Fragrance Reviews from November 2011

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    bFlay's avatar
    bFlay
    United States United States

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    Acqua Azzurra For Men by Gianfranco Ferré

    I love most Ferre colognes and wear Ferre for Man almost daily. Upon trying a sample of this, Acqua Azzurra, I am surprisingly unimpressed and underwhelmed. This reminds me of so many bland "cool" fragrances for men, cheap ones! The sort elderly men slap on when they go to church or out to the local "steak n taters" restaurant! Cool, aquamarine, citrusy (distinct note of synthetic lime). This is a hodge-podge fragrance that would be familiar to anyone as any number of cheap, inoffensive EDTs. Like all Ferre products, it has a fairly long wear-at least 8 to 10 hours, but I doubt most people who'd like the fragrance would pay premium price for a scent you can purchase from any discount store.

    04 November, 2011

    dollars&scents's avatar
    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    Gucci Pour Homme II by Gucci

    exquisite, black tea envelopes this fragrance, from its fresh opening, through its spicy heart, and finishing with its smokey base ... be forewarned, the projection and longevity may be lacking, but certainly its stupendous versatility more than compensates ...

    04 November, 2011

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    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    Allure Homme Sport by Chanel

    Chanel - Allure Homme Sport ... I dare say it is one of best, overall, summer fragrances ... a fantastic journey from its sharp, orange, citrus opening, through its imaginative, peppery, neroli and cedar heart, thence morphing into its exquisite, creamy and sexy, white musk and vetiver base ...

    04 November, 2011

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    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme ... the top notes burst forth with an invigorating, yet perplexing, citrus; then the heart revels itself in a floral and spicy concoction; and the soothing, yet oriental, woody base rears its lovely presence ... excellent sillage and longevity ... its originality makes for a somewhat futuristic journey ...

    04 November, 2011

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    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    Roadster by Cartier

    Roadster by Cartier ... a fresh, non-toothpasty mint, really a dark, subdued mint, which duets with a fresh, green fougere ... excellent quality and versatility ... very good sillage and longevity

    04 November, 2011

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    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada, an oriental fougere ... fruity opening; tonka bean and vanilla heart; and vetiver, amber, and saffron base ... very restrained, but quality ... moderate sillage and excellent longevity ...

    04 November, 2011

    Darvant's avatar
    Darvant
    Italy Italy

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    Magot by Etro

    Magot is a delightfully retro, claustrophobic and "cleverly addle" fruity-floral that evoques the atmosphere of an old parisian attic endowed with brown-bejes multipainted moquette impregnated of the smell of time and garnished by vintage objects and antiquities. The loft is occupied by an old, old , silent and mysterious woman with a mass of swab grey hairs and with a sinister aura. The walls of moquette exude odours of mould and old hesperidated corrupted colognes and the smell is stuffy and stuck. The ancient feel is produced  by a strong combination of bergamot, lemon-orange, cedar, a huge dosage of lavender, patchouli, mellow fruits (apricot?) and iris. This chord, melted in a sink of musk-vanilla and utterly darkened by a sinister jasmine, becomes ancient and vintage, airless and brown. The floral approach is deep, old fashioned and almost acid.The spicy note of cloves is another key element that imprints an hint  of aromatic, pungent and sweet spiciness with its touch of antiquity. The note of lavender, in its link with hesperides and noble iris, reproduces a pleasantly stuffy angular initial smell of old cologne that with time morphs in a woody and oriental sort of bed. Some ancient woods are stuck in the composition. The outcome is romantic, bohémien a bit esoteric and deliberately retro. Yes, Magot is stressed in lavender, corrupted fruits and deteriorated bergamot but it must be like this. Another great Etro.

    04 November, 2011

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    jimmysmellworld


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    Silver Shadow Altitude by Davidoff

    This is actually quite good, especially at the low prices this can be found at (don't pay full price for it) It's a sweet aquatic which dries down to a close, lingering transparent smell on the skin. Its very pleasant though for some maybe too sweet - synthetic frozen sugar with some blue notes thrown in. Its not groundbreaking or original but it works and its very versatile so a thumbs up for me.

