Fragrance Reviews from March 2011

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    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

    Makes a better after shave than a cologne. I've changed my review on this one as I didn't wear it enough to give it a chance. After a week of wearing it as cologne I'm really starting to enjoy this. The sillage is very low and it sits close to the skin but it does have decent projection and it actually lasts a lot longer than I expected it to. Clean scents are not my favorite because most I've tried turn into something boring in the drydown. This one is clean all the way though.

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 20th March, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Reflection Man by Amouage

    No way! Reflection Man is unaffordably sweet on my skin, no pepper, no rosemary, no vetiver to my nose. It's just an horrible blast of sweet jasmine and something else I can't really distinguish. intrusive and sticky it gives me headache in a couple of minutes. It's not a "bad" fragrance, I'd rather say it's a "really bad one" and from an over $250 scent I expect much more (much more)! This time you failed.The point is still the same: "This is real life, is anybody at Amouage connected?"

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 April, 2011)

    firehorse's avatar

    United States United States

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    Brezza di Mare by I Profumi di Firenze

    4 stars

    Vacation marine scent on a summer day... not a manly "deadliest catch" sailor on the rough seas kind of scent.

    Starts off with a touch of watermelon, and within 10 minutes it changes a lot. Some "melon" scents can be annoying, this is not. After the watermelon a salty marine scent comes takes over. And then within 10 minutes, it dries down to fuzzy and soft and slightly sweet mixing with a ocean and bergamot.

    I like it. Very unisex, but perhaps leaning on the feminine side. It doesn't have sharp synthetic edges like some other ocean scents. I'd maybe buy a bottle of this after my bottle of Le Labo's Neroli runs out -- In terms of wardrobe, I file them in the same aquatic slot.

    I recommend this to someone looking for a well made and relaxing, summer marine scent. It's also not that expensive.

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 April, 2011)

    TwoWordReviews's avatar

    United States United States

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    Antihéros by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Lavender. Long-gone.

    I want more of this, but not in the typical way. I want it to last longer. This is a fresh, clean, almost soapy lavender, with huge emphasis on the lavender, but my goodness is it ever nice. It smells like some of the nicest soap you've ever used, to the extent that soap were made solely of lavender and you rinsed it off in a lavender solution while standing in a field of lavender.

    However, the magic is fleeting. No sooner have you applied it than you realize it's already waving goodbye. Sure, you get a bit of a decent drydown, but you get it (or at least I do) within the first hour or two. I love this stuff, but I want a few more hours out of it.

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 14 April, 2011)

    firehorse's avatar

    United States United States

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    Indu Kush / Hindu Kush by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

    Soothing, spiritual and uplifting.

    My favorite fragrances have resinous woods and incense, and I'm loving this. 5 stars, full bottle worthy.

    Others here are better at describing the notes as I'm new so I'll just comment experience wearing this - because wearing this is: an experience. It's the kind of scent I reach for when I'm in meditative or contemplative mood, or for when I want to feel calm and grounded. I have a little collection of calming resinous scents and this so far is my favorite go to of the bunch.

    I've sample about 10 from this "house" and this and Hindu Kush so far are my favorite.

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 07 September, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Versace Man Eau Fraîche by Versace

    When I smell "Acqua Fresca" (italian for Eau Fraiche) I immediately start to think about Donatella's transgendered /mutated /botulinus-ized face. This image together with the smells of Eau Fraiche is killer. I never, ever liked Versace as a designer maison as it represents the apotheosis of the italian stereotype. Black unbuttoned silk shirts with gold crucifixes on tanned pumped chests. Come on, give us a break!

When it comes to "Eau Fraiche" there's nothing like San Pellegrino.

    A few more words on the packaging that comes in a turquoise sort of lizard / crocodile skin box. Vulgar.

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 30th January, 2012)

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Pour Un Homme by Caron

    This is a good one to give to anyone who says there's no difference between masculine and feminine scents. Come to think of it, it's a good one to give to anyone who says there is a difference between masculine and feminine scents. It'll annoy both groups, especially if you don't tell them the name of the frag.

    OK, bottom line. Women can absolutely wear this, especially if they intend to have triplets and name them Lavender, Rosemary and Vanilla

    ( Amber should not be discounted, either)

    Perhaps this would work on men if it were EDC strength and intended for aftershave but it's just too sweet for me. I'd rather wear the non-classical barbershop 'The Baron '---Is it better?
    No. but for the price . . .

