Fragrance Reviews from January 2010

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    Fath de Fath by Jacques Fath

    Oh, my. This is so delicious.

    'Fath de Fath' is my idea of the *perfect* Oriental. Constitutionally it arrives somewhere between the raw, beguiling 'heat' of 'Mackie' and the scintillating, cosmopolitan glamor of Patou's 'Sublime'.
    It manages to be sumptuous, smoky and all-about-sex without over-egging proverbial pudding; somehow, in its relative quietude, it also conveys elegant restraint: it could easily be worn in proper company as well the boudoir.

    If the aim of Oriental fragrances is, as I imagine, to enhance sex-appeal and draw attention to one's sensuality, 'Fath' is a phenomenal success.

    Truly a landmark Oriental, appropriate for the cultured, full-fledged woman whose composure and elegance are part and parcel of -- rather than anachronistic to -- her sensuality.

    Best in Show.

    23 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 09 February, 2010)

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    Quartz by Molyneux

    'Quartz' is a wonderful, poetic, fruity-green chypre in the Roudnitska tradition.
    Though it is lighter than they are, it reminds me very much of 'Diorella' and 'Le Parfum de Therese': it has the same peachy, "watery" introduction and the same warm, soft-handbag-leather drydown.

    For the price, you cannot beat 'Quartz', and I promise, if you enjoy 'Le Parfum de Therese' but cannot afford it, 'Quartz' is a satisfactory surrogate.

    Brilliant. Another under-appreciated, five-star classic from Molyneaux.

    23 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 15 February, 2010)

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    Rose Cardin by Pierre Cardin

    Though "Rose" begins with a loud wash of cheesy, ironic, post-'new-wave' 'lollipops and 'Kool-Aid', it quickly simmers down to a complex and respectable, more-animalic chypre...a very good one, not unlike YSL's 'Y'.

    It reminds me of the San Francisco Victorian homes, which the first generations of 'Yuppies' painted day-glo peach and erected glass brick and mirror showers in...

    Sporting an essentially-insubstantial and actually-funny 'visage' of its era, but whose fundamentally "great bones" can and will redeem it and forever garner its admiration.

    This one is potent and lush, it smells great all day, and has mad sillage.

    While it is somewhat 'rosey' -- I guess -- I'd personally term it a 'musky chypre', and not a rose scent at all.

    I relish my little vintage bottle of it, with its massive dose of heavy-hitting, now-defunct ingredients; it feels to me like a little vial of gold, and I hope I can 'score' some more of this treasure soon.

    Wonderful stuff!

    23 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 12 February, 2010)

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    Bambou (original) by Weil

    I find 'Bambou' really satisfying; it does 'something' special for me -- something both nostalgic and comforting.

    It reminds me of chamomile bathing products -- the German ones my mother always bought, which were especially for children.

    Funnily, it also reminds me of 'cheap' cologne! Though not 'cheap', meaning sub-par, rather 'cheap' meaning "economical"; I am conjuring the variety, which Mexican markets sell -- usually in plastic splash-vials, that are both really soapy and "bracing". Do I need to mention it? -- the kind my Grandfather wore when I was small.

    For me the associations are charming, and I am so delighted to have met this refreshing, casual green scent.

    Finally, with a "clean", soapy, affordable, unisex classic out there of this obvious good-breeding and austerity, why would anyone waste their money on the pretentious, overblown, "just-showered" offerings of "Gendarme"...or "Clean"???

    Recommended!

    23 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 10th April, 2010)

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    Bleu by Paul & Joe

    This is a must-try for lovers of 'Shalimar', as it is an obvious homage. Where it differs, though, is in its relevance; 'Bleu' has a totally modern character, with a predominantly vanillic drydown, fruity zest, and a fairly accessible, not-too-civety, yet-still-"animal" sensuality.
    And while I cannot wear 'Shalimar', as I find it too conspicuous and overplayed, I could feel quite lovely and 'special' in 'Bleu'.
    I'd imagine it would be perfect for intimate occasions, and romantic evenings.

    Sumptuous!

    23 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 12 February, 2010)

    Flora's avatar
    Flora
    United States United States

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    Y by Yves Saint Laurent

    I really love this - I found a bottle of the EDT online for a very low price, and took a chance. It is fresh and animalic at the same time, a breezy type of chypre and very easy to wear. I then acquired a mini of the Parfum and wow, it's fabulous! My only complaint is that this fragrance does not last as long as one would expect from the style, but then it is not a heavy scent at all. Y is an easygoing chypre that would be a good introduction for someone who wanted to test drive the genre and was intimidated by the Jolie Madames and Cabochards of the perfume world. Oh, and one more complaint - it's discontinued!

