Fragrance Reviews from May 2011

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    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

    A masculine floral of the highest caliber, The Third Man recalls Ungaro II and Tiffany for Men with its various floral qualities similar to the powderiness of Tiffany for Men and the floral/civet elements of Ungaro II. I prefer The Third Man, however, as I find it smoother and more accessible than Tiffany and Ungaro, because it's not as powdery and not as subtly fecal. The Third Man also has a smooth "masculine" note thrown in, giving it a certain warmth. Probably the lavender. This makes it warmer and more approachable than Ungaro II, as well, while Ungaro II seems cold and dissociative (not knocking on Ungaro II lovers; it just ain't for me). Tiffany for Men is good, but I can only wear it once in a while do to it being so powdery.

    Granted, The Third Man is not for everyone - it's still a wee bit powdery, but as it dries down it gets better and better. I think every guy with a Basenotes-worthy interest in fragrances should try The Third Man at least once to get an idea of what a quality masculine floral is (along with Ténéré by Paco Rabanne, Tiffany for Men, and Insensé by Givenchy).

    Projection and longevity are very good - this is a great fragrance for a formal occasion, and a great fragrance in general! It's unique and smells kinda..... "pink"! Haha.

    06th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 07th May, 2011)

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    I was all set to add to the hate. In fact, I purchased a small bottle some time ago and had put it in my "to get rid of" line. At first wearing it seemed generic and dull as many others have noted. I decided to go back and wear each of the "losers" once more before I jettisoned them.

    Wearing La Nuit once again, I was confronted at the top with the same sense of disappointment. The first hour or so is not well-constructed. The notes are incongruous and clashing - cheap woods and cheap sweetness. Yes, this one is a loser...but then, the drydown came.

    As I've mentioned in other reviews, heavy sweetness of the vanilla/amber variety is generally a no-no for me. I either smell like a cupcake (Royal Secret for Men) or a blondie (Pour Un Homme). Lazy, uncreative perfume lines lean on the Mrs. Fields ingredient list too often these days.

    Surprised, then, was I when the sweetness of La Nuit was not cloying. There was enough wood and spice to temper the sugar. It even began to smell pleasant and improved as the day (or La Nuit) went on with 12-plus hours of longevity. One of the main issues with high-volume vanilla sweetness is that it smells cheap. Somehow, I find La Nuit de L'Homme to avoid this and to smell more like Musc Ravageur or Lonestar Memories than Vanilla Fields. I still can't say I love this or even like it especially, but it's not as horrible as some are making it. I suspect that many Musc Ravageur lovers scoff at this. They shouldn't.

    06th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th August, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Phileas by Nina Ricci

    This is a rare gem! A sadly discontinued fragrance of immense beauty. Phileas is quite a complex composition that opens with a considerable amount of aldehydes, citruses and juniper for an overall effect that is at the same time stark, freshly-green and almost powdery/soapy. Patchouli rapidly makes its appearance joined by other spices (a light cinnamon), coniferous notes, leather and tobacco. In this phase Phileas reaches its peak of beauty with its perfect balance between the classic powerhouse style and an incredibly sophisticated elegance. In the drydown I get a lot of resinous notes (labdanum), pine (again), and a subtle cedarwood laying on a slightly metallic amber. Compelling and unique.



    This is a very hard to find fragrance, so if you're lucky enough to find it, don't miss the chance to get it. Complex and definitely overlooked.

    A masterpiece.

    06th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 14th February, 2012)

    HDD8's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Kiton Men by Kiton

    This is ok...not spectacular by any means. A very pleasant, lightweight scent; ideal for warmer spring or summer days. This has been put together with good quality ingredients - that's obvious.
    I initially felt that this one stays close to the skin, but wearing it to work today, I was complimented by a colleague. She also said that it smelled good quality.

    06th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 13th June, 2012)

    bugsyiii's avatar

    United States United States

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    Erolfa by Creed

    Wonderful fragrance!!!! Erolfa opens with an oceanic aroma and then, and oh then does this turn into something nice. Neiman Marcus sent this to me as a sample and boy was I hooked!!! Erolfa does lean towards Imperial and GIT, yet it is somewhere caught in the middle. I love this fragrance, can't wait for the body wash to get here so that l can use both to allow the fragrance to last longer. Don't get me wrong, I sprayed (1 sprits) on my hand and that was 3 hours ago and I still get a great whiff of this great stuff. I just like smell this stuff!!!!

