Fragrance Reviews from June 2010

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    Doctor Mod's avatar

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    Visa by Robert Piguet

    What a gorgeous surprise! Like some others here, I'm no fan of the ubiquitous fruity/florals, yet here's something very different indeed. Is there such a thing as a fruity/floral oriental? It would seem so, but this is a vanilla oriental as well, securely grounded in an extremely well-blended base of sandalwood, patchouli, and benzoin--those notes that define oriental fragrances--with just enough leather to lend interest without overwhelming the rest of the composition.

    "Transparent darkness" is the best metaphor I can find to describe Visa. Oxymoronic, I know. The plethora of fruit and floral notes, which is neither sweet nor cloying, adds enough piquancy to function as a beam of light in the amidst the darkness of its base. The heaviness that characterizes so many vanilla orientals is little in evidence here. Even so, the sillage is admirable, and the scent just keeps getting better as one wears it.

    I have to wonder how much the Guichard formulation differs from Germaine Cellier's original, as I sense her compositions were ahead of their time, something for liberated and slightly dangerous female individualists who stood out from the crowd of polite postwar ladies. Visa strikes me as both classic and contemporary, and as a fragrance that can easily compete with the best of today's niche fragrances.

    18 June, 2010

    Doctor Mod's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tea/Rose by CB I Hate Perfume

    As today was my "home office" day and I didn't feel inclined to go out in the unpleasant cold, I decided to play "sample lottery." I've acquired quite a few vials from LuckyScent, eBay, and freebies with purchases, so I closed my eyes and reached into the box in which I keep them. And today's "lucky number" scent was...Tea/Rose?

    I'm not quite sure where this one came from--I find CB I Hate Perfume's hype and stories behind the scent facile to the point of repugnance, and I know I hadn't sought this one out. But never mind--on with the scent, poured out in its entirety on freshly showered skin.

    The opening is a completely unsubtle and very common rose, reminding me of the inexpensive rose soliflores that working-class women striving for gentility (like my mother, her sister, and her friends) bought from the Avon lady or the local drug store back in my childhood. The fragrance became interesting, though, when the tea note emerged; but once again the childhood memories persisted--the tea was definitely Lipton Orange Pekoe/Black, as mundane as it gets.

    While the CB IHP publicity leads me to believe that most of Christopher Brosius's scents are packed with childhood memories (possibly of a highly dysfunctional sort), the memories struck me as more ironically amusing than sad. Indeed, the mingling of these two quotidian smells was so off-beat and perverse that I actually enjoyed it tremendously.

    That is to say, I enjoyed it for about an hour. Then it was gone--completely.

    This ephemeral pleasure is not enough, as far as I'm concerned, to merit the purchase of a full bottle. If I really want to do the rose thing--which I rarely do, as most women need to differentiate themselves from their mothers, I think, and mine was a rose lady--Stella McCartney Rose Absolute would be my weapon--I mean, fragrance--of choice.

    18 June, 2010

    anamari's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tracy by Ellen Tracy

    Ubu, when an opportunity to buy a bottle presented itself, I checked the reviews and found yours. I trust your judgement so I went ahead with the purchase. Like you, I am pleasantly surprised. I keep sniffing my arm becuase I love the creaminess of this scent. I pick up vanilla and almond but a very subtle floral that reminds of gardenia. It is indeed an excellent scent for the summer. Very wearable.

    18 June, 2010

    llnewcomb's avatar

    United States United States

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    Saks New Orleans by Bond No. 9

    This is one lovely scent!! I really don't get the Cajun connection (I have been to NO several times), but this is smooth, gourmand, superbly composed perfume. Nothing stands out,,everything seems to meld together creating one fantastic scent that lasts for hours!!! Now what,,,I need a FB?!

    18 June, 2010

    cathodera's avatar



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    Habanita by Molinard

    I'm ashamed to say I had forgotten about this delightful little perfume, till NebrakaLovesScent was kind enough to send me a sample of it - and I fell in love all over again!

