Fragrance Reviews from May 2010

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    colormechris's avatar
    colormechris
    United States United States

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    Catalyst for Men by Halston

    What to say? It strikes me as cheap rip-off of Givenchy Xeryus. I have the aftershave which is maybe not the best thing to base a review on, since they've done something to the juice to make it look and act like a Lava Lamp. All I'm getting is overripe, if not rotten apples. This came out well after Halston himself passed away, so clearly he cannot be blamed. None of the scents bearing his name (post 1-12/Z-14) have been very good...they've all smelled of poor quality to me. The packaging and overall presentation of Catalyst is just a gimmick. They should've used that time to come up with an interesting, high quality fragrance. Someone needs to rescue and revive the Halston name, which was once synonomous with glamour. Liza, are you listening?

    05 May, 2010

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    grizzlesnort
    United States United States

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    Burnt Amber by Neil Morris Fragrances

    The opening smells like some old fashioned cough syrup--like a heavily flavored attempt to cover some foul tasting medicine. It is almost a deal breaker even though the drydown is very, very nice.

    05 May, 2010

    Swanky's avatar
    Swanky
    United States United States

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    Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

    Typically, I won't give a thumbs-down unless the fragrance smells bad...but I have to put the smack down on this one. There is nothing to recommend this. It is ephemeral in the extreme: within a half hour I smell nothing. It is hardly unique, smelling especially like Tommy Hilfiger T and Abercrombie Fierce, but not as potent as either of those. It is a waste of money. Any number of much cheaper scents, such as 4711, give you the light citrus classic cologne aroma, without the designer pretentiousness. It doesn't smell bad for the few minutes it lasts, but if I want to smell wet towels I will open the washing machine for free.

    05 May, 2010

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    Swanky
    United States United States

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    Monsieur de Givenchy by Givenchy

    Like its citrus cousins Eau Sauvage and 1881, this is a verbena/lemon champion. This is what smooth, luxurious masculinity is all about. Carries it's age well. The only knock is its lack of sillage and modest longevity, though the reissue seems to have improved on both, so I give it a thumbs up. If you find ES or 1881 too strident, MdG is the way to go.

    05 May, 2010

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    Swanky
    United States United States

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    Pino Silvestre by Silvestre

    The bottle is either genius or camp - I'm not sure which. The fragrance is a masculine classic in the lineage that descends to Polo and Halston Z-14. Green, green and green. The pine is to the fore but I also get a patchouli note that puts this alongside Agua Brava and Aramis. Longer lasting than Agua Brava and more piney than Aramis, this is well worth the low sum of bread required to pick up. They weren't kidding when they made the bottle look like a pine cone.

    05 May, 2010

    Swanky's avatar
    Swanky
    United States United States

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    PS by Paul Sebastian

    I first owned this in the '90s and I thought it was too overpowering and synthetic. It seems these days that it has been reformulated and the eyewatering blast has been pleasantly muted. Now it is indeed a fine cologne, although in strength and longevity is is more like a parfum than a typical cologne. Ultra masculine and spicy, similar to Brooks Brothers 1818 and Pierre Cardin with their powdery and smoky notes. PS is available at Macy's and the like as well as at many drugstores and at discounters such as TJ Maxx for very little moolah and is unique enough for any collection and has the all-day stamina that we're looking for. Highly recommended.

    05 May, 2010

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    hmedlock
    United States United States

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    V pour Homme by Valentino

    A nice, clean, masculine vanilla floral. Not overpowering. Very quiet, pleasant scent...if you want to go for something good, but understated. I'd recommend for any time of the year/any occasion.

    05 May, 2010

    MFJ's avatar
    MFJ


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    Navegar by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I get lime, melon, pepper, and a cedar base. Did I say typical? Well, for a light, breezy citrus scent, I can't fault it for being extremely pleasant and easy-going. There is so much more out there that is worth more attention than Navegar.

    05 May, 2010

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    Madame du Barry


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    L'Origan by Coty

    Another civet monster!
    This is yummy. Very sexy, very animalistic. Coty never fails to surprise me - and this is one of Coty's jewels.
    Put on that red ress, high heels and go prowling. If you are brave, that is.