    04 November, 2011

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    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    Frapin 1270 by Frapin

    I relish the beautifully orchestrated gourmand of Frapin 1270 ... initially, one is treated to a whiff of candied orange, lovingly coupled with peppered raisins and varied nuts, and floral hints glimmer as well ... this pleasure-inducing opening yields to a exquisite stew of cognac, sandalwood and amber, which truly anchors the sweetness of the opening and avoids its cloying, so magnificently so, that the spiciness augments the potent, boosy concoction of the heart ... these remarkable, middle notes binding with that promising opening truly transforms the senses to percieve a woodiness that conjures up aging barrels fattened by delightful and fruity cognac ... thence the soothing and warming base, with its honeyed vanilla and woods, beckons to a mellowing drydown ... singularly done ... decent sillage and good longevity ... a lovely and unique gourmand fragrance, wherein the notes complement each other so wonderfully ...

    04 November, 2011

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    The_Cologneist
    United States United States

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    Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Starts off very nice and refreshing.. quickly becomes spicy, sour, floral, musky, not for me.

    I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and glad that I did. The dry down is a creamy white musk with some incense. Sounds weird, right? It is fantastic! Lasts a good 16 hours too.

    Probably my favorite L'Artisan dry down thus far, out of the 20-30 L'Artisan's that I have tried.

    04 November, 2011

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    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    Hot Couture by Givenchy

    Hot Couture by Givenchy ... the top note bursts with spicy, yet tart, raspberry, lovingly fused with bergamot and orange, before being whisked away into the heart, where an exquisite magnolia simmers with pepper, creating a dusky, lemony touch, thence, the creamy, woody and vanilla base wonderfully transports to the remarkable drydown ...

    04 November, 2011

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    staticx
    India India

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    Jaguar (new) by Jaguar

    The opening is nice with some citrus/tangy feel but it fades away very fast. Then comes a synthetic vibe like a nail polish remover as The_cologneist said. But a good amount of ginger in the drydown saves some grace. The ginger in the base is well balanced and it reminds me of Bvlgari Blv. Overall it has nothing remarkable. I got it as a gift so I cant complain either.

    04 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 08 November, 2011)

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    Bartlebooth
    Germany Germany

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    Le Petit Grain by Miller Harris

    According to the Miller Harris sales pitch, Le Petit Grain pays homage to the classic cologne. For about 95% of the time, it's a lavish tribute, a bold eulogy for the traditional and humble cologne. It is only in the last vestiges of my lengthy coupling with LPG that I become just a trifle irked at its naked form. By then it is shorn of accompaniment, and it does feel a little shrill and demanding.

    However, there is a great deal of pleasure to be derived from Le Petit Grain, and it is doing it more justice to focus on the very charming form that it adopts from the very moment it bedecks my skin. The sharp falsetto citrus feels clean, bracing and precise - and yet it still appears three dimensional.It is the subsequent conjoining of divergent orange notes that provide a bitter cable for this twisted citric flex. It is a presence that is discerned in all that is good from here on in.

    The sheer hutzpah and luminosity of the early development reminds me of Chanel's Pour Monsieur, and although it is no fragrant synonym, it is an indication of the company it is keeping. For all its potency and obvious use of quality ingredients, there remains a simplicity about LPG that ensures that the comparison with a venerable cologne can indeed be made. It takes a good hour before the background herbal elements can be properly detected, and even with that glorius citrus flex twisting through it, it adds a necessary roughness to the previously faultless sheen.

    It is rare to find a citrus fragrance having so much horsepower and stamina, and it continues to evolve, twist,and give until the very end.

    That it does finally run out of dancing partners in the last hour or so, is more of an observation than a criticism. More creations like this please Ms Harris.

    04 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 08 November, 2011)

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    stanmar
    United States United States

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    Costes by Hôtel Costes

    Wearing it right now and here is what I think of Costes. First of all, the rose in this scent has made me less wary of rose going forward. Given that I am usually baulk at the mere mention of rose and denounce it as feminine and not for my tastes. Perhaps they refined the rose note and surrounded it with lavander and incense to make it more wearable and less flowery. The result is puzzling as it is at once lithe, fresh and confident while still holding an air of affluent modern decadence. I imagine chic trendy hotel corridors with successful assertive hipsters of all ages as the clientele. As for the fragrance, sleek and urbane and what Nicole Kidman and her hubby might share. Do I like it ?..... not for everyday but it has a place in my collection. i am surprised the cinnamon resemblence has not turned me off as of yet. More of a fragrance of novelty value rather than something that will reach for when the need for a safe scent choice arises.

