Fragrance Reviews from September 2009

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    Asha's avatar

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    Lalique White by Lalique

    Lalique White

    Notes: lemon leaves, tamarind, bergamot, violet, white pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, amber, cedar, musk (from Now Smell This)

    Lalique White starts with a strange woody-citrus-aquatic accord, a combination of grapefruit, metallic ozone, laundry soap and generic woods, all of which smells as disjointed as it sounds. In the hopes that it might improve, I let it ride. Eventually a nice vetiver shows itself, but by this time I have lost all interest. Unfortunately, White seems like it might have been in a round of Terre d'Hermes rejects. It smells artificial and slapped together, with hints of household air freshener aromachemicals. The late drydown is somewhat interesting with its subtle vetiver and creamy wood. However, I am not willing to wait six hours for a finish that is done a hundred times better in Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver.

    19 September, 2009

    Bigsly's avatar

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    Dolce Riso by Calé

    Similar to Etra by Etro, but as SirSlarty said it doesn't last long. Perhaps you'll get three strong hours if you spray several times. Also, I think I like the Etra blend better anyway. There is something irritating in the top notes of this one. The not pyramid seems accurate, but I'm curious about why this doesn't last very long, considering that some vanilla-based fragrances last a very long time. The rating is not based upon price (I don't know what it retails for, actually).

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Philtre d'Amour by Guerlain

    Guerlain Philtre D'Amour

    I've always liked Eau de Guerlain but I'm not the biggest fan of it. It's certainly not a five-star scent in my rankngs. I always wanted a little more bite to it and a little more depth. Little did I know that all I had to do was work my way down the Guerlain catalog to "P". There I would find the 1999 release by Jean-Paul Guerlain, Philtre D'Amour. Philtre D'Amour works better for my sensibilities as I like sharper edges around my citrus and the feel of Philtre D'Amour is like something worn in the nighttime versus Eau de Guerlain's happy daytime brightness. Just like Eau de Guerlain, Philtre D'Amour begins with lemon but it is paired with a lovely green verbena which hones the edges of the lemon. Both scents use jasmine in the heart but again I prefer the use of petitgrain and myrtle in Philtre D'Amour as it takes this scent in a much more green direction and, for me, keeps the jasmine in better balance. The green accords remain as Philtre D'Amour progresses into the base and they are joined by musk and patchouli. Overall Philtre D'Amour is a much greener scent than Eau de Guerlain and I prefer it for that reason. Philtre D'Amour is a typical Guerlain with good longevity and good sillage. It is funny that Philtre D'Amour is considered a feminine scent because in many ways I think it is more masculine than Eau de Guerlain. Both scents have their time and place but if I'm picking one give me Philtre D'Amour.

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Vanille Tonka by Nicolaï

    Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka

    Vanilla is one of those love/hate notes. There are many, me amongst them, that love the comforting feel of vanilla. There are others who feel it is a sickly sweet intruder on their scents and would wish for all perfumers to lock up their vanilla. Vanilla is certainly a popular note in perfumery. Most times I know what to expect when I wear a scent which has vanilla or vanille in the name. Therefore it is a pleasure when a perfumer can surprise me with a new take on vanilla. Patricia de Nicolai does just that with here 1997 release, Vanille Tonka. When you look at the name you think, Vanille and Tonka, this is like double vanilla. The reality is far different, as by bracketing the titular notes with citrus up front and incense in the rear Mme. de Nicolai creates something entirely unexpected. The top is a mix of tangerine and lime according to the note list but it really is mostly lime there is some aspect of something less tart than the lime but the edge of the lime is what carries you into the heart. The heart is vanilla but this is the vanilla of the bean less sugary sweet and more subtly rich. The pairing with tonka bean is great because the sharp lime works to bring out the spiciness inherent in tonka. Particularly the cinnamon character. So often when tonka bean is used I get teasing hints of the cinnamon and clove character that is inherent to tonka. By using the acidity of the lime at the top it seems to make my nose more receptive to the cinnamon and clove, and in turn it keeps what could be a sticky sweet mess of a vanillla heart under control and really miles away from being sweet at all. The base is a magnificent contrast as Mme. de Nicolai gives this a blast of frankincense. This accord feels like as dry of an incense accord as I've encountered and that arid quality realy turns this scent on its ear and turns it into a sweeter than normal incense scent, on me. Vanille Tonka has average longevity on me and modest sillage. Vanilla scents usually tend towards the gourmand side of the street but Patricia de Nicolai has somehow made a genre-bending version of vanilla that is far from gourmand but very close to being unforgettable.

