Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 143901

Rose Sublime by Laurence Dumont

Rose dominated. Tinge of honey. Watery notes on top. Some shavings of wood here and there. More rose, on the bottom. Sillage is all rose. The other notes, are discernible closer to the skin. A good rose scent for spring and summer. Not overly heavy.
24th May, 2018

Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums

Lovely amber, not sickly or overbearing, just smooth and gorgeous to wear. Quite durable too. Probably my favourite at the moment, with Ambre Narguilé and L'Eau d'Ambre close runners up.
24th May, 2018

Elysium pour Homme Cologne by Roja Dove

Reminds me of BdC or Sauvage but a bit more fruity sweet and cedar wood. Doesn't smell cheap, so if you're wishing Sauvage was a little more refined, this could be a good alternative. There’s also some nice, clean vetiver deep into the drydown.

Average projection during the first 4 hours then gets close to skin. Longevity is very good, I can still smell it 12 hours after applying.

I do see how some can get an Aventus feel from this but there's just no essential smoke/birch that I can pick out in Elysium, so that's where this differs.
24th May, 2018
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Dent de Lait by Serge Lutens

I had little expectation for Dent de Lait, but was enthused after trying this on a paper strip. It had this fresh, milky and vaguely metallic note jostling alongside heliotrope and almond. Now that I am wearing it, my hopes are completely dashed. Any interesting minty freshness, that is somewhat unique, disappears completely within the first twenty minutes. What remains is a stereotypical concoction of almond, musk and heliotrope that becomes increasingly jarring. Dent de Lait does have good sillage, but unfortunately I find it impossible to tolerate after a while. While there is a reasonable degree of abstraction, the accord is also jaded and vapid. The dry down is clichéd, and I find it tiresome to smell this accord in a Serge Lutens perfume.

Dent de Lait provides further testamony to the proposition that the best days of Serge Lutens as a company have long gone by, especially as one considers the back catalogue.

24th May, 2018

1804 George Sand by Histoires de Parfums

This is an interesting, complex fragrance, bordering on bizarre. The main accord I'm getting from this is typical, classic masculine grooming product, an after shave type smell (which doesn't seem to match the listed notes), and just behind that is a contrasting sweetness that is almost too much and that threatens to ruin it.

The is interesting niche perfume: experimental, but wearable.

The sandalwood and/or patchouli in the background is nice. It smells like they got their hands on some good stuff. The sweet, fruity stuff, such as the pineapple note, is less refined, and smells gimmicky, but the elements that are good are so good, it mostly works.
24th May, 2018

Mélodie de L'Amour by Parfums Dusita

An indolic - narcotic - musky - vaguely animalic - neo-classic tuberose/jasmine-chord "civilized" by a well calibrated gardenia's support. Supremely floral, musky-dirty, heliotropic and honeyed. I'm somewhat sure that a significant dose of civet is included in the mix. Try to ideally "melt" together the peachy/coconutty tuberose of Bois 1920 Sensual Tuberose and an indolic honeyed jasmine a la Bruno Fazzolari Au Dela', well Dusita Melodie de L'Amour will definitely disclose its main essence. There is for a while more than a tad of the stale (kind of flower pot's "rotten" water like) civet-laced dirty graveyard's water-effect conjuring me partially scents a la Corticchiato's Parfum d'Empire Musc Tonkin, Dusita Oudh Infini or La Via del Profumo Tawaf plus the support of a "to a tuberose-connected" gardenia a la Onyrico Zephiro. Lily of the valley enhances the general floral intensity along the way. An obsessive sambac jasmine smells slightly dominant (after the initial tuberose's explosion) under my unfaithful nose. Overall the scent is kind of merged in to a sort of intense neo-chypreism a la Bogue Maai (and partially a la Zoologist Civet) and in to a generally classic floral grandeur a la Piguet Fracas. Yes a must try for any tuberose/jasmine-accord's addicted.
23rd May, 2018 (last edited: 24th May, 2018)