    23 January, 2010

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    Late-Hit
    United States United States

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    Jaguar Prestige by Jaguar

    Overall, it seems like a pretty solid masculine to me. I didn't get spiciness or window cleaner... just your basic woody lemony leathery lavendery patchouli. The formula is not the least bit original, and most folks reading this have probably smelled a dozen like it. There isn't any cardamum, as far as I can tell, and thankfully there's no detectable coriander, either. And does anyone really believe in 'birch leaf' anyway?

    Oh, well. I got the 100 ml bottle for about 16 US cents per ml (you do the math!). I think this stuff is perfectly acceptable, and neither wimpy watery or ozone fresh. And the bottle is nice. Thumbs up for the discount store!

    23 January, 2010

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    perfumista
    United States United States

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    Oscar by Oscar de la Renta

    I have the vintage version of this and would probably sniff the new bottles before I repurchased to make sure that it was at least along the same lines. This is a very nice deep floriental which never fails to make me feel warm and sexy. I recently tried Oscar Red Satin at TJ Maxx and it is the same fragrance with spicy orange florals and aldehydes. I also tried the Summer 2008 version which I found to have very bitter citrus and light flowers on a non existent base.

    The original Oscar's notes via perfume.com :

    Top: basil, coriander, orange blossom
    Middle: jasmine, rose, tuberose, clove and myrrh
    Base: sandalwood, patchouli

    23 January, 2010

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    adonis
    United States United States

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    Bois du Portugal by Creed

    This is a quality fragrance. Don Draper smells like this. BDP is definitely of a different era. I'm surprised it was formulated in 1987. Don't buy it blind, but definitely try it.

    23 January, 2010

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    Diamondflame
    Singapore Singapore

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    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

    Ah, the 1980s, where 'big' is better. Big hair, big shoulder pads, big pants, even a Tom Hanks movie named 'Big'. Why not big perfumes? Indeed. For together with Antaeus, this is another lord of the perfume wilderness in the 1980s.

    If you can get past the outdatedly 'obnoxious' aldehydic opening and in-your-face sillage, the mossy leathery drydown is excellent, probably the only segment of the scent pyramid that survives time travel to thrive in the 21st century as a complete niched fragrance.

    23 January, 2010

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    Diamondflame
    Singapore Singapore

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    Rumeur (new) by Lanvin

    Ignore the orange blossom for it retires straight to the background almost from the get-go, leaving a softly indolic floral musk. Perhaps it is this lack of notable topnote sparklers that offers an impression of ‘heaviness’ for the scent itself wears lightly with a tenacity that belies its somewhat thin frame.

    I do not know how this modern update compares to the 1932 original but I feel Kurkdjian has done well enough to retain RUMEUR’s distinctively French heritage, complete with a vintage vibe but not quite the same classical chypre structure. Nevertheless, fans of discreet style of perfumes should find it enjoyable.

    Notes: magnolia, orange blossom, lily-of-the-valley, white rose, jasmine sambac, seringa, patchouli, musks, ambroxan.

    23 January, 2010

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    Diamondflame
    Singapore Singapore

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    Idole d'Armani by Giorgio Armani

    If I may add to the already excellent earlier reviews. When the notes ring clear and individually decipherable, that usually spells one word for me: synthetic. But synthetic only becomes a problem when a fragrance is poorly blended, or inarticulately rendered with flawed selections of complimentary accords.

    IDOLE D'ARMANI is evidently the work of a perfumer who has carefully avoided these pitfalls, offering a lush and enjoyable olfactory experience. But this mass market performer still has some ways to go before it acquires any mark of distinction, or some might say 'a soul'.

    23 January, 2010

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    SoGent
    United States United States

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    L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale

    I believe I have found my ultimate amber fragrance with this one. Prior to this Fiore d' Ambra held that title and will - of course - retain a place in the wardrobe.

    However, Ombre Fauve is what I was looking for all along. Slightly dry with a drier and understated vanilla, a touch of woods and musk - this one does not scream, it whispers.
    And what better way to be heard.

    The 'fur' note - as it has been called - lends its metallic, reinous incense tone to a slight progression. One that can be missed if we aren't paying attention.
    While writing this little ditty, I've decided that the wearer must 'step into' and WEAR this, not just spritz it here and there, lest IT wear the host and become lost in translation appearing inconsequential and mediocre.

    This one - to me - is furry sensuality and THAT deserves a spot on the top shelf. This one should - at the very least - be given a try.

    23 January, 2010

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    NillaGoon
    United States United States

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    Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Ugh. Talk all you want about leather, styrax, cedar, incense, and rose, but the net effect is of a toddler's diaper saturated with pee and having needed changing for several hours...perhaps with a slightly woody edge. This is the most explicitly urinous fragrance I have tried.

    I'm afraid I can't speak to the drydown as I couldn't make it past the 20 minute mark.

