Fragrance Reviews from March 2011

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    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Extreme by Guerlain

    I used to love the original L'Instant Pour Homme but this Extreme version is even better. It's absolutely great how this fragrance changes continuely after the citrusy opening. It moves from vetiver (I get it) to anis and cocoa in a very warm and comfortable way. I also get a powdery vanilla and a sweet "almost-gourmand-but-not-exactly-gourmand" effect. It's really hard to collocate L'IE in a family, it would be an oversimplification as every single note is so calibrated and meticolously integreated as if were part of a complex swiss clock. IMO this is one of the best Beatrice Piquet's creations so far as well as a perfect perfume. Great projection and great longevity.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th April, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Angéliques Sous La Pluie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    I quite like ASLP and despites the name I think it's more a masculine. It opens with a crispy, bitter and somehow fresh angelica accord that quicklsy settles down turning the whole thing to be a clean and trasparent cedar-musc scent. Minimalistic and not very complex but absolutely pleasant and yet quite distinctive. My only disappointment is for the price. A serious contendant if just cheaper.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th April, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Roadster by Cartier

    Unpretentious, Discreet, Honest, inoffensive! A nice non-toothpaste Mint on top that quickly evolves into a fresh herbaceous and light dry woods drydown. A simple and easy wear if you want to mingle with the crowd.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th April, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka

    I decided to "face" Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin as many people made a lot of rumor out of it. I tried it first on paper and totally got impressed by the amazing opening. Anise, Liquorice and some undetected aromachemical that was really fashinating to my nose. I immediately decided to spry it on my skin to check longevity and sillage and how it worked with my chemistry...Oh My God what a big mistake I made. After the opening, Au Masculine, turns to a super sweet, loud, vulgar and bizarre (in a bad way) everlasting vanilla gourmand. So loud and long-lived that I started to worry. I rushed to the bathroom to scrub it but I realized that the only option I had was to graze my arm. It's like having a big (big) dog keep barking at your window for twelve hours nonstop. You got tired, stressed, dazed, exasperated....and you could kill.

    Someone says Au Masculin may be good for girls too and I hope I'll never meet one wearing it. So disappointed as I really wanted to Like it. I rate it neutral instead of negative as the opening is quite captivating and, for sure, AM is unique. Fortunately.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th April, 2011)

    WildThingy's avatar

    Cyprus Cyprus

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    Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    O/k, thumbs down is a crass verdict. It reflects the expectations. These were high due to former reviews, at least Luca Turins.

    My feeling is that the composition isn't well balanced. The fresh, close to icey woody part is quite unique. But the fragrances heart appears to be too sweet. The parallel of fresh/woody and honey sweet doesn't appeal to me. I think this one lives up to contemporary fashion, and that it does more than just well.

    How does it compare to Etat Libre d'Orange Nombril Immense, which is said to be a blatant copy of Timbuktu (again, Turin)? I like NI better, and that by some margin. NI is more relaxing, smooth, and on my level of olfactory intelligence better balanced and refined. NI blows the same vibe with less of overt suspense, lacking that icey thing.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th April, 2011)

    WildThingy's avatar

    Cyprus Cyprus

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    Love In White by Creed

    I know the power of prejudice. I tried LIW once. It is easy to bash a thing that has been considered an archetypical failure in Turin/Sachez Guide. Love In White completely lived up to the expectations.

    My personal first impression was: O/k, is is not so bad! Maybe it has to develop on skin. The second was: uups!

    Dense as marble, and as odorless as that. Maybe I suffered from fatigue. Does it really smell good? I will not come back to it.

    edit: Alas, I have to come back to it. I read the advertising. LIW is praised for being used by two "first ladies", the Empire State Building was enlightend all in white to welcome Love In White to the world in 2005. This effort to make it a top notch choice is seconded by a price tag that may seem offending - 140 bucks for a humble amount of 1oz EDP is something. As if that were not enough the ad explains, that Love In White refers to Mr. Creeds love in sailing - white sails, You know. Mr Creed is an autocratic "master perfumer", and so LIW has to be a masterpiece. But - still people have a choice. According to Luca Turin, I really would prefer to keep the dirt after sleeping two weeks in the woods, if the alernative would be a shampoo scented by LIW. And that only for the style of it ...

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 12th April, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Oyédo by Diptyque

    This is weird! Citruses in a bizarre, odd, almost unpleasant accord. Nothing really disturbing but way too strange. It's like they've lost control while executing the original recipe and everybody got drunk at the Diptyque factory.