    07th May, 2011

    mrcologneguy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Green Valley by Creed

    I get strong, vivid images of fresh cut grass, wildflowers, a sunny day on a hillside pasture. What's not to love? It's an amazing spring/summer scent. Works well at other times of the year too, when you want a flashback to a beautiful spring day. Rumored to be discontinued, I can only say pounce on it immediately. It's a very good investment, even if you just want to use it all up in the next few months. Easily one of my all time favorite spring/summer scents.

    07th May, 2011

    HazelMae's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

    The mandarin just glows and the lime-basil lends interest. This is an incredible mood-lifter for me.

    On a humid, muggy day, for about 15 minutes I feel like a Thai yum tofu salad but then it passes. For some reason I don't register this aspect when it's not humid. So yes, the basil is very prominent here. It's not vaguely herbal, it's unmistakably basil.

    I had halfway-decent longevity and it was much better than other Jo Malones I've tried with seem to disappear almost instantly. For me this lasts about three hours and then leaves a faint shadow of itself for the rest of the day.

    07th May, 2011

    Uenoparker's avatar

    United States United States

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    Yerbamate by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Yerbamate opens brilliantly with green notes that distinguish it from many other "green" scents (think Creed GIT or GV, or PdN Vetiver). But the green notes vanish within 15-20 minutes morphing inexplicably into something akin to PdN New York or Caron 3rd Man. I was interested in the first 15 minutes, but I don't need another sweet powdery scent, so this one gets a pass.

    07th May, 2011

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Alt-Innsbruck Eau de Cologne by Alt-Innsbruck

    Alt-Innsbruck is a classic 1950s Austrian gentleman's barbershop scent with all the trimmings. First, for the relative affordability, the quality of all natural ingredients is exquisite and holds it weight with some top contenders like Creed's Vintage Tabarome though the former is deeper, more complex, and more regal. Alt-Innsbruck is a simple concoction of water, alcohol, tobacco, and menthol. If one uses it as an aftershave, the menthol blast in the opening is quite apparent. Then the scent dries to a nice sweet, cigar, tobacco scent far removed from the vapors of the smoke. Very good and now available from select vendors in North America. Buy it before it disappears. Things this good never last. True Austrian quality from 1953.

    07th May, 2011

    Rashkae's avatar



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    Burberry Sport Ice for Men by Burberry

    I thought this would be interesting since I live in very hot and humid climes... I wanted something cool, refreshing, that would smell good while keeping me refreshed. I had all the wrong expectations I guess. This juice was bad, and the smell was nostril-piercing. I resisted the urge to wash it off with a brillo-pad and waited for the drydown, which was moderately alright, but a far cry from what I expected from Burberry.

    07th May, 2011

    Mysticman's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mambo for Men by Liz Claiborne

    A sadly misnamed scent. Mambo is one of the strongest and most disctinctive rhythms in Afro-Caribbean music, but this scent barely makes it past bland --- much more Muzak than Mambo. It's pleasantly citrusy with a touch of green, mellowing into an indistinct ambery background. The whole composition fades rather quickly, leaving only an indistinct memory of a rather generic warm citrusy glow. Pleasant enough, but highly forgettable.

    07th May, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    First of all don't let the name Body Kouros misleading you. This composition has absolutely nothing to do with Kouros besides the fact that they're both great fragrances. A well refined, magistrally balanced and incredibly wearable anisette / liquorice scent and a great alternative to the ones of you that can't stand Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin's exasperating power. Recommended.

    07th May, 2011

    WildThingy's avatar

    Cyprus Cyprus

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    APOM pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    A bit boring. To me it feels like a combination of a calone/vetiveryl driven 'aquatic' fresh idea in the middle notes and a 'balsamic' base. The top relies on the contrast and seems luxurious, refined and all. Alas, to my nose it decomposed after an hour, while the aquatic thing radiates too much to be pleasent. Technically it may be a more than just o/k frag - at least for the first 40minutes. But it doesn't live up the price, the promised exclusivity and hence the generated expectations. Generic bourgeouis - won't come back to it. Like to enjoy ELdOs Nombril Immense instead for a sixth of the price.

