Fragrance Reviews from July 2011

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    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren

    Very synthetic, generic and disappointing. I really have nothing much more to say about it, except it smells like just about every other safe aquatic scent out today with the addition of a cucumber note to the same old, same old mix. It won't offend anyone, but it is unlikely to impress either... certainly not me. I don't mind Polo Blue, but I wish I wouldn't have bought it. I recommend sticking to the original green bottle Polo which is a much, much better scent. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Crown Imperial by Crown Perfumery

    One of my favorites. Not too complex, just an opening blast of bitter orange and lemon a la Oranges and Lemons Say The Bells of St. Clements, that hangs around throughout the experience, mixed with a powdery dry down that melds with the citrus. This is a *very* potent scent, so I definitely recommend going light on the trigger. Finally, Imperial lasts... and lasts... and lasts. Very well made. The comment about the orange color of the scent staining skin and potentially clothes really is true. I have gotten a bit of an "orange tan" before when wearing it. Very nice stuff on the whole, very sad it has been discontinued and now is hard to find for new folks to try it out. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Definitely the underlying the cumin/BO spice is similar to that used in Declaration, and I dislike it for the same reason as I dislike that Ellena scent... . This one has a bitter orange at the forefront that smells nice, but the cumin undertone ruins it for me. In Declaration, the BO note is more prominent, and as such makes me dislike that even more than this, but it still is "visible" enough to make this a tough one to tolerate for me, and folks in relatively near proximity. Very linear in nature as most JC Ellena scents are (not a bad thing in my book), but when the scent is rotten from the start, that does not help. I'll swim against the tide and recommend a pass on this 2 star out of 5 scent.

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

    The Aethernaut's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    English Rose by Yardley

    This fragrance deserves a much wider audience. I'll second MissMagic's opinion, and say that tested blind you would mistake it for a far more expensive juice. It is a perfect rose, incredibly realistic - you can almost smell the stems and leaves as well as the flowers, and it's beautiful right from the moment you spray until drydown. A generous hint of geranium keeps the scent fresh and interesting. It has a subtle but glorious sillage and lasts for hours.

    I have been longing for a decent rose frag since moving to a Turkish neighbourhood were women trail a seductive wisp of rose wherever they go. They splash liberally with huge bottles of good but weak eau de cologne to get that effect, and I've never been able to find anything long lasting to match it until now. This is perfect. A gorgeous womanly scent, to be enjoyed by women of all ages. If you harbour any prejudice against this frag for being cheap or appearing old fashioned, discard them now!

    *EDIT*
    I have just discovered that my beloved English Rose has been reformulated! I have not tried the new version, but I have to say I am now frantically searching for my "old" friend in order to stockpile; I had taken it for granted and splashed it about like water so that my current bottle is perilously low. To know that it will become harder to find is so sad. Why change something that isn't broken? Especially when I read that the new version does not smell much like roses any more :-(

    27 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 08 January, 2014)

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Clubman Special Reserve by Pinaud

    The Clubman line in general is a good bargain, especially for those aficionados of the old school. For less than ten clams one can have that fresh-from-the-barbershop vibe.

    Special Reserve reminds me quite a bit of older formulations of Old Spice. SR has above average longevity for an after-shave but not quite the ebullient sillage of its brother Clubman (the original).

    28 July, 2011

    elneto's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

    After reading so many positive reviews here of EDH I decided to splurged and bought a bottle. I will never know what the original formula was or even find out about the bottle with the copper cap many talk about here, as Hermés boutiques do not sell that anymore.

    Now it's the same bottle as the "un jardin" series with a clear cap.

    Anyway, at first spray, EDH smells citrusy with a heavy dose of cummin and cinammon. At that moment it smells like indian food and it can be repulsive. But, after the lemon dissapears, the scent finally emerges as what has been described here as the smell of sex. It reminds me of a sweaty -but clean- armpit. And even, and yes I love that smell, a sweaty -but clean- hairy butt crack.

