Fragrance Reviews from January 2012

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    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain

    This is a fine perfume, but it doesn't stand out enough in any single direction. It's a pretty, citrus-fruit rose on vanilla with some woodiness--but Tocade did that better. And it also has good dollop of powder. See what I mean? It tries to be everything at once. It aims to please many people. And it probably will turn more women into devotees of the Shalimar range.

    One thing is for certain, Shalimar Parfum Initial succeeds in using today's aroma materials to create a flanker that is respectful to the original, gorgeous creation. Herein lies the problem: Where is that original, gorgeous Shalimar? It is nowhere to be found in department store testers. What has happened to the EDT? It is now super-smoky up top with wimpy vanilla on the bottom. That deep, lemon custard that used to persist for hours on the skin is now nonexistent. The new, obnoxious smoke note is unlike the old bitter, woody, resinous note it used to be. By the time the smoke wears off, the lemon has already disappeared. And when the vanilla finally peeks through, it is already starting to fade. The timing of the orchestration has gone wrong. Where is the old, extravagant vanilla that used to meld with the lemon and exude a creamy citrus sweetness for hours? The EDT (which is what most people new to Shalimar will smell) is a huge disappointment.

    For that reason, I have to say that Shalimar Parfum Initial is better than Shalimar EDT at the present time. The additional rose and iris notes mask the thinness of the "ghost of its former self" that the EDT has become. Pure parfum is the only concentration of original Shalimar that I would buy. For any lesser concentration, I would default to the new Shalimar Parfum Initial. At least it is currently manufactured in a way that is true to its intent.


    28 January, 2012

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    I wanted to be blown away by this. With a name like Alien and a bottle like Star Wars Clone Wars, it ought to be over-the-top-weird, right? Otherworldly? Artificial? As it turns out, I had to settle for only the last of those three adjectives.

    At first, I got excited by what promised to be a vinyl note, but it failed to develop. After that, something screechy and metallic wound its way through the entire fragrance, but it never fully distinguished itself as a note, per se. The "jasmine" certainly smelled artificial, but it fell far short of the impressively odd, green, powdery, plastic flowers of Kenzo Flower. Now, those truly were alien. They smelled like flowers straight out of a toy box.

    In the middle of this fragrance, I smelled the not-so-weird scent of... a root beer float and a pitcher of berry Kool-aid. Certainly those don't smell strange to anyone raised as a kid in America.

    Disappointed I was. Take the bottle, I will. And may the farce be with you.

    28 January, 2012

    bhanny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jil Sander Man Pure (original) by Jil Sander

    This is just amazing. SirSlarty mentions a smokiness, and its ever present, and its lovely. Smells like birch tar or cade. There is a wiff of citrus in the top, but just a wiff. Definitely some nice herbs. Lots of oakmoss. Ends with leather. This is not a sillage monster. But lasts a good deal of time on the skin, and the drydown is really nice.

    This is a really nice smokey leather chypre. Will wear this a lot.

    28 January, 2012

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme by Salvatore Ferragamo

    This must've been the first fig centered mens scent that came out and started a mini-wave of fig scents in the early 00's. Marc Jacobs comes to mind...Vera Wang was pretty figgy. It was the BIG FIG gig of the New Millenium. Thankfully, the whole fig thing didn't take off, like say, the Aquatic thing. Or the Fresh thing. Come on...figs? Who wants to smell like a fig? They just are not that intoxicating. I'd rather smell like a kiwi, or a pomegranate.
    As for Salvatore Ferragamo PH itself. It's shrug inducing. Head scratchingly mediocre. Okay, one of the best Italian shoemakers hires the best French perfumer and they come up with...figs? SFPH doesn't smell bad. It's a perfectly serviceable, subtle, all purpose officey type thing. But so is Aqua Velva. Jacques Polge has created some of the most spectacularly great and indelibly memorable scents of all time. Was he having an off day in the scent lab when he came up with this? Maybe the people at Ferragamo wanted something subtle to go with their classy, restrained shoe designs. But this is subtle to the point of being non-existent. It's like you can't even conjure the scent in your head after it's gone. I even find the bottle annoying. That little twist of whimsy. But there's no twist inside. There's no whimsy. There's like no nothing. You can find twenty scents better than this at Bath and Body Works for a fraction of the price. These boots were made for walking Salvatore, and that's just what they'll do...these boots are gonna walk away from Eau.