    05 May, 2010

    Qwerty2008's avatar
    Qwerty2008


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    L'Eau du Bonheur by Fragonard

    L'Eau du Bonheur is a bright, cheerful companion that will considerably lift one's spirit with its light-hearted florals and juicy citrus top notes that sing along with one's step rather than those that burst zestily into the open. It is completely pleasing in its composition with bergamot, mandarin and light jasmine growing on aromatic leaves and woods - a perfect tree of happiness and well-being.

    It is the fragrance I wear for myself, to partake in this succulent pleasure, of blithe, lazy days in the sun, or dozing on a sweet-smelling patch in the woods, without a care in the world.

    05 May, 2010

    Qwerty2008's avatar
    Qwerty2008


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    Belle de Nuit by Fragonard

    Belle de Nuit is indeed a beauty - exquisitely composed of night blooms, fruits and a sultry musky amber base. Although the official florals are mirabilis, rose, geranium, violets accompanied by plum, I pick up indolic white flowers, jasmine and tuberose in addition to the rose-geranium.

    Belle de Nuit is a strong, sexy and heavier floral, and very classic and traditional in that it is formulated like perfumes of the past, not the recent "fresh", sugary concoctions. It comes across as a very light floriental, and it reminds me very much of a airier, whiter Tresor with its floral top notes and subtle Musk-Amber basenotes, without Tresor's compelling sillage.

    The top notes are very bright, white florals, and the opening is a heady, pretty bouquet that is fresh yet indolic and not too sweet or cloying. This quickly (too quickly, imo,...) makes way for the opulent, softly powdered oriental heart which slowly curls around the body and warms the night air. There is no overwhelming intoxication, la Belle de Nuit is a sultry, feminine, maddeningly seductive but elusive presence, not a femme fatale who demands urgent passions. It is a bold but classically sophisticated temptress.

    I am pleased to give this exquisite creature its first review, even as I wonder why it has been neglected since its debut in 2001?

    05 May, 2010

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    Qwerty2008


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    Miranda by Fragonard

    Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla! I was curious to try Miranda after the great reviews but I don't get any of the other notes - they seemed to have been overwhelmed by the vanilla. Fragonard is to me one of the best houses out there for well-blended and designed perfumes, but Miranda lacks complexity to me. Vanilla can make a great, sweet base, but as a predominant note, it just smells like wearing cake.

    05 May, 2010

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    Diamondflame
    Singapore Singapore

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    Bois de Santal by Keiko Mecheri


    What I remember best about sandalwood is the smooth butter-like note in its drydown. And this is what I detect underneath the cedar and a somewhat fleeting osmanthus. Strictly for sillage haters or fans of close-wearing skin scents, BOIS DE SANTAL is sheer enough to be the sandalwood fragrance equivalent to the Emperor's New Clothes. I kinda like it. But a little more projection certainly wouldn't hurt.


    05 May, 2010

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    bookwyrmsmith
    United States United States

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    Chantilly by Dana

    Apparently Chantilly has been a popular fragrance name. I looked it up on Pefume Intelligence and- suprise! there are FOUR that carry the name . The first is a 1922 Chantilly by Imperial Crown Perfumery nothing was mentioned about scent type.Second to hold the name was created for Perfumes Houbigant in1941 by perfumer Marcel Billot.Notes: top,orange blossom,spices;mid ,rose and jasmine;base,sandlewood,vetiver,patchouli and amber.This was in production from1941-2000 when the company was sold to Dana;who according to comments must have reformulated in 2000 to the PI listing of floral fragrance making the Dana version #4 chronologically.
    Because of the similarity in names and sales of companies I claimed to have bought a bottle of this Dana Chantilly .Not so .I bought Chantilly (-version 3 )produced by Parfums Paul Parquet in1990 it is a floral fragrance (according to Perfume Intelligence)with notes of bergamot,lemon,neroli,orange blossom,carnation,ylang-ylang jasmine,rose,benzoin,leather,moss,vanilla,sandalwood&musk.
    To me this is a soft mossy baby powderish floral almost a skin scent -okay but I wish it could be richer .Maybe the parfume is better.

















    i

    05 May, 2010

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    bookwyrmsmith
    United States United States

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    Rumeur (new) by Lanvin

    My nose is getting a whole lot of lily of the valley(aka muguet a note often used now in haircare and household products)and this EDP is almost a (twin?)sister to Ralph Lauren's LaurenEDT(which explains the vintage in a good way reviews).I like the new Rumeur ,it is very fresh and clean for humid work days this summer.

