Fragrance Reviews from July 2011

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    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Yuzu Fou by Parfum d'Empire

    Parfum d'Empire YUZU FOU is a pretty wild and assertive presentation of yuzu, I'd have to say. I smell more rind than juice in this composition and am reminded very much of a number of citrus colognes, especially geared toward men, which feature such notes as agrumes and petit grain. (This one appears to contain kumquat.) The citrus oil really shines through here and makes for a very aromatic composition indeed. To me, YUZU FOU seems quite linear, with no real development, and that makes it quite a bit less wacky than it might have been. Consistency is such that it does not and cannot really surprise.

    Because of the oily citrus rind, YUZU FOU seems a bit heavy-handed for a hot weather scent, though the summery aspect of citrus makes it not that appealing for cooler weather either. This might be a rare case of a fragrance which I believe would benefit from dilution, since it a smaller spritz will still yield a concentrated spot of oil on the skin. All in all, I think it's safe to say that I'm not crazy about YUZU FOU. Désolée.

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    3 Fleurs by Parfum d'Empire

    Parfum d'Empire 3 FLEURS is a big fat floral fragrance (BFFF) of the greenhouse variety. Key word here: floral. No surprise, obviously, given the name. The only unknown variables were which three flowers, in particular. Without any knowledge of the actual notes, I felt a blast of tuberose, then jasmine and in the long, extremely long and extremely huge sillage drydown, I honestly felt that something like orchid was the winner in the battle for floral dominance. A bit like Lalique FLORABELLA, which can also seem hard to take on some days.

    There are definitely some rose stems and thorns thrown into 3 FLEURS along with the truckload of petals as well. This is the kind of perfume which must make those from the “Women have no business smelling like flowers” camp really want to cringe. All flowers, all of the time, is the story here. Unfortunately, although I categorically reject the above sophism (emitted by some sort of serious twit...), this particular BFFF does not appeal very much to me. Although I survived a long afternoon trapped in a cloud of this greenhouse perfume, I have to confess that I was not disappointed when it finally faded away. Somehow the composition seemed inharmonic to me. Too much this, not enough of that. Too loud and pushy, overall, even lightly applied. The dirty greenishness delivered just a bit too much of the dreaded greenhouse effect, IMNSHO. Not on my wish list. Désolée.

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire

    Parfums d'Empire WAZAMBA is an incense perfume of the “pulverize sticks of incense to fine powder and then dissolve it to form a solution which dries down to the smell of pulverized sticks of incense” variety. Very similar in this regard to Comme des Garçons ZAGORSK. For some reason the final product of pulverized incense that I end up breathing in causes a mild discomfort akin to asbestos contamination to my lungs. Could be some kind of allergic reaction, I suppose. In any case, it is clear from these two cases that I really prefer incense perfumes with a more balanced resinous or oily cast. Désolée.

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aziyade by Parfum d'Empire

    Parfums d'Empire AZIYADE is a woody oriental which opens slightly sour but soon thereafter smooths out into a rather spicy, slightly sweet composition suitable for lads and lasses alike. The wood notes are dark and seductive, and there is much less “pulverized incense effect” than in WAZAMBA. Actually, the wood seems more like oil-burnished mahogany or cherry or teak than carbonized incense. There is a bit too much cumin (and carob?) for my taste, but I'm sure that many oriental lovers will appreciate this creation.

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fougère Bengale by Parfum d'Empire

    Parfums d'Empire FOUGERE BENGALE opens quite boozily to my nose. In fact, I'd call this a woozy-oriental perfume! After a couple of minutes, the composition sobers up and some kind of forest green component comes into focus—something like fir, I'd venture to guess. This is another composition that would work for guys and gals with a penchant for all things oriental. Because of the forest element, FOUGERE BENGALE definitely seems much more fougère and masculine than chypre to me. It might actually be too dark green for me, and there is something in the drydown which smells slightly celery-like, but this is definitely an interesting composition well worth sniffing. This is not a sweet but a savory composition.

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

    Parfums d'Empire AMBRE RUSSE is a dark and spicy amber perfume with big sillage. This is a potent little number which needs to be sparingly applied in order to be enjoyed. Definitely a winter-time perfume--a bit on the heavy side, in fact. AMBRE RUSSE numbers among what I refer to as the "sledgehammer" ambers. There are so many amber perfumes in production and new ones constantly coming out that we can afford to be very, very picky...

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire

    Parfums d'Empire CUIR OTTOMAN is a smooth and ever-so-slightly sweet leather with a lovely drydown. The opening seems a bit beefy, but the drydown is definitely worth the wait. I love tolu balsam, benzoin, and orris butter, so no wonder I like this composition. My cat loves this perfume.