    For a little while, it makes me smell for all the world like a fine Puro. It takes me back to ancient humid evenings, steaming slowly into faint crackly kilohertz of night, lulled to a fitful doze by drone of grownups talking about revolution and raita, religion and rum, real estate riots Raj relativism and rum redux, the sweetness of Puros stolen from stashes of stately old uncles who smelled like Puros and oud, Puros and a kiss of khus, then gently as those nights bloomed into roriferous dawn, Habanita blooms, too, smoke shape-shiting into vague flowers and old cracked-leather suitcases stuffed with Stories, every one of them cien por ciento Puro. On through the petals of soft-scolding Aunties tiptoes Habanita, in Stealth Mode now, and gone before it's here, a mango maybe? still warm from yesterday's sun smirks up from the smoke and swirls to a distant wisp of unclechuckles. An exciting time to be alive, an exciting time to smell like a Puro.
    Now and then, then is now.

    18 June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Boss Woman by Hugo Boss

    A very ordinary scent - sharp floral woods - I do wonder why I am writing this review other than to say - save your money and buy something better than this. on the whole Hugo Boss perfumes are not that good. There are thousands of scents that smell similar to this ,IMHO.Bland.

    18 June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    DKNY Be Delicious by Donna Karan

    Oh My Gosh - not possible to give this zero stars ,is it ?! It reeks of alcohol and it's just a very generic scent. Cheapo floral detergent. Tide detergent smells better than this- hell ,my dryer sheets smell better than this. I wonder how much thought was put into this fragrance. This smells like every other cheap and nasty scent out there. Where is the 'delicious' apple ? Horrible ,horrible, horrible. For The Perfume God's sake, please don't buy this.

    18 June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    17/17 Elle by Xerjoff

    Elle. Parfum Concentration. Sampled twice.Floral- oriental, Wood, Amber. Notes of citrus accents, galbanum resin, orange blossom,iris, leather of birch,woods, pathcouli,amber,musk and tonkiphora balm .
    On my skin, this opens sweet, almost gourmand in sweetness. Within a few minutes, it calms ,the sweetness pulls back a little and I get ambery deep,woods and musk.Quite mysterious, tenacious ,much' thicker' in nature compared to Irisss ,Mefisto and Fiore d'Ulivo which are more ethereal.
    A sexy,earthy siren perfume ! Well blended .

    18 June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    17/17 Homme by Xerjoff

    Parfum - highest concentration.Sampled on husband and sampled on myself. Leather-Wood .Notes of citrus,spices,cloves,lavender flowers,Lysilang,ylang ylang,leather, vetiver,woods.
    OK- this is seriously sexy leather. It's immediate, strong, apparent .
    The thought that comes to mind is a woodier ,less potent Onda by Vero Profumo. ( As much as I appreciate Onda as a quality perfume - I get TCP - in the UK - this is a strong, tenacious skin disinfectant. I apologise ! )

    Onda I can't tolerate ( sorry ! ) but this is sexy - it never verges on the ' TCP' area ,but skims around it though staying quite tart - did I say that it's sexy ? Think -' strong gorgeous man on horseback' / or strong sexy woman on horseback ...... other imagery ... " sexy man / woman in spanky new Ferrari whith the best leather upholstery smell wafting ......"
    On my husband it is manly, has that 'Grrrr' factor. *GRIN*
    On me ,it's Marlene Dietrich I guess ! The vetiver I can smell and it just enhances this perfume. A+++ ! Strong, dynamic.

    Lysilang is robertet fraction of Ylang oil - searched for and taken from the Official Basenotes Xerjoff thread.

    18 June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    17/17 XXY by Xerjoff

    Parfum - highest concentration. Sampled,tested once this evening ,as a going out fragrance. Chypre- Oriental to me. Notes of black pepper,patchouli,bergamot,jasmine,amber,woods.
    It has a delicious citrus opening ,almost savory ,bright ,alittle black pepper that comes in , the pepper gets stronger on me and stays ,swirled in with the pathcouli and jasmine . Lovely drydown - I get pepper, patchouli ,amber ,woods . Opens bright, turns down on volume ,still pulsates beautifully on my skin.

