Fragrance Reviews from June 2010

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    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gendarme 20 by Gendarme

    G20 is the most similar to the original EdP, but perhaps even more concentrated. This might be nice in theory, but in practice I find it includes too much of the wintergreen-like component that I found traces of in the original. The opening is more alcoholic and sharp than any of the others, and once that goes away, the florals remind me a little of those in the Acqua di Parma Colonia series. Later, as more herbs make their presence known, the wintergreen seems to turn into a very gentle eucalyptus, which would be an improvement except that it also starts reminding me of old-school suntan lotion. I really don't know what to make of it, except to view it as a slight overkill, but I'd recommend it if you like sweet mint or wintergreen.

    13th June, 2010

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gendarme Green by Gendarme

    To me, Green is the most impressive of their line, and one of the stronger ones. It smells like an extravagantly expensive remake of a carpet-refresher spray that I own and love. This green is a somewhat bluish green...it has some tart, almost spicy florals (I'd venture honeysuckle but I'm really bad with florals), so don't expect a grassy, vetivery green. The effect is creamy, otherwordly (for a men's scent!) and intensely sensual when you sniff closely and think about it, but when smelled casually from a normal distance the florals don't stick out as being heavy or feminine, merely a bit unisex like fabric softener. This unobtrusive floral component is the true strength of the Gendarme line, and I almost feel like Green beats the original at its own game. The closest analogs to this aspect of Green that I can think of are Richard James "Savile Row" which replaces the lush fruitiness with some vanilla, and d'Orsay Le Dandy which replaces it with heavier fruit and boozy wood. Gendarme Green is an excellent summery counterpoint to these two scents. My main gripe with Green is the bottle size; it only comes in a monstrous 6 oz metal can. Not that it's particularly expensive per ounce, but I would be very hesitant to buy anything that big and then find I've grown to like it less. Still, this is one of the few cases where I may just bite the bullet!

    13th June, 2010

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gendarme Sky by Gendarme

    This is rather different from the rest of the line...a citrusy, even slightly aquatic scent. Its name and light blue color make me think of Trumper's Skye, though the Gendarme is more fruity and less floral. At first I couldn't identify the citrus, but then I realized that, as in Adidas Moves, I'm really smelling green apple masquerading as citrus, and I'm perfectly happy with that. It's as if someone mixed some original Gendarme with some typical men's body wash. The downfall, as usual with this type, is in the base. Like CKOne, Curve, Moves or Eternity, the cool fruit gives way to an assy, fake-leather-smelling base. It's not as bad in Sky as in those others, but it's still pretty synthetic, and gets weaker and more sour over time. I honestly don't think I'd spend the money on this, knowing how good some of the other Gendarmes are.

    13th June, 2010

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuba Gold by Cuba Paris


    A very good sweet, woody, slightly powdery lavender scent that does resemble Le Male, admittedly. I think this is a better balanced scent than Le Male because it's not as powdery as Le Male, and the vanilla is not overbearingly sweet, as it can be in Le Male's drydown (which is LM's downfall IMO). I especially like how the lavender note can be smelled for hours, most likely caused by the other ingredients acting as fixatives. It's got an overall classic feel, which makes it smell a bit like shaving cream and thus gives it a barbershop feel I like. Excellent spicy and woody drydown!

    13th June, 2010

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuba Black by Cuba Paris


    I hate stuff like this: another so-called "Black" fragrance that doesn't smell dark, black or edgy at all, and is nothing more than an overly sweet, synthetic boring oriental scent for guys. Frags like this smell to me like grape bubblegum.

    How many other "Black" fragrances are out in the market right now? 30?PS Onyx, Perry Ellis 360 Black, Polo Black, Polo Double Black, etc., etc., all smell like this and like one another.

    A real stinker AND snoozer with no originality whatsoever. You want a real "black" designer scent? Go for Jacomo de Jacomo.

    13th June, 2010

    MJW77's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Habit Rouge by Guerlain

    I do own and enjoy Habit Rouge but have to agree with others who have said that it's hard to wear. I sometimes feel a little self conscious wearing it because it smells quite 'old'. HR is probably more suited to the over 40's as opposed to the young crowd. I'll give it a neutral rating as it's a fantastically constructed scent but does smell slightly dated now.

    13th June, 2010

    MJW77's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

    I wasn't at all sure about M7 when I first sampled it, but something about it struck me and I had to go back and give it another try. It was the odd cherry menthol note up top, which I've now come to enjoy. The drydown is also fantastic and M7 is now right up there in my top evening fragrances. It doesn't seem particulary popular either and I can't recall ever smelling this on anyone else, which is a bonus for me!

    13th June, 2010

    MJW77's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Burberry London for Men by Burberry

    I like the spices and the port wine note in Burberry London. For me, it's a good all round fragrance that's suitable for both casual wear or office attire. Good stuff.