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2011)

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tabac Blond by Caron

    I tried this on in the Caron boutique in NYC (in phytouniverse), and within the first 2 minutes of wearing it, I got a compliment from another customers HUSBAND, and a total stranger. So there you go. Not bad for a fragrance from 1919. Edgy but wearable and classic.

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

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Vetiver by Etro

    Another great vetiver to add to the huge list of great vetivers. If you like it smoky, woody, earthy, kinda rough and solidly crafted, go ahead! Good work!

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

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Frankincense & Myrrh by Czech & Speake

    The first time I saw Frankincense and Myrrh laying on a perfume shop shelf I expected a dark, bold and meditative composition a-là Avignon, but then I tested it...

    The main ingredients mentioned in the fragrance name are concocted to a classic musky/citrus cologne with a result that while is not particularly outstanding is still pretty enjoyable and pleasant. If you're looking for your first frankincense/myrrh composition there're many better options out there, but considering this was originally rleased in 1984 and it's still one of the few citrus-frankincense-myrrh combo on the market, it definitely deserves a good rating. Very Nice.

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

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

    Surprising soapy fruity-floral with a cool musky-fig final accord. This fragrance is perfect for a summer holiday while you go around for alleys and small touristic shops and ports dressed in white-bleu clothes with a sailor-like style. The beginning is refreshing and dry with its citrusy blast with the predominance of grapefruit than the fragrance fades in something less dry, soft and musky-floral with a notable dusty influence of the fig note and the floral smoothness of the jasmine. The fig, in its link with jasmine, is the feature of the final outcome with its mild and edible dirty-dusty taste. All around, while drinking a refreshing cocktail in the first summer afternoon time, you exudes a cool, dreamy and indolent aura with the typical prettiness of the right taste for the beautiful life.

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 22 November, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Armani Privé Cuir Améthyste by Giorgio Armani

    With the excepiton of Bois D'Encens, I find most of the compositions in the Armani Privè line to be undeservedly overrated. Cuir Amethiste is surely not among the worst but as a take on fruity leather I find it definitely leaning towards the sweet fruity side (apricot / osmanthus) with an huge, off-putting violet note making the whole fragrance definitely unbalanced. The leather here is pale but almost unpleasant, synthetic and kind of overwhelmed by the rest. While I understand why many people likes it , I still don't get warm to it...sorry I've to pass on...

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 21st May, 2012)

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

    Agree with the negative comments on the web... I found this one extremely cloying and synthetic, and way too floral for my tastes. I am so very glad I got a sample to try of this before buying, as it saved me some big bucks. Personally I would buy Bellagio for Men by Parlux over this that is 1/4 the price, somewhat similar, and much, much better smelling. 1 star out of 5. This is tied with Secretions Manifiques as my least liked scent.

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

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    Shame on me... This scent has been around since 1916 and I just tried it for the first time a week ago! The opening invigorating top notes are probably the best I have smelled in a scent. A very classy orange and lemon blend with just a hint of herbs that is just heavenly. The only drawback is they disappear ever so quick. That said, the rest of the high quality soapy and slightly woody experience is fabulous too, ranking this one as one of my favorite warm weather scents... Don't expect it to last hours and hours though... 5-6 on my skin, unfortunately. Look to reapply a tad throughout the day to smell those top notes again. 4.5 stars out of 5 for this classic eau de cologne.

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

    KIG's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ferrari Uomo by Ferrari

    Ferrari Uomo is a beautiful citrus, leather and wood fragrance. It is not trying to reinvent the wheel, or be a trend setter.

    Occasionally I like to reach for a scent, that just makes me feel comfortable and sophisticated.

    The leather note is creamy, and animalic at the same time, which makes it a well balanced and elegant masculine composition, that doesn't shout.

    This is one of the best Ferrari offerings I've tried so far.

    Longevity and sillage are both very good.

    7/10

    02 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 May, 2014)

    carlos-uk's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Intuition for Men by Estée Lauder

    I'm a little surprised by all of the negative reviews here. Somebody summed it up as "nice" and I think that's an apt description. No, it's not going to rock your world but then, where in the rule book does it say a fragrance has too? Can a fragrance not just be a pleasant, enjoyable scent?

    I like the way this works on my skin. It's not a heavyweight. It goes on light and stays light. I found myself earlier standing there, having a think about something or other and then noticing this scent. I thought "is that me??" and sure enough it was. I thought "you smell pretty good!".

    It is on the sweet side of the spectrum, clean and romantic in style. I read talk of Pheromones but I'm not sure that's strictly true. I remember the same was said of YSL's Kouros but it was never the case.