    28 January, 2012

    Capone's avatar



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    Love and Luck for Men by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]

    nice fresh scent but it simply does not last
    its a fresh oriental fougere with a nice edge and a great drydown and its very popular among a lot of people and it really is a really versatile scent

    28 January, 2012

    dollars&scents's avatar

    United States United States

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    Story by Paul Smith

    Story by Paul Smith - One is initially treated to a blast of a lemony and slightly peppery, citric accord. The herbal and faintly woody aspects of ivy leaf intrude upon and commingle with this sparkling citrus, providing a crisp, leafy opening, which saunters to the awaiting middle. Here, in the heart, a floral potion from the sweet jasmine and cardboard-like mustiness of rose leaf tempers the jarring opening, and transitions to the welcoming base. An altering melange of grass-like and clean vetiver, white musk, with its laundered-linen illusion, as well as a rugged, mineral amber coalesce. With an errant metallic and faintly minty something fluttering about, the dry woodiness of cedar squires the cleanly mix to a refreshing drydown. This light and fresh composition has good projection and longevity, and will bloom in the spring, summer and fall. A very nice fragrance which can be had rather inexpensively.

    28 January, 2012

    scentpacking's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    love it - lasts between 5-8 hrs on me which is just fine - very unusual scent

    28 January, 2012

    FumeHood's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Royal English Leather by Creed

    I give this a thumbs up for a few reasons..

    1. It is a wonderful STUDY scent to experience the likely makeup of perfumes of the past - truly powerful and pungent, and thankfully today more refined.

    2. It is a wonderful style of leather, though more about the tannery (and its ambient smells) than perhaps the leather product. The leather is more honeyedl/urinous/chemically softened - even floral, and far closer to Chanel´s Cuir de Russie than both brighter (fruity/powdery) or darker (cistus, civet, labdanum) and, to my taste, superior alternatives like Knize Ten, Morabito's Or Black, or Xerjoff's XJ17/17 Homme.

    3. It has been discontinued. So we will no longer have to hear all the BS (regarding the historical fiction surrounding its release and its significance over centuries) from an overrated/priced house unbable to maintain any consistency to their fragrances of the modern era.

    I feel like Royal English Leather was what it is - like it or not. Polarizing, bold, sensual, projecting, suffocating, and deep. It was good, and I´m glad I own it. Just think! As it would take 10 lifetimes for me to wear it - its glowing history can last another 250 years in being passed down through my non-royal family!

    28 January, 2012

    CardaGiorgio's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Aoud Lime by Montale

    This fragrance is not for me actually. I think Montale don´t get the citric vibe in this fragrance. It has an aromatic, medicinal and metalic felling but not citric (in my opinion) because the lime should have a little bit of freshness that this scent don´t have.

    Don´t get me wrong, this is a good fragrance for aromatic and metallic fragrances lovers. The develope of this scent is very progressive and it finish with a comfortable sandalwood note mixed with oud and spices. I like the drydown after 3 or 4 hours but as I said this fragrance is not for me actually.

    28 January, 2012

    CardaGiorgio's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Red Aoud by Montale

    If you have tried Chocolate Greedy, this scent is basically the same chocolate feeling mixed with oud. The chocolate feeling is very addictive and the oud gives it a touch of elegance and distinction. I really like this fragrance

    28 January, 2012

    Sarahsaurus's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Aqua Allegoria Anisia Bella by Guerlain

    Having liked Lolita Lempicka, I bought this on the basis of the promise of anise-- and I sincerely regret it. It smells of liquorice allsorts with a malevolent strength and barb to it, with a sickly sweet and soapy undertone added almost, it would seem, as an afterthought.

    This is one truly vile fragrance and I cannot wait to find someone to take this bottle off my hands.

    28 January, 2012

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    O'Pomelo / Pamplemousse by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    I found this to be a rather pale grapefruit. Unremarkable.

