Fragrance Reviews from September 2009

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    cheekyhamsta's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

    Don't let the daft name put you off this marvellously flowery and distinctive masculine classic (what's so great or sexy about a grey flannel suit anyway?). The bottle design is a masterclass in elegant simplicity itself. Once the scent has dried down, its understated elegance is a joy to behold and its sillage is as astounding as would be expected from a scent designed in the 1970s. I believe this a very versatile fragrance for daytime, evening, office and casual wear that probably suits a more mature man of 30 years plus. GF reminds me very much of Fahrenheit in its smell, but is superior in my opinion due to its understated elegance and can easily be found at a fraction of the price.

    21st September, 2009

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    Halloween by J del Pozo

    I am quite shocked by how much I like this. For reference: I love Avignon, Rochas Femme, Bal a Versailles, Jasmin Noir... NOT light and airy little floral numbers! But this one, magically, I really enjoy. The topnotes are horrid aquatic nonsense, but happily this fades away quite quickly and what's left is a happy ozonic floral, not sweet, a bit tangy, just right for spring, in fact! And quite persistent too, with good sillage. I really think this is well done and would be a hit if available here in South Africa, although the name is idiotically mismatched. I won't be wearing it a lot, but I'm glad to have my little mini.
    EDIT I'm actually so impressed with it that I got a large bottle from the only retailer to stock it in South Africa. It's even better sprayed! Lovely, really fresh and lightly floral, not the fake horrid chemical 'fresh' the modern perfume industry seems so intent on.

    21st September, 2009 (Last Edited: 09 February, 2011)

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    212 Men by Carolina Herrera

    After a bland, kind of sheer and clear fruity/floral opening that reminds me of a stronger and more synthetic version of L'Eau Par Kenzo, we get a heart and base with a shocking lack of blandness!

    I always just assumed that the base would be that ambery-wood accord that perfumers seem to toss around so often, which is why I never really gave it the time of day. But 212 turns very dry with (just as jenson says) incense and sandalwood, softened slightly with some sort of clear musk - exactly as the pyramid says (which certainly doesn't happen often for me). Excellent! It smells rich without being overbearing.

    I'm still not a huge fan of the opening, but the outstanding base smells like it could have come from something much more expensive and well-regarded.

    22 September, 2009

    evinick's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Les Nuits d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

    GROUP. Citrus-Aromatic.GENDER. Safe choice for both male & female.CREATIVITY. Another citrus scent but very wisely blended. You certainly won’t impress wearing this one, but that is not always the point. DAYorNIGHT? For a scent with the word ‘’Nuits’’ in its name you would expect something bolder, long lasting and impressive. On the contrary it is light, quiet and fades relatively quickly (at least on me). The majority of the citrus fragrances are intended for daywear and I am afraid this one goes with the majority as well, despite the patchouli-sandalwood base. LONGEVITY. A disadvantage, for this very refined scent. COMMENTS. The finely balanced hesperidic opening (lemon zest, mandarin, bergamot and a touch of star anise) is the best part of it. The citrus notes are mild and not pungent at all. Very soon (unfortunately) come the basil and the cypress notes which are excellent, last longer but are a little boring. Base notes, patchouli, sandalwood and musk (sorry, I don’t get the vanilla) are well combined but don’t last for long.Overalll, a fine daywear scent. I wish it could last longer.


