Fragrance Reviews from July 2010

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    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Others have described the smell very well - modernized classic, updated fougere, Barbasol-like smell. I'll just add that anise and clove seem to be the most prominent spices, the patchouli and lavender stand out as well, the gaiac wood seems subtle but present, and "soapy," "woody," "musky," and "clean but sexy" are the main terms I would use to describe the dry-down. It also has a slick, very synthetic feel to it, projects like mad, and lasts for days. One spray misted on the torso - and thus, importantly, kept under the shirt - is about the best way I've found to wear it for daytime use. Worn like this, it tends to gently waft out with movement, but not overwhelm with a constant stream. Maybe two sprays under the shirt for the evening, but I can't say I've ever worn it for the evening. Very nice, but not something I reach for often. The synthetic vibe is intense and its power limits when and where I feel comfortable using it. That said, when I do wear it, I enjoy doing so.

    [BTW, if you go to the YSL website and find RGPH under "YSL Classic for Him," click on the link for ingredients and you'll get a list of the synthetics and potential allergens; apparently this also has oakmoss (evernia prunastri) in it, which may contribute to the soapy, old-school vibe.]

    13 July, 2010

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    Vintage (1960's?) EDC:

    This is one of the most indisputably beautiful and pleasant fragrances I know of. Everything about it is as smooth as fine silk or velvet. A brief spark of citrus gives may almost immediately to a glimmer of florals, and everything is always backed by understated opoponax and that signature smoked vanilla Guerlainade base. There's just the barest hint of something animalic in there, too. Everything is incorporated so clearly and seamlessly that notes are almost irrelevant. The whole thing is just beautiful and mysterious. You just have to try it. No matter how you think it will be, it will be better than that.

    Just be sure to try an EDC version if you can. I sampled the EDP, and did not find it as enjoyable. The citrus notes from the opening seem to stick around longer than they're welcome.

    13 July, 2010

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Encens Chembur by Byredo

    I cannot understand Byredo`s brand. Why put money, efforth, creativity, to design fragrances so mass-marketed? Their offering sound like your commercial fragrance done with a little better materials and concentration, but without any risks. Chembur looks like an citrusy-incense offering for men. It opens with an adstringent citrus note with a resinous edge. This first blast develops to a incense note similar to Calvin Klein Man, with an incense smell that looks like it hasn`t been burnt yet. The ginger is fresh, not soapy, and make a dull - but pleasant - combination. The base is a common place combination of musk and amber. Something on Chembur is quite similar to Samourai 47 by Alain Delon. I still wonder why someone would buy something so expensive that smells so similar to something cheap. Not bad, but not great too.

    13 July, 2010

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Blanche by Byredo

    Byredo`s rendering of a white theme scares me. From the first note until the end of the scent on skin Blanche seems like a sucession of home and bath offerings. At first, you have an awful synthetic pear note, then it goes on a white cheap soap direction and ends with a smell that you sniff after your clothes are ironed using one of that products that makes easier ironing. If you want something similar to Blanche, you can just spray directly that fragrance on your body. You`ll save tons of money.

    13 July, 2010

    30 Roses's avatar

    United States United States

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    Do Son by Diptyque

    Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of tuberose. That said, this one bothers me less than some other tuberose perfumes, probably because it's a bit green and has orange blossom in it. I don't like how it turns powdery.

    But if you are a tuberose fan, you really should try this one.

    13 July, 2010

    Agnes's avatar

    England England

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    Rose des 4 Reines by L'Occitane

    I have the solid perfume version, very sweet and light, easy to apply and great for the summer. Nothing too adventurous just candy roses, but pleasant enough and cheap in this form!

    13 July, 2010

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Joy by Jean Patou

    This is a wonderful, over-the-top floral. And as with all nicely made florals from the age, it has aldehydes. There are indolic notes galore but none of them battle for the top, except rose. That one always seems to jump out at me but here, it's really nice. The EdT is still just as good as the perfume and other concentrations.

