Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 147418

Roberto Cavalli Uomo by Roberto Cavalli

Not seeing any cardamom listed but this seems like a serviceable La Nuit stand-in and maybe closer to Bvlgari Man in Black.

I do get the honey note. It's not the featured note or even loud enough to reference this as a honey-frag, but it's there.

Projection is average but longevity is good, lasts all workday.
19th October, 2018

Bel Respiro Eau de Parfum by Chanel

This is a major reformulation from the edt, and not for the better. It might have a more naturally sweet smell to some of the floral notes, but the character of the fragrance has gone from alluring suede to more of a shampoo and shower gel smell.

Bel Respiro edt smelled like a fragrance for adults, a woman or an especially interesting man. The edp smells like a fragrance for girls, completely appropriate for pre-teens, like something from a shampoo and body wash shop in the mall. Among fragrances of that style, I think this one is nice and well done.

As it develops into the mid, it starts to smell more like Bel Respiro edt, while still retaining the youthful bath product vibe.

About being a supposedly stronger concentration as an edp compared to the edt: it does feel strong in the opening, but I get better longevity from the discontinued edt, which sticks around longer as a skin scent.

Overall, I'm giving this a thumbs up, but it's a step backwards compared to the edt, and it begs the question, "Why?"

Why has a company with Chanel's resources changed a fragrance from their exclusive line for the worse, while raising the price?
18th October, 2018 (last edited: 19th October, 2018)

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Musc Ravageur (2000) is an interesting and very successful attempt at making musk without a typical white musk molecule, removing the "laundry" aspect of most modern musks and creating something oriental, fatty, and animalic like the musks of old. Having smelled deer musk, this is by no means that kind of smell via vegetal proxy, but it is a wonderfully sensual musk in it's own right, full of the power and performance all the "beastmode" power fragrance fans crave. Due to it's very nature, Musc Ravageur leans very much male, despite being genderless in composition, and this is due to sociological conventions. The average self-identified CISHET woman would likely find Musc Ravageur too rich, overtly-sexual, and lacking subtlety; that's not to say there aren't some ladies who love headstrong fragrances (they were the rage in the 70's and 80's, with fragrance gender lines blissfully blurred then because of it), but on average, strait guys looking to troll for dates at clubs and bars seem the likeliest purchasers of Musc Ravageur. The biggest obstacle to this being made reality however, is the prestige price point of the average Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle composition, which rival Creed at MSRP and keep Musc Ravageur out of all but the most exclusive night clubs. The notoriety of Musc Ravageur also is a bit undeserved, as it's not the horniest animal in the woods, with stuff like Kiehl's Original Musk (1963) or Serge Lutens Muscs Koublaï Khän (1998) flogging it senseless in the virility department, for those who care about such things.

It's probably for the best that only the "upward mobility" segment would dare drop cash for this, because I can see Musc Ravageur becoming suffocating in the way Jovan Musk for Men (1973) used to be due to it's former ubiquity in social settings, and making it a pricey rare bird instead ensures it's always a pleasant, if provocative, surprise when encountered. Technically speaking, Musc Ravageur is an oriental, and not a musk, since it contains none, but the immense impression of musk it leaves is far better than most things containing the molecule. Lavender and bergamot are very expectantly the top here, but in moments they give way to a huge clove and cinnamon tandem that is the heart and shapes the rest of the experience. If you don't like either of these in abundance, then Musc Ravageur is not for you. Heaps of vanilla and tonka in the base do the rest to shape the "musk" accord of Musc Ravageur, flanked by woods like cedar and sandal to dry it up just enough to keep it from smelling like dessert, which it almost does anyway. Gaiac wood and linalool add the final touch of woodsy floral spiciness which "browns out" the dry down of Musc Ravageur to an aura of thick bakery spice and sweat combined with an aromatic untreated wood finish. Sillage and projection are on levels you'd need Neil DeGrasse Tyson to figure out, and longevity is "until you wash it off" levels of good. I'm saying all this from just 2 sprays, so if nothing else, Musc Ravageur may actually be worth it's price just for sheer performance, and A 100ml/3.4oz bottle of this should provide a lifetime of bakery meets jock strap next to a lumber yard.