    22 September, 2009

    evinick's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Artisan by John Varvatos

    GROUP. Citrus-Aromatic. GENDER. I suppose a woman could wear it too but it is mostly for men. CREATIVITY. Well…what can you expect from a citrus/hesperidic scent in this field? Not much. DAYorNIGHT? A hot sunny day in the open, a picnic basket open on the grass, 2-3 kids play around the happy couple. Perhaps an ‘’intense’’ version could work in the evening. LONGEVITY. Good enough for a fresh scent like this. COMMENTS. Interesting opening with citrus notes (orange and mandarin mostly) make it fresh and pleasant. The heart is floral. Orange blossom, Jasmine and a hint of Neroli (I am still searching for the ginger root) may sound great as a combination but the result is still average. Great blend for a fabric softener though, I d love to smell it on my clean shirt. Despite the impressive names of the base note components (Kephalis, Georgywood, Belambre, Serenolide) all of them being synthetic, the drydown is more or less expected. Ambery and woody, perhaps more soapy that it should be. Nice try from JV having in mind how different this one is from his previous scents. A few words for this unbelievable bottle. A great idea, based perhaps on the weaven big bottles used for wine or olive oil in the Greek province (don’t forget Varvatos family comes originally from Greece). Truly a masterpiece.

    22 September, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Herbissimo Enebro by Dana

    Herbissimo Mountain Juniper (Enebro)
    This quirky and obscure little scent is excellent! It is a lovely green splash, with minty, coniferous and mossy notes. It is a bit like Aqua di Selva, but smoother and nicer. Sure it is simple, but the low price makes this a great value and worthy of 5 stars.

    22 September, 2009

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Punjab by Roberto Capucci

    An old guy sits down to watch the evening's game on his favorite leather recliner, and up puffs a cloud of dust from the ragged, wheezing cushions - that is the smell of Punjab. I appreciate older, retro fragrances, but Punjab is unrelentingly musty and flat to my nose, its spiced leather accord devoid of all life and vibrancy. It sweetens and mellows slightly after many hours, but not so much that it's appealing, merely so much that it's no longer unpleasant. All in all, it makes me want to run outside, breathe in the fresh air, and see living things.

    Not awful, not nice; original, but not interesting; unwearable, at least for me.

    22 September, 2009

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Ayalitta by Ayala Moriel

    I find myself not quite sure what to think of this, but one thing is clear - it's very green! If you like green chypres, give this one a try for sure.

    The bright, tangy, galbanum opening melds interestingly with a herbal background. It's a little discordant for my tastes, but not offensively so, and in the heart it becomes a little smoother with well-meshed florals sweetening it some. Despite the pyramid, I smell neroli more distinctly in the heart, and there is a nice mixture of floral, citrus, and green. The base is lightly mossy, but in general this is a fairly ephemeral fragrance, with most of its "oomph" in the top and heart.

    I'm not quite sure if I like this, but it's got me interested, which is more than enough for a thumbs up from me

    Edited to add: having tried the original Coty chypre that started this whole genre, I must add that this fragrance is the closest, out of possibly hundreds of chypres I've smelled, to the one that started it all. ( I happen to prefer this! )

    22 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 29 January, 2010)

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Versailles pour Homme by Jean Desprez

    Aside from a crisp, bergamot opening, there's nothing else I get out of this that I like. The drydown reminds me of a stale bottle of Stetson. Versailles is a floriental with a bitter drydown that smells old. Yes I'm using a subjective term so let me define it. Old as in stale and expired. It just sits there on the skin and doesn't develop into anything other than a bitter resinous accord with too many base notes.

    Hate to compare it to something I can only remember but it smells like the backstage of my university's auditorium where the practice rooms were. Needless to say, I never wanted to practice there ever.

    22 September, 2009

    depmodal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fire Island by Bond No. 9

    I looked on the bottle for the SPF rating because this smells like an exact copy of Bain de Soliel Orange Gelee. Save yourself some money and some ultraviolet rays, run to Wally World and get the original.

    22 September, 2009

    soirdelune's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Rumba by Ted Lapidus

    Good lord this is strong! Incredibly so. This scent was wildly popular in the Middle East in the late 80s and early 90s, and to smell it again reminds me of there. There's no question that this is an original scent. I'd call it an 'incense chypre'. Can't believe it's an Ellena!