    I can't bring myself to hate this fragrance, it's such a joy to smell.

    13 July, 2010

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Charlie / Charlie Blue by Revlon

    Hah, a drug store fragrance and I think it's AMAZING in all regards. One regard is its boisterous attempt at being something "expensive" smelling. It's really potent and sometimes could be called "vile". Now something this cheap and old would mean that everyone probably wore it "way back when". Honestly, I don't remember in my youth a single women ever wearing this. Of course, I wasn't paying attention to such.

    I bought a vintage bottle from an elderly lady and I told her why and she was ecstatic that I was collecting bottles.

    13 July, 2010

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Havana by Aramis

    Not being a rebel or anything but I, simply put, don't like it. After 5 or so tried on several different occasions, ambient temperatures even different samples from several sources just because it gets so much praise. I wondered what I was missing so I kept trying.

    Opening I was all like, "OKay so it smells a little green and spicy..." and there's tobacco... then... and then came the point where Havana turned on me was at the heart. Something started mixing in the tobacco and gave a sickly sweet smell along with a spice. This combination of notes I'm going to call a mix of chewing gum and tobacco. It was really bewildering.

    The drydown just kept going and going. One good thing about the fragrance is its longevity; that the vanilla and spicy drydown.

    Complex fragrances are nice but when a fragrance turns into a calculus equation, it becomes less art and more cerebral. I don't want to think about my fragrance.

    13 July, 2010

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Poivre 23 by Le Labo

    I would've said "bull!" if I knew that Poivre meant pepper because I don't get any pepper. I get an odd mix of synthetically and naturally smelling notes in here. It's powdery but it smells a bit like a plastic powder. It's got vanilla, too, and combined with the other drydown note it's slightly woody which is probably where the powdery notes get in. It's stong and longevity is rather average. Short version: powdery vanilla woods.

    13 July, 2010

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Patchouli Intense / Patchouli Homme by Nicolaï

    I'm so used to the sweet woodsy patchouli that Nicolai's Patchouli took me aback at first. Too bad it kept me back. It's too herbal, earthy and... well "vintage" to me. Elegant and complex can also mean "he's got issues" and I don't want to portray that stigma via scent. Also I don't think I've liked a Nicolai scent due to that line of thought..

    13 July, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Knize Ten by Knize


    I was looking forward to trying out Knize 10 after hearing about the similarity to Royal English Leather by Creed. Knize 10 opened with a blast of chemical bug spray which was quite off putting- I mean this is the gassy smell of freshly sprayed repellant. Gradually the similarity to Royal English Leather became apparent- Knize 10 turned more rounded ,sweet and buttery - this is the point when it does most resemble REL. After which the bug spray emerged again and Knize becomes higher pitched and a little rubbery gassy . Royal English Leather on the other hand remains sweeter yet savory, smoother with an authentic leather aroma which is very pleasant.
    Sorry, Knize 10 disappoints. No man or woman should walk around smelling like chemical bug spray when he can choose to smell so sexy in Royal English Leather.Knize 10 is best left in the past.


    13 July, 2010

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cigar by Rémy Latour


    I'm totally in agreement with Cologneist on this one. Cigar is an excellent tobacco fragrance. I don't find it to be synthetic smelling at all. The combination of cedar, amber and patchouli create an accord that smells quite natural to me, and really does replicate the dry sweetness of the inside of a cigar humidors, with the cigars in it.

    Many tobacco fragrances either smell musty or overly sweet and syrupy. Cigar is neither. I'm impressed with how Cigar is both sweet AND dry, so it doesn't sink like a rock, like so many oriental fragrances do.

    Cigar is a true bargain, and it smells a hell of a lot more masculine than a lot of the shlock in Macys these days. I can't wait to try Cigar Commander!