    - "Oh My god, was it a 2 or a 20 on the measuring cap?"
    - "which cap?"
    - "Forget It"

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 18th April, 2011)

    BeginnerNose's avatar



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    Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    At first this reminded me of a more intense leathery incarnation of Habit Rouge. Then that patchouli/mothball smell kicked in. I couldn't take it, I had to scrub it. I don't know how this is compared to Chergui. Chergui smells like a wonderful bouquet of hay, tobacco, and vanilla. Fumerie Turque is bug repellant.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 14th May, 2011)

    Bokchoy's avatar



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    Dior Homme by Christian Dior

    A very unique and modern fragrance. I feel like it's way ahead of its time. It's subtle enough for use at the office/theatre, yet powerful enough to be noticed. I'd still consider it an evening scent, but it's very versatile. Women adore it and while not everyone is comfortable wearing it, it's a scent that's impossible to dislike.

    Now, the floral notes and cocoa gives it a feminine and/or unisex vibe, but make no mistake: This is a man's scent. Like they say: only real men can wear pink. Perhaps DH is in the same boat.

    Most guys probably don't have a lot of fragrances like this in your collection, so I'd consider it a staple.

    If you're looking for something a little stronger, Intense version might be best for you. The Cologne version is a little more faint. Personally, I like Original > Cologne > Intense. Avoid Sport.

    Sillage and Longevity are average at best.
    Best suited for evening usage.
    Most consider it a cool weather scent but I like it for warmer weather.
    Suitable for any age. It is a mature scent but a high-schooler wearing it would drive girls crazy.

    I give Dior Homme my highest recommendation.
    5 out of 5.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 16th May, 2011)

    Safetyjon's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tuscany / Etruscan by Aramis

    I love this fragrance. I find it to be very similar to Azzaro PH (which is one of my all-time favorite fragrances). In fact, there are some aspects of Tuscany that I may like even more. The bergamot/citrus opening is not quite as sharp as Azzaro PH (I can go into public immediately after applying Tuscany). I find Tuscany's patchouli dry-down to be less "soapy" than that of Azzaro...Very smooth patchouli.

    My one complaint is a big one. Whereas Azzaro gets smoother and better throughout the wearing, Tuscany just disappears. While I find myself still enjoying Azzaro 8-10 hours after application. I can barely detect Tuscany after 4-5 hours. Tuscany's sillage is much tamer than that of Azzaro PH. I have to use twice as much to get the desired effect. Then I find myself reapplying it 4-5 hours later.

    When I first tried it, I had so much hope. Had I found a new signature fragrance? I simply like Tuscany that much. But alas, it's weak sillage and poor longevity are simply too significant a negative factor to allow Tuscany to challenge as my new signature frangrance. It's still a great fragrance...Just not my new favorite.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 16th October, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Sycomore (new) by Chanel

    I won't spend many words on Sycomore as it deserves at least a try. This is an absolute masterpiece, one of a kind type of stuff and should be a mandatory purchase for any true fragrance lover. An outstanding and superbly crafted, smoky yet fresh vetiver centered composition enriched by hints of incense and a considerable dose of sandalwood. The usual aldehydes/iris roots "signature" bu Chanel is there but works subtly to provide the right amount of sophistication. Dry yet plush, immensely satisfying. Together with Vetiver Exctraordinaire and Route Du Vetiver possibly one of the best around. Absolutely intoxicating and addicting, don't look any further.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 25th January, 2012)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    No. 22 by Chanel

    This one, together with Sycomore, Bois Des Iles and Cuir De Russie IMO stays at the top of the Chanel Collection. Sort of a pushed to the limit version of N.5. The Huge amount of aldehydes in the opening is almost breathtaking. It's like beeing on top of a 2300 feet mountain and having a deep breath. It takes serious and very solid skills to make a fragrance like this and do it perfectly as it moves on a very dangerous territory that can easily turn into disastrous displacements. Chanel N.22 is the apotheosis of aldehydes fragrances and yet a very elegant and classy-classic perfume.

    Ever wondered how aldehydes smell like? Check this out and, at least, you'll end up having bigger lungs. A masterpiece.

    I'm sorry but I won't go through the orthodox scent explanation as I think this is the kind of fragrance everybody should at least test.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 25th January, 2012)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Cuir de Russie by Chanel

    Ok, start to save your money now because you "NEED" to buy Cuir De Russie. This is absolutely fantastic and it's one of the richest, most lascivious and elegant leather scents around. Perfectly balanced to be at the same time wearable and " risky", it runs in that tiny, thin line between glory and precipice and it does it with an incredible awareness. Floral- animalic-leather at their best. Magistrally crafted, this is pure perfumery virtuosism. One of those scents that you encounter once every 100 years (i.e. Knize Ten). Buy it!

    Cuir De Russie has been reformulated since 1924, but despite that, it's still one of the most luxurious and terrific iris/leather around. That's how reformulations should be!

