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LAVS by Unum

To cut to the chase: I’m not thrilled by Lavs.

Since its release, this scent has seen everything from serious praise to unenthused shrugs. In fact, when one of my friends who likes incense perfume as much as I do told me that he wasn't impressed by it, I thought he must have received the wrong sample given the scent’s buzz up until that point. For me, I think it gets a few things right, but not enough to win me over.

First, I’d be more inclined to describe this as a green-leaning soapy-clean scent with a tinge of metallic rootiness before I’d even utter the word “incense.” It's almost disinfectant-clean, but the cleanliness is closer to the laundry effect that you get from certain musks than the shampoo-in-the-mouth sensation that certain soapy accords can produce. It’s metallic and bitter, but it manages to stay on the right side of acerbic. What’s behind this is a specific aldehyde that’s used over and over in incense fragrances (as well as virtually all cleaning products that carry a “pine” smell). The aldehyde in question is immediately recognizable once you’ve smelled the note in isolation (C12 MNA), and it comes up in Avignon, Cardinal, La Liturgie des Heurres, Craft — pretty much every sharp, pine-ish incense fragrance on the market. It’s overdosed in Lavs to produce the clean effect as well as to bolster the green / metallic facets of the scent. But whereas an overdose of the stuff can easily send a fragrance into the realm of “pine car freshener,” here it’s mitigated by a wall of frankincense/olibanum’s distinct lemony facets and some elemi to further soften the sharp edges. Even though the dosage is far too high, the perfumer did a nice job of cushioning it within the scent.

For the first few hours (seriously), I find Lavs too sourly metallic to enjoy — almost to the point of scrubbing it off. But, over time, it softens up to reveal a nicely done, enduring amber-ish base that’s mainly ambrox-style chemicals merged with a smooth, anonymous resin accord. At this stage, Lavs is basically a good, durable incense without the harshness of the aldehyde. The cleanliness sticks around, and I can certainly see why this was used as a room / clothing spray in the past, but I don’t think it’s quite translated into a wearable incense perfume. There’s nothing smoky, nothing floral, nothing woody, nothing goth, nothing dramatic about it — it’s just a clean incense with a metallic tinge to it. The problem is that it takes hours to get to that point.

When compared to all the other fragrances in this style, it’s the cleanliness that makes it stand out. I wore Lavs for two consecutive days exclusively, and even in hot temperatures it kept its cool. And while there’s some depth to the scent, it’s got more than its fair share of the usual synthetic suspects in it as well. This isn’t a bad thing, but it really keeps the scent from elevating beyond Iso E / C12 hits like Bois d’Encens, Avignon, Cardinal etc. — it’s really just an elaboration of that same effect. In fact, Jo Malone (of all lines) just released a wholly unoriginal take on the same style, and I would harbor that it’s actually smoother than this. Also, I compared Lavs directly to Avignon (the touchstone, really), and I personally prefer Avignon simply because the patchouli note in that scent adds just the right earthy contrast to the bitterness of the C12. This has no contrast, and while it outperforms the CdG by a long stretch, I still prefer Avignon over this.

I don’t dislike Lavs, and I don’t think it’s a bad scent overall, but I think there are plenty of better options out there for incense fragrance (Sahara Noir, Avignon, Bois d’Encens etc). I’ve enjoyed spending time with this one and exploring its nuances, and I’m glad that I finally got to check it out, but ultimately it’s left me cold.
01st July, 2015
drseid Show all reviews
United States

Soul by Costume National

Soul opens with moderately sweet vanilla infused black pepper spice. Moving to the early heart the composition remains moderately sweet as cardamom joins the black pepper to support an emerging synthetic Oud accord that takes on the starring role, with traces of relatively sanitized patchouli and rough leather joining in subtle additional support. During the late dry-down the sweetness fades while remaining in modest fashion as a salty ambergris accord takes control of the composition with the sanitized patchouli remaining in support through the finish. Projection is average to slightly above average and longevity very good at about 10-11 hours on skin.