    28 January, 2012

    warden's avatar

    United States United States

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    Night Magic Evening Musk by Avon

    One of my all time favorites. If you love powder and musk, this is a very affordable luxury. Stock up before it's discontinued!

    28 January, 2012

    warden's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dreamlife by Avon

    I ran out of this and I need to get another bottle of this soft powdery fragrance. I must be an 'old lady' since I enjoy this type of scent. Youth Dew, Coty Wild Musk, White Linen all seem to equal 'old lady' so I guess the 'old' bias is still alive and well!

    28 January, 2012

    Marshmellow's avatar

    New Zealand New Zealand

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    Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

    Beautiful fragrance. Well crafted and very unique.

    I smell elements of Au Masculin inside with the anise note, but it is very well blended with the sweetness of the base. Loving the licorice. A warm and comforting fragrance, yet very playful (beautiful bottle).

    Great sillage and longevity, to me the scent is most amazingl after 1-2 hours on my skin.

    28 January, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Fraîche Passiflore by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    Yes, this is definitely passion fruit, juicy & sweet, & given a little tartness by the berry notes. lt doesn't really develop on my skin, but fades to a peaches-&-cream base after around 4 hours.
    This isn't my kind of thing; it was sent as a freebie with a Luckyscent order. But the sillage is good, & it's higher in quality than most of the mainstream fruity scents out there, without being as nauseatingly sweet. So if you love a bit of fruit, l'd say this is worth a try as a refreshing summer scent.

    28 January, 2012

    Balvon's avatar

    Lithuania Lithuania

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    Uomo by Lorenzo Villoresi

    It's wonderfull citrs light sommer scent,weil not longlasting...

    28 January, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Stoned by Solange Azagury-Partridge

    A gorgeous, warm, rich, deep, spicy oriental in a classic, retro style. l totally get the comparisons with Shalimar; the bergamot & vanilla combo is certainly reminiscent, but to my nose there's more going on here. There's something both vegetal & animalic in the heart, & then a big, velvety, smoky labdanum note bursts through , & l'm swooning, this is fabulous stuff! The sillage is good, & after around 6 hours there's a nice nutty quality to the base notes.
    l know that this perfume is so named because Solange is a jewellery designer, but for me it certainly has a narcotic feel, being both incredibly seductive & very calming. l must admit l love the look of the bottle as well.
    l've now got myself a second, slightly larger sample of this, & l'm seriously considering dropping the cash for a FB. lt's expensive, but very high quality, & just the kind of thing l love to cozy up with on a winter's night!

    28 January, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Vaniglia del Madagascar by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

    On my skin, the opening is quite a sweet, sugary vanilla with just a fleeting impression of lemon. lt has a soft & subtle feel, with a suggestion of delicate macaroons rather than a rich vanilla cake. After 15 minutes or so, it becomes more smooth & creamy, & then slowly more caramel-like. l don't detect any floral notes at all. After 3 hours, there are hints of amber, & then it fades to a skin scent, giving off gentle wafts when l move, & lasting overall around 6 hours.
    l personally prefer vanillas with a little more depth & complexity, but if you're looking for a soft veil of vanilla that's neither cloying nor cheap-smelling, & is suitable for warmer weather, this could be the perfect choice.

    28 January, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Vanille Absolu by Montale

    This is a deep, sweet, boozy vanilla, with just a touch of smoke, & l get the "nutty praline" note mentioned elsewhere. The other notes are barely there for me, but serve to give this otherwise "straight-up" vanilla a bit of depth & backbone. The sillage is good, & it lasts around 8 hours on me, not unusual for a Montale.
    lf you're looking for a straight vanilla that's high quality & not cupcake-sweet, l recommend this one. l think it would be great for layering, too.

    28 January, 2012

    leto's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    Quercus by Penhaligon's

    I think I will be stating the obvious again, but this really almost the same scent with CK One.
    Disappointing.

