Fragrance Reviews from July 2011

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    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    Ah, the mighty Kouros! The fragrance and not the god! Will you ever forgive me for my transgressions? You were certainly not love at first smell or second or fifth. You took me forever and a month to warm up to your animal ways. How could I have ever thought that you were born and lived near a toilet? Blasphemy! The musk/civet that you secrete confused me as I've never came across such a aroma outside a lockerroom. But combined with the cloves, carnation, sage, and oak moss; you smell brilliant. Like an older gentleman rising from sleep on a sunny morning in the long lost days of the 80's. Hard to believe you survived the those days of excess but you still stand tall as ever. I bow down humbly in silence and gratitude.

    26 July, 2011

    Diplomat's avatar

    Venezuela Venezuela

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    Vetiver Brazil by O Boticário

    This one certainly takes some getting used to. Test it first: It is probably not a fragrance that you would want to buy blind.

    I did not find it light at all, and certainly not synthetic or cheap. To my nose it is heavy, very natural, smokey, woody, with a green musty feel.

    It is not my own personal favorite and I rarely wear it, but I inevitably get complimented when I do wear it. In fact, it is probably the one scent which so far has garnered me the most compliments. This is one that I reach for when I am in the mood for something different but not sweet at all.

    26 July, 2011

    Diplomat's avatar

    Venezuela Venezuela

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    Agua Fresca by Adolfo Dominguez

    This is an underrated gem. Love it, and a steal at the price. A wonderful uncomplicated citrus which hints at the more expensive Armani Eau Pour Homme, an all time elegant classic and personal favorite. Agua Fresca also wears like an updated version of Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior.

    26 July, 2011

    MrJones's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Citrus & Wood by Yardley

    This is seriously just Terre d'Hermes EDT 'light'.

    26 July, 2011

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Sandalo by Lorenzo Villoresi

    I find myself agreeing with all the reviewers below, positive, negative and neutral.
    Everytime I wear Sandalo the result is different, some times harsh and crass at other times divine, how much I put on does have an effect, too much and it's "Whoa, easy there big boy!" But when I get it right it's delight.
    There are far better noses than mine to describe the scent itself so I will only add that while I give this a thumbs up, Santal Noble is still King of the Mountain for me.

    26 July, 2011

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Ambre Précieux by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    There are some scents that aren't deserving of their praise but Laporte does for Amber what he did for Sandalwood in Santal Noble, not a bum note or a missed step any where in this scent.
    You may prefer your amber served in a different manner, think of it as a beautiful woman, to say that there is another more attractive across the street is shallow and callous, appreciate the beauty in hand for what it is.

    26 July, 2011

    Derbyman's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Francesco Smalto pour Homme by Francesco Smalto

    This late-eighties gem stands out from the powerhouse crowd with its smoky, oily quality which underpins the fragrance from the breathtaking first blast to the smooth, mellow drydown. The strong, herbal opening is very pleasing with a prominent lavender accord which balances out the smokiness. In time the floral heart shines through and the fragrance becomes deeper, fuller and the leather moves to the front, albeit a rougher, oilier leather than found in the likes of Trussardi or Aramis, and the patchouli emerges also. The drydown is lovely, mossy-leather with the ever present smokiness now much subdued. There's plenty going on here - this is not a one-dimensional beast. Sure, it is a heavy-hitter and lasts 12hrs+ with ease but it's a shapeshifter and there are suprises in every sniff. Absolutely wonderful - a firm favourite.

    26 July, 2011

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    Just imagine for a moment that a scent was a piece of music, No. 5 would to my mind be The Flower Duet by Delibes, now every woman wearing it is hearing the Flower Duet in their mind and they're entranced, floating along lost to the outside world.
    It's lovely but everyone else has to listen to the music too, and just once in a while we'd like to hear something else.
    A great scent but overexposure has dulled it's beauty.