    23 January, 2010

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    Evangeline
    United States United States

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    Shaal Nur by Etro

    I'd read enough about Shaal Nur to know not to judge it by the somewhat harsh (and to my nose very masculine) citrus/herbal topnotes, and they faded pretty quickly anyway. Next up was a beautiful version of vintage Emeraude, but with the addition of some really nice incense making the composition a bit more exotic than Emeraude. I don't detect any of the herbal notes once the initial blast fades, and the spices are very soft. The vanilla is detectable but not obvious which is fine with me. It's clearly very well blended - I have a difficult time focusing on any one note for more than a moment. Overall, I'd call Shaal Nur a comfort scent, soft and warm and cuddly, but it's quite sultry....like black cashmere.

    It feels intimate to me, and it wears very close to the skin. I'm okay with that, but it fades much too quickly. I get woods and vetiver at one stage, and it reminds me of Chanel's Sycomore...that's a very good thing, but the longevity is so disappointing. It's only seems to last about an hour on me.

    I really like Shaal Nur. I find it very beautiful and alluring and even a bit mysterious. Despite it's fleeting nature, I give it a thumbs up.

    23 January, 2010

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    Evangeline
    United States United States

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    Safran Troublant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Safran Troublant seems so shy and tender at the start that I almost had it written off as pale and bland, but I gave it just a moment longer to warm up on my skin and I'm glad I did. It's very simple and straightforward - roses, saffron, vanilla, and sandalwood, but the blend is magical. This is an enormously comforting scent - cozy and delicious but not overly sweet, slightly exotic and mysterious but not weird or funky. The rose I smell is pink and perfect. And I love the silky, smooth sandalwood. The vanilla (never my favorite note) adds just enough creaminess to the saffron to keep the whole concoction from smelling like an entree...but I never mind smelling a bit like dessert!

    It must be the rose and sandalwood, but I find ST to be reminiscent of Ivoire de Balmain in the dry-down...but it's not green like Ivoire, and it's not nearly as dense. I can see enjoying ST in warmer months while I find Ivoire more suitable for cool weather.

    I think this might be the first fragrance from Olivia Giacobetti that I ever sampled, but from what I had read I expected no projection and no longevity. Well, I'm thrilled to report that the sillage is very nice, and it lasts much longer (4-5 hours) than I expected. Safran Troublant is wonderful! I feel quite posh wearing this subtle but sublime fragrance.

    23 January, 2010

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    JoeKorth
    United States United States

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    I love this fragrance. It's a great, straightforward, woody oriental. Long lasting. I can smell it on myself throughout the day but I wouldn't call it an extremely loud fragrance as far as sillage. It's a very dry scent which I like, many of the amber based men's fragrances can dry down to a very sweet cloying base, but this does not. An excellent, unique fragrance for a major fragrance house, so many designer colognes smell very similar these days, this one makes a strong break from the pack.

    23 January, 2010

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    Farmdogg


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    Corduroy by Zirh

    Fantastic scent, the tonka bean reminds me a lot of Armani Code. Has a bit of a weird synthetic alcohol top note, but fades quickly into the tonka bean, which stays for 6+ hours. Does not project well, but it only makes the girls want to come a bit closer for a better sniff :). A must have, especially for the price!

    23 January, 2010

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    zazz
    United States United States

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    360 Degrees for Men by Perry Ellis

    i love this scent. very fresh and citrusy. can be a bit harsh and synthetic on top notes but i always feel very comfortable wearing this fragrance.

    23 January, 2010

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    zazz
    United States United States

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    Cuba Gold by Cuba Paris

    Like most have said, sort of a sweeter version of Le Male with tobacco notes and a nice woodsy/smokey dry down. not bad for the price, lasts quite a while. one spray on my wrist is still subtly noticeable 10 hours later. good alternative to Le Male, but obviously not for you if you hate le male or sweeter fragrances

    23 January, 2010

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    innana88


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    Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

    Eau de Gentiane Blanche is a surprise and a delight every time I take a whiff of it. The top notes seem citrus-like at first. The opening is sharp and bright and reviving, but beneath that is the warmth of the musk and incense, which develops beautifully. It is simple, it works, and I simply can't get enough of it. I agree that the scent gets stronger as the day goes on and also that the sillage is minimal. On my dry skin, this has wonderful longevity. I can even smell the base notes on my skin the next day. Granted, the top notes fade quickly, but the base is fabulous and lasts and lasts. This is not at all the usual kind of fragrance for me (my favorite scent has been Givenchy Organza Indecence, which was sadly discontinued), but I'm absolutely hooked, so much so that when I dropped a brand-new bottle, I had to rush out and replace it.

    I love this fragrance because it is so unexpected. If you like very traditional and safe fragrances, this probably isn't for you. There's nothing sweet about Eau de Gentiane Blanche. It is clean, yet earthy; simple, yet deep. The absence of sweetness speaks volumes and is precisely why I love it.