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Serge Lutens La Myrrhe

    As an inveterate lover of all things resinous, myrrh is the hardest of the resins to get comfortable with. It can come off as medicinal and sometimes just presents too many rough edges that it makes it difficult, for a perfumer, to work with. I think myrrh has been one of the more mis-used notes out there but when a perfumer has a plan it can sing out beautifully. Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake clearly had a plan when they composed their 1995 release La Myrrhe. They take the very prickliness of myrrh and use it to offset some other prickly notes and make an edgy modern classic. The myrrh in all of its raw glory is apparent, right from the first moments, and it is set against and enhanced by a burst of sparkling aldehydes. There is also an intense anise accord that feels just right, here. This is a typical Lutensian intense opening and it is not going to be for everyone. For me, it is full of razor sharp edges that I keep chasing down. I find the complexity on display mesmerizing. Eventually the aldehydes recede and then a sweet, contrasting honey note appears and this serves to highlight the sweeter character of myrrh and to mute the more medicinal aspects. As this continues to develop I get a lot of sandalwood which matches the sweetness level introduced by the honey but doesn't take it any deeper. Finally a musk and amber base helps warm this up at the very end. La Myrrhe is a beautiful piece of perfume composition that is not easy to wear. While I think everyone should sniff this I'm sure that not everyone can, or should, wear it. La Myrrhe has over 24 hours of longevity on me and is a close wearing scent with little sillage. For me, La Myrrhe is a classic baseline scent and an example of the pinnacle of what myrrh can be in a perfume.

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Moustache by Rochas

    Rochas Moustache

    Edmond Roudnitska was one of the great perfumers of the 20th Century, the short list of perfumes he created are classics but more importantly they all feel entirely original. What is most interesting to me is when I wear one of his creations for the first time, now, it feels thouroughly modern and unlike other scents out there. In 1949 after having created Rochas Femme during World War 2 he ,in collaboration with his wife Therese, created a masculine for Rochas called Moustache. When you look at the note list for any of M. Roudnitska's creations you realize what can be accomplished with a few notes skillfully blended. The note list for Moustache is simple; bergamot, lime, pine, vetiver, moss, rare fruit. The scent that those notes create is complex and wonderful and almost smells nothing like what that note list would lead you to believe. Based on the note list I'd expect a bright citrus scent with a grassy heart leading to a darkly sweet ending. Instead Moustache wears like a citrus, dark floral, leather scent. It makes Moustache feel like alchemy instead of chemistry. The top is a bright citrus mix of lime and bergamot, as advertised. Then, on me, in the heart I get a dark floral accord which feels like a combination of narcissus and jasmine. I'd also swear there is some patchouli floating around but maybe not. The heart does have the mossy character but it mostly feels like a rich suede leather. Once again, not what I would expect based on the note list. Moustache is another example of how a skilled perfumer can take notes that one thinks they know well and combine them in a way to show new facets of them. Moustache has average longevity on me and slightly above average sillage. It seems every time I wear another of M. Roudnitska's creations I keep fumbling for ways to describe the artistry of his perfume, Moustache is no exception to that.

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Mare by Beth Terry Creative Universe

