Fragrance Reviews from May 2011

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    0j76's avatar

    England England

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    Miss Balmain by Pierre Balmain

    Sublime! I wear this as a masculine and I find it the ultimate scent. The best I can imagine. It took some understanding at first, but I knew from the offset there was something special for me here. For something so big, so powerful, I find it great to wear on a sunny day. I have no idea why this is. All I can say is try it, try it, and try it again. The more familiar it becomes, the bigger it gets.

    01st May, 2011

    jbr's avatar

    United States United States

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    Piment Brûlant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Previous reviewers have mentioned bell peppers - let me go a step further and say that Piment Brulant is more like sticking your nose inside a raw jalapeño. Maybe not LITERALLY a jalapeño, but definitely a pepper with some heat to it. Piment Brulant is both intensely vegetal and unappealingly spicy-hot to my nose. Reading only the note lists will definitely send the wrong impression about what this fragrance is actually about - cinnamon, amber, vanilla, cloves, chocolate, are a few I can recall. Sounds like a gourmand right? Well, maybe if you're a serious chilihead, because any other notes at play here are completely smothered by the overpowering pepper.

    All that said, I have to give some credit here - Piment Brulant is certainly unique and I admire the crafting of such a vivid pepper note, but that simply does not translate into a wearable fragrance for me.

    01st May, 2011

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Escada S by Escada

    'S' I'm sure here is representative of a last-second swerve in direction as the Escada train switches tracks, narrowly avoiding the gaping chasm for which they seemed destined. While still a fruity floral like most all of their others, S is at least novel. The gourmand accord is subtle and for a while I can 'see' a candied rose dessert. The drydown is woodier and classier than the opening would have you believe. Part Rock 'N' Rose and part V Absolu by Valentino, and a little like Belle en Rykiel without the coffee tones. This is pretty good.
    You're off probation for those horrid Moon Sparkle things, Escada. Just don't let me catch you doing that again.

    01st May, 2011

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Couture Couture by Juicy Couture

    I think Kal's on my wavelength here - there's a little fizz to this.

    Do you have a friend, boss, or maybe a spindly and bitter aunt who it all vitriol to everyone but you? I have a soft spot for Couture Couture.

    This opens up with the strangest grape accord that struck me initially as minty. I understand every bad comment concerning CC but I don't feel it. A perverse sense of pleasure/humor? I wonder if Juicy Couture slipped some of Escada's Magnetism into some of their old stock and just said, "Sell it!"? Sooooo good.

    01st May, 2011

    michailG's avatar



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    Eucalyptus by Thymes

    I am somewhere between foetidus and sabrosa! I thought that Eucalyptus by Thymes would smell generic; however, it proved me wrong. It is utterly wearable and pleasant but there is something about it that hinders me from appreciating it. I suspect that it may be that many domestic cleaning products use artificial herbal fragrances like thyme, eucalyptus, lavender and so on to the point that unfortunately when I come across a nicely formulated herbal perfume I can't help it to think of cleaning agents! In fact this one unfortunately reminds me of bathroom cleaning products and fresheners! Pity!

    01st May, 2011

    michailG's avatar



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    Ginger Milk by Thymes

    A nice, albeit unsophisticated ginger fragrance. It has a distinct floral feeling to it and that might be difficult for some men; however, it is wearable and its longevity is not all that bad. I am not crazy about it but I still like it on my skin a couple of hours since application. It is worth a try!

    01st May, 2011

    Appalachianitis's avatar



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    Séxual by Michel Germain

    This isn't the most interesting scent, but nice nonetheless--just a soft, warm rose fragrance that would be beautiful when worn during autumn, maybe layered with an incense fragrance.

    01st May, 2011

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    Boss de Chanel? No? Oh okay, could've fooled me. Things must have gone down like this:

    "Jacques, baby, trust me here. You're not going to ruin your reputation with this one. Have I ever steered you wrong before? This is gonna kick a$$ out there! The kids are gonna love this stuff, and who cares what the old farts think anyway? This will be the jewel in the crown to your career !!!!!!!!!!"