    ** The XJ 17/17 Collection samples are ALL parfum versions .I love how these parfums are totally unisex. Even Homme could be used by a woman .

    18 June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    17/17 Irisss by Xerjoff

    IRISSs. Parfum Concentration. Sampled twice.Yes- it's spelt that way - not one of my usual spelling errors. It lives up to its name. Oh My - this is GORGEOUS iris. Notes of iris,carrot seeds,rose ,ylang,ylang, rare woods,resins, incenses and musks.This was created with one of the most exclusive varieties of iris butter - as is stated on the card.
    People- if you love iris, you will adore this. On my skin, this is iris,iris, iris- it's beautiful. Almost a soliflore .Wonderfully iris and slightly carroty opening - I mean I swooned. The carrot aspect goes quickly and it becomes powdery ,then buttery ,deeper and deeper. it's magic. I love this one very much.

    18 June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

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    Balenciaga Paris by Balenciaga

    It took me two wearings to appreciate this scent. First wearing- it was a bland violet floral - not much character and i dismissed it. With the second wearing I found I could enjoy the violet in this - it's a modern take/ edge on violets - floral, not too powdery , sweetish. It's supposed to be violet chypre . I will not be buying a full bottle although I appreciate this scent.

    18 June, 2010

    nephandi's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Monsieur de Givenchy by Givenchy

    If you like habit rouge I imagine you'd enjoy this scent as well. I found the top & mid notes nauseating this is VERY heavy floral. The dry down after a few hours was bearable but not worth the horror of top & mids.

    18 June, 2010

    nephandi's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Vetiver Eau Glacée by Guerlain

    Fresh opening which I don't mind although the neroli in the mid doesn't sit very well with me and it seems to stick around for awhile. I prefer the original vetiver as its a nice clean fresh scent which is soft.

    18 June, 2010

    Chypriot's avatar

    New Zealand New Zealand

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    Eau du Soir by Sisley

    Luca and Turin call this a "cheap chypre". I couldn't disagree more. To me it is absolutely gorgeous; smells luxurious and classy. My current number 1.

    18 June, 2010

    trapper's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior

    Oh, Hypnotic Person, the only female marketed fragrance I wear without being self-conscious. It starts with a stingy blast of almond dipped in vanilla. After 20 minutes, the jasmine starts to kick-in and the magical sweetness starts to appear. It's hard for me to describe it's entire development because no words can give you a feeling of what this can smell like.

    It is so easy to love and I can't help myself taking a whiff of this while I write this review.

    18 June, 2010

    trapper's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Aqua pour Homme by Bulgari

    Oh, what a lovely modern take on aquatics. The first time I smelled this I was flabbergasted because it really evokes the sea with it's spiciness and freshness.

    This is versatile and elegant at the same time. For a marine scent, I can't see nothing wrong with it.

    Some people might despise it for it's popularity, but the sales speak for themselves. I believe that it's freshness can bring up to life the young spirit in anyone.

    Projection: Perfect
    Longevity: 4-5 hours
    Development: Linear
    Classification: Spicy Aquatic
    Versatility: Great
    Age: Any
    Gender: Masculine
    Overall: 10/10