    05 May, 2010

    tcock852's avatar
    tcock852


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    X for Men by Clive Christian

    I purchased this about a year ago. No, I'm not made of money, but exceptional fragrance comes at a price. Exceptional is precisely what this fragrance is.

    05 May, 2010

    tcock852's avatar
    tcock852


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    Halston Man by Halston

    Warm well rounded fragrance, similar to Clive Christian "X", but with sharper top notes and a peppery mid range.

    05 May, 2010

    upsilon's avatar
    upsilon
    United States United States

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    Japon Noir by Tom Ford

    Dark, midnight purple, decadent, and expensive. Japon Noir is also poker room smoke personified in an eau de parfum. I find it smells very feminine. I purchased a bottle after being wow'ed and confused by this scent, but soon realized I didn't particularly enjoy wearing it so decided to sell it on eBay. It is too heavy and sexually ambiguous for me to justify keeping. Never the less, a very unique scent I respect and will instantly remember should I smell it again.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Iceberg Twice by Iceberg

    I'm reviewing the feminine Twice because I bought the masculine one, but when I got it home and opened the box, it was the feminine bottle. Despite being a light and sweet floral, a very confident man could probably get away with wearing this too. For me it is a touch too sweet and floral, but it's quite pleasant - it's not cloying and I pick up on some calone notes, which gives it an oceanic background slightly off-setting the sweet and floral, but it's perfectly balanced all the same. I also get some hints of aldehydes, but I might just be imagining that. I wouldn't wear it again myself, but I have to give it the thumbs up anyway because there's nothing to dislike.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Avon Musk for Men by Avon

    This review is for the original version. The current Avon Musk is a reformulation and is not as dark or rich (and is a different colour), but it's still not bad. As with many an Avon release, Musk (the original) was incredibly under-rated and under-appreciated and also spectacular value for money, given the number of true musk ingredients that it was made with (the reformulation is, I think, entirely synthetic). Very animalic with lots of mossy and smoky accords and there's also a distinct powdery addition that follows from top to bottom to avoid that frequent danger of musks - fecal and uriney notes - and, for once, the sweet powder works. But it should be noted that it wasn't a bright and fresh musk like The Body Shop's offering. No, this was very definitely a brooding, masculine musk that punched way above its weight class, but was ignored and forgotten thanks to the Avon name, the plain box and unimaginitive bottle. A classic.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    JHL by Aramis

    Aramis' "old lady" scent. This review is for the current Gentlemens Collection version. I've not smelt the original so can't really say how close it is, but given that the others I've smelt in the same collection are, to my nose, identical to their vintage counterparts, it's a safe bet that this JHL is exactly the same. It's a strong 80s powerhouse with a ton of bitter florals running all the way through it, some powdery citrus on the opening and some pretty heavy patchouli at the base. To me it smells VERY similar to Devin, but JHL is much harsher, more complex and requires more care on application. As someone with very dry skin which tends to drink frags up, I can carry off most things in most situations, so on me something like Czech & Speake Cuba (nuclear for most people) is very pleasant and subtle. JHL, on the other hand, is one of only two frags (the other being VC&A PH) in my wardrobe that I would not wear at work.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