Reveal Men by Calvin Klein

It seems that Calvin Klein began playing the open requisitions game like many large companies do when hiring subcontractors, skipping between IFF, Firmenich, and this time Givaudan, who was tapped for 2004's Truth for Men. At least this time we know who the Givaudan noses are, and we're back up to a three-way like in many of CK's 2000's releases. Calvin Klein has long since stopped making fragrances that can be categorized by traditional perfumery classes like fougère or chypre, but like with 2012's Encounter, Reveal Man can best be seen as a gourmand at it's core. It feels like CK threw resumes at this fragrance rather than the perfumers themselves, as 2 of these are well-established with Tom Ford and one a wide range of niche labels, being Olivier Gillotin and Rodrigo Flores-Roux respectively. Gillotin also has consistently worked with the Ed Hardy brand for Christian Audigier, while Marrypierre Julien has worked directly with Audigier's own label as well, giving Reveal Man talent from all ends of the perfume spectrum, as Flores-Roux even worked with Avon. Additionally, CK sees itself trying to escape for a second time from the legacy of the freshie revolution it helped instigate with Eternity for Men (1989), releasing another masculine that focuses on warmth and aromatics rather than citrus and florals. The "Age of Eternity" probably ended in 2009 with CK Free, 20 years after it started, but Reveal Man proves that CK still has a lot to learn if they want to do more than make inoffensive clean masculines.

Calvin Klein Reveal Man sees itself as some sort of technologically-enhanced vetiver scent, as it's typical CK in that it uses synthetic "Kleinisms" for accords that have fantastic names but are little more than custom captives from whatever chemist they've contracted. This is a frontier they pushed before nearly anyone else, and have pushed the hardest since that E-bomb dropped on the perfume world in the late 80's, so arguably they're the best at it, despite it being abundantly clear that synthetics are not in good taste for most hobbyists; the market CK has cultivated probably can't tell the difference anymore, if they ever could, so they know their audience. I find what Reveal Man brings to the table to be enjoyable, but I agree with niche fans that the smell of science doesn't connect with the wearer on the same emotional level as recognized accords found in nature. Reveal Man opens with kiwano (an Asian melon, so possibly just a tweaked colone note), "crystalized ginger" (okay Bill Nye leave my ginger alone), "pear brandy accord" (not going there), and quite literally candy arabic gum (named "mastic" to throw you off). It's the most "Kleinism'd" opening I've yet seen, and adds a LOT of sweetness to the prominent vetiver in the base. Synth-o-suede, agave, and clary sage make for a more-conventional middle that segways quickly into the Haitian vetiver, amber, and tonka base. Woo-whee that top though!! Once you get past the Star Trek opening barrage of chemical sweetness, the scent dries into a clay-like slightly-rubbery vetiver scent, that's good for somebody who likes the smoke of vetiver but seeks to separate that element from it's greener and grassy side. The somewhat carmelized transition from fruity to smoky follows a path that does greatly remind me of a cashmere note, which seems rather more attuned to a feminine than a masculine, but that unmistakeable amber/tonka/vetiver trifecta becomes the core experience afterall anyway, with only a few wisps of the top returning to the nose. Reveal Man has respectable sillage and longevity for a CK scent, and although it's no Obsession for Men (1986), it will stick to skin and shirt for most of the day.

I can't tell you who this is going to impress. Mainstream perfume fans love it, and perfumistas hate it. Just look at reviews on Fragrantica, where more everyday Joe-types drop their two cents, and it's praised by them or their significant others. Come back to Basenotes or surf various perfume blogs, and this is painted as yet another reason why Calvin Klein is the Antichrist of perfumes. Neither side is really wrong here, especially with this bizarre piece of work. Reveal Man isn't the pure synthetic nadir of Euphoria for Men (2006), but it pushes further in the abstract direction than Euphoria did as something that tries to have too many disparate elements coexisting to cover the widest swath of potential buyers. I like and recommend it as a neat and sweet little vetiver science experiment that's more wearable the longer it sits on skin, but unless you love vetiver enough to be curious about seeing it presented as the core of a sweet synthetic gourmand, you might want to pass. For the brave souls willing to drop the $20-$30 it costs to find out, stick to evening and romantic use. Reveal Man isn't much different from mid-century masculines in the way it marries a scary open with a comfortable base, just that the scariness used to be from animalic accords, and now it's from abstract synthetics that create impressions instead of directly smelling like something. Gillotin has once again created a commercially-successful mainstream masculine that's a critical failure, this time with the help of two others. Thumbs up with severe prejudice. Try before you buy!
23rd May, 2018 (last edited: 24th May, 2018)

Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire

Wazamba is a nice incense fragrance, with fruits (plum and apples) and a lovely cypress note. Thankfully the fruitiness is very minimal, at least on my skin, whereas the cypress blends beautifully with the resins and incense, it is quite a bit balsamic and even somewhat sticky in the manner of several Serge Lutens fragrances (Fille en Aiguilles), but I love many of those so I am not complaining. It is substantial, fleshy and closer to Lutens or even Amouage (Jubilation XXV Man) in style rather than the ethereal incense style of Comme des Garçons. I also detect a lovely note of fir balsam in the mix. There are tons of incense/resin scents but Wazamba stands out for how it is interwoven with the green notes. Finally, unlike some other Parfum d'Empire scents, performance is quite adequate on my skin based on a modest application.

Wazamba is recommended to anyone looking for a green-resinous fragrance. This could have been stellar if the fruit-sweetness was toned down a notch together with a greater emphasis on the cypress-fir notes, but it is still very nice for what it is, great to wear on cool fall days. In fact, I'm having ideas about layering it (and I am someone who almost never layers ...) with some uncompromising green scent (how about the 'house green' Corsica Furiosa ...?).

23rd May, 2018

New-York by Nicolaï

Stardate 20180523:

I wonder who started this style of masculine. Or is it just a result of male fragrance evolution.

The farthest I can get is Bois de Portugal in 1987. Pierre Bourdon took the Old Spice structure and dandified it. Polge refined it further in Tiffany for men and more so in Chanel PM Concentree. I think Patricia took it a bit too far. What she made was too light for this style.

Guerlain fixed this problem with Heritage and gave us what is the best in this genre.

In any case, a great fragrance.
23rd May, 2018

Shocking by Elsa Schiaparelli

Stardate 20180523:

A classical floral aldehyde with animalics and rot.
There is a splash of oriental in it too. Something akin to EAOS.
A nice composition.

23rd May, 2018

Chai by Baruti

Tea for Two, Dzing! and Jungle Elephant orgy. If you like those scents you have to check this out. The opening is spicy, and with a sharp black tea note as well as hay. Then it settles down a bit more, as if you added a ton of cream to it all. It smoothes out quite nicely.
23rd May, 2018

Invictus Aqua by Paco Rabanne

This is a very bold high seas typhoon force aquatic scent. The bitter green citrus opening washes into an off centered violet dark green then sprays outward into turquoise and lightning charged ozonic air. One of the aquatic characteristics of this scent derives from how expansive the fragrance is. It projects like an electrified burst into crisp ocean storm vapor. While clearly aquatic, Invictus Aqua holds hints of past great violet fragrances, but seen through an aquatic oceanic aesthetic. I like the work on this scent and prefer it over the other versions of Invictus, but it is a little too bold and assertive for me to pull off. It is nice bold statement.
23rd May, 2018

This Is Not A Blue Bottle by Histoires de Parfums

I am not a fan of screechy woody ambers by any stretch of imagination and This Is Not A Blue Bottle seems to be loaded with the stuff. Fortunately my first encounter with it began last year with a modest dab from a sample because anything more than a single spray is likely to bring me back to the dentist office for a root canal.

Today I wore a single spray to the chest under my shirt. Such a restrained approach to wearing paid dividends. It kept a leash on the screechy base and allowed the rest of the composition to shine. From the electric, almost ozonic orange-laced aldehydes at the top to the warm ambery glow of honeyed musk in the heart. It might not have worked out for some but for me, it did. Beautifully.

I can’t deny the synthetic signature of This Is Not A Blue Bottle is such a departure from the house’ typically richer baroque style but it is clearly intentional and somehow IMO they made it work. The KEY to unlocking its magic is to wear it sparingly.

This Is Not A Weapon of Nose Destruction but it comes close. The power on tap is unbelievable. A single shot to the solar plexus announces my (fragrant) presence with the subtlety of a sports commentator. I dare not attempt it but I believe 3-4 sprays will be the olfactory equivalent of an air raid siren. Joop! Homme has finally met his match.

