Fragrance Reviews from August 2009

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    Runaway's avatar
    Runaway
    Vietnam Vietnam

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    F pour Homme Black by Salvatore Ferragamo

    It takes out headache notes for F pour homme, I am very love this one!

    05 August, 2009

    ortho123's avatar
    ortho123
    United States United States

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    Acqua di Selva by Visconti di Modrone

    Don't go looking for pine (esp. a more resinous variety) in this one like I did. There must be with certain note combos (for me this happens with Aspen) the chord played, perceived by me is "mint. I can "think my way" to the lavender, but that's not my true sense just walking this around without trying. Whatever crispness there was in the opening slides by fast into a barely edge minted clean. For myself, I can find no context for this scent or great need for this scent, even when I can get it for 15 bucks.

    05 August, 2009

    ortho123's avatar
    ortho123
    United States United States

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    Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    Count me among the not easily hypnotized.

    If GIT was created for Bono, this one was made for someone who occasionally sings at an open mike. Hard to get swept away by tea (the stream of tea) and though the sense of going below the surface (Black Currant, the ferric metallic ink) is there it seems only fingertips depth, in an out. It does "get" you, but ever so briefly, IMO, and at a level later that seems less meaningful.

    Blame it on my personal exp with its longevity? Or praise is because it exceeds the expectations of others (or even my own) who in some form of mindgane are able to pass through Creedhype, do an about face simultaneously challenging this scent while finding it amazing? Does longing for it to last make this a masterpiece or somehow a perceived yet denied case of overspending? What did I expect or not expect in the first place?

    This overpriced juice deserves a pun: it will really tease you.


    05 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar
    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Philtre d'Amour by Guerlain

    Philtre d'Amour is the ultimate in the pure-citrus genre, and if you're seeking a distinct, bright citrus fragrance with longevity and sillage you need look no further. I can't think of any other citrus that lasts even half as long!

    PdA starts with an exceptionally bright melange of citrus notes - lemon, cedrat, neroli, and probably others. The citrus *never* fades, an amazing feat of perfumery - and from application to the last fleeting sniff citrus is ever-present. The citrus topnotes are soon joined by a subtle floral heart and distinct petitgrain, which eventually give way to a subtle patchouli base. Throughout the composition there is a light muskiness to PdA which serves to prevent the citrus from becoming too sharp.

    Unlike typical citrus fragrances PdA lasts for many hours (5-6) with normal application. This longevity is particularly outstanding in the complete and total absence of any chypre structure (no oakmoss fixative) and no woody base such as those found in a typical 'eau de cologne'. The patchouli base is not at all what you think of as used in a traditional patchouli-centric, but rather it presents as a tangy woodiness that balances the bright citrus superbly.

    The re-issued Les Parisiennes version is an EdP whereas the original, limited-edition release was an EdT. I've had the opportunity to sample the EdT and it's very similar, with less musk, slightly brighter citrus, but shorter longevity.

    05 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar
    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Derby by Guerlain

    I have enjoyed Derby for over a year and only now do I feel I know it well enough to write a review. I'm glad I waited, because had I written a review after buying the bottle I may have been tempted to describe it simply as leather chypre with a distinct mint note in the top/mid. After all, that's what it is.... but it's much more.

    While Derby is a product of the 80s and competed in the marketplace with 80s masculines - and while it has the 80s powerhouse characteristics of strong sillage and bold masculinity - Derby is absolutely NOT an 80s fragrance. Rather, Derby owes it's heritage to the classic leather chypres and feminine leathers of the 40s-70s. Lanvin Scandal, Cuir de Lancome, Miss Dior, and most of all Diorling are much more closely related to Derby then its fougere 80s contemporaries. In fact Derby may be THE definitive leather chypre, regardless of gender designation, and the ultimate expression of the genre. I can't think of any such leather chypres after Derby that took the accord any farther.

    It's not surprising the Jean-Paul Guerlain would be aware of these fragrances or trained in the classical school that created them. What Guerlain did with Derby is take the basic leather chypre structure and crank up the leather and add a strong mint note. At first the mint was very, very distinct to me and I could not ignore it. Over countless samplings and wearing I was able to enjoy the mint as a cohesive part of the whole composition, a feature that added twang and depth to the fragrance. The distinct mint in the topnotes gives way to a floral heart and eventually a mossy/woody base, all the while the distinct leather chypre structure never giving way. Derby is classy to the extreme, formal, and uniquely masculine without ever reaching into the macho territory of the 80s powerhouses. Derby is James Bond in a tux while the typical 80s powerhouse is a guy with long hair driving a Camaro.

