Fragrance Reviews from September 2011

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    scentpacking's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    English Fern by Penhaligon's

    i wanted to love this, i really did,however on sampling it i found the scent to be a little too soapy and "old manish". reminded me of something a lot of dads wore in the early seventies , or a combination of the aftershaves they wore - a kind of Brut /Old spice /cheapo xmas pressie aftershave type smell . i wouldnt shell out £80 for it , not when you can buy Old spice for £8 and be the man you always wanted to be !!......look away ..now back to me .. i'm sitting on a horse ....

    12th September, 2011

    Panther's avatar



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    Ungaro III by Ungaro

    Expected to like this a lot: ticks a lot of the boxes of the type of fragrances I go for. And yet, and yet......does nothing for me at all. Smells good in the bottle, I get the spice underlying the fresh lavendar, and then it hits my skin and..........nothing. Vanishes like morning mist in the sun. Others pick up on it when I'm wearing it, and most comment has been favourable, but I lose awareness of its presence within minutes. My loss I fear, especially as the price is very competitive, but for that reason this first bottle will be my last.

    12th September, 2011

    cello's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blu Notte by Bulgari

    This is a fuzzy, powdery fragrance with a powdery iris blend. But the vodka note (even if it may be a ginger infused one) really stands out here, and smells like a blast of semi sweet musk.

    I can't help but feel like I've had 3 drinks past a good buzz, and the smell of the next drink in front of me is making my stomach churl. I had to give this one away, as I could not get past the searing vodka.

    12th September, 2011

    kayley123's avatar

    United States United States

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    Poule de Luxe - Vanilla Fruit Sorbet by Crazylibellule & The Poppies

    I thought I would love this because it is Vanilla and Raspberry, two of my favorite notes, but unfortunately all I got was the rose, iris, and musk--they soured the raspberry somehow on me. I don't think it's a BAD fragrance, but definitely not what I was looking for. Would probably work for someone else.

    12th September, 2011

    Panther's avatar



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    The One for Men by Dolce & Gabbana

    Partner bought me this, and she likes it on me more than I do to be honest. There's nothing wrong with it, the spice middle notes are its best feature, and there's a luxuriant creamy warm feel to the aroma. One can see why it appears to be popular with many women on their men. However for me it is not interesting and distinctive enough. Should she fork out for another bottle there will be no complaints, but wouldn't buy it for myself. There are preferable options with more umph and wow factor than The One.

    12th September, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Eau de Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

    The insertion of an excess of watery fruits, too pineapple, melon and grapefruit, an overdosage of citrus (in particular orange and mandarin) and others foolishnesses transform the original woodsy formula in a new entry among the lightweight fruity aquatics, though with a touch of taste proper of the brand itself. The lavender, the flowers and the greens are reduced in the intensity of dosage and some elements disappear at all. This one is indeed nearer to Cool Water or Light Blue Ph than to the great V&APH. Disappointing.

    12th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 18th September, 2011)