When I initially heard about Soul I really didn't know what to think. On the one hand, it is by Costume National, a brand that has produced some really great compositions previously, this one composed by my favorite nose Dominique Ropion. On the other hand, the last few Costume National releases were disappointing, and the published notes list looked uninspired. It was time to give the stuff a sniff to see if Ropion could work his magic on a brief that most likely would not have been his first choice... Unfortunately, one of the first things I noticed when Soul was applied on skin is the significant sweetness level. This sweetness comes from the vanilla in the base, but it permeates every aspect of the composition's development and not really in a good way. At least the early relatively sweet vanilla is not powdery, as that would have been the death knell early-on. Countering the unwanted sweetness is a pretty decent implementation of synthetic Oud. This stuff will not fool anyone who has smelled the real thing that it is not a synthetic concoction, but Ropion to his credit utilizes the faux Oud in a way that it blends pretty well into the spices and patchouli, never calling too much attention to itself even though it is the star for most of the composition's development. The most disappointing part of that development, however, comes during the late dry-down as salty and slightly musky ambergris takes over from the faux Oud as star, with the vanilla eschewing some of its sweetness, swapping it for a subtle dry powdery sheen late. All in all Soul does smell good, but somewhat ironically, apart from its note list being unimpressive it comes off as soulless. My guess is Ropion really didn't enjoy composing this one. The bottom line is the $150 per 100ml bottle Soul is lacking precisely that despite still smelling good, earning it a "good" 3 star out of 5 rating and a hesitant recommendation.
30th June, 2015

No. 5 Eau Première by Chanel

Simply a well re-orchestrated version of the great original with a reduced aldehydic/animalic presence, an equally woody-poudree-rosey exotic dry down but with this alluring long lasting soul full of bright-shimmering sharp floral sophistication (jasmine more than rose in this phase and "apparently" peony), a more angular-watery citric presence (sharp, vaguely bitter and sensual) and a fresher general aura (aromatic and spicy). Anyway, Eau Premiere preserves that "trademark" N. 5' s poudree-hesperidic-chypre (still rosey-soapy) chic aura which turned its predecessor out in to such a legendary way. Thumbs up.
30th June, 2015
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Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A blogger well defines this perfume, just knowing how to read!

https://infragranti.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/absolue-pour-le-soir-de-francis-kurkdjian/

The superhero, the celebrities, the famous person are not famous just because they are called Batman or Captain Paris.The difference is their social position, that is, the comparison between mine and their position, between ours and theirs. This is real life. We can consider this diversity as a recent conquest of modern sociology: a social group is rich or poor, or disadvantaged only in relation to another group, and the same is for every man...
In this case the world of comic could become an unprecedented scope for this theory to show that even a costume or a myth is nothing if we are not willing to recognize them as such. Then, here is a superhero as Captain Paris who is compared to O'driù! O'driù is not the measure but the disproportion the imbalance! And the blogger has the absolute advantage of being unnecessarily banal and complacent!
Just read this post while you're carefree, just relaxing! It is a kind of “soda”, nothing more.

Absolutely, you might consider this perfume a good fragrance, but the detail of the diversity, the difference between luxury and art, make this fragrance tiny!
The scent, including synthetic ingredients and little brave notes, could be considered the final Epic Fall of the Niche.


by your amazing "interesting man in conflict"

This reviewer may have conflicts of interest

30th June, 2015
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Rochas by Rochas

There's something about this wonderful scent that makes me want to wear a floaty, diaphanous dress and sit by a pool sipping a cocktail. It perks me up and relaxes me at the same time with its beautiful blend of lime, grapefruit, lemon, carnation, coriander a smidgen of patchouli, oakmoss, musk and sandalwood.

I really can't imagine a more suitable concoction to spritz on when the heat is on and the days are long.
As it melds with my skin it becomes very sensuous and could easily be unisex in the way the Eau Sauvage became in the 70's.

French chic at its very best!
30th June, 2015

Euphoria Gold by Calvin Klein

The citrus and honey combo in the top remind me of a discontinued L'Occitane honey EDT, though that one was really just those two notes throughout, and they're only the beginning here - Euphoria Gold really blooms on skin.