I like Musc Ravageur, but like most scents in this category, I don't see myself aligning with the Type-A personality and blunt intent needed to enjoy what this offers more than one or twice a year, meaning that for me, this isn't a full bottle purchase. I do give this a thumbs-up as one of the better musks in the game (even if it doesn't contain a musk molecule), and certainly one of the few Frédéric Malle releases that doesn't feel like an outright fleecing for its price tag, since performance is even greater than what Creed ambergris bases usually offer, with a drydown of spice-laden vanilla and tonka that never ends. Penhaligon's Endymion (2003) would offer a lighter, more manageable version of this experience, with much less projection and more finite lifespan, at less than half the cost to boot, so if you feel Musc Ravageur is a bit much, that is the route to take. As for everyone else, if you're looking for a sweaty, over-the-top creamy oriental goulash parading around as a funky musk, this dog will hunt, just be kind with your sprays, as a little goes a very long way. Keep this one to winter time and do not torture your coworkers by showing up to the office smelling like a musky husky pretty please, although if you work outside, I guess it's okay to wear, I just definitely see this as a fragrance meant to help you "score". Some say original 2000 vintage is even stronger than the new production I'm smelling, and that's a legend I frankly don't want to test. Hats off to Maurice Roucel, you got us real good with this one, and you would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids and their dog.
18th October, 2018
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Bel Respiro Eau de Toilette by Chanel

I agree with the reviewers below who mentioned a likeness to Chanel No. 19, and I agree with the suede texture Darvant describes. I also agree that this smells like Chanel's take on a perfume style released by a host of other houses, yet it does smell like a Chanel to me. Beige comes to mind as a relative of Bel Respiro.

I get a touch of powder, as someone mentioned below.

Do I agree that it smells like a green, aquatic floral? There's something to that description in the opening, but in less than half an hour, it's more like something like Beige. It's a beautiful, alluring fragrance. I think it leans feminine, but that could make it all the more interesting on the right man.
18th October, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Carita by Carita

This is a floral creation from the beginning: jasmine is in the foreground, initially freshened up by a good splash of bergamot and other heliotrope sparks.

In the drydown, a rose impression develops that is on the light-hearted side, with iris continuing the lighter feel, whilst a slightly more pensive iris hints at a more somber side. The sweetness is very balanced so far.

The base turns into sweeter directions, courtesy of a tonka note that is touched up with white musks. Still, this is never a cloying affair.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant spring scent, not very original but crafted carefully and with skill. 3/5.
18th October, 2018

O, Unknown! by Imaginary Authors

I do get some of the tea and musk but the main note that keeps coming through is a lipstick or makeup note, much more feminine than Dior Homme or other iris-centric men's scents. For that reason, I believe this leans more feminine.

Sneaky-good projection. One minute you think it’s gone and then you get a strong hit of it. This lasted into the 6-7 hour range on me.
18th October, 2018

Mūsīqá Oud by Nishane

Nishane Musiqa Oud is a great powdery/woody neo chypre accord with talky-aromatic, spicy-incensey, oudish-animalic, woodsy-resinous, ambery and dry pencil shavings accents, like for an ideal mix of L'Artisan Parfumeur All Oudh, Tauer L'Air du Desert Marocain, MPeG Parfum d'Habit, Etro Patchouli, Shiseido Basala and Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche (Montale Blu Amber jumps vaguely on mind as well). Opening is wet, intoxicating, dry woody (elements of dryness counteracting the spicy/fruity "wetness"), fruity and spicy incensey, an aromatic tornado quite inebriating and dangerous. A dry bold patchouli "kings up" the general powdery woodsy atmosphere rich of piquant aromatic spices, amber, resins, thirsty woods and oudh. Dry down is soapy-neutral, opaque and animalic. A dry woody/talky bliss, bold and charismatic from this interesting turkish perfum-house. Super tenacious. Recommended for the genre's lovers.
17th October, 2018 (last edited: 18th October, 2018)

Perfume Calligraphy Rose by Aramis

Aramis Perfume Calligraphy (2012) was apparently popular enough to spawn not one, but two flankers simultaneously the following year, or maybe Estée Lauder was just desperate to generate appeal in the Middle East that they pushed out an entire line with unproven returns. Whatever the case may be, we received Perfume Calligraphy Saffron (2013) by the same perfumer as the original, and Perfume Calligraphy Rose (2013) with the nose of Trudi Loren at the helm. Trudi had worked on an Aromatics Elixer Sheer Velvet Philtre Sensuel (2006), so she knew her way around rose perhaps better than Clement Gavarry did on the original, since he buried both the synthetic oud and rose of the first Perfume Calligraphy in so much amber and patchouli that it takes some digging to separate them out. Trudi Loren doesn't even try to make a rose oud tandem with synthetic oud, but instead takes a more honest approach to a westernized version of a Middle-Eastern perfume by just capturing the feeling with Western ingredients, which makes Aramis Calligraphy Rose both smell better than the original, and ironically smell more authentic. Rose is the star of the show here, and it's both front and center for the duration of the wear. However, this is no sweet Damask rose, but a rich, visceral, almost beautifully dark Turkish rose absolute softened with a supporting cast, and feels like a warmer, slightly more approachable take on the niche Ex Idolo 33 (2013) which actually launched concurrently with this.

Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose opens immediately with that dark Turkish rose, flanked by a saffron honeysuckle glaze which sweetens it like a much more brooding take on the rosewater they sometimes use for macaroons or icing. This opening glaze doesn't hang around long, as the gothic rose bounds through it like a pro wrestler given an extra shot of steroids, carrying oregano and myrrh in each swollen arm to spice up the opening so it feels slightly pasty. There might be a slight peck of the synthetic oud here, as I get a brief barnyard feeling I didn't get with the original Perfume Calligraphy, but it's gone once the very round French lavender and labadanum come into play. Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose plays far more animalic regardless of whether there's an oud note just because of the styrax and fatty yellow musk that's in the base. An ambergris note of probably synthetic origin gives me faint impressions of Creed also comes and goes, but it's no amber composite nor ambroxan, as it isn't overly caramelized or sweet like either of them. Olibdanum provides the final anchor here, and the dry down continues to provide warm, pasty, dark rose which draws comparisons both to the aforementioned Ex Idolo and Frédéric Malle's Portrait of a Lady (2010), sitting somewhere between them. Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose behaves more like a Western perfume than the original, keeping it's projection modest, but a smaller, tighter sillage sphere which is more intense and longer-lasting. Performance is outstanding and Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose will work all day, even if it's Moulin Rouge-meets-Marrakesh smell is indeed anything but work-safe.

What we get here is entirely unlike the noble but muddled pandering that is the original Perfume Calligraphy, which was fascinating to the point of enjoyable because of it's compromises. Rather than that, we have a rapturous, mysterious, alluring, heady rose bouquet commanding of one's attention. This is a rose which feels at home both in an ancient temple or a modern BDSM club that fits better on a man but also works on a woman familiar with shiny latex or Fifty Shades of Grey. I'd keep this to evening use, but even then, you're going to make an entrance to rival Batman if you show up on a blind date drenched in this, so it's not appropriate for your first meeting with a new interest. I'm a rose fan so this is best of the Perfume Calligraphy line to me, but unlike the first, it's distribution in North America wasn't wide so you'll have to go online unless you have a Bergdorf Goodman handy, which is the only US chain that had it. Besides, who wants to pay its niche MSRP when discounters can sell this for a third of that? Thumbs up for another quirky East/West hybrid that offers one of the best values in this particular niche of dark, saturated rose. Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose still doesn't beat Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987) in terms of grim determination, but little else can these days without the help of animalics and oakmoss, and that's a strict no-no. If you haven't checked out the original Perfume Calligraphy, it isn't necessary to enjoy this, as they don't share anything outside a few parts-bin fixatives and house captives; if Western hot takes on oud aren't your thing, it's best you start with this little gem anyway. Easily one of my favorite takes on the rose. Very well done.
17th October, 2018

Love In White by Creed

Lovely "white" bouquet of bright florals (mostly jasmine, talky iris and elegant magnolia), soapy/poudree balsams, orange blossoms and diaphane resins. The general Love in White's atmosphere is musky and remotely gourmandish. Dry down is almost yummy. Finally sandalwood takes the stage, kind of rosey, vaguely nutty-creamy, orangy and musky. A vaguely nostalgic fragrance. Not that kind of structure or complexity, this fragrance smells like a sort of classic (far) relative of a more modern-chic Costume National 21. Unisex.
17th October, 2018

Vibrant Leather by Zara

Very crisp, fruity smell in the opening that also has some of the leather and smoke elements as an Aventus clone should. The opening is probably the closest to Aventus of all the clones I've tried. It does have a quality smell to it, I'm quite impressed.

Projection isn't amazing but it is pretty good while it lasts. That would be my only big complaint that it lasts 3-4 hours on my skin with normal sprays. I'd go big on extra sprays on clothes if you want better longevity.
17th October, 2018

Emblem Intense by Montblanc

The opening is nice, cool and fruity. Later the drydown becomes a bit buttery and mostly woody. Reminds me of some parts CH Men, Lacoste pH and Zirh Coudoroy. All smell sweet and pleasant but are very synthetic. I do like this better than the original Emblem.

Average projection but lasted all workday on my skin.
17th October, 2018

Paestum Rose by Eau d'Italie

Peppery rose with a light, woody base. The rose is fresh and green, perhaps somewhat dewy. It stays away from the soliflore territory due to the embellishments. Next to the rose, there is an accord in the top and the mid phases that recalls vinegar, even brine. Paestum Rose is smart, chic and unisex with moderate sillage and duration.

