Fragrance Reviews from September 2009

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    Bill's avatar



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    Rêve en Cuir by Indult

    Rêve en Cuir is stunning. To smell it is the equivalent of perusing the leather-bound, spices-filled cupboard of a James Beard award-winning chef. It's sexy and assured meets cozy and delectable. I'm enamored with it!

    01st September, 2009

    renperd's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Kiss Him by KISS

    Cumin is indeed the culprit here, but I thought it was OK for the money. I wouldn't associate it with sweat and armpits and other stuffy areas. It's got something 80s about it, but not that heavy, with the oakmoss missing. I'd buy it again for US$10, no problem.

    01st September, 2009

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Bois de Santal by Creed

    The official list reads orange leaves, lemon, sandalwood, vanilla and tonka beans, the description additonally mentions "notes of greens." The opening blast also unmistakeably features, if only briefly, a Jickyesque fecal civet note, which mercifully drops into the background to enhance a beautiful creamy-sweet woody oriental that manages to smell of true sandalwood, whether by artifice or nature (I suspect at least some of the former). Bois de Santal avoids the cedary character of many supposed sandalwoods, as well as the incomplete feel of Santal Imperial or the monomolecular harshness of Floris Sandalwood in their current sad states. It is very much a unisex fragrance - Creed lists it as masculine, on the net it is frequently classed as for women. It seems unavailable except, ocassionally, from one ebay retailer, which is a shame as it is easily not just the best Creed sandalwood but at the top of the entire genre. It lends to its wearer a distinguished air of old world sophistication and for me is very much an evening/romantic scent, perfect with a fine suit, though more relaxed and pleasurable than the somewhat austere vintage Tabarôme and certainly not misplaced in a more casual "cold autumn day promenade" context.

    01st September, 2009

    Stereotomy's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Geir by Geir Ness

    A well behaved Chanel Platinum Egoiste. It's a sweet sandalwood fougere. Sweet herbal, fuzzy, with a soft base.

    I can imagine it being versatile, for office or party wear. It does smell rich, while sillage and longevity are above average.

    01st September, 2009

    wtb's avatar

    United States United States

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    I tried this last week and i was very impressed with the opening to the drydown. It can be used casually and formally in any kindo f weather(to me). It will be a keeper in my collection once i get it.

    01st September, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lily by Christian Dior

    Normally I'm pretty wary of lily=centric fragrances because I find the note can get a little too thick and 'screetchy'. Dior Lily is probably my favorite interpretation. Lily is prominent, but there's a nice balance of mild citrus and green notes that keep the lily note from being too overpowering. It's a lily soliflore without the aspects of lily soliflores I tend to not like. Very nice.

    01st September, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Very Irresistible for Men Fresh Attitude by Givenchy

    Given what I like and don't like in fragrance, there's no reason I should like VI-FA much less own a bottle. I haven't spritzed it in I don't know how long, but after I sampled it last week for the first time in a while I've been drawn to it over the last few days. Based on the original Very Irresistable theme of cocoa, mint, and hazelnut the 'Fresh Attitude' (worst name ever, btw) version cuts some of the sharpness of the mocha out and replaces it with a light grapefruit/orange citrus accord in the topnotes. Citrus, mint, cocoa, and hazlenut? Sounds dreadful but for some reason it works. The balance is remarkable and the composition is indeed 'fresh' without being mindless and boring. It's definitely different, that's for sure.

    The citrus fades over a couple hours, leaving the mint/cocoa/hazelnut heart accord of the original VI. I get hints of vetiver as the heart moves to a standard woody base. I know it's damnation by faint praise, but at least Givenchy didn't just jam in the standard 'woody amber' found in most recent masculines, including their own very uninspired 'Play'.

    I can't tell you to scream to the mall and buy a bottle as my own bottle may see use once a year...maybe. However VIFA is not a bad fragrance and in a cluttered mall case full of boring copies of each other, VIFA is a notch above.