    It's sexual, animalistic and it's only for men. I can see men wearing this to clubs (whether straight or gay) and be hitted on!

    Although it's best suited for a leather scene, IMHO. Too ahead of its time in that sense.

    28 July, 2011

    elneto's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fire Island by Bond No. 9

    Yes, it does smell like a beach. But not in a coconut-coppertone cheap way.
    There's a subtle note of patchouli that I adore, and has made this one of the most original fragrances I've ever smelled, or at least that have developed well on my skin.
    It's the smell of a lonely beach at dawn. Very sexy, very masculine and modern.
    The sillage is ridiculous, you smell like it for two days at least. And it stays on clothes forever. Love it, love it. Best Bond IMO.

    28 July, 2011

    elneto's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de New York by Bond No. 9

    This is the cleanest scent there is.
    Fresh, citrusy, just showered but not soapy.
    It puts me in a good mood everytime I wear it.
    There's only one problem- the only compliment I've gotten -not that I evaluate fragrances on comments- was from a girl at a bank: "mmm... I love the detergent you use. which one is it?".

    ???

    I told her, it's the more expensive one, 220 usd a bottle :(

    Still, I love it. But it's odd the times I've gotten more compliments have been on a 45 USD musk cologne by Kiehl's or when I used "power" by Kenzo that was given me as a gift and I thought it was repulsive talcum synthetic powder.

    Go figure!

    28 July, 2011

    elneto's avatar

    United States United States

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    Little Italy by Bond No. 9

    Meh!

    It opens wonderful, and you think it's going to be a more sophisticated version of Eau D'Orange Verte by Hermès. But... then it's turns out so tangy...

    Wait that's what it smells like, an artificial orange beverage for kids. Think more kool-aid than hi-c.

    It's not repulsive or offensive by any means. But 200 USD to smell like Crush or Sunkist.... no, thank you.

    28 July, 2011

    PerfumeCollector's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuba Blue by Cuba Paris

    Better version of Chrome, but to be better than Chrome is not big deal anyway.
    The good thing is that is not only beter, but a LOT cheaper, so if you are considering to buy Chrome, buy this instead.

    28 July, 2011

    Oproust's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sartorial by Penhaligon's

    The first time I wore Sartorial, I thought it smelled like a very refined and much more complex version of the vintage Brut. I am very partial to aromatic fougeres and Sartorial is a very welcome addition. The list of notes in Sartorial is daunting, 24 and counting. I'm not sure what metallic effect, ozonic effect and old wood effect are, but I don't care. This stuff smells great. I won't even attempt to describe the progression of notes. Others have done that very well. And with Sartorial, Penhaligon's has done a modern, classy fougere very well. So pull your charcoal grey suit off the rack, starch your white shirt, tie your Windsor knot, shine your wing tips and spray on some Sartorial to complete the vibe.

    28 July, 2011

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

    This scent really forced me to think about how I approach the musk genre as a whole. I'd consider it unisex because the florals are more of the perfumey type than the soapy type. Initially there isn't much beyond alcohol, which for me masks whatever top notes there may be. The very sweet musk and rose (?) come through after a few minutes, but I'm surprised how weak it seems this time...maybe because I sprayed directly into a small spot on my shirt? Before, I remember it being strong and insistent, with a honey-like sweetness which to me usually brings a cloying quality. One of the notes has a cool sharpness, which cuts through and helps a lot with that issue, but also I believe it's the dreaded note that always bothers me and makes me think of wintergreen. My main concerns: is it too feminine because of the heavy sweetness, or masculine enough because of the spices and soapiness? Is musk in general so clearly identified with decades past that it will seem dated, no matter how it is tweaked? I fear that the musk genre is unpopular now because today's consumers have the same qualms with it as I do!

