Fragrance Reviews from July 2011

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    yoyo's avatar



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    Armani Attitude by Giorgio Armani

    Soapy, spicy, sweet, with a hint of incense. Smells like a sweet version of Azzaro Visit.

    15 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 23 July, 2011)

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Déclaration by Cartier

    I really wanted to like this one, as I am a huge Terre d'Hermes fan so when I heard this was made by Jean-Claude Ellena I was quite excited. Unfortunately the initial excitement yielded to stark reality rather quickly...

    Declaration starts off very clean with its top notes, but to me, at least, this one develops quickly into a cardamom/cumin fest for the duration. I would have to say the overall accord reminds me of Crayola crayons mixed with BO... NOT a scent I would want to be around anyone else with (nor myself, for that matter). Certainly well made, but not for me at all. Longevity was average on my skin (wish it were briefer to be honest) as was projection. 1.5 to 2 stars out of 5.

    15 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 January, 2013)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Myrrhae by L'Erbolario


    Interesting sacramental blend of incense and myrrh full of spirituality. Classic and rinascimental. I  detect the note of ginger barely perceivable in the dust and i smell a woodsy undertone in the air. Nice but not structured, all is hidden in a smoky sweety dust. Onedimentional and a bit too sweet.

    16 July, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Rien is a leather, yes, but what constitutes a leather note in perfumery is often vague. ‘Floral’ and ‘woody’ are broad categories as well. Yet we make distinctions in florals (by species: jasmine, tuberose, lily; descriptively: bright, orchestral, indolic) and woods (by tree: sandlewood, cedar, birch; qualitatively: grassy, earthy, milky.) Even a genre as vague as ‘green’ lets us specify by ingredient (galbanum, neroli, vetiver) and by attribute (fruity, resinous, bitter.) For leathers, we might point to the ingredients of rectified birch tar or isoquinolones, but in general we’re usually just loosely descriptive, often to the point of obscurity. Smokey, tarry, rubbery, ‘like the inside of a purse,’ suede-like. Suede-like? We might as well say carpet-like. Evocative, yes, but this terminology doesn’t give us a lot of analytical range.

    What are the actual differences in the leather characteristics of Knize Ten, Cuir de Russie, Carillon pour un Ange, Azurée, Habit Rouge? I have no answers, but am curious.

    But Rien is a bit different. It uses a combination of ingredients that each gives a slightly different angle on the qualities of dryness, dustiness, inkiness, metal, bitterness. It suggests the scent of a thick leather motorcycle jacket. Incense, cistus, cumin, styrax, aldehydes. Find the wrong angle on any of these components and Rien could have been a muddle if not a mess. As it turns out, though, (and here I fall prey to dim descriptions of the leather genre) Rien is a gorgeous, sharp, harsh leather. Distinctive, striking, beautiful? Utterly. Pretty, cozy, something Sephora has trained its customers to like? Not by a long shot.

    Etat Libre d’Orange doesn’t target the mainstream perfume buyer, and thus avoids the sort of fragrance that a good few might like and an even larger number won’t actually mind. For the complaints, valid or not, leveled against niche perfumery (pretension, dilettante exclusivity, smugness) Rien is a beautiful example of the effectiveness of a well-curated line and risk-taking. In addition, it is no more expensive than many designer releases.

    Rien is a terrific perfume, and perhaps more importantly, an example of a creative, successful strategy by a niche house.

    16 July, 2011

    jungleshade's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    Smells great, great longevity, women like it. Thumbs up for sure. There is a syntheticness about it, but not in a that turns me off.
    It is not my favourite but I am glad I have this in my collection.

    16 July, 2011

    Red Theodora's avatar

    United States United States

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    L by Lolita Lempicka

    Firstly, I understand all the notes of this perfume except for "solar notes". I wasn't aware that the sun had a scent. Unless maybe it's the scent of sun shining on something. Well, whatever the sun is shining on in L it's extremely good.
    Plus, the bitter orange, cinnamon, and vanilla accord reminds me of an orange-glazed cinnamon roll. Yummy!