    Seriously, I don't like these kinds of fragrances on several levels:

    1. Unbalanced.
    2. Not enough note contrast.
    3. Smells "synthetic" to me.
    4. "Frontloaded."

    To be fair, I'll mention that when I wan an "office" type fragrance that has some citrus/"freshness," I usually go for 101 Men by Valenti. It doesn't have any of the four things mentioned above. And it cost me just over $10 for a 100 ml bottle !

    01st May, 2011

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

    I remember once in the mid 70's my family was on a trip. We were hauling a trailer and got lost in rural Pennsylvania. We were starving and ended up at this fancy French restaurant in the middle of nowhere. There was a copy of "Letters to Penthouse Forum" in the Mens room. Inside was a letter from a man who was writing to ask the "forum" that as he felt "Rive Gauche" smelled exactly like "p***y"; he was wondering if this was in fact the intention of Msr. St. Laurent.
    I really don't remember the reply.
    I wonder if that man had written his letter to Penthouse on the back of a French postcard. I later found the magazine in my father's sock drawer.

    01st May, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Fragranza Verde by Morgane Le Fay

    The niche version of Marc Jacobs Splash Cucumber. They're absolutely indistinguishable and I don't like neither the designer one nor the niche. Want to know how Green smells like? You have three options:

    1) Try it
    2) Try Marc Jacobs Splash Cucumber
    3) Read the review I made for MJ's Splash Cucumber

    01st May, 2011

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    Musc for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

    I like this. A clean white musk, with some very light flowers. What makes this formulation so special is that it comes as a luxurious perfume oil. Subtle and sexy. Skin close. Very easy to wear because it's quiet and understated. Pricey but worth it if you aren't looking for a big cloud of sillage. You will get compliments.

    01st May, 2011

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 6 Synthetic: Skai by Comme des Garçons

    It 'is', of course, the smell of a rubber swimming pool the moment you unwrap it, and the smell of burning paper extinguished in body cream, and the fake grapefruit normally starring in designer fragrances' summer editions; but it's also denser than that, and it's abstract.
    Only when I really went clubbing with this scent that I got the 'great for clubbing' thing. It's that state of unawareness, light-mindedness and confidence that go so well with Skai.
    Warmness is usually a thing that comes from the past or from another time: one either recalls ancient rituals and pleasures or cozy memories from his own past, fireplaces, kitchens, sweets and cakes. A warmness that is actually in the present or even the future is a rare thing. This is on the edge of being cool, non emotional but it succeeds.

    01st May, 2011

    Persolaise's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    Inspired to create Forte whilst testing a batch of bergamot from a prospective supplier, Kurkdjian has bolstered the original's hesperidic notes, fleshed out the hay-and-tobacco base and livened up the contrasting sprinkle of sweetness. The result is effervescent and amiable, and whilst this isn't a gourmand scent, wearing it does at times feel like enjoying a slice of chilled lime cheesecake on a bright summer's day.

    01st May, 2011

    Persolaise's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    A citrus accord so clean and safe as to be almost insipid, probably because it falls into the trap of equating 'universal' with 'lowest common denominator'. Uninspiring.

    01st May, 2011

    Persolaise's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Cologne du Parfumeur by Guerlain

    Thierry Wasser hasn't had an easy ride since he pinned his bee brooch to his lapel, largely because so many people were disappointed with Idylle, but I'd like to think that his best is yet to come. This cologne - released in a flacon that makes a point of bearing his name - shows once again that when he's not being crushed by the weight of market research, he's capable of producing eminently wearable little gems. Taking his cue from what a true cologne is meant to be like - invigorating, luminous and fleeting - Wasser highlights the woods and the rosemary, takes the edge off the citrus and tones down the musks. Many consider Chanel's Les Exclusifs Eau De Cologne to be the epitome of this genre, and whilst I agree that it's an impressive piece of work, I also think it could do with being a bit more cheerful. Wasser's effort is a smile in a bottle, giving you just what you want in every spritz: an instant, uncomplicated lift.

    01st May, 2011

    Mr. W's avatar



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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Nice fragrance, but only the top and middle notes. Base is too heavy for me.