    I enjoy wearing this as it's a pleasant change to some of the heavyweights and aquatics that I normally go for. I have had compliments and no complaints. I can't sum it up any further than saying, as has already been said, it's a nice fragrance that has an edge of romanticism about it thanks to it's sweet edge. There is a very lite amount of spiciness too it that just gives it a boost of warmth.

    The pyramid is:
    Top Notes: Sage Absolute, Cucumber, Nutmeg, Cardamom.

    Middle Notes: Patchouli, Cedarwood.

    Base Notes: Amber, Myrrh, Labdanum.

    03 July, 2011

    pataphor's avatar



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    Arabian Nights - Pure Oud by By Kilian

    REAL OUD OIL vs. OUD 27 vs. KILIAN

    If you've NEVER smelled real oud, or only know Montale's ouds or Oud 27, let me chime in here.

    VS. OUD 27

    First of all, I can't imagine why anyone would compare this to Oud 27, as this is a completely different animal. Would you say Pinot Grigio is a terrible wine because Pinot Noir is so great? The comparison makes no sense. Oud 27 is sharp, primal, spicy, and to me vinegary and slightly rancid. It's a cool smell.

    Kilian's Pure Oud is impossibly deep, woody, soothing, with only pleasant band-aidy smell that, to me, reminds me of actual oud.

    VS. MONTALE

    Montale's "Original Aouds" comes closest to Pure Oud, btw, but with less depth. I love Black Aoud, but that has little in common with Pure Oud, obviously, because of the rose.

    VS. REAL OUD OIL

    As I type this I have Oud 27 on 1 wrist and Ensar Oud / Oriscent's "Cambodi Caramel" on the other wrist, which is $110 / ml, and I only happen to have because I am writing a story for Model News dot com, and a number of companies were kind enough to send me a bunch of samples I could normally in NO WAY afford.

    Although Cambodi Caramel is only one type of oud, it has quite a lot in common with the Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian and Burmese ouds the companies sent me to review. Let's just say ALL of those oud oils have more in common with EACH OTHER than with Oud 27 OR Pure Oud.

    What does REAL oud smell like, to me? Take mud, mix it with coffee and a little peanut butter, add a pinch of menthol, raspberry and strain it though a band aid. That's real oud, to me, with variations.

    KILIAN'S PURE OUD

    When all is said and done, Kilian's Pure Oud is my favorite. It's ungodly expensive, has crappy sillage and doesn't last all that long. I spray it on my shirt now, so I can smell it longer. I also bought the travel spray (vs. the bottle), so I can spritz it on when I need it. (Say, a date.)

    But I love it. Yes yes yes.

    Just writing this review because this is the kind of information I was I'd had before I smelled real oud and all the oud perfumes, and I hope it helps someone.

    03 July, 2011

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sung Homme by Alfred Sung

    I've had a long, troubled relationship with Sung Homme. When it first came out I was just getting into fragrances. I'd smell it at the counter and just never was compelled to buy it. A few years later I saw it dirt cheap at Marshall's and bought a bottle. Still I was left wanting. It seemed soapy, dry and soapy and nothing more. I discarded that bottle.

    Years later I gave it another shot (the bottle I have now). Sung is very, very dry and mossy and the soapiness seems the predominant characteristic. For a similar vibe and one that I believe is far more successful, get Acqua di Selva. Both are masculine and potent (AdS even more so in my book) but I simply find Acqua more interesting.

    03 July, 2011

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

    I ordered an 11 scent Estee Lauder collection of miniatures, and Cinnabar was one of them. What a little treasure! Like a Youth Dew from another era, Cinnabar is one of those transformative fragrances that will put you directly in touch with the past. You can read through the notes listed, but when you smell this wonderfully abstract elixir, so many emotions rush in.

    03 July, 2011

    Saintpaulia's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    Vanille by Molinard

    Thus far nary a negative or neutral. That says alot. I read these reviews before "blind buying" this and I have no regrets. Just what I was looking for, and yes I am a vanillaphile! (w/ no apologies).

    03 July, 2011

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Signor Vivara by Emilio Pucci

    The leather isn't quite as strong initially as it is in The Knize Ten, though it's certainly strong. It's also got a strong spice note (seems to be mostly cinnamon), and it's a little sweet. It also has that same full, rich, and powdery quality. Though it seems to have some oakmoss, I think it's got more of a sandalwood than oakmoss accompaniment to the leather (than K10). And while it seems to have patchouli, it doesn't go into that heavy patchouli/wood/amber cream accord that I find so revolting for some reason. Unlike K10, I don't detect castoreum here, nor any other clear animalic note. Longevity is at least good and projection/"sillage" is solid but not overpowering. If you find The Knize Ten to be unbalanced, this would be one to try, though it seems to be very rare. I should do a side-by-side comparison with Gomma by Etro, but you get the idea: this one is in that leather fragrance territory. Also, it's quite natural smelling and nicely balanced.

