Fragrance Reviews from September 2009

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    GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR's avatar
    GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR
    Canada Canada

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    Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Yet another Lutens fatally flawed quasi-masterpiece with an atrocious drydown.

    The head and heart are utterly sublime. A beautiful warm clove and cinnamon potpourri given the breath of life by a soft white musk. Then after 15 minutes it's all over. As has been described before, it "collapses" in on itself and very soon, all that remains is a dry, dessicated, ashy, anemic film that irritates the throat and is just unpleasant. Fortunately, it's almost impossible to smell unless you're licking it at this stage.

    Too many of Lutens/Sheldrake's compositions end on a similar disappointing note after a mesmerizing opening. This one stands out because the beauty only lasts for 20 minutes before it turns to dust. There must be a better way to construct these fragrances. 5 stars for the head and heart. Zero for the drydown.



    24 September, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar
    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is a gorgeous, substantial, sensual fragrance. It has lots of lovely flowers and yet it has an earthy and slightly sweaty quality that could appeal to men or women. The opening of orange blossoms is gorgeous, as it should be. The middle of white flowers is a pretty cushion. The jasmine reminds me of jasmine tea, and the tuberose is fleshy and a bit indolic (as usual). We have a powerfully beating floral heart here. Musk and cumin give an animalic quality and an assertive edge to the florals. I like it.

    24 September, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar
    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Hesperides by Fresh

    As the name suggests, this is a citrus fruit bowl. Lots of grapefruit here (both pink and yellow) with lemon and orange as well. The scent is crisp, acidic, natural-smelling. It doesn’t really go any further, other than softening a bit and showing a very light wood base. Pretty good for longevity. A refreshing summer spritz, nothing profound.

    24 September, 2009

    Sugandaraja's avatar
    Sugandaraja
    Canada Canada

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    Fleurs de Bulgarie (new) by Creed

    If you liked L'Ombre dans L'Eau but found it a little too "out there" for you, Fleurs de Bulgarie might be just what you're looking for. Same burst of bright green galbanum-tinted top notes - perhaps a faint touch of something herbal here, too - but much more reserved and polite in its marriage of green and rose, being subtler, darker, drier, and soapier, with a distinct "clean" edge that I think would suit many men seeking a rose fragrance. It's old-fashioned, but not in the least powdery, to its credit, drying down to a light, woody base.

    Not my cup of tea, but it impressed me none the less as well made and distinguished. One of the most wearable green roses I know.

    24 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 02 February, 2010)

    Sugandaraja's avatar
    Sugandaraja
    Canada Canada

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    Nahéma by Guerlain

    I'm not smelling the magic here. For the vast majority of its development, Nahema reminds me of some some musty rose oil heavily diluted in vegetable oil. It is not strange per se, but it's a smell I expect from a "fragrance oil" rack at a drug-store and not from a Guerlain classic. In addition to this rose accord, I smell an artificial-smelling vanilla and peach, and something almost akin to sunscreen.

    It doesn't smell like any fruity-floral fragrance I've smelled, but as much as I'm not a fan of the category, most of them smell quite a bit nicer than this. At least they usually have a little life and vibrancy, quite unlike this sad, dull juice.

    24 September, 2009

    bokaba's avatar
    bokaba
    United States United States

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    Diorella by Christian Dior

    Diorella is vaguely related to Eau Sauvage—just vaguely. Diorella is far too feminine, in my opinion, to be worn by a man. The opening is much too sweet and the fruity notes dominate overwhelming the light floral component. Is there a base? Perhaps we will never know?

    24 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 10th November, 2009)

    bokaba's avatar
    bokaba
    United States United States

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    Équipage by Hermès

    Equipage is a classic scent that opens with a blast of pine and soft citrus and progresses to a powdery soft, somewhat medicinal base. I find Equipage similar to the original Polo in its herbal/medicinal accords, but far more expensive-smelling and far more sophisticated. I recommend it highly. I must also add that the resinous, smoky accord in the base is interesting. Longevity and sillage are poor, but if they weren’t this wouldn’t be refined.