    01st September, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Les Elixirs Charnels - Oriental Brûlant by Guerlain

    Guerlain, with it's famous use of vanilla and its legendary oriental fragrance Shalimar, did not have in it's product lineup a straightforward amber/oriental. Oriental Brulent has filled that glaring gap in the lineup. The strength of OB is in its luxurious simplicity - yet it still differentiates itself from the countless other ambers on the market. OB presents a rich amber that is restrained in its sweetness. Mingled with the amber are hints of bitter almond (a note we're seeing a lot more in recent Guerlains, i.e. 180 Ans), vanilla, and a touch of smoky incense. These accompanying notes meld in and out, enhancing and balancing the stately amber throughout the composition.

    When the Les Elixirs were released last year I wrestled with a purchasing decision, unable to pick between OB and Chypre Fatale. Ultimately I went with OB and I'm glad I did because it's really *the* killer, super-high end amber in my wardrobe. 3-4 sprays wraps me in a bubble of amber that lasts all day and long into the night. Sillage is very good and longevity is extraordinary (as is Chypre Fatale's as well) and the materials feel to be of top notch quality. OB doesn't have nearly the complexity of development that Chypre Fatale has, and nor is it as unique, but what OB has is unquestionable class and timelessness.

    OB is absolutely pricey for an amber fragrance, but unlike countless other high-priced niche fragrances this one absolutely feels worth the money. If you can afford a bottle and want THE drop-dead-gorgeous amber you need look no further.

    01st September, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chaps (new) by Chaps [Ralph Lauren]

    This re-issue of Chaps is an exclusive to the Kohl's department store, a discount-store that's above Wal-Mart but not quite Macy's (for those who don't know). I'm very skeptical of designer masculine releases, but I'm always willing to sample them and give them a fair shot. After all, who knows? With countless generic masculines being pumped out by the designers in the last 1-2 years, this little Chaps re-issue by Ralph Lauren doesn't exactly break the mold, but it does stand out as being one of the best of the bunch.

    The topnotes aren't a crisp or distinct citrus, but rather what feels to me to be a light amber sweetened with citrus and some herbal/green notes in the background. The amber sweetness borders dangerously close to being another generic 'woody amber', but there's enough balance with the herbal notes to make it interesting. The original Chaps is an herbal powerhouse, so I'm glad to see at least a nod to this heritage with the herbal accord. Chaps also stands apart by developing though distinct phases. As the citrus fades the amber persists and is joined by subtle anise and mild spicy notes. After about an hour a base develops that includes a musky, synthetic feeling vetiver and some generic 'smoky' notes. Sillage is decent and longevity average (4-5 hours).

    I was interested enough after in-store sampling to pay $12 for a 15ml mini so I could test Chaps at my leisure at home. The mini sat for over a year in my cabinet before I found it and started playing with it this week. I gave it a full wear today and I enjoyed it, even if I don't plan on buying a full bottle. We're not talking about something that's going to compete with the Serge Lutens or Parfumerie Generales of the world, but I can't honestly give this Chaps reissue a bad review. Certainly within the context of being a discount designer scent it is well crafted and well worth sampling.

    01st September, 2009

    Myspunge's avatar

    England England

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    Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Slimmer, younger sister of Chêne (2004), as I guess pine trees are indeed like oaks after a diet. Roughly. There are ten other perfumes from Serge Lutens which have either ‘wood’ or the name of a tree in their names (not counting sandalwood). Facts are such a comfort, don’t you find ? Anyway, to continue the pine-theme for a moment : the top of this has heady outreach, like umbrella pines, glory of the Mediterranean, limber women shaking their hair out way up high. This opening has a fine kerosene/caramel ambiguity to it, related to the camphor/ chocolate of Bornéo 1834 or the methylated indoles of Tubéreuse Criminelle. Unfortunately, the delicious teetering between piny and sweet can’t last, and the scent soon descends into a luscious maple syrup candy, into that ole Serge Lutens soup o’fruits, the toasted plums of Arabie. And there, amid exotica and treacle, it comes, you might think to a sticky end, for this stage hangs around for really some time, but then eventually, the whole thing lightens up with vetiver and incense on the breeze. Tricky to give a verdict on : imagine the thumb wiggling. By the way : the name has several plays on words going on more or less pointlessly at the same time and so may well be a quotation from Derrida (isn’t everything a quotation ?), but forget that ‘aiguilles’ means ‘pine needles’ as well as ‘high heels’. What you need to know is that ‘de fil en aiguilles’ is an idiom for ‘seamless transition’; you might say it of a smooth talker who moved from subject to subject with perfect fluency. That’s the sales pitch, the pitch pine, of this scent.
    “a somewhat luminous woodsy-oriental fragrance In which pine needles meld with vetiver, frankincense, fruit and spice notes” (osmoz : somewhat !)