    Why not a thumbs down? Something fairly decent happens during the middle notes--but I can't wait that long. However it is a refined 1934 classic that is still in production. Another one for Bertie Wooster--and Jeeves would only caution him against overspraying

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 12 October, 2012)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Noir de Noir by Tom Ford

    This is a very claustrophobic composition that features a bunch of "shadowy" notes as truffles, rose, aoud, patchouli, tobacco, woods and spices. It's an oriental chypre that expresses itself as a sort of edible concoction with its taste of chocolate and caramel flavoured by truffles and with its warm, dark rose the aroma of which rises up holding on its work till the dry down. In the first part of its development i detect an accord of saffron-rose-aoud which is the backbone of the fragrance itself. In this fase the scent is earthy and a bit medicinal. The slightly pharmaceutical initial whiff lasts a while before the scent slides towards a sort of resinous juice smelling about chocolate and vanilla with a slightly "gasolinic" undertone of truffles. The rose is still there and shows a powdery, obscure temperament so far from anything ethereal or potpourri. As well as already said by others the rose-saffron accord comes out in a different way comparatively with the implementation of the same accord appointed by Montale. This is not the earthy and brash accord of Aoud Lime, it's not rural or brutal; despite the barely medicinal beginning the blend of aoud with creamy notes, spices and rose becomes almost edible and mellow as a sort of aged sweet liqueur fermented for years in order to turn it out silky and velvety. In this process of fermentation the tobacco note emits some smokey (tobacco flavoured in a sweety/rounded way), bitter-mild trace. This fragrance is mysterious and very delicious, it's perfect for a secret rendez vous with a dark lady in an hidden metropolitan shelter. Unisex. The longevity and the projection are powerful.

    14 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 18 January, 2014)

    almasinti's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire

    This opens with a tannery strength leather burst, which includes a chemical/plastic smell that is not particularly appealing but enhances the feel of authentic, freshly made leather, still off-gassing its chemical components. Amber thickens the scent trail, like butter opening the flavors of food, making the scent very rich. There is a lightly floral and incense component which hangs around and as the leather scent settles down, this becomes a very satisfying fragrance. If you like leather, this is definitely worth trying.

    15 March, 2011

    mrcologneguy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sartorial by Penhaligon's

    It's supposed to tell a story via intricate layers of fragrance. Well, here's the story: once there was a cute, flirty salesgirl behind a fragrance counter. A guy said, "Hi, what's new?" Later, he woke up with an $80 credit card bill, and a tiny bottle of Sartorial.

    It's lovely stuff. Refined, and it always makes you feel well-dressed. Hence, the name. Very strong, lasts all day. Recommended for men who want to feel sophisticated and dressed-up.

    15 March, 2011

    Hartman Design's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chaps (original) by Ralph Lauren

    Vile liquid! This is to cologne as haggis is to meat.

    I'll say this for it: It's got lasting power, which unfortunately has lasted beyond the shower I just took to get this crap off my skin. Horrid.

    15 March, 2011

    Gilgamesh2003's avatar

    United States United States

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    Photo by Lagerfeld

    I got this on a whim at Perfumania. It was 50% off, which makes me think it might be on the sad road to retirement. The packaging and bottle look quite dated, despite their ultra-modern cleanness of line.

    These qualms aside Lagerfeld Photo is very good. It's also very derivative - its obvious inspiration is Drakkar Noir, the 80s fougere nonpareil. It adds a big bite of lavender to Drakkar Noir and cuts out the weirdly bitter heart. The resulting fragrance smells like an 80s grand-slam but behaves much more demurely; it dries down into a weird, fresh crystalline blue smell, like Captain by Molyneux or Grigio Perla (not calone fresh, herbal).

    This seems about right for 1990 - it inhabits the shape of the big leathery scents of the 80s, but ambiguously. I find it much more pleasant and wearable than Drakkar Noir, whose sourness has always repelled me. Photo is a very good, surprisingly strange scent.

