula, Givaudans oud, which is nice but dries down into vetyver like Tom Ford's scent.

    28 August, 2009

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    Coco by Chanel

    I think of Coco as being male and female but then if you look at my wardrobe you'll see I'm not held back by the gendering of fragrances which I just find to be so strange anyway, I wear what I like. When I see pictures of Coco Chanel I see a very striking woman who is handsome rather than pretty and I don't think she would be offended by that. But as others have said that's just my opinion.

    28 August, 2009

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    Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills

    I know this is one that gets alot of bad press but worn corretly as all fragrance should be it is really very nice. On me it has a soft incense scent and when I tell people what it is they are always taken by suprise. I hear but that stuff is terrible! Oh really and you just said how nice I smell. I know some truely don't like certain perfumes but if you ask them why it is always because they knew someone who left a puddle when they stood still. Less is more, an old saying but oh so true.

    28 August, 2009

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    I think the reason Shalimar has stood the test of time is because of its simple makeup. The notes don't argue with one another each one goes on stage on que and then makes a graceful exit leaving a lasting impression. I enjoy the Eau de Parfum very much, Shalimar is a brilliant fragrance.

    28 August, 2009

    Showing 1261 to 1290 of 1443.