    I read someone recently call Derby an old-man fragrance. I disagree - Derby is a fragrance of confidence. It will come off as overbearing and overly strong to someone new to fragrance, and I suggest sampling chypres and vintages to put Derby into context. I also suggest giving Derby many samplings because it does not reveal itself right away - it's simply too dense to be understood and appreciated after a couple experiences. In the year since I first purchased a bottle it's gone from something I liked, to one of my favorite masculines, to what I believe to be in the top-10 fragrances of all time. It's that special.

    A comment on vintage vs. current (Les Parisiennes) formula. The re-issue is very faithful to the original but more muted, as though the volume has been turned down 20%. This formula may be best for those who find the original too loud. I've obsessively sought out vintage bottles and probably will always continue to buy them when presented with the opportunity. I'm not sure how Derby will fair if the upcoming rules take away its oakmoss.

    05 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar
    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Miroir des Secrets by Thierry Mugler

    I'm dedicating a few days to sampling and reviewing this obscure Mugler line, and into day two I believe this is my favorite of the bunch. All of the Miroir! Miroir! scents are mildly gourmand, with accords anchored to a lightly sweetened, vanilla, but Secrets is the least gourmand and perhaps the most subtle. It starts off with a very curious aldehydic 'green note' I can't specifically identify. This green note is quickly joined by a faint, musky patchouli. The patchouli is not anything like a patchouli-centric fragrance but a subtle and sweet patchouli. For a few hours Secrets slowly melds between very mild background notes (the patchouli always being noticeable) and a vanilla base. I suspect there's some iris in here because the powdery heart/base seems to be more then just a musk. Overall the style of Secrets is very much in the modern Guerlain floral/gourmand mold and in many ways it reminds of Quand Vient la Pluie.

    Until it reaches its base, Secrets is remarkably subtle and delicate - pretty and remarkably well balanced. For a few hours I was thinking that this would be the one I would purchase.... but I'm not sure about the base. After such a well developed top/heart perfumer Bertier cheats a little with the base, opting for a fairly generic woody amber I've encountered in countless modern fragrances. There's still a musky vanilla to take the edge of the woody/amber, but the generic ending is akin to traveling in first class for a vacation up until the flight home.

    Still, a wonderful fragrance and recommended. Sillage is a bit lower than the other Miroir scents but longevity is superb.

    This line, available at select Saks and the Mugler website, is regrettably being kept quiet. It's something like a 'niche' line for Mugler but there's no buzz or marketing of these scents, which are absolutely niche quality and a welcome departure from the countless Angel/A*Men flankers (which still being very identifiable as in the Mugler style).

    05 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar
    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Miroir des Vanités by Thierry Mugler

    This is the first in the series of Miroir! Miroir! reviews. Others will soon follow.

    As with all the Miroir! Miroir! line there is a distinctly gourmand feel to Vanities. What distinguishes the Miroir fragrances is what goes on above the gourmand vanillic foundation found in nearly all of the scents. Vanities starts off with a bright citrus balanced with anise...sounds like an odd combo (a la Caron Eau de Reglisse) but it works well. The citrus notes lose strength fairly quickly and a subtle woodiness with a hint of vetiver creeps in, enveloping and combining with the anise. The anise and woody notes keep Vanities from becoming as sweet and overtly gourmand as some of the others in the line. Excellent and well done.

    I'm not sure why Mugler is keeping this line such a secret because they would be well received by the perfumista/colognisseur world, and they easily put Mugler into niche territory in terms of quality, sillage, and longevity. The Miroir line also represents a departure from Angel, A*Men, and their myriad flankers with which the Mugler name is associated. In the US this line is available at select Saks and via Mugler's website.

    05 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar
    bbBD
    United States United States

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    La Petite Robe Noire (original) by Guerlain

    La Petit Robe Noir is a bizarre fragrance in that its name - and associate image - is completely divergent from the fragrance itself. One would expect a classy, sophisticated and sexy fragrance. Instead LPRN is a loud, brash fragrance very much in line with the 'vulgar' fragrances Guerlain has been releasing lately.

    Reading the list of notes - and knowing a little Guerlain - one can almost put the fragrance together in your head... a cheery sweet citrus/rose topnote accord that gives way to a darker, mellow tea/anise heart and eventually a Guerlain base, perhaps accented by almond such as the base found in 180 Ans de Creation. If this is what you think LPRN is, which is what I thought, you would be 100% wrong just like I was.

    Instead LPRN starts off with the loudest cherry/rose ever used in perfumery. It is exceedingly bright, cheery, and strong. It's not sugar sweet like Insolence, but nor is it tempered by the 'hairspray' note either. A touch of lemon pokes out from under the cherry, giving a little sharpness to the topnotes. There is some similarity to Guerlain's Nuit d'Amour, but those fruity/rose topnotes weren't nearly as brash or loud. Unlike some people, these topnotes have not yet turned me off - especially because I thought I knew what was coming from the composition... now when does that tea and licorice kick in......?