    15 March, 2011

    Weimar27's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sun Moon Stars by Lagerfeld


    K.L Sun Moon Stars is like a strange Bird cannot decide
    if i like nor love The opening has a sparkling anise
    opening S.M.S has a similar Banana note stands prominent
    Like D&G's Sicily but it's doesn't give an syrupy
    cloying effect like Sicily; Sun Moon Stars is dried and
    more ozonic touch; Red Orchids swim around juicy Peach
    Gives an Intoxicating Aroma airy Freesia dries with a
    dreamlike and lucent feel closes the top layer.
    Heliotrope similar to the scent of Vanilla opens
    the Heart of Sun Moon Stars; Rain soaked Narcissus
    Gives out a darkly sweet scent almost like a mystery
    The Drydown turns sweet with Vanilla which dominates
    the other notes from the base seems to drown them
    a bit but i can dectect a faint amount of Amber.

    15 March, 2011

    DutchSchwag's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Euphoria Men by Calvin Klein

    Calvin Klein knows how to package a fragrance, and Euphoria is the epitome of their mastery of the minimalist 1930's German Bauhaus movement in a metal and glass box. Genius in its simplicity, smart in its classy modern yet retro appearance, the only thing ultimately lacking is the longevity and projection in the actual juice inside this one.
    Euphoria is a beautiful scent as far as fruity, sandalwood and spice go, to the point that I find it one of their best in years. Classy in its freshness and coolness, Euphoria is subtle enough to suit the work-place perfectly and seductive enough to hold its own on an intimate night out, but make sure you bring more ammunition, as this one tends to dry-down very quickly and ultimately wears very close to the skin with minuscule projection.
    Some have mentioned a synthetic core, but on my skin this doesn't really show itself, all i get is a very faint but persistent apple, berries and sandalwood vibe that tends to last around 5-6 hours but without any real personality beyond a few inches from the skin.
    I love the scent, I think it's one of the few out there that combines fruit in a subtle but still creative way, but its lack of muscle certainly detracts from too loud of praise and even though Mr. Klein strikes again with genius packaging, ultimately the product itself doesn't offer enough of a new thing to justify this being essential in any way. There are far too many more interesting things out there, but, this certainly holds its own as a nice, complimentary, inoffensive everyday cologne for work and play. Above average, nothing more.

    15 March, 2011

    knit at nite's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gem by Van Cleef & Arpels

    This is my impression of Gem, in vintage EDT formulation. According to Fragrantica:
    "The top notes include sensual, sweet, fruity accords of peach and plum
    and spicy-woody accords of cypress, cardamom, coriander and rosewood.
    Sensual floral bouquet of tuberose, jasmine, rose, iris and ylang-ylang enriched with a spicy clove is in the heart. The complex base is composed of patchouli, oak moss, amber, civet and vetiver.

    Gem opened on my skin with a definate "this is vintage perfume" feel. Not the hairspray-aldehyde type, but it feels older than an '87 release. It didn't have the "I'm going to make you pass out if you are standing next to me in an elevator" vibe of the time period, it is much classier and refined than a lot of iconic scents of the late 80's.

    I immediately got dry plum, and peachskin (not juicy flesh), and spices- dry spices, but still in their natural state before they've been pulverized into what goes into commercial spice bottles. Twenty minutes in, clove comes forward even more and predominates over the perceptable floral heart. I could (sadly) detect no individual floral notes, but it did sweeten up a tad. Could be my nose, or the age of the bottle, or it's so well blended- don't know which. In the dry down, the spicy-ness was still there but the clove had well disappated, thankfully. I like clove but it would have been way too much 4 hours in. It never becomes powdery and is definately a chypre. My bottle is EDT but 2 sprays lasted 7-8 hours on me.
    I found Gem to be neither sensual nor warm, but I did find it to be cool and elegant and a somewhat hard-edged confidence. If released now, I believe this would definately be marketed as unisex. The clove-heavy heart was not my favorite part, but it is very wearable, and well crafted, & representative of a quality fragrance that they just don't turn out much anymore, so it gets a thumps up from me.

    15 March, 2011

    jbr's avatar

    United States United States

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    L by Lolita Lempicka

    Lolita Lempicka's promotion for L is centered around a nautical theme, which is reflected down to the bottle shaped like a deep-sea treasure, complete with a little starfish and coral. To their credit, there seems to be something to the maritime motif aside from marketing - a few previous reviewers have noted a certain salty note, which I can sense here as well. I can only surmise this is the work of the immortelle, a note which I am not very familiar with. In any case, it is not a major component of the fragrance, but it is a clever touch which adds some intrigue to the scent.