    MY RATING: 8/10

    13 July, 2010 (Last Edited: 17 July, 2010)

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Patchouly by Etro

    This scent made me think that patchouli is a brown, dry, 1000-years old leaf. They extracted the essence of it and then left it for another 100 years in an old wooden chest. They were very careful not to mix it with other things - sweet, fresh, light, or anything that could ruin its singularity, a dry pile of leaves in a wooden chest.
    I would never wear this with a t-shirt.

    13 July, 2010

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Jammin by Réminiscence

    Have you ever put leaves in the fire while they're still not completely dry? - this was my first impression. Almost dirty, autumn earth dirty. This could easily grab the attention of an incense lover, I guess mostly because of patchouli.It's not actually dry though - a pile of " wet burning leaves" with some jasmine petals spread on top, berries hidden here and there, and drops of oriental musk and vanilla giving it depth and a pinch of romantica.Quite a rude smell actually , without being offensive.
    A agree that Cannabis is a good suggestion but not necessarily.It depends though: Amsterdamers would have a very strong first associations. Like that you've spent the whole day in a coffeeshop wearing Jaipur.

    13 July, 2010

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    8 88 by Comme des Garçons

    For me, saffron has never been a spectacular note which has much to say by its own; more of a humble, timid player, a little uncomfortable because of its cuisine relations, and behaving more like a taste than a smell in many occasions.
    And here it is, exposed, forced to be as loud and shiny as it gets. Geranium helps a lot in brightening its thick, dense quality, making it almost fresh and transparent in the beginning. Then an oriental mixture of amber, vanilla and maybe patchouli makes it warmer and really beautiful.
    Saffron is present from the beginning till end. But it's the notes that support it that hold my interest. In the end, 8 88 is a somehow tweaked oriental scent. Yet it has less presence than most orientals; it's a kind, humble friend who, although gaining attention, feels more comfort to stay in the shadow.

    13 July, 2010

    jcastano's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose 31 by Le Labo

    Although I absolutely do not enjoy this fragrance, I need to give credit where credit is due. Immediately, the rose is detectable upon the initial spray/splash of the top notes and for me, that's all I detect. It's a very subdued yet masculine rose that exudes something very sensual but as the basenotes appear, that all changes. One thing, out of all the rose scents that I've encountered, this one has to be the most natural but when the cedar arrives, it ruins the whole aura of the scent. The cedar is too overpowering/cloying and masks everything the rose is trying to present. The two blended extremes almost seem to be competing with one another only the cedar always has the upper-hand. It's just wasn't my type of scent at all but as I said before, I can appreciate the unique blend of cedar and rose and how the two components come together to create something so different and so natural. I'd say that this scent is perfect for someone 40 and up. Maybe if Le Labo ever decides to make a scent that is rose and only rose, I'll invest in it, but I'll save this one for a cedar lover.

    13 July, 2010

    irfan's avatar

    Malaysia Malaysia

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    Castile by Penhaligon's


    Seriously, this has got the best opening one can find in a citrus based cologne. It's just gorgeous and definitely love at first smell. Very wearable and yet distinctive at the same time. Two thumbs up.

    13 July, 2010

    Francop's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue by Bond No. 9

    Fabulous rose and incense...masterpiece !!!

    13 July, 2010

    From Smoke's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

    Petitgrain Pain, Pure and Plain.

    I have not yet learned to love Petitgrain, and on me Ninfeo Mio is a plentiful petitgrain profusion.

    I spray "NM" and for half an hour I get a confused citrus jumble, then the "Big P" comes in: Powerful, Propulsive, and Prodigious.

    It smells high quality but far too intense to be pleasant. The chemical quality is overwhelming-- like an industrial detergent, or a scouring agent for the sinuses.

    I don't blame "NM", I blame myself-- my lack of experience/sophistication, my personal chemistry, what have you.


    If you're a Petitgrain Purist, you'll be in a pleasant and plentiful paradise.

    If you're a Petitgrain Penitent, you'll be persecuted, punished, and probably polished off.