    If the composition developed as anticipated the cherry/rose would be a fun and loud opening to an interesting fragrance (much the way a loud peach topnote is used in Guerlain's Chypre Fatale). Unfortunately the rest of the fragrance never comes.... I never smell any of the published notes. In fact, I really never smell any other notes, not even the expected Guerlinade base that may have salvaged this fragrance. LPRN ends up just being a loud fruity floral, and if it weren't for the quality of the materials used in the cherry/rose this may just be counted among typical designer fruity florals of little consequence. It is the last fragrance I would think of as being associated with a little black dress, unless that dress is being worn at a college semi-formal.

    If what I've said has been overly harsh it is because I am disappointed at LPRN's lack of structure. However all is not lost with LPRN, because the cherry/rose itself is absolutely a ton of fun (and much better then the cherry/champagne accord found in Etat Libre's Bendelirious). When I'm looking for something sweet and fun - often in the morning before going to the gym - I'll blast myself with a couple big sprays to the neck and enjoy. As a serious fragrance or a full daily wear I avoid LPRN. Turin wrote in his book (of Insolence EdP, I believe) that Guerlain 'does vulgar' very well, and that's just what LPRN is.

    05 August, 2009

    bbBD's avatar
    bbBD
    United States United States

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    Chia by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

    Chia is vanilla/floral with a strong dose of candyfloss - very much like an amped up L'Artisan Vanilia. A touch of florals (orange blossom?) and musk fill out the composition. Chia has strong sillage and lasts forever on the skin. If I sweat while wearing Chia I'm immediately surrounded with the aroma of cotton candy. Although this isn't the mold of the currently popular 'boozy/woody vanilla' (i.e. SDV, Tobacco Vanille, Un Bois Vanille, etc.), Chia is a great niche vanilla and I highly recommend it, especially at just over $1/ml. Farmacia SS Anunziata's other vanilla - Vaniglia de Madagascar parfum - isn't nearly as interesting or complex.

    05 August, 2009

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    ausamamira
    Jordan Jordan

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    i really cant stand this fragrance .... it represents all what i hate in smells ... i say this with confidence ... i really hate this fragrance ...

    05 August, 2009

    varvara's avatar
    varvara


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    Lacoste pour Femme by Lacoste

    the jasmine and freesia are predominant in this one. the sandalwood takes over in the dry down. all in all, a very safe, unoffensive, perfume.
    the lasting power is almost non existent though.
    if you like soft sensuous florals with a sandalwood base, you should try this one.

    05 August, 2009

    varvara's avatar
    varvara


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    Rare Pearls by Avon

    a very strong magnolia/plum/floral perfume. unbelievable sillage and lasting power.
    one spray will last at least two hours. i tried this once, twice...and then gave it to my grandmother.
    much better suited for an older (60 and older) woman.

    05 August, 2009

    The_Entity's avatar
    The_Entity


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    Tasha by Avon

    Im really not sure about this one, im in 2 minds...an old fashioned classic or a soapy disaster

    05 August, 2009

    The_Entity's avatar
    The_Entity


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    Eau Givrée by Avon

    I remember having this one years ago...it was a disaster, but then lavender has never suited my skin.

    thumbs down for this one

    05 August, 2009

    The_Entity's avatar
    The_Entity


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    Rare Emeralds by Avon

    This smells great on my skin, lasts for the whole day, although the scent can become too sweet and sickly for some

    05 August, 2009

    The_Entity's avatar
    The_Entity


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    Sunny Skies by Avon

    From the bottle a fresh aquatic scent...on the skin...nothing

    05 August, 2009

    The_Entity's avatar
    The_Entity


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    Rare Sapphires by Avon

    This smelled really strong and cheap from the bottle..but once dried onto the skin a lovely unique, intense scent

    05 August, 2009

    The_Entity's avatar
    The_Entity


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    Extraordinary by Avon

    good price tag, i get complimented when i wear this, my friend didnt believe it was by avon, smells good enough to eat

    05 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 27 March, 2010)

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    The_Entity


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    Tahitian Holiday by Avon

    smells simalar to Harajuku Lovers G...only this has a more aquatic tone

    05 August, 2009

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    The_Entity


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    Ironman by Avon

    Not bad for what you pay for this. Smells expensive for Avon, a refreshing fragrance

    05 August, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar
    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Je Reviens by Worth

    Top notes are aldehydes, orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are narcissus, lilac, orris root, hiacynth, cloves, ylang-ylang, rose and narcissus; base notes are sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, musk, violet, oakmoss, vetiver and incense.

