Fragrance Reviews from July 2010

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    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sandalwood by Caswell-Massey

    When people talk about high quality sandalwood smelling "creamy", they must be talking about scents like this one. Caswell-Massey has produced a superb, almost definitive, sandalwood scent here. The sandalwood is treated in very warm, rich, multifaceted, and yes, creamy, way. It starts off sharp and dry, mellows into the heart and starts to develop its smoothness, which is sustained until the fragrance completely fades from your skin. In the drydown, the ultra-smoothness continues, but the sandalwood also shows its earthy side too.

    Though this doesn't technically qualify as a fougere, it smells like one. It is very masculine (and feminine too, if worn by a woman) and extremely old school, capturing an appealing old world barbershop feel throughout its duration. In fact, I think this fragrance smells a lot like shaving cream, and I like that. This smells like a fragrance that I would expect to have been popular with well groomed gentlemen in the 1800's.

    CM's Sandalwood represents outstanding value too, as I think this outshines even the expensive niche Santal Noble, in its pure sandalwoodiness. It is also nice and strong, with all-day longevity and good sillage.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    08 July, 2010

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royall Vetiver by Royall Lyme of Bermuda


    Never smelled vetiver before and want to know what it smells like? Just sample Royall Lyme's Vetiver, and you'll find out! Unlike Creed's two vetiver scents and L'Occitane's Vetyver, this fragrance is not at all ashamed of its vetiver note, which is front and center and dominant. There's some citrus added to give it freshness, but there is nothing to stand in the way of the vetiver's crisp, bitter glory here. This is a frag for people who really like the smell of vetiver, and want it straight up. The pyramid mentions vanilla (?!?), but I don't smell any, thank god. No wimpy smelling ingredients here to water down the vetiver. I look at Royall Lyme's as kind of a linear, one dimensional version of Guerlain's Vetiver. Best of all, it is very low priced, and has excellent sillage and longevity.

    Although it won't replace Guerlain's Vetiver in my wardrobe, this is a winner all the way!

    MY RATING: 8/10

    08 July, 2010

    Fredrik Lönnberg's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Jasmine Eau de Cologne by Galimard

    A rather dark jasmin- very well made and certainly good value for the money. A summer soliflore for men and women.

    08 July, 2010

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Avignon by Comme des Garçons

    Note: I will not be using 'cathedral', 'church' or 'catholic' in my review.

    But I will be using the word 'breast'.

    Last week my friend was in town for business and stayed a few days so i could take her to wine country. At the last minute she asked if a friend could join us, since it was his first time in the U.S. No problem, i said.

    I asked the friend where was he from. "Avignon", he replied, and this is why I can't use any churchy references for this perfume.

    My gregarious guest spent the weekend telling jokes with big hand gestures, heartily slurping his wine in the tasting room, and joyfully asking women if their husbands were married. At the beach he wondered if "women were allowed here to put their breasts out?" (i.e, go topless)

    So how to I interpret Avignon, the fragrance, after this? Not without fond memories, i'm afraid. The scent itself is dry, warm and resinous, with a pitch perfect incense note that i just love. Like my friend's visit it doesn't last as long as I'd like, but when it's around it keeps me interested throughout.

    I love Avignon, and recommend it as fragrance you could step out in at any time.

    08 July, 2010

    Le Grand Duc's avatar

    Denmark Denmark

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    Tendre Poison by Christian Dior

    I've just resently bought a bottle of this juice,
    because it was rumored to be discontinued.
    It has been sitting on my shelve ever since.
    I'm wearing it today, and I absolutely love it.
    This was my mother's signature scent in the
    90s, maybe that's why it is so appealing to
    me? Who knows?

    It's a strong semi-green floral, as stated before
    me, but with a sweet vanilla'ish base.

    This neglected Poison needs, no deserves, a
    renaissance ... now!

    Two thumbs up!