    24 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 10th November, 2009)

    bokaba's avatar
    bokaba
    United States United States

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    Russian Water by Anglia Perfumery

    Now this was one of the more interesting scents by Anglia I was itching to try. On first sniff it is a basic lavender water, but soon after a great deal of gentle florals emerge tempered by light spices. The base is vanilla, musk, and moss. It is sort of powdery and musty, but such is Russian Water.

    24 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 14 November, 2009)

    jenson's avatar
    jenson
    India India

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    Bandit by Robert Piguet

    It is indeed potent. To say that one spray would be an overkill is not an understatement. Opens with a extremely "Sharp & Dirty" accord of Jasmine and Rose absolute spilled over used leather and grease. It''s powdery to the core and it shouldnt surprise you if it reminded you of Knize Ten as it contains the "exact" same accord of florals, Tar & leather, especially towards mid to drydown. Where it smells different to Knize is, Knize Ten always came across as a "green, powdery floral with a powerful leather accord" whereas, Bandit comes across as a "oriental, powdery floral with a powerful leather accord" define Oriental? well, think of it as a Knize Ten caught making out with CK Obsession Pour Femme EDP. It has tht Golden, Warm texture to it. But make no mistake, this is "The" leather fragrance. piece of advise, buy only decants. a 10 ml decant will last a life time coz 1 spray of this gem is all you need for 2 days in a row.

    24 September, 2009

    jenson's avatar
    jenson
    India India

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    Agua de Loewe by Loewe

    Even L'eau d'Issey fails to match up with this gem. Agua de Loewe is pure, refreshing, effevescent, dynamic and most importatntly satisfying citrus based fragrance. Would create an aura of freshness and soft powdery halo of wonderful scent around you. you simpyl cannot go wrong with this. an absolute stellar release from Loewe.

    24 September, 2009

    jenson's avatar
    jenson
    India India

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    Eau Lente by Diptyque

    Eau Lente is a beautiful Melange of soft spices, especially spices which has barks..for eg. cardamom, cinnamon and Clove buds over a base Vanilla essense(not pods). Opening accords are a beautiful melange of sweetned vanillic cinnamon. another essential accord which features in within 5 minutes is the absolutely stellar accord of Clove buds. the way it's (Clove) introduced and the effect it has on this scent is simply fabulous. Like most diptyques, this accord stays linear with notes blend superbly with a very versatile sillage and lovely sillage. This is not a spicy fragrance like say a KL Homme or a Costes or a Jaisalmer. it's much softer than all those and only tries to heighten the actual smell of the prime spices used in this scent. clove based floride toothpaste reference wouldnt be a bad reference..just to give a feel for how it smells...lingers on for over 10 hours on me.

    24 September, 2009

    jenson's avatar
    jenson
    India India

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    Melagrana Currante / Pomegranate & Currant by Antica Farmacista

    tart, sour and realistic accord of berries and black currant. smells exactly like the taste one would get drinking a currant based juice. Smells pretty potent and fruity and i would classify it as a "joyful" fragrance.
    Not my type of scent but, without a doubt an interesting and worthwhile release for someone who like fruity concoctions with a realistic accord. lovely.

    24 September, 2009

    jenson's avatar
    jenson
    India India

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    Incense Rosé by Tauer

    screechy cedar infused with a liberal dose of Frankincense and powdery Rose absolute. it is very clearly derived from L'Air. what i mean is, it has some similar accords and the use of ingredients too are common. anyone who has tested L'Air would be able to tell this is a Tauer creation in no time.
    One other scent that it reminded me of is Guerlains Heritage Edt. Maybe the use of cedar is giving of that hint. Tauer scores another beauty with this. easily a must have for me.

    24 September, 2009

    jenson's avatar
    jenson
    India India

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    Isos by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

    lovely scent! followers of "Green" scents, add this one to your sampling list! i would say this is a greener version of Malles French Lover without the animalic drydown.
    Opens with a very sharp, juicy and very (realistic) green accord of peppered vetiver with hints of spices. Opening accords smells like tender Green mango leaves crushed in palms. the accord has enough depth and smells pretty lovely. the way the green accords are blended with woody accords is another beautiful twist in tale. overall, a well thought of release with heart.