    13th June, 2010

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

    It's like the main purpose of both VCA classic masculine fragrances was to make them smell as rich and complex as possible. From this point of view it's logical that they issued only a pair of fragrances, somehow complementing each other on both sides of a certain spectrum. The notes of Tsar as well as in VCA Pour Homme, leave no space for air: it's somehow fresh indeed, but not light at all.
    Well, when I connect it to its name and the bottle, I'm really starting to think aristocracy, monarchy, Russian palaces, forests etc. - really! - but it's not unlike that to many it may simply state "I just shaved". On the other side, I imagine it goes naturally with a beard as well. For me Tsar shows its best in autumn and early winter and also when it's mixed with other smells around you (like smoke, etc.) or on your skin / clothes (cosmetics etc.).
    I agree it has similarities with YSL Jazz (mostly lavender and carnation I guess) but it's fresher and heavier at the same time. A masterpiece and a small world by itself, yet it's not so easy to find its place nowadays. Maybe the word "fougère" really says it all but oh well, they meant much more than this for sure.

    13th June, 2010

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ungaro III by Ungaro

    Orange, Mahogany, Coriander, Lavender,Vodka,Sage,Lemon
    Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Rose, Geranium
    sandalwood, patchouli, musk, oakmoss, vetiver and cedar.

    It's hard for me to sort out what's actually going on in Ungaro III, but suffice it to say I like it. Rich, dense and classy. I thought it disappeared quickly on my skin only to find hours later others were picking it up and it had simply fallen off my radar, so I guess it's strong enough. Strangely, though their notes suggest they have nothing in common, I get a striking similarity between this and M by Perry Ellis, only U III isn't particularly sweet. If the rose note came out more on me I would love this. I can see this, as others have alternately stated, being bright and lively or dark and brooding. There's so much going on that I am not at all surprised by the divided interpretations and even enjoy the difference in reactions. Either way it's very well made for something that can be had for so cheap.

    13th June, 2010

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ghost Sheer Summer by Ghost

    While the opening of Sheer Summer made me want to wash laundry, I am glad to say that bit is fleeting. A cavalcade of watery fruits blend with jasmine (and apparently freesia, but I mostly get jasmine) to get that washably fresh feel, which smooths out in a matter of minutes and is enjoyable once it begins to smell more natural. There is a faint bit of the plum which was so prominent in Deep Night, but while Summer also shares an oriental base with the original, that's where the similarities end. The combination of a strong jasmine with sandalwood and a lot of sweet reminds me of a much watered down Samsara, which is one of my favorite feminine fragrances, so points awarded there. Sillage and longevity are average at best with this one, but it really is a good scent overall, so I'd recommend it (highly) within the please-yourself sect of smells.

    13th June, 2010

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Roadster by Cartier

    Rich, earthy mint. This takes me back to the mint I used to chew fresh out of the garden when I was a child. With such a small list of ingredients Roadster isn't really a morphing, challenging scent but it is fresh, invigorating, and lasts all day on me. The mint, dominant at first, slowly recedes within the composition but remains until the end, when the vetiver and patchouli take on a more prominent role. It is a bit like wearing a mint garden all day long, but I really am fine with that.

    13th June, 2010

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Si Lolita by Lolita Lempicka

    A spicy-sweet oriental which bears little or no resemblance to its predecessors, Si Lolita comes on menacingly sharp but near-instantly reins itself in and becomes a softly projecting aura scent. The requisite citric top fades off quickly, leaving a very pleasant pink pepper/sweet pea/elemi combo which imparts a floral spice character that made me think, "This is like Carven Homme for women (which is excellent)." Because Si dries down so quickly and remains light, bright, and uplifting throughout, it is ideal for the warmer months. This has quickly become one of my favorites in the Lolita lineup.

    13th June, 2010

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tabac Blond by Caron

    I"m coming back to Tabac Blonde after first trying it seven months ago. During that time I increased my exposure to leathers and the Caron suite of urn parfums, and was curious to see if my experience wiht TB would change.

    The opening tests my patience, as the carnation is just too sweet and the leather too rough. After 2 1/2 to 3 hours the dry florals kick in, and I am much happier; this is the phase i liked best the first time around.

    in the end, however, this sits just below a 'love' from me. For everything that I like in this fragrance I can point to another that does it better. But i highly recommend it to anyone looking for a leather, becase tastes differ and this one should not be passed by.

    13th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 14th June, 2010)

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Gardenia by Black Gardenia - Michele Bergman

    A long time ago there was a popular show on TV called 'Ripley's Believe it or Not'. One story in particular grabbed my attention and I remember it to this day.

    A woman bought herself a coffin, climbed inside and covered herself with white flowers (I don't remember which kind, specifically). She then waited to die from suffocation.