    le mouchoir de monsieur's avatar

    France France

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    Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    No one had any idea the beautiful morning of September 11th, 2001 would turn to soot and misery before noon. I remember crossing 5th avenue at around 8:30am, and thinking that a more glorious morning could not be conceived: It was crisp, clear....the temperature was perfect. I wore a brown suit, a white shirt, and a solid red neck tie: I've never been one for novelties and prints. I could smell the lavender wafting up from my linen, as I sped up the lift to the 34th floor. By 9:30 all was mayhem. People were screaming. Then the second plane hit and the phones went dead. We were captive on East 49th street: Building security would not let us leave. Finally, by four in the afternoon, if we signed a waiver, we could go--and so I did. For three days Manhattan shut down, and most everyone stayed in their apartments. There was hardly any traffic on the streets, and very little noise. Many had unexpected guests who lived below Canal Street. Myself, I was alone, and sat in the quiet without television nor radio, internet access or phone service. It took me hours of concentrated effort to tape up the windows, as was suggested, along with air-ducts and door cracks. From that day on, all of New York City smelled like a backyard barbecue. "Ground Zero" smoked and gushed for months and months. A full year later it still smoked. Life just smelled of smoke, and loss: Every day for eight months I walked through funerals on Fifth Avenue: Huge ones--for all of the servicemen who lost their lives. They tend to put on quite a huge pageant in these instances. People didn't speak much at first. The clubs were full: Everyone kept drinking...but there just wasn't a great deal of talking. I, for the first time in my life, found that I couldn't wear perfume. Not only was I convinced my unwavering habit was unfit for such a gloomy time, nothing at all about it seemed alluring or necessary. Three weeks in to the New Era of Austerity and I gave in to a sudden urge to splash myself in signature brew, only to burst into tears as soon as I smelled it swirling around me. I would have to find a new one. In those days, there was a beautiful replica, all in wood paneling, of the Penhaligon's shop in London on the ground floor of Saks Fifth Avenue. I had fond memories of "English Fern," so I went there to ask which of their fragrances could be considered the driest, least frivolous, and, more importantly, which would accommodate this stench of smoke that would not go away. The host of the Penhaligon's boutique was an Englishman, as is fitting. I remember he looked me straight in the eye across his spectacles, and through them I could see his eyes becoming glassy. "This might do," he said. And with that remark I was handed a mouillete sprayed in Blenheim Bouquet. The numbness that lingered all over New York for months did not encourage any sort of enthusiasm, so I just gave it a brief whiff: It smelled of wood smoke, like everything else, with a bit of pine and lemon. "Perfect. The largest size you have please, in an eau de toilette." "We have a 500ml" -"That will be fine. I'm sure I'll enjoy it. Thank you." Though I can't say I did in fact enjoy it, I used the entire 500ml decanter to the last drop. Its severity and seriousness was very precisely suited to the broken spirits of all and sundry: Encouraging to those who "kept calm, and carried on." It took me a year to empty the bottle: When that year was past, New York still smelled like smoke, and so did everything and everyone, except none of us noticed it any longer: We'd all grown accustomed to it. Faced with an empty bottle of Blenheim Bouquet, I again tried my own signature scent, which had lain forgotten in drawers and cabinets, and still, it wasn't right: Too French. Too romantic. I can't smell like this, I thought, and that's when I knew: Sitting at my dressing table with an enormous empty bottle looking in the mirror I saw it in my eyes. Something was just over. One month later, I left. I left New York. I moved away. I still have the empty bottle of Blenheim Bouquet, and every year, on September 11th, I uncork it and give it a whiff. Every year, my thoughts vary...I remember odd things: How people who had lost love ones would burn candles in their windows...all of the "Missing" photocopy signs pasted all over every surface that nobody ever had the courage to remove, so they just disintegrated over time, while we walked by them, day in, day out, and watched. This year, I thought of how beautiful the morning was, and marveled at how that September would be the very last one like it: The beauty of innocence and the thrill and promise of early Fall in New York City, where everything was possible. None of that ever came back the way it was. But Blenheim Bouquet hasn't changed: A kind of therapy. Some days I would get out of bed only because I knew I would have my moment with it. I would look forward to rubbing it all over my chest, because when I did, invariably I would think that at least something was beautiful...and unchanged...and just that little bit of courage, a hint of hope that certain things endure, very often got me through the day. September 11th, 2011

    12th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 22nd September, 2011)

    Leilahdancer's avatar

    United States United States

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    Coromandel by Chanel

    On our trip to Las Vegas I visited about a dozen perfume retailers to sample a long list of researched and recommended scents. I was searching for a new primary fragrance. I thought I wanted a floriental with a bit of spice. What did I know?

    My first stop should have been my last. At the Chanel store in the Wynn, Jessica was most helpful and I was able to enjoy all of the frags available. I've no idea why I waited until last to try Coromandel. Everything I sniffed was nice, but not me. Classy, wonderful accords, but lacking what I want from a fragrance. I wanted a rich scent that pushed the limits a little. These Chanels were lovely,. On someone else. My gourmand-y heart wanted more. More a flavor, than a fragrance.

    Then came Coromandel. One sniff and my eyes lit up. This, this was the one! I wanted it, but intended to do much more sniffing that day, so declined to actually test. Six hours and ten stores later, I was back. I couldn't get it out of my head.

    Rich spices with a patchouli edge, just enough vanilla to lend sweetness. And a creamy whiff of chocolate throughout. All of this and without smelling like a cookie.

    Wore it to a show that night and I could catch a hint every time I applauded. The sillage was perfect. My seat mate commented that she noticed it on occasion as well, and thought it was very nice. Who would have guessed that Chanel made a gourmand pleasing lovely like this. I am in love!