    Beth Terry Creative Universe Mare

    What is the scent equivalent to that broken in pair of jeans you wear forever? Or the t-shirt that just seems to fit so well? Or the pair of sandals that fit your feet like a glove? None of those choices are the "best" but they impart a sense of comfort and familairity and as I have with clothes; so do I have with perfume. When I want to wear the equivalent of something that just seems to "fit" I choose the 1997 release by Beth Terry Creative Universe, Mare. Mare is a deceptively simple scent, three notes listed; sea salt, avocado, ginger lily. That is all that is there, each note rings out clearly and forcefully. Mare is mostly an aquatic scent and, for someone who is decidedly light on aquatics in his wardrobe, it is surprising how comfortable this is on me. Mare begins with the the brininess of sea salt; it reminds me of the smell of the spray off the front of my boat when I opened the engine full-throttle. It has a cleanliness but also a heft due to the saltiness that feels perfect to my sensibilities. Next up is avocado and this is a brilliant choice to pair with the salty beginning. Most times citrus is introduced in many aquatics. Ms. Terry's choice of a richer accord makes for added depth and the avocado compliments the top note instead of trying to add contrast. The base is ginger lily, a slightly spicy accord, with the clean lines that lily can afford makes this the ideal partner in a scent of this type. Mare develops into a phase where all three notes are present and accounted for and intermix quite pleasantly. Mare has above average longevity on me and decent sillage. Mare is easily my favorite aquatic scent some of which is due to the level of comfort I derive from it. On the other hand, isn't that what every scent should do?

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    John Varvatos by John Varvatos

    John Varvatos

    It must be difficult as a perfumer to be given the assignment to create a designer scent. Probably similar to being an artist working in advertising. You want to be able to show off your artistry but the client has a vision they want to see realized. I think this is why so many times when I approach a designer scent I'm already pre-disposed to yawn because I'm not really expecting anything very different. It is nice when those expectations get dashed, every once in a while. Rodrigo Flores-Roux manages to tread a nice line between commercial and creative in his 2004 creation John Varvatos. In some of the press materials about John Varvatos they trumpet that some of the notes used in this scent were used for the first time. Sometimes there is a reason for that. Happily, in this case M. Flores-Roux uses that novelty to create originality over a base of familiarity and creates one of the better designer scents to be found. According to the note list the top notes are; medjool dates, Mediterranean herbs and tamarind leaves. This combination has a quality of feeling like a dark fruit married to a mix of dry herbs of which rosemary is the most prominent, and it is all tied together with an interesting green note I haven't smelled before; tamarind I presume. The top overall is sweet but the rosemary and tamarind offset it enough to keep it from being too sweet. Sage and coriander are used to transition the scent into a heart of Indian Ajowan, which is a variety of caraway. I have really come to enjoy the use of caraway in colognes, Parfumerie Generale Querelle uses it to stunning effect. The ajowan here carries the same dark spiciness that I get from Querelle but in conjunction with the sage and coriander, in John Varvatos, it feels more herbal overall. The heart transitions to the base on a note of vanilla which carries the scent into safe masculine woody teritory. In the base the unique note is called Eaglewood but it smells like a less-complex version of oud and a more complex version of gaiac. There is also a synthetic added called Auramber and based on the name I'm guessing this is the source of the warm amber feel underneath the intense woods. There is also a hint of resin which also might be coming from the auramber, as well. I find John Varvatos to be very long-lasting with above average sillage, on me. It can be depressing sometime to look out at the sea of designer scents out there and sigh. That's why its nice to wear John Varvatos and be able to turn that frown upside down.

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    100% Love by S-Perfume

    S-Perfume 100% Love

    One thing I enjoy in my perfume, from time to time, is the weird and wonderful. The rubber note in Bvlgari Black, the tar in Le Labo Patchouli 24, the dried vomit note in Etat Libre D'Orange Secretions Magnifique; okay strike the last one. Sometimes weird just takes you places you don't want to go . Also one persons weird and beautiful is another's "are you kidding?!". All reviews are a reflection of the nose of the reviewer but it is scents like, Sophia Grojsman's 2003 creation for S-Perfume, 100% Love, that are olfactory Rohrshach tests and each person who experiences this scent will get something different from it. What I get at the top is an intense fruity accord which according to the note list should be a mix of cranberry and blueberry. On me it smells closer to cherry, the cherry smell of sno-cone syrup. Very sweet and treading right up to the edge of my sweet tolerability but not stepping over. The fruit stays firmly in place and it is joined by rose and chocolate. Both notes come in, in equal intensity with the fruity beginning, and you get what for some people will come off as a fruity,floral, gourmand chemical spill but on me instead combines into something that seems almost too sweet but its not, something too floral but its not, and something too rich but its not. Somehow Ms. Grojsman pushes right to the edge with all three notes and together they create an accord that works brilliantly on me. The base is almost diasppointingly pedestrian compared to what came before as a mix of musk and vanilla end 100% Love back in common perfume territory. 100% Love is not a shy scent and carries a lot of longevity and sillage so you better like it if you're going to wear it. 100% Love is definitely not a scent that everyone will fall 100% in love with but it is a scent that is 100% creative.