    07th May, 2011

    WardrobeMistress's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Frankincense & Myrrh by Czech & Speake

    Well for starters I don't associate this with Christmas! Having said that I will concede that this is a fabulous winter snuggle-scent.

    Soft, snuggly and smokey with a refined powdery drydown that reminds me a little of lavender and chamomile baby talc mixed with some (and I mean this positively!)past-its-use-by-date dried sage that you might find in the back of the kitchen cupboard. I find very little citrus here which is surprising as lemon notes usually project loudly on my skin. The frankincense is very enjoyable and never tips over into that slightly medicinal smell.

    Sillage is discreet, I find this one wears quite close to the skin, but my oh my, it's special. Again and again I find myself raising my wrist to my nose.

    A cold winters night with a crackling fire, a slightly rough tartan wool blanket and a hot toddy. Oh yes. A full bottle is calling....


    07th May, 2011

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    Alluring by Boadicea the Victorious

    More and more I seem to be pulling my first impressions and replacing them. Alluring is still a nice fragrance, but what I pick up a month later is a 'pine' note.

    'Precious woods' is listed, and it must include cedar and/or eucalyptus. I would give Alluring 5 stars if it came without this, because now I find it rattles the nose.

    Dry down is dusty, as advertised. I think this wears better in humid weather (my first wearing was during the bay area's wet season). This setting amplifies the fruit, which I found so lucious.

    Now I'm wearing it during our dry climate, and thus, it's more reedy. I like how some reviewers have brought up a 'vintage edge'. I agree, and I'm reminded of Sonoma Scent's Vintage Rose.

    Do I still like Alluring? Yes, but it has slipped off my 'consider buying' list for now.

    07th May, 2011

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Wild Aoud by Montale

    Aoud based scents normally ever grab my attention or gets praise but this stuff is certainly approachable. Straying away from the rosy death I usually receive from most aouds (which I don't like), I get more of a vibrant woodsy, absinthe fizziness with a slightly fruity touch. I can't ignore the fact that almost every scent Montale makes is aoud aoud aoud oaud aoud oaudoudaoudd agh jeez just stop with them already! Anyways, a fairly decent fragrance.

    07th May, 2011

    calnadur's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    Les Elixirs Charnels - Oriental Brûlant by Guerlain

    This is a fascinating one.
    The official review by Guerlain presents this as an "intoxicating and animal essence" for an "erotic and daring woman". I agree with the "intoxicating" nature of this fragrance and while I see that it could also inspire some "animal" or "erotic" impression, the great virtue of the scent is that it is very classy and elegant throughout its life. Mind you, classy doen not mean classic/boring/standard here. Quite the opposite, there is something pretty daring to it. All the more if you are a guy and like wearing this..
    Sure a price tage of about $250 may make you hesitate a little, but the experience is a rewarding one.

    07th May, 2011

    blah114's avatar



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    Angels of Florence by Santa Maria Novella

    from a male POV.. I know a woman who has this.. I know her well.. this fragrance is simply PURE CLASS.. suitable for ALL occassions.. winter, summer.. it's a daywear frag.. an evening frag.. by far SMN's best female fragrance.. it's modern and old at the same time, lasts a lone time.. and smells amazing on a woman. It's sexy without being "clubbish.." it's a lot of different things.. it's unassuming as well.. a beautifully crafted fragrance..

    07th May, 2011

    Lovescully's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    A*Men Pure Coffee by Thierry Mugler

    I didn't like this nearly as much as I had anticipated. I really adore the smell of coffee, but I like it black and strong. This on the other hand smells much more like a sweet milky coffee latte'.

    I know I'm in the minority, but I actually prefer BMen over AMen. It's darker and less sweet. I think that's what I was hoping for with this. A rich, dark and true coffee smell, with a hint of AMen. Unfortunately, here in Australia there's no opportunity to test flankers like this as they rarely even get sold here. If I really wanted it (& I did) I was left with little choice but to blind buy this based on the mostly positive reviews.