    01st September, 2009

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bluebell by Penhaligon's

    When this first opens, the sweetness is almost gourmand ,then it gets greener and greener but the sweetness never really goes away on me. It becomes linear on my skin which I love. Although this is EDT , it does last for quite some time. Wonderful

    01st September, 2009 (Last Edited: 16 September, 2009)

    SWEETCOOKIE's avatar



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    Il Bacio by Borghese

    Compote! This is a great fragrance for someone who's nostalgic for good, sweet, old-fashioned fruit compote- just add cream and cinnamon! The white flowers are a pleasant backdrop to all those ripe fruits- a whiff and you're back at gramma's table= dessert, anyone? A fun scent.

    01st September, 2009

    johnsonmp's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    OP Juice by Ocean Pacific

    imho, the atomizer part of the bottle is a very weak point. In my case, it seized working when I had used only 1/6 of the bottle..

    01st September, 2009

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

    Great juice. Although Oscar de la Renta just screams out "1980s" with a bullhorn, its intense spiciness, face-melting power, and incredible complexity is irresistible. This is a superpowerful, raging powerhouse that will send anti-perfume types leaping out the nearest window. If you like your fragrances loud, dense as lead, and jam-packed with leather, patchouli and oakmoss, this is for you.

    Though the vintage formulation is dirtier, heavier and a bit more complex, the current reformulation is still capable of offending all fans of acquatic fragrances and fruity florals.

    01st September, 2009 (Last Edited: 26 March, 2010)

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

    This is an interesting take on the traditional aromatic fougere – instead of lavender and coumarin being center stage, we have a green woodiness providing a spicy edge. For me, Tsar is all about the top notes and the drydown. The top notes are spicy, woody and invigorating, giving the fragrance some bite. The heart, however, has an irritating, sour soapiness that I have never been able to get used to (it’s similar to the sour note I smell in Rocabar), but luckily it’s gone after an hour or so, leaving its excellent drydown to enjoy. I love the drydown because it’s basically a warm, subdued shadow of the excellent top notes, creating a sort of clean, greenish haze. Tsar may be spicy, but it is also a very clean-smelling scent. I don't detect any patchouli in this. Overall, Tsar is a fairly traditional fragrance, one I think truly qualifies as being timeless and a classic, but at the same time a fragrance with a bit of an edge. This is excellent.

    01st September, 2009

    wrbtu's avatar



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    Erolfa by Creed

    This has that Old Time Creed signature scent to it, which is nice & traditional. I have one other scent by Creed (Tabarome) & Erolfa is far better than that one. Reviewers have referred to Erolfa as a “marine” or “sea” fragrance, but I smell nothing like that. I smell a banker sitting in a big green chair in his club, reading a financial newspaper. If you want a good sea/marine fragrance, try Mare, Aqua Motu, or Oltre. Erolfa is a fragrance that would fit well in an older gentleman’s armoire. It's a good scent, but for me, not worth the money.

    01st September, 2009

    wrbtu's avatar



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    Mare by Beth Terry Creative Universe

    Very nice sea smell, but short lasting. I've tried many, but Mare is one of the very few fragrances that actually DOES remind me of the sea, & here the beach is clean . The bottle is simple & minimalist (tall, slender & clear), but uninspired at this price, similar to Oltre in that way. Doesn’t last nearly as long as Oltre, but Mare has a lighter, fresher smell. Seems to be marketed as a woman’s fragrance, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying yourself if you like it. Mare is not easy to find on the market, but worth the trouble of locating it.