Olfactorywise, this rates a Neutral from me. It smells like a good designer and reminds me somewhat of Cartier L’Envol. But I appreciate Histoires de Parfums’ audacity to take a cheeky piss on the reigning designer woody amber trend with this irreverent release. That’s why I’m giving this a ‘thumbs up’.

23rd May, 2018
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Santal Cardamome by Fragonard

A little spicy and smells like Rose 31 to me. Leans more feminine but still smells good when I wear it, doesn't put me off.

Notes don't look the same but smells like a less dirty Rose 31. That's just my take.

Longevity and projection are below average.
23rd May, 2018

Hearts & Daggers for Men by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]

"Second Wave" designer aquatics of the 2000's played a different game than the original breed of the 90's begat of Cool Water (1988). Hearts and Daggers for Men (2009) is one such aquatic, and like many in this class, attempt to rebound from the harsh, overzealous youth-targeting of ozonics but still maintain a fun vibe by having something other than florals and "ocean/beach/fresh water smell" in them. Pumped to the gill with impressionistic synthetic accords meant to reminisce on the subject they're expressing (a nod to Calvin Klein and their "Kleinisms" as I call them), most aquatics from this period smell like aquatic + gimmick, at least until Bleu de Chanel (2010) ushered in the age of ambroxen. Ed Hardy was a brand heavily supported by the late Christian Audigier (of Von Dutch fame) at the time, launching a dozen failed boutiques and trying to make tattoo culture seem "haute bourgeois" by targeting well-to-do folks and celebs. Well, it didn't work, and after the real Don "Ed" Hardy reclaimed control, everything was taken downmarket to mid-level, while the fragrances stayed with Audigier until his death in 2015. Now EA Fragrances controls these for Mr. Hardy, but nary can a difference between Audigier and EA formulas be detected. Hearts and Daggers for Men took the aquatic direction because the previous two scents were an oriental and ozonic respectively, composed by Olivier Gillotin, who also returned for this one, and not as successful as desired. The main gist of Hearts and Daggers for Men is fusing an aquatic with common cocktail accords, maybe to make it club-friendly, but ultimately to make it really loud compared to others in it's class.

Hearts and Daggers for Men continues the trend of Ed Hardy, delivering respectable sillage and longevity to modern fragrance genres that typically lack it, and for that I take off my hat to the brand, but Hearts and Daggers for Men just doesn't feel as focused as it's predecessors. The scent opens with pear, basil, pepper, adding in a "martini accord" which I can only guess is the scent of the herbal melange used in gin, because that's what it resembles. The martini variant must be a dirty martini, because the saltiness of olive is also here. The salt note coming from olive rather than oceanic brine is rather novel, but it mixes strangely with the pear note, confusing my pallette into thinking is this person a salty cocktail fan, or a fruity drink aficionado? The middle of papaya and rosemary continues the sweet fruit and savory herb mish-mash, reminding me of the fruit salsas sometimes found in the gourmet section of commerical grocery supermarkets. It's not really an association I like. The whole thing feels like an attempt at a gourmand aquatic, which is fairly original, and again shows Oliver Gillotin as a risk taker, but I'm begining to think he takes needless risks with half-baked ideas that any other perfumer would laugh off. The base is the synthetic approximation of suede, sandalwood, musk, patchouli, and more exotica in the form of katsura wood. It's the best part of the scent once the fruit salad and $5 cocktail happy hour subsides. All told, this starts out bizarrely fruity, salty, and aromatic simultaneously, then settles into more fruit and the olive salt keeping the sweetness in check, before woods, patchouli laundry musk, and minimal suede warm this up so it projects. You won't smell like anybody else wearing an aquatic, but you won't smell particularly attractive either. It's salt/sweet dichotomy incidentally give it a modern sweaty sports vibe, adding some versatility, but there's nothing remotely refined or classy about it.