    Don't get me wrong it's a pleasant enough smell, but not nearly worth the money I paid to track this down and finally get my hands on a full bottle. Longevity and sillage seem to be an issue as well. The actual sweet coffee note doesn't last too long and overall I really couldn't detect much more than a skin scent after a few hours.

    Not deserving of a thumbs down, but doesn't quite get there for me to give it a thumbs up.

    07th May, 2011

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

    Here's a fragrance that makes me question my perceptions. What I am smelling in The Third Man is not what most of the other reviewers are smelling. Strong citrus? I don't get more than a passing whiff at the top. Super sweet? Not from the bottle I used. There is a mild vanilla at the far end of the drydown but it's not cloying at all, and I typically don't enjoy vanilla. For the bulk of the first 5 or 6 hours the sweetness is way, way in the background.

    I get floral but I don't find this girly or bee-sirening. The lavender so many are noticing is hiding somewhere, because it isn't on my skin after the first half hour, and until then it's mingling in the crowd.

    I get mostly a spicy, smoky and woody fragrance overlaying a floral skeleton. It's closer to a Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree without the citrus than, say, Caron Pour Un Homme. Or maybe I'm nuts. It's similar enough to other things that I probably won't be buying a full bottle but I don't agree with those who find it cheap and cloying.

    07th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 23rd September, 2011)

    Words's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

    Drakkar Noir deserves it's own 80's John Hughes film. One spray and it takes you back to Sixteen Candles & Cyndi Lauper on the radio. The first word out of my girlfriend's mouth when smelling DN for the first time? Sexy. One spray will do it, a max of 2. Just dont go overboard, even with the recent toned-down version. I love spritzing this stuff on a breezy Summer night, the wind catches it just right and it's heaven.

    07th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 15th January, 2013)

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Womanity by Thierry Mugler

    Womanity feels like Thierry Mugler was succumbing to the pressure of pissing too many people off with Angel and A*Men. There's some hints at Angel in Womanity deep in the fragrance somewhere, but this is an utterly mainstream and rather dull fragrance.

    If Polo Black were made for women, I'll bet it would smell a lot like Womanity. Basically this is a fluffy, pink-smelling patchouli and fig fragrance with a very chemical marine smell in the background which poisons the whole fragrance by giving it a very synthetic feel. Womanity smells sweet, aromatic and sexy at first, but after about 20 minutes, the Calone becomes prominent and makes Womanity smell like wet cardboard.

    Not a terrible scent, but not very good either. This is pretty boring stuff for Mugler. I don't like this scent.

    MY RATING: 5/10

    08th May, 2011

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Angel by Thierry Mugler

    I have a hard time understanding why Angel is a love-it or hate-it scent, because I can't imagine anyone not loving it.

    This is a fragrance for women who aren't afraid to flaunt their femininity, and don't care whether you like it or not. Angel is raging feminine sexuality, grabbing you by your hair and pulling you in. I get weak at the knees any time the smell of Angel is nearby.

    If you're going to wear Angel, at least do it right. In other words, don't wear this discreetly. Angel is strong and it's loud, and it should be worn that way. Spray it in your hair for maximum sillage and allure.

    This isn't a perfume. It's a potion.

    MY RATING: 10/10

    08th May, 2011

    JubliantUvula's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tibetan Mountain Temple by Pacifica

    I smelled incense and citrus at the top which turned into BUBBLEGUM! Which proves there's a fine line between incense and bubblegum?!?!

    08th May, 2011

    glitteralex's avatar

    United States United States

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    Version Originale by Jean-Marc Sinan

    Having been a fan of the original JMS for Women for many years, I decided this was worth a sampling. I just received a vintage bottle of this courtesy of eBay, an edt tester with natural spray.