    26 July, 2011

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    New York by Nicolaï

    When I first tried New York, I went Meh!
    I tried and tried and still went Meh!
    As time went on I just got used to it and then I started to look for it, and then quelle horreur my 30ml bottle was more than half empty.......then I had to start rationing... then it was all gone and it's emptiness started to haunt me, how could I not own a full bottle of this masterpiece.
    So I bought one.
    If anyone is looking to niche perfumes for men and needs somewhere to start, this is ideal.

    26 July, 2011

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire

    How to make an incense that doesn't smell like all the any other incense.
    Not happy with the cold stone note of Avignon or Cardinal?
    Don't want to smell like a religious ceremony, Kyoto?
    Don't want to fade into obscurity?
    Don't want it to get lost in a bunch of other notes, Jubilation XXV?
    Do like woody resinous smells?
    Wazamba is my answer.

    26 July, 2011

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Mazzolari Lui by Mazzolari

    Like any perfume over familiarity will breed ennui. Lui deserves all the praise it gets but shouldn't be worn every day.
    All the powerhouse scents grate if they're overused and Lui should be used as a tougher more masculine L'Ombre Fauve. Use with care and discretion for best effect.

    26 July, 2011

    Jack Hunter's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

    I have been on a fragrance joyride with all the notes this one has. It opens with a spicy leather with fruit and truffles. The leather becomes more pronounced as time goes by with a boozy note that is like whisky subtly underpinning the leather. Throughout this other notes like tobacco and woods are weaving in and out of the scent until the leather becomes dominant for a few more hours.

    Then what I loved was the musky vanille basenotes which smelled sensual and sexy on the skin and this stays around for a few more hours until the scent is just a skin scent. I have really enjoyed it as its very masculine and like a symphony of notes blended really well so no individual note overwhelms the others. It reminds me of a classy gentleman's club where you have leather seats and whisky with cigars. And damn those sweet musky leathery vanille basenotes are something to behold. I am really liking this.

    I got about six hours out of this and it has been quite a ride and its just a skin scent now. The sillage is strong but soft if you know what I mean. It stays within your personal space.

    26 July, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Bandit by Robert Piguet

    This is interesting in an old-school, classy aromatic way. The floral notes are attractive, rich and heady. There are sophisticated spices and hints of leather to add intriguing notes. The scent reminds me of Trussardi (White), with its cream florals, spices and leathers. Probably Trussardi copied this original. The scent is not too sweet, a man certainly could wear it. The spices are complex, mysterious and dark. Yet there is also a cool, clear aspect which I associate with clove and which gives a masculine, barbershop aspect. Carnation adds another dimension to the clove. I'll reiterate: this is not a sweet scent. The dry-down is dry, spicy, slightly dirty... and quite intriguing. The musk and patchouli are (thankfully) restrained.

    26 July, 2011

    vilgessuola's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

    I bought this on the strength of Luca Turin's rave review. It starts out smelling like pineapple chunks and a sticky paper bag of kids' sweeties on a hot day, then dries to a pleasant enough fruity freshness which is gone within a couple of hours. Utterly unmemorable stuff in a lovely bottle.

    26 July, 2011

    RobAtSGH's avatar



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    Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger

    Tommy's an easy fragrance - modern, fresh. It dies on me after about five hours, so it's more of an evening out or casual dinner wear. It's pleasant enough with its apple/wood/amber accord, but it really doesn't evolve so much as weaken after the first 15 minutes. Still, wear this and you'll be unlikely to offend. It's a safe scent.

    26 July, 2011

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Original Santal by Creed

    I was expecting a Big Red gum type cinnamon and thankfully that's not what this fragrance is about. Much more wearable than Joop! and it bears a vague resemblance to it, but without all over the top sweetness. It's not a bad fragrance, but compared to other Creed fragrances the quality isn't there for me.

    26 July, 2011

    From Smoke's avatar

    United States United States

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    Labdanum by L'Occitane

    A pleasant scent. It moves smoothly from Citrus/Spice, to Labdanum, to Vanilla.

    On the whole it is more "Sweet" than "Warm".

    Considered as a feminine it is a little more spicy and darker than many vanilla based fragrances at this price point.