    Fundamentally, L is a vanilla gourmand which brings to mind a variety of sweet associations. The top is an orange creamsicle with a dusting of cinnamon (I wish there was more), while the vanilla becomes deeper and takes on caramelic, almost chocolaty undertones as the fragrance develops. Roucel has a distinctive way of working with vanilla which I can only describe as incredibly rich and creamy, and this is fully evident in the construction of L. Of course, those who make the best gourmands know that there should be something to balance all the sweetness - in Angel it was the patchouli, while here it is musk. There is just enough here to tickle the nose and offset some of the sweetness.

    L is quickly becoming a personal favorite of mine. It is a distinctive, beautiful take on a vanilla gourmand and essential to try for anyone interested in this genre.

    15 March, 2011

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fendi Uomo by Fendi

    I've seen another note pyramid that lists angelica, marjoram, and coconut too. If this is true, these notes may account for the "brightness" I experience here, but don't in many similar masculine fragrance of this type from this era. On the other hand, it doesn't have a "wow factor" like some of those others do. I guess if you want "old school elegance," this might be the one to reach for, especially for a formal event. I've got too many of these kinds of fragrances (that I enjoy more) to feel compelled to acquire a bottle of this one, however. It's natural-smelling, with good longevity. The projection/"sillage" is moderate, at least beyond the top notes, which I always try to avoid.

    15 March, 2011

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Jasmin de Nuit by Different Company

    If Frederic Malle's ambrosial Musc Ravageur didn't exist, I would almost certainly own a bottle of Jasmin de Nuit. For despite Celine Ellena's fragrance possessing distinct charms of its own - blackcurrant, jasmine, star anise - and being delightful, the two scents dry down to a similar enough cinnamon-vanilla that only one is warranted in my life. And because Musc Ravageur is by far the more muskular of the pair and makes Jasmin de Nuit smell like jasmine cream soda, I'm entirely happy with my choice of Roucel's masterpiece.

    15 March, 2011

    vitaman's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tuscany per Uomo Forte by Aramis

    I don't reach for this often, but it never fails to satisfy when I do.
    A female friend who studied dance in Italy in her 20's told me that it reminded her of all the wealthy good looking Italian men she saw out when walking around Florence and Rome . It's a very confident vibe and also great smelling.

    15 March, 2011

    evinick's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Cartier de Lune by Cartier

    I really dont understand the reasons of CdL's existence... Creativity and innovation are definitely not included in those. Although not stated at the top notes I smell citrus blossoms and a touch of neroli at the opening, and maybe some faint hints of tea at the totally boring floral heart. The soft woody musky base although more soapy than it should be, is probably the best part of CdL. Pointless...

    15 March, 2011

    PigeonMurderer's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    CH by Carolina Herrera

    It was awful at the first time I smelled it on my skin, and even worse at the second (I don't actually know why I bothered, but I did) time. A horrible fruity-floral-gourmand hybrid, made by three different noses, of which btw, two have proved before that they actually have talent for this job.

    What could I possibly say?? Loud synthetic and cloying burst of nondescript mess in the beginning, dries down for a synthetic and suprisingly nostril burning sharp woody vanilla. Smells like a cheap pink bubblegum sticked into a plate of bitter stenching veneer.

    Not the worst thing I have smelled, but there are so much better things available.

    15 March, 2011

    PigeonMurderer's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    Vanilla Vanille by Body Shop

    Perfume Oil.

    Horrible. Nightmare vanilla; a real scrubber but the problem is it won't go away easily : You have to rinse and rinse your ass off until it vanishes only to be a loathed memory.
    It's basically exactly the same stuff (to the nth degree) they use in those yellow vanilla Wunderbaums, and I have always hated the way they smell.

    This lethally cloying and strong fragrance is a tough trial to my nose. Overall, it's just about as charming as a tapeworm.

    15 March, 2011

    hotscents's avatar

    United States United States

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    Poison by Christian Dior

    I love this fragrance! It is so sweet, yet dark & mysterious. Based on some reviews here, I think I'll try this on my own skin soon - I've only smelled it at perfume counters & on very few females, many years ago. FYI, Glade's Country Garden air freshener smells very similar to this, at least IMO :^)

    15 March, 2011

    Harvitz81's avatar



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    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    I received a sample of this from a friend and was excited to try it out as I love all things sandalwood. I was a bit disappointed though after spraying and smelling not really much sandalwood, but more cedar. Seems to be a pretty linear woody fragrance and only hints of sandalwood are there, but much more cedar. It is an enjoyable woody fragrance, but something that I definitely couldn't own a full bottle of. Maybe a 5 mL decant for the occasional wearing, but I think my expectations were too high on this.