    I have to downgrade my previous rating of Costes to neutral based on wearability issues in the long run. Somebody else remarked of its value as more of a home fragrance . Now I agree.

    04 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 December, 2011)

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    alfarom
    Italy Italy

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    Royal English Leather by Creed

    Surely among my favorites in the Creed's range. RIL basically strikes as a smoother (and much expensier) version of Knize Ten. Soft leather and amber in a perfect blend that's rich deep and completely satisfying. Surely much more easily approachable than the Knize due to its mannered presence. Very Good.. Me? I stick with Knize.

    04 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 13 February, 2012)

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    jtd
    United States United States

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    Prada Candy by Prada

    Caveat: While I love drag queens, I tend not to like dessert-like gourmands. Just not my thing.

    Prada’s Candy is in many respects a super-gourmand. It’s cotton-candyish, it’s caramellic, it’s vanillic, and it gains sweetness as it goes. Much seems to have come out of Prada’s PR about the benzoin and therefore the oriental genre. Yes, there’s benzoin, but the name of the perfume tells you about the perfume’s true affiliation: the dessert/gourmand category.

    I see people referring to Candy as complex, the complexity implying a big, successful outcome. I find Candy more of a kitchen sink gourmand. It’s a busting-at-the-seems stuffed perfume. It hits the prominent notes of the big players in the gourmand game from the past few years.

    But if you’re trying to capture Candy by describing its scent, you run the risk of giving a description that might apply to any other dessert perfume. Here’s how I see it: If you liken a sweet gourmand perfume to a straight, femme women, then Candy is the glam drag queen. The femme gives a certain portrayal of gender. The drag queen and Candy both take that same femininity as a starting place, then turn up the volume until the distortion sets in.

    04 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 April, 2012)

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    photofinish
    United States United States

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    Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

    Armani describes Acqua di Gio as a fresh, woody/aquatic... but when the clean citrus top notes flee this scent, all that remains is the lingering aquarium-like odor of barnacles and musk.

    04 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 22 May, 2012)

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    drseid
    United States United States

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    Véga by Guerlain

    Even though marketed to women, this scent is actually very unisex to my nose. It opens with a blast of lemon/bergamot mixed with a soapy accord and a mild powder undertone. The bergamot tones down a bit and the powder gains strength throughout Vegas' development. The powdery development is similar to many other Guerlain scents, with the first one immediately coming to mind being L'Instant. I think the powder and soap are a bit too much for me, and really not to my liking. That said, the scent is very wearable, and shows some skill from the nose responsible for it. 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5.

    04 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2012)

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    LiveJazz
    United States United States

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    Nightscape by Ulrich Lang

    This one has an interesting development. Nightscape opens with an extremely "clear" patchouli note that is surprisingly unaltered, considering how tame the scent is in the long run. The opening patch note is about as direct of a patch as I've smelled, for about 5 minutes. Really great opening.

    As the heart approaches, the sharper green notes make an appearance to refrigerate the patchouli note and lend a definite soapy and sharp woodsy vibe to the scent. This is probably my least favorite phase, and is somewhat of a letdown after the excellent patchouli opening. However,this phase is unique among patchoulis and is well done - so this is just my personal preference.

    In the base, the scent drops both the purity of the opening and sharper greens of the middle and becomes a comforting, very smooth skin scent of tonka and musk, with just enough of the original patch peeking through. Overall the scent is pretty minimalistic compared to the usual amber-infused patchouli fragrances, but this is intentional and effective. A worthy addition to the patchouli genre.

    05 November, 2011

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    The_Cologneist
    United States United States

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    Sables by Annick Goutal

    WARNING: Sables lasts extremely long. This could be good or bad; for me, it's a negative. I have a lot of fragrances, and if I wore this too often, they would never see the light. That's right.. Sables lasts for DAYS. Every time I have worn it, I have gotten no less than 48 hours longevity. Projection is very good throughout as well.. but obviously not so much in the 2nd day.