    16 July, 2011

    jungleshade's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Givenchy Play Intense by Givenchy

    I really like this one, a bit synthetic, but I am still regreting buying the 50ml instead of a larger bottle. Great scent, and I think this is a versatile cologne for the fall/winter. Can be worn casually, at the office, or for a date.
    Sprays nicely, and it is unique in my collection.

    16 July, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Patchouli Intense / Patchouli Homme by Nicolaï

    I like this scent, and that surprised me because usually I am not a fan of patchouli. Some have said that this is a scent for non-fans of patchouli, I guess that is true for me.
    Like others, I find this to be an old-school scent, and I find it very charming and classy. The strong opening of lavender is attractive. Spicy green herbal notes take centre stage, and for me they remain at the centre.
    In fact, I think the strength of this scent is the dominant laurel or bay leaf note. Some have commented on the barbershop aspect, and the bay rhum chord certainly is well represented.
    The scent is powerful but not oppressive; hints at sweetness and richness but actually is very dry. The patchouli is very restrained and elegant. The vanilla is so much in the background that I can approve of it.
    Those who like CdG Laurel or Profumum's Victrix should check this out for the laurel note. Another great green dusky/earthy scent -- it is quite compelling.

    16 July, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Guerlain Homme L'Eau by Guerlain

    A more citrusy, watery version of the original (look at my review) with a surpricing high projection in the air and a very refreshing lasting temperament. This version hardly becomes finally powdery and projects a more fruity and less rum flavoured wake with a decidedly toned down addition of soapy elements. L'Eau, as already underlined, owns that "guerlinade" temperament that sublimates the smell and has the structure of the cologne with its more notable bergamot and mint, the faint presence of amber-benzoin and a more remarkable role of citrus and grapefruit. This version prolongs almost till the end of the development that sharp, minty and citrusy initial freshness of the regular version that was my favourite part of its evolution. Nice citrus scent.

    16 July, 2011

    Niccolo's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Sélection Verte by Creed

    The best way I can describe this is like a Grandfather's cologne with a minty/citrus edge. Definite sweet-pea permeates through the whole fragrance from beginning to end. You can tell that this is made from quality ingredients, each one complimenting the next beautifully. It holds for a long time without losing that "fresh" smell.
    While not particularly unique, this is a high-quality fragrance!

    16 July, 2011

    scentpacking's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Aoud Lime by Montale

    Starts off with a very medicinal explosion which settles down within the hour to a fabulous rose and lime -like smokey scent . By the second hour its in to its stride and keeps the pace up over the next umpteen hours . i appliedd 2 sprays just over 9 hours ago and i can still smell it wafting up quite clearly . Very unusual indeed . It doesnt evolve much on my skin but thats just fine as i love the smell i get. It stays mildly medicinal ( medicated elastoplast-ish) throughout its long run with the rose et al taking the forefront . Would i buy a full bottle ? ....Oh look i already have ! . Love it

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 17 July, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Antihéros by Etat Libre d'Orange

    A very strong (and unmistakeable) lavender opening with a slight sopay vibe joined by white musk and hints of woods in the drydown. During this phase Antiheros is very comfortable and discreet yet remarkably present. Simple, honest and maybe unoriginal but still head and shoulders above the average quality of today's perfumery. A nice easy wear for a (not too) casual day.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 August, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d'Orange

    The concept behind Delicious Closet Queen is the one of a feminine fragrance built to be wore by men who aren't afraid to show their feminine side. It sounded quite challenging/intriguing to me and when I found a 50ml bottle of this composition for 10 euros (no kidding) at a special sale they were doing at La Fayette in Berlin, I blind bought it right away.

    This stuff opens cheekily chemical with a sort of rawsberry bubblegum note that's at the same time horrifying and interesting. Floral patterns, opopnax, hints of leather and green notes join the party giving birth to a sweet (but never too much) and nutty scent laying on a woody/vetiver base. Maybe a bit generic and somehow nondescript but not completely unsuccessful.
    Nothing outstanding or particularly exciting here, but overall Delicious Closet Queen still mantains a slight weirdness feel that can make of it a quite enjoyable fragrance.