Honey is up there with vanilla as something people like, so apart from the comments I've seen that it can go cat pee on some, I don't understand why the honey note hasn't been featured all that much in recent years. For Lord knows there have been enough sweet and gourmand fragrances released that MIGHT have featured it!

There are florals here, but I get them sort of subconsciously. On me, Euphoria Gold is primarily apricot, honey, patchouli, and musk for the long haul. Sweet, but with the Calvin Klein urban polish, which keeps it from veering completely into the super heavy hippie incense kind of scent that it could have been with its combination of notes. I think I'd like a heavier version, actually. While I adore Euphoria Gold and don't have anything bad to say about it, I will admit that I harbor a desire for a Tom Ford execution of the same pyramid. I think it would be a better Velvet Orchid-like thing!




30th June, 2015

Eau de Quinine by Crown Perfumery

Besides the Crown Perfumery’s Eau de Quinine (EdQ), two other "modern" fragrances bear this name: Geo F Trumper's and Pinaud’s. I have not tried Pinaud’s so I will compare the Trumper and the Crown Perfumery renditions here. Both have the quintessential quinine note: bitter aromatic, not citrus but perhaps a satisfying alternative to those craving tartness. The GFT rendition is tempered by a powdery accord. The Crown rendition doesn't have this nearly so much, so the bitterness is more pronounced, albeit mingled with floral notes that are stronger in the Crown rendition.

EdQs have a barbershop feel of a former age. Still they are interesting fragrance and worthy of trying. I prefer the GFT EdQ, but this is quite wearable, albeit discontinued some time ago.
30th June, 2015

Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

When I tried Anubis, I was admittedly bummed. I'd read so many good things about it and I loved the tropes that it was engaging, but ultimately, I didn’t feel that the composition had the structural sophistication to carry the scent. I ended my review by noting that even though I wasn’t quite on board with Anubis, I was looking forward to see what perfumer Liz Moores would do next. I’m glad I did.

The perfectly named Salome is a monster. It’s like a deeper, more dramatic Muscs Koublai Khan that folds in aspect of Musc Tonkin, Fleur Poudrée de Musc, and Anubis and manages to pull it off perfectly. Given the references I just laid out, I’m sure you can already guess that this is animalic scent. It’s essentially a floral chypre with a salacious, lurid musk attached that knows the limits of decency and just how far it can push up against those limits. Expect grandiose, weighty floral notes suspended over a full, woody-chypre base. The musk splits the difference between MKK’s cozy civet and Musc Tonkin’s metallic-goat shimmer. Some of the more aggressive textures of Anubis — specifically the gasoline jasmine and the leathery motor oil — make cameo appearances, but they’re part of a larger, more cohesive whole. Salome hits some of the same melodramatic chords of the line’s other releases, but the form is more refined without coming off as overly coiffed. There's some textural action going on (meaning that it’s not a perfectly smooth blend — so prepare yourselves, purists), yet overall Salome is far more tucked in than that of Moores' past releases. Over time, the musks turns a bit scratchy-powder akin to the Les Nereides scent noted above, but the carnality holds strong and the scent persists for long time. At points, it reminds me a little of Neil Morris’ Gotham. It’s less-rose driven, but Gotham’s excellent moodiness is all there. Adding this to her line was a smart move, and, although there are plenty of musky florals already buzzing around, there’s always room for something with this much sex and drama involved — and this has both in spades. A castoreum, gasoline, resinous, civety, lurid floral musk with the right amount of imperfection in all the right places. It’s dark, risky, and supremely moody — it’s fantastic.
29th June, 2015 (last edited: 01st July, 2015)

