Fragrance Reviews from September 2009

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    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mandarina Duck Pure Black by Mandarina Duck

    Pure Black is sweet and thick like tree bark. Has an herbal coffee/psuedo tobacco quality to it. It's more like chewing tobacco. Kinda thick and resinous... like tree bark. I'm also reminded a bit of Joop! Go Electric Heat (of all things) with Go's "dense" feel of green cedarwoods. Also comparable to Jil Sander Man (the purple rectangular bottle) with the tobacco and woods accords. While not "pure" black, it's still as thick as a black fragrance could be without getting into Serge Lutens territory.

    13th September, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès

    Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose

    Notes: grapefruit, orange, rose, rhubofix, vetiver (from NowSmellThis.com)

    Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is a modern take on traditional Eau de Cologne. It starts with bright and bitter citrus, dominated by grapefruit and balanced with lemon and lime. There is hardly any rose to be found, although there is a vague sense of fresh petals, even if the accord is not distinct enough to be recognized as rose. As with most cologne waters, EdPR is fleeting, refreshing, not terribly complex and short-lived. The grapefruit does stick around for longer than expected and does not turn into a sulfuric odor as many grapefruit oriented fragrances do. As the opening citrus accord mellows, EdPR turns a bit powdery, somewhat reminiscent of its sister scent, Eau d'Orange Verte. However, EdPR is not as "green" overall--the powdery notes are less mossy and more like subtle florals mixed with orris root. Light grapefruit and powder is the final drydown stage which arrives within twenty minutes. The remainder of the development is simply a linear fade-out of this accord. Anybody who loves the Eau de Cologne genre would find EdPR to be not only acceptable, but perhaps also a welcome alternative to the typical offering. Although the composition is relatively solid and the fragrance fulfills all its requirements as a cologne water, it does not sing in the same way that its inspiration, Eau d'Orange Verte, does. Certainly it is a must-try for grapefruit lovers, and is suitable for men or women.

    13th September, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

    Hermes Eau de Gentaine Blanche

    Notes: gentian, white musk, iris and incense (from NowSmellThis.com)

    I must admit--to my knowledge, I have never smelled gentian in a fragrance. As a green fragrance lover, though, I am completely enthralled by the opening bitter green and woody accord which I can only assume is the gentian. The gentian is joined by some abstract, creamy floral with a "wet paper" quality which may indicate it is a light indolic such as jasmine. Whatever the opening notes are, they are magnificent and cruelly short lived. Within twenty minutes, the glorious melange starts to turn peppery with powdery orris. This is the same peppercorn and hot-pepper accord found in Hermessence Paprika Brasil, and is quite warm in comparison to the refreshing top notes. The pepper and orris are long lived and ride along while the gentian and florals fade in a linear manner. The deep drydown is mostly pepper and a light, sweet musk. Of the two Hermes Eaux releases this year (the other being Eau de Pamplemousse Rose), I find EdGB more satisfying. However, I am frustrated that the green notes I enjoy so much in the beginning development are extremely fugitive. I'm not sure EdGB would benefit with lavish application, because I can imagine the pepper being quite overbearing. This is a must-try for green fragrance lovers, and is suitable for men or women.

    13th September, 2009 (Last Edited: 14th September, 2009)

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I've tried a bunch of "amber" fragrances, including this one and Blue Amber, but the only one I find enjoyable is Etro's version. This one was too sweet for me. For those of you seeking an "amber" fragrance, I suggest you get samples of most of them, and take your time, because you don't want to discover that you spent a lot of money on one but at some point realize you like another one more. I think my appreciation of these "amber" fragrances vary considerably. Sometimes I know I will find them nauseating whereas at other times I'm really in the mood for it, so keep that in mind too.

    13th September, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dolce Vita by Christian Dior

    Bourdon's Dolce Vita is a close relative of the Serge Lutens 'bois series' (Bois Oriental, Musc, Violette) and a direct descendant of the unparalelled Feminite du Bois (Shiseido/Lutens). *FN1* Apply Dolce Vita to one hand and Bois Oriental to the other and the resemblence is totally unmistakable. Like Bois Oriental, DV's topnotes present a lush, rich collection of fruit notes supported by florals. The hints of apricot, cinnamon, and peach give it a distinctly oriental feel and distinguishes DV from the typical fruity/floral. Like Feminite du Bois, DV maintains a distinctly woody base, but it then adds a big dose of vanilla and heliotrope to sweeten and impart a powdery, almondy feel. Compared to Bois Oriental the Dior is more brash, less refined - but it's also more bold, more fun (and a hell of lot cheaper and easier to purchase).