    IMO it doesn't worth the full retail price, but if you happen to find it at a bargain price, go ahead as it can be funny.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 August, 2011)

    Red Theodora's avatar

    United States United States

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    Diorissimo by Christian Dior

    I am basing my review on the edt sample of Diorissimo I got from The Perfumed Court. I have never smelled the vintage.
    That said, for the whole ten minutes Diorissimo registered on my skin it was a fine, green muguet. The very essence of fresh springtime. Then on the eleventh minute it faded to nothing. Literally nothing left on my skin. How sad!
    I will at some point sample the vintage and maybe the edp and be happier than I am with this sample.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 19 August, 2011)

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Ambre Sultan is my favorite ‘contemporary’ amber (as opposed to a classic amber such as Shalimar, for instance) by far. Amber can be steered into so many directions: boozy, honeyed, gourmand, resinous, vanillic. The times I’ve smelled pure labdanum resin I’ve been struck by its mineral smell. It smells a bit like warm stones. The dried, dusty herbal quality of AS (oregano, bay, myrtle) is the perfect complement to its flinty tone. While one angle is herbal, it reads as more botanical than strictly culinary. The other is mineral, but both equally enhance the resinousness and keep AS clearly out of the sweet, gourmand range.

    Others have mentioned that AS grows vanillic by drydown and therefore like every other contemporary amber. I get the benzoin and the patchouli, but I find the composition actually grows drier and a bit more bitter as time passes. It replaces the fading culinary feel, taking over its part in labdanum’s narrative, maintaining the dry, matte flintiness through to the rich but low-sillage drydown.

    When I first smelled AS, I could only imagine wearing it in colder weather. Fortunately for me in the 9 months of summer heat in southern California, it absolutely blooms. It’s just delectable on sweaty skin.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 25 August, 2011)

    Galvatron77's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Safari for Men by Ralph Lauren

    For years I smell RL Safari on my brother any time he goes off , for playing saxophone in his jazz band. For the first time I smell it , it really don't take my attention , but a few days ago I gave it a try , and I changed my mind.

    Safari is a sharp leathery green and sophisticated fragrance, I smell the same citrus note of Ungaro III in the background , and the same dark feeling. The same time it is sensual and exotic. Women love it !

    One of the best of all times ! In my opinion =)

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 22 December, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Hungry Hungry Hippies! by Smell Bent

    Some of the Smell Bent compositions smell like fragrances for comics characters. They're funny, colourful and not too serious. Hungry Hungry Hippies could be a scent worn by a character from Gilbert Shelton's The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. It opens with a bizarre chocolate and cannabis combo where the former is leaning towards the cocoa and latter is a tremendously realistic and very resinous interpretation of the dried plant (yes, I smelled it). A strong "head shop" patchouli bends all together in such a bizarre, kinda gourmandic fragrance that's delightfully funny and very nice. Reasonably priced.

    Definitely something not to wear while flying back from Nepal or Morocco, unless you want to get stuck at the customs for a deep inspection.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 13 February, 2012)

    FISS80's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

    I cannot say that I enjoy the initial scent from this fragrance however I really enjoy the dry down, hence the nuetral review. Layers excellent with Black Orchid...
    *Update* great take on a leather based fragrance. My favorite of all the leather fragrances I have tried thus far. Ultimately enjoyable from start to finish.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 March, 2012)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

    In the same vein of the greats Eau de Rochas, Guerlain Vetiver, Eau Sauvage and Eau d'Orange Verte because of its partially successful attempt to rise up a similar geyser of classic exoticism, this masculine woody aromatic is an infamous fragrance that is not so bad to me. Probably this juice is not a sort of original  masterpiece at the same level of the other Guerlains but i don't find  so evanescent the original citrusy accord and i think that the Off Scenter' s cousin Howie must have been plagued by an embarassing  problem  of stinky fat skin (look at the review), probably that was the concern. The middle accord of neroli, cedar, smoothness and vetiver plus subduet bergamot and prickly spices reminds me the one of the Guerlain's Vetiver new formulation (with a reduced dosage of bergamot and hesperides) while the initial exotic astringent mohito accord with lime, mint and orange (but i detect some addition of mango and may be grapefruit), the best part of the juice, is a reminiscence of  the dry and translucent l'Eau d'Orange Verte's refrigerating freshness. Mohito (indeed mint+lime), neroli, bergamot tea and vetiver with an hint of something resinous and creamy as galbanum plus a touch of benzoin may be or simply amber, that's what i smell with its certain level of synthetic temperament. After the first sip of dry-tart alcoholic rum based tropical cocktail  the fragrance slides, passing through an averagely aromatic tea phase, towards something a bit resinous and smooth that becomes powdery and common in its final level, the part i appreciate less (which reminds me a bit Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel Allure editions Blanche and Costume National Homme). There is something bitter-spicy that prickes in the air since the beginning  and may be is a touch of pepper or rhubarb while the powdery final is a sort of silky-soapy woodsy vetiver. The fragrance lasts for few hours as a powdery woodsy ambery scent, may be common but certainly not cloying of disgusting. It's a versatile fragrance for a fresh dynamic day in the warm months. A bit tropical at the beginning It's nice to be worn in white clothed while driving a convertible car. Longevity and sillage are averagely bodied on my skin.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 25 May, 2014)

