Fragrance Reviews from January 2010

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    asingleman's avatar



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    Japon Noir by Tom Ford

    CdG Kyoto with lots of skank and very strong. I'm giving it a thumbs up in the hope I learn to love this perfume! I'm tryin'!

    08th January, 2010

    CyberGuy's avatar



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    Havana by Aramis

    I'm not a daily cologne wearer until very recently. The reason is because most colognes smell very synthetic to me. My wife normally buys me a bottle of something or another every year for Christmas, so I have about 10 bottles now, but I tend to only wear them when we got out in the evenings. The only one she bought me that I even really like was the Tommy Bahama for Men. I did wear this one to work a few times, but it still smells synthetic to me. I also sample a new cologne at Sephora every time we go to the mall, normally finding myself washing it off as soon as I get home.

    Then I tried Aramis Havana based on reviews here. I do not have a refined nose for scents, so I won't even try to describe the notes I'm smelling. My first impression was the same, very synthetic. But after the top notes evaporated and the mid notes kicked in, it started smelling much better. After a couple of hours, this stuff is fantastic! No synthetic smell at all at this point. Just a very nice leathery, flavored tobacco scent which is very smooth like a fine bourbon. Like kbe stated already: "a long, slowly evolving glow of multilayered spice, incense, tobacco, dried fruit radiates from the skin. Almost edible at this stage." I have been wearing this every day for the past 6 weeks and it seems to getter better every day. I get compliments on this all the time too. If you're looking for a very natural smelling masculine cologne, you must give this a try.

    I noticed that this scent really changes depending upon the application process. If I spray sparingly, and let it dry on my skin before clothing, I do get that smoker smell people describe. If I spray liberally and let some fluid absorb into my clothing, it can become overpowering. The best results I get are by spraying liberally and letting the fluid dry before putting on my shirt. This is definitely my favorite frag!

    08th January, 2010 (Last Edited: 28th February, 2010)

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Neroli by Czech & Speake

    This is a marvelous, natural, and extremely floral neroli spruced up by indoles and the exotic ylang. The opening boasts of pure orange with woody neroli. The heart is composed of a natural indolic orange blossom that mimics evening jasmine. Finally, the short-lived ylang accord appears and disappears. Wonderful, natural, and pricey.

    EDIT: There is a synthetic off note that appears on heavy application that is somewhat rubbery/metallic. Still very good and one of the best pure nerolis available. No one is perfect not even Czech & Speake alas.

    08th January, 2010 (Last Edited: 28th November, 2010)

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Absinth by Nasomatto

    Green, earthy, herbal, slightly musky (not in the perfumer's sense, but rather, a bit raw and unwashed). This is "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma," to quote the words of Winston Churchill referring the Soviet Union, uttered in 1939. Nasomatto fragrances doesn't reveal the notes in their formulations, so we pikers have to put our heads together and come up with a best guess among us. Alessandro Gualtieri, the nose of Nasomatto (whose name, incidentally is Italian for "crazy nose"), searches out deeply redolent notes to combine and contrast in ways designed to mislead the nose, one feels; but misleading here means intriguing as well. Absinth is evocative of the liqueur of the same name, but through the rather raw and earthy note of wormwood instead of the usual, anise or fennel note that many of us associate with pastis, the modern, sanitized version of the drink whose effects are depicted in Edgar Degas' painting L'Absinthe. The perfume (and Nasomatto creations are perfumes in terms of concentration) has an elusive element to it, a fleeting, now-you-smell-it-now-you-don't kind of salty vetiver feel. Intriguing, a tad mysterious, evocative of something just out of the reach of memory: remembered... or imagined... or both?

    09th January, 2010

    Stereotomy's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Vocalise by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Fruity floral with winegum aspects. Nice if you like fruity florals and have the snobbery to go to niche for that.

    Depending on how pretty a girl is, I'd hit Vocalises.

    09th January, 2010

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Joop! Go Electric Heat by Joop!

    Very nice, and at $10.00 for a 100 ml bottle, very nice indeed. It is not as sweet as other characterize it. It is an understated creamy and fresh accord with woody and bright overtones. It can be worn by anyone, in my opinion. One of the silhouettes on the bottle is very androgynous, so it is open to interpretation, but who cares, it is all about the scent anyway. Worth the price.

    09th January, 2010 (Last Edited: 06th March, 2010)

    Gaz00's avatar



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    Karma by Gorilla Perfume [Lush]

    I wanted to like this but HATE IT!!! I guess its one that you either love or hate. The patchouli & pine overrides the fragrance and it is nauseating. This is nothing like Shalimar-they are 2 different scents,...shalimar i don't like much either but not as much as i hate karma. I have a full bottle sitting here, can't even use it, such a waste. This is one to try before you buy, i got mine as a gift....i will be giving this away as a gift also.