Overall it's somewhat lacking in both depth and character. While nice, I find it to be limited next to stuff like La Fille de Berlin or Rossy de Palma. It also reminds me of Voleur de Roses, but the L'Artisan is more pale and interesting.


3/5
17th October, 2018

1861 Renaissance / 1861 by Xerjoff

Another great Xerjoff take on citrus...quality ingredients ...sharp, crisp and aromatic...not very original though...smells like Joe Malone's Lime Basil and Mandarin...just has a nice fresh minty accent instead of the herby basil accent...very aromatic...a nice and rereshing summer fragrance...like wearing this...
16th October, 2018
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Moschino pour Homme by Moschino

The Late Franco Moschino was an eccentric fellow, and you can see it in his designs, which often mocked and satirized the rest of the fashion industry buy doing things like making a leather jacket and placing the words "Expensive Jacket" on the back. Kitsch appeal in a haute couture world focused on putting on airs is hard to pull off, but this former Versace illustrator-turned fashion mogul was determined to do it. Moschino dressed up his debut perfume like a bottle of Italian table wine with Moschino (1987), and that oriental chypre was decidedly out of fashion, on purpose. Moschino Pour Homme (1990) was little different with it's lack of contemporary appeal, and that intentional irrelevance is what would ironically be the very thing which made fans of Moschino's irreverent style come to purchase it. By 1990, the first wave of aquatics and calone-powered fresh fougères were sweeping away the old guard of stiff mossy chypres and musky floral powerhouse fougères, but Moschino Pour Homme stood off to the side, following an even older trope of the classic leather chypre. Hermès had released Bel Ami (1986) just a few years earlier, and this often gets compared to it, but Moschino takes a brighter floral and basalmic route to it's petrol leather base, echoing the classic Knize Ten (1924), but without the powdery bite. As for the packaging, well it's Moschino, so expect some weirdness. First run bottles of the Eau de Toilette came in a dual-necked bottle with a sprayer on one end, and a pour resevoir on the other, rather than Moschino making both types of bottles separately. Eventually a standard spray-only bottle was manifest as well as an entire line of products.

Once you look past the gilded playing card and yin yang motif, Moschino Pour Homme comes off as rather conventional in spite of itself, and traditional with just a slight risque edge even, which is something vintage colognoisseurs will undoubtedly get off to, but for everyone else, you really have to enjoy leather scents to appreciate this tandem of concepts. People who have collections stocked with goodies like the aforementioned Knize Ten and Bel Ami, or even Dunhill for Men (1934), English Leather (1949), Aramis (1965), and Fahrenheit (1988) are in good hands with Moschino Pour Homme, since it's familiar territory. What Moschino does differently is inject a tiny bit of punk attitude into the mix here. There's a spicy mace note mixed into the opening of Moschino Pour Homme, saddled with lavender, bergamot, clary sage, rosemary, and a tiny peck of galbanum, and it's the mace that makes this leap at your nose like somebody stuck a studded collar around the neck of Joseph Knize. The floral heart is a little more conservative, with carnation, jasmine and rose holding hands while caraway and orris root keep things sharp and a little soapy. The base here is the thing most fans of Moschino Pour Homme tend to scream over, with labdanum, oakmoss, that petrol leather note, and a slightly animalic styrax mellowed out just a smidge with a thin sliver of coumarin. The final result of this bright to floral to dirty dry down is a formal petrol leather that flirts with being classy then sassy through use of its florals, mace and styrax, with good longevity but moderate projection that survives even cold weather thanks to the nature of its base. A petrol leather is as a petrol leather does so wear this where you want, since you'll always make a statement regardless, just like with any of the above mentioned leathers in this class, and just be thankful it doesn't have a nuclear isotope for endless sillage like many things in this vein.