    For an EdT Dolce Vita packs a good punch of sillage and longevity (as is typical of many Dior EdTs). I'm surprised that I don't see more guys review it or mention wearing it. It's certainly not as unisex as something like Hypnotic Poison, but if you are male and enjoy Lutens' fragrances - Bois Oriental in particular - then Dolce Vita won't be much of a jump to make. The girls at my local coffee shop act as my sounding board for my various fragrances, and of everything I've worn in the last two years nothing has received such an overwhelmingly positive response as Dolce Vita (I was wearing EdT layered with parfum). It seems that DV is one of those chameleon scents that becomes very feminine on a woman but then works as a woody/oriental on a guy. A quick note on the hard-to-find parfum... it's an excellent choice if you want a focus on the woody base with less sillage but greater longevity.

    Dior has cancelled Dolce Vita but ample stock remains at most online discounters... for now.

    FN1 - Turin & Sanchez, Perfumes: The Guide p.101

    13th September, 2009

    yrk's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    Cuba by Czech & Speake

    Oh boy Oh boy, You wont believe how I wanted to love it, but I failed after 10 attempts, one piece in this puzzle does not fit for me its peppermint ! I feel wierd wearing this because it simply reminds me ... weeeeell known polish medicine called AMOL. its available in Poland since ages, almost everyone knows that smell, people look around with strange eyes as if they want ask me "did You bath in Amol?", but when I pass the opening, Im rewarded by delicious middle notes and drydown. Neutral for opening, thumbs up for the other part but in summary still neutral. Maybe one day I'll buy 15ml decant for now I pass

    13th September, 2009

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Baraja by Acqua di Biella

    Baraja starts out with a non-descript slightly stale smell. Within fifteen minutes I began to enjoy the scent, detecting ginger and fragrant wood. It really felt like the ginger and wood did no more than say a short hello before the main act tiptoes in. For roughly three hours my skin smells like standard fare fabric conditioner.

    It's true that there is something more interesting going on underneath the main projecting smell of Baraja, but it's so ghostly that to my mind it's irrelevant.

    I just can’t get my head around this scent. To help my wife explained, “I can totally understand that someone would want to smell like freshly washed clothes, afterall the clean clothes smell doesn’t last too long after the wash”…. I’m wasn't convinced. Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy Febreze ‘Fabric Refresher TO GO’ for 5% of the cost of Baraja. It easily fits into your pocket or bag, you can then spritz your clothes with they need freshening up. Baraja is not a bad smell but I'm not going to help dupe anyone into buying this by leaving a neutral.

    13th September, 2009 (Last Edited: 05th October, 2009)

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Element-of-Surprise by Beth Terry Creative Universe

    I had the same experience as Katrinket. Like her I was left questioning my noses failure, quickly having to reassure myself that my nose still worked by reaching for an apple to taste.

    Though faint I can detect lemon but not tart lemon. I get a fresh scent coming through too which may be mint but my nose can’t get a hold of it due to the overall weakness. I also get a tea note but it’s so elusive it may as well not be there at all.

    The overall experience reminds me of the faint scent that’s left behind after washing a new born baby with gentle formulation bath soap.

    13th September, 2009 (Last Edited: 05th October, 2009)

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Cologne Grand Siècle 07 by Parfumerie Generale

    Like with the opening of Trumpers GFT the lemon is fresh and uncomplicated, though not quite as bright or sharp. Within an hour all I'm left with is a lemony soap smell, a bit of a let down.

    13th September, 2009 (Last Edited: 05th October, 2009)

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Gendarme Sky by Gendarme

    Unique it isn't, Agrumi Amaria di Sicilia, Cologne Grand Siecle, Element of Surprise the list goes on. Just another lemony soap fragrance that whilst not unpleasant bores me to tears.

    13th September, 2009

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Profumo di Pantelleria by Profumi di Pantelleria

    I feel this is a unisex fragrance. It has many similarities with Blenheim Bouquet, the familiar Citrus and Lavender accord lasting until it’s near end. Though not mentioned in the notes pyramid I feel there is pink pepper in the base. The pyramid also suggests there is oakmoss in the base but I can’t separate it out. Also not mentioned but seemingly present is a sweet turpentine odour coming through.

    With the similarities of Blenheim Bouquet in mind I decided to test both side by side. The similarity is indeed striking but overall the Penhaligon is much, much better. The Penhaligon feels more complete, richer and classier, it’s citrus being much nicer and more piercing. But this isn’t a Blenheim Bouquet review so I’ll leave it there.