    19 September, 2009

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    Oud Wood by Tom Ford

    Tom Ford Oud Wood

    My first exposure to oud as a note came through a sampling of a number of Montale scents. Those scents are beautiful but they have to be worn with care as they are all powerhouses. The thing that stands out in those scents is what a versatile note oud can be. The mix of slightly sweet, the woody character, and the hint of an almost medicinal edge make it something that perfumers can use to enhance one of or all of those characteristics to design their perfume. Most people's introduction to oud came in Yves St. Laurent's M7 which was designed by Tom Ford. Tom Ford has gone on to his own signature line and part of that is his Private Blend Collection. In 2007 he released his first 12 Private Blends and among them was one called Oud Wood. As the man responsible for most colognoisseur's exposure to oud I was expecting a scent that would rival the Montales in intensity. Instead I got, perhaps, the most easily wearable oud-based scent out there. Oud Wood begins with a light woodiness of rosewood and paired with it is the softness of cardamom. This is a beautifully light beginning as the choice to go with a lighter wood like rosewood which also contains some sweet facets to it makes an excellent lead-in to the heart which is where the oud comes out. The oud appears and it has more intensity than M7 but somehow it is less "loud" than M7 or the Montale ouds. This is probably due to a healthy dose of sandalwood, which is also present. The sandalwood becomes an almost equal partner to the oud and particularly the interplay of the sweeter aspects of both woods intersect amazingly on my skin. The base is a mix of vetiver and vanilla. The vanilla again enhances the sweeter qualities of the woods but the vetiver brings out the medicinal edge of the oud and makes the base have a little more of an edge than the scent has had previously in its development. Oud Wood is a long-lasting scent with modest sillage. It is that modest sillage that I think makes Oud Wood a much more versatile oud-based scent than many of the others out there. I own Oud Wood for precisely that reason because there are some days I want a full-on oud experience without feeling like my cologne is preceding me into the room by five minutes. Oud Wood feels like M7 after its left the club and is getting ready for work in the morning.

    19 September, 2009

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    Bois d'Arménie by Guerlain

    Guerlain Bois D'Armenie

    Guerlain has been very hit or miss on their most contemporary creations which has made me cautious when it comes to trying the new ones especially when it seems to be in territory Guerlain is not known for. Bois D'Armenie was released in 2006 and it was inspired by Papier D'Armenie. Papier D'Armenie are little incnse infused strips, used as air-freshener, they are loaded with benzoin and give off a resinous vanilla scent when burned. Annick Menardo is the nose behind Bois D'Armenie and when thinking of her creations of Bvlgari Black and Le Labo Patchouli 24 I wonder how working for Guerlain will affect her style. There I sit looking at the bottle thinking a strong modern incense scent from Guerlain? Not likely. Happily I sprayed the perfume on me and was instantly enchanted. Anyone who has paid attention to my reviews knows how much I like incense scents. My favorites are all very strong, Bois D'Armenie has opened my eyes to what a subtle incense can do. The very top of Bois D'Armenie captures the sweet smell of burning paper which is appropriate considering the inspiration. From there a beautiful vanillic resin accord comes in. This couldn't be more like the experience of burning a strip of Papier D'Armenie and if this scent ended here it would be good. But there is another word in our name, Bois, and the woods need to show up, and they do in the heart. The incense pulls back and is replaced by a balsam accord and a dry patchouli and this is a beautiful complement to the beginning. There are still hints of the top notes and they accentuate the notes present in the heart. The base slowly becomes more woody over time and there is some musk added to give some more depth to the base. Bois D'Armenie is very long lasting on me but it wears fairly close and as a result does not produce much sillage. Bois D'Armenie might be one of the most quiet incense scents I own, it is also one of the best I own.

