Fragrance Reviews from May 2011

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    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

    A masculine soapy-herbal-rose fragrance with animalic hints (castoreum?) and leather in the middle phase . Nice, well crafted but IMo not as much compelling as other perfumes of the same family.

    04 May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui by Oscar de la Renta

    The 80s powerhouse that I most enjoy wearing right now. Out of all its beastly brethren, I find it most similar to VC&A PH. But, it's not as over-the-top, especially in the soapy-floral sense, as VC&A PH. It's also the least "dated" of the bunch, I think. This could be due to its relative informality when compared to VC&A, Lauder, Jules, Trussardi, et al.

    The aldehydes and floral notes make this seem almost feminine when first applied. (It's funny how all of these - the most masculine of masculines, masculine to the point of being referred to as "hairy chested" and "brawny" and "dated," as if they epitomize an anachronistic Cro-Magnon version of masculinity - all of them have prominent florals at their respective hearts. The same florals that now seem so avant-garde in a men's perfume. Just something to think on.) Anyway, as it starts to dry down, leather emerges, as well as patchouli, along with the clovey, carnation spice others have mentioned. And every now and again, I swear I smell something green, like pine.

    Most importantly, though, there is an openness to Pour Lui that is rare amongst the 80s powerhouses. It is loud, and strong, and heavy, but somehow, despite all its notes and complexity it's not overly "dense." When applied with a light hand, it doesn't wear me like so many other 80s powerhouses. I feel like it engages with my skin, mixes and melds with it, being ever-so-slightly different every time I wear it. When worn lightly, it is, dare I say, almost clean and fresh. The leather-floral-spice combo comes across as a high quality soapy smell. And of course, it stays with you all day.

    [BTW, I have a vintage splash bottle of this, so that's what I'm reviewing here. I have not smelled the reformulated juice.]

    04 May, 2011

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Santalum by Profumum

    (Vintage Version)
    Profumum is run by a bunch of Dadaists who get a kick out of selling weird caricatures of perfumes for dead-serious prices. Santalum is a failure in this respect, as it is actually halfway decent, though it is not primarily a sandalwood fragrance and pretty synthetic as well, while its simple composition cries out for quality naturals. For the money, get yourself some real sandalwood from La Via del Profumo.

    04 May, 2011

    mickers's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

    The top of this one is reminiscent of Bogart Pour Homme without the power and tobacco that BPH has. I get a soft powdery cherry accord at the top and when this hit's the drydown after a couple of hours I'm left with french vanilla. The drydown smells exactly like a glad french vanilla candle to me which isn't a bad thing. I get very minimal tobacco out of this one. It's a pleasant enough fragrance but more suited for a young woman as far as I'm concerned. If your a lover of french vanilla you may just love this one. I get average projection and excellent longevity out of this one. I goes forever on my skin.

    04 May, 2011

    Mr-Scratch-N-Sniff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Code / Black Code by Giorgio Armani

    Starts of with a little citrus then quickly turns into a tonka (baby powder) scent. I did see a study that said baby powder was one of the smells women respond to the most so maybe they were goin for that. Powdery scents arent always a turnoff for me as I love Le Male but this does not smell anything like the powdery vanilla scent of Le Male. Longevity is average at about 4-5 hours and it projects decently too. Certainly overpriced for the quality IMO. Just not my cup of tea.

    04 May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Artisan by John Varvatos

    Interesting bottle, certainly puts one in mind of summer, picnics, casual outdoors activities and so on. And the top notes don't disappoint: lots of nice, round orange. And then the fun stops. I just don't see the point to these mainstream designer releases anymore. Even the saleslady at the counter couldn't keep from rolling her eyes and nodding her head in approval when I said it smells like generic "fruity-fresh." It's like all the manufacturers use the same vat of generic "masculine basenotes" and then use marketing materials to lead consumers to "smell" what they, the marketers, would like them to smell. [Actually, it's not "like" this. Trust me when I say from experience it is exactly this. The amount of money and research that goes into packaging design, marketing materials, ad campaigns, and even juice color dwarfs what goes into the smell of the juice. And it's that way for a reason.] As with so many men's fragrances, the heart and base are bland, boring, generic, the same as everything else out there. What gives? Why do people continue to fall for this ruse?