Moschino Pour Homme was worn by Franco Moschino himself until his tragic death in 1994, from post-surgical complications following a tumor removal, exacerbated by the onset of AIDS, but the designer's quirky and parodic vision didn't die with him, since his assistant Rosella Jardini took over and kept the house alive. Take a look at any of the other fragrances made since the release of Moschino or Moschino Pour Homme, and that same whimsy is there, if not amplified further in many cases. Uomo? Moschino (1997) would succeed Moschino Pour Homme and it too would flirt with contrasting themes, but not by being anachronistic, and instead by lampooning the unisex craze. Uomo? Moschino presented a woodsy amber scent with a sweet lemon top that was both fresh and unisex, but also warm and masculine, hence the question mark. Moschino Pour Homme had and still has its fans but would be discontinued then quietly replaced by Uomo? Moschino as the male pillar of choice for the house, becoming something of a cult classic to leather fans looking for their petrol fix, since this genre exists mostly in niche realms these days. Fresh faces looking to get their feet wet in the leather genre are better off starting with Knize Ten, which is still made, plus is the granddaddy of this style anyway and sells new for about what Moschino Pour Homme sells for in the secondary market. However, seasoned fans of leather who've been there and done that should most definitely give this a sniff, even if from a mini or other trial-friendly size, as Moschino Pour Homme plays like a rough-and-ready bonus track or lost B-side to the smoother greatest hits of the genre, and that's quite alright by me. Rest in Peace Franco Moschino (1950-1994)
16th October, 2018

Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

The woman I'm dating wears vintage Miss Dior edt and parfum, and it's wonderful. I'm wearing a couple dabs of the parfum at the moment. From her, it sometimes comes across as something in the vein of Chanel Pour Monsieur, sometimes it will smell a bit like Chanel No. 5, and often it will smell distinctly like Miss Dior with its rich, dark powdery note.
16th October, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

En Sueños by Paula Cahen d’Anvers

Orange and white florals - that sums up this creation in a nutshell. For the beginning on the orange is not crisp or refreshing, but bright, light and fruity. More pulp than rind.

The drydown brings out the floral side, with orange blossom, geranium and hints of oleander most noteworthy. In the base a nonspecific woodsy note appears towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and three hours of longevity on my skin.

A soft, gentle and bright scent for warmer spring days, this is sweet but discreetly so; it is never heavy or cloying. Definitely it very original, but crafted well of good-quality ingredients. 3/5.
16th October, 2018

Narciso Eau de Toilette by Narciso Rodriguez

Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
16th October, 2018

Paris-Biarritz by Chanel

A pretty little lemon splash. I've worn this multiple times, partly with the hope of getting to know its secrets, and partly just because I'm quite enjoying it. And after all that time invested, I think the secret of Paris-Biarritz is that it's actually remarkably simple, just a nice lemon note with a hint of powder on top and soap underneath. Just nice lemony soap. It doesn't last very long, leaving room for multiple re-applications (which I think is fun), and it doesn't do much, content to just be pretty.
16th October, 2018

No. 5 Eau de Parfum by Chanel

I formerly had access to a bottle of No. 5 edp from around 2012. I picked it for my ex-wife as a present. I liked it more than the edt. It was richer, and had more of the aldehyde smell I associate with Chanel and classic perfumery. That bottle had a subtle nag champa incense / incense stick smell that I liked. It was subtle, and done just right. The perfume smelled great, but it was light. It didn't project for very long.

I now have access to a bottle purchased in 2018, made in Paris, purchased in Montreal. The incense smell is gone, or at least I cannot detect it. The aldehyde smell is still there and still lovely. It's a pretty perfume, but it's so subtle, it's hard to imagine it making such a big splash as it reportedly did for its first few decades of release.

I sprayed it in the air the other day to refresh the room, and it smelled all wrong. I've applied it skin just now, and it's much better. I still feel like it's not quite as good as it was in 2012. In addition to having the incense note, that version had more distinct florals. I felt like I was smelling jasmine. This newer version smells like aldehydes and powder, and it's nice, but I feel like they could give it more of a floral concentrate boost to make it worthy of its historical reputation.

It becomes sweet woods in the base. The listed note of bourbon vanilla sounds right.
16th October, 2018

Versace Man by Versace

Versace had a troubled time as a house after the slaying of Gianni Versace, and it's perfectly understandable. Donatella Versace stepped up from her Vice President role to share managerial duties with her brother Santo Versace, the latter of whom handled the men's lines, and abolished the Versus fragrance sub-label she had run prior to Gianni's death (given to her by Gianni because she loved perfume). The women's lines, perfume included, continued to do well, but Santo didn't really have much of a nose for fragrances like his sister, so the men's fragrance lines became a lot of show, but no go. Several flankers to the "Jeans" line came and went, the bizzare freshie Versace V/S (2000), gaudily-packaged boring musk that was Versace Jeans Couture Man (2002) alongside yet another freshie in Versace Time for Action (2002), showcased a house that didn't really know what men wanted. To be fair, the early 2000's was a strange time. Retro-revival styles sat alongside licorice and caramel gourmands, ultra-modern experimental Iso E Super bombs or radioactive grapefruit ozonics with club-friendly ambery musk bases, contributing more to the tribal division of vintage, niche, and mainstream camps amongst male fragrance buyers that started fleeing to their corners with the boring-as-Hell "fresh revolution" and "Beige Age" of the 90's, meaning nobody knew where the male market really was going after crowd-pleasing aquatics started running their course. Donatella took position as chief designer and became hands-on with the men's perfume lines as well, launching Versace Man (2003) as a do-over of sorts after all the fabulous missteps. Versace Time for Action and it's flankers would continue a while, but everything outside the primary male lines Gianni himself once oversaw were dropped in favor of Donatella's new aesthetic, which was even more "stereotypically Versace" than before. Versace Man wasn't the savior in the male sector Versace hoped it to be, and indeed a great many men don't even realize this exists, as the flanker Versace Man Eau Fraichê (2006) would completely overshadow Versace Man like Drakkar Noir (1982) did to the original Drakkar (1972), but in much less time.