    22 September, 2009

    AnnS's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mitsouko by Guerlain

    Mitsouko is stunning. I won't bother repeating what everyone else has already said. Please do yourself a favor and don't even bother to test the edt version which is kind of screechy and hard to take. Go right for the edp or the parfum extrait if you want to smell the most stunning, timeless, complex and yet simple fragrance that was ever created. It is soft, sophisticated, elegant and somehow natural - like soft leather and shimmering golden leaves in the fall. It took a while for me to go head over heels for Mitsouko, but it was worth the wait. I made the mistake of testing the edt first. Once I smelled the edp on my skin I was a goner.

    22 September, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Philosykos by Diptyque

    Warm and soft, sweet but (to me) not unbearably so. Blends well with my skin. Pleasant to wear, but like most Diptyque's I've tried, has very little base -- very linear, then disappears. More a scent than a perfume. But it just plain smells good, so thumbs up. Probably my favorite Diptyque so far. Most of the line have not impressed me much.

    22 September, 2009

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Although the original Opium for women is one of my most hated fragrances, I have to respect Opium PH for the mere fact that it stays true to the spirit of the original, which is a rarity in fragrances released under the same name for both women and men. It doesn't smell exactly like the original, but it does capture the blazing, spicy feel of the original Opium for women.

    Therefore it almost goes without saying that Opium PH is an intense fragrance. To my nose or my skin, OPH smells almost like two different fragrances, depending on whether you're wearing it in hot or cold weather. In hot weather, it's simply overbearing; I bought my first bottle of this just recently, in the heat of summer, and wearing it felt like I was being shot in the eyeballs. It's just too heady for me to wear in hot weather. Now that the weather has cooled down significantly however, especially in the evening, I am finding OPH to be a lot more agreeable, and quite good.

    I'm not particularly good in picking out individual notes in fragrances, and Opium PH presents an especially difficult challenge for me. Part of the reason I find OPH so intense is because there seems to be so much going on in this scent, so many spicy notes flying around in all directions. I really can't tell what's in this, except lots and lots of SPICY THINGS, to state it academically. This isn't to say that it's not a well-crafted scent, but rather that it's a challenging scent. It's exotic and extremely bold, never really evolving over time but rather simply calming down over time. I respect fragrances like this.

    What I like most about Opium PH is that it truly embodies what I think of when I hear the words "exotic oriental fragrance". I don't think it's a great fragrance, but it's certainly a good one. It's not a scent I'll be wearing often, but during the right time of year and in the right situations, I'll put this on to make a bold impression.

    22 September, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Trussardi Inside Man by Trussardi

    Impressive looking bottle to showcase this 2006 creation from Nathalie Lorson who by the way had also composed Lalique's Encre Noire in that same year. But looks aside, TRUSSARDI INSIDE does away with the archetypical 3-level pyramid and dives right inside the heart of the scent from the get-go, unleashing a mild, rather dry woodsy aroma punctuated with pepper and coffee accords. As it dries down, the pepper fades into the background to reveal subtle hints of tobacco on top of the woods. It's funny how I suddenly found myself thinking of expensive furniture in dark wood panelled stores. Perhaps that's what this skin scent reminds me of - classy elegance. It certainly bears that quiet self assuredness you tend to find among men of worldly experience, the kind of men who simply don't give a damn about whether or not you can smell this scent on him.

    ------- from Fragrantica.com -------
    TOP: bergamot, basil, yuzu
    MIDDLE: coffee, white pepper, tobacco leaf
    BASE: teak, cashmere, musk

    22 September, 2009

    hagertygal's avatar



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    Obsession Night by Calvin Klein