    28 July, 2011

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Paco Rabanne pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    I've been going back and forth on this one a lot lately. It opens sharp and green, with a very cool, steely ivy note and a trace of sweetness that reminds me of the secretive florals in Acqua di Gio. Like Bowling Green, the greenery is moderately sweet and almost waxy or plasticky, but not in a bad way, and still much less sweet than most of the competition. Previously I remember this seeming too sharp and medicinal, but now that I've sprayed differently (on my arm, over a large area) I'm not getting that as much, or maybe just in a different way. Like the original, it has enough of a soapy vibe to come across as clean, even though the underlying soil-and-ground-cover notes have a dirty edge. My main misgiving is that the base of this reminds me of the very top notes of Caswell-Massey #6 or Murray and Lanman Florida Water, with their fizzy, metallic, 7-Up sharpness that won't shut up. I don't think it would be enough to bother most people, though. I don't know of anything else quite like it.

    28 July, 2011

    cybermorph's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

    Not much to add, but this is one of my favourite fragrances. Perfection!

    28 July, 2011

    Don GIOVANNI's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Blu Mediterraneo Mirto di Panarea by Acqua di Parma

    Mirto di panarepma is a great fragrance rare an natural scent that i love an get lots of compliments,smells fresh fancy.

    28 July, 2011

    cybermorph's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Déclaration by Cartier

    I bought this on a blind buy and thought I had made a big mistake. The cumin top note scared me initially but after a few wears I now adore the scent. Pure sexiness. I smell a similar scent at the gym regularly and now associate the scent with men working out. If you like the scent of men and sweat with a dose of elegance you will love this. It is one of my favorites now. An acquired taste but pure heaven once you acquire it.

    28 July, 2011

    knit at nite's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paradoxe by Pierre Cardin

    This is one of those scents that if you know was launched in the 80's you only have visions of big shoulder pads and big hair. Sniffed out of the context of its release date, it is a striking leathery chypre EDP with total unisex possibilities.
    Notes I found listed are lemon, mandarin and bergamot, heart of jasmine, ylang-ylang, iris, tuberose and hyacinth, base of frankincense, musk, leather, pepper, moss and amber. Powerful and well blended, I keep catching a pine, or resin note in there somewhere too- or maybe its just a phantom effect because there is a lot going on in this scent, more than I can adequately describe. It is also one of those scents whose effect is intoxicating if smelled from 5-6 inches away but is way too intense when the nose is stuck right up in it and inhaled- the type of scent some people would use as an example of why workplaces should be fragrance-free. But I am lovin' it. My vintage sample's top notes desintigrated quite quickly, but the heart and basenotes went on for many hours.

    28 July, 2011

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Envy by Gucci

    Serge Lutens saw fit to flatter Gucci’s Envy with his L’Eau Serge Lutens (2010), yet despite this and what appears to be widespread veneration, Maurice Roucel’s commission for Gucci feels to me like a cheapened synthetic variant of the terrific green floral austerity of Chanel’s No.19 (1971).

    Envy’s dominant notes of magnolia, jasmine, orange blossom, and Cox apple, smell like they were sourced from an Excel spreadsheet rather than from a garden, more artificial than truly abstract, and the total effect is that of hair styling mousse.

    But it is also of its time and probably a fair snapshot of mainstream perfumery in the 1990s, acquired and exhibited in shopping malls, our new cathedrals, with fragrances just like Gucci’s Envy standing in as their incense.

    28 July, 2011

    The Aethernaut's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Amarige by Givenchy

    Wow! This sexbomb of a juice has taught me the difference between daytime and evening fragrance like nothing else ever could. Today I accidentally drowned myself with this during a casual spritz at the Boots perfume counter and immediately knew I was in trouble. Don't get me wrong, the opening was heavenly - and LOUD! To me the opening smells of honeyed flowers - very similar to heather moorland on a hot August day, or a clover field, or linden blossom - a heady sun warmed bouquet, and beautifully done. As it develops an alluring spicyness appears alongside a warm sweet tobacco note - very very grown up and sexy! Unfortunately I'd gone out in my ripped jeans, scruffy t shirt and old sneakers and felt somewhat mortified at wearing such a loud, dressed up frag, but dressed up to the nines and with an agenda this would be perfect. I actually tried to scrub this off before continuing my shop but it didn't budge an inch and I felt I was walking around in a thermonuclear cloud of come hither. Men's heads actually turned as I went by... and looked right past me, as I couldn't possibly be the woman who was wearing that scent.