    01st September, 2009

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Messe de Minuit by Etro

    On my skin it's dark orange in the beginning. It's pervertedly fresh.
    Like orange and lemon jam which has been in the cellar for very long time and you just open it. Honey and incense combine for the sweetness. Trails of spices? Whis description I can easily picture the cupboard in my grandmother's kitchen.
    Just a little later, it's like you have the same notes, but rearranged. I start to smell old-fashioned amber and, yes, the frankincense. Sweetness, but not like something that you would eat; more likely a heavy air in a closed space.
    ..and hints of orange, still somehow throwing lightrays in this mystical picture, which is what makes this fragrance so unique. For me, the color is brown, with an orange circle in the center.
    There's this paradox about incenses: they fill the air, making it heavy to inhale, but in the same time you can feel elevated, purified: various states that you can as well connect to "fresh" smells. On a different level, though: spiritually, not bodily.
    This perfume speaks about personal experience. There are other incense fragrance like Jubilation XXV that give the idea of public places and lot of people. This one is about something happening to you personally. For me, it was important to have it, although I really don't know how it speaks to people around me. I'd rather wear it when I think about something, when I write, when I have to make my thoughts clear. Gives comfort, spiritual confidence, faith.

    01st September, 2009

    aud8us's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    The first time I smelled this was on a paper strip at the LAX Duty Free shop and didn't think much of it and passed. I've since come to understand you can't really tell squat about a fragrance based on a paper strip testing! Bought this the second time after trying it on my wrist, and now it's the one I find myself constantly reaching for. What's nice about this fragrance is that you can wear it just about year around, under any setting, and it just works. Work? Yes. On a date? Yes. Wonderful opening and very long lasting, the wonderful dry down delivers. I don't care how nice a fragrance smells, if it only lasts 2 hours then I feel like I've wasted my money - GV is a solid performer! A wonderful mildly sweet spiciness I can smell all day long, give it a try.

    01st September, 2009

    CanwllCorfe's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    I'm not usually into ginger.. but in L'Homme it just works. It opens rather spicy and a bit sweet and in your face. Once it dries down for awhile though.. then the magic happens. The spices get mellow and the sweetness fades.. then my friend Amber says hello. Then Amber and the subdued spice and subtle sweetness hang out together and become good friends. It's all one big happy party

    01st September, 2009

    CanwllCorfe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Antidote by Viktor & Rolf

    Look at that note pyramid! I can't say I can distinguish damn near any of those notes.. but you really can tell that it's a complex fragrance. It's citrusy, woody, spicy, a bit floral, and also powdery. It has everything! The opening reminded me at first of an all natural store selling incense and herbs.. and then right after that I got a glimpse of a dimly lit street at night time. To me, even though it's a light fragrance, has some sort of darkness to it. I wish I could know what it's from.. but it's just there. I'm definitely buying this in the next week or so because it definitely feels like a Fall fragrance.. maybe even winter.

    01st September, 2009

    CanwllCorfe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gucci Pour Homme II by Gucci

    The first time I tried this I was dissuaded at first from the amount of tea I got. I'm just not a big fan, especially of black tea. So I threw the card away, discouraged because the juice and bottle were both oh so appealing. So I gave it another chance and the tea, once again, threw me off but I wanted to try it all the way through.. thank god I did. It's strong at first.. but once it mixes with the heart notes it becomes so beautiful. It's clean and clear, warm and yet refreshing, spicy and a bit woody. Then the drydown.. just wow. The drydown is what made me sample the cologne 4 times. Eventually I gave in and today I bought it without an ounce of regret. Just an all around beautiful scent

    01st September, 2009

    hagertygal's avatar



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    Cabochard by Grès

    AHHH. This is perfect! I wear Bandit and Cabochard exclusively. The scents of "today" seem nothing, compared to the classics of the 40s and 50s and earlier. Too many of them smell like candy, or worse yet, flowers. All my co-workers slather themselves with creations from Bath and Body Works, smelling of one dimensional fragrances of vanilla, peaches, blackberries...ick.
    I actually love Cabochard so much, I bought 17 bottles of Cabochard, when I found it for....yes.....14 bucks for the 3.4 ounce spray! Oh so cheap, but only in the price, not the scent. I even spray Cabochard on my pillow at night, just so I can wake up to it's comforting smell. Yes, it screams of leather, but in a subtle way, like suede. My husband likes the smell, and although I think Cabochard and Bandit are somewhat sister scents, he complains the Bandit smells a bit too manly. I say, too bad for him! The guys I work with actually appreciate my Cabochard, and some of them have even asked to wear it. Most of them spray their wrists several times, and sniff it throughout the day, telling me it covers up the horrid smells that the other women are wearing, lol.