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 25th January, 2012)

    yoyo's avatar



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    Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

    At first it smells very similar to cool water. Then few hours later it dries down to a beautiful floral/fresh/sweet smell. The vintage version's middle smells a little like band-aid. The ld version also opens bit sour. However, I recently bought a newer version, which opens fresh and floral, and has middle smells herbal, floral instead of band-aid. The dry-down bears a bit of similarity to Gillette shaving cream in the newer version.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 10th July, 2012)

    RHINORAY2's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bulgari pour Homme Soir by Bulgari

    I wasn't sure if this had enough umph for me. I loved the opening notes, but the compliments I'm getting are unreal. I actualy had a woman tell me not only how great I smell, but if you could have sean the look on her face you would think she just discovered heaven. I'm not kidding she said when I came into the room it was just a soft beautiful breeze, she said it was perfect. Hours later I was still catching wiffs of this beautiful fragrance.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 08th September, 2012)

    Oslo-Fjord's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

    A unique classic, a love or hate fragrance. It`s both clean and dirty, and require a certain courage to wear, because others will probably think you haven`t taken a shower for the last 3-4 days but just put on some cologne over your "old" sweaty body odour. It`s a true work of art, and serve as model for many of Jean Claude Ellenas creations. If you like this one, but think it`s a bit to dirty and difficult to wear, please try Frederic Malles Bigarade Concentree. It`s a modern take on Eau D`Hermes.

    26th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 07th November, 2012)

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Very Valentino pour Homme by Valentino

    Strange synthetic, very spicy, slightly fruity and herbal opening. After the spice dies down a little, you can tell it's going to turn into a tobacco fragrance. I for one, love tobacco fragrances, but this one just registers as "ok" for me. Once the tobacco kicks into full effect, it sits close to the skin. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing in Very Valentino's case. More projection might accentuate its negative parts.. unfortunately.. it is a bit synthetic. The tobacco has a rubbery/latex smell as well, it just ends up smelling medicinal. The combination of amber and sandalwood sweeten it up in the base, and leave you with a little more than just a weird take on tobacco.

    The overall affect is this: tobacco dipped in cough syrup, and left to dry. Little projection, decent longevity, and just kind of weird. Doesn't smell horrible, but I'm not so sure I wanna smell this way.

    27th March, 2011

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bulgari pour Homme Soir by Bulgari

    When I was a teenager, I worked as a detassler (Google it) in the summer. Walking through rows of corn in the morning mist, I would get a distinct aroma of earthy corn leaves that smelled fantastic but I didn't know it at the time. Soir captures that earthy corn leaf smell almost exactly. Lively greens mixed with dirty soil. There's also some tea and tonka in the mix but it's the earthy smell that wins you over. Very unique and unlike anything out there.

    27th March, 2011

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Halston Z-14 by Halston

    Now that Jeff Gordon's mug no longer graces the box of Z-14 (sounds like a car model), it's safe to buy Z-14 again. Z-14 is about as far from NASCAR as one can get but why Halston ever linked up with Jeff is a mystery in itself. Halston seems to be aiming for a higher and much more well-heeled crowd these days with Halston Man & Halston Amber Man in Niemans and Saks but that's another story.

    What's Z-14 like these days? Still wonderful. Z-14 is a very complex fragrance that can be found for nothing in bargain bins. Runs rings around niche frags everywhere and Tom Ford even copied it for Italian Cypress at a 5000% markup. Go figure. I smell a lot of cinnamon, moss, cypress, amber and musk in Z-14. The citrus accords go under my nose completely, but the overall effect is a mysterious and dark pleasure to wear. The amber accord in the base is unrivaled in modern perfumery. The sum of the parts (surely all synthetic and dime-store cheap) add up to a thing of beauty. It's amazing that Halston can pump out gallons of this for next to nothing, and smell better than 98% of all frags on the market.

    Halston has since removed the oak moss but kept the tree moss though I haven't smelled this version yet. Be warned though that something this good won't last this cheap forever so stock up. And pray that Halston won't employ any more NASCAR drivers to hawk the juice. They don't need to with something this good.

    27th March, 2011

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    I had high hopes for this one. And those hopes were dashed once I got wind of Geranium pm. The dirty and omnipresent mint made my nose recoil in horror. Sure, I stuck around for the Geranium to take over but the mint is still present and screaming like a banshee that any appreciation of the Geranium is ruined in the mint's wake.

    Where's the cinnamon, cloves and incense? Not here at all. If you ever drop your toothpaste in the garden and tried to brush your teeth and enjoyed it, then you'll probably like Geranium pm. The rest of us will stick with our toothpaste in our bathroom cabinet secure in the fact that toothpaste and dirty flowers don't mix.