    Neutral because, after the bottle and top notes, it's not even noteworthy enough to find bad. And I can't be angry at the manufacturers when it's the buying public that's ultimately responsible for this state of affairs.

    04 May, 2011

    Mr-Scratch-N-Sniff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Voyage d'Hermès by Hermès

    I get a lot of lime right off the back with maybe a bit of grapefruit too. Very fresh and blends well with the woods with a hint of tea. It is a unisex fragrance but definitely not one I could see my girlfriend wearing. It projects pretty good while it lasts which is not very long. Longevity for me is 3-4 hours, which is very unfortunate. I prefer this to Terre D'Hermes by a good margin. Price is a little high at approx $75 but I love it so much I'll probably get it and carry an atomizer of it around to make up for the lack of longevity.

    04 May, 2011

    Mr-Scratch-N-Sniff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pi by Givenchy

    It starts of with some kind of medicinal scent which led me to believe I was going to hate this one with a passion. I am biased due to the fact I love sweet scents (Rochas Man =) But approx 45 min after applying it started to warm up to me into a nice vanilla caramel scent. Can certainly become easily cloying if oversprayed. I do not agree with the linear description most give it. A good one for fall/winter use. Longetivty 6-7 hrs & projection a good 5 hours. Good but just not great.

    04 May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vintage by John Varvatos

    I feel pretty much the same way that Live Jazz feels about this one. I tested it without paying attention to reviews, notes, press releases, or anything like that. The word "vintage" caught my eye, as did the leather on the bottle, and so I figured I'd give it a whirl. The opening seemed a little boozy to me. Like the fruity sweetness of tobacco with the tingle of herbs and spices. I have a small bottle of Croatian Rakija that has this herbal, slightly sweet smell, something like that. An okay start, but nothing groundbreaking. (And, frankly, looking now at the notes above...good lord, where are they coming up with these notes? Have they just taken all reigns off the marketing team - "write whatever you think sounds like it will sell, guys! Dudes like juniper and fir and tobacco and suede...don't they?...and santolina sounds so exotic!") And then, generic male base #2. I give up.

    04 May, 2011

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Green Jeans by Versace

    Very simple nice green fragrance. A minty/pine fragrance that's great to wear in the summer and is totally inoffensive. It's not groundbreaking but if you can pick it up for a decent price it's something that will lift your spirits.

    04 May, 2011

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler

    Whiskey, berries, and caramel is what I mainly get out of Pure Malt and the combination is fantastic. This is my favorite out of Thierry Mugler's line with Pure Coffee right behind. This is a masculine scent that can be taken seriously and at the same time has a playful side to it. It retains the A*men heritage and is definately recommended.

    04 May, 2011

    Fletch31's avatar

    United States United States

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    By Man by Dolce & Gabbana

    When I want warm, comforting, sexy assuredness I reach for D&G BY. The sad thing is I never smelled this until 2002 because I was so put off by the chintzy bottle design. I had a friend rave about this and I destinctly remember laughing him off close-mindedly as he flashed me his bottle proclaiming it was "the stuff". I had never smelled it on him. Much later, at first smell I was hooked. I can only imagine that the gauche packaging helped attribute to its discontinuation. It looked like a bargin bin crap offering by appearance but oh how I was wrong. Can't judge a book by its cover - It was a hard lesson to learn. Now I am paying top dollar to amass backups for 1.7oz sizes to avoid getting scammed by fakes. I deserve it I guess.

    La Nuite de L'Homme by YSL is somewhat similiar to BY but weaker and sweeter than this powerful masterpiece. I can only pray for D&G to rerelease it.

    04 May, 2011

    Oslo-Fjord's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Dia Man by Amouage

    One of the best from Amouage. Smells very luxurious. A very elegant fragrance for day and night, summer and winter. Quite formal, and not for "kids". Longevity is great, and projection is average. Very classy and elegant stuff. I give it 9 points.

    04 May, 2011

    Oslo-Fjord's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Silver Cologne by Amouage

    As always with Amouage, this is very high quality. A classical woody spicy fragrance that is quite formal. One of the most masculine of the Amouage scents. It has a luxurious aura, and works well for both day and evening use. It`s very strong stuff, so 2 sprays are enough. Please, do not over-apply! This is a very classy fragrance brimful of quality ingredients, perfect for fastidious gentlemen. I love this stuff! You will definitively not go un-noticed when wearing Amouage Silver.