    Contrary to many reviews that have declared 3rd Man as a typical pungent 80s powerhouse, I find it to be very subtle and much closer to a late 60s/early 70s green frag. Its opening and middle notes remind me a LOT of VC&A Tsar (indeed, both frags' respective pyramids share several notes in all three layers), but 3rd Man is slightly sweeter and more powdery. As it approaches its basenotes, 3rd Man goes off on its own tangent as the florals (I get much more jasmine than I do rose in the middle, with the rose coming on strong way at the end of the dry down) and amber come through, and it almost takes on a barbershop style fougere were it not for the slight hint of mustyness, presumably from the musk, which is not unpleasant or unwelcome - I'm rarely a fan of musk scents or distinct musk notes (Body Shop and Avon musk releases are about the only musk frags I accept with open arms), but in here it actually gives 3rd Man an earthy edge which off-sets the sweetness of the amber and vanilla, so it's acting more as a stabiliser than an accord in its own right. My only criticism of 3rd Man is that its longevity and sillage could be better - after 3 hours it's already starting to disappear on me and even others have to come VERY close to me (i.e invading personal space close) before they can smell it - and its general price point isn't great for what it is, although deals can sometimes be found online. I like it a lot, but it's not 100% perfect and, as a similar frag, Tsar is probably better value for money (and Tsar can easily found online for half its usual retail price). But 3rd Man is good stuff nonetheless and if you can find a good deal on a bottle, definitely go for it.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    New West for Him by Aramis

    This review is for the recently re-released New West, thankfully no different from the original. An intriguing oceanic from Aramis, a house which seems to excel in unique, quality oceanics. Slightly medicinal (in a good way), this "skin scent" is what most people think oceanics should be - inoffensive but complex, subtle but distinct and not at all like a hundred other releases, which New West isn't. I find it quite difficult to pick out any individual notes, or detect all the layers, but that doesn't really matter to me because what I'm left with is a bright oceanic with a hint of light watery spice that lasts a lot longer than the skin scent title suggests (I'm coincidentally wearing it as I write this review and it's still going strong nearly 5 hours later).

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Pure Cédrat by Azzaro

    Despite being one of the work horses of the industry, Azzaro have an awful lot of naysayers and most of their releases don't manage to attract much more than mediocre reviews. Pure Cedrat is part of a higher end Azzaro trio of traditional frags, which are called (and purport to be) Pure scents, and include vetiver and lavender. As with most Azzaros, they are quite disappointing with the vetiver verging on dreadful. But Pure Cedrat stands alone amongst these and pretty much every other Azzaro frag - it's a beautiful rich woody citrus that holds onto its citrus accord right until the end. Unlike the vetiver and lavender releases, which are far from pure (the lavender seems to have been topped up with a ton of sugar and the vetiver is a weirdly synthetic herbal mess), Pure Cedrat is very much a traditional and simple woody citrus which smells like it should have come out in the 60s, not that it's dated. It's safe, but a pleasurable whiff all round and, despite that Pure title, at a good price.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Black Pepper by Molton Brown

    As a couple of reviews have already noted, the equivalent shower gel is a great heady and intense bouquet of black pepper. Logic dictates that that same pepper blast would follow through to the EDT. Unfortunately, despite a wonderful peppery opening, it's a massive disappointment because it doesn't have the same intensity as the shower gel, it lacks the spicy background and has next to no longevity at all. To my nose, MB's black pepper seems to be a single or double note opener (there is a floral hit with the pepper) drying quickly down to an almost oceanic not too different from MB's other male frag Cool Cologne. Beyond that, there's nothing. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if this was a £10 EDC that you could pick up from a drugstore. Except it isn't (the price is excessive for a 50ml bottle) and you can't (you can usually only get it from MB shops and merchants, although deals can be found online). Disappointingly mediocre.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    White Musk for Men by Body Shop

    Very similar to the more expensive Armand Basi Pour Homme (the opening notes in both smell almost identical to me and they share very similar dry downs), White Musk is The Body Shop's premium, but still affordable, male fragrance. At the best of times most musk frags are dodgy beasts - apply too much or have the wrong body chemistry then you risk smelling like a moose took a piss all over you (Jasper Conran Musk immediately springs to mind). Even worse, if they also contain civet (as the really expensive musks/animalics tend to) then the potential is there to smell like that same moose then took a dump all over you, which is the effect civet often has on me. Body Shop's White Musk is probably the safest musk bet for most - floral and slightly sweet like the feminine version, but with added moss and wood notes to tone down the sweetness and make it more masculine, all without sacrificing the lightness of the (admittedly synthetic) musk. About as good and agreeable a musk as I've come across.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