    When it comes to Black Gardenia here is the question I would ask: Do you think the woman was a hopeless romantic, albeit an eccentric one? Then just buy this blind. Do you think this woman was a bonafide depression sufferer; and that suffocation by white florals is as good a way to go as running your care with the garage door closed? Then like me, you should steer clear.

    This is not my genre, but i'm giving it a neutral because i recognize the quality of hte ingredients, although for the price I would expect the longevity to last a bit longer (i.e, had the woman in the story tried death by Black Gardenia, she would have needed to reapply often, and thus, would have interrupted her suffocation attempts)

    Read more: http://www.basenotes.net/ID26124953.html#ixzz0qmycnaMq

    13th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 14th June, 2010)

    riso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Samarkande by Yves Rocher

    I saw fuzzybutt59's review and was so happy I can find Samarkande now reincarnated into Hogar.
    I smelled it today in Yves Rocher store. Hogar is NOT Samrakande. Not even close. Sad. Samarkande was gorgeous aromatic woody scent slightly resembling Vento di Fiori.

    13th June, 2010

    J.D's avatar



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    Polo Black by Ralph Lauren

    I really like this one. It's really funny how you can have such different results on different people. The "Green effervescent accord" in this is really pleasant to me, and the Tonka Bean in the drydown makes a strong appearance on my skin. I have to urge you to give this one at least a sample. It's in the top ranks in my collection, and FYI, women love it. Lot's of compliments.

    13th June, 2010

    sophi's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Cléa by Yves Rocher

    Clea by Yves Rocher is a oriental floral fragrance for women.
    The fragrance features amber, sandalwood, gardenia, patchouli, vanilla, jasmine, vetiver, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose.
    Nice lasting floral notes on a woody base!Feminine ,elegant and classical scent .

    13th June, 2010

    Hai_Karate_Kid's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

    Almost a very low "Neutral" but sorry, my thumbs and nose are turned down on this one. Received as a gift in a set one Christmas. Still have lots left. Every time I smell it, the scent reminds me why I enjoy NOT wearing it.
    One star because it came out in the 1970's (only points for this vintage frag. that Beene still makes and have not changed the formula at all). They should change the name though to "Old Gray Flannel Blanket Stuffed in a Box Since 1976." I actually use it more as a threat to others around me in a "watch it, or I'll break out the Grey Flannel." kind of way. It is classified as an "Oriental Woody" ? ? ?
    Now fellow frag. heads, I'm no expert but I enjoy and am very fond of many Oriental Woodys. This is NOT my kind of Oriental Woody. It is a "stale, musty" or "Old Man" smelling frag. at best "Manly" would be a gentle way to put it.

    This frag. is very potent and should come with a warning on the bottle.
    Caution : "May attract cougars!"

    Just my opinion, but I can humbly appreciate why some (older) folks do like this, just not my kind of frag.

    You are better off wearing Hai Katrate !

    HAI YAA ! ! !

    13th June, 2010

    obscura's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dirty English by Juicy Couture

    I'm having a difficult time making up my mind about Dirty English. On the whole, it seems like a bit of a one-liner: intensely dry cedarwood and vetiver and not much else. There is a fleeting hint of bergamot in the top notes, but it is barely distinguishable amid the blast of woods. The name strikes me as funny because, if anything, DE is very clean smelling (I can imagine dryer sheets marketed to men smelling exactly like this), but I suppose that it does have a bit of a grungy edge when compared to the majority of men's sport fragrances.

    I can't give it a thumbs up because it really isn't that interesting, but it is certainly better than many of the masculines I've run across recently. For me, it is a good office scent--after about fifteen minutes it fades to a subtle (but still bright) woody murmur.

    13th June, 2010

    suzi2qs's avatar

    United States United States

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    Délices de Cartier by Cartier

    This is a thin, fruity composition that seems to have no direction. The initial blast of cherry reminds me of those impossibly sweet liquers that if not consumed in extreme moderation yield epic hangovers. Understanding full well that there is supposed to be amber and tonka in the base, I held out, it just never developed on me. The lack of staying power and sillage are for once a comfort as this could have been a trigger for a monumental migrain. Luckily, the sticky cherry/violet opening pops like a firecracker then disappears on my skin leaving no trace or any clear indication that fragrance had been applied at all. Certainly, this would not ever be something I would purchase, In my opinion, Cartier should concentrate on their jewelry which I would certainly purchase had I married for money and not love.

    13th June, 2010

    Olfactangel's avatar



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    Absolument Absinthe Le Parfum D'Interdits by Liquoristerie de Provence

    I just received a sample of this scent and I am very intrigued by it. On first application I could smell the bright licorce of a high quality absinthe unfolding on my skin. After an hour I could smell the heart, a subtle floral boquet with a hint of spice underscoring the brightness of an almost licorce, mint, bergamot melody. This is defintely an interesting scent but I truly think it would have to blend harmonously with your personal chemisty to have that touch of magic. It seems to be working well for me. I will defintely be purchasing a full sized bottle of this concotion.