I feel Versace Man is just so strange that it was doomed from the start, outside of the initial early adopters upon the scent's release or Versace home turf. Versace Man is a quirky semi-oriental/semi-gourmand amber and woods fragrance with a light tobacco in it's base which keeps it from becoming too rich or sweet due to it's synthetics. Domitille Michalon composed this, and is also responsible for the orange creamsicle that was Hugo Boss Boss In Motion (2002), but taking Versace Man in an even more peculiar direction by having a synthetic approach to recreating the smell of... wait for it... grape leaves. This isn't a note very palatable to tastes outside Europe, with the US market, which was the most conspicuous consumers of Versace at the time, being blindsided, even though Versace Man fared well in Europe. Versace Man accomplishes it's odd task of being a synthetic grape leaves scent by using aromachems with a top note intro of neroli, bergamot, black pepper, and angelica, which itself rarely appears in a masculine. Sillage is deceptively low at this stage so don't be tempted to apply more, since Versace Man has a round middle that sneaks up after 15 minutes. Cardamom and saffron do some brief talking before the sweeter meats of the scent take over. A tobacco leaf note similar to Versace The Dreamer (1996) arrives, but a composite amber, Iso E Super "cashmeran woods" note and labdanum submerges it, pulling Versace Man in a supple, androgynous, and apologetic direction started by Chanel Allure Homme (1999), that would be best done in the 2000's among the men's segment by Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme (2006). Versace Man then becomes a tobacco-dusted semi-oriental take on the "Iso E SuperSweetie", my nickname for the mid-2000's precursor to the ambroxan bombs of the 2010's. Sadly, the obtuse grape leaves opening takes this endeavor too far left of mainstream appeal. Longevity is decent for a day, but this is too playful for a work scent, and too quiet for a play scent, plus A lot of things in this vein would be dropped when the second wave of aquatics started hitting in the latter half of the 2000's. Sillage is moderate once Versace Man opens up, but it's definitely no shining star like Eros (2013), although I do remember smelling this a lot on guys in the mid-2000's not knowing what it was, so it saw a brief flurry of use.

Noses in American and Asian markets reasonably gravitated towards the more-conventional Eau Fraichê, which sort of became the unofficial Versace Man pillar in those markets once sales of this one sharply sloughed off. Retro-chic heavy-hitters like Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) and Gucci Pour Homme (2003) held the attention of mature guys, and the youth were still busy rolling in super-fruity ozonics, so Versace Man had a very limited target of the pre-recession post-college career millenial who wanted a Calvin Klein Obsession for Men (1986) but with an effeminate style which appealed to his own generation. I do like the smell of grape leaves, having experienced them plenty in food, and for those who haven't, they might get an unshakeable impression of powdered grape Kool-Aid (matching the bottle color) for just a few moments before the rest of the semi-oriental/semi-gourmand bouquet kicks into gear. There isn't enough tobacco to make this a choice for a tobacco scent lover, but anyone that likes the fruity-sweet understated vibe of this era's "metrosexual" fragrance trend will find little fault in Versace Man for trying to augment it with a heavier base, which in modern times gives it decent transgender and unisex flexibility. Availability of this in stores evaporated after Versace Pour Homme (2008) created a new male flagship line to replace Versace Man, while Eau Fraichê lived on, but stock can still be found at discounters, eBay or mom and pop shops. No official discontinuation news exists for this, but Versace Man just fell through the cracks so there's virtually no mention nor demand for it these days, making it inadvertently cult in status, even confusing some into thinking it's a flanker of Eau Fraichê and not the other way around. A vexing acquired taste of a scent, but far more original than most male-marketed 21st-century Versace output, Versace Man is the furthest from being blind-buy worthy, and then only explored by people interested in the dark horses of the oft-maligned 2000's. Thumbs up from me, but with the caveat that I find the scent more entertaining for personal reasons than something truly noteworthy for someone looking to reviews for solid recommendations.
15th October, 2018 (last edited: 16th October, 2018)