    01st May, 2011

    profumi's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Divine by Revlon

    Oh dear, bought this the other day (unsniffed), very sweet floral with no staying power, not for me, BUT luckily my 16year old loves this ... all hers!
    It has been discontinued ... understandable.

    01st May, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Madison Square Park by Bond No. 9

    I don't know what I was expecting from Madison Square Park, but I must admit that I'd thought it'd be a lot softer and more floral.

    First things first, this fragrance hates my skin chemistry, it turns this fragrance into a sour berries and off-juice nightmare that gives me a crazy headache. Thankfully on paper it smells a hell of a lot better.

    The opening is rich blueberries, not unlike John Galliano's new fragrance Parlez-Moi d'Amour. It kind of smells a little bit like an Escada release as well, especially with all those berry top notes and fizzy peach.

    As the fragrance settles, a sweet and freshly mowed lawn scent comes to the fore, with a hint of roses and tulips, like you'd expect to smell in a bouquet from your lover. Unfortunately I don't get this beautiful blend on my skin.

    I noted that it was quite a strong fragrance with a heck of a lot of fruits and flowers. It's a little too much for my poor little nose, although I do seem to enjoy the fresh rose note drizzled with berry syrup. I do believe that if this was applied with a light hand, it could be so much more appealing.

    While I don't dislike it, I'm not a fan either. It just doesn't suit my tastes, and has presented itself as not agreeing with my chemistry, which usually suits most fragrances. I think I prefer Bond No.9's darker, more masculine offerings, like West Side for example. Please do test this fragrance before you buy.

    01st May, 2011

    waftbycarol's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Gucci by Gucci

    To my nose this is a classic tangy floral, a variation on the original Gucci No 1 , which is discontinued and HTF .
    The notes include tangerine, lilac, jasmine, violet, sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla .
    Soft , very approprite for a sunny spring day !

    01st May, 2011

    madwit17's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    Nutmeg, citrus, and cedar are the notes that stand out to me in this vetiver. Fresh and light, just the kind of scent I want to put on early in the morning. Love the sillage on this; I smell it as I shift and turn all day. I had about 5 different fragrance strips sitting on my desk one day and GV was the only one I could smell at a distance. Something so reliable about this scent, to me - like it would never let me down. Ladies! Take note. This would smell great on you.

    01st May, 2011

    madwit17's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

    Gag me with a spoon.

    I would rather spray myself with cheap window cleaner. The kind that smells like urine.

    [which I really don't want to do]

    01st May, 2011

    madwit17's avatar

    United States United States

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    Knize Ten by Knize

    Fantastic (unmistakable, fine leather) opening but the drydown is prohibitively old-fashioned, to my nose.

    01st May, 2011

    blah114's avatar



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    H.O.T. Always by Bond No. 9

    Well made. To me, this smells slightly like SMN's Melograno, which I love, but it smells SOPHISTICATED and dressy. There is tobacco a slight bit, a bit of leather, and patchouli. This fragrance it outstanding and wearable everyday.

    01st May, 2011

    chet31's avatar

    United States United States

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    Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    For me, Silver Mountain Water is similar to Green Irish Tweed is similar to Cool Water. I find the top notes nice on all three, but also get the same metallic note on dry down with all three - which I ultimately find unpleasant.

    01st May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vendetta pour Homme by Valentino

    Check out the reviews by Foetidus and Milamber if you want to know what Vendetta PH is structurally all about; those guys can really break a fragrance apart. My nose is nowhere near that refined, so I have to rely on drawing relations to other fragrances, triangulating in on what a fragrance smells like vis-a-vis other frags. Sometimes I pick up a note here or there, if I'm lucky.

