Fragrance Reviews from May 2011

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    Ralph's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    It's just a beautiful, simple, dirty-rose/musk frag (and an expensive one too) but the depth here is glorious as is - I'd guess - the quality of the materials used. I have absolutely no idea why so many people get into a filth-fugue about this one: it's deep, dark, peaceful and lovely - there's no pee-pee or poo-poo here, honestly.

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 18 May, 2011)

    Red Theodora's avatar

    United States United States

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    Azurée by Estée Lauder

    Is this scent really supposed to smell like the Italian coast where Estee Lauder vacationed? I can't believe Estee stayed anywhere that stank this badly! Now, to be honest I have never smelled the original formulation. Maybe it was once a sunny little chypre. And God knows I do love my chypres! I can't get near this one without feeling anything but nausea and revulsion. I have read Tom Ford did the current reformulation and all I can say is - SHAME ON YOU, Tom!

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 June, 2011)

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    This is in a small cadre of fragrances with a prominent vanillic note that I enjoy. The rubber aspect offsets the vanilla preventing the latter from becoming cloying. The tea note smooths the whole composition out. One of the most influential fragrances on the market today and worth the purchase, even if its offshoots are now clichéd.

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 03 June, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Aoud Lime by Montale

    For anyone (including myself) who find Black Aoud to be amazing but can't stand its huge rose note on the skin, Aoud Lime could be a valid alternative. To the typical Montale's opening has been added strident lime note that while lurking in the back it remarkably declares its presence working as an ultrasonic whisper. The strong medicinal aroma juxtaposed to the lime's acidic freshness is pretty weird indeed but absolutely compelling to my nose. After an hour or so, the rose note makes its appearance but it's not overwhelming or as prominent as it is in Black Aoud. It's instead well blended with patchouli and oud to create an amazing accord that is going to last for quite a while. In the meantime, in the very background, I still get the fascinating juxtaposition of lime but in this phase it sounds more like someone who's playing a thirteenth on the main accord in another room. Amazing.

    Surely not an easy wear for its intensity and weirdness, but still a great composition. Well Done.

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 30th January, 2012)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Red Aoud by Montale

    I'd split Montale's ouds in two different categories. On one side we have Oud Cuir D'Arabie and Black Aoud that stand out for their uniqueness and their challenging power. On the other side I'd put all the other compositions form the same line as they basically consist in micro-variations on the main theme.



    Now, beside what you may personally like or not almost any of the "Aouds" by this house stand somehow on the same level (a good level with the exception of a few really unsuccessful releases such as Aoud Forest and Sliver Aoud). A more or less strong / medicinal oud note joined by a complementary bunch of other aromas to match different tastes.



    My suggestion to anyone who like oud is to pick up a bunch of samples from the Montale's range and see which one fits your bill better. Once you've made your choice stick with one, or maximum two of them, as I can assure you that by that point you covered a lot of ground already.



    That being Red Aoud is a micro-variation on the main theme taking a spicy (red-chili) direction. The oud note here is not as strong and powerful as in other perfumes from the same line, but still remarkably present. Hidden cacao hints provide some refinement and a sort of gourmandic quality. Nice and pleasant but I stick with Aoud Musk.

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 13 February, 2012)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Route du Vétiver by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    As a vetiver lover I've been encouraged many times to try Route De Vetiver (Vintage) and when I finally decided to face it I discovered an extremely compelling fragrance. RDV's opening is possibly one of the best representation of vetiver available on the market. Earthy, extremely bitter, wet. I never smelled vetiver's roots myself but I have the feeling that if you'd extract them from the ground after a couple of rainy days, they would smell exactly like RDV's opening. The drydown is incredibly woody and earthy, bold but not overpowering yet extremely masculine. Surely among the most uncompromising iterations of the rooty vetiver accord.

    My little "disappointment" (not exactly the right word) comes with the refurmulated version that tends to be similar to other masterpieces of the same family such as Sycomore. Don't get me wrong, the current Route De Vetiver is still an outstanding scent, but if you're already familiar with Sycomore or with the vintage formula, it may result somehow disappointing.

    01st May, 2011 (Last Edited: 19 March, 2012)

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Angel Garden Of Stars - Violet Angel by Thierry Mugler

    Notes:
    Top: Violet Green, Crystallized Sugar
    Middle: Violet, Woody Notes
    Base: Patchouli, Vanilla Notes

    Part of the Garden of Stars collection by Mugler, which are floral renditions of the classic Angel, Violet Angel manages to retain the alluring gourmand character of the classic while inserting a facade of violets.