    13 July, 2010

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    Salvador Dali pour Homme by Salvador Dali

    Here's an updated version of my review for Dali PH:

    An outstanding concoction that's dark and austere, and improbably sensual at the same time. Appealing and slightly off-putting like a bizarre sex rite one's attracted to immensely yet in the end fails to participate in. Celestial and, erm . . . fecal in equal measures. INSPIRED. Unique.
    3,5/5 stars in my book.

    And yet . . . I'm not sure it's for me.

    13 July, 2010

    Safetyjon's avatar

    United States United States

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    Halston 1-12 by Halston

    Halston Z-14 was one of my first fragrances in the 80's, and has been part of my rotation for years. I only tried I-12 when I learned that it had been discontinued. What a wonderful scent I have been missing out on all these years.

    It is not as potent as its brother. I enjoy the green/citrus opening. But I enjoy the middle notes and drydown even more. I love the use of lemon in this one. The pine/moss/green lasts for 8 hours or more and is perfectly tempered by just a hint of sweetness via the vanilla. I never find it to be offensive. I find it to be a good summer fragrance and does well in a professional office environment. I don't like it more or less than Z-14...It just fulfills a different objective for me.

    13 July, 2010

    Andromed's avatar

    Russian Federation Russian Federation

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    Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

    Very interesting cologne. Brilliant balance and simplicity, if a lot of nuances and listen ottenkov.Potryasayuschaya game - "Elementary, Watson. With my indifference to the citrus - bravo! Lasts just long enough so as not to tire. Of those things which give rise to poetic images. It seems commoner, but this gentleman. Many can learn from JM, how to work with citrus and herbs.

    13 July, 2010

    carmageddon's avatar



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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Dettol.. Anyone?
    Not something I would wear.

    13 July, 2010

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    Well, what to say about Kouros that hasn't already been said. I find this to be one of those fragrances that straddles families. It has fougere qualities and all the key components of a fougere (both Michael Edwards and Fragrantica class it as a fougere); and it has oriental qualities, being loaded up with animalic notes, plus honey and vanilla. YSL's website, interestingly, calls it a chypre. I've found it acts more like a fougere if you mist it lightly over a wide area, and more like an oriental if you spray in one place. It has that 1980's "everything but the kitchen sink" smell to it; so much going on. Cloves, sage, carnation, vetiver, oakmoss, honey, musk, civet, vanilla, tonka, and amber are all noteworthy contributors that can be smelled in the mix. I would describe it as a clean, almost antiseptic accord sitting atop, or trying desperately to meld with, a dirty, funky, animalic accord. Whether it works or not is definitely a personal and subjective issue, dependent on tastes, level of training of the nose, skin chemistry, past associations, etc. Personally, I have come to love it. It's a mood fragrance for sure. There are days I am just in the mood for Kouros and nothing else will do.

    UPDATE 5/4/11:
    I should also mention the eucalyptus top note. I think it is this note that contributes to the "cleaning agent" vibe it gives off at first. Frankly, I'm pretty sure of that, as I have a shave cream with eucalyptus oil and when I use it I always think of Kouros. The civet is probably the second piece of the "urinal cake" equation; that is, the civet provides the "urine" and the eucalyptus provides the cleaning/sanitizing "cake."

    13 July, 2010 (Last Edited: 04 May, 2011)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Heliotrope by Etro

    Delicate and nostalgic this ethereal fragrance is a dive in to memories of far Christmas holidays left back in your childhood. It's a gourmand scent very evocative, sweet, tasty and nutty in which i detect mainly heliotrope, dust of almond, sort of rice cream flavour, white flowers, vanilla and musk. This scent reminds me the taste of some italian Pandoro, marzipan or other sweet cakes. The first blast is hesperidic, slightly spicy and yet almost secretly incensey and decadent. Going on it becomes very soft and powdery/ambery like a sort of outwordly heavenly juice. As well as already said, perfect scent for a romantic summer night under the moonlight.