    Anyway, Vendetta PH, to me, smells wonderful. I'm always a little surprised by at least some reviews for almost any fragrance, and this is no exception. Too sharp? Too sweet? Too spicy? I don't find it to be any of these. I mean, it's sharp, it's sweet, and it's spicy...but I don't think any one of those qualities is wildly out of balance, except maybe when measured against the focus-group formulated neutral and neutered fragrances of today. That is not a valid or historically useful measuring stick, in my opinion. To me, Vendetta PH is a sweet and spicy combo laid on top of a woody-ambery base. That said, it's not clovey to the extreme like Secret Melange or Trumper's Milk of Flowers. It's not sweet like almost any "masculine" fragrance you can pull off the shelf at Sephora or off the counter at Macy's here in 2011, where "masculine" has come to mean "orange push-up pop." It's more ambery than woody, but the amber is round and smooth and not the least bit thin or metallic like, say, Pal Zileri's Cashmere E Ambra.

    Unlike Foetidus, I don't get too much leather, maybe just a touch. A difference that is due to skin chemistry, I imagine. Somewhat differing from Milamber, I find this to be closer to Arabie than to Ambre Sultan. I think there's something about the sweet, spicy nature of Arabie that seems similar to the same combo in Vendetta PH, though Vendetta PH is not as over-the-top as Arabie. Still, it's pretty amazing that this designer fragrance reminds us both of a niche fragrance from a very respected house. You won't find many like this, especially amongst new releases. The closest I can think of to this overall smell is Jean Pascal PH, but Vendetta PH is more concentrated, deeper smelling, plumper, and sweeter. One more thing: if you are going to test this - and you should - please let it dry down before drawing any conclusions!

    01st May, 2011

    markymarc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    I love the Kurkdjian line. This one is so sexy and deep, and it last for hours.

    01st May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Krigler America One by Krigler

    I recently purchased some samples from Krigler and have been experimenting with them, wearing them for a full day, and also spot testing them. I ordered Established Cognac, Cozy Cedar Wood, and Good Fir. Krigler also included a free sample of America One. Given the price of the individual samples ($7.50 each!), I was grateful for the freebie but not blown away by its inclusion. These are pricey samples. That said, they send a full vial and the perfumes are quite concentrated - a little goes a long way.

    Despite my explorations with these fragrances, I'm still not sure what to make of Krigler, or of their perfumes. I don't really buy their marketing angle of being original formulations from long ago. They are certainly high quality fragrances. The materials are good. The blending is solid, more like a well-crafted designer scent utilizing a number of materials than say a Creed or any of the natural perfumes that seem to be a melange of a handful of notes. That said, there is a distinctly modern "white musk" note that is prominent in the base of three of the four I have tried. You know the musk - the one that has the "laundry detergent" smoothness to it and is usually called out by notes such as "cashmere" or "clean musk." This makes me think that Krigler probably crafted new perfumes based on notes or samples of the originals rather than meticulously engineering them according to the original formulas.

    America One seems to have quite a bit of this musk note. It also has a lovely citrus in the topnotes, making it one of those warm-yet-fresh openings. I know that is an overused expression, but here it applies. As it dries down, florals become more prominent; not really heady feminine florals but more unisex, clean, and fresh floral notes. Again, I am reminded of a detergent, though at this point a highly fragranced one. One of the reviewers on Fragrantica said this perfume reminded her of growing up in another country and receiving packages of American clothing from relatives. I can see where she'd have this association.

    Krigler lists the notes for America One as "A Cedar vibrato with dry notes of black pepper and cumin. The energetic effect of Mandarin with voluptuous accord of Neroli and Vetiver. A mysterious, voluptuous and full of contrasts fragrance."

    I guess cedar is a possibility, but it is dwarfed by the white musk. Pepper, and especially cumin, I simply don't smell at all. Well, I guess if I use my imagination while the scent is in the heart notes, I can get a tinge of cumin. Mandarin and neroli, I can believe, especially in the topnotes. Vetiver is not really apparent to my nose, again, the white musk is masking it, if it is indeed there. If you go to the list of individual notes and corresponding perfumes on a different page of the Krigler site, you will also see they list sandalwood, bergamote, and coffee as notes in America One. Again, it's possible there is sandalwood here, but it's hiding behind the musk. Bergamote seems like a good bet. Coffee simply makes me tilt my head and raise my eyebrows wondering why they would list that as a note in this. It's entirely possible I'm just especially sensitive to the smell of the musk they are using (it does give me a headache), which is causing my dismay with this fragrance. Needless to say, it's not what I expected it to be based on the description and note listing.