    Violet opens with a sweet slightly sugary violet flower note. Violet flower can be a temperamental note with many a bad and overpowering renditions on the market. The perfumer F. Caron was obviously aware of this as Violet Angel's sugar-violet note, while imbued with sweet sugar and floral tones, is output at half the wattage as most other violet dominant fragrances. You get the violet sweetness dusted by sugar crystals but due to the lower sillage it somehow isn't as bothersome as the description would have you believe. There is little to none of any violet leaf's green character...sweet sugar dipped violets is what the top notes are about. The rest of the fragrance is Angel/A*Men patchouli-woods-vanilla gourmand framework without the chocolate-mint fireworks.

    I would say that Violet Angel, surprisingly, succeeds. It presents a somewhat interesting and less annoying sweet violet note overlaid on a bed of gourmand basenotes. Its far less intense and loud than its big sister Angel, and consequently might be easier to wear for some. Interms of complexity and impact its nowhere near the classic that is Angel, but it may find its audience amongst people who are too scared to dip directly into the vast intimidating pool of Angels original brew.

    Rating: 7.5/10.0

    02 May, 2011

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    He Wood by Dsquared2

    Thin, watery and light. Normally, a death sentence for a masculine fragrance especially one with the word "wood" in its name. Wet violets are the first thing you notice when HW is first smelled. What's clever here is that the perfumer surrounded the violets with a calone-like note that makes it comfortable and unique compared to the standard violet-leaf so common in men's fragrances. Pink peppercorn and vetiver spike this one up and take it into the woody dimension followed by cedar and a light fir note. In the end, HW is really a vetiver-focused scent, something that was at odds with the trend in 2007 in men's fragrances which would've turned up the cheap amber in the drydown.

    The wood frame is a nice touch, in case the name or the scent don't give you the sense of wood. I highly recommend HW to anybody looking for a light woody scent. There's really none better in this genre.

    02 May, 2011

    man114's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuba Gold by Cuba Paris

    Dirt cheap. I'll give it that. I'm not sure where to place this. Does it have similarities to Le Male? Yes. It also has similarities to BOD $$$ especially in the drydown. I think Le Male is stronger, and so is BOD $$$. It falls somewhere in between IMHO, less synthetic than the ultra cheapy, less strong than the more expensive. I put it on at 6:30AM and can still smell it at 10:30PM. For a $5 cologne thats pretty good.

    02 May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Opus 1870 by Penhaligon's

    Nice. Others have said it well, so I'll just add my thumbs-up to theirs. It starts off a tad sweet, with obvious pepper and rose, and as it dries down it becomes mellower, woodier (cedar & lots of it), and softer. There seems to be a touch of incense here as well. Overall, good, and enjoyable, but doesn't get me headed to the shop to pick up a bottle.

    02 May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I think this is fantastic, start to finish. It's dark, moody, and leathery to start. At this stage, it might be a little challenging for many men, but if you can wear Iquitos or Lyric Man, then you should have no trouble with this. As it dries down, it gets crisper and greener, while retaining a leathery quality. It is much less opulent and less sweet than most other Serge Lutens fragrances. I agree with the reviewer who mentioned there are some similarities between this and Une Rose. They are both dark, both have an earthy quality, and of course, both are also rose-heavy fragrances. On top of that, I'd add that both are really good, really wearable rose fragrances for men. If you like rose, you need to try this.

    02 May, 2011

    nezdelacoreé's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    Omnia Crystalline by Bulgari

    Omnia Crystalline is extremely popular here in Seoul, along with Omnia Jade and Omnia Amethyst. (Quick research reveals that these fragrances were designed for the Asian market specifically, and Crystalline was #1 in sales in South Korea and Japan.) I decided to try it out on a recent evening walk that took me past a cosmetics shop, and I spent the whole way home sniffing myself, seeing how the fragrance developed. I didn't like the opening particularly--the nashi pear smelled kind of foggy and funky in the beginning, reinforcing my dislike for anything pear (except actual pears.) In the drydown, Crystalline was extremely clean and sheer, a unisex watery floral, but--as other reviewers have noted--not an extremely full-bodied scent. It didn't captivate me, particularly. Though it wasn't offensive in any way, it was just so light and clean that it smelled more like it belonged in a shampoo or deodorant.

    02 May, 2011

    bartdino's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    Great stuff...very clean, fresh...start strong but in a couple of hours become a kind of skin scent. It's a pity that longevity it's so, but aniway it's a great scent, very interesting and particular. I think works in every season, not only a summer fragrance...

    02 May, 2011

    bartdino's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

    How I would like to love this scent...but really I cannot use it, simple I suppose too much ginger, and doesn't work for me

    02 May, 2011

    bartdino's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    Bois de Cédrat by Creed

    Citrus and a little woods...very simple, wonderful but....disappear in a couple of minutes

    02 May, 2011

    bartdino's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    Aventus by Creed

    ...good stuff, I needed few months to like Aventus, for something at the start remind kinda basic designer fragrance (some Gucci, Burberry, ....) and also "everyman cologne" time after time you start to "understand" better this Creed work. Whatever it's not my cup of tea I appreciate it...