    27th March, 2011

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Burberry for Men (Version #2) by Burberry

    Derby had a long lost little brother?
    I recently received samples of this and was reading through reviews of the prior (original) Burberrys fragrance for men and someone said that the (then) new Brit was similar to either this or to Guerlain's Derby. The first time I had read somebody comparing Brit to Derby I had no good words to say. After trying this I realize, like the Missing Link, there was simply a step taken out of the path that, once recovered, made the journey from one side to the other less of a leap.
    Burberry for Men smells like a sweet, ambery, citronella candle- waxy, with enough juniper and pepper to give it bite and with the same artemisia and mint opening as my beloved Derby. But what stole my heart from right out of my chest is that civet note- so sweet and seductively dirty at the same time. This, from the well-mannered British?
    Put one part Derby, two parts Brit, and a dash of Ungaro II (that's the sandalwood and civet part) in a shaker, strain and serve. I will have another, please.

    27th March, 2011

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Émeraude by Coty

    I am finally ready to write the strangest review of all...

    Emeraude is delicious. I happened upon what is probably a mid--nineties or older mini, Chernobyl green liquid (like the absinthe I'm drinking. That's actually funny.), cylindrical white cap, cologne formula. The smell?
    Sweet, whipcrack tangy, lightly powdery. If English Leather and Envy for Men married and used a time machine to adopt a little girl fragrance of their own (since they can't procreate) and raised her to be just like them she would grow up to be Emeraude.
    She would then be older than the both of them and possibly contribute to their own existence, thus creating a time paradox. Thanks for the migraine, Coty. And this wonderful fragrance.

    27th March, 2011

    maccus's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    This begins pleasantly enough and then quickly degenerates into a cloying experience. Essentially, Le Male is a synthetic, melange fragrance with a sweetness that lingers like an unwanted visitor and, ultimately this defines one's experience just shy of a headache, at least. Considered by some to be a fine starting point for young men discovering fragrance, it's a costly introduction especially when one considers the availability of several inexpensive and similar and better creations - indeed, almost anything would do. Used discretely, it mightn't induce a migraine but I would be very cautious by which I mean one quick spray on the socks one is about to wear - obviously, before putting them on - and leave it at that. On second thoughts, don't - put on some other socks. It's not vile, it's just sickly sweet, tediously linear and unsophisticated - essentially, unmemorable

    27th March, 2011

    WeSmellGood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    I got Vaseline in a bottle.

    27th March, 2011

    Harvitz81's avatar



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    Racquets Formula by Penhaligon's

    Powdery floral openings where I detect no real citrus at all despite what is listed in the top notes. Continues to get thicker and the powderiness remains throughout. Somewhat of a musky dry down, but I can't get past the overwhelming powdery scent. Really feminine to me and overall not to my liking.

    27th March, 2011

    Harvitz81's avatar



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    Endymion by Penhaligon's

    Somewhat fruity and powdery opening to this one that progresses over to a bit of a woody scent with still a powdery overtone throughout. A bit too feminine for me and as with other Penhaligon scents, I can't get past the overwhelming powdery feeling to it.

    27th March, 2011

    vitaman's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella

    After reading the reviews, sent for a sample of this for my brother. He is so much of a car nut that his license plate reads...you guessed it....CARNUT. He could not stand it but I loved it. It is an odd one to be sure. Starts with a blast of creosote. Does not jive a bit with the old-timey bottle and traditional sounding moniker. The scent starts to morph after about 15 minutes and goes from beast to beauty. Just following the changes is fascinating.
    Winds up slightly sweet, very rich and captivating. The beginning would offend many. The ending will charm most.

    27th March, 2011

    hollycat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    Very natural smelling perfume. I get mostly cedar with a bit of spicyness. Its a dry scent, no sweetness at all. It gets a little musky and soapy as it dries down on me. Overall its well done. I wont be needing a full bottle, but I enjoyed the sample. Its kind of aromatherapeutic. And for this reason, I would rather spend my money on a bottle of cedarwood essential oil.

    27th March, 2011

    almasinti's avatar

    United States United States

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Sequoia by Comme des Garçons

    I don't really know what sequoia smells like but this has a definite resinous, coniferous quality. It smells fine but I do not feel that it is a smell to be worn as a personal scent. It has no warmth or personality, and is one dimensional. It also lasts on clothes 24 hours or more, but wears short on the nose, i.e. I got tired of smelling it quickly. Whatever else is in this adds sweetness and depth, but no real personality. It is one-dimensional and does not evolve.

    27th March, 2011

    Gilgamesh2003's avatar

    United States United States

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    Reaction for Men by Kenneth Cole

    A plastic fantastic version of Allure Homme with a big dose of inoffensive, appealing aquatic watermelon up front. Reasonable projection, OK longevity. If you live in Kenneth Cole's guest house or have some sort of contractual obligation to wear KC scents then this might be a decent option. This could have been nightmarish but ended up pleasant but forgettable.

    27th March, 2011

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