    I would have given the Profumi a thumbs up but in its wind down I find it becomes rather fusty and unpleasant.

    13th September, 2009 (Last Edited: 05th October, 2009)

    Crayfish's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Scent by Issey Miyake

    Nice, though the beginning is by far the best part - a nice back-and-forth dance between sharp (but not too sharp) green and sweet (but not too sweet) floral, each benefiting from the contrast, like (go ahead, mock me) salt on candied yams. Then, not too much later, the sharp green is gone and it's just a perfectly nice somewhat green floral - nice, not cloying, not annoying, but if it weren't for the enjoyment of those first few minutes I wouldn't be spending my money. It's not challenging, but I like it very much all the same, and it's only a matter of time before it joins my full bottles.

    13th September, 2009

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Halston 1-12 by Halston

    A great, fresh, citrusy scent with a definite "zing" in the Eau Sauvage vein, but with more "green" than ES.
    Both Z-14 and 1-12 are excellent fragrances, and don't let their low prices fool you into thinking they could only be sub-par; where would I even begin naming fragrances that cost double, triple and quadruple without having anywhere near the qualities of uniqueness as well as overall wearability? Great value for money; both Z-14 and 1-12 have become classics.

    13th September, 2009

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rush for Men by Gucci

    An excellent summer frag, with a kind of breezy-bamboo-tropical vibe. For one summer it was stiff competition to my fav summer scent, Egoiste Platinum, but the drydown of Rush is far from long-lasting -- it's just gone before you know it. Very nice scent though. (And though it's been discontinued over here in Europe, Diptyque's "Tam Dao" provides a very similar alternative, which is excellent in its own right.

    13th September, 2009

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    Very nice. I'd just run out of Acteur at a time when it wasn't that easy to find, and so was open to something new and slightly sweeter than Acteur. I was in Rome the year GPH came out and stumbled upon it there -- and took to the warm, by-the-fireside aura right away, and not just because it happened to be a cool autumn day. A nice variation on a woodsy-spicy scent, with lots of vanilla thrown in (at least that's what I picked up) -- perhaps too much on the sweet side for the long-term, though. Later, Bois d'Argent would become one of my main scents as a lighter alternative to Acteur in the woodsy-spicy family; the incense note in Bois keeps things a bit smokier and less sweet than is the case with GPH. Love the sexy feel of GPH, though.

    13th September, 2009

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Scent Intense by Costume National

    Sumptuous, exotic, rich -- and about as feminine as a guy can afford to go on the unisex front. But guys, before you put it aside thinking it really doesn't cater to men at all, wait an hour or two for the amazing, dark drydown to take effect; the unisex label is justified after all. And since it is EdP and strong, it's enough to just apply it a couple of hours before going out in the evening (not a day scent!). I've had more than the odd compliment on it. Nothing I'd wear for weeks on end, but it's worth coming back to when the mood calls for something a bit less conventional.

    13th September, 2009

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Niki de Saint Phalle by Niki de Saint Phalle

    A magical, exotic scent for women, and I'm happy to say a very special woman in my life chose this as her favorite scent 20 years ago; I've been able to enjoy it ever since. It's definitely "80s" in the Diva (Ungaro) vein; a strong floral. But then again one needn't douse oneself in it from head to toe; a little goes a long way and its drydown is excellent and lasting. It's a sumptuous, floral sweetness that communicates class and feminity, like Diva, but think of Niki as a brighter take on Diva. This gets 5 stars, definitely. (And really, it gets an extra star for one of the most beautiful flacons, ever. But I smelled this before I knew what the bottle looked like and loved it immediately, so no judging a book by its cover here!)

    13th September, 2009

    tigerheart's avatar



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    La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    i really like"LA NUITE" the last episode of L'HOMME series

    Balanced,cool & warm at the same time and seductive

    it took me seconds in the shop to make the decision of buying it.

    Finally it's great and very recommended.

    13th September, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Hypnôse Homme by Lancôme

    A typical amber dominant fragrance, rescued only by its above average ingredient quality. The moderately entertaining top notes are tart, and lightly herbaceous, but it’s a little simplistic. The lavender in the heart is even more primitive, and this single note is expected to enthral the wearer until its hasty demise ushers in the smooth amber finish. Lancome are to be applauded for using such high grade components, I just wish they had put them to better use and been a little more adventurous. Hypnôse is one of the better versions of its type, but I remain unimpressed.