    It does seem that the best ideas in life are the simplest. Je Reviens seems to confirm this theory, with its simple concept of creating an aldehydic, floral accord then providing the momentum to maintain it through to the end. The additional notes merely bolster what has already been achieved, and if anything, this gets richer and smoother with every passing hour. I am lead to believe by people who have been using this for decades that this is significantly inferior to the version sold until the late sixties, and if that is true, I can only imagine what a wonderful treasure that vintage fragrance must be,

    05 August, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar
    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Jovan Musk for Men by Jovan

    An easy to access time capsule that has the added bonus of actually being quite wearable. The musk and amber presence are pretty restrained, and beyond the lightly citric opening it, this barely evolves,and remains pretty close to the skin. I don't see this being more than a seventies curio, and I remain doubtful that this would be one to reach for on a regular basis.

    05 August, 2009

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    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

    As I now give the appearance of being quite grown up, I decided to upgrade my old splash After Shave bottle to a nice gleaming EDT version, complete with atomizer. I really do not find Tabac in any form that overpowering, even the EDT merely adds a slight boost to an already acceptable manly bouquet. The opening few hours provide the powdery assurance that an aromatic fougere with this pedigree should do. It can hold its own with fragrances such as Worth Pour Homme, Paco Rabanne and Quorum, all of which share that powdery freshness so sought after in products of this type.

    Where I think Tabac steals a slight march on its competitors is in the dry down, the last few hours are delightful. A slightly baked, sweet and woody twilight period is more than I could have wished for. The only slight disappointment that I had was in the longevity, even in EDT form, five hours was all I could coax out of it. However,I do love the way it promises you very little, and then delivers a lot.

    05 August, 2009

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    JessicaGrace
    United States United States

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    Tocade by Rochas

    The only "rose" I get here is a watery, acetone-like note at the top. It fades in and out for a while, but dries down pretty quickly into a greasy, smoky vanilla that to me is a dead ringer for Vanilla Fields. VF came out a year earlier and was my first perfume, in 9th grade. I loved it, but outgrew it within a year. The blast of nostalgia from Tocade was fun, but I'd never wear this because, well, that was a long time ago and my tastes have changed.

    05 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 17 August, 2009)

    Hartman Design's avatar
    Hartman Design
    United States United States

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    Aramis by Aramis

    Sex in a bottle that takes a little getting used to. Raw, animalic and even a touch fecal at first spritz, I'm not sure I'm too comfortable wearing Aramis out of the house before the drydown starts. But what a powerful aphrodisiac in bed! Spray this stuff whatever direction you want your woman's nose to travel. Catch my drift? No question about the masculinity of this fragrance, with good longevity.

    05 August, 2009

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    Hartman Design
    United States United States

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    Blue Jeans by Versace

    I read somewhere where research indicated Baby Boomers are attracted by the smell of baby powder because it stirs comforting memories of their youth. Dollar to a donut that was a big part of the brief for this baby from the House of Versace; the opening is an overwhelming dose of baby powder with a slight floral accord buried in the background. On my skin it remains fairly linear, with the floral elements gaining a bit of strength over time. I never really get much of the complex base notes the scent pyramid suggests -- just Johnson's baby powder with a lavender-scented floral from start to finish. Longevity and sillage both average or slightly below. Inoffensive, but neutral at best in my opinion.

    05 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 21st August, 2009)

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    Hartman Design
    United States United States

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    Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    Nothing I can add to the other 60 positive reviews (as I write this), except to throw my superlatives into the ring: great scent that offers an exceptionally smooth balance between sweetness and spice that lasts a long time and maintains very good projection throughout the drydown. Another well-done YSL scent.

    05 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 12 September, 2009)

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    Hartman Design
    United States United States

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    Sung Homme by Alfred Sung

    Definitely a cool weather fragrance. One squirt of this stuff in the summer and I'm choking on it. Oddly though, it exhibits an entirely different and infinitely more refined character in cooler temps. Sharp and VERY spicy; the cologne equivalent of ordering "five stars" in an indian restaurant. Astounding longevity. I'd give it a thumbs up, but since I'm really only comfortable wearing it about half the year, am going with a neutral. And by the way, even in cooler temps, you'll need to let this one dry down for an hour or so before subjecting yourself to close quarters with others. Either that, or apply with extreme discretion...

    05 August, 2009

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    Hartman Design
    United States United States

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    Rykiel Homme Grey by Sonia Rykiel

    Perhaps the biggest diamond-in-the-rough I've run across, and one of my very favorite scents. There's nothing beguiling about this juice straight out of the bottle. After about 10 minutes, though, it develops into something very special, with a green note I just can't put my finger on. Absolutely gorgeous -- subtle and refined, with a balance of green, spice and sweetness that remains in harmony for hours and hours.

    05 August, 2009

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    terrypitts
    United States United States

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    L'Eau du Navigateur by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I really wanted to like this. It has an evasive set of scents, dominated by nutmeg. But the more I wore it the more cloying it seemed. It's a wonderful quick hit, but then outwears its welcome.

    05 August, 2009

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