    It opens up with a wonderful dark roasted coffee accord, this is likely to be the immortal note.. once it fades a little it becomes spicy and strange. This would be the pepper blending with the immortal. Result: smell of sand. Yes, it truly does smell like sand and maple syrup. Eventually the pepper wears off, and the sandalwood and vanilla kick in and dry down with the immortal.

    The opening is very loud and somewhat brash.. but still enjoyable. The sand like accord gives character, and the dry down is beautiful and creamy. There is nothing quite like it, that I have found.. I would classify this as an aromatic/oriental/gourmand. The closest possible fragrances I can compare it to would be Chergui or New Harlem.

    My personal preference: I very much enjoy it, but it just lasts too long.. even with showering.

    05 November, 2011

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    Blue Zinnia
    United States United States

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    Pur Blanca by Avon

    Light, pleasant and serenely uncomplicated, with a nice little waft of citrus above the floral simplicity. This would be a great gift for a girl 12 or over, especially one celebrating her first moontime or her first date.

    05 November, 2011

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    Blue Zinnia
    United States United States

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    Rare Gold by Avon

    I agree that this is one of Avon's best fragrances in a long time. It's too complex for me to be much good at analyzing it, but I do detect sandalwood, neroli, and frankincense, plus tuberose or perhaps jasmine/hedione. I read it as dressy, and good for all seasons. It lasts well, too.

    05 November, 2011

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    Waldemar
    Italy Italy

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée by Chanel

    Classy, refined and meditative. Smell exactly like the listed notes but the sum is bigger than the single elements. Magic!

    05 November, 2011

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    jtd
    United States United States

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    Bois de Violette by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    The first time I tried Bois de Violette I kicked myself for having bought Feminité du Bois a few months earlier. You know that shitty feeling of having bought the good, and then finding the better? I quickly came to the conclusion, though, that I prefer Feminité for most purposes and would choose it over BdV if I were to have just one. BdV brings into relief a feeling about Feminité that I could never quite get my nose around. Feminité’s boozyish combination of fruit, wood and flower expresses itself with a dried-fruit resinousness that I find nowhere except in the SL Feminité and Bois perfumes. Without using any of the classic perfume resins/oils (benzoin, olibanum, myrrh, spikenard, peru balsam, cistus labdanum) Feminité synthesizes a flower/fruit/wood that has the same stickiness and chewy quality that we associate with botanical resins.

    Bois de Violette, while gorgeous, removes the stickiness of Feminité in order to focus on the highs of the added violet. The result is that it speaks in a higher, perhaps prettier register, but loses some of the implicit harmony of Feminité’s middle register.

    The Feminité / BdV dilemma fleshes out an understanding that I’ve been coming to. I’ve always preferred the range of the viola to that of the violin. In the small bit that I’ve experienced of opera, I’m instantly drawn to the mezzo soprano rather than the soprano. The majority are drawn to the most prominent, the one that shines the brightest, the highest in the hierarchy. But just listen to Marilyn Horne singing Rossini and you’ll understand why I’ve come to prefer Feminité du Bois to Bois de Violette.

    05 November, 2011

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    dwrestle
    United States United States

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    Zino Davidoff by Davidoff

    Zino is such an amazing fragrance. I thought it was going to be a brutal 80's powerhouse, but it's actually very modern feeling to me. If they actually marketed it I have no doubt it would be a better seller than even Cool Water. It's a rose scent that seems kind of like a modern spicy oriental in a similar style of Armani Code. Although it also seems like sort of a gourmand I guess. It has sort of a sweet and spicy vanilla-ish dry down, and that is where it seems more 80's to me than modern. If it were modern it would be much sweeter and less spicy. I don't see how people can't like it.

    05 November, 2011

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    jtd
    United States United States

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    Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

    I only smelled this for the first time recently. It has such a pretty opening and it seems like it might simply be a long-lasting take on the eau de cologne. The heart turns out to be fairly short-lived, but the basenotes, while quiet, are quite durable. The base hints at vetiver, patchouli and iris, having a dry, dusty feel. It seems a bit like dried citrus rind, the perfect ending to the citrus-dominant start.