Habit Rouge Dress Code by Guerlain

Yes, how to pay a loyal tribute to a giant of the worldwide perfumery by appointing a separate Habit Rouge with a final contemporary "fancy" soapy/chic (vaguely anisic-lipstick) leather/patchouli's resinous twist. A smooth mélange of almondy/spicy/caramellous/waxy praline, rounded rubbery rose, tonka and Guerlain's vanilla with a less powdery and more soapy-smooth Habit Rouge's wake. Habit Rouge Dress Code starts with a basically old school blast of boisterous spices, crisp bergamot and neroli supported by a touch of rose. This opening is faithful to the original but basically less angular (far less lemon and no lavender imo). It makes It still classic but not straightforwardly cologney. The heart is powerfully spicy and mastered by a dominant accord of clove, huge neroli and nutmeg still loyal to a classic HR Edt's laborious central stage (which is still in this phase powerfully hesperidic, rosey and chaotically spicy in a dusty/earthy/bitter way). All at once at this point Dress Code starts energically to deflect from the baroque rosey/hesperidic potpourri nature of its immane gigantic predecessor by sliding towards a super smooth and "cleaner" dry down of soft woody leather and cosmetical/"pralinic"/tonkinian balsams. The latter (vanilla in particular) are still vaguely in line with the landmark "Guerlinade" (tonka, spicy/almondy/aromatic frankincense, patchouli and benzoin) but in here more buttery chic, sweet, suedish/waxy and smooth, definitely less powdery (far less classically chypre), typically rooty and decadent. Patchouli is heady but is a rouded modern (slightly minty) caramellous soapy patch, a more typically spicy oriental leathery/pralinic patch wity a fancy/chic vaguely anisic spark (vague conjuration of the Lidge's dry down but still with the rosey/moody/melancholic HR's aristocratic twist). It is as caramel and waxy synth balminess finally (in Dress Code) absorb each (presumptively "nowadays" dirty) earthiness, barber shop aromatic crispiness, powdery "equestrian"" dirty woodiness and spicy opaque dustiness (of the classic Edt) in order to unfold a quite linear silkier sweet flow of elegantly moody and elusive soapiness with waxy/suedish/caramellous accents (but still with an aristocratic touch of honeyed/rosey/incensey patchouly). The final outcome is less gloriously aristocratic and more modernly spicy/oriental (still focused on rose/patchouli but with a far more crowd-captivating versatile soapy/oriental/leathery appeal). In conclusion, I'm aware Dress Code could bè more in line with a silkier cleaner contemporary (more minimalistic) sense of aesthetic. Indeed, despite I'm still "nostalgically" fond of my vintage Edt piece of decadent chypre aristocracy I know time and taste have drastically chaged and I rarely attend the palace of Versailles while attending more often shallow clubs and dirty urban latrines. Finally I've purchased a bottle of Dress Code, just few years ago such a blasphemy for me. I'm surprised how wonderfully it develops in my skin. Have a try guys, to each their own Habit Rouge.

15th October, 2018

Fleur de Chine by Tom Ford

Vintage in structure, opens with a blast of aldehydes and I can't help but think of Arpege and No5 in the first minutes; vintage in feel but not dated. But then the white flowers are blooming and they're creamy and intoxicating. A nice addition are the fruits which are not intrusive, but just an extra flavor and the woods provide a solid structure in the background. In the end, it's an aldehydic/musky/floral/fruity oriental, a sort of a contemporary interpretation of a vintage perfume.
15th October, 2018

Gucci Guilty Oud by Gucci

The third Alberto Morillas composition of late from Gucci, Gucci Guilty Oud, follows two successful releases (at least to me) in Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme and Pour Femme.

Certainly the most-recent Oud feels like a logical continuity from the next-most-recent Femme, as there is an overlap of berries, rose, patchouli, and amber (in order of descending prominence).

With Femme, we get red berries, but in Oud, we get a sharper, more distinct blackberry note that sings from the top, surely the brightest part of the entire fragrance, but nevertheless (similarly to Femme) quickly drying down into a rose/patchouli/amber blend, with very subtle hints at leather and woods.

Oud's performance is strong, a bit denser than Femme (and perhaps even slightly edging out Homme), with a couple hours of great projection followed by another 6+ on skin.

Certainly these latest releases feel of niche quality and execution, and in the case of Oud specifically, a synthetic, smooth oud serves nicely in lieu of a richer, albeit more animalic or medicinal, counterpart, seen in higher-end offerings.