Hyle by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

A loop, I mean that same old record (Profumum Roma Acqua di Sale, il Profumo Pioggia Salata, L'Erbolario Fiore di Loto, Reminiscence Rem/Sea Rem, Laboratorio Olfattivo Salina, Chieffo Acquasala and God knows what else). Farmacia SS Annunziata Hyle is really close to almost all the previously outlined juices (overall connected by a common soapy-ozonic musky edge), I mean a plethora of particular (mainstream nowadays) ozonic juices which stand out (especially all around the trendy summer southern seaside venues) for their sort of silky soapy-salty trail, the aromatic-anisic muskiness (myrtle, lavender, anise etc.) a touch of fruitiness and the great projection. The aroma is utterly synthetic, sort of weidly balmy-candied and salty aromatic. Hyle is anyway discreet and balanced. A sort of assumedly "posh" kind of recipe. Do you want to have a similar feeling but in a far far better way (and without the chemical ozone)? Ok try to find Must the Cartier Pour Homme Vert Anis, you will get in Paradise.
29th June, 2015

Givenchy pour Homme by Givenchy

With all the individual character of an airport terminal, Givenchy pour Homme runs the scintillating gamut from Ho to Hum. I acquired this one in a lot that contained what I was truly interested in - another bottle of vintage Gentlemen. A test of the orphan bottle of Givenchy PH revealed it to be unobjectionably fresh and mannered yet insubstantial, somewhat in the style of Creeds of the light and very frail-structured variety.
29th June, 2015

Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna

Like many other masculine classic fragrances from those years, the first scent by Zegna tries to blend some classic “powerhouse” notes from the 1980’s (leather, cloves, oak moss, carnation) with a “younger”, more refined powdery Oriental vein of amber, spices and something floral-musky. A “gentler” powerhouse, maybe broadly comparable to Guerlain Heritage, just way less sophisticated than that, more herbaceous, sharp, still more leathery and “virile”. Say, more than a similarity, I think they could share some similar inspiration – to “brighten up” the rather gloomy realm of masculine fougères of the preceding decade with something spicier and more powdery. And that’s it, you can easily imagine how it smells and sadly for me, with all respects, it falls within the “boring” side – I mean that it is a perfectly decent and elegantly masculine fragrance with no particular quality or creativity or “added values” to make it a “gem to re-discover” (unless you’re really obsessed with Italian fougères).

6,5/10
29th June, 2015

273 Rodeo Drive for Men by Fred Hayman

Brut at half volume!

Disliked Brut in the 60's.

Stayed away in the 70's.

Thought it had disappeared in the 90's.

Now to 273.

Once you get past the Bergamot, Lavender

blast. Things get better.

In the drydown, I find quite a pleasant touch of

Oakmoss. Mmm.

This seems much simpler in composition to the Brut..

I kind of like it.

Sampleworthy. Yes! Bottleworthy. No!
29th June, 2015

Usmar Venezia by Cerchi nell'Acqua

A fragrance for poets and travellers. Usmar Venezia is (in my humble opinion) the Enrico Buccella's masterwork (on the side of Emilie and Atelier Marrakech), a superior resinous rose/patchouli costruction and one of the very rare artistic creations I've tested on skin in the last two years. The lecherous exhalations appear by soon immensely aristocratic, classically "conceived", resinously rosey, vegetal and decadent and it seems to catch for a while on your skin the history of the glorious Repubblica di Venezia, a story of travels, explorations, cultural loftiness, noble buildings and supreme art. A fragrance for the Dames at Court, a mystic and elusive potion waving as a ghost for secret rooms of the venetian buildings. This amazing fragrance could immedialtely be elevated on a status of classic, imo. Rose, patchouli, resins/balsams (frankincense, amber , benzoin, opoponax and more) and spices appoint a magical olfactory atmosphere, a valzer of velvets, a whirlpool of aristocratic and exotic nuances grounding in the past their essence. In the same league with scents as Tiziana Terenzi Gold Rose Oudh and Malle Portrait of a Lady (the more incensey La Via del Profumo Mecca Balsam jumps on mind just in part for its resinous waxy golden aura) anyway in here the aroma seems to go further towards a more complex, "flamboyant" (warm salty castoreum and velvety resins) and nuanced pièce of baroque art. This aroma is rosey-waxy, vaguely incensey, spicy, hesperidic and vegetal. A woodsy-animalic basic accord is on the line of the classic floral feminine mossy-waxy (vaguely honeyed) chypre of the french/italian tradition while vegetal patterns provide throughout a touch of lymphatic-camphoraceous grassiness connected with the spiciness of patchouli and rooty dry spices. An exotic accord of spices and ylang-ylang enhances the general silky-soapy mysticism of this languid elixir. Usmar Venezia is a "palatin" fragrance, something with a story to tell, an extremely refined and "mannered" construction rich of articulation and "dodgy eroticism". Recommended.
28th June, 2015
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Sycomore (new) by Chanel