    I must say, I discovered this one by mistake. I had gone to Marshalls the day before, and seen Secret Obsession by CK, and intended to buy it. I had also planned on picking up Gucci by Gucci. When I went back today, I sprayed the Secret Obsession, and came to hate it with a passion. Then, I found the Gucci was in the EDT, not the EDP as I had thought. Bummed out, I saw this, and remembered looking it up on Basenotes earlier. Hey, it was so cheap, I figured I'd give it a shot.
    Well, I got it home, sprayed it, and UGH, thought I made a huge mistake. I was overwhelmed with citrus and lemons. Considering I had sprayed it, and would have to see it through until I showered, I went to work. Well I'll be darned! This scent changed in about a half hour, and I could detect a faint smell of lemons, but more so, a vanilla and wood smell. How neat! I found it a weird smell, but somehow unique, not icky. Sort of sweet, sort of creamy.
    So now, I am in the process of still testing this one out. I seem to like it, plus the bottle is heavenly. If all goes well between us, I will be stocking up on five more bottles of this juice. Sadly, it is only 20 dollars for a 3.4 ounce bottle, and I think it is not going to last in the CK line. I don't even recall ever seeing it in the department stores. Maybe it was "released" straight to the discount stores....sort of like a movie being released straight to DVD, lol? So buy up while you can if you like this. I think it will be great in the winter months.

    22 September, 2009

    mst09's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    Halston Z-14 by Halston

    good smells..like a aromatic chypre and easy spicy..but hard-to-wear fragrance..

    22 September, 2009

    Glück's avatar



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    Angel Schlesser Homme by Angel Schlesser

    Oh, the drydown!!!!!

    This is a classic light scent with a modern, unexpected touch. At first is a fougère with a spicy, oriental note, then the woody middle notes start to make an appearance. The drydown is GORGEOUS, warm and sensual.

    Thierry Wasser, now the in-house perfumer of Guerlain, did a wonderful job with the first masculine perfume for this spanish fashion house. Ángel Schlesser Homme is a classy and mysterious perfume with natural notes that stays close to the skin and with good longetivity. For fans of well crafted masculine scents, subtles but with personality. A favourite.

    Colour: orange - brown

    22 September, 2009

    hanna.sunden's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Kapsule Floriental by Lagerfeld

    Hm, I feel a little confused. I can totally detect both the ivy leaf and violet. But what I mostly get is a wildly sweet, woodsy... something. Must be the tea, then. For some reason this instantly reminded me of Sui Dreams (which is orange, wood and vanilla heaven). To me it's really food-y and warm. Pleasant and comforting enough but I wouldn't buy it.

    22 September, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

    I don't really get what the big deal is about this? I tried it today and it literally just smelled like flavored water. I tried to get something out of it, but i couldn't smell anything. Super light, and no projection. Literally what's the big deal? I guess it's safe?

    22 September, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

    a couple words come to mind with this one. . physically and morally repugnant. I had the displeasure of trying this today at kohls with high expectations. Just the name sounded epic, and the bottle, and the fact it was a designer scent made me eager to spray it on. Man, it just might be on the list top 10 of things i should not have done. Literally thee most disgusting and disturbing thing i have ever smelled. Now onto the scent, I think basenotes got the ingredients wrong, it goes something like:

    Top Notes: Rubbing alcohol

    Middle Notes: Old man musk/Preservative

    Base Notes: Bengay

    Yep if you're looking for a smell that will please the 80+ crowd, by all means get a hold of this stuff, but if you like to smell good, or even have any self respect, you will stay away from this. It smells like embalming fluid X_X

    Thumbs waaaaaaaaaaay down.

    22 September, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black by Kenneth Cole

    Pretty nice frag. Had the pleasure of trying this today. Starts out with a nice fresh blast, though a little sharp. but everyone knows its all about the drydown. The drydown on me was pretty subtle and close to the skin, but it seems closest to root beer to me. I love root beer :D I don't think i'd buy more than a mini of it.

    22 September, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Usher for Men by Usher

    Oh man, I love this..................NOT. yeah. I tried this today at kohls just to see if it was worth a passing glance. I was wrong. The first blast smells nice, a soft, citrusy smell, but it's the drydown where I become nauseated. The drydown pretty much smelled medical with a twinge of orange. It was so disgusting that I think i may have lost my sense of smell for 5 minutes (may have been a good thing, at least i couldn't smell the cologne). Let's just say this takes eau de TOILET to a new level.