    Downside: Nauseating scent, too strong.

    Upside: Lasts ages and ages, even after washing i can still smell it......which leads me back to being nauseous!

    09th January, 2010

    Gaz00's avatar



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    Monsoon (new) by Monsoon

    This is just beautiful!!! very surprising find, i wish it was an EDP to last longer, having said that the staying power is not too bad, just not like an EDP obviously. Its such a unique scent, musky, with jasmine, slightly powdery and then smells like indian incense in a far away place, somewhere exotic. Gorgeous fragrance, i will be stocking up on these seeing as they are on offer at the moment.

    09th January, 2010

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Ambre Noir by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Step aside, Ambre Sultan. This town ain't big enough for the two of us...

    The first whiff recalls the dark and brooding feel of Annick Goutal’s Sables, almost like walking into a dingy Western bar after a deadly shootout, the air redolent of gunsmoke, dusty woods and tanned leather. But where Sables gets syrupish with immortelle, AMBRE NOIR gets dusky, leaning heavily on labdanum’s complex symphony of balsamic, earthy, woody and mossy notes, and reinforcing each note with its scent counterpart in myrrh, vetiver, patchouli, frankincense, cedarwood and oakmoss. Forming a mildly sweet leathery base is the trio of amber, sandalwood and castoreum.

    Fans of densely sweet amber should still give Ambre Noir a try even if it is less of an amber but more of a dark ambery incense with mossy/leathery undertones. Sillage and longevity are both excellent.


    Notes: labdanum absolute, amber, rose, olibanum, myrrh, vetiver, oakmoss absolute, aged Indian patchouli, Texas cedarwood, sandalwood, castoreum

    09th January, 2010

    angewl's avatar



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    L by Lolita Lempicka

    oh man do i love this scent. i just got a sample and i was like "this is the hippie store scent i've been looking for. Theasylph couldn't have described it better. it definitely reminds me of nag champa incense. so wonderful. =) i'm going to have to buy the full bottle

    09th January, 2010

    Sabres21768's avatar



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    Agua de Loewe by Loewe

    AMAZING scent!

    Really much better than Issey. Not as flowery and incredibly fresh and clean.

    PERFECT for summer and a definate attention getter.

    09th January, 2010

    Sabres21768's avatar



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    Just Me for Men by Paris Hilton

    A really great, inexpensive scent.

    There's a bit of "woodiness" in the opening that I'm not fond of. But that fades quickly.

    The drydown is VERY nice.

    Definately a "younger" scent though.

    09th January, 2010

    minervaK's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sortilège by Long Lost Perfume

    I recently got a vintage bottle of Sortilege parfum de toilette and I am liking it. It is very mild, and has a soft 'sugary' smell -- not powdery, but sweet. It reminds me a little of cake, so perhaps there's a vanilla note, but it's not obvious. I think this is a nice, feminine day fragrance.

    09th January, 2010

    msm4slm's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    We cannot have a discussion of No, 5 without memories! This was the perfume my mother loved, my aunt hated and I have now come to love. It is so distinct, the essence of elegance and feminity which transcends the generations.

    I have a small bottle of pure parfum which has lasted several years. It is not my signature scent; alas, Chanel is so distinct it puts its signature on the wearer rather than the reverse.

    09th January, 2010

    msm4slm's avatar

    United States United States

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    Spring Flower by Creed

    I second the "I like Spring Flower, with an emphasis on "like" response. I bought several sample vials from ebay. There are soooo many perfumes of this genre, and despite its price and prestige, this is nothing special or bottle worthy for me (but fun trying though! :-)

    09th January, 2010

    msm4slm's avatar

    United States United States

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    First by Van Cleef & Arpels

    A very well-done floral. I feel it is somewhere between Chanel No, 5 and YSL Rive Gauche. It is very elegant. Overall, I give it a thumbs up though generally when I want to evoke this type of feeling I go to the No. 5 parfum which smells better on me at least.

    09th January, 2010

    Gauloise's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gauloise by Molyneux

    While it is a floral, it has a musky sensuality to it as well. It has 'legs' too, lasting for several hours as the scent evlolves Every time I wear this I get stopped by both men and women asking me what fragrance I'm wearing. I can tell you the men definitely love it on me when I wear it!

    09th January, 2010

    Gauloise's avatar

    United States United States

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    Emotions by Rancé

    This is a sensual fragrance which could best be described as floral/spice.