    12th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 22nd September, 2011)

    B.I.G.'s avatar

    Moldova Moldova

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    Omen by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    I can see this as a mainstream fragrance. It's an aromatic woody herbal creature. It's definitely manly and addictive.

    12th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 29th September, 2011)

    scentpacking's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Le Dandy by D'Orsay

    ive never smelled the old formulation of this' so have nothing to compare it to which might be a good thing. i initially didnt like this scent but having revisited it several weeks later i now find it very pleasant indeed.the more i wear it , the more i like it . it lasts 5-6 hours on me ( better than most creeds) .my skin normally eats scents so i aint complaining about the longevity. thumbs up

    12th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 15th December, 2011)

    CH123's avatar



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    Om by Ajne

    Frankincense, oakmoss, sandalwood, and perhaps labdanum. Incense-like, and more unisex than masculine, per Ajne. Has a slightly sweet drydown and has good longevity for a natural perfume.

    13th September, 2011

    Panther's avatar



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    L'Occitan by L'Occitane

    One of my all time favourites. No trendy cool packaging - looks like an old-fashioned bottle of medicine, and comes in a cheap feeling course cardboard box. But who cares - pretty bottles are for her dressing table. Tired of 101 designer fragrances that are minor variations on a theme and met at every turn, office, bar, club? Eau des Baux is strongly distinctive, unusual, with oriental spiciness in spades. It will doubtless be a bit too sweet for some - Mrs Panther quite likes it on me, but opines that it takes a few hours before the wood masculinity subsumes the feminine vanilla enough for her nostrils. And its power and longevity is immense: apply with caution.

    13th September, 2011

    CH123's avatar



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    Espoir by Ajne

    Orange blossom, boronia, a bit "green" (tea?) in the middle, but not medicinal. Has a somewhat darker drydown, but the citrus is quite long-lived. I wonder if it has Lisea Cubeb as that lasts much longer than the typical orange-blossom, and will extend the life of any citrus scent. I've been wearing it during the long hot summer and it's been my personal ray of sunshine. Has no vanilla or amber to cloud the boronia, thus it's a particular favorite of mine. It's only slightly sweet for the first 15 minutes but blends with my skin quite well. Those that appreciate sparkling citrus florals will like this one.

    13th September, 2011

    CH123's avatar



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    Kincaid by Ajne

    More unisex than masculine. An oakmoss lover's delight, enhanced with fir and cypress and perhaps just a bit of labdanum. It embodies the color green and reminds of Carmel, CA, where Ajne is located. I only need a few drops, and the laster power is great for a natural perfume.

    I heard it has changed names as the person it was made for does not wish for Ajne to use his name. How sad...Anyway, it is now called Lascaux.

    13th September, 2011

    Panther's avatar



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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

    Major contrast to most of my spice/wood/tobacco style fagrances.This is fresh and light almost to the point of acidity initially, but bear with it and lingering hidden depths appear. Great daytime summer wear. The original version is a classic, those tried of the multitude of spin-off variations on the theme Miyake has launched have not surpassed it. This is the one replaced in Panther Towers time and again.

    13th September, 2011

    Oaksbluff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gli Odori by Odori

    Fans of Eau d'Hermes need to sample this.

    It's like the country cousin to the Hermes; dirtier, more raw, and dare I say at times a bit more skanky than its urbane relation.

    13th September, 2011

    Yumm's avatar



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    Kim Kardashian by Kim Kardashian

    Does smell like Gardenia, does smell like Michael Kors, but I like it better than Kors. Not so long lasting with my chemistry.

    13th September, 2011

    Lovescully's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

    Wow, what can I say? I was half expecting to be as disappointed by this as I was with 'Coffee', but this actually just edges out 'Malt' as my top favourite of Mugler's Men range.

    The tobacco note is most prominent to my nose, along with dashes of honey and a little vanilla. The surprise for me though is just how long I can actually still detect the tobacco note. It seems to last for ages. I guess that's why it's called 'Havane'.

    Unlike 'Coffee', which in my experience barely held a weak milky coffee note for about 30 minutes on my skin, this version continues to exude a beautiful, sweet & slightly dark tobacco aroma for at least a few hours. Further development reveals the signature A*Men base, but without any trace of tarry notes to intrude on the lovely caramel.