I like this scent, I really do. It's quirky and strange, daring and drys down to an aquatic freshness that is miles away from any Nautica or CK flanker, but from an objective point of view I can't give this a thumbs up. The wearer just has to withstand a barrage of befuddled fruit cocktails and herbs from a bartender that's been sampling his own product too much before the scent settles into something likeable. People don't usually buy a fragrance just for it's dry down, but on a hot day outside, smelling this over baked concrete and sweat sure is appreciated. I can see why this sells well, as the mainstream fragrance user loves a good gimmick, and guys all over who already love Ed Hardy apparel and the everyman swagger it represents probably foam at the mouth over the prospect of smelling like they "pre-gamed" a few Mike's Hard Lemonade bottles before hitting the club to pound overpriced well drinks and dance with somebody they're already undressing in their head. That's not me however, and for a truly remarkable Ed Hardy masculine, I'm going to stick with the previous year's Love and Luck for Men (2008). This is surely interesting, and quite serviceable for summer use, but that's the extent of it. It's a really cool bottle like most Ed Hardy scents, and is flat rather than cylindrical like the previous two, but still has a huge slip-over cap, which I'm just a sucker for. I'll catalog this under "novelty conversation piece" and leave it at that.
22nd May, 2018

1725 Casanova by Histoires de Parfums

This is striking me as harsh, maybe from the licorice, star anise, and/or the almond. There are some competing notes in this that I like (lavender, sandalwood, vanilla, amber), but they're in the background behind the harshness.

I had been looking forward to trying this, but it's a letdown, more challenging than wearable.
22nd May, 2018

1828 Jules Verne by Histoires de Parfums

I like this fairly well: it's nice and inoffensive, although maybe not very exciting. It's subtle and restrained (even elusive, as described below). During the opening, I can not get past the association with a chewing gum or bubble gum, a nice, agreeable gum, and that's not all I smell - there are more notes behind that - but the gum association is strong. At the same time, it's a natural-smelling fragrance, and easily wearable, completely polite and appropriate for any setting: office work, an interview, Thanksgiving dinner, a Christmas party.

It's listed (marketed) as masculine, and the pepper note helps make it more masculine, but I would have described it as unisex leaning feminine - it's so soft and round. It definitely strikes me as more feminine than masculine. I would like this on a woman.

So many fragrances use a cedar note that smells harsh and modern (trendy), but this lists cedar, and smells slightly woody, without a hint of chemical nightmare.

The incense is this case in frankincense rather than nag champa, and frankincense starts to dominate more as it develops, as frankincense typically (always?) does. Combined with how soft and round this is, and how agreeable the wood note is, the frankincense makes this a great scent for winter holidays.
22nd May, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Alexis Dadier by IFF

The smell was a child
Who refused to use base ten
For eighty-one's sake.

I saw its beauty
The part with the burning hemp
In a waking dream

The wooden clock face
Shaped like that of a bison
With dozens of eyes

All at the bottom
Held by counting's gravity
Numbering the time

As eyes disappeared
The clock told me without words
It's time to wake up.
22nd May, 2018

Dune by Christian Dior

From a vintage sample... Some aldehydes on top. Not too much. A touch of greenish-floral with some wood. The middle seemed dark and moody with sort of a waxy flower smell - jasmine, ylang, and rose were almost dirty; damp, like after a rain. Lovely base where I smell sandalwood, amber, a touch of patchouli, and an oakmoss-y accord. Dune is a safe fragrance; only a tiny bit daring.
22nd May, 2018

Woody Perfecto / 107 by Parle Moi de Parfum

First sniff had me going " That's the Accord of Guerlain's Les Déserts d'Orient - Songe d'un Bois d'Été.
This stays clean and no Cuminned Honeyed filthiness appears. The top edge of Oudy Comet-ness takes over and the scent remains linear and polite to the end.
22nd May, 2018

This Is Not A Blue Bottle by Histoires de Parfums

I could almost give this a neutral - maybe I'm feeling so let down because I like this house, but this is an annoying, synthetic and terribly modern smelling perfume, especially given the name of the house. Modern history, I guess.

The base is a typical, generic synthetic woody amber, and it's almost all I can smell from the opening. It's such a dominating smell, I get too discouraged to even think much about the other notes, and the way their literature describes them (electric orange, metallic geranium) is more telling than the listing here.
22nd May, 2018

Sauvage Very Cool Spray by Christian Dior

Same dry down scent as Sauvage but the top notes have a tart citrus that some describe as grapefruit. Dior says they developed a new variety of bergamot that is unique and distinctive - smells like a grapefruit version of bergamot at the opening. The Very Cool Spray bottle is powered by compressed oxygen in a newly developed spray mechanism - works great. This scent does smell fresher and more spring and summer appropriate and I think it is much easier version for me to pull off. Sauvage Very Cool loses that chemically heavy dihydromyrcenol and basil heaviness and goes more with a grapefruit basil and ambroxan structure that smells a little thinner but more expansive. Much better for me. I like to spray this on back of neck and shoulders so the aroma doesn't billow up into my face but surrounds and follows with a cloud of silage. Thumbs way up!
22nd May, 2018