    23 January, 2010

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    Black Mask
    United States United States

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

    Chanel's Pour Monsieur as currently formulated (2010) is the subtle younger brother to Tiffany for Men. Chanel's PM has considerably less sillage, and never strays far from the skin. Unlike Tiffany, which never moves quickly or far from its foundational accord, CPM opens with an elegant citrus alert which quickly subsides to release a warm array of subdued spicy notes over a mid range and bottom accord that smells almost identical at a much lower volume to Tiffany for Men.

    Both fragrances are elegant, and finely made under the masterful care of Jacques Polges. Both fragrances are perfectly polite, but Tiffany can become aggressive if too much is applied. CPM, which is more agile but fainter, probably cannot be over applied, and it does lingers quietly with very intimate sillage.

    If CPM were more powerful I would prefer it. Though I wish it spoke more loudly, others praise it for being so discreet. Elegant, and friendly. A rare combination.

    I give CPM my highest recommendation, but I do not wear this fragrance. I am not enamored of its basenote resonance or the way it dries down without evolution as if fading on the wind. I prefer the dry down and basenotes of other perfumers, for example most of Guerlain, and especially Knize Ten, Kolnisch Juchten, and Elsha 1776. The fact that these other fragrances may have nothing in common with Chanel Pour Monsieur in fragrance catefgory, or head and heart notes is irrelelvant. If you do not enjoy the final, lingering smell of your fragrance, there is little sense in wearing it.

    But I recognize the artistry, and discreet elegance of this creation, and know it ight be the avid favorite of other lovers of fine fragrance.

    23 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 12 April, 2011)

    ComDiva's avatar
    ComDiva
    United States United States

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    Embruns d'Ambre by Stéphanie de Saint-Aignan

    Embruns d'Ambre is an unusual warm-weather amber, lightened by the absence of sweet back-up notes and the sharpness of lemon and "ocean" notes, which to me come across as salt and sand/silt. The lemon-ocean combination is sometimes reminiscent of citrus-flavored baby aspirin, but I happen to like that smell, and the whole scent is anchored in deliciously resinous amber. Lovely.

    24 January, 2010

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    ComDiva
    United States United States

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    Gaiac 10 by Le Labo

    To me, Gaiac 10 is a clear and clean wood scent reminiscent of the best of Mark Buxton's wood-heavy fragrances - I adore the fact that the wood notes come through so strongly but also seem rain-drenched somehow, rather than dry. There is also sweet musc at the base that rounds and softens the fragrance. Minimalist in the best sense of the word - nothing extra, but complete in and of itself.

    24 January, 2010

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    JaimeB
    United States United States

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    24, Faubourg by Hermès

    This is a beautiful floral oriental in the grand style. The citrus and peach in the top combine with prominent florals to open the scent. In the heart, the rich and slightly animalic orange blossom is at the center of a bouquet whose richness is somewhat tempered by orris and black elder. The oriental base is given a bit more force by the addition of patchouli to the gentler oriental notes. The first impression is rather stereotypically "feminine," but the emergence of the oriental notes and the depth the whole ensemble is more suitable as a shared scent after the first half-hour or so. Sillage and longevity are both good.

    24 January, 2010

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    scentsitivity
    United States United States

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    Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

    A salty citrus that I find easier to wear than AG’s Eau d’Hadrien, but it fails to captivate me.

    24 January, 2010

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    scentsitivity
    United States United States

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    Vanille Extasy by Montale

    This vanilla has significant floral and fruity overtones. I think it would wear better on a lady. But it wouldn’t be my first choice. Of the Montale vanillas, I prefer the Absolu.

    24 January, 2010

    pablo's avatar
    pablo
    Mexico Mexico

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    Black XS by Paco Rabanne

    its funny how fragance can work differently on each wearer...

    on me this is light blue reloaded...

    on my dad ...smells awesome!!

    my dad's choice...and he will be 70 this year... what are the odds???

    24 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 19 March, 2010)

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    SirSlarty
    United States United States

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    Enjoy by Jean Patou

    A synthetic fruity floral mess. Too bright, astringent... rose and a cloying musk in the drydown makes Enjoy not so enjoyable. I really don't like it.

    24 January, 2010

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    SirSlarty
    United States United States

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    Torrente by Torrente

    A spicy floral woody. Starts with a sharp, spicy carnation and dries down into a animalic accord. The drydown very much reminds me somewhat of Kouros's woody drydown but with carnation and other florals added. interesting but I somehow feel like I've smelled something similar in the "classic" women's perfumery sense. Bellodgia by Caron comes to mind... Anyways, lasts a very long time and with a small application gives off great sillage. In fact, the sillage smells "laundry fresh clean" from a distance.

    24 January, 2010

    Showing 751 to 780 of 1092.