    05 November, 2011

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    jtd
    United States United States

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    Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia by Estée Lauder

    The gardenia at the opening of this perfume smells remarkably like the real deal. In the topnotes, the gardenia and the tuberose circle each other at a short distance, but each remains distinct. The topnotes, though, have one of the shortest half-lives ever found in perfumery. Very soon, a blended white floral with a large tannic note becomes dominant. The white floral is smartly non-specific. It remains unidentifiable, but gives a rounded, creamy quality that harkens back to the gardenia of the topnotes. I can’t quite make out whether the tannic quality and the creamy aspect of the floral balance or oppose each other, but I suspect that this duality is what holds together the almost ghostly frame of the gardenia illusion that lasts into the drydown.

    What started as an olfactorealistic gardenia note in the opening becomes an abstract distillation of a few of the elements that were apparently used to compose the gardenia note. There is a creaminess that suggest texture and the feel of umami that suggest a taste. We witness that taking apart of the gardenia that we’re given at the outset. The gardenia doesn’t fall apart, it is stripped before our eyes (noses.) The perfume transitions from a rather forceful prettiness to a tight-lipped handsomeness. An amazing exercise, and a compelling scent.

    05 November, 2011

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    Redbeard
    United States United States

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    Himalaya by Creed

    This is the lesser of Creed's cold, "mountainous" fragrances. It starts out as a very airy, cool citrus with mint and florals. Very soon the not-too-sharp citrus and mint assume the guise of that woody, dusty green that reminds people so much of Paco XS. Here it has a very sudsy soap quality to it, whereas XS is more sharply green. At this stage, it's probably the most sudsy soap scent I know of, even though it's not specifically a soap scent. As the wood starts to come back in the mid notes, it unfortunately brings with it some of that sweet cherry/wood note that a lot of designer brands have, which I don't particularly like. It also begins to get mustier here, and has lost all of the amazing freshness of the top notes, all the while getting more medicinal from the "cherry wood". It's almost like a failed Gendarme scent, having started out bright and soapy, but fallen into a musty, sickly rut. The herbal notes give it an unpleasantly cold edge, which is much colder than is necessary to create a cool, refreshing scent, but not sharp and tantalizing either, the way that some of the better icy aquatics can be. It's a summer scent trying to achieve winter by being really cold like Silver Mountain Water, but does so in an uninviting way. Overall, I'm just not drawn it by either XS or Himalaya. It would be a hard choice between this and XS if the price difference weren't so huge. Consider SMW instead.

    05 November, 2011

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    Redbeard
    United States United States

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    Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    I'm reviewing this right after Himalaya, to keep with the alpine-themed Creeds. Above all, I've always noted how unique this stuff is, different from anything else I've tried except maybe Herrera for Men, which shares the dark berries and spices. SMW is also very cold, but in a good way, unlike Himalaya. It begins with an exhilarating, boozy, sharp fruitiness, almost like a berry analog to the melon in Millesime Imperial, combined with semi-sweet wine. After a few minutes, I start to detect dark rose (or something similar) underneath, and tinges of very sharp spices creeping in, giving a little bit of christmas-wreath vibe, but not as much as in Herrera because there's less persistent fruit. I'm not much of a skier, but for me SMW strongly evokes a snow-covered conifer-dotted mountain range, in spite of how it's really only using a tinge of fir or juniper, and isn't a conifer scent overall. There's some mint and eucalyptus in here as well, which normally I wouldn't like, but it's played with a very subtle hand. What also amazes me here is that there's a consistent undercurrent of something rich and "perfumey" that smells very expensive, but it's not too heady or feminine and it cuts the sheer coldness of the scent just enough. I love the sour berries and frosty herbs of the base, but I wish they were a little stronger. Black, white, burgundy and silver, for me SMW is a brilliant achievement as a crisp, sharp, icy fragrance.

    05 November, 2011

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    dollars&scents
    United States United States

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    No. 74 Victorian Lime by Taylor of Old Bond Street

    No. 74 Victorian Lime by Taylor of Old Bond Street ... a invigorating lemon and lime opening, with the woodiness of the lime oil nicely enveloping the lemon vibe, which is carried over to the lovely heart, a heavenly combination of fuschia and rose, which all too soon is captured by the green, woody, mentholish drydown ... projection and longevity are lacking for such an appealing fragrance ...

    05 November, 2011

    Showing 91 to 120 of 913.