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de New York by Bond No. 9

    I acquired a bottle of EAU DE NEW YORK after having sampled a vial about a year ago, and I am happy to have done so. This is another example of a Bond no 9 creation that I only wear in hot weather and don't even really like once it gets cold (same story as CENTRAL PARK for me...). But I love this crisp citrus-floral-vetiver come summertime!

    I do not find EAU DE NEW YORK soapy, although it really is very clean. Yet it is not a straightforward citrus cologne, as some might surmise from the top notes. I do aver that it bears similarities to other fragrances, including Banana Republic W, which costs about 1/10th the price. However, EAU DE NEW YORK is definitely richer to my nose, and has much better longevity.

    Upon spritzing this composition on, I immediately experience a rush of citrus-woodiness, but it is much more about petit grain than juicy citrus (grapefruit and mandarin). The basil and verbena contribute a lot here too, and the vetiver is detectable as well. Neroli and lily are also key. All in all, a scrumptious array of notes woven together into a seamless tapestry of scent. I like it a lot and do not consider it overly masculine at all, as one reviewer below suggested. Refreshing!

    17 July, 2011

    menyc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum by Aedes de Venustas

    Nothing more I can add (it's spicy, warm (but bright) incensey and wears close) except that I recently purchased this and the three times I have worn it I have had at least 5 compliments during the day. It's beautiful - yes Avignon (which I love and wear) is a starting point to describe it but I think it's more romantic and sensual.

    17 July, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Guerlain Homme Intense by Guerlain


    The first blast projects basically the same whiff of the original version but with a short duration and a more heavy intensity of rum flavoured by mint, rhubarb, citrus and grapefruit (may be also mango). In few words the best part of the original concoction is reduced in duration and adulterated in substance. The tea-bergamot watery effect  of the middle phase is a dazzle lasting a while before the fragrance slides towards a denser woodsy rounded base of vetiver, cedar and smoky tonka. All the olfactory phases are shorter in the evolution and more amalgamated. The sillage is powerful  but among the different variations (the intense, the original and l'eau) this is the one i less like .

    17 July, 2011

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Musk by Etro

    Etro are known for the flamboyant designs, crazy paisley and Italian flair. Given that CV, Musk is a pretty standard offering. Linear white musk and some wood (maybe sandalwood or guaiac wood) are pretty much the whole show. Lasts only a few hours like a good EdC but unfortunately, it's an EdT (Homer Simpson says, D'oh). That said, there's an allure here to simplicity and harmony. It's fun and light, too. If you can find a substantial discount, then get it. Otherwise, it's not worth the full fare.

    17 July, 2011

    ezequiel91's avatar



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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    For me (and a lot more...), is almost perfect. Maybe the best i`ve ever smelled. Simply can`t understand those who say negative comments... Maybe the best ever, I insist

    17 July, 2011

    ATedK's avatar



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    Skye by Geo F Trumper

    My first sniff of Skye when it arrived in a Trumpers sample pack was a head repulse moment and I returned Skye to the pack. Only, I do hate to waste anything so one night I tried a dab. After the initial blast of cheap feminine (to me) dime store perfume, the scent setttled down and melded with my skin chemistry into a nice pleasant scent. I liked it! yes, it's a short lasting fragrance (4-6 hours total) but it is refreshing during that dry down.

