Fragrance Reviews from September 2011

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    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Believe it or not, Rien is like Knize Ten cranked up tenfold. It's a very powerful deep and dark animalic leather with no softening edges. I couldn't wear Rien comfortably, but some love it. It tends to polarise, so I am going to give it a neutral - ha ha.

    Stop Press:I have tested the new Pentachords range from Andy Tauer and would like to put on record that 'Auburn' is quite simply the best oriental I have ever experienced -- it's basically cinnamon, lemon, sandalwood and incense, but it's so much more than the sum of it's parts. Truly wonderful and needs to be tested. Wasn't as knocked out by the other two in the range, but that maybe because I tried them after 'Auburn'.

    I have done 180's on 2 fragrances, namely Orange Star by Tauer and Guerlain's Double Vaniille -- I love them both now. That will teach me not to write kneejerk reviews.

    There is a new 'Oud' synthetic available now to perfumers and fragrances with this note are (boringly) everywhere now. Surprisingly, the best I have come across is by Jo Malone and called 'Bergamot and Oud'. It's a really refined and lovely scent -- not like a lot of these 'ouds' that leave you cross-eyed and close to collapse.

    30th September, 2011

    Minkymaid's avatar

    England England

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    Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana

    Sharp citrus mixed with a synthetic aqua. It doesn't say fresh to me, it says sour. My work colleague let me sample it in the office. After a while she 'fessed up- she uses it to spray on her feet to keep them cool! It's not out and out bad, it's just not very nice. Right now I'm wishing I'd put it on my feet too, instead of my arm, it's getting more sour and artificial as time goes on and is strong and persistent.

    30th September, 2011

    LadyDragonFire's avatar



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    Sensuous by Estée Lauder

    This is a pretty nice fragrance. I'm mainly just smelling the honey and citrus on me (maybe the flowers a little bit, but not too much.) It seems like a nice, pretty fragrance that might be appropriate to wear to work or to a job interview. However, I'm only applying a small sample with a dauber, I haven't tried spraying this fragrance on. It might possibly be a bit too heavy to wear to the office, depending on your body chemistry.
    It smells nice, but I don't know if it's special enough that I would buy it. I think I prefer Youth Dew.

    30th September, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 4 Cologne: Vettiveru by Comme des Garçons

    I can easily say that Vettiveru is a valid candidate to be considered one of the best bang for the buck when it comes to vetivers. An incredibly nice composition that improves the eau de cologne formula with a slightly "dirty" vetiver note. The overall effect is quite intriguing with the clean aspect given by the neroli/bergamot/florals combo juxtaposed to a dominant vetiver note that add a earthy/salty vibe that's at the same time refreshing and invigorating. Great lasting power, nice projection, very reasonably priced. One of the best "fresh" vetivers around. Recommended!

    30th September, 2011

    almasinti's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lyric Man by Amouage

    Lyric's background is a familiar and gorgeous blend of woods, incense and herbs and spices which say Amouage loudly. Where I am tripped up is the rose...Rose dominates and after drydown, where some of the herbal brightness burns off, I only smell the floral rose note unless I press my nose close to my skin - where I can still detect the beautiful woods/incense accord. I do not like rose scents, as a rule. I also find this fragrance turns to far to the feminine side for me. Hard to not say thumbs up though.

    30th September, 2011

    almasinti's avatar

    United States United States

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    l'eau de parfum #3 green, green, green and green by Miller et Bertaux

    A great green scent in the manner of Mugler Cologne and Creed OV. Smooth and long lasting. Definitely worth a side by side comparison with the other two. Nicely accented with woods and vetiver to add depth to the sappy, grassy, laurel character.

    30th September, 2011

    ozebarjadi's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Ombre dans L'Eau by Diptyque

    Unisex???

    Reminds me very much of Un Jardin en Mediterranee. Begins with a leafy fig-like blast; skip forward ten minutes and it's a rosier, more feminine, version of Jardin's Dry down. It's hard to call it unisex. But then again, I've heard Kouros and N* 5 be called unisex, ...why bother choosing carefully some obsolete terminology.

    30th September, 2011

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Allure Homme Sport by Chanel

    Overrated, yet high quality. Smell is common; and if ya know Channel, ya know, you're not gonna find their fragrances discounted much, if at all. Chanel fragrances are cloned and impersonated quite often, so if ya do decide ya want a Chanel, be sure to buy it from a reputable store.. e.g.: dept store.

    Onto Allure Homme Sport. It opens with a sharp citrus accord with some spice there. Dries down to a creamy lemon. Plain and simple, inoffensive, pleasing, but again.. nothing special.

    Comparisons: Want a creamy vanilla? This reminds me of Ed Hardy's Love & Luck.. which can be found on sale for lower prices. Arpege pH, which imo is the best creamy citrus fragrance on the market, plus the price is right. The opening is quite similar to H2 by Hummer. With that sharp, spicy, citrus accord, and that aquatic feel.

    Allure Sport has excellent projection and longevity, which makes it a winner for many. Along with Chanel's quality that never ceases to amaze me. However, again.. too common for me, I own too many similar fragrances.