    08 July, 2010

    BradW's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pi by Givenchy

    Wow! Is this stuff for real? I smell a very strong cotton candy like accord here. I chucked my mini of this stuff. I guess I should have asked my teenaged daughter to test it out on here skin first, though.

    08 July, 2010

    BradW's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rochas Man by Rochas

    Wow! Finally a chocolate scented fragrance that isn't a real turnoff. A must have for your winter rotation IMO.

    08 July, 2010

    philmcphe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Prelude to Love by By Kilian

    I'm glad that after smelling and being disappointed in the rest of the By Kilian line (although A Taste of Heaven has been growing on me) I decided I would still give this last one a whirl. This fragrance smells absolutely divine to me, I imagine Aphrodite, the goddess of love wearing this fragrance. Smells incredibly refreshing and beautiful while being incredibly seductive. I would love to smell this on a beautiful woman, I might just have to give this sample to one my pretty girl friends so I can. This fragrance takes a completely different direction from any of the other By Kilian's, and I'm glad it does!

    08 July, 2010

    John.G's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Féerie by Van Cleef & Arpels

    I tried this in conjunction with my 11 year old.
    At first spray I got fruity floral, probably more floral then fruity and thought... nice. Then it caused the most acute session of compulsive sniffing I'd ever experienced. I kept lifting my wrist to my nose and sniffing and trying to place just what it was I was smelling. And I kept thinking "this stuff smells sticky". It wasn't, but my mind kept saying it should be.

    After maybe 3/4 of an hour I finally got it... this is part of the smell of where I grew up. Specifically the cane fields of far north queensland during the crushing season... sugar cane flowers and bulk molasses.
    Miss 11, when I checked with her said the same.... molasses.

    10 hours later I was still smelling molasses.

    I'll give it a 3/5. It's not a bad smell, just that I found the sticky sensation it gave me to be ... exactly the same as when I've spilt molasses on me. Without the enjoyment of licking it off.

    08 July, 2010

    jules1's avatar



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    Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein

    I completely and utterly adore this scent. When I met my husband he was 18 and this was the cologne that he wore. It's just so warm and comforting in that "i want to snuggle" kind of way. For years, long after he had stopped wearing it, I would stop and smell it in department stores thinking of him only to find out later that he has no memory of it. Turns out it was just some cologne (maybe his brothers) that he found in the glove box and used to wear it because he never remembered to put any on when leaving the house. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me this scent is heavenly, for him ermmm, not so much.

    08 July, 2010

    ExtremeK's avatar

    United States United States

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    El Attarine by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Curry. Unbelievably realistic, unrelenting curry. And then ... bonus! ... cumin!

    Now, I really enjoy the cumin in Feminite du Bois and Bois de Violette. But this...I don't want to smell like this.

    And, although honey, vanilla, and amber can go a long way towards saving an otherwise unredeemable scent for me, there is just no rescuing this one, no matter how much honey Serge throws at me.

    08 July, 2010

    California Chris's avatar



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    Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

    I don't know this particular perfume, but thought its wearers might like to know it's one Joan Crawford wore.

    08 July, 2010

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Yohji Homme by Yohji Yamamoto

    Oh my gosh this smells good. Unbelievable! If you want a play-by-play, please refer to pluran's excellent review. He accurately describes Yohji Homme's gentle balancing act between dry fougere, spiced rum essence, and gourmand notes of coffee and anise (sweetened primarily by the rum note). I have nothing to add to his dissection. Here are my personal observations:

    I am one of those people for whom gourmand fragrances are often too sweet and cloying, so I really appreciate a gourmand with a groomed character and some restraint. Even this one toes the line, but stays just on the safe side by implementing that outstanding fougere accord, which lends just enough class to balance out any potential crass.

    Those who like their gourmands to be bombastic, like A*Men or Rochas Man, will be disappointed. As others have noted, Yohji really doesn't compare to them, and I hesitate to strictly define it as a gourmand. This is a gentleman's scent which happens to dabble with edible notes. Projection is low but longevity is high for me. The base really seems to react to body heat, so I recommend wearing it under the shirt, on the chest, in warm weather. This creates a subtle, warm, sexy glow. Enchanting.