    19 September, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

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    Burnt Amber by Neil Morris Fragrances

    Neil Morris Burnt Amber

    When it comes to Neil Morris' fragrances I am a big fan. I find that most of his creations work on me and Burnt Amber, created in 2008, is no exception. Burnt Amber has many of the hallmarks of what I enjoy when wearing one of Mr Morris' scents, it has a complexity and density that is far above most of what is available out there. Which is why wearing one of his scents is the equivalent of watching "Lost" on TV. I get everything necessary to enjoy the show on the first viewing, but I always watch each episode twice. Because I get new insights and pleasures when I can take my eyes off of the central action to notice the things happening in the background. Burnt Amber is the same for me. The first time I wore it, being the fan of the central note and the composer that I am, I liked it a lot. Upon further wearing the nuances became more apparent to me and make this one of my favorites from Mr. Morris. The top starts with an interesting mix of plum and pepper. This gives a pleasant sweet and spicy contrast to the start of this. These notes are joined by the promised smoky amber in the title. A very warm amber appears sheathed in a woodsmoke halo. The first time around that was what I noticed most, as it is the heart of this scent. On subsequent wearings I realized that the plum note in particular persists and that adds a dark sweetness to the amber and enhances the sweet aspects of the woodsmoke. The base is a mix of oud and oak over an animalic castoreuem. This is a strong finish, appropriate to the building intensity leading here. Oak adds a hefty, woody strength that is contrasted with the complexity that oud brings. Along with the castoreum this gives the base a depth; and again the addition of the plum, which is still present and accounted for, accentuates the sweeter aspects of all three notes in the base. According to Mr. Morris' website it was this addition of the plum note that was one of the last things added to Burnt Amber and the importance it plays throughout the development of Burnt Amber makes me wonder if this would have been half as good without it. Burnt Amber has incredible longevity and above average sillage. Once again I turn to one of Mr. Morris' fragrances and am amply rewarded for the experience.

    19 September, 2009

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    Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Etat Libre D'Orange Fat Electrician

    The more things I wear from Etat Libre D'Orange the more I realize how much I like the risks the House takes. One of the noses for the House who has regularly seemed to connect with my sensibilities is Antoine Maisondieu. Three of my favorites, Noel au Balcon, Vierges et Toreros and Rossy de Palma, are his compositions. When I heard M. Maisondieu had done a "semi-modern vetiver" for the line I knew the 2009 release Fat Electrician would be interesting, and it is. Fat Electrician has the most in common with Vierges et Toreros of the three scents I mentioned previously. It has a strength around its central note that pushes the envelope. Much like the raw leather accord in Vierges et Toreros the vetiver in Fat Electrician comes off rawer and more unrefined than it does in other scents. I like it because it makes it stand out from those other vetivers that I own. The description that comes in the box claims M. Maisondieu is trying to create a "white, metallic, silver' vibe at the top. I'm not sure I get that, what I get is a raw green, grassy accord with a healthy amount of cigarette. This is carried forward into the heart where the vetiver comes in quite intensely and quite green. The smokiness of the cigarettes combine marvelously with the edgy pungent vetiver. The transition into the base, again, according to the note list is supposed to be a gourmand-like "chestnut creme". I don't get that at all as instead I get a great resinous mix of opoponax and myrrh which really finishes it nicely on me. I think I'm pretty thankful that the gourmand notes don't appear on me as I think I might not like this as well as I do if they were present. Fat Electrician has great longevity and decent sillage. Fat Electrician is different than any of the vetivers I currently own and while I think it is definitely worth a try by any vetiver lover it is not going to be one loved by every one of those vetiver lovers. If you do like your vetiver on the strong side invite a Fat Electrician over you might find him to be more interesting than you might think.