    30th September, 2011

    ozebarjadi's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

    Mugler's Pure Somethin' series is a strange phenomenon.
    The newborns carry the genes of their big-egoed hairy chested father, but the small changes add up to enormous differences in their character.

    Imagine what single a garlic clove can do to a tomato soup...

    Where A*men is loud and without a purpose (other than being different and offending people); Pure Havane uses his loudness to sing opera. The Tobacco and the mello-vanillic sweetness work very together to project a rich and confident masculine scent.

    Do you want to smell like a man?

    30th September, 2011

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Réglisse by Caron

    I recently tested Hermès Hermessence BRIN DE REGLISSE, next to which Caron EAU DE REGLISSE seems *very* light on the licorice. This composition reminds me much more of the Lolita Lempicka limited edition EAU DU DESIR. I know, I know, obscurum per obscurius...

    So what's it all about? A very lemony herbal cologne with a underlying light layer of licorice in an oriental base which becomes sweeter in the drydown--must be the vanilla, though this does not smell very vanilla-y, in the end. EAU DE REGLISSE is definitely more sweet than EAU DU DESIR, which is a super-refreshing herbal-lemon cologne.

    I like EAU DE REGLISSE, but for what it is, I do think that EAU DU DESIR is quite a bit better, and if I were looking for all black licorice almost all the time (with a touch of lavender...) I'd go for BRIN DE REGLISSE.

    30th September, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Homme Exceptionnel by Montblanc

    Boring and common, aromatic and  synthetic, herbal and melancholy. Nothing exceptional for sure. Very similar to Rochas Lui that i surely prefer and that owns less "synthetism" and more personality. The fragrance starts citrusy-lavender with an aromatic influence of herbs, the presence of sage, mint and spices (cloves?).The dry down is ambery, woody and mossy with some vetiver and cedarwood in the blend and mellowing, artificially resinous notes lurking somewhere. It doesn't add anything to the olfactory universe.

    30th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 21st December, 2011)

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Antico Caruso by Profumum

    I definitely get that barbershop vibe that other folks have mentioned from the almond and sandalwood notes that dominate this simplistic fragrance ... That said, the scent is super-linear and somewhat annoying after a short period of time. That, and of course the price is ridiculous for this kind of fragrance. Quite frankly, if you are looking for a barbershop scent of superior quality and complexity for 20% of the price, just look for Rive Gauche pour Homme from YSL. This one is not a bad scent, but nothing out of the ordinary and below average, earning a rating of 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5.

    30th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 27 December, 2012)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Black Violet by Tom Ford

    Very dark mossy fragrance leaning on the feminine side, with a certain dosage of umidity and viscosity and full of floral sophistication. There is a touch of camphoraceous crudity in the perception of this smell but it is not definitely a drawback. The chord of strong initial hesperides, fruits, mysterious flowers and central violet produces an averagely dry femininity in the air but the following woodsy-mossy (woods and oakmoss) development balances a bit the scale towards the masculine side. The powerful presence of oakmoss doesn't overstate the velvety and sensual trail of sophisticated flowers although its boise'  presence is a bit shadowed by an excess of artificial fruity-floral sweetness. A mysterious dark chypre a bit too minimalistic and stressed in some of its elements (florals, oakmoss, violet). Impressive longevity, powerful projection.

    30th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 11th February, 2013)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Bandit by Robert Piguet

    I've smelt it for the first time a couple of years ago while
    visiting a niche boutique placed in the town center of Bologna and i don't know exactly about which formulation it was (although i suppose it was the EDP version). The first impression was about a dark, rough, herbal-aromatic and  mossy-leathery chypre coming from an other age and due to be worn by man and woman even if the scales was leaning on the feminine side (too much following fruity-floral sophistication and smell of deodorized and slightly sweated arm-pit). The first impression in general is strange because some elements of dissonance are a bit disturbing (at least under my nose),  may be the excess of alcohol and aldehydes (the initial projection is nuclear), the overly prominent and aggressive animal-leathery and smoky notes already rising from the back and blended with a forceful whirl of citrus (mostly orange), dark spices, mint, vetiver and greens, may be because of a sort of tar undertone over a similar cola kind of sparkling coolness. In this phase the scent with its old-school feel smells like a blend of YSL Rive Gauche and Aramis with a touch of the fruity-spicy-floral temperament of the more refined Mitsouko. The initial blast of neroli, fruit, citrus and spices reminds me a bit the vintage starting chord of Youth Dew which is anyway a much  more feminine, spicy, floral, smooth, sunny and vintage fragrance with a  less woodsy and leathery temperament. In the confusion i smell patchouli and the duo rose-jasmine plus carnation that in this phase are angular and dry in perception before evolving in a smoothing sweet effect on the final mossy leather. The moderate sweetness comes mostly from the floral-spicy middle phase. You need time before that each element takes its place and a bit of leathery velvet emerges clean from the tornado. As soon as the roughness fades the final development is a dark-mossy leather plus some woods, smoothing amber with the animalic and nasty notes of civet and castoreum and the bold earthiness of patchouli. In this phase the fragrance turns out leathery, mysterious, bold, slightly earthy and floral with the pungency of the civet note. Very complex. Classic, leathery and autoritative fragrance.

    30th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 12 February, 2013)

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