    24 September, 2009

    LisaWood's avatar
    LisaWood
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    L'Autre by Diptyque

    It seems I am very much in the minority....but I think this is a wonderful, warm fragrance. I bought it recently in the Diptyque shop in PAris.....apparently it is now discontinued as and I quote "no one likes it, Madame"!!!
    Well, I DO!

    24 September, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar
    SirSlarty
    United States United States

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    L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Cristaux d'Agrumes by Guerlain

    What I didn't quite like about L'Instant I like about this flanker. Bitter grapefruit was added to the top for a brisk, fresh opening. The rest is the same as L'Instant but lighter. I believe this was released as a summer flanker. I wore it on a hot muggy day and still got a little choked up on the leathery greenness of the sandalwood drydown. Brighter, cleaner, fresher: it's what it's all about these days but I like it. Only reason I see to to seek this out is to want a lighter L'Instant so take my thumbs up with that in mind.

    24 September, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar
    SirSlarty
    United States United States

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    Escentric 02 by Escentric Molecules

    Ambroxan and the orris notes made for an even more minimalistic version of the newer DKNY Men. Just add calone to this and you get DKNY Men. I rather like this but it feels less of a scent and more of an exploration of a single note. Decent sillage, actually and leaves a small cloud around you if you will. Most modern perfumes are aromachemical but Escentric just takes the small stuff and charges 2x as much.

    24 September, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar
    L'Aventurier
    Canada Canada

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    Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI

    A fresh fragrance that opens with notes of non-citrusy grapefruit, violets and cardamom. As it dries down, a barbershop heart of powdery lavender emerges (similar to Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier), supported by ginger and cedar over some clean vanilla-musk. Deep into the drydown is a Jicky-like leather (most likely castoreum and a touch of civet) that almost goes under the radar. The best way I can describe Invasion Barbare is that it's a fresh-oriental lavender fougere with a musky leather base.

    Although this fragrance is anything but barbaric, I imagine the name is a double entendre, referencing both its clean barbershop (ie. "barbare" shop) lavender and animalic barbarian base of leather. Overall, it's a classy smell, yet it's also relaxing and emits positive vibes, making me feel cool, calm, and collected. If I hadn't found this in my quest for my holy grail, I might have lost hope somewhere along the way. This is one of the few fragrances out there that is good enough to be a Guerlain, and modern enough to not smell like grandpa.

    A modern masterpiece.

    10/10

    24 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 30th November, 2009)

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    glitteralex
    United States United States

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    Dilys by Laura Ashley

    I I have been waiting a very long time to try this scent. I have sold plenty of it, but never dared to open a bottle....Finally, I scored a Parfum and decided I had to try it..

    Dilys greets me with a balanced composition-there is green, spice, and floral all at once. Also a resinous note-maybe galbanum? The peach and coriander dance across the rosewood-it is truly beautiful. After a few minutes appears brilliant gardenia-a real gardenia, not one of the new (albeit good) synthesized "tuberose gardenias". Like a parfum should, it wears very close to the skin. The peach is identifiable but not overwhelming (Amarige). Sadly the first 5 minutes is the highlight of this perfume. Quickly, it gives way to a traditional soapy floral heart, rather cheap in nature, and of no particular interest. As for the base, it's very weak, nondescript, musk.

    b.n. On paper, the "gardenia" dominates throughout. Unfortunately, my arm is not paper.

    24 September, 2009

    hollyc's avatar
    hollyc
    Canada Canada

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    Rochas Femme (new) by Rochas

    Rushed to buy this when I read that it was very, very similar to Amouage Jubilation 25 (perhaps one of the greatest fragrances ever). So sad, I read what Luca Turin said and thought, I'll make up my own mind thank you very much! I guess that's why HE gets the big bucks. This is a sad fragrance. Having been a great lover of vintage style fragrances I can clearly see where this was once an amazing, sexual fragrance for grownup vixens. Reformulation has left it stripped by accountants like some sad, once grand French courtesan who commiserated with the enemy (read spendthrift perfumers who spared no expense to create a masterpiece) bereft of her fine clothes and jewels left to stand shivering in the cold and suffer the scorn of the masses. Another great perfume that should have been allowed to die a dignified death and discontinued. On a brighter note, I do see some similarities with Montale's Orient Extreme should someone still wish to try something of this type. As for Amouage J25 it still stands alone and untouched as a true masterpiece $$$$$$$$.