    09th January, 2010

    ordinary_guy's avatar



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    Carlos Santana for Men by Carlos Santana

    Two thumbs up.
    This one is great start to finish.
    Lasts forever.

    09th January, 2010

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royal English Leather by Creed

    ROYAL ENGLISH LEATHER

    I understand that it may be difficult to enjoy Royal English Leather with current fashions in mind. To understand REL, one must travel back to the year of its creation—1781—imaging for but a moment what the world was like and most importantly, what the world valued in a perfume. Royal English Leather is patterned after the potion originally used to scent the gloves of King George III (I say patterned because no Creed fragrances really predate 1970 despite antiquated years of release). REL features notes that would have appealed tremendously to the Georgian aristocracy of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It not as much of a fragrance as it is an allegory. The opening is mandarin orange and bergamot, the heart of jasmine and ambergris, and a base of Mysore Sandalwood, oakmoss, and leather. Royal English Leather is a gem and should be applied sparingly as it is quite strong.

    09th January, 2010 (Last Edited: 14th December, 2011)

    Eliza's avatar

    United States United States

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    Coco by Chanel

    I wore this 20 some years ago , but it changed. It's stronger but in a negative way for me. I'm not happy when I wear this. It smothers me and makes me sad and I don't know why. My husband shelled out 60.00 for it as a present and I could not tell him I didn't like it... There is a secret to this although, spray lightly. As colors have different hues and shades, so does perfume and this is not a pastel! It's a dark hue.

    10th January, 2010

    Eliza's avatar

    United States United States

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    Patchouli Leaves by Montale

    I'll tell you what I got with wearing this- old book pages in a library vanilla and I loved it. I'm going to own this some day (I hope). I sit down on the sofa and wear this as I read a book and it's so comforting to me. Funny thing how some different perfumes evoke different states of minds. This one makes me feel comfortable and it's a fragrance unlike any of the floral ones. I just love it as it does remind me of autumn.

    OK, now that I own it... the first 6 minutes are hard to get through, since something in there doesn't smell pretty. If I'm patient, it unfolds into something I like to wear. I can really smell this one on me. It's that vanilla ( I think) kind of a mustiness goodness.

    10th January, 2010 (Last Edited: 08th March, 2010)

    Eliza's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio

    It's so reasonably priced (as of last year 09) and I wanted some tobacco scent on my vanity table, so I got a sample. The sample was great. I bought it and realized a little goes a long way and I'm one for the more the better, not so with Tabac Aurea. It is strong, but some days you need a switch from your other perfumes and you reach for this one. I wish there was something else in the bottle along with all the tabac smell. Maybe lavender or hay and citrus, I don't know... it needs something powdery to complete it.

    10th January, 2010

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Abercrombie & Fitch Woods by Abercrombie & Fitch

    I don't get why this sells for an arm and a leg on eBay. It is nothing special at all. If oyu are buying for your own use, DON'T waste your money. If you can score one for cheap to sell and make a good profit, sure, go for it.

    It smells like a super cleaned up Drakkar Noir. It ventures in to the territory of Gucci Nobile, but there is so much more out there that smells alike, that it simply isn't worth the money being asked nowadays. Someone mentioned an alternative, I will offer one as well: Jivago Connect. And it is MUCH better too...stronger and last longer.

    10th January, 2010

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Jean Luc Amsler Homme by Jean Luc Amsler

    The packaging on this is striking enough for me to write about it first. It comes in a round tin can if you get the deo with it. The fragrance itself is in a bottle upside down in a plastic cap. Certainly strange, but I commend their originality.

    Now the scent....a green and sensual vetiver scent, recollects Vetiver Lanvin, Jaguar Performance, Bobby Jones and Yves Rocher Nature Homme. It is quality as it lasts for about 6 hrs. Good for office wear or a bright spring day. THumbs up? Yes, but kinda reluctant...even if it was well marketed, it still would not be popular.

    10th January, 2010

    Oldspice's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo by Ralph Lauren

    I never thought I would even try this one but I've been exploring more classic fragrances lately and thought I would give it a go after seeing all the praise for it.

    It certainly is an in-your-face, aggressive, silliage monster type - I would stick to 1 or maybe 2 sprays. I thought the pine and foresty top notes were nice but they didn't stick around long at all. What I was left with smelled very similar to Dior Fahrenheit to me. Fahrenheit, to me, smells like cheap, manly soap mixed with the strange gasoline/motor oil notes and Polo feels the same to me with less of the petroleum suggestion.

    Loud, obnoxious, overtly masculine. I didn't find it to be offensive but it's not for me.

    10th January, 2010

    Oldspice's avatar

    United States United States

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    XS pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    I tried this one because of the comparison to Platinum Egoiste, which I enjoy.