    Considered as a masculin it is possibly overly sweet, especially in the mid-notes.

    26 July, 2011

    PsychoTommy's avatar

    Hungary Hungary

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    L'Anarchiste by Caron

    I am usually attracted to - and fascinated by - controversial scents so naturally I became quite curious about Caron's L'Anarchiste after having read all the buzz about it online. I also intended to buy it blind - not that I had a choice, as Caron products are practically non-existent in Hungary, not even in better-equipped perfumeries have they heard about the brand. Today, my girlfriend completely surprised me with a 100 ml bottle straight from Amazon, and I decided to review it as critically as possible, and try to go mythbuster on the buzzwords "smells like blood", "vampire juice", "gunmetal" and "unwearable".

    First of all: the packaging and presentation are striking. I pulled the box out from a Burger King paper bag in our kitchen (it was shoved in next to a couple of burgers as part of the surprise), and I literally stopped mid-movement when I looked at how elegant and well-executed the stuff looks like. The paper, the type-setting, the embossed Artaud quotation in the inner sleeve, not to mention the bottle itself - even more expensive perfumes have never given me that impression. I literally felt like I was coming out of an expensive luxury boutique with the box in my hand. Two thumbs up!

    About the scent - I agree that a lot of the reviewers overdo the myth a bit. The first whiff initially struck me as aggressive, in-your-face and crispy, but nothing unbearable. It reminded me a bit of old-school Italian after shaves I used to smell as a kid, a little bit like Malizia or Pino Silvestre. Citrusy, fresh, a little off-beat, but at the heart really unique. The green, crispy notes started to subside almost immediately, and after five minutes or so, the stuff started to work, leaving the orange (which indeed does smell like apple a bit) - and the menthol. Something about the menthol note: maybe I am unaccustomed to it in perfumes (I only use Le Male that has any in it), but for me this thing RADIATES it. Especially on clothes - it's been hours, and the menthol note simply does not leave, even though I'm at the base notes now!

    After the top notes have gone, it's interesting to see how the scent gets warmer and warmer, and also more spicy - though the cinnamon note is really subtle and well-blended, so it's not as in-your-face as I thought it would be. I think that's the contrast between the hot and icy notes that most reviewers describe as "disturbing", and although there certainly is a metallic tinge, it reminds me of cold aluminium or iron instead of "blood", "gunmetal" or "rust". It's also almost imperceptible, along with the distinct but well-blended "wood smoke" characteristic - if you look for it, it's pretty much there, but it doesn't stand out at all. It's also too weird and still not sweet enough to be called gourmand. I definitely don't percept it as "apple pie filling", let alone anything edible. This is also the darkest, most "predatory" phase of the juice.

    Base notes are slightly musky and have a good measure of cinnamon - and still the menthol - it has a cool, fresh, slightly metallic quality, verging on floral a bit, I can't help thinking about black tea leaves. It's also a bit powdery and definitely dry, but maybe the powder's just my imagination.

    I have yet to test it tomorrow for longevity as my nose is getting overwhelmed with the scent, but my girlfriend keeps on telling me how all our three rooms plus the kitchen smells of me wearing this (with all windows open), so the sillage must be insane. I keep losing tracks of scents after a couple of hours when testing, but here I can still distinctly feel it everywhere, I think it's somewhere on the level of Le Male's strength.

    What's true about L'Anarchiste is that it's truly a one-of-a-kind scent, there's nothing around that resembles it. I still think that it's not the most rebellious one - though certainly bold - and anyone with a little out-of-line attitude can pull it off with little difficulty (okay, maybe it's just me, so test it first if you can). It's certainly classy, playful and a little-bit two-faced - an excellent brew!

    (I'm going to update in the next few days after I'm through with street testing :))

    26 July, 2011

    Pamplemousse's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Équipage by Hermès

    First wearing of Equipage today in a long time, and what can I say? I sniffed the bottle, and thought, "Whoa, I don't want to wear this!". Too heavy (man), like a right-hander from Hollyfeld, I'll be smelling of the 70's all day, right?