    It walks a real tightrope between being grown up and sexy and downright brazen sluttishness, and at one point in it's development it stopped smelling reassuringly well made and expensive and started stinking of end of the evening desperation, which is why it only gets a neutral. Oddly it was only the sillage that smelt tawdry and cheap, the skin scent was lovely. But with a sillage monster like this, ultimately it's the sillage that counts. That moment did pass and was replaced with a smooth sweet tobacco and tuberose, but really who wants to smell of desperation even for a moment? The drydown is lovely, the sweetness tempered by green and musky notes.

    I would certainly give this frag another try - applied carefully and in the right context I may well love it. It is obviously beautifully made and suits my skin chemistry (which is dry and often ruins frags by burning them off too quickly) but this is more of a weapon than a fragrance and not to be worn causally.

    28 July, 2011

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Interdit (original) by Givenchy

    This is so subtle, it's practically a non-scent. Despite splashing more and more liberal amounts, I smell nothing. This from a vintage sample, so perhaps it did not retain its strength over time.
    Despite 18 ingredients involving fruits, florals and woods/musk, according to Nigel Groom in his perfume anthology, nothing evolves.

    Perhaps this simply interacted well with dear Audrey's skin and personal oils. Sad it does not with me. She is my favorite star and I did so want to have an idea as to what it was like to have her waft by.

    28 July, 2011

    FirstPartisan's avatar

    United States United States

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    AnOther 13 by Le Labo

    This fragrance is not made to please everybody at first. If you get your nose on this particular fragrance you will be surprised because there is no other fragrance such as this one out in the market. I appreciate this fragrance for its simplicity and yet not giving up the concept of complexity, do I reach for this everyday, NO!, but when I feel like I need to smell different and mysterious, this is what I reach for.

    28 July, 2011

    gillsgems's avatar



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    FM10 (Classic) by Federico Mahora

    The beautiful fruit/floral top notes in this dreamy evening wear fragrance gradually give way to much deeper fragrance notes which remain in evidence right through to the drydown stage. If I had to compare it with anything it would be J'Adore

    28 July, 2011

    FirstPartisan's avatar

    United States United States

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    Poivre 23 by Le Labo

    The best juice in my 200+ bottle collection. Starts off with a blast of smooth and creamy pepper, withing 15 minutes this fragrance transitions into a sexy and a very well done incense fragrance with vanilla as its backbone along with an olive note which some people can and some people cannot detect, this fragrance lasts about 15-20 hours and finishes off with incense and vanilla. The concentration of the aromatic compounds in this fragrance is 30% makes this an eau de extrait. The best creation from the house of Le Labo in my opinion.

    28 July, 2011

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Forest Rain by Kiehl's

    Forest Rain does smell like a rainy forest, but not in the way most reviewers seem to expect. There isn't a hint of evergreen in this, despite the color of the bottle and "northwestern rain forest" look of the whole presentation. Seattle is many thousands of miles away from this one.

    The smell is more evocative of a tropical rain forest, full of beautiful flowers, blooming grass, and giant trees with enormous leaves, dripping with water. There isn't much, if any, wood in this blend. This forest is dominated by leaves and thick foliage. The muguet note is particularly noticeable, and I suspect it's responsible for the "watery" green aspect of this scent.