    15 March, 2011

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    RSVP by Kenneth Cole

    I am stunned by Kenneth Cole's resolute determination to ensure that every fragrance it releases represents the pinnacle of boredom and dearth of inspiration. It takes a strong will to be able to crank out so many boring fragrances so consistently.

    If you're going to release a clone designer scent, at least do it well. RSVP starts off good enough - sharp woody notes blended with a spicy apple note, reminiscent of Dirty English, but without the dirtiness. This may not be very original, but it smells good.

    Unfortunately the "good" only lasts about twenty minutes, because by then RSVP loses all of its steam and the middle accord just smells flat, like it's just some sort-of-spicy, sort-of-sweet, sort-of-woody block of undefinable smell. Zzzzz....

    The worst part is the drydown, if you're still awake. Take the boring middle accord and add the smell of metallic dishwashing liquid, and you've got the drydown. This is dreadful.

    I'm not going to beat a dead horse here. This is just a lousy fragrance.

    MY RATING: 3/10

    15 March, 2011

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Sartorial by Penhaligon's

    A real classical fougere -- it has the 3 main ingredients --- linalool, coumarin and oakmoss extract (synthetic now) and is very masculine. It is also very potent. I get that 'dry cleaners' steamy note too. It's a nice fragrance, but I won't wear it very often because like all straightforward fougeres, at one point or another,it is going to smell like Faberge's 'Brut' and I can detect it here.

    PS. I much prefer the wonderful re-animated Zizonia from this House. What a sleeper that is.

    15 March, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    L'Autre by Diptyque

    L'Autre could have been a good scent if just Mark Buxton and Comme Des Garcons didn't rich the perfection in this kind of perfumes with both CDG Original and CDG White. It's basically a very spicy one with tones of Cardamom, Coriander and Nutmeg but I can't consider it as part of my collection as it's a kind of rough prototype of the two above mentioned masterpieces. Even if this one came out first, go directly for a CDG one, if you're into this kind of scents.

    15 March, 2011

    vitaman's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose 31 by Le Labo

    If you don't love roses, better not go here.
    Despite what others have written, Roses dominate.
    It's not all that dirty, it's too linear, it's not worth the cost.
    Had a sample of Bogart pour Homme on my other wrist applied at the same time.
    5 out of 5 co-workers preferred the more modestly priced Jacques de Paris.

    15 March, 2011

    takeitupthenose's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

    Great Fragrance. I have yet to smell the great Tom Ford so I can't comment to it. I have yet to really take in A*Men so I really can't comment on it. I do own Pure Malt which is probably my favorite fragrance to date. So what about Pure Havane?

    Pure Havane is terrific. Think of someone walking into a Cigar shop and splashing everyone with a bucket of honey. To say it doesn't have enough tobacco confuses me because as the sillage now permeates my nose (I am wearing as I type) this is all I get. A sweet cigar smell, which is done wonderfully in my opinion.

    I don't think it will be as complemented as Pure Malt but to me it is of the same class and rank. Be careful with spraying I think I went a bit heavy on the trigger this morning and man is this think projecting right into my face. Or at least spray it at the back of the neck. Whew!

    15 March, 2011

    Harvitz81's avatar



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    Domenico Caraceni 1913 by Domenico Caraceni

    Obtained this as a sample from Luckyscent as my first rose scent ever tested. I have to say it was pretty much love at second wearing. I was unsure how rose would work as a masculine scent, but DC speaks nothing but masculine and sophisticated. I ended up ordering a bottle.

    On initial blast I get some citrus and germanium, but this quickly dries down to a Rose, tobacco, incense type of fragrance. Staying power is superb. The bottle is elegant and classy.

    I recently sampled C&S 88 and DC to me is completely different and I somewhat prefer it to 88, though 88 is definitely bottle worthy IMO as well.

    This is truly a great rose fragrance and something that will become my baseline for comparing others in the future.

    15 March, 2011

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