    Well, partly due to laziness, plus a desire to find out, I applied generously, and left for work.

    Here are my thoughts: Equipage is pungent, rich and complex. It's like staring into a well and never seeing the bottom. Metaphorically, it's like putting on something awkward, like a suit or armour or a Del-boy camel coat. At first you really notice it; it's cumbersome, distinct and foreign. You feel a little silly, perhaps. Gene Hunt might wear this, not exactly a ladykiller.

    But slowly you get used to it, catching the odd waft of deep bass (think Barry White in aroma form) and before long you're mentally giving it the nod, the quiet "Yeah" of approval growing to, "What's that smell? Oh yeah, it's ME. Man, I am the NUTS! Cooool...".

    That's how I see it, anyway.

    She's pungent, I'm getting curry leaf. She's a timewarp - I'm seeing hideous orange wallpaper and carpet combos. She's complex too, downright hallucinogen for the nose. Wow man.

    Above all, she's a landmark, which any student, aficionado or follower must pass on their journey to olfactory enlightenment. Glad I didn't pass her by this morning. Will be visiting again soon for sure.

    26 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th August, 2011)

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

    One of my least favorite scents. This was ridiculously popular when I was in my teens (I am showing my age a bit here) and I did not like it back then even though I, like everyone else had a bottle (gotten as a gift). Now many, many years later I still find myself cringing at even the thought of smelling this scent again as it was so loud, popular and over applied by most everyone I came in contact with. There certainly are worse scents out there to be sure, but this one just has horrible memories for me associated with it, so I give it an easy "avoid" recommendation. Polo Green was my other staple back then and I still like that one. 1 out of 5 stars for this turkey.

    26 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 June, 2012)

    barclaydetolly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vanille by Molinard

    I guess I'm spoiled. I tried Guerlain's Double Vanille first, then sought Molinard Vanille out as a low cost substitute. It doesn't approach Double Vanille, but then again Double Vanille is about seven times more expensive. I tend to think this is a one note vanilla whose primary use is in layering with other colognes; I'm sure it does that job well. As a standalone, I have to pass. Longevity on me is very poor as well.

    27 July, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

    Notes: bergamot, tangerine, grapefruit, key lime, verbena, peppermint, basil, patchouli, oakmoss, with hints of jasmine and vetiver.
    I'm amazed at how much I dislike this scent! It has a very, very sour and unpleasant dry-down on my skin. I attribute that to the particular combination of patchouli and oakmoss. It is awful.
    The scent starts in a promising way, with good citrus notes. The herbs are lamentably brief. Then a brackish brown twang settles in and I just can't stand it.

    27 July, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    This is an interesting old-school fougere, to be sure. It is a bit more brown and "dirty" than I care for, but I think it is a good scent and it has many fans. Mossy, a bit spicy and leathery. For a while the geranium-rose note was very pleasant, but it was brief. I like a greener fougere, but this is OK and worth checking out.

    27 July, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Dune pour Homme by Christian Dior

    The hedione on my skin gives this a "fresh" (= unpleasantly synthetic and ozonic) quality which I don't appreciate. That note totally dominates, and I barely (if at all) get any fig leaf or wood notes. The hedione also gives a vaguely sweet aspect which I don't like. Where are the herbs or woods? This is not at all natural smelling and thus I can't find a single good thing to say about it.

    27 July, 2011

    cformosa4's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Nautica Oceans by Nautica

    Opening smells like sea water/sea salt, and lemon tonic. Then it quickly blends into its heart which is dominated by germanium and a light airy salty smell. The geranium in the scent gives it a slight spicy/peppery vibe to the florals. There is also a light light light wood scent.

    think this is a good scent to wear for when you don't really want to smell like anything -- you just want to smell clean with a light scent. It is good to cool you down in the summer because you will have to spray it on a few times.

    overall it is a very clean and easy to wear scent that not a lot of people are going to pick up on due to its poor projection - ITS VERY LIGHT! When i first sprayed it, I thought I had a dud until i looked it up only to find out that other people found it extremely light as well. I was like.. umm they messed up on this bottle and didn't put enough fragrance in this! But, its deliberate… or many due to this new technology they couldn't make it smell any stronger.