I think I'm becoming a bit of a vetiver addict. I've also tried Encre Noir (like many) recently, also Guerlain Vetiver. Of course there are strong similarities. For me this hasn't the clean, honest, freshness of Guerlain, and it hasn't the dark, sinister drama of the Lalique. But this is mellow, subtle, refined, tentative, fleeting, delicate. Beautiful, in fact. I get the soft spiciness at the start and of course full-on lovely vertiver throughout. For me rather soft sillage (although I was wearing Polo yesterday, so I might revise that comment later!) and soft to moderate longevity. Someone else I read said "otherworldly" - I agree, and in fact the scent of vetiver is always like that for me. But whereas Encre Noir, for me, is a malevolent, cold and dramatic spirit, Sycomore is an intelligent, refined and absolutely benevolent alien being. Someone I read said that the character from the film Avatar would wear this. Yes, bravo, perfect! I so wish I'd thought of that image, but it's completely right. A benevolent, intelligent, otherworldly, beautiful, forest dweller.
I've just noticed it's listed as a feminine fragrance too. Yes! (lightbulb moment....) of course it would be lovely on a woman, but I'm also claiming it too. In fact this scent is not about sex at all for me.
No doubt at some point in the future I will be surrounded by far too many bottles on the theme of vetiver. Heaven! Of course Sycomore is on my "want" list. I'd wear this when I felt I needed support and kindness not of this world. Lovely.

Jun
27
2015
27th June, 2015

Eau des Baux by L'Occitane

This has a coniferous-vanilla/amber accord that works. Doesn’t feel especially complex or high end, but would you expect that for the price? It has good longevity. I own a bottle. Not a wardrobe favorite of mine, but every now and then I like wearing it. Reasonably priced.
27th June, 2015

Armani Eau de Nuit by Giorgio Armani

Halfway Paul Smith Man and Dior Homme, a sort of spicy-dusty “grey” iris-tonka fragrance loaded with synthetic amber nuances, a ton of cheap soapy musk (you’ll get it all on the drydown) and a hint of smoke. Clearly similar to Dior Homme – the kind of “similar” connecting a counterfeit PU leather replica of a Hermès Birkin bag to the original one. A strong will to be content with very little, a bit of imagination and really low pretenses can make the purchase worthy. The same here; Eau de Nuit smells heavily and almost annoyingly cheap and not exactly “inspired” from the point of view of the creativity... but well, it works somehow, especially since the prices seem quite low. It’s warm, slightly sweet, dark but gentle, a resemblance with the drydown of Body Kouros pops out on the drydown. *Indifferent shrug*.

5,5-6/10
27th June, 2015

Original Santal by Creed

Trying not to be judgemental here, but Original Santal by Creed is really a depressing fragrance given the price and the pretenses it has. I can accept the fact there is no (I mean: no!) sandalwood here, and obviously no “original” sandalwood therefore, but even putting that aside, it smells really, clearly and desperately mediocre. Don’t expect any luxury out of this, it is basically a really generic herbal juniper-lavender blend with a lot of spices on the smooth-sweet side, mostly cinnamon and tonka, and that’s it. Pleasantly outdated if you want, but that’s a really miserable cold comfort to pay that money to feel like a wealthy distinguished connoisseur while actually smelling like a lower-class accountant from the early 1990s. Not saying Original Santal stinks; it is decent, in the least enthusiastic meaning ever, something which I would consider acceptable for a 15/20 EUR fragrance. “Drugstore/chainstore-decent” as any Montblanc and similar fragrances would be. Sadly I am given to understand Creed fans are most of the time so devotedly stubborn that my review will just appear as some snobbish grumpy opposer bashing the brand for the sake of it... well I am not. I admit this would be fine with a way lower price, so I do see some margin of acceptability with this fragrance, but as-is (over 2 EUR/ml?) it’s objectively preposterous - this being in the same broad price range of, say, Hermès Cuir d’Ange? Insulting.