    02 May, 2011

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

    How to replicate the smell of Sécrétions Magnifiques:

    1) Eat a bowl of cereal. Don't drink the milk.
    2) Leave the bowl out on your kitchen counter.
    3) After at least 10 hours, whether you left the house or not, go smell the bowl.

    Now, I've certainly smelled worse things than Sécrétions Magnifiques, but I like my fragrances to be wearable, at least a little bit. More or less you have an "art" fragrance in the same vein as Christopher Brosius, or Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella (gasoline). I can appreciate fragrances like these from an artistic standpoint, but I wouldn't wear them.

    However, to each his own! You'll either love this or hate its guts.

    02 May, 2011

    Black Mask's avatar

    United States United States

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    Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

    Guerlain Homme displays its fragrances as if from a distance. Each accord is played out in full vigor, and not suppressed or compressed as in some inferior fragrances which skimp on more expensive ingredients. But the result in Guerlain Homme is still a quieter, less exciting fragrance. No matter how masterful the blending of superior ingredients, and Guerlain Homme is beautifully constructed with quality materials, the reult here in this compositon by the new nose at Guerlain, Thierry Wasser, is not played out not at close up range so the magic, and sexiness, that ithe interplay of accords like the opening of mint and lime can be observed and experienced with full impact.

    But here in Guerlain Homme the first chord of mint and lime is bluured around the lime as if seen from the distance. And it should have been experienced as loud and as clear as in Guerlain's Derby mint opening, which is very different from Guerlain Homme's opening, but is played in Derby so that all its gusto is felt with clarity.

    The quiet floral touches in Guerlain Homme's heart notes reach up to the opening accord, and swiirl down over the drydown, notes. The drydown is not the full, round bottom accords for which Guerlain is famous. In Guerlain Homme the rich grassy notes of vetiver (but not Guerlain's unmistakable Vetiver accords familiar from their classic fragrance of that name) swirl through the rich woody cedar forest that stands tall in the distance. And over all is that white floral overlay from Guerlain Homme's heart that slurs on occasion, but never becomes sweet or cloying.

    Guerlain Homme is a pleasant, "modern" fragrance designed for the yougest segment of the market. The only explanation why such a moderately distinguished composition would be granted such a name of prominance, Guerlain Homme, which implies it represents of all the men's fragrances, is to make sure it will be tested by those youngest cologne buyers whose least mature tastes accont for such large profits in the perfume industry.

    These are buyers who mostly never heard of Habit Rouge, and who would stay away from something as pronounced and assertive as Derby. This is the very large audience so taken with aqua accords of Cool Water, and Azzaro Chroms. Young men who also have been sold on "green" and "sport" fragrances, which tend to be minimal and queit versions of their original counterpoarts.

    Although Guerlain Homme does not have any obvoiusly broad, synthetic accords, nor is it a green aqua fragrance, in its toned down dynamic range it makes all accords inoffensive so it can charm a younger audience. This crowd seems to respond to cool, romantic attitudes in cologne advertising, often mixed with a more raw unkempt primitivism. But this promotioal posturing is almost uniformally designed to sell light, wispy perfume compositions.

    Although Guerlain Homme is a bit thin and quiet in the presentation of its accords, the whispy fragrance is charming enough as it lingers on the skin to attract the more mature, experienced segment of the market who feel like something that hardly projects at all, but does have a touch of magic in its soul.

    02 May, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca by Guerlain

    Appearantly unpretentious and very simple but skillfully mastered. Mint joined by a super fresh verbena and tea. Nice and delightful.

    02 May, 2011

    kierroo's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    Diesel Zero Plus by Diesel

    Woah that is a spicey meatball, lovely smooth spicy fragrance not too heavy or light and perfect for daytime. Smells like Christmas to me with the nutmeg and cinnamon

    A damn shame both zero plus and plus plus have been discontinued, and were left with such rubbish from diesel such as 'only the brave.'

    02 May, 2011

    nonnative's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    The One by Dolce & Gabbana

    I've always wanted a parfume where I couldn't detect any single natural note. Something immaterial and really abstract. In The One I can't truly recognise any of the notes written in the pyramid. Still this is not a great perfume. It doesn't lack style or uniqueness but it is not remarkable. It is a monolite without shades. Is this the reason of the name?