    The one good thing about this scent is it completely biodegradable because due to a new technology allowing it to be water based with a 10% oil concentration. You will be able to tell when you spray it on because it is a bit oily and takes a while to dry up. It also decreases skin drying and irritation and it actually feels like its moisturizing to me!

    27 July, 2011

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau des Îles by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    I'm sure there's more going on here than I seem to think, but I'm going to attempt to explain the overall impression I'm getting. Eau des Iles (my keyboard don't got fancy French stuff) is a brutally arid woody fragrance. It's just as dry as can be, like wood that's been left out in the sun in the desert for years. There is also a strong coffee note accompanying this dry wood, and in the background there's a wee bit of leather. There's also some more beautiful subtlety beneath the layers, but it's just seems like highlights and shading.

    This is a wonderful masculine that I cannot recommend highly enough. It never approaches the offensiveness that other masculines can (even though that offensiveness is often part of the pleasantness) and it also never tries to be gourmand. I only mention the gourmand part because when I learn that a fragrance contains coffee notes I usually assume that it's going to be gourmandy.

    27 July, 2011

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Very Cool for Men by Tommy Bahama

    No thanks T, this one's a bust. It's a metallic, unpleasant mojito (I guess) accord. I don't really see this fitting in with TB's tropical motif, as the smell just becomes off putting. I was actually kind of grateful that the sillage and longevity were weak when I tested it.

    27 July, 2011

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    New Haarlem by Bond No. 9

    I'm plagiarizing Jridgen here...

    "Carmel drizzled on coffeecake with a dash of brown sugar and maple syrup. Think sweet, but dark and rich sweet. This is all served with, of course, a 16 oz drip coffee which wafts in with clouds of coffee goodness from the background."

    I'll add that there MIGHT also be a hint of chocolate. However, that's not all I want to add. There is also a sparkly freshness in New Haarlem. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's definitely there. I had a co-worker notice it too. On the one hand, we have a delicious gourmand, but on the other hand, it seems to twinkle with a vibe that is the complete opposite of a gourmand. Don't be too fooled though, because the moment you focus your attention on the smell, it returns to smelling sweet and delicious. Did you ever see Andromeda in the sky in your peripheral vision, but when you try to look at it dead on it disappears? Well it's like that.

    Oh, and it shares a similar feel with Pure Coffee and Pure Malt, for what it's worth. I'll be getting it so as not to use up my limited editions.

    27 July, 2011

    PerfumeCollector's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oxygène Homme by Lanvin

    My first impression was rather, oh no, another of those horrible aquatics!!!!, what a disappointment, but after a few minutes the woods come like a freight train, I smell fir (maybe juniper), cedar, cypress and to top it off, the cherry of the composition, artemisia, that elevates the woods to a much loftier level. The longevity is mediocre at the best and a very faint white musk takes over to die in a whimper. I love white musk, but this is too weak.
    In few words, the opening is rather blah, the end is rather blah, but the heart is a masterpiece, and just for that it gets my thumbs up, it barely gets my thumbs up, but it gets my thumbs up nevertheless..
    The worse part of this fragrance is the sprayer, it really sucks, hard to spray and uncomfortable, only A*men is worse than this horrible sprayer.

    27 July, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

    Expectation is so often the issue in not liking a perfume. We have an idea in mind and foster a notion of what a perfume will be. We might have read a list of notes or a review. Really we just shoot ourselves in the foot.

    But in Pour Monsieur the expectation is Chanel's fault. The top notes of PM are so singingly beautiful, so inspiring. I want to be The Man Who Wears This Fragrance. 20 minutes later if you're close enough to me to notice, I'm The Guy Who Might Have Put On Cologne This Morning.

    The disappointment: it simply doesn't last. The shame: it becomes surprisingly indistinct before it fades away to nothing.

    27 July, 2011

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