    A wonderful fresh, deep, herby citrus that, on me at least, surprisingly projects like nothing else in my scent armoury. Much longer lasting and more complex than Colonia, richer than Assoluta, I struggle to find the words to describe Intensa's journey - Basenotes has it all going on at the base, but I smell much more complexity in the top and middle notes than the pyramid suggests. Problem is, other than the citrus, I can't easily pick any individual notes out of the opening - that's not a criticism, it's just far too complex for my nose, but I say that in a good way, not in a confused "everything including the kitchen sink" fashion that some releases are guilty of. And that sillage - from a couple of humble sprays do great things emerge and so it is that people 25-30 feet away have been heard, without a hint of sarcasm, to say "what is that amazing smell?" Just brilliant stuff.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    St James Collection by Taylor of Old Bond Street

    Of the four main traditional English grooming companies (the other three being DR Harris, Trumper and Truefitt & Hill), Taylors of Old Bond Street are the most affordable and are by far the best value for money (DR Harris are at a similar price point, but most of their fragrances lack longevity and silage). St James is TOBS' entry into the world of fresh aquatics - a vivid blue juice with hints of sweetness, soap and, do I detect?, some light and subtle herbs. There are some generic mid to low price moisturisers and aftershave balms available in the UK which have been heavily influenced by the clean St James scent (and no doubt made in the same factory by the same parent company), which goes to show how inoffensive it is. It's not really anything new and it won't knock your socks off, but it's nevertheless a pleasant splash with nothing to really dislike and, for less than £20 (often close to £15) for 100ml, it's a steal. The double bonus for most is that it still comes in a traditional glass shaker bottle, which looks great on the shelf, though I would still prefer a spary. Unfortunately, as with many TOBS frags, this one dries my skin substantially in the winter so I only tend to use it in the summer. Nice stuff, anyway.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    West Indian Lime by Crabtree & Evelyn

    This newer West Indian Limes scent from C&E smells nothing like their sadly discontinued and much lamented East Indian Limes offering from a few years ago. That's not to say the new West Indian release isn't nice, it's just very different. The old East Indian Limes was, if memory serves (it's been a long time), an intense citrus with a dark spicy base that had its feet stuck more in the traditional lime scents of Trumper and Truefitt & Hill. The new West Indian is obviously aimed at a younger modern crowd and as such is lighter and fresher, but that doesn't make it any worse - there's a dominant traditional powdery note which accompanies the citrus all the way through to the dry down and the base seems to be light woods, thankfully preventing that powder from getting too sweet. I personally really like it and it's still quite different in its own way. Logevity is quite good - I still get pleasing wafts of it after 5 or 6 hours - but the sillage is not as good as most C&E frags, East Indian Limes included, presumably because it's lacking the base spices that make most other C&Es (with the exception of Uncharted) project quite well. But otherwise it's a very good fresh lime scent.

    05 May, 2010

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    great_badir
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Hugo Element by Hugo Boss

    I don't consider myself part of the general under 40s fragrance crowd, but I don't mind admitting that I'm a sucker for Hugo Boss and Bulgari. I can count the total releases I haven't liked from both of these houses combined on one hand. Also, unlike many BNers, I'm not too quick to criticuse every aquatic that comes out. Element was released at the tail end of a time when HB seemed to be chucking out something new on a weekly basis and, even though most of them were fairly derivative and variations on a standard theme, I thought pretty much all of them were at worst not bad, at best brilliant. So it was with some disappointment when I discovered that Element, a frag I loved when I test sprayed it and smelt a breezy oceanic with citrus overtones, turned out to be a rather insipid and uninspiring oceanic/ozonic that didn't smell particularly oceanic or ozonic. Several reviews pick out the calone - I don't even get that. Nor do I get the citrus notes I got from the tester. Were it not for the fact that I tested and bought it from exactly the same (and legitimate high street) shop, I could've been forgiven for thinking I'd experienced two completely different frags. What I get now is a weird sweaty accord on the opening and then a non-descript dry down to almost nothing. And then it is nothing - most HB releases have pretty good longevity on me, but Element is gone in no time at all. I wouldn't say Element was horrible or stomach churning, it's just so bland and disappointing (and there is that sweaty opener), which almost makes it worse than something that is quite obviously a stinker.

    05 May, 2010

    Showing 151 to 180 of 994.