    Ignore those first few minutes and give it a chance. It all depends on your skin chemistry. Though if you're looking for something to last the work day, this one isn't it. Nor would I wear it to a gun show or for that manner any gathering where tools or sports gear are in use.

    17 July, 2011

    tott's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

    Chanel Pour Monsieur is more or less a barebones, elegant chypre; like a muted Mitsouko without the peach. Not particularly exciting, but very pleasant and suitable for any situation.

    Recent formulations appear to be more fleeting, like a classic citrusy eau de cologne, compared to vintages.

    17 July, 2011

    Ralph's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Aramis by Aramis

    I hated this at first.

    Then I tried it again: it was still disgusting - but it was also interesting.

    Now?

    Now I'm in love: it's a superbly pungent, evil, peppery whip-crack of a frag.

    17 July, 2011

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Covet Sarah Jessica Parker by Sarah Jessica Parker

    It took me quite some time to appreciate SJP COVET, which to my nose is a "mystery, wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma" perfume. When I first purchased a bottle (scent unsniffed) a couple of years ago, I was very disappointed and confused. After a single wearing, I relegated the beautiful bottle filled with a strange peridot-colored liquid to the "Mistakes Were Made" shelf of my armoire.

    Months later, when I decided to give this perfume a second chance, I was pleasantly surprised. There was something resiny and complex and enticing about this unorthodox composition. Greens and chocolate and honeysuckle and lavender and lemon and amber? What? Well, yes, somehow they work together very well in this perfume, which in addition to containing better-quality components than are typical for celebrity scents, is also unique. I know of no other perfume similar to SJP COVET.

    Today, on a 91F afternoon with relatively low humidity, I am happy to be able to report that COVET is holding up extraordinarily well and may be even more appealing than I found it to be during the winter. But I should say that it changes radically with all sorts of environmental factors, and therefore defies objective description. Different notes become salient under different conditions. How to convey the beauty of COVET? I think that this is a clear case where words cannot do justice to the perfume. I find it quite compelling and yet too weird too describe. I might say that the chocolate is dominant, but then that sentence would be rendered false (and me, therefore, a liar!) a few seconds later. The notes of COVET wax and wane and undulate in a manner that could only be modeled using a very complex differential equation. Around every corner is a new twist throughout the course of COVET's reasonably lengthy life on my skin.

    Like the perfume, the bottle, too, is unique; smooth and hefty with an odd shape I've not seen before. Even the color of the liquid--perodot--is rare in perfumery and unique in my collection. Happily the color has not degraded or faded since I acquired my bottle two years ago. But the best part of all is that the juice inside continues to smell really great.

    It took some time, but I finally sniffed the splendor and saw the COVET light. COVET is a "challenging" perfume in the way that the films of Werner Herzog are sometimes said to be "challenging". However, COVET is not, for me, at all difficult to wear, now that I've cracked its hard outer shell.

    17 July, 2011

    madwit17's avatar

    United States United States

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    Moustache by Rochas

    Citrus, pine, civet, moss. I think I just need to say no to chypres from now on. I don't like you, chypres. I give up. Some say Rochas Moustache is reminiscent of Eau Sauvage and I can see this. Of course, I don't like Eau Sauvage, either. Too much civet, too old-fashioned (though if you want to evoke this era, there you go). I have my own strategies for smelling faintly of urine, thanks ever so, Rochas.

    I suppose someone could pull it off with some attitude and possibly some layering, maybe the right kind of hat ...admittedly it smells better to me on paper.

    It's not very strong or lasting on me and the drydown is quite tame, so there is a mercy.

    17 July, 2011

    madwit17's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

    At the opening I get a citrus note that walks the line between an elegant sweet lemon and, well, Trix. The cereal. Took me an hour of reapplying and sniffing my arm to place it. Am I alone on this?

    I have a soft spot for cardamom, though, and Chanel Pour Monsieur [EDT] is the only chypre I have smelled so far (masculine or feminine (whatever, Mitsouko, eat your heart out)) that I can at all get behind. When I apply Eau Sauvage or any of his cousins I run for the soap but CPM I find simply subtle (refined), pleasant, and not dated. Unremarkable drydown.

    17 July, 2011

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