Love and Luck for Men by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]

The late Christian Audigier did many things for the fashion world, including bringing us Von Dutch, but his latest and biggest venture, which was to build a fashion label out of the works of famed tattoo artist Don "Ed" Hardy, proved to be a fantastic flop. A dozen posh boutiques around the globe, marketing haute couture directly to celebrities, but trying to feign that down to earth "everyman" attitude associated with tattoo parlors in the first place, made for a disastrous "ain't foolin' nobody" outcome. Don "Ed" Hardy himself would take back the brand and make it a ready-to-wear brand sold mostly online and in department stores going forward, leaving Audigier the fragrances until his passing in 2015. Ed Hardy Man (2008) was the first male fragrance from Christian Audigier's fragrance division (now in the hands of EA Fragrances since his passing), but it was a rather safe and inoffensive scent that spoke nothing of the edgy vibe it's name suggested. Love and Luck for Men (2009) fares a bit better in this department, and is also created by Olivier Gillotin like the previous one. Olivier is a perfumer who has a few renowned successes like Elizabeth Arden's Red Door (1989), Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds (1991), Jacques Fath Pour l'Homme (1998), and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (2007) but also a few infamous scents like Dior's Higher (2001), Higher Black (2002), and DKNY Be Delicious Men (2004). All this proves to me is that Gillotin isn't afraid to play around with ozonics, nor afraid to fail critically, and all of his "bombs" (despite sales) are of that ozonic category; they're honestly well-made too, despite being of a genre unfavorable to enthusiasts. Love and Luck for Men does strike in a way as being of that ozonic demeanor too, but is rounder and more toned-down than anything listed above from that category; this is an ozonic made mature, respectable, piquant without being shrill, and zesty without losing a softer side in the exchange. It's probably a good thing this was done, as the ozonic style began to die out in 2008 and by the next decade would become passe. The long slip-over-bottle cap design is also cool, and makes this a treat to handle.

The opening of Love and Luck is a whole bunch o' citrus, including bergamot, orange, mandarin, and a peck of grapefruit to tie it in with the ozonic theme. Cardamom also makes a show, and the whole thing has maybe half of the expected nose tinge that a typical ozonic possesses. The heart follows up the top notes rather quickly on skin, while on shirt the top stays literally on top of everything longer, but once they're there, the heart of sage, cypress, and violet show off a brief bit of femininity. Supposedly an absinthe note is here too, but as an absinthe drinker, I beg to differ, and if anything, it's a synthetic compound meant to replicate the smell of anise and wormwood in spirits, which it doesn't. I can't tell you what it is, but that stuff is not absinthe. I also hear comparisons to Creed Millésime Imperial (1995) from a large portion of folks, and the occasional rooty-tooty-fresh-and-snooty perfumisto comes down from Mount Snifflympus to say "balderdash!" but to be honest, I don't care. Obviously every fragrance with a quality lemon verbena note isn't trying to smell like a clone of Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985), so let me nip that right there for you guys. The base here is where the scent gets most interesting, as a note of oud mixes with vetiver, cedar, and laundry-fresh white musk. It's ultimately the interplay between the musk and cedar that wins the day in the base, but you can feel that very dry and bleached agarwood in the background, in almost a similar way to Mancera Wild Rose Aoud (2011), but on a far less-potent level. Obviously Ed Hardy fragrance is not niche, and with current EA Fragrances ownership, barely still designer, but I believe it's this oud/cedar interplay with the musk that gives Love and Luck for Men it's true power, in place of the otherwise nuclear citrus top you'd expect from an ozonic.