    01st September, 2009

    Dorian Gray's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Fahrenheit Absolute by Christian Dior

    Think I prefer it to the original. At first sniff I thought it was a ripoff of Cartier Declaration, but in drydown the pepper and then the incense come to the fore. Very long lasting and maybe something in common with the excellent Eau Noire, its hard not to keep catching a whiff of it and thinking , hmmmm....

    01st September, 2009

    lmsusan's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

    This used to be one of my mother's favorites. I bought it and it smells different from what I remember. I've only tried it once and it had kind of a plastic smell at first but better after a while. I need to try it again to make a final decision.

    01st September, 2009

    MrFragranceReview's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

    I tried this on a scent strip and did not like it but as I've heard that you need to put this on your skin to let the drydown come out because the tar can be overwhelming.

    I ended up purchasing it because I strangely liked it at first but was still on the fence because it just seemed too strong and cloying. I've tried and tried to enjoy this scent because I love unique scents but I just can't seem to. It's too heavy, strong, cloying and the tar note just really gets to me.The drydown is far better but still doesn't fade much from the top notes so my skin chemistry just doesn't like this fragrance.

    I gives a thumbs up to the originality and overall daring special smell of it but as for the fragrance itself, it's just not for me. I don't like it and I tend to enjoy gourmands and sweeter fragrances.

    It may work for some people but not for me.

    01st September, 2009 (Last Edited: 11th January, 2010)

    MrFragranceReview's avatar

    United States United States

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    Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

    A very citrusy aromatic tea like scent. It's extremely versatile and inoffensive and hard not to like. There's a reason it was copied and was sold so many, it's an exceptional scent.

    But, that's the problem with it. It was copied so many times by other houses so there are countless similar fragrances as well as Aqua Di Dio selling so much that numerous people are wearing it. It's popularity and trendsetting ability lowers the value of the fragrance.

    I have a bottle and it smells fantastic but because of the excessive popularity of it I will not buy again. If you don't care about that then go ahead and get it, it's a great scent. I cannot give it anything but a thumbs up because Armani did a great job.

    01st September, 2009

    MrFragranceReview's avatar

    United States United States

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    Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    A very unique and complex fragrance that has quickly become one of my favorites. It's smoky, sweet, woody and slightly spicy. It's not too strong on either of these notes which makes it extremely well blended. It's inexpensive and the strength is fantastic. It has excellent longevity and good sillage (not too projecting which I guess is the aim of the fragrance considering it's more sensual) and not offensive. On top of it all it's original and not many people wear it.

    01st September, 2009

    MrFragranceReview's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren

    I was very apprehensive about buying this cologne because it smelled very mediocre at first but strangely had a unique note to it. I purchased it more for the fact that my girlfriend LOVES it.

    It's a deep seaweed smell that tries to be fresh and slightly citrusy. No notes really stand out too much and I like that. The more I wear the more I appreciate it. It's a fantastic gym scent just don't over do it. If applied well this smell is gorgeous and well done. The problem is, it's a younger scent typically and young guys tend to over apply so there are many negative associations with this fragrance.

    I can see why she likes it so much and I can see why so many women feel the same way. It's typically used as a gym scent and guys wearing very casual white t-shirts, shorts and working hard and getting sweaty. They associate that with this smell and they find it sexy.

    01st September, 2009

    MrFragranceReview's avatar

    United States United States

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    Reaction for Men by Kenneth Cole

    Extremely mediocre and the only thing I like about this fragrance are the top notes, which last only about 30 minutes. For the price it's extremely disappointing. The sillage isn't good and the longevity is absolutely horrid. If the top notes stayed this would be a pretty good scent but they quickly die down into virtually nothing but a powdery musk which isn't strong at all either.

    01st September, 2009

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