    04 May, 2011

    Gilgamesh2003's avatar

    United States United States

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    So THIS is Terre d'Hermes? I was expecting something lush, a landscape of earth and water. Instead you get some coppery, medicinal fruit, and not much of it. The scent is, in its own studiously inoffensive and uninteresting way, unique; it has a toothpaste-like spice and freshness that elevates it from the level of fruity gum. You can tell that it's well-blended and uses quality ingredients, but it's still a disappointment.

    Basenoters routinely recommend this as the ultimate please-everyone, office-to-dinner scent. I really can't imagine why.

    04 May, 2011

    Gilgamesh2003's avatar

    United States United States

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    Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford

    In a world without Guerlain's Vetiver this would be a spectacular scent. Gray Vetiver reads as a studiously focus-grouped copy of Guerlain's Vetiver. This is good, since the Guerlain fragrance is excellent, but it's also bad because the Tom Ford homage is so conservative and safe.

    Gray Vetiver polishes off some of Guerlain Vetiver's edges and much of its charm. Its vetiver note, which is crystalline and beautiful, fades to a lovely drugstore musk after a few hours, and the scent loses all pretense at sophistication. A very modern, competent vetiver, but not too interesting compared to the great Guerlain.

    04 May, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Xeryus by Givenchy

    Xeryus (vintage)

    I decided to blind buy Xeryus as it used to be the signature fragrance of a really good friend of mine on Fragrantca. What a big surprise!

    Xeryus is a slightly animalic, yet civilized woody fragrance enriched by oakmoss and amber. After the bitter-sour grapefruit opening the cypress note takes over becoming quite dominant in the middle phase of this composition and, together with the sweet woody-ambery drydown made me think about Bertrand Duchafour's Cipresso Di Toscana for the overall "old-perfumery" vibe. Don't let this mislead you because while this composition shows many of the 80's perfumery hallmarks at the same time takes the distance from the powerhouse style with its distinctive "loud-sobriety".

    Xeryus made stronger my belief that in perfumery almost everything has been already invented. A fragrance that we all need to re-discover as it's still tremendously wearable.

    04 May, 2011

    Francop's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Nina (new) by Nina Ricci

    Lovely sweet fruity toffee and apple notes in a light girly spring scent; give this a try when you want to feel young and carefree...

    Average longevity.

    Big thumbs up...!

    04 May, 2011

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Derring-Do for Men by Ineke

    I am not a big fan of aquatics. They have their place, and I find myself using them most when it's very hot, in weather conditions that would have the rest of my wardrobe choking me out. That said, Derring-Do was an unexpected and pleasant surprise! I liked it at first, and it's only grown on me with every subsequent testing or wearing. Yes, it starts off fruity-citrusy, with an obvious aquatic note. But, it's got more body to it than most aquatics. It has a fougere-like oomph to it, and ends in a light, woody, musky, slightly powdery base. Throughout its development there is a stony, almost concrete-like smell or feel that's hard to relate in words. This note or accord brings an air of aloofness or seriousness to what could be an overly light-hearted scent (FWIW, this lack of seriousness is what has ultimately made me tire of Creed's MI). It's an EdP, so unlike most other aquatics, I get good longevity.

    I recently wore this on one arm with Kenzo Homme on the other. Derring-Do easily smelled deeper, richer, more ''natural" (of course), more complex (of course), and lasted longer. The only point at which I preferred Kenzo Homme - and by the slightest margin at that - was in the deep base where Derring-Do still had some sweetness and Kenzo Homme seemed to have a nice, subtle woods, florals, and light spice thing going on. That said, the Kenzo was much too light to smell at that stage from any distance further than nose-on-skin. [Of course, this comparison is not really fair, as they are two different scents in two different styles. I'm sharing the comparison only to give a sense of what Derring-Do smells like as compared to a more familiar standard-bearer.]

    All said, thumbs-up for a well-constructed fragrance, an aquatic with some character and lasting power.