    19 September, 2009

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

    Serge Lutens Fille en Aguilles

    I truly enjoy the moment I get surprised by something when I smell it for the first time. Based on all of the advance word on the 2009 Serge Lutens release Fille en Aguilles I was expecting a typical Serge Lutens take on pine needles. The name translates to "girl on needles" which seems appropriate for something that has the following list of notes; pine needles, vetiver, frankincense, fruit, and spice notes. The last two almost need to go without saying, in a Serge Lutens scent, and in many ways those last two come to dominate many scents from this House. That is why this is such a surprising scent to me because Christopher Sheldrake chooses to keep the trademark accords but he dials them way back and creates as linear a Serge Lutens scent as exists. The top is the promised pine needles. So many time when you read pine needles it really means pine sap, the thick resinous accord. Here this is the needles, lighter and airier containing a hint of resin. For those who miss the resin you don't have to wait long as the heart has a full house of resinous notes which starts with a sharp vetiver followed by incense and then slowly joined by a camphor note. This camphor note has the same exhilirating quality that it has when it appeared in a previous Serge Lutens scent, Borneo 1834. The interplay of the astringency of the vetiver, the dry aspect of the incense, and the vaporous quality of the camphor makes the heart of this simultaneously warm and icy. The scent lingers at this stage for the great majority of its development on my skin finally giving way to the dried fruit and spice notes that I've come to expect from the scents of this House. Fille en Aiguilles feels like another great scent for cooler weather but it is light enough that I won't hesitate to wear it in the heat, either. Like almost all Serge Lutens, Fille en Aiguilles has incredible longevity and above average sillage, on me. For a scent with "fille" in it's name this one feels more "homme" to me.

    19 September, 2009

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    Saffron / Amber / Agar Wood / Cardamom by Korres

    Korres Saffron Amber Agarwood Cardamom

    Korres is a Greek based Homeopathic Pharmacy that has recently branched out into fragrances. In 2009, they released three scents. The names are the ingredients and the one labelled Saffron, Amber, Agarwood, Cardamom immediately caught my attention as I enjoy all four of those notes immensely. One thing I can say about Korres is they definitely practice truth in advertising as it is those four notes and only those four notes I get when wearing this one. Right from the top the saffron, cardamom, and agarwood are present. The saffron and cardamom are a little more prominent at the very beginning. What makes this scent remarkable is the restrained use of agarwood (oud). In a perfume world full of big powerhouses which use agarwood as the big bold note this scent uses it in such a lightly applied manner I was first worried the note wasn't there when I first sprayed it on. It took a couple of minutes for it to make itself known and unlike other agarwood scents it never dominates it instead keeps a nice balance with the saffron and cardamom which is not easy becasue of the delicacy of those notes. Slowly over a good deal of time the scent becomes warmer as amber adds itself to the mix. This is where the scent stays for a good long time in its development, intricately balanced between all four notes and it is beautiful. Korres Saffron Amber Agarwood Cardamom has excellent longevity and modest sillage. For those who like agarwood but want something that won't overwhelm this is worth a try. For those who have shied away from agarwood because of that tendency to dominate this might be the one version of agarwood that might work on you. For me, this is a wonderful fall scent which takes four of my favorite notes and creates a beautiful whole out of them.

    19 September, 2009

    Aznavour's avatar

    United States United States

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    Olène by Diptyque

    I didn't find Olene to be all that indolic. It has a realistic jasmine note at the beginning, but it's intertwined with honeysuckle which cuts down the headiness. It's nice but not especially pretty, and I personally found it to be kind of sharp and thin, especially as it dried down.

    19 September, 2009

    djolney's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Salvador Dali pour Homme by Salvador Dali

    Salvador Dali pour Homme is the first fragrance I have ever tried that has made me recoil in discomfort, and made me want to immediately scrub it off. Within a few seconds of application a hot animalic note smothered and overwhelmed me. The feeling was something like claustrophobia (as if I was trapped within this smell), and I had to will myself to calm down and not head straight for the bathroom.

    I don’t know what the hot animalic note is, but I can try to describe it. Other reviewers have suggested that it is a lot of castoreum, and it may well be, but it is the heat that gets me and that I want to try to describe. Imagine the smell of a pan on a hot stove with nothing in it starting to glow red; now add the smell of air above hot tarmac on a sweltering day; and now add the smell of the blast of heat that comes out of an old tin shed when you open the door on a stiflingly hot day. The hot note is pervasive, and warps the animalic note far away from any civet, musk, or castoreum note I have smelled up until now.