4,5-5/10
27th June, 2015
CoL Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Uomo Essenza di Capri by Pal Zileri

I got this for a silly price but the reviews made me take the little chance. At first spray I thought to myself 'yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. This has only been done 2500 times before' yet 10 mins later it dries down to a very lovely aquatic! A surprisingly lovely aquatic given the price. Subtle, gentle aquatic with a fruity edge. No one could find this offensive so suitable for the office too. A surprise blind buy, glad I got it in the sale now!
27th June, 2015

Bugatti (original) by Etorre Bugatti

Bugatti Original is one of the highest examples of elevated italian disappeared perfumery. This fragrance has an its own twin, namely the equally great and seriously similar Moschino Pour Homme despite I partially detect many elements in common with further italian great creations of the past as the Classic Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli and Versace Versus (for several of their spicy-animalic and citrusy/resinous characteristics). As well as the excellent Colin Maillard has written before (thanks for his amazing thread to Andre' Moreau as well), this gem is epitome of a left back fulgent era in which creating perfumes was a real art and used to mean top of the top quality (of raw materials, no IFRA, no idiotic rules, no "plastic luxury"). Yes, no plastic luxury ("Colin Maillard"), no " 212 sexy Men", now sugary medicinal powder "in the middle of the teeth". There is a powdery-spicy "backbone" (in Ettore Bugatti and in the finally more leathery and less lemony/animalic/resinous Moschino Pour Homme as well) which is really penetrating and immensely luxurious (leatherwears/furs kind of luxury) than finally leathery, inebriant, exotic and visceral. The previously highlighted hallmarks are the main treat of this resinous semi-oriental fragrance (with chypre/fougere classic hallmarks) together with a sparkling hesperidic/aldehydic but immedialtely powdery-resinous opening (it seems to effectively detect a touch of the immensely beautiful Guerlain's "lemon/vanilla" powdery accord - Habit Rouge, Jicky, L'Heure Bleue, Shalimar). I'm smitten by the sandalwood's qualify and due to an incredibly modern vibe exuded by the final development, something far beyond many celebrated niche contemporary concoctions (several Roja Dove's jump on mind as well as Marc de la Morandiere Genghis Khan. The great Zino Davidoff and partially Montecristo Masque jump too on mind as well for several of their characteristics, as well as Valentino Vendetta etc). Ettore Bugatti is a perfect mélange of aldehydic hesperides, aromatic herbs (lavender in particular), powdery-lemony vanilla, resins, spiciness (rootiness) and leather/castoreum. There is a stout lemon/orange (bergamot/neroli) presence throughout which is "second by second" surrounded by this powdery-resinous amber/vanilla/benzoin accord, by a lot of woodiness (spicy, rooty, rounded, seasoned...more and more), warm castoreum (salty and carnal) and a final leather (soft in the middle of the sweet resins). There is anyway a powerhouse nature throughout (spicy, rooty, aromatic) which is at same time herbal, floral and animalic a la V&A Tsar (but in this case less properly barber-shop/herbal and more resinous, white-leathery and luxurious) or Shiseido Basala (which is equally resinous, more spicy/exotic, tobacco/tonka-veined but less luxurious, classy and urban). Rose/rosewood, orris root, patchouli and well modulated leather enhance the general luxury all around. In conclusion this amazing creation is like a modern hero, namely a sensible father, a loyal husband, an elegant professional fellow always impeccable, cut/charming eyes and warm virile aroma, a man which seems to glimmer of lifed life, painful past and wisdom.
26th June, 2015 (last edited: 27th June, 2015)