    28 January, 2012

    almasinti's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Taste of Heaven by By Kilian

    A pleasant, honeyed lavender scent. There is a disarming sameness about the fragrance though, a lack of evolution, which makes it feel synthetic to me, even though I know it is a well made, quality fragrance. And it lasts an eternity, not always a good thing when there is no development over time. Honey, hay, vanilla, rose, amber. Definitely worth trying, just not something I love.

    28 January, 2012

    surge's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    This smells EXACTLY like an Abercrombie store. I know this scent because every time I go to the mall and walk past an Abercrombie store -- I smell this! I don't shop at Abercrombie or know any of their scents, or which one it is that I'm thinking of...Anyone know which one it is? In the mall I go to the entire section of the mall that Abercrombie is in smells like this...I don't know what they did to make it do that, but that's how it is...lol. It's like they took a gigantic spray bottle and went to town....It's the grapefruit mixed with whatever else it's mixed with...I swear it's the EXACT same thing as an old Abercrombie scent.

    EDIT:

    I asked a friend and he said it's Abercrombie's "Fierce" released in 2002 that I am thinking of. I found a few other reviews saying the same thing...this is basically Fierce re-done. Save your money, get Abercrombie fierce instead. It's literally the *same* exact scent...

    28 January, 2012

    Jimskeen's avatar



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    Hugo Just Different by Hugo Boss

    Got this fragrance as a gift. Was worried that it would be awful, as I am not a fan of the Hugo Boss fragrances but I enjoy it so much that I feel I had to review it. It's not a classic like Terre d'hermes or Green Irish Tweed, however, I was pleasantly surprised by this one and have to agree with its name and marketing. It simply is Just Different. I have nothing really to compare it with.

    A very fresh after the gym fragrance with top notes akin to spraying yourself with a fresh, icy, minty mojito. Drying down to a sweeter/spicier (but not sickly or cloying like joop, A* Men or L'male) scent with lower flowery but masculine notes.

    Longevity is pretty good and sillage fair. My partner enjoys this fragrance on me and I have to be honest and put this in my top 5 favourite fragrances so far. Behind Terre d'hermes, Green Irish Tweed, Rocky Mountain Wood and the original Dior Pour Homme Intense.

    28 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 29 January, 2012)

    autumngleeman's avatar

    United States United States

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    Windsor by Creed

    Wow. I got a sample of this awhile back and I liked it a lot but at the time I had no money to spend on things like that and I forgot about it. Recently, I just collected on a big windfall and I put most of it away in savings but, as I looked at my collection I was reminded of how I felt I didn't have too much that could be used for special occasions that weren't necessarily formal occasions, something really classy but light. I own and adore Equipage but I wanted something with similar versatility and special quality but on the opposite side of the spectrum, something light and fresh. So I said F it, when will I ever again have the easy money to drop on a big flacon of juice I recalled liking so much?

    So, It's been on me all day and all I can say is wow. I'm happy to report a few things. For what it's worth, it smells no different then I recalled my early sample from awhile back. I have the gold label flacon (the reissue people mentioned below). Not only do I not recall a difference between this and the old sample I had, but the early reviews of Windsor below seem to describe perfectly what I am wearing. I take the opinion of the experienced reviewers below very seriously; but in any case, if there is a difference I must say I can't remember and I can't complain, how I'm smelling right now is terrific. Also, the sillage and longevity isn't letting me down! I sprayed a bunch on myself earlier this morning, granted, but it's evening and it's still hanging in there. I smell it walking around, etc. Anyway, I suggest to those who might get it to go ahead and overapply. It can't possibly get to be cloying or too much through over-application and it will extend the longevity considerably. And since I'm not wearing this every day, I'm sure the bottle won't run out any time soon.

    What a brilliant rose heart and drydown! Greenish-not-quite-ripe-rose, but incredible and different smelling. It's a rose strain unlike anything I'm familiar with. And I feel so fresh and clean...I seriously feel like I'm next to the air conditioning, the euchalyptus makes me feel physically cooler, and the whole experience sparkles and is extremely effervescent and makes me feel like a freshly opened bottle of fine soda pop of the Gods (if such a thing existed). The pine smells so fresh and the drydown is UNBELIEVABLY good. Like many Basenoters, I've tried a lot of parfume in my time. This is definitely the best masculine floral I've ever tried. I've given Creed such a hard time in the past that it felt only fair to give massive credit here where it is due.