    Within a minute of application, and after calming myself down, I began to smell some other things. The basil and sage come across as a kind of dewy greenness, which provides a strangely captivating counterpoint to the hot animalic note. The contrast between the hot animalic note and the dewy greenness is interesting and somehow calming.

    The arrival of the jasmine and lily of the valley add sweetness and depth to the dewy greenness, and at this point SDpH becomes wearable for me. Don’t smell your wrist directly at this point, or the hot animalic note will overwhelm everything else that is present to be smelled.

    As the woods arrive, SDpH begins to lose its dewy greenness, which is a bad thing. The hot animalic note turns all of the woods dry and almost acrid, and it is only the sweetness from the amber and/or vanilla that gives SDpH any life in its dry down. The leather that comes through in the dry down is not just old and dry: it somehow smells like decay.

    Salvador Dali pour Homme is a confronting and challenging fragrance. The opening is a shock, the middle is interesting, and the dry down is off putting. I have left it on for three testings, and I am pretty sure that there will not be a forth.

    19 September, 2009

    adowds's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    L'Homme de Coeur by Divine

    I quite like this, it starts out smelling of 'wet' sweet flowers (maybe rose). Over time it becomes powdery and fresh with a peppery note that appears in regular bursts.

    In the opening I thought it was very similar to Ungaro III, so I tested the two alongside one and other. They are a little similar early on but diverge soon enough, though both have the wet floral note with a touch of pepper. For the most part I see a closer resemblance to Erolfa. Testing the two together I feel that the pair is indeed pretty close. The Divine has a little saltiness but far from as much as the Creed. The Creed is certainly fresher and has none of the Divine’s powderiness.

    L'Homme de Coeur holds up quite well during the day and doesn’t eventually become musty (which I half expected) remaining pretty fresh until the end.

    19 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 20th September, 2009)

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    Argentina Argentina

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    Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    Interesting how perceptions change along time: when I tried it for the first time I regarded it as common, both in terms of its structure as well as its popularity. Ninteen years afterwards it smelled to me as incredibly classic.

    The bergamot is prominent but it won't bother as it does in other scents launched at that time or later. This bergamot note is generally described as "green"; Jazz can't be descrbed as such, since its "greeness" is noticeable but not to such an extent as to make it redundant - which is not the case of popular scents during the 1990's.

    The most attractive notes are the spicy ones, dominating mid and base notes; here is when Jazz becomes a wonderful scent: the presence of cinnamon is quite obvious giving Jazz its classical character maybe due to the the way it combines with the geranium, the nutmeg and the carnation.

    There is a characteristic earth-like note in the drydown, maybe the moss; this makes way to the rest of the base notes, being amber and sandalwood the most noticeable ones, defining sweet notes.

    It does not only bring good memories, the scent is very attractive.

    19 September, 2009

    Theasylph's avatar

    United States United States

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    Frumious Bandersnatch by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    Bandersnatch musk, redolent of spicy carnations, wild plums and chrysanthemum.

    I don't really get the fruitiness on my skin from this blend. I get a musky spicy christmas candle or cinnamon potpourri as some have said. I can't get past that scent association. Too bad.

    19 September, 2009

    archibald's avatar

    United States United States

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    Habit Rouge Sport by Guerlain

    I like this better than Habit Rouge. So sue me. Which is not to say I love HRS. HRS loses both the best part of HR, the rosewood/spice accord as well as the powdery to the point of stale-smelling aspect which made it impossible for me to enjoy HR at all. What remains is a pretty good, if otherwise completely unremarkable citrus/spice/wood masculine neither much better nor worse than other competent examples of the genre. As many might predict, this is not a sports fragrance.

    19 September, 2009

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kingdom by Alexander McQueen

    An excellent scent that is at least unisex, if not clearly masculine. Very sexy, which is to be expected of a scent that actually smells of sex.

    Turin's one star is a complete question mark to me, but then again: Who cares? As if a book would keep me from appreciating something I loved from the outset.