Ed Hardy as a fragrance brand has it's first real masculine winner here with Love and Luck for Men. The juice comes in a stylish albeit campy bottle that will stand out in any collection (as with all Ed Hardy scents), but has the double-benefit of actually being well-crafted and original. The later Hearts and Daggers (2009) would be much more in the aquatic direction, and likely a bigger mainstream hit, but nowhere near as focused, at least to me. The "mature ozonic" combination of a 4-way citrus top, delicate florals, and a rather dry, classy base of conventional cedar and exotic oud make Love and Luck for Men a confident all-day warm-weather scent. It's a bit richer than most ozonics and even if it isn't an attempt to replicate Millésime Imperial like everyone seems to think, it does bring a bit of class to the table all it's own, as long as you ignore the packaging. Love and Luck for Men is a tad sensual thanks to the violet and cypress also playing with that musk and wood base at times, but overall this is a sparkly clean citrus that's a cut above the ozonic and aquatic din of the period. it's another example of "if you hate the style you'll also hate this" since I know male ozonics that aren't made by Issey Miyake don't tend to get a lot of love here, but for the price this retails in some places, it's a steal for the guy wanting something fresher, more modern, but not smelling like a bottle of 409 or Fantastik like some things that attempt what this scent accomplishes. Best part of all? This stuff goes the distance for eight hours or more, so unless you're pulling a double, you won't need to reapply, which is something I have never been able to say about anything that is remotely ozonic in the designer category outside an Issey fragrance. A nice, sophisticated freshie that doesn't play it 100% safe is what you get here. There isn't a whole lot more to be desired from the category.
21st May, 2018 (last edited: 23rd May, 2018)

Lust by Gorilla Perfume

This is the Jasmine Indole that is laid down behind the Jasmine Absolute.
I have the solid perfume. It provides a beautiful albeit saccharin laden base below my Vintage Eau Fraiche and has it's (Eau Fraiche) rot lasting more than half an hour. Those with fear of the Fecal and Petroleum best stay away!
21st May, 2018 (last edited: 22nd May, 2018)

Calvin by Calvin Klein

There is so much hype with this scent across the Internet, that it's actually hard to parse objective description from sentiment, with people clutching survivng bottles and screaming "the ultimate masculine scent" or "the only CK worth owning" while cradling it in their sleep. Well, for the record, this is a GOOD fragrance from the early 1980's, and indeed debuted alongside the "Class of 1981" which included greats like Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent, Antaeus by Chanel, Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui, and Bijan for Men, but like Stetson by Coty, tends to sit outside of that circle because Calvin Klein was still in it's perfumery infancy after the release of Calvin Klein (1979) for women, and just didn't get the same attention. The hype machine really got started after this was brought back for a limited time in 1999 to celebrate the turn of the millenium, and drilled into people's head that this was some unsung hero of the 80's powerhouse period. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not some lost unappreciated gem worthy of the niche price tags it fetches now in the aftermarket, nor is it the first and final real achievement of the house, because like it or not, Eternity for Men (1989) was that scent (and arguably not the final achievement), as it did more for the future of perfume than this little black obelisk. However, this is a really quality, if somewhat derivative oakmoss bomb full of bright bergamot, smoky vetiver, and smooth musk. If the house of Calvin Klein had the kind of talent Chanel has, this might have even survived reformulation well, like Antaeus, if it had been kept available, but since it's intial run was brief and it's second run nothing but a tease, it makes sense that folks covet it more than they probably should. I mean, just the fact that the same house who makes endless freshies even put out an oakmoss powerhouse is astonishing in and of itself.

Calvin opens up with an enormous blast of bergamot and neroli, with lemon, mandarin, and the odd choices of chamomile and armoise softening the blow a little more than one might expect. The floral heart shows it's face rather early, but these are manly florals of the barbershop kind, so expect a stiff geranium note accompanied by meaty tarragon and lemon verbena. This phase reminds me most of the later Aramis Tuscany Per Uomo (1984), just with the added heft of a fat-bottomed oakmoss base. Even in this earliest phase, CK was using "Kleinisms", with oddly specific notes like "cinnamon leaf" and "orange flower" that feel incredulous. It's a far cry from "acid rain accord" or "sunshine on an angel's back" BS of more recent note pyramids, but even in 1981 the CK marketing team was allowed to embelish the note pyramids, just not to the same extent. I'm not saying the leaf of the plant cinammon is cultivated from isn't in there, but it's doubtful. The base is pure classic early 80's, and the biggest part aside from the top that makes it too similar for it's own good to more profound masculines from the period. Sandalwood, vetiver, oakmoss, patchouli and musk make up the final phase here, instantly connecting Calvin to Eucris by Geo F Trumper (1912), Jacomo de Jacomo (1980), the later Avon Féraud Pour Homme (1985), and to the more-obscure Lamborghini GT (also 1985). Calvin finishes much like these, with a heavier musk bedrock that supports a patchouli and vetiver garden fertilized by oakmoss. It's formal and rich, not crisp after the citrus fades like some of the others, and best for spring or fall median temperatures.