    08 July, 2010 (Last Edited: 27 October, 2011)

    angelica's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Divine by Divine

    Hmm. I wore Ysatis for many years and still have some of the original for old time's sake, but I would never wear it today. This, I'll happily wear. Saying they're similar is like saying Chanel No 5 and Madame Rochas are similar. I guess there just aren't enough animalic florals out there to make distinguishing between them easy, unless you've really lived in one of them enough to know it well. Divine has a spicy peachy opening, which Ysatis lacks, and a gentle powdery drydown (ditto), and in between there's a very animalic Mai Rose poking through the tuberose. I guess it's the tuberose/oakmoss accord that invokes the comparisons. Ysatis feels dated; this feels timeless. Miss Dior also originally was a gardenia-tuberose/oakmoss chypre, and I see this as a modern version of that.

    09 July, 2010

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    von Sierstorpff by von Sierstorpff

    The fragrance opens with tart citrus accented with a slight mint followed by an herbal and green garden mid notes. The base is slightly wood and leather but very lightly applied. Everything in Von Sierstorpff is trying not to offend anyone and it succeeds in feeling distinguished and quite proper in an old world way. A fine northern European gentlemans eau de cologne with just a little more going on than you might expect.

    09 July, 2010

    CoL's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Laguna by Salvador Dali

    This aquatic/oriental fragrance was created by Mark Buxton in 1991. It is far from smelling dated as this fragrance was well ahead of it's time! It's warm and fresh all at the same time. I describe it as a "mignight aquatic". No screaming florals and acidic citrus. Muted florals leading to a wonderfully mild slightly "plump" vanilla base with the beauty of ambergirs to 'fix' the fragance and give it feel of opulent luxury. A real beauty, not terribly easy to find in the UK but Cheapsmells have it at a superb price!

    09 July, 2010

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Paco Rabanne pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    Horrible, this one. Bought it blind and boy did I regret the purchase. Strange herbs and spices collide in this to produce a cacophany of stench. Lavender and leather? I don't think so. Nothing like Paco PH which I enjoy very much. I will say it's certainly different, but its uniqueness is overpowered by its harshness. In a word, disaster.

    09 July, 2010

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

    This stuff is heavy and serious. Harsh greens turn into spicy powered rose turns into overpowering bitter powder. Stifling and unpleasant all the way through for me. I prefer my green cyphres to have some spring in their step, like Diorella.

    09 July, 2010

    mikeperez23's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cowboy Grass by D.S. & Durga

    Cowboy Grass continues the olfactory theme of most of the D.S. & Durga line - resinous, pungent, raw fragrances that are mostly dry, texturally scratchy and not easy-to-like.

    CG is all grasses, dirt and dry woods - a sort of supercharged vetiver note with no iodine-salty notes - rather a flat, grassy and roasted smelling leaf note.

    I used to work cutting grass during my summer vacations, as an adolescent, to earn money and when you've spent a day in the sunshine, sweating with bits of dried grass, leaves and dirt all over your body and work clothes the smell sort of reminds me of CG. Strangely enough, swirling around in the middle of all of this, is a mint note - that adds a bit of depth to the scent (sort of like the mint note in Derby does). And then, unexpectedly, the scent starts to disappear rapidly on skin. For such a strong vetiver top note I expected this one to last a bit more. I would have over applied it if I could...but the way this pierces the nose when applied I don't think anyone could actually tolerate over applying this one - it's very tough and gritty.

    Fans of Lorenzo Villoresi, Andy Tauer's harsh, strange and difficult-to-get-the-first-time approach to perfumery, should check out Cowboy Grass and a few others in the D.S. & Durga line.

    I love sampling this sort of scent. It's sort of an extension of the CdG Leaves Series, which I love. I am weird like that. :) But I can't imagine wanting to reach for CG on a regular basis: I have no idea in what sort of setting I would wear something like this.

