Fragrance Reviews from July 2012

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    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Eau de Hongrie by Fragonard

    Green jasmine opening with a big dose of lime. The rest is a twangy synthetic citrus-herbal chord, unrelenting in its awfulness, that judders through ‘men’s’ perfumes all the way from Cool Water to Live Jazz. I wouldn’t even use it to clean my toilet.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Fuel For Life pour Homme by Diesel

    A big pop-art raspberry – is this aimed at children? Ah wait, here comes the anise, mass-market signifier of masculinity these days it would seem. (Well, there is that candy called anise balls...) Its sine tone never lets up through this shiny and synthetic experience, boring a hole through the head. For masochists (or sadists if they inflict this on others) and the young and gullible.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Honour Woman by Amouage

    Jasmine-led white floral of some delicacy. There’s no indolic brown nose, and the entire creation seems to recline on a velvet cushion. I can spray this without fear of headache (which is saying something for this category) or robbing bystanders of breath. However, that’s about all it is, the evolution is slight and the complexity one expects from Amouage is absent, though the depth of the florals is impressive. I don’t understand why so many perfumers choose to present white florals ‘as is’, especially when jasmine or tuberose notes have nowhere near the colossal range one can expect from other naturals such as roses or vetiver. As for Honour Woman – she can hang on to her honour as far as I am concerned, there are white florals aplenty of similar discernment which can be had at a much more affordable price.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    L'Ombre dans L'Eau by Diptyque

    A vivid slap of tomato leaf, behind which a hypersweet wet rose blooms. And there’s a dollop of jam in there, too. I don’t know about shadows on water - this is much bolder than that suggests: all saturated greens and postbox reds. Cleanly executed; powerful but without the dizzying effect of some strong scents. Linear, only softening over time, there’s nothing else quite like it.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Mimosa by Florascent

    Diffuse powdery floral start which gives way within minutes to a New Age shop smell – a kind of pepper-rosemary-cedar with sprinkle of oil combo that had me thinking: ‘Now they’re bottling this stuff and selling it...?!!’

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Opus IV by Amouage

    I’m a sucker for a good smoke-and-resins fanfare and Opus IV obligingly provides, but there’s also a bunch of citruses opening their little yellow beaks in a hungry morning chorus. This is Amouage’s sunrise scent. As the glowing orb lifts towards the sky, the citrus and resins combo evokes an almighty clove accord, a 3-D thing, not the dusty spice box versions one may have encountered in other fragrances. The cumin is beautifully handled – rising like the tang of sweat a few minutes in, before blending bit by bit into the whole until it no longer offends. This has a strong balm-like quality, like something uncorked at an Egyptian tomb. I can appreciate it more as an ambient perfume however, than on my skin. I wished things had stayed smoky a bit longer on this one and by the end of the day I felt a bit choked by it. Also that sweet resin and citrus combo is reminiscent of some Tauers to my nose and like them can carry on well after having made its mark.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Pentachord White by Tauer

    Fine white porcelain ought to smell like this. Uncannily it evokes many of the aspects we associate with the colour white – dryness, blankness, purity, the loss of borders. It’s like a white marshmallow that turns to sweet dust on the tongue, the flavour being secondary to that crumbling, dissolving moment.
    The iris note is desiccated but true, somehow losing much of the vegetal carrot feel but maintaining the powdery (dusty?) otherness of this precious ingredient. The vanilla is to the fore (on first spray this can give the impression of being all about the vanilla); but smoky, somewhat bleached, without the usual warmth. The violets are barely there, like those violet pastilles where the senses strain to perceive the flavour of the thing beyond the sugar. The only familiar aspect is the Tauer amber, here making a late, discreet entry, providing the shoulder that pushes the other elements to the front, without distracting.
    The whole gives the impression of something tightly conceived and executed but it lacks volume and can fade into the background. It also seems to me to be too firmly a mood scent (the kind I’d use on a quiet evening on my own) to make the successful transition into functional wear.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Rose by Czech & Speake