    19 September, 2009

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    I am so glad this fragrance has -- finally -- disappeared from the everyday European street scene. Throughout the entire 90's you could not escape Cool Water in Europe, especially here in Germany. Every wanna-be playboy would wear the stuff, whether at the office, at the gym, on the tram, at the clubs, etc. It just got so ubiquitous you couldn't take it seriously. That was always a shame because I noticed upon first moving to Europe in the early 90's how exceptional Cool Water was. Now, with Le Mâle having replaced Cool Water as Europe's official disco-stud scent, you can, slowly but surely, start enjoying Cool Water again. (But someobody's got to do something about Le Mâle over here! Another nice scent ruined by its success. Yikes ...)

    19 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 19 November, 2009)

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oyédo by Diptyque

    Very weird. Starts out as tart lime mixed with herbs, then becomes powdery without ever becoming sweet. Comparisons to Tang and unsweetened Kool-Aid powder make sense. Very fresh. Androgynous more than unisex -- I really can't picture the person this perfume would suit. Dries down to something that smells like warm grape soda. It has its charms -- warm grape soda isn't an unpleasant thing to smell -- but I can't think of a reason to wear it.

    19 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 22 September, 2009)

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

    It's green like the leaves of the fig tree, or the newly grown branches, or the figs when they're still not too ripe. I think that's why people say that it smells simple - because it smells so real, every note in it is partto the same landscape, same idyllic picture, so natural, that it's hard to think of it as someone's creation. Yet, there's no such exact smell in nature and there are many things happening in this scent. Especially when it settles, I can't stop smelling it on my skin and it always lifts my mood and makes me think of beautiful things, not only fruits or trees but people, and sun, and happy life. Favourite for the summer, even when it's rainy. Even more favourite on very hot skin, mixed with sea salt at the beach.

    19 September, 2009

    Speed00kills's avatar

    United States United States

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    Burberry Summer for Men by Burberry

    Does anyone get Bond No. 9 Coney Island from this??
    Check it out and let me know what you think.. I like the smell as it reminds me of the Bond no. 9 coney island. Smells like lemonade or something on me

    19 September, 2009

    Susanne's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci

    I loved the older vesion but can still love the new one. Still receive compliments from men when wearing the later version.

    19 September, 2009

    smellofvictory's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aspen for Men by Coty

    Used to wear this in 6th/7th grade...I wore too much then I'm sure, but this has a really nice smell if used very sparingly...smells to me, more like a cheap Polo than anything related to Cool Water.

    19 September, 2009

    Black Mask's avatar

    United States United States

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    YSL pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    During the 1970's this was the only fragrance I wore. I found its citrus opening and delicate grass and garden mid range very refined. Its warm dry down always remains complex and interesting. This is a comfortable fragrance that lasts nicely, but always stays close to the skin. It never speaks loudly, but subtly makes its impression in a assured manner. It creats a pleasant and elegant and quiet impression in the best of taste. I found it more difficult to find in department stores as new fragrances were released in the 1980's. YSL Pour Homme never lost its appeal for me, and I occasionally still buy it when I find it. In the 1980's I turned to Tuscany, a more linear fragrance, but one i found very beautiful, crisp but warm, and dry. Its dry warmth appealed to me. It is direct, simple, but elegantly pleasing to me. Tuscany Forte was less crisp but even more beautifully rich. I enjoyed both variations and I am sorry the darker, deeper Forte was cancelled. I never find YSL Pour Homme widely available or widely discounted, but now Tuscany can be purchaed online at many discount outlets for as little as $19 for 3.4 oz. I consider this one of the best bargains in men's fragrances. Although very different fragrances, Pour Homme and Tuscany each spent a decade as my only cologne.

    Now I favor Knize Ten----which is so much more a complex, ever-changing, and grand sensual experience that it is not appropriate to compare it to Pour Homme or to Tuscany, which are both fine scents, but in comparison, merely minor aesthetic experiences. Knize Ten is more than a fragrance. It engages many of the senses, the memory, and the imagination in a way only the finest sensory creations can. There should be a phrase and an accepted category for fragrances that reach this level of evocative art.

    19 September, 2009

    col024's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

    I tried it too from the suggestion that it was superior then burberry london. This thing doesn't smell anything near as great as burberry london. AVOID. This like a powdery barber's shaving cream. It would suit someone lost in the 1940-1950. Defintely nothing modern about this one. AVOID !!!. Whoever wrote it was better and similar to burberry london should remove their comment.

    19 September, 2009

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