    09 July, 2010

    md1grwl's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Attitude by Giorgio Armani

    Armani's best in my honest opinion. I believe the bottle & name vs. the juice are at odds though. The name/bottle gives the impression that something super masculine / spicy is going to hit you. And while the top notes are somewhat exciting, they quickly quiet down into what I love most about this frag. Nice warm gourmand smell. I smell chocolate, coffee hints mellowed by amber. Excuse me as I go eat my arm off.

    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Rush by Gucci

    If I were a hooker dressed to kill standing under tropical neon, I would be Gucci Rush. Everything is ramped up, trembling on the edge of excess and taste. Ferrari fumes and hair lacquer ooze into the night as I slowly flash my stuff. God the air is thick around me, humid and laced with bubblegum and the scent of night blooming gardens. Sometimes I feel like this scent could actually kill, wrap its manicured talons around throats and actually kill. It raises the temperature, boils the blood, curls the lip and rolls across the skin like cheap pink fire. On girls it is magnificent, all towering heels, slicked lips and mauled hair. On boys it smells like rolled out of bed sexy cigarette-tinted skin and someone’s DNA smeared all over you. Glorious.

    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Bogart pour Homme by Jacques Bogart

    How good is this scent? Bought it on a whim and totally shocked myself with how butch it was. Beautiful smoky grey lingering fougère, rounded and softly finished. It has great style and charm but also harbours an secret gigolo feel about it. Just a touch too well dressed on occasions, too well turned out, that dark stranger on a journey who is just too good to be true. The man you meet at the roulette table who looks like Omar Sharif and turns out to be …..well….Omar Sharif. Still incredible scent though, and who could say no to Omar Sharif?

    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Black Orchid by Tom Ford

    There is sense of heightened vulgarity with Black Orchid, something only just on the right side of restaurant clearing. Every generation gets the Giorgio it deserves. Black Orchid is ours. You can taste in the air in almost every bar you go into these days, even smell it rolling off hen parties as they reel brutally around drunken streets.

    Now I adore Tom Ford, but sometimes even I stop and think; it’s all so plastic, porno and unoriginal. He will never be Yves, or Halston or anyone with real discernable talent. Sure, he can market, sell sex and he is a triumph of his own botoxed, glassy pr machine. Look at his movie; a cold, sterile adman’s dream dressed up as boutique merchandising and frustrated desire. It’s clever stuff, we get blindsided by the man himself, the almost mythic feel to his so called Midas touch. His early Texan acting lessons were not wasted. This smelt BIG when it appeared, like Jackie Collins’ Hollywood Wives, brash, loud and full of over heated sex. The images were dripping in retro atmosphere, we were supposed to think of Hayworth and Harlow, Colbert and Crawford, claws glazed, draped over impossible men. Whereas in fact The Black Orchid is mutton dressed as leopard, trying ever so hard to impress. More is never enough, she might say to herself, sashaying into the night, plants and animals wilting behind her in her truffled, indolic, musk-laden wake.

    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris

    I bought this for my partner, a Breton, to remind him of home. I think Lyn Harris is very talented, her olfactory work is charming, sly and so pretty. I don’t like some scents, but others are glorious. L’air de Rien is filthygorgeous and Feuilles de Tabac is dark and autumnally slutty. Fleurs de Sel was created to remind Lyn of Batz-sur-Mer where they manufacture world famous sea salt. The conjuring up of salt water edged with grasses, iris and narcissi is remarkable. The vetiver base with moss is perfectly judged and the whole scent comes together with tremendous power. It is incredibly heady and on the skin has that magnificent dried down sea salt on hot skin scent that hardly anyone has truly managed to pin down in fragrance form. Like a painting by Corot, dry and green, drenched in warm pixillated light, textured to perfection. You can hear birdsong, reeds rustling; smell the iodine from the salt in the air. Breathe; Lyn has made her finest scent.