    02 May, 2011

    abysynth's avatar



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    Feromone Donna by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

    the first thing I notice is the strong jasmine accord (I assume it's an accord since jasmine isn't listed in the notes), which is beautiful. as it dries down some, I noticed a rich almost buttery (for lack of a better word) scent under lying it and this extra dimension is what really did it for me, I couldn't stop smelling my wrist! it's an interesting experience, because the scent seems almost edible to me but without being gourmand in the slightest, if that makes any sense. I like it enough that I ordered some more earlier today :)

    02 May, 2011

    Dr.Hohum's avatar



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    Clint by Avon

    Not bad alone, but AMAZINGLY more approachable when combined with a few drops of vetiver and sweet grass.

    02 May, 2011

    Dr.Hohum's avatar



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    Deep Woods by Avon

    You'd think from the name that this would resemble a walk in cedar or pine woods but it doesn't. It's somewhat like Avon's Wild Country but somewhat more laid back and maybe a touch greener. Can't really describe it any better than that, sorry. But perfectly wearable.

    02 May, 2011

    Dr.Hohum's avatar



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    Spicy by Avon

    Dead on comparison/contrast re: Old Spice. It is more laid back than O.S. and not as powdery as O.S. can be.

    Avon's later BRISK SPICE is almost an exact clone of O.S., though, and considerably "brighter" than Spicy.

    02 May, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Daphne by Daphne Guinness

    Daphne Guinness is probably 1 ingredient away from being a total soup, but as it stands, it’s about as full a perfume as you can make. Citrus/resinous, hugely floral, incense/oud. And that’s just the starting place.

    It seems to start as a sort of oud floriental with an enormous bitter, resinous orange note and saffron and I’d swear some bay or some other green culinary herb. From there it kaleidoscopes through densly floral combinations as well as classic amber, vanilla, patchouli accords. This is not so much a perfume with a classic three-tiered progression as one built of mostly basenotes. In this sense, it’s probably categorically closest to an oriental. Although they have different tones, the elements all seem to share roughly the same density. From the topnotes through the heartnotes they just bounce off each other and you’re constantly smelling some new accord take flight.

    By the drydown, DG feels like an incense chypre, with a three-part patchouli/oud/labdanum combo in lieu of a classic moss/labdanum base. Oud is the overused, overstated perfume element of the last few years and due to its potent nature, it is usually at the heart of an accord. But using a moderate dose of oud along with patchouli and labdanum to resemble a chypre base seems like one of the more inventive uses of the material.

    02 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2011)

    blah114's avatar



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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    I used to not like this, but have since come to love this. It's amazing after a few hours. A staple and classic.. something that can be worn anytime.. anywhere.

    02 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2011)

    iodine's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Dilmun by Lorenzo Villoresi

    I have a deep respect for Lorenzo Villoresi and generally enjoy his fragrances- but, up to now, never enough to be drawn to buy a full bottle. In my recent craving for orange blossoms, I wanted so much to love Dilmun and hoped it would be the one I bought, giving a due homage to my fellow countryman. Unfortunately, it isn't.
    It opens with a quite sharp and pungent, almost chemical note that seems, for a little while, to overcome the orange blossoms underneath. Then it emerges, wonderfully rich, round, mellow, with a gourmand quality- in many Italian cakes, orange flowers water is a distinctive ingredient. It quickly becomes musky powdery and soft, with very interesting whiffs of laurel leaves lingering upon. Then, it disappears all of a sudden, leaving nothing more than a soapy clean feel! On my skin, it lasts only for a couple of hours and reapplying would not be a fine choice, as I would be forced to smell again the harsh, nose tickling opening note...
    Disappointing, even if the heart notes, for the little while they last, are pure delight to my nostrils.

    02 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2011)

    iodine's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Philosykos by Diptyque

    Getting to know her work better, I tend to associate Olivia Giacobetti’s fragrances to spheres of various material, consistence, colour. I think they have a sort of “tight “perfection, as if there’s something in the core of the fragrance that pulls the surroundings towards itself evenly, giving it the shape of a sphere, precisely.
    Philosykos, in this imagery, is a fragile, airy, wind drifting, transparent silver- white-green sphere, with the milky green notes of fig leaves and sap insisting on an aromatic woody heart. The scent that remains on my skin, after the fresh fruity notes of the opening fade, curiously reminds me of sun drenched marjoram (I haven’t seen that note listed, but I can detect it quite sharply).
    A very pleasant, serene and easy to wear fragrance, perfect in hot weather and in open air.

    02 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2011)

    kierroo's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    Polo by Ralph Lauren

    Holy god, that is what your nose and brain are saying to you when you first apply this on your wrist !

    Smells strong Ancient, something your granddad would wear, dirty old fragrance smells like a smokeay boaby ( Scottish people will ken this ) lol.

    Don't go near anyone in the first 15 mins of applying this fragrance, you have been warned !.

    The drydown is what makes this fragrance pleasant and mysterious but this aftershave is not for young people but for the more mature 40 yr old in me, he might return one day to polo but until then, we will meet on this side or the other.

    02 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 12 May, 2011)

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