    28 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 02 February, 2012)

    flathorn's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    I think the re-formulated No. 19 is a success. I'm basing it on the EDT, which I bought. I can't speak to the EDP. It retains the older classic No. 19 undertones, but the reformulation is a lighter, less dense version of that.
    The galbanum is reduced in the top notes. which makes it less bitter on opening, and allows the warmer elements of the fragrance to come forth from the start-up. But what I call warm is actually a curious mix of very greeened-down florals and old-style feminine leather, non-airy, non-expansive, and thank god, non-citrusy. It seems citrus is one of the things they grab when they want to contemporize a fragrance. That's not what 19's about, and they seem to understand and not mess with that. Which is one reason I call it a success.
    Another is that it is a very wearable fragrance - I can see it becoming a staple. Subtle and subdued enough for day, but with the slightly non-feminine muted galbanum edge, it retains a certain amount of character - this is an intelligent perfume because of that sense of character and will. Also, it's feel of coolness, which in fact isn't borne out if you smell it with focus at different phases, creates a subtle juxtaposition, as does the combination of bitter green, earthy floral and warm leather. It engages more than smell in trying to embrace it, heightening its sense of intelligence.
    It becomes a close to the skin fragrance after several hours, though its sillage is never large. It doesn't disappear though. It's one you'd smell coming off someone at close range in an elevator, something on that order. And really, who wants their fragrance to intrude on someone further away than that?

    28 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 04 February, 2012)

    nimeril~'s avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Champs-Elysées by Guerlain

    As someone who isn't really into heavy scents, I found Champs-Elysees to be quite lovely. The top notes of this fragrance make me think of champagne, bubbly and perky! The middle note is reminiscent of clean laundry, if one were to use a floral-scented fabric softener (not a bad thing at all, I LOVE that smell) and gives way to a creamy, soft and warm hibiscus-almond wood combination, almost so light that it is hard to detect. The base note is actually the aspect that I like the most; I find myself constantly sniffing!

    If I were to make one complaint about the EDT, it would be that I wish the sillage was a little better. With that being said, I've received quite a few compliments so far. Perhaps some argue that it's a bit boring, but for people who are sensitive to some of the stronger fragrances out there, I find this to be perfect. I'm not as much of a connoisseur as the majority of people on here, and I may not have a refined taste in perfume---yet! But Champs-Elysees has really opened my eyes to the possibility of finally smelling like a woman, and not a girl.

    28 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 07 February, 2012)

    PeteH's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Dark Aoud by Montale

    Monster astringent sandalwood. Literally breathtaking. Quite a linear fragrance, but radiates out to the orbit of the moon. Not widely liked or admired by my friends when I wear it - and that's exactly why I wear it.

    Try a small decant first. Be patient. I think it's one of the best fragrances on the market today!

    28 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 18 July, 2012)

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lemon Sorbet by Etro

    I am somewhat hesitant to give this one a thumbs up, because similar to Trumper's Extract of West Indian Limes, it just disappears after a minute or two on my skin. That said, it is quite the minute, as the lemon blast you get from Etro's Lemon Sorbet is an incredible natural lemon top note that I just love. Then the scent nearly disappears, leaving only the faintest trace of a mild musky herbal base that stays a skin scent for the duration. I definitely like the scent and award it 3 stars out of 5, but due to the longevity issues I can't recommend a buy... Oh do I so wish I could prolong the top notes on this one...

    28 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 22 December, 2012)

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Uomo by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Uomo is quite the herbal citrus scent. It is very different from most citrus type scents, as I find the herbs play much more of a role here and it really is not sweet at all. After the initial invigorating top notes dissipate, an earthy vetiver note shines through and mixes with the sage and other herbal blend. I think while LV has many scents I prefer to Uomo, it does stay very true to the line's Italian heritage. I think this one is not quite to my taste, but still a fine effort from LV that is worth a sample if you can find one. 3 stars out of 5.

    28 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 22 December, 2012)

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