    24 September, 2009

    hollyc's avatar
    hollyc
    Canada Canada

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    Diva by Ungaro

    I love Estee Lauder's Knowing and also Paloma Picasso so when I read that Diva was the best of these three I thought Eureka! When I received my small bottle (I'm learning) and spritzed I though "Oh yeaaaahhh", but unfortunately all the fabulous rosey, oakmossy, jasminey mellowness turns sharp and rather blackberryish on me after about 15 minutes and doesn't matter whether I spray on clothes or skin. So sad. I find Knowing can have that rather harsh effect when first sprayed but then improves and just gets better and better and better. Paloma has the most kick (is it oakmoss that has me in its grasp?) but then develops a smokey edge that makes my throat sore, I have to settle for wistfully picking up the bottle to sniff it occasionally and of all of them, smelled this way Paloma is the best, but EL Knowing performs the best in actual usage so that is where my $'s will go. Reluctantly giving Diva a thumbs down for not delivering on its initial gorgeous vision.

    24 September, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar
    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Devin by Aramis

    One of the simpler constructions from Aramis, green, rugged and masculine, it has aged remarkably well in comparison to its peers. Despite lacking a great deal of evolution, it retains a brightness from the opening, a fresh edge for the robust heart and base notes. It feels well balanced and there are no notes that jar or seem misplaced. Devin is rich, masculine, has decent longevity and has an assuredness that breeds confidence.

    24 September, 2009

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    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Happy for Men by Clinique

    With its rather cheerful name, it has quite a bit to live up to, and as expected, it fails miserably. It has not escaped my attention that fragrances are man-made constructs, but this is so artificial and synthetic that it would be kinder to just print the chemical formula on the front of the box. Its ersatz citric opening has all the joy of a bargain shop shaving cream, and if it were as modestly priced as one, it would at least have been forgivable. It has minimal projection and longevity, lacks evolution, and is irredeemably awful.

    24 September, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar
    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    New West for Him by Aramis

    I had a recollection of New West that had pushed it upon a pedestal with a handful of other fragrant rarities. Revisiting it again some fifteen years later, I realise that it was good for its time, but probably never remotely great.

    It has a lightly herbal quality, adding considerable interest to the dominant cedarwood and sandalwood notes. There are no great surprises thoughout the New West experience, but I still very much enjoy having it around again.

    24 September, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar
    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Aramis Life by Aramis

    This represents a rather uninspiring aquatic style fragrance, with a moderately fresh opening, and a bland woody base. The heart notes are almost imperceptible, leaving the wearer with little to enjoy for several hours. Brevity is the hallmark of most fragrances of this type, and Life is no exception. There is little to commend this for regular use, and Aramis would do well to discontinue this at the earliest opportunity.

    24 September, 2009

    RJR's avatar
    RJR
    United States United States

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    Homme de Grès by Grès

    While my other "lemony" scents -- Boucheron pour homme, Lacoste, Z-14 -- are bright, loud, happy fragrances that play best in the light of day, Homme de Gres is serious without being somber or stuffy. It slips easily from day into night, and sets a mood for intrigue and romance, not giggles. Plus, the moderate sillage works well in a crowd, adding to its suitability for a wide range of occasions. I'll be buying back-up bottles before this discontinued wonder becomes genuinely scarce.