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

    Oproust's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cyprès-Musc by Creed

    I really wanted to like Cypres-Musc. Unfortunately, this fragrance smells like soap. I waited for it to develop and still, soap. I asked my wife, "What does this smell like to you?" She said, "Ivory soap." To my nose, case closed. I can't recommend this one.

    04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 14 May, 2011)

    Everlasting Pea's avatar

    United States United States

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    Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris

    My impression: It's like stumbling into an old smoky out-of-the way bar on the wrong side of town on the Florida coast. It's real blues and caramel colored bourbon, straight up in a whisky stained coffee cup. There's an unexpected whiff of espresso brewing in the back. Shadowy figures sway to a voice like rough honey. It's the music of Ebor City. Someone lights up a Cuban, its sweet mild smoke mixes with the salty air from the gulf on some warm summer night on the wrong side of town.

    04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 17 May, 2011)

    Lovescully's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    As many have said before me, Rive Gauche Pour Homme has a strong 'barbershop’ characteristic that gives this fragrance a unique combination of an old world kind of charm mixed with a modern fresh quality.

    Whenever I smell it, it immediately takes me back to when I was very young. I’d be watching my father getting a shave and haircut at the local barber shop, in the middle of the Australian Summer, with only one small ceiling fan to ward of the heat. It has a certain strong manly quality that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s not sweat or body odour, but more like the overall smell of the barbershop mixed with my father’s clean shaven skin after these encounters.

    Somehow this classic combination of spices and herbs provokes this strong feeling of nostalgia, yet still manages to offer (in my humble opinion) a very versatile and modern choice for anyone looking to feel clean and refreshed, while still noticeably perfumed.

    I absolutely love how this makes me feel; classy, distinguished, sophisticated and a bit daring. Sillage and longevity are pretty outstanding. My verdict is a great big two thumbs up.

    Update: After repeated wearings (I can't seem to get enought of this!) Rive Gauche pour Homme has now taken over Davidoff's Zino as my signature fragrance. I will never be without a bottle of this gorgeous fragrance in my wardrobe!

    04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 27 July, 2011)

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

    Lolita Lempicka is often identified as one of the post–Angel issue. The first of Angel’s progeny, many of which would follow. Most of those would be defined as cotton candy + something loud, the loud usually being a harsh floral note or an enormous but simple fruity note. While this group of followers can be considered imitators, they mostly don’t fall into the same (sub?)genre as Angel, one I call unresolved gourmands, or fragrances with a food element combined with something that makes them appear simultaneously edible and poison. A great trick, and one that Angel pulls off exquisitely, but one that most of the followers miss by being strictly gourmand, and purely dessert at that.

    I understand the line from Angel to LL, and it has to do with corresponding philosophies of construction, but the wonder of LL is that it gives you something qualitatively distinct from Angel. Despite a similar combination of florals with patchouli and other fruit and woody elements, to my nose LL is not gourmand. It is a sweet, woody perfume, like a viscous play on the sweet, sheer wood of Chanel’s Egoiste. While Angel’s first and virtually only state is dissonance, LL puts dissimilar elements together toward one rich accord. The floral notes, particularly iris and violet, bring together the other ingredients in an interesting fashion. The cool iris ties to the licorice, and the violet ties to a somewhat herbal green feel that connects it by extension to a fruity sweetness. Despite licorice and a fruit note, though, LL doesn’t seem come off something to eat. What I’ve seen identified as an ivy note combines cool and green, falling in line with both the iris and violet notes. Two points on similarity of construction yet difference in tone: 1) in LL, patchouli gives a gummy sweetness, but not Angel’s mothball/poison blast, 2) although sweet from a number of angles (licorice, musk, fruit), there’s no cotton-candy in LL. LL winds up cool and comfortable as opposed to the shrieking avenging Angel.

    (Angel is so bombastic that I find it easy simply to characterize it. On the record, I both admire and enjoy Angel.)

    LL hints at its gourmand-era origins but doesn’t land in cohort-lockstep with the post-Angels. If I haven’t really made the point, LL is a gorgeous and utterly charming fragrance. Also, my friend Aleli wears it and she’s wonderful.