    Krigler goes on to characterize this perfume as Fruity, Spicy, and Woody. I would call it a clean, musky, unisex floral. The lasting power is very good - days later I can still smell the musky base. The sillage is too high for my comfort, but then, I believe a man's fragrance should not project beyond a few feet. I'm giving this a thumbs-up because I think it is well-made and of a good quality, even if it did not meet my expectations of it based on notes and description. For someone who likes this type of fragrance, this might be a great find.

    [By the way, the same musk pervades Cozy Cedar Wood, which to my nose, does not smell at all like cedar, or spice, despite Krigler's categorizing it as Woody and Spicy. Good Fir comes closer to its note listing, but still has strong traces of the white musk in the base, which makes for an odd pine-on-white-musk smell. The best of the bunch that I've sampled, and the only one that didn't disappoint with the clean musk note is Eastablished Cognac, which has an incredible topnote that really does capture the smell of the nose of a good cognac - deep raisiny grapey scents combined with something almost chocolate like, on top of a dry, woody base that has only a tiny hint of white musk. The wood base in EC has a quality to it that reminds me of vintage Santal Noble - that resinous, almost dusty quality. Unfortunately it is also, by far, the shortest lived of the four. I guess I will likely do full reviews of these once they are in the Directory.]

    01st May, 2011

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetyver / Vétiver by Givenchy

    I knew I wanted another vetiver because sometimes my Guerlain is a bit of a tobacco-y jerk. This isn't exactly what I was looking for, and yet it is divine. I believe it's the sandalwood that keeps this off of the straight-up green path. And I've come to accept that a good, harsh vetiver NEEDS another strong, easily identifiable note around to keep it in line. Anyway, this was a blind purchase and I am thrilled that I own it.

    As I've worn this, I've smelled vetiver, sandalwood, citrus, cinnamon, anise, and coriander, I think. Well, I know for damn sure that I smell vetiver, sandalwood, and spicy stuff. Anyway, this brilliant aroma does a sparkly dance under the nose of the wearer, and the brilliant artistry with which this amazingly natural-smelling fragrance was created becomes abundantly obvious after a few hours. Some moments it's green, and others it's earthy, then it's spicy, and as you attempt to wrap your head around what you're smelling, it quickly becomes soapy. Yet as this constant alteration dazzles you like so many autobots, there isn't a single unpleasant moment to be had.

    Vetiver is a temperamental beast, and Givenchy has managed to keep it in line with a few good pimp-slaps. Stop reading reviews and just get you some.

    01st May, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Baïmé by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    At a first test you could get to the conclusion that Baime is simply a great basil based fragrance, and for some aspects it surely is, but if you try to go a little deeper you'll realize there's a lot more going on here. Basil is definitely dominating but it's magistrally blended with other aromatics herbs, lavender and anise. I also get hints of fruits but can't exactly detect them as they're skillfully camouflaged to simply add a slight "extra-touch" of fresh oddness. The overall effect is of a pleasant, and addictive, super green scent that is bold in structure but thin and a delightfully bizzare in smell.

    I'd say Baime has a lot in common with Dyptique's Virgilio because despite they don't share many objective similiarities they surely move in the same territory made of a pushed to the limit green freshness. A territory where culinary aromatics herbs are used to create a bizarre clean fragrance and not to dress up your salad.

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2011)

    Kalindi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Madison Square Park by Bond No. 9

    I smell a pleasant Tommy Girl plus Lola by Marc Jacobs hybrid -- which is about as exciting as it sounds. Good fizzy fun for Spring, but for the Bond No. 9 price, no thanks! I can spritz my Tommy, or any number of things I already own (Fresh Index, Sugar Blossom, Dolly Girl) for the cheery effect of this. . . . The bottle is darn cute, but even that seems to be a play on Lola with that crazy-fun plastic flower topper.

    Chinatown remains my only (and beloved) Bond purchase, one of my personal top 5.

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 15 May, 2011)

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