    24 September, 2009

    Matignon's avatar
    Matignon


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    Rochas Lui by Rochas

    The first time I opened the trial vial I won't forget: I instantly thought this would be the first time a frag sample is truly rotten!
    But I soon tested it also in a fragrance store (on blotter and on skin), and was astonished when I got to know IT IS SUPPOSED TO SMELL LIKE THIS: people who like the smell of burnt cedarwood throughout the whole lifetime of a fragrance would like this one, but not me... Thus, the already mentioned "marvellous longevity" in my case meant endless pain to my nose!
    Just as some other reviewers posted, I also wanted to like this frag (since it's a Rochas one), but it needs guts to stand the stinging smell of burnt cedars for hours! (Maybe this should be a warning not to apply too much of it)
    I cannot even quite understand this fragrance's pyramid, since the cedar took hostage of my nose so that I could not smell anything else than a burnt piece of wood... In the end I do get a bit of vanilla, but the price of waiting so long for it is simply too high for me...
    Being used to scents other people may consider strange, awkward and odd, I have to wave the white flag to this one after three days with Rochas Lui now, but no: I should better burn it at the stake which would suit the top note best!

    24 September, 2009

    shamu1's avatar
    shamu1
    United States United States

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    Jacomo de Jacomo by Jacomo

    Jacomo de Jacomo is a very dark, dry, ashen-smelling aromatic fougere in the style of the 1970s. Though the sharp intensity of the opening clove and lavender blast diminishes after five or so minutes, the accord itself does not disappear - it merely softens an lasts into the drydown, which is reminiscent of the smell of a very dark leather jacket and smoke.

    JdJ is definitely an extremely masculine scent, and it maintains an unusual but interesting feel of being dark, smoky, and soapy at the same time, throughout its duration. It makes me think of cold smoke. It also has absolutely no sweetness whatsoever. The jet-black and gray metal bottle is very appropriate; this is a very "black" fragrance.

    To give you another idea of what this smells like, imagine Jaipur without the sweetness and vanilla base, with a little less powder, and more clove, and you've got something similar to Jacomo de Jacomo. Unlike Jaipur, however, JdJ does not strike me as an oriental fragrance, but rather a fougere, due to the prominence of lavender, a slight note of barbershop talc in the background, JdJ's dryness and its complete lack of sweetness. The patchouli and oakmoss are very subtle, and in fact I don't even detect them until several hours after application (longevity is very good on my skin or to my nose), where they seem to join with the enduring clove note to create the "black leather" note I smell in the drydown. I doubt leather is an actual ingredient here, so I have to think it's an olfactory illusion created by the clove, patchouli and oakmoss. This is a very well constructed fragrance.

    My only problem with JdJ is that, I hate to say it, it does smell a bit outdated today. When I smell it, it reminds me of my growing up in the 1970s, when I remember smelling this scent (or something similar to it) on men in shopping malls, in waiting rooms, etc.. I remember my pediatrician wearing something like this. These aren't really images I want to think of when I wear a fragrance. JdJ is an excellent scent, but I'm not sure it's relevant these days. It doesn't quite have the timeless quality that a true classic fragrance has. However, because there is real quality here and I do like this, I have a feeling that more exposure to this will make JdJ seem not so outdated.

    24 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 25 September, 2009)

    shamu1's avatar
    shamu1
    United States United States

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    Kouros is the raging bull of the 1980s - the powerhouse to crush all powerhouses. It's an aromatic fougere on amphetamines, cocaine AND steroids. Awesomely powerful and animalic, it takes a delicate hand and lot of confidence to pull off wearing this beast. That being said, if worn correctly, Kouros is an absolutely beautiful scent that brilliantly blends floral notes, citrus, civet and patchouli. It's my favorite powerhouse scent, and one I would bring with me on a deserted island. It's not for everyone, but it's truly one of the all-time greats. 10/10!

    24 September, 2009

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    PorkFat
    United States United States

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    Fougères Marines by Montale

    This is very similar to Varvatos Vintage. Another mainstream job by Montale. His originality has been waning for a while as he clones popular designer fragrances. Let's see, what else does he have under his belt? Terre d'Hermes/Red Vetyver, Gucci Pour Homme/Greyland, Embruns d'Essenza/L'eau d'Issey, Boise Fruite/Silver Mountain Water.

    This has the same fruity ozone characteristics of Vintage without the evergreen and leather notes.

    What's funny are the same people who rate Vintage poorly, rate this clone highly. It is done better and is far more natural-smelling but it is not worth the additional price if you already have the other.

    24 September, 2009

    Showing 961 to 990 of 1282.