    Aside from some deteriorated topnotes and a huge whiff of alcohol, due to the bottle's age, this has to be one of the more exemplary men's scents I have tried. It is quite 80s, a rich floral chypre with a masculine twist. The first thing that I noticed was an overripe lemon, then Ylang-Ylang, and lots of it. Luckily, the potential black banana tendency of Y-Y is balanced out very quickly by a classic rose/jasmine heart, accented by spicy carnation. It immediately brought to mind the iconic l'Arte de Gucci, which I enjoy in the edp. This is all wrapped in an incense/resin (maybe the Benjamin I love in Caron's Pour un Femme?) and plopped atop a warm patchouli base. There is also a an animalic salty note which makes this a very sexy scent as well. The drydown is a warm, dry sandalwood. Sillage is outrageous and longevity excellent. The quality of the ingredients is superb, and many are natural, is my guess. The transition from 70s patchouli to this is not so far...

    The thing I appreciate most about V.O. is the unabashed use of florals in a masculine. Although V.O. is not particularly mossy, the patchouli allows it *technically* to be classified as a Chypre...although in my mind, it is more of a masculine Floriental. Easily worn by either sex, this is a beautiful scent.

    Compare to l'Arte de Gucci, by Gucci Pour un Femme by Caron, Jean Patou 1000, and Boss Spirit by Hugo Boss. Notes per FragranceX are:

    ".... a mixture of lemon, pepper, lavender, jasmine, rose, carnation, lily of the valley, cedar, tonka, musk, and sandal."

    V.O. is discontinued but has not been counterfeited, and can easily be found on eBay and other auction sites. Given the age, though, the potential for a damaged notes must be weighed against the cost of approximately $2/ml.

    08th May, 2011

    iodine's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Nuit de Tubéreuse by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I recently discovered that tuberose is one of my favourite floral notes, though not always an easy one to wear. Duchaufour’s take on tuberose leaves me a bit puzzled- I love its spiciness, its earthiness, its somehow metallic undertone, its fruity facets and the leanness of the flower itself, devoided of the opulence, creaminess and carnality of most tuberose scents. I find it, as most of BD fragrances, clever, cerebral and smart. But, as it also often happens with some of them, in the drydown something highly synthetic and cold arises, an aloofness that detatches the scent from my skin and make me feel it a bit… alien. In conclusion I admire it more than I like to wear it, so I give it neutral.

    08th May, 2011

    actiasluna's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Russe by Crown Perfumery

    This was marketed as a masculine but to me it's more along the lines of a unisex (this time really... I find many scents marketed to one gender or the other unisex but this one is definitely unisex, it has no "gender-specific hit" to my nose). I think it actually reminds me of a Guerlain in its construction and it's somewhere between Jicky and L'Heure Bleue on my skin. The overall impression does have a "leather" effect but it doesn't smell like leather... if that makes any sense at all!

    It's a pity that the Crowns are all discontinued, but as of this writing some of them emerged on a few online sites and are being snapped up like crazy by those in the know.

    08th May, 2011

    calnadur's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    Arsène Lupin Voyou by Guerlain

    Looking for a woody scent, I stepped into Voyou - the bottle frame does a good job at tricking you - I must say..

    But after a not so unpleasant 10 second initial impression, what stayed on my skin for the rest of the day (because you have to admit this thing has unfortunately quite some longevity..) was just an unbearable sweetness..was it the sandalwood, the benzoin, both? I'm not sure, sure thing is..never again..

    08th May, 2011

    Mr-Scratch-N-Sniff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chrome by Azzaro

    Classy, elegant, sophisticated; Certaily not.... But it is unique, versatile, and inexpensive. Inoffensive and easily a compliment getter. Above average projection and longevity. I just dont find it very complex or exciting.

    08th May, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Aventus by Creed

    I know I'm gonna swim against the stream but I think that Aventus it's just another overpriced and overhyped fragrance by the guys at Creed. I generally love Pineapple in fragrances but Aventus fruity / bergamot opening is pretty conventional and not so well executed (If you like Pineapple try Biehl AL3). In the middle phase things get a little better with a slightly harsh and dusty flowery accord that lasts for a couple of hours. Then be prepared (again) for a conventional musky drydown.

    Aventus is introduced as a "Provocative, masculine and optimistic fragrance" but I find it quite generic and a bit conventional. Overall Aventus is fine but for $250 you can have way much better fragrances, believe me!

    08th May, 2011

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