Calvin's most unique feature is that it's virtually an early 80's powerhouse chimera, that tries to take elements from classic barbershop scents, bright Italian citrus, stiff English oakmoss, and patchouli/musk riffage from the previous decade. Calvin Klein clearly wanted something for everyone with this, but distinction is sacrificed for likeability. I also understand the fanaticism, because CK is one of the most popular and ubiquitous designers on the planet, so there's a much larger pool of fans, some not so well-versed in their options, that see this as the holy grail of 80's masculines because they just don't KNOW about the alternatives. Collectors and vintage snobs will obviously over-hype this too, just because it IS the oldest CK masculine and only one of two main-line non-seasonal/non-flanker scents that are discontinued and rare, so the "dragon fever" overrides their logic circuits and convinces them of it's superiority, with the old "I paid X for it so I have to like it" justification filling in the blanks. If money is no object and your patience is unlimited, a full-bottle purchase of this is definitely recommended as it is a very nice scent worth owning. However, considering it sits squarely inbetween a range of arguably more-signifant and distinct masculines in style, and is more derivative than zealots will admit, it's one unicorn better left in the wild, unless on the off-chance Calvin Klein lets it breed once again.
21st May, 2018

Luna Rossa by Prada

Very light, clean and somewhat powdery, this lavender scent is modern but the performance is very weak.

I think I would like it better if it had better performance because it smells nice while you can smell it but seems to be gone after 2-3 hours. That makes it hard to justify wearing unless you'll be reapplying all day or just need to smell nice and clean for a couple hours. Sorry, but this seems to get over-powered by scented deodorant.

That said, it does seem to come back in tiny wafts throughout the day. Still weak projection but it lingers for 6-7 hours.
21st May, 2018

Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons

This is a fun fragrance.
I agree with one of the previous reviewers. I am also familiar with the smell of spent gun cartridges and its fresh green mixed with a hint of that.
Its fun and fresh and more masculine than unisex and nice for a hot day but lacks true depth and class to be taken really seriously but there is nothing wrong with bit of fun!
21st May, 2018

Musc Tonkin by Parfum d'Empire

Note: Review is of the EdP, not the extrait version.

Musc Tonkin is an astonishingly tame musk perfume, insubstantial and forgettable. There is noticeable leather and a hint of florals, so much so that this could also pass off as a meek leather fragrance. On card as well as on skin there is no hint of anything animalic at all, and on skin it projects barely an inch, even after a generous application (approximately 1 ml). It's a tad musty, and brings to mind musky leathers of yesteryears (particularly Chanel's Cuir de Russie) but at one tenth volume and concentration.

Musc Tonkin pales in comparison to a well rounded musk fragrance like Muscs Koublaï Khan (which itself is not particularly animalic either ...), while there are several excellent musky leathers so that one need not bother with Musc Tonkin, which is possibly the weakest output from Parfum d'Empire that one has encountered.

21st May, 2018

154 by Jo Malone

Stardate 20180521:

154 is named after Jo Malone's London store. It is supposed to capture the "headspace" of the shop. Diptyque did something similar with their 34.
I like this one as it captures the best Malone has to offer. The Lime Basil Mandarin is one of the dominant smell in this composition followed by Nutmeg Ginger.
Base is woodsy and oriental.

The only offering in EDP concentration.
21st May, 2018

Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura by Acqua di Parma

My first experience with the house and it gets a slight thumbs up. This is an uplifting spring / summer scent good for the office or casual. Great lemon opening that is very nice and not too sweet nor overbearing to my nose. It does turn to a flowery scent in the mid which gives way to a musky woody dry down. I like it but don't love it. As per usual try before you buy... otherwise Enjoy!
21st May, 2018