    13th June, 2010

    Francop's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Custo Man by Custo Barcelona

    I tried it on holiday in Gran Canaria and thought Vowww!!! This is amazing stuff!!!
    I recall it as a masculine, misterious, extremely sensual fragrance...I shall carry on with this review in 3 weeks after my next holiday in Gran Canaria...
    13 June 2010

    I have returned to this scent again today, months later after my initial comments...

    The scent is different from what you would expect in the current aquatic masculine market...it starts with crisp citrusy notes which are very well blended with juniper and neroli notes which do last a good while...the drydown is musky and long lasting...

    A great discovery from Spain...

    Well done Mr Kurkdjian...Thumbs up !!!


    13th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 31st January, 2011)

    rubyred's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Parfum d'Été by Kenzo

    I just can't get past the first 10 min.s of brash discordant, watery citrus to get to sour mandarin - Not a comforting, powdery Champs Elysses type mandarin. I just can't bring myself to use this one. And the ridiculous bottle takes up far too much space. Sold it on ebay.

    13th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 17th November, 2012)

    cedriceccentric's avatar

    Belgium Belgium

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    L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    A terrible generic opening for a very nice drydown.

    14th June, 2010

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Neroli by Czech & Speake

    Notes: Bitter orange, orange flower, neroli, ylang ylang

    Czech & Speake's Neroli is an interesting one. I don't mean that it's an interesting or unique composition, just that its interesting compared to other neroli fragrances in that it relies mostly on the multi-layered and complex scent profile of the various orange flower/neroli oils to create a "perfume". "Deceptively complex" is the term I believe.

    For sure the ingredients are high quality - they have to be, in this case. The opening blast of bitter orange is tangy, bitter and orangey in all the right ways, the orange flower water with its light and distilled citrus floral goodness is present right afterwards before the fragrance opens to a moderately heady neroli absolute which is suitably spicy/floral/citrusy without being overbearing. Neroli is suitably refreshing to wear but the decision to end on a mediocre grade ylang ylang oil is puzzling. The ylang ylang used here has a very 'mass market' feel in that it has a sweetish floral character with a synthetic buzzy-woody note. Seeing that this weirdly cost cutting base material is what you will be smelling for the remaining 65% of the fragrance, I don't understand why the C&S perfumers didn't choose to just end matters after the neroli flashdance expired. I prefer no base to a bad base, and this pesky ylang ylang feels like an unwelcome distant relative at a close knit family reunion of the bitter orange tree.

    From a first half that smells great but feels like it required little engineering on the perfumers part, to the base which feels like a strange/bad engineering decision, Neroli leaves me ambivalent. There are many other fragrances on the market which provide a distinct twist on the neroli theme, so get Neroli only if you want a good quality neroli fragrance from high end market bathroom specialists from Ol' Blighty only.

    Rating: 7.5/10.0

    14th June, 2010

    maccus's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Samouraï Woman by Alain Delon

    Heady, sexy fragrance offering quite a journey as the fragrance warms on the skin finally enveloping its wearer in a miasma that is overwhelmingly sensual. The aquatic elements in the male version are muted, here and the vanilla is reined in. The cedar and sandalwood merge with the rose to create a very beautiful accord. Those who like Hugo Boss's 'Deep Red' are likely to like this, too. I love it.

    14th June, 2010

    maccus's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Antaeus by Chanel

    Antaeus is one of those alluring fragrances that requires you to get a room for the sake of propriety. It's unseemly to be caught sniffing one's own wrist with such abandonment but those who understand that compulsion will welcome every opportunity to experience exactly that kind of heady distraction. It is less strident than I recall but I apply less, and less stridently; perhaps, we've both matured.

    14th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 05th July, 2010)

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

    For me, piper nigrum has the smell of ginger tea with cloves. Is that hot, spicy, fresh, smoky aroma that uplifts you in colder days. Maybe the weather must be very cold to appreciate this one properly.

    14th June, 2010

    Oldspice's avatar

    United States United States

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    Havana by Aramis

    I bought a bottle of the re-release based on the praise I read here. This is a brash fragrance. I imagine this is what the dos equis spokesman would wear. Upon application you get assaulted with a mess of notes - spicy boozy rum, wood and tobacco. After a half an hour or so it settles down on my skin and becomes more smooth. It's still a sharp, dry, in your face fragrance.

    I can see how this has gained a following but it's not for me. Something in the base bothers me that reminds me of Versace L'homme. Labdanum maybe? I don't get much sweetness or vanilla from this.

    14th June, 2010

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