    13 July, 2010 (Last Edited: 04 January, 2014)

    CoL's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger by Prada

    This is beautiful. At first spray you may think that this is just another fruity/floral but the real beauty is in the dry down. After 30 mins or so the neroli gives way to what I can only describe as the most beautifully crafted soap. It does feel like a great deal of naturals are in this composition and the synthetics are of high quality. A simple little fragance with hidden secrets that is most definitely unisex. It puzzles me why so many houses are releasing so many basically "gender free" fragrances aimed at the female market when I'm sure they could increase sales if they left out the gender.

    Seriously, give this a try but give it time to settle and I hope you will also be saying to yourself "what IS that beautiful soapy smell!"

    14 July, 2010

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Racquets Formula by Penhaligon's

    What a hidden gem of a fragrance. The whole thing seems to play on a contrast between cooling and refreshing floral, citrus, and light spice notes and warming and lasting notes of musk, oakmoss, incense, and light, powdery amber. The bergamot and spice accord of the opening is downright old-school and sort of crinkles the nose and wakes you up. As it enters the heart notes, it becomes warmer and smoother, powdery verging on soapy, but still with a refreshing "lift" from something - citrus, floral, or spice, I cannot say. In this middle stage it reminds me of Etiquette Bleue a bit in that they both have this crisp, lightweight chypre character, with an almost balsam-like softness to the base. Later, the incense in Racquets becomes more apparent, making this even smoother, and a bit "glossy" in the feel of the powderiness (if that makes any sense at all). The whole is so well-blended that the changes are subtle, especially from the mid-notes on, and the effect is to essentially give it one overall Racquets accord rather than a mixing and re-mixing of individual notes. As noted in other reviews, it projects well and lasts a decent amount of time. Overall, it feels weightier and smells more contemporary than Etiquette Bleue.

    Penhaligon's website refers to this as a vetiver fragrance. While there is likely vetiver in the blend, it does not, as an individual note, stand out to my nose, and anyone looking for a "vetiver" fragrance would be wise to ignore Penhaligon's classification. Michael Edwards calls this a Mossy Woods fragrance, which I think is a very good description. I believe it's his classing for what the rest of us call "chypres." So, I think this is best classed as a chypre - a lightweight, crisp, refreshing, uplifting, and yet, somehow, a somewhat rich chypre. I think it's this richness that leads some folks to read it as an oriental fragrance. Still, with bergamot, oakmoss, and amber as notes, and the old-school, powdery, soapy vibe, it seems more like a chypre to me.

    14 July, 2010

    michailG's avatar



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    1828 by Histoires de Parfums

    I tested 1828 very briefly at a little boutique in Soho, NYC. I couldn’t make up my mind: I thought that it was very special (a bit Comme des Garcons but not quite) but still I wasn’t sure about the dry down. I didn’t get the chance to go back to that boutique again and at the big department stores they had never heard of Histoires de Parfums. After returning home I got my own sample of 1828 which I am wearing right now… and I feel like I am bewitched by it. Incense yes there is; but it is the tartness of hesperides that I think is superb. It is that tartness that compensates the lack of dryness I always look for in citrusy fragrances. 1828 is not dry but it is bitter on my skin and I love it. Its longevity may not be a killer but it doesn’t disappoint me either. Overall this is a thumbs up for me!

    14 July, 2010

    michailG's avatar



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    1969 Parfum de Révolte by Histoires de Parfums

    I wanted so much to like this (1969 being my year of birth); alas I can barely stand it. The opening is pretty intense, warm and sweet. The more time goes by the more sure I get that this much praised offering from Histoires de Parfums is not for me. We are promised chocolate and coffee at the base and indeed it is getting there but to me it feels more like intense vanilla. Overall I agree that 1969 is a very well made "gourmand" the kind I could possibly appreciate on others but wouldn’t like to wear myself. Maybe I should try 1969 again in winter time!

    14 July, 2010

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