    This is one I will keep in my rotation. It's not especially complex. My untrained nose does not detect the mint topnote that others describe. Overall it's a clean, fresh scent that I don't tire of. Longevity is good on me, 6-8 hours. Sillage is also good - its presence is detectable but I don't see this offending anyone with a sensitive nose so it's a safe fragrance for office/daytime wear. I never regret putting this on. The bargain price tag is also a plus.

    10th January, 2010

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau France by Molinard

    I shall dissent on this one. This is a lemon candy powered eau de cologne at its finest or perhaps worst depending on how you look at it. The opening is a powdery lemonade with some synthetic herbs and that is about it. Unless you really need a big bottle of cologne for cheap, you could do better, much better. If one seeks a similar, but much better concoction, may I suggest Guerlain's Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat.

    10th January, 2010

    saxifrage's avatar

    United States United States

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    Windsor by Creed

    The main attraction on this one is that it's, of course Private Collection Creed, which means it comes with the enormous flacon. That's fine if you want to marinate in the fragrance, I suppose, or make a side business selling decants, but it also comes with the hefty pricetag because you're buying a huge jug of the stuff. But Windsor has set new heights in exorbitant excess: $600 for the flacon. $400 for a 1.7 oz/50mL atomizer, that is of course one of the leather ones. So subtract the price of the fancy leather atomizer that Creed puts out, and you have $250 for 50 mL of juice.

    So I got a decant and played around with it for a week.

    Is it bad? Absolutely not. To Creed's benefit, it doesn't have that characteristic musk/ambergris note seen in so many of the modern Millesimes that, to me, smells like a mixture of artificial watermelon and mosquito repellent.

    Does it have reasonable sillage/longevity? It's definitely better than most other Creeds I've worn.

    But is it really worth it? Not in my opinion. If anything, it's minty/evergreen roses with a twinge of eucalyptus. I find it to have little more than that. A friend that smelled it on me said I smelled like Coty's Sand and Sable. I can see that, after the fact, albeit Windsor is rosier and darker. I could also maybe even ever-so-slightly compare it to L'Artisan's Chasse Aux Papillons Extreme, but much powdier/rosier and lacking in the citrus. I think the Sand and Sable bit comes from an unusual tropical twang in there somewhere that is reminiscent of coconuts. Of course YMMV, but I don't find the mixture to be all that great, and for this price, good grief. I could buy 3 big bottles of expensive niche fragrance that I'll actually enjoy wearing. Or many, many bottles of Sand and Sable mixed with rosewater.

    10th January, 2010 (Last Edited: 05th March, 2010)

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hope by Frances Denney

    This review is for vintage Hope.

    If have to say so myself, even as a young girl of 12 I had the heart of a perfumista. The first scent of my own that my mother gave me was Frances Denney's HOPE. I loved it and even though I was only a pre-teen, when I first smelled Hope I had that feeling of déjà vu or being transported to some other time, even though I had not yet lived enough life to have experienced any other time or place. As years passed I became more interested in the bottles that perfumes came in than the perfumes themselves, but I still chose "signature scents" along my journey to adulthood that seemed to serve as a kind of budding perfumista rites of passage. After I moved on from Hope there was Bakir, then YSL’s Opium, then Habanita. By then I was in my late teens.

    However, even with all of the wonderful fragrances I experienced over the years, Hope was always in the back of my mind, haunting me. I would often think back to the time when, as a young girl I stood on the slate steps in front of my house watching the sun set. I had just applied a bit of Hope to my neck and had caught a whiff of it in the warm, late evening breeze. As years passed I would remember that moment and the sweet floral/Oriental richness of Hope. I often wondered if I ever got the chance to smell it again, would it be as wonderful as I remembered it to be.

    Curiosity got the best of me, so last week I searched Ebay for vintage Hope, not wanting to risk being disappointed by one of the many new and possibly reformulated-to-death bottles available all over the internet. What I found was a vintage bottle with a completely glass stopper that contained what remained of ½ an ounce of Hope pure parfum that was dark as tea. Apparently, no one else was interested, so I bid and won. I received the bottle a couple of days later. As I unwrapped it from its 2 inch thick cocoon of bubble and Saran wrap, I could faintly smell it and my heart started pounding as I thought of how I was finally holding the smell of my childhood (and the seed of my perfume obsession) in my hands at the age of 51. When I finally reached the bottle and opened it, I swooned. Hope was better than I remembered and I suddenly realized that I had come full circle because every perfume that I have adored in these many years of perfume collecting (Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, L’Heure Bleue, and many more) was influenced by that first perfume experience.

    10th January, 2010

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