    18 June, 2010

    Scentational's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    This is my Number ONE !
    As far as I won't be jaded of it or find something better (afterall I don't know so much fragrances...), I found my perfect scent in this one.
    If the word "cosy" was a smell, it would be Black.
    The beginning, often perceived as "burnt rubber" by some people, is rather a "new rubber" smell for me, like a tire or some industrial thingies in rubber. According to some people, that's the smell of Lapsang Souchong tea, and since I didn't smell this tea yet, I guess it's correct. I have to admit it's the kind of smell which is very polarizing.
    After like 1 hour, the rubber has faded a lot and melted with the vanilla which was just playing in the background before. At this point I find this scent has something "wet" in it, like some... recently showered hair doused by the rain then drying. Really sexy, actually. It doesn't evolve so much anymore on me, but the rubber kindly disappears as the time passes and what's left on my skin is a nice vanilla smell quite similar to the "magic fragranced trees" for the car, but doesn't smell cheap for my taste. BUT I have to warn, if you sweat too much where you applied it, the vanilla could become overwhelming and not blended correctly with the other notes anymore, so it isn't something to wear if you like being scented at fitness club or something like that.
    The sillage seems very good and it's a stronger fragrance than the other Bulgari's, but there isn't anything sharp or aggressive in this, it's just plain sweet and comfortable. And about the longevity, like all the other fragrances of this house, it's impressively longlasting on me.
    There's something in this smell that seems familiar to me, but can't know why. It maybe reminds me of a vanilla-scented toy in shape of foot I used to bite when I was a baby...
    I don't see this fragrance as raw or edgy, it's very quiet and soft actually but never limp. There's something emotional with me about this one, it's not just a scent, it's a world on its own !
    I find it kinda versatile and wear it all-year round, but I prefer to use it in the evening and often wear it for going out at club/party.

    My summary : "Vanilla Petroleum Co. bought a black tea factory"

    18 June, 2010 (Last Edited: 25 September, 2010)

    From Smoke's avatar

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    Pour Un Homme by Caron

    I have a completely emotional reaction to this fragrance.

    First lavender makes me feel clean: not just washed, but cleansed, made better, refreshed and improved.

    Second, the vanilla makes me feel snugly: warm, inviting, baby-blanket innocent cuddly. I want to hug myself. I feel like I'm being hugged-- that other people I like want to hug me too.

    For me this fragrance is all about calm, relaxed intimacy-- like sitting on a picnic blanket leaning against someone you care for and watching the sun set over a river. You could talk, or not, or sing, or whisper, or laugh, or simply watch the sparkle in the warm dusk.

    Trust, Love, Trust love.

    These are the emotions this fragrance brings up in me.

    18 June, 2010

    blackened's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Blu pour Homme by Bulgari

    Blv has two faces. the start is too soapy to my nose , the best, by far, is the floral stele that remains when you pass around.Great drydown and great sillage.

    18 June, 2010

    lauraschoice's avatar

    United States United States

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    Alessandro Dell'Acqua by Alessandro Dell'Acqua

    I was interested in trying this fragrance because of the sweet pea top note ( a noshow; why is this one so hard to get right?) After getting my hands on a sample I have decided to give it a neutral. I don't dislike this scent but it is not right for me. It is seductive, a little strong (excellent sillage) with a musk bottom note that is not too cloying. It's best suited for evening and would encourage anyone who likes distinctive musk scents to give it a try.

    18 June, 2010

    philmcphe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bois d'Hiver by Ayala Moriel

    I like the opening of it, smells like a very old, antique wardrobe almost. Unfortunately in about twenty minutes all it smells like is cinnamon on my skin.

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

    This is my go-to scent whenever I feel like slipping on my Members Only jacket and popping in my Flock of Seagulls cassette tape. In all seriousness, this fragrance was THE thing to wear when you were going to the 8th grade dance 20yrs ago.....Currently for me, it only has sentimental value. All in all, it's certainly a masculine scent, but if there was ever a scent that evokes a period long past (the 80's) this is it. Honestly the only time I could see wearing this would be going to an "80's night" at a club or some such.

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    I was introduced to this when out one night with a friend who recieved compliments from two attractive women on seperate occasions throughout the night. Needless to say, I made a mental note to add as a cologne arrow in my quiver.....

    That was many months ago, and while I still like it, I have gotten to favor others over it (and am still waiting for MY first compliment while wearing it!). I think it is a very good winter scent and seems to project well from my skin and had above average longevity for me. Has a very attention grabbing lavendar-powder-vanilla-y scent, but is also unmistakably synthetic smelling as well.

    As another drawback it is appearantly a fairly common scent to encounter (although I rarely do) so if you are going for the more unique/novel approach in fragrance, this probably won't be it.

    I still keep it in the rotation for winter, but find myself looking for a reason to chose another over it whenever possible.