    As it dries down, a clear relationship with Kiehl's Musk emerges, but completely sanitized, a little sweeter and softer, and with that watery green-ness remaining in the background. This comfortable and simple watery green musk accord hums along for quite awhile, and never breaks down into anything obnoxious. Sillage is average and longevity is above average.

    I do enjoy it. Would I buy it? Maybe, especially since its inexpensive. It is rather unique, as this particular version of "green" (dripping wet, soft, somewhat tropical) isn't seen very often in fragrances.

    28 July, 2011

    Pollux's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    Guerlain Homme Intense by Guerlain

    Short review: not ground breaking in the top notes, but marvellous in the mid and the base notes. Is there hints of the Guerlinade in it? No, I don't think so. This does not diminish its allure, despite its lack of projection and longevity.

    Not liked by purists, indeed by me.

    28 July, 2011

    FirstPartisan's avatar

    United States United States

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    Baie Rose 26 by Le Labo

    Ok, this scent is a true masterpiece in my opinion and getting a hold of a bottle was not an easy thing to do for, but I am glad that I'm a proud owner of this fragrance at last. Baie Rose translates into Pink Peppercorn as somebody else already mentioned in an earlier review and what I get out of this fragrance is an amazing combination of pimento mixed with rose damascus (absolute), musks, and ambrox. Now Ambrox is the note that gives this fragrance a true beauty. so sexy, so complex and so appealing.

    28 July, 2011

    photographerdan's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tommy Bahama for Men by Tommy Bahama

    Great fragrance though I must be honest I really wasn't in love with the opening, it seemed quite synthetic until the rum and tobacco came rushing in and then thats when I completely understood why people love this stuff.

    Now lets take a moment to realize what marketing does to us :)

    This cologne is very very much similar in class to Burberry London, im not saying it smells the same but it's similar enough for most to only recommend for cold weather, they both have that similar leathery tobacco base. I'm williing to bet that if this stuff didn't have the bahama label then it would conjure up the same cold weather use! But here we are with a cold weather class scent being recommended for summer use! =D

    With that said. . .I can't really see myself wearing much of this in really hot daytime weather just as I wouldn't wear Burberry London in the same sense either though this is a personal thing because some people can actually pull off the tobacco,leathery,rum scents in 100deg heat during broad daylight. My senses just won't let me but i've definately seen it work with a friend of mine!

    If anything this is perhaps the best summer night fragrance in my wardrobe now. Nautica Voyage by day, Tommy Bahama by night B-)

    28 July, 2011

    Davem81's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Paul Smith London for Men by Paul Smith

    This is definitely an all-time personal favourite of mine. I came across it almost by accident in early 2006, and chose it above all of the rest of the Paul Smith range available at that time.

    It's certainly very distinctive, and easy to over-do. It also tends to split opinion I've found - I had a friend who's opinion I trust try it, after hearing me rave about it, but he strongly disliked it. It's not far everyone, but I love it. I also associate it with a certain time & place, like many scents, another reason for the liking.

    I managed to get another bottle just before the discontinuation (at knockdown price!) which I'd been conserving, but it's since been reproduced (perhaps in limited supply, I'm not sure), and in my excitement I probably overstocked!

    28 July, 2011

    kierroo's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

    One of the best sellers of the 90's and no surprise why it a fragrance the public will like and shed out for.

    Fresh, green and yes a bit too synthetic but its pleasant to wear

    almost a thumbs up

    28 July, 2011

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tribute Attar by Amouage

    This bourbon colored attar from Oman is already well described in the previous posts so let me not repeat what has already been said. To me, Tribute is a dark, smoky leather in the same vein at Cuir de Russie. Tobacco and leather, with some strategic floral notes. From a women's perspective, if you feel comfortable in Tabac Blond or Cuir de Russie, you will not have a problem with Tribute. Ashy, smoldering, austere with a touch of sweetness in the dry down. I like this attar for getting taking me on mental a trip to intimate sheesha lounge on a hot summer night.

    28 July, 2011

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