    I still love ‘Malt’ for its opening boozy sweetness, but ‘Havane’ goes to the top of the class for its extended longevity and slightly darker top notes. A very big thumbs up!

    For what it’s worth, my order of preference for the Mugler Men series is now:
    1. Pure Havane
    2. Pure Malt
    3. B*Men
    4. Ice*Men (a much reviled & misunderstood beast!)
    5. A*Men
    6. Pure Coffee

    13th September, 2011

    bonzo's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Knize Forest by Knize

    green fougere similar to Green Irish Tweed by Creed- to my mind better.
    Nothing exciting and inspiring-quite linear scent.I personally dislike the imbalance of this fragrance ( well explained by Bartlebooth!)- unfortunately I dislike GIT too- so it´s not a surprise!

    13th September, 2011

    bonzo's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    Despite all the amazing reviews GIT is to me one of the most overrated fragrances I ever met.This scent, an aromatic herbal fragrance becomes ( on my skin!) quite sour. harsh and bitter.It reminds on Egoiste Platinum,Tsar and Cool water- all fragrances launched at the same time.

    13th September, 2011

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    Francis Kurkdjian's career (FK to those in the know) started out so well with the groundbreaking Le Male, the superb Lancome Miracle Homme L'Aquatonic and the interesting Miracle Homme. His fragrances of late have been a big let down (see the dreadful Davidoff Silver Shadow, the forgettable JPG Monsieur Eau du Matin, and the cheap-smelling Narciso Rodriguez for Him). He seemed uninspired with the shoe-string budgets the majors gave him and the results showed.

    So FK's out on his own now with his own line. He's got his hands on good materials and budget restraints are a thing of the past. The question is - Is his house juice better than his recent designer duds? The jury is still out on that one, but Absolue pur le Soir is utterly boring and smells like every other niche amber/benzoin frag. It's got a nice honey note but with benzoin layered on top and the cedar/sandalwood on the bottom, it gets buried in the avalanche. My biggest issue is the lack of balance and progression. It's as heavy as a 100lb barbell and thick as maple syrup. Two qualities I don't want in a fragrance.

    13th September, 2011

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hypnôse Homme by Lancôme

    Great opening of cardamon and mint. Starts falling apart as the weak lavender and amber creep in. All surface and no feeling. If you enjoy topnotes exclusively and want to carry around a bottle all day to relive them, then HH is your fragrance. Otherwise, I can think of 10 fragrances in this genre that run rings around HH. Roucel must have had a off-day when he created this juice as only one day was needed to get the top notes right and 5 seconds for the base.

    13th September, 2011

    j005279's avatar



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    Brit for Men by Burberry

    For anyone who is a serious collector of fragrances, or just appreciates good quality juice please dont be discouraged by the negative reviews. I read through them and 90% of them claim they did not like Brit because it smelled like baby powder, made you smell like an infant, too feminine etc. They talk as if they can only wear one fragrance and they have to choose only one. We all know that every fragrance has its specific uses and seasons while others are a bit more versatile. Brit has very specific uses that make it essential to a good collection. Its not the first cologne you should buy, not the second or third either for all of you who may be looking for one of your first half dozen purchases this isnt it. This is a fragrance for when you have 5 or 6 and you have spanned all of the different categories, ie aquatic, daring, work scent, signature, night out, intimate. When you are looking to expand and you are entering the cooler months buy this one. The heart does smell like powder. It is very fresh, very clean smelling which makes it perfect for occasions when you will be around people and dont want to offend. movie theatres, sporting event or concert when you are sitting next to people, a show. If someone is going to get stuck sitting next to you for a while, you want to smell fresh and clean and safe. who has ever said they hated the smell of baby powder? everyone likes that smell. people may not Love it but they certainly do not hate it either. no one would ever sit next to you and say..."oh my god this person smells like baby powder its gross". they would think....geez this person smells fresh and nice. this is why this fragrance has its use and is perfect in certain situations. close minded negative reviewers who dont have a good nose cant see this. In addition....I think this has an amazing dry down. the tonka bean...vanilla like woody smoth aroma is awesome. i cant get enough of the dry down. this cologne is very useful....very original. i havent smelled it on too many people. you will stand out and just smell good. go for it.