Polo by Ralph Lauren

To start with this brings back one vivid memory from my childhood. Opening the small, empty, wooden barrel-shaped container that my Grandad used to keep his pipe tobacco in. Gets me every time. For me it's a powerful, green, fresh and very masculine scent. And unmistakeable fresh tobacco from start to finish. To be honest i thought I got cinnamon too at the start, but I think that must be a mistake as I don't think it's listed as an ingredient. My boss years ago used to wear it, and this, combined with my childhood memory, is what this scent conjures up for me: a very masculine, authoritative, older man, a man's man who speaks directly and is what he is. I would wear this if I thought I'd be in a group of men, especially in a competitive environment. And in this situation I would forget subtlety - spray liberally, you're either wearing it or you're not. Make your mind up! Great longevity and silage too. Great. :)
June 2015
26th June, 2015
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Minotaure by Paloma Picasso

A smooth melange of leather, vanilla and sort-of-sandalwood. It's not too sweet but otherwise I would not call it dated in the least, despite its 1990s origin. It reminds me a bit of Jil Sander Man. Longevity is excellent as a smexy skin scent but projection is non-existent. An ideal scent for the smart superhero about town, but owing to its less than super performance, perhaps more suited to Robin than Batman. 3/5
26th June, 2015

Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra by Acqua di Parma

This is a warm, hearty amber fragrance that expresses the main note well with a heavy dose of vanilla. I don't detect any of the citrus notes opening notes, as I didn't find that this opened with more acidity or brightness than the rest of its life--it was nicely consistent. Ambergris may be present.

At the higher price of the oud/amber/leather group, greater projection is expected, and Colonia Ambra delivers somewhat, though this is no powerhouse (in fairness, it's still described as a EDC but in my estimation, ADP uses EDC liberally).

This is too new for the fragrancenet market so it's still only available at its retail price, which isn't bad. Fans of amber and vanilla should explore this, but at the current price ($220 for 100ml), I'm not sure with its longevity and projection, which are decent but not great, it's a worthwhile purchase.

7 out of 10
26th June, 2015

Noir de Noir by Tom Ford

I purchased this based on the reviews, YUK! It smells like what your old Granny would wear, roses, and powder, I'm putting it straight away on a certain auction site.
26th June, 2015

Paco Energy by Paco Rabanne

More than decent classic accord of aromatic citrus and fresh woodiness (a plain powdery vetiver and "pencil shaving" cedarwood). Strong on grapefruit, Paco Energy is cool and kind of ostensibly incensey (a freshly dusty effect provided by juniper berries and woods with a dodgy hint of smokiness). Sharp floral notes come out at distance (it seems to detect geranium on the side of intenser romantic cyclamen). Projection is more than temperamental on my skin. Not bad.
26th June, 2015

Paros by Avon

So I just ordered a bottle of this stuff from EBay, and I must say the bottle I got was really taken care of. The box was a little bit damaged but that doesn't bother me too much. This fragrance is actually really nice. I find this scent a little bit similar to YSL Kouros, but with a more fresh vibe. It's a nice smell and the bottle is stunning, very old school. I enjoy wearing it, it reminds me of the type of scents my grandfather kept on his sink in his bathroom from when I was just a little kid, it has 1991 written all over it. Very nice, and easy to wear.
26th June, 2015

Balmain Homme by Pierre Balmain

The very first two thoughts I had when I tried this: it’s pretty much exactly how you can imagine it by reading the notes, and it definitely “smells Interparfums”. They must really use the same materials over and over, because I get here the exact same notes I get in many other scents made by this company – e.g. some St. Dupont’s, or Paul Smith’s. But well, it isn’t really an issue for me as long as they smell fine, and most of them did or do for me. There’s something “dusty”, smooth, smoky- powdery in most of their textures, which I quite like. Balmain Homme also strongly reminds me of a mainstream fragrance I can’t identify at the moment; I sprayed 1 Million on my other arm just to see if it may have been that since it has been named somewhere as a close comparison to Balmain Homme, but it’s not that – it does not really have much to do with Balmain’s in fact. Nearly nothing (phew!). I am quite sure it may be Versace Eros on the contrary, as I get here the same sort of “soapy spicy sweetness” due to tonka, cedar and musk. But that’s the only similarity, as Balmain Homme smells different for the rest. Another reference that I thought of is – fun enough – discontinued Balman by Balmain; it was sweeter, more “creatively” synthetic and less smoky, but I see a clear connection. Anyway as I said the notes are quite faithful: the opening is really nice, fresh and almost tea-like, I get mostly violet (synthetic sharp-soapy violet), tonka, cedar, musk, some other smooth spices (nutmeg for sure), something almost fruity, and just some really mannered, almost unperceivable and smooth polished leather as in most of recent “trendy leathers”.