    04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 25 August, 2011)

    magali's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    L'Air du Printemps by Nina Ricci

    As this is my first review, people are going to think I am a grouch. I love L'Air du Temps so I bought L'air du Printemps without even trying it... I will never ever do this again. As much as i love the original, this one (I am sorry to say) just stinks. Literally... I like bold scents (usually wear Guerlain or Dior) but this is not bold... it is in your face. It's hard to describe as I am not a professional but to me it smells highly artificial and sweet and definitely cheap. Basically, I don't think it will hit the shelves again in a hurry.

    Maybe I was in a bad mood but actually it's quite OK. I tried it again in the winter and it certainly works much better. Smells less sweet and artificial. Just shows it can be very subjective. I would not wear it on a hot day though. I think it exacerbates its bad qualities. Not a patch on the original but it could be ok in small doses.

    04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 25 February, 2012)

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dior Homme Sport (original) by Christian Dior

    One of the best "sport" fragrances you can buy. Really this is an insult to this fragrance. It's one of the best summer designer fragrances on the market. If you don't like lemons and/or ginger then avoid this fragrance, because it's loaded with both. Again, the quality is evident. It's a bit harsh with the lemon in the opening, but I enjoy it. DHS is one of those fragrances that you can just put on an go. What makes it exceptional is that it's a "sport" fragrance that doesn't skim on anything. From the top to the dry down it's enjoyable and actually lasts throughout the day which is a rarity for this kind of fragrance. I've also tried the reformulation and it's also fantastic. I prefer the vintage because I enjoy the huge burst of citrus, but both are full bottle worthy. If your looking for a high quality summer fragrance or a go to signature scent for work then look no further.

    04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 January, 2013)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre d'Orange

    After the quite conventional citrus / bergamot opening, Je Suis Un Homme turns to a classic bitter animalic leather frag with a slight modern twist. Maybe not what you would expect by one of the most controversial brand ever but yet a very interesting composition with an impeccable touch of class. Recommended!

    Je Suis Ce Que Je Suis.

    06 May, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

    As an incense fragrances lover I had to test Black Cashmere and I got totally satisfied. If you ever wondered about designer's fragrances that smell like niche you have to test this marvellous composition by Rodrigo Flores-Roux. A distinctive and very elegant blend of frankincense and spices (clove) on a delicate floral accord of incredible beauty. Stark yet friendly. A perfect unisex fragrance that comfortably seats next to expensier up-market releases and niche's cult compositions. Dark, mysterious, intriguing and intoxicating.

    I still have to make up my mind on the packaging / bottle, but this is part of the Black Cashmere's mysterious game.

    06 May, 2011

    nezdelacoreé's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    Les Belles de Ricci - Amour d'Amandier / Almond Amour by Nina Ricci

    I used to wear this in my early twenties, but when I finished my bottle off, I never restocked, because at 25, I had decided that I was already too old for it. In a hot, claustrophobic nightclub, it is certainly a breath of fresh air, but it definitely has too adorable a personality for everyday usage. It's a gin and tonic with a double shot of almond syrup, and it's LOUD. Goes best with glittery liquid eyeliner, taxi rides home that are so late they're early, and your smallest purse. There are some fragrances that I can admire without liking; unquestionably, this is one that I like without admiring.

    06 May, 2011

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Santos by Cartier

    I'm not one to complain about reformulations, but Cartier really disemboweled Santos when it changed the formula. I remember this being a rich, dark and complex old school fragrance, but now we have a weak, watered down, spare and dull woody chypre with poor sillage and very little character.

    Santos is certainly not terrible, and the dirty, dusty smell underlying the fragrance is still present. The problem is that there's so little "meat" to this fragrance, and it comes across as an overly simplified, lifeless wood and citrus scent with an animalic touch. It just smells flat.

    I'm satisfied with most reformulations of fragrances, but Cartier has managed to suck the life right out of Santos, leaving us with a pretty boring scent. Don't waste your money on this.

    MY RATING: 6/10

    06 May, 2011

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Burberry Sport Ice for Men by Burberry

    LAME. Another boring grapefruit/ginger fragrance with some calone added. Lasts about an hour on my skin. Or maybe, it was me that lasted an hour before I dozed off....

    06 May, 2011

    Showing 121 to 150 of 905.