    13th September, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Musc Maori 04 by Parfumerie Generale

    One of the very few compositions by Parfumerie Generale that I strongly dislike. An extremely realistic dark cacao note, some coffee and a strong creamy/milky vibe. I know it may sound blasphemous of me but it smells like Starbucks minus the cinnamon. As a friend used to say, this is not simply a gourmand, it's more like something you could spray directly inside your mouth. Not for me...

    13th September, 2011

    adrienn99's avatar



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    Jil Sander Style by Jil Sander

    it is good quality but i cannot like it - too dense and sweet to my taste.

    13th September, 2011

    Larimar's avatar

    Austria Austria

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    Impact Pour un Homme by Caron

    If you like Pour Un Homme and its slightly caramelized lavender drydown you are spot-on here... I have planned to wear this in combination with the regular splash EdT to amp the quiet drydown a bit up. It certainly will do the job. Exactly the same drydown, but fuller yet elegantly redux like an extrait should wear! A fantastic addition to the great classic!

    13th September, 2011

    leftybass77's avatar



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    Bang by Marc Jacobs

    This frag will have your Le Male & Angel Men bottles cowering in the corner of your shelf.
    This juice is not for "Frag Experts". Web experts forget that most men are very simple and direct creatures. There are times you want to smell masculine and not like a bakery or prettier than your girlfriend.

    I have a love/hate relationship with Molton Brown's reCharge Black Pepper body wash which is truly a sea of Black Pepper. If you like that wash you'll LOVE this. It's way smoother but has that essence. Simple.

    Get a sample vile and have fun with it.

    13th September, 2011

    Naed_Nitram's avatar



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    Mark Birley for Men by Mark Birley

    If memory serves me rightly and I am not fantasizing, this scent bears the name of a scion of the international jet set, owner of exclusive nightclubs, who numbered among his intimate friends both aristocrats and lions and tigers. Did he, perhaps, even keep a private zoo?
    Nothing wrong with Mr. Birley having a scent named after him, except that it is such a truly awful scent. It would not matter so much that it is so relentlessly one-dimensional - which it is - if only that one dimension were more pleasant. But, to my nose, at least, it is decidedly unpleasant, crass, harsh yet cloying, frankly ugly - possessing an oppressive aura that is almost as dire as that of the terrifying Macassar by Rochas. As the excellent Oviatt says in his review (see below), it really does bear some resemblance to the cleaning fluids in a charlady's broom cupboard.
    Again, if memory serves me rightly and I am not fantasizing, the Baron de Charlus once told me that when he was a houseguest at the Birley estate, Mr. Birley gave him a bottle of his eponymous perfume. The Baron was so underwhelmed by it that he gave his bottle away to one of Mr. Birley's lions. The poor animal took one sniff and went into terminal decline.
    (On reflection, I believe the zoo may have belonged not to Mr. Birley but to his friend and fellow club owner John Aspinall. I wonder if Mr. Aspinall has a scent named after him?)

    13th September, 2011

    wggmn3's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nautica Blue by Nautica

    Once owned this...thanks to the comments here I'm encouraged to buy it again particularly as I've found it for a good price...been primarily using Cool Water for years...also like Tommy Bahama's Very Cool & Set Sail St Barts...have tried many blues / aquas...the one's mentioned have become my faves...look forward to trying Nautica Blue again; also love the bottle design...

    13th September, 2011

    Naed_Nitram's avatar



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    Lagerfeld Classic by Lagerfeld

    Revisiting Lagerfeld Classic after some years, I am certain that the formula has been changed. My memories of Lagerfeld Classic are of a rich, warm, full-bodied, boozy kind of fragrance that enveloped the wearer in an olfactory cloud as thick as an overcoat, and which somehow conjured up a number of vivid, if rather jarring, images - elderly aristocrats, gentlemen's clubs, decanters of cognac, rich brown oak panels, oddly juxtaposed with pimps, pink cadillacs, heavy gold chains and murky backstreet business. In a way, this identity crisis was almost part of its charm.
    But, unless my nose, memory, and imagination deceive me, the newer bottle of Lagerfeld Classic seems an altogether thinner and more chemical affair - not actively horrible, but a poor ghost of its former rich glory. Or do I deceive myself?

    13th September, 2011

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