    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Infusion d'Homme by Prada

    Now I hate the Prada stamp of fragrance, the ever-so carefully constructed idea of high street luxury scent. It really irritates me. All the scents are mediocre and vapid. Like air from balloons, steam from kettles, debate from politicians, best dispersed high into the air away from all forms of life. The men’s are the worst offenders. Metallic, flat and totally lacking in imagination. If even a tiny amount of the fashion house’s flair had been applied to the scents we might have something nearing charm and eccentricity. But no, we have the scented equivalent of GQ models, airbrushed, oiled, blue-tinted and very very bland. I know they sell in huge quantities, but that means nothing. Millions of people buy John Grisham novels…..formulaic, safe and you know what’s gonna happen. Same idea. Now I like iris, love it treated properly, with respect, aged, macerated, applied to scent with discretion and imagination. But you know what; it is slaughtered here, lost amid the ozonic boredom. This scent is office drone personified.

    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Les Echappées - Siwa by Memo

    These Memo scents are strange creatures, transparent and ghostly almost. Ethereal interpretations of times, moods and destinations. Siwa is cereals, vanilla and aldehydes, so soft as to be almost haunting. Like walking through an abandoned holiday villa but knowing you still feel the traces of parties before you. I know gourmands are now everywhere, leaking their sugars, caramels and chocolates into an already sticky atmosphere, but I found myself oddly addicted to this. Popcorn and whisky are listed in the notes and it does have a whisper of Glayva, a weird whisky liqueur I sipped in my teenage years, with pretentions to sophistication. It smells like well made white chocolate on my skin, with little traces of spice as it settles, the popcorn thing? Who knows…..maybe it’s the lick of nut butter? I went through three bottles before getting bored. Can’t really explain why I liked it so much, it just smelled so good on, deeply comforting and so …white. Actually, thinking about it now, maybe the popcorn note explains the lack of control I had with Siwa, constantly reapplying and inhaling. I find with popcorn, once I start I just can’t stop.

    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Atao by Lostmarc'h

    I have already posted a review of the lovely Lann Ael by the same house, Lostmarc’h. This small Breton fragrance house is intriguing and charming. Atao, which means ‘always’ in Breton, is their men’s scent, a sleek citrus with lots of rosemary spiked through the usual lemon, lime and bergamot mix. Normally not my thing at all, but I love its clarity and piercing coolness. The bottle is overprinted with an image of a sailing boat and actually this scent could be described as classic wood cutting though water and air, sun burning down on faded decks. The crack of sails above, sea spray in the air and that warm joy of connecting to the elements as you lie back and close your eyes, fingers dangling in the sudden shock of cold sea.



    09 July, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Kenzo Power by Kenzo

    Sinful sake. A weird and creepily compulsive cocktail of citrus, powder and play doh. Olivier Polge does very strange things from time to time and never hits the great heights of Dior Homme, but his forays into cyberspace sometimes bear fruit. I still don’t know if I like this actually, I know it’s good, I know I smell good in it, people tell me so. But sampling the sweet, rubbery coca cola powder off my skin I think I might smell like a an android with synthetic skin you can push in and watch it slowly reform. There is something transgressive about Power, perhaps falling in love with a robot and knowing it is programmed to love you and that is enough.

    09 July, 2010

    Goldaline's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Balenciaga Paris by Balenciaga

    A beautiful bottle and a beautiful advertising campaign with Serge Gainsborough and Jane Birkin's beautiful daughter, but alas the fragrance is not beautiful. It is not ugly either, just rather disappointing: after a really lovely violet top note, the fragrance fades rapidly to an insipid and vaguely sweet dry-down.

    09 July, 2010

    informer_at's avatar

    Austria Austria

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    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

    Starts like Carlo Corinto, after drydown the similarity ends and the smell goes pissoir air freshener.

    09 July, 2010

    Showing 181 to 210 of 980.