    Rose water over something soapy; perhaps a sprinkle of sandalwood dust if one is trying really hard. Nice enough, but a bit too simple to be a perfume. It’s a cologne, they claim, but a bottle of rosewater may do just as well.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Blood, rusty razor blades, dried semen (smells different from the kind that’s fresh out of the cucumber, take it from one who knows) – but masked by a cloud of something that’s screaming ‘fresh’ and ‘milky’ at the same time. The cumulative effect? To my nose, this is marine verité, seawater lapping in the docks with the whiff of all kinds of urban detritus and dead organisms, but somehow resolutely aquatic. Much as I appreciate the spirit of adventure, this is more than I can bear.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Un Parfum des Sens et Bois by The Different Company

    The furniture polisher gets called in for a spot of work at the incense store. This sharp, resinous, cedary incense scent has good penetration but is ultimately pretty mundane. Perhaps it might have amounted to something if the articulation of the floral note had been clearer. There are much better frags in the woody incense genre to be bothering with this one. Lasts an hour, tops.

    13th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Zizan by Ormonde Jayne

    Here Ormonde Jayne steps into a tradition of somewhat spicy ‘masculines’ that start off citrus fresh and then develop a reassuring warmth and depth as time goes by. It’s done with the customary refinement of the house and all the herb and spice notes are cleanly articulated – nothing musty or overbearing. Ultimately, despite smelling immaculate, this is one that doesn’t spark any emotional resonance or instinctual craving in me; just the requisite amount of objective admiration. There’s vetiver in there of course with a name like Zizan, but it’s of the neutered variety. It would make a great gift for many men I can think of who never venture beyond the comfort zone of aromatics.
    Warning: seems to suffer more than most from oxidization problems. My sample turned into a throat constricting chemical cloud (Iso E?) over time.

    13th July, 2012

    rbaker's avatar



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    Opus V by Amouage

    Green and floral is the opening, not a blast but gently yet firm in its introduction.  The floral component shows up with a sweet iris-orris notes with rose and later a wood component added in.  Projection is modest, which makes it a possible office and day scent in autumn, and longevity over four hours.  This is nothing extraordinary but very smooth and well composed.  

    13th July, 2012

    synthetic's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    The One for Men by Dolce & Gabbana

    A really well-done scent. One of the modern releases in a while.
    Sweet grapefruit opening that dries down to something really unique in which a subtle tobacco and cedar come to the front and gives it a chance to becomes the scent that is instantly recognizable as The One for Men.
    But as many have stated a million times over, the longevity SUCKS. I am not sure if this is was deliberate or not but it really does stop this from being even better. Not asking for powerhouse longevity, just something that lasts longer than the current formula.

    13th July, 2012

    rbaker's avatar



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    Opus IV by Amouage

    In the opening that I got there was just a hint of citrus, mainly mandarin, which after a few minute was pushed into the background by the spiciness of coriander, cardamon and cumin.  Heavy frankincense and musk with labdanum follow suit to establish this as a rich and heavy oriental scent.  Nonetheless, the background hints of mandarin and berry add that touch of acidity that prevents this luscious fragrance from ever becoming overwhelming or cloying - a masterful balancing act that many other scents fail to achieve.  A great comfort scent on a cold winter day.  Silage and projection are very good, and the longevity  of over ten hours is indeed excellent.

    To me this one of the most convincing Amouages in its smoothness, balance and quality.  A great fragrance.

    13th July, 2012

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Anvers 2 by Ulrich Lang

    If the advertising is to be believed Ulrich Lang’s Anvers 2 is a veritable pyramid slut with its notes of bergamot, lime, lemon, black pepper, wild basil, rhubarb and cypress, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, lily, mimosa, blond woods (cedarwood and sandalwood), vetiver, tonka bean, vanilla, musk, amber, olibanum and oakmoss.

    Indeed, it is diverse and protean. But there's a pecking order too, with rhubarb foremost, followed by a cosy tobacco accord, and jasmine not far behind.

    Anvers 2 impresses at first for possessing so much fruity-floral-leather get-up-and-go, but after an hour I'm bored by its vagueness.

    13th July, 2012

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Musc 25 by Le Labo

    A musk that is white, trite and not worth knowing; but if you wish to smell like fabric softener, don't hesitate.

    Kiehl's Original Musk has similar ambitions but smells incomparably more appealing for a fraction of the retail cost.