A fresh-sweet-smoky Oriental fragrance for “urban” young fellas; it smells clean, quite synthetic (not an issue for me), decidedly mainstream, but undoubtedly decent and elegantly versatile. It’s actually quite nice to be honest, it has an enjoyable feel of bright spicy cleanliness which I quite like, blending quite nicely fresh notes and smokier ones; and if you make the effort of putting aside prejudices against “generic mainstreams”, you’ll also think of some niche scents if that’s a plus for you (a couple of Parfums de Marly came to my mind, and several “weightless” violet-leather scents). Nothing extremely sophisticated or particularly “masculine” in a more mature meaning, and surely nothing particularly interesting for perfume collectors and enthusiasts (unlike the other couple of Balmain fragrances for men), except if you’re looking for some “easy” alternatives in your more fulfilling connoisseur’s rotation; rather something generically “cool”, pleasant, safe, pedantically conforming to mainstream current trends, and really easy to wear. No contraindications, no unpleasant side-effects. Which is what designer fragrances are mostly designed for, so there’s little to blame here. It’s quite powerful too, the projection is remarkable and so is the persistence. So shortly nothing memorable but a decent, unpretentious, slightly overpriced candidate for a “signature scent” for 20-25 something guys (or handsome, Dorian Gray-esque young-looking 30-something’s as myself).

6,5-7/10
26th June, 2015

CK Free Energy by Calvin Klein

Fantastic fresh fragrance, true to the listed notes. Calvin Klein surprises me again after their great effort with Shock.
26th June, 2015

Paradiso by Roberto Cavalli

Salutation.

Inspired by the independent spirit of a woman as she pauses to indulge in the simple moments in life,in this moment,she is at her most captivating,exuding a glow of femininity and confidencea lovely fresh summery scent,a mist that caresses with a trail of flowers on a bed of wood and musk. Urban,Sensuous, Sparkling,Delightful and Citrusy.

A burst of citruses,mandarine orange followed by sensuous,honest notes of jasmine,open out on a delicate base of cypress and pine tree and makes this fragrance an expression of carefree sensuality.the dry down is so nice for me..a young perfume but can easily be worn by women well into their 30s as well.
perfect for spring and summer.nothing special but nice.

Sillage?Very Good.

Longevity?Satisfactory on my skin.

6.75/10
26th June, 2015

Drama Nuui 23 by Parfumerie Generale

surely not a scent to die for..Jasmine and monolithic synthetic green vibes!
26th June, 2015

In the Mood for Love Pure by Gianfranco Ferré

Salutation.

The fragrance of a new day.a sparkling fragrance that opens like the dawning of a new day with fresh,dewy notes.everythin about this fragrance is yummy and lovely.the scens is a concentration of energy, brigtness,pureness,and transparency.it is as romantic as the original for me. Modern,Youngish,Lovely, Cheerful,Soft,Luscious,Enchanting,Delicately Feminine and Clean.

The composition of woman's fragrance opens with a romantic yet luscious mix of flowers such as lily sweetened by fruits juices of pear,bergamot and above all peach.the heart is a romantic bouquet of rose,jasmine and cherry blossom,laid at the woody notes of musk and cedar that makes a perfume of pure poerty,recalling the sweet innocence and the first smiles of intimacy.

Sillage?Decent.

Longevity?Average on my skin.

6.75/10
26th June, 2015
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