    22 September, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    True Religion for Men by True Religion

    I like the scent, but the dry down becomes intolerable "/

    22 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 28 September, 2009)

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel

    Just tried this out, my dad picked up a sampler for me to try. I like it! Sharp citrusy opening. It then dies down to a nice clean smell. I like!

    22 September, 2009

    tapuz's avatar

    Czech Republic Czech Republic

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    Police Interactive pour Femme by Police

    The worst fragrance I have ever had. Bitter, woody, rough, extremely unpleasant, with a kind of sweetish mark.

    22 September, 2009

    shanajax's avatar



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    Allure Homme Sport by Chanel

    I love this fragrance! A friend of mine had it and I gave a sample to my husband and now he and his twin brother are addicted to it. Everyone that smells them comment on how wonderful it is. It is a "chick" magnet for sure. It is a good blend of clean, citrus and warm. I highly recommend it.

    22 September, 2009

    Kittycat63's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Ivoire (original) by Pierre Balmain

    Ivoire is such an unusual, gorgeous perfume that I've become totally addicted to it. Although it is a perfume which has been around for decades it has a freshness and liveliness which I think is very modern and timeless so it's perfect for any woman of any age who has the right personality to carry off this kind of scent and who doesn't want to wear a dull, run-of-the-mill kind of perfume.

    It opens very green and clear but in the background lurks the delicious smell of creamy raspberries and this note on me becomes more pronounced after a short time and the greenness fades into the background. It isn't the kind of sweetness which is so prevalent in a lot of more current scents, which tend to be quite sickly and artificial smelling, but is a more refined, pure and fresh sweetness which I think is absolutely gorgeous and this is my favorite stage of Ivoire's unfolding tale and the one that lasts the longest on me.

    Ivoire is a complex perfume which is one of the things that I find so incredibly appealing about it because too many perfumes are one-dimensional and dull. It's sexy but sweet, sassy but soft and just all-round intriguing. I also love the fact that because it's not easy to get hold of in stores in my country (England) I know that I'm not going to smell it on lots of other women so I feel as if it's my little secret and not one that I'm going to readily reveal to anyone!

    Ivoire for me is one of my best discoveries and it has rapidly worked its way into my heart and become one of my favorite perfumes. I can't imagine being without it now and, in fact, if I had to choose only one perfume to wear for the rest of my life this would be it.

    22 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 18 February, 2011)

    Margareta's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Eau Ensoleillante by Clarins

    A very pleasant fraganse! I have own it for half a year, over summer, and it is still growing for me, and is usable for autum(fall) as well. It is more quiet than Eau Dynamisant, but it is complex and interesting all the time. If worn with the bodylotion, the frag is longlasting. It is a perfect scent for work, where one doasn´t want to wear something strong, but still want an interesting frag. It feels more modern than Eau Dynamisant.

    I wear the bodylotion with Chanel Eau Verte, and this combo is very nice. I only hope for a deo too in the Eau Ensoleillante-line.

    Very well done, Clarins!

    23 September, 2009

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Incense Rosé by Tauer

    Amazing, a carbonated perfume. Don't laugh, I get a "fizzy" sensation from it (must be the CO2-extracted incense :-), actually a bit like what you get when you squeeze a clementine peel and the essential oil squirts out. This has a generally high-pitched feel to it and seems rather one-dimensional compared to L'Air. It's lankey and somewhat spry and could use some buxom olfactory curves on the drydown. Instead I just get some dusty wood from the myrrh and cedar. Neither the rose nor the incense note satisfy me. I do wonder whether making such a marvel as L'Air du Désert Marocain early in your career isn't something of a curse. While it put Tauer on the map, I can't help but measure his later releases against it, unfair as that may be, and have found every one of them lacking in comparison. They're Paul McCartney/Wings albums vying with "Revolver."

    23 September, 2009

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