    13th September, 2009

    JimHeckel's avatar

    United States United States

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    Verbena Harvest by L'Occitane

    Okay...I honestly tried to love this one, but just couldn't. The lemonsmell is like swimming in bathroom cleaner, and it burns my skin to boot. I got it because the boutique I went to was out of Caswell Massey's Number Six, so I got this instead. Bad move. Back to the Six I go, to stay this time.

    13th September, 2009

    Primrose's avatar

    United States United States

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    Duel by Annick Goutal

    I bought Duel with the promise of a floral and leather combination...and I adore the name and inspiration. (I adore Hermes Kelly Caleche EDT.)

    The top notes of tea are nice and light and the leather notes are delicate...in fact, too delicate.

    The longevity...does not exist. I recommend that for at-home wear when you can reapply often. I would never wear this to work because it faces so quickly. For this reason, I give the neutral rating.

    13th September, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Samsara by Guerlain

    I'm puzzled. Why do certain scents evoke vivid imagery while others don't? Whenever I smell SAMSARA, I find myself in a tale from A Thousand and One Nights as a dashing adventurer in search of fame and fortune. My daring exploits eventually brought me to the attention of the Caliph's shapely and exquisitely beautiful daughter who summoned me to her private chambers late one evening. While it is ungentlemanly to describe what happened next I could still recall the opulence of her room in its shades of red, burgundy and mahogany. And I remember smiling as I left the next morning, her hauntingly beautiful scent still lingering on my skin. UNFORGETTABLE.

    13th September, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Burberry London for Men by Burberry

    It was late summer 1994 and I was on a 6 week assignment with a travel agency just off Piccadily Circus. On one of the evenings, a group of us headed off to a bar for drinks and had a blast at karaoke, making complete arses of ourselves. That's what this scent reminds me of - 'making arses of ourselves'. OK, just kidding. I'm talking about the atmosphere. From the peppery boozy opening right to the mildly powdery sweetness tinged with tobacco smoke. Unfortunately, longevity issues mean the fun ends rather abruptly with someone yelling "Hey, stop hogging the mike...!"

    13th September, 2009

    calatafimi's avatar



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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    I bought a small sample of this. I expected a lot. Maybe that was my problem. I like the scent but... it seems very weak to me. I can't tell that I am wearing it. Nobody has commented on it. My wife doesn't particularly care for it. It seems to be almost undetectable after a couple hours. If you like a this cool fresh scent then I would buy the Cool Water and use the left over money to buy three other top colognes, it's a much better way to spend the money.

    13th September, 2009

    Desert's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Blue Jeans by Versace

    This was one of my first fragrances i purchased. I blind bought this one because it's very cheap. I eventually gave it away after a couple of days, because it was way too synthetic smelling. It's not a bad fragrance and I can understand why people would love this one, but i want more quality.

    13th September, 2009

    Desert's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

    I recently blind bought this one and i'm so happy i did that, because I love this scent. It's mysterious, manly and sexy. Some people complain about that cherry/medicinal smell, but i actually find that appealing about this scent.
    The only negative thing is that the sillage and longevity on my skin is not so great. Perhaps it has to do with the rumored reformulation of this scent, or perhaps it's just my skin. Nonethelees, it's a good fragrance

    13th September, 2009

    seasoldiermarine's avatar

    United States United States

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    Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

    A true classic, and the first important fragrance I ever wore. Yet, here we are years later and it's still a memorable passage in time for me. I will always have Grey Flannel in my wardrobe. Always!

    13th September, 2009

    lemur178's avatar



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    Nina (original) by Nina Ricci

    My favourite all through my 20s. Such a shame they discontinued it (especially to replace it with the new Nina, a sherbetty sweet confection that smells like cheap kiddies perfume). Managed to find some EDP online recently, but the bottles must have been poorly kept over the years and all that was left was a sweet soapiness that made me feel quite ill after a while... Will have to survive on the memories of it instead.

    13th September, 2009

    lemur178's avatar



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    Vetyver by Jo Malone

    Wallops you over the head with its one-note metallic tang and just keeps bashing...
    Can't fault its staying power, sadly.

    13th September, 2009

    lemur178's avatar



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    Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Absolutely adore this, dirty sweaty oranges and all. Came to it via JC Ellena's perfumes for Hermes (the two Jardins - Mousson in winter; Nil in summer, which I enjoyed alternating with Pamplemousse Rose this year), but this is something else, stirring all manner of things in the brain like no other perfume ever has. I love the animalistic note that manages to make you feel impossibly sexy and grown up all at the same time. Ellena's creations seem to last a long time on my skin, this one more so than others. Wonderful.

    13th September, 2009

    Showing 541 to 570 of 1282.




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