Pricing ($137-$146 for 90ml via retail) is higher than Femme and a lot higher than Homme, but I'd expect Oud, like its predecessors, to be available on the secondary market at a significant discount. It's a bit of a tough sell at retail, but under $100, it may turn a lot of heads like Gucci Intense Oud did years ago.

8 out of 10
15th October, 2018

#5 Notes of Chardonnay by Kelly & Jones

I think the notes I'm getting are creme brulee and melon with vanilla. All I can think of is cheap, synthetic restroom cleaner. This scent is just not my cup of tea, and I like a lot of the synthetic fragrances - Maybe because that are supposed to smell synthetic where as this is supposed to smell natural. If my Chardonnay had notes like this the Sommelier would have a very unhappy customer on his hands.
15th October, 2018

Mon Numéro 10 by L'Artisan Parfumeur

The Visitor by Ignaz Marcel Gaugengigl 1925
15th October, 2018

TNT - Tama N Tuberose by PK Perfumes

This tuberose soliflore is a true interpretation of the flower; fresh, indolic, heady, buttery, rubbery. It's rich and fills up the room, intoxicating at the first spray and it goes strong for a couple of hours. In the heart the rubbery aspect fades and I detect ambergris which makes it a bit sharp around the edges, but that goes away in the latest stage, as the scent becomes really buttery, soft and powdery at times. Very pleased with the perfume as it is an a very good tuberose soliflore with good performance. It leans feminine, but I didn't have a hard time wearing it.
15th October, 2018

Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

The first 15-20 minutes are dominated by a vigorous camphor note which makes for a bold opening, but after that the tuberose takes the lead. It's not a basic tuberose soliflore as it has much going on besides it and it's what makes it stand from the crowd. The menthol note, which also balances the sweetness, runs right next to the tuberose the whole time as a supporter together with the spices, the jasmine and other stuff that I can't pinpoint but work so well together. I think it's quite complex for a tuberose scent and it's masterfully blended.
15th October, 2018

Diva by Ungaro

A classic throwback scent which screams 1980's, but is more laid back than I would have expected.

Diva by Emanual Ungaro is surprisingly muted, despite having so many notes in its fragrance triangle! It starts out with the typical 80's powerhouse scent spice assault, but it then becomes a musky, soft powdery floral that is both layered but fairly stable. This occurs after only 5 minutes on the skin, and I rather like this part of Diva's development!

I definitely smell civet, a gentle rose, bright carnation, earthy oakmoss, ylang, cardamom, and tuberose above all the other myriad of notes. It is a sexy, still-relevant perfume that daring ladies of today can experience with open minds. It DOES smell retro, but not cloying. It's elegant, for mature women to wear on special evening occasions. Sillage is medium, and longevity is nice.

If you are a lady who wants to rediscover the world of scents from yesteryear, this is a great place to start!
15th October, 2018

Old Spice Fresh Lime by Shulton

My experience is with the Indian versions, circa early 90s and later early 2010s. In the early 90s I remembered men in my family using this (my grandfather did). However, I have no recollection of how it smelled like. Later on in the early 2010s I bought the aftershave spray - on the cheap. That was basically Old Spice with a hefty dose of lime on top. The note of lime wasn't too realistic, but not synthetic smelling either, and it made for a bracing freshness. The recipe was a winner; I liked it more than Old Spice, and would drench myself in the stuff on the hottest of days, using it as an eau de cologne. It did hold up well, and it was crisp - not much powdery, and quite suave.

Perhaps not worth hunting down, but you'd do well to pick up a bottle if you come across one on the cheap.


3.5/5
15th October, 2018

Virgin Island Water by Creed

Thumbs Up for being a good scent, but like some unisex Creeds I cannot wear this. I should have known what my final thoughts on this were going to be the moment I opened the package from Frangrancenet. Inside was a sample for women's perfume - so telling.

VIW is truly a beautiful scent - it's a lot sweet, creamy coconut, some lime, and maybe a little bit of rum.
It's probably one of the simplest colognes I've ever tried. Not complex, just smells natural and well blended - just those three things - coconut, lime, and rum.

Still, the entire time I wore it I kept thinking that this is way more appropriate for a young woman. This smells like something I would expect a girl who is getting over her Bath and Body Works spray habit to jump into when she wants to upgrade her life. If this smell was even slightly synthetic (which is doesn't), I could see it in a pink bottle labeled "For Her." VIW's quality as a Creed makes it pleasurable for anyone to smell at anytime, but that does not hide the fact that this is really a distinctly feminine cologne. I would appreciate it if any woman put this on, but I don't think I can pull it off as a guy.
15th October, 2018
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