    03 July, 2011

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    Sometimes you have to look at what the intent was in a fragrance and how well was it done. This was meant to appeal to a wide range of people and the sales numbers don't lie. It wasn't meant to be this groundbreaking and unique fragrance that only a select few can enjoy because they believe their tastes are above and beyond. The same people will stick to the point that it's not unique and rinse and repeat. What this fragrance does is smell fantastic, has good sillage, great longevity, quality blending and ingredients, can be worn virtually for any occasion at any time, and will get tons of compliments. So what you have in the end is people complaining about a designer fragrance that wasn't tailored to their niche tastes. Sometimes it's better to improve on the wheel instead of trying to reinvent it.

    03 July, 2011

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tiffany for Men by Tiffany

    If you should ever need a seamless, very pleasant, teflon coated lightly scented, gentle fragrance - this is it! Tiffany for Men is everything that many of these reviews repeat over and over. It is sophisticated, refined, formal, well blended, modern. I like it, but I rarely want to smell this special and cultured. It took me so long to be OK with letting the chips fall where they may and accepting moments as they are. I feel like a traitor to the postmodern world to enjoy something so streamlined with all the parts working as if they were one.

    Smells a lot like Pour Monsieur Concentree but it is creamier and ends up being softer - how is that possible?

    03 July, 2011

    Odile's avatar



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    Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire

    Phew. A surprisingly total scrubber for me. I couldn't wash this off fast enough. I am an adventurous cook and adventurous cooking was all this conjured up for me. Potent, ,exotic spices, just ones I'd prefer to season my cuisine with rather than my skin. I can get the same effect from sitting in the local curry shop for a couple of hours. Aromatic B.O. Pass.

    03 July, 2011

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Allure Homme Sport by Chanel

    This is really a deceiving fragrance in many ways. It's supposed to be a sports fragrance, but it's not. Comes out with an all out citrus bomb that smells like lemon, but there's no lemon in it. Has an aquatic note that doesn't seem to exist. A pepper note that is so faint you'd miss it and begins to transform into this almost vanilla drydown. Then when you think you have it figured out it releases a beautiful white musk, vetiver, and amber drydown. Finally when you think it's all done, that lemon note that doesn't exist bites again and performs the final magic trick. Don't know what the hell happened, but you want to see it again. I can't imagine someone not liking this. Exceptional fragrance.

    03 July, 2011

    LucasKane's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Chamen's Party by Honoré de Prés

    What is this? Le Labo's Patchouli 24 with the drydown of Guerlain Vetiver? Great!

    03 July, 2011

    Odile's avatar



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    Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire

    Yum yum. This has that butch-meets-femme quality that I love so from Bulgari Black except this is more sultry than cool, more well-worn cowboy leather than kinky rubber. It doesn't blow my olfactory mind but it nonetheless quite delicious and and pleasant to wear. Full bottle worthy. A truly unisex and sensual leather.

    03 July, 2011

    Odile's avatar



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    Maharadjah by Nicolaï

    This one's gonna be my next full-bottle. I too get the full-frontal assault of lavender, but the usually medicinal herb is beautifully tempered by soft spice - what appears to my nose as cinnamon, clove, patch, and perhaps some vanilla. Fresh warmth. I love the contradiction, the juxtaposition. It would never dawn on me to class this as unisex or masculine or feminine. It just smells damn good. Different. Wish more houses would explore the magic of lavender is such ways.

    03 July, 2011

    Odile's avatar



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    Equistrius by Parfum d'Empire

    Perhaps I am less discerning than some reviewers on this site, but in my opinion, why bother with Equistrius when you can simply get yourself some Dior Homme without special order at your local mall, for less $? They smell the same to me. Don't get me wrong, they both smell quite good. As a female Dior Homme has been one of my staples for years. Unquestionably unisex, if not outright one for the girls. You would do just as well as Equistrius. Not hating here, I just have some 'Homme and see no need to re-invent the wheel. Worth checking into if you don't already own a clone.

    03 July, 2011

    Odile's avatar



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    Chypré Fruité by Montale

    Competent emulation of the genre. Smells quite pleasant. Utimately not quite fully chyrpe-enough for this gal. Must be those darn IFRA regulations. The oakmoss has that shallow, fey quality to it, not Montale's fault I'm sure. . .you can tell it's not the real deal. Still far better than 95% of what you can find on the market today. I like it enough to consider full-bottle despite lack of ground-breaking originality. Don't try it expecting a modern-day Mitsouko. On me, long-lasting but subtle. Lady-like.

    03 July, 2011

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