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    Millésime Impérial by Creed

    This was probably my first "WOW!" fragrance experience. After learing about it on here, I had to see what the fuss was about, and I have to say, it was an immediate no-brainer addition to my collection.

    Others can and have described the notes far better than I but I will add a couple things:
    1) You can unmistakably sense the quality or luxury when wearing this. It just smells like a whole other level of fragrance to me than your average men's cologne.
    2) Suprisingly to me, I find this more masculine than unisex. This coming from a guy who tends to prefer the more rugged manly scents historically. I think this is a perfect bridge to what I personally like wearing vs. what women like in a men's fragrance....and obviously, I'm cool with that.
    3) Lastly I will say that the longevity is not as bad (for me at least) as others state, although it nothing better than average either. At the high price point, that is really the only minor quibble I have.
    As much as I would like to wear it everyday, I'm compelled to ration it out for more special occasions or at least create them as an excuse to wear this! A+

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

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    FCUK Him by French Connection

    Before I started learning more about fragrance, this was my scent of choice for a year or so, in no small part to it being a favorite of my girl at the time (she described it as "sex in a bottle"). I have to say, I too, found it pleasing, in a rather metallic-synthetic sort of way. Perhaps it's just bad memories of her or the fact that I have encountered many others that I favor much more but this will only be a fragrance historical footnote for me. My 1/3 full bottle was lost somewhere in the move from my old place to my present one, and I can't say I've had the inclination to replace it.

    I suppose if one was looking for a less expensive scent just to mix things up, you could do far worse.....but I would not consider this one a must-try by any means.

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Having just sampled this based on the numerous postiive reviews I've seen on here, I have to say I think this is very good, but would hesitate to say great. As many others have said, it reminds one of a very pleasant sahving cream smell, albeit a little more powdery. At the rather inexpensive prices I have seen it listed for online, I will certainly be picking up a bottle, but more so as an addendum to my main purchase(s) on that order.

    As a guy in his mid-30's I can see why those younger than me might find this a little "older man" smelling. And as it has garnered rave reviews as a woman-magnet, I would suggest it might work better on the middle aged cougar-type women than the college girls ("you smell like my dad!")
    In closing I would say this is definately worth having in the rotation, especially for a more cold weather casual scent. A solid if not spectacular thumbs up.

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    Guess Man by Guess

    Got this as a gift from an ex girlfriend, and even though she liked it, never really had the urge to wear it much. As someone who is not necessarily put off by a synthetic smell, this was even too syth for me.

    I guess that is lavendar I smell at the begining, just not a lavendar I like - more of a "spicy" lavendar if that makes sense.

    Anyways, I gave it to my brother and he likes wearing it, but as for me, a pretty easy thumbs down.

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

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    Italian Cypress by Tom Ford

    As a relatively newbie to fragrances, I learned about this one after reading a glowing review in a men's magazine. Upon going to the Neiman Marcus nearby to test it out, it had the distinction of becoming my first bugged-eyed "HOW MUCH?!?!" reaction when learning the price. Upon subsequent samples I have come to like it more, but it is still too similar to Polo for me to ever justify spending that type of money on it. In fairness, I tend to feel that way about most of the Tom Ford private labels I have come across.

    If given as a gift, I would certainly not throw it in the trash, and would pleasurably wear it, but all things being equal, I just liked it, not loved it. And maybe it's my inexperienced nose, but this strikes me as unquestionably a man's fragrance, even though it's listed as unisex on basenotes...

    18 June, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vintage by John Varvatos

    This was recently given to me as a gift and in totall disclosure I really haven't worn it out yet. That being said, it strikes me as a quintesential daytime-autumn scent, and that is how I plan to wear it when the calendar rolls around. I could see wearing this out to the bar on a Sunday afternoon to watch a football game.

    I defintately detect a cinnamon-y heavy pumpkin pie spice scent throughout. I can even agree with those who said it reminded them of a spiced apple cider as well.

    While I can't say in complete honestly I think I would have bought this for myself, I do see some potential to really come to like wearing this. As for now I give it a tenuous thumbs up rating

    18 June, 2010

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