    13th July, 2012

    iodine's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Thé Pour un Été by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Before falling down the rabbit hole of perfume addiction, I simply was a lover of good fragrances and used to buy one a time, consume it till the last drop and say goodbye for ever. In this way, perfumes are strongly associated to certain periods of my life and they prove very hard to be reviewed objectively on re-testing. Anyway, this precious little perfume doesn’t fail to be charming also after all these years.
    It’s a pretty simple but perfectly balanced declination of fresh herbs- mint, grass- citrus and flowers- jasmine mostly, on a transparent, sweet, woody base. The tea note is, alas, more conjured up by the associations with jasmine, mint or citruses than really detectable on its own. Perfect when the temperature rises, ideal companion of an afternoon on the beach or a walk in the countryside.

    13th July, 2012

    ebbtide's avatar

    United States United States

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    Red Roses by Jo Malone

    I love rose scents, and I've tried several rose soliflores-- some powdery, some sharp, some green. They seem an adequate enough approximation, but grow tiresome.

    This one smells like actual roses, an up-close sniff in a summer garden. It's absolutely lovely and putting it on transports me.

    Initially the sillage is somewhat strong but it calms down after half an hour or so. Nothing funky happens to it on my skin; it softens but its character doesn't change much. After a day of wear it's faded to only a close smell.

    13th July, 2012

    OregonAutumn's avatar

    Hungary Hungary

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    Few years ago, I've found a decant of Black in one of my drawers. Not sure where did I get it or who gave it to me, but I applied it few times, and it definitely pleased my nose. It was wonderful.
    Funny or weird thing is, I discovered that it was likely a counterfeit/watered down version, because even the bottle itself was different from the ones I've seen on google (I'm not sure if it is actually can be considered as a bottle). But I liked it, so I "blindbought" an authentic one and hoped that it has better longevity and a more refined smell than the fake one.

    I've just received it. I'm not sure if I hate it or love it.

    I love it because....
    Just look at the bottle itself. Awesome details....and really unique, has the shape of a steering wheel or a tyre. Well, Bulgari is a jewellery company so this doesn't really surprise me. Just great quality that I've expected. If you are a collector, you have to buy it.
    The overall smell of the juice is perfect. It reminds me of Fahrenheit - you have the gasoline note and the tangerine/orange together, and in this case you have the rubber note and vanilla.
    I don't get anything else, maybe the leather and the tea note, but that is all for me.

    And I hate it because....
    This could be my signature scent. It's not really popular. But it has POOR projection, stays close to the skin. Longevity is average, sometimes I have to reapply it, sometimes I don't.

    Spraying it more than 3-4 times is pointless, you will not get more longevity.

    Still a thumbs up.

    Sillage,Projection : 6/10
    Longevity : 7/10
    Versatility: I think it is actually versatile, doesn't project much, so haters of the infamous tyre note will not get offended. 8/10
    Smell: 10/10, excellent !!!

    Overall: 8/10, great buy.

    Make an EDP version or fix the projection/longevity issues please, Bvlgari.



    13th July, 2012

    Mr. W's avatar



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    Jubilation XXV by Amouage

    This is the fragrance for a man who wants to spend a lot of money for fragrance. The scent itself is good and yes has a luxurious feel, but there is the way better fragrances than this one. Still good one.

    13th July, 2012

    TXAggie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Code Sport by Giorgio Armani

    I have about a dozen designer fragrances and this one is my favorite. I've just recently started this collection but this one is the only one that has gotten comments from women. This morning I was ordering my Starbucks and the girl behind the counter said "you smell fantastic". That's enough for me, this frag is a keeper!

    13th July, 2012

    impdaddee's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Aventus by Creed

    Juicy pineapple, sure. Smokiness, yup. A hint of dreamy flowers, and musky charm. Smells super.

    Great! Here's my $300. I'll take a bottle.

    Then I get home and a half-hour passes, and it just vanishes into vague meh-powder-something-maybe smell.

    ???!!!

    I try it again, same result. And again, same thing. #@&!%!!!

    An expensive lesson: try, try, and try again before shelling out a day's wages.

    I gave it away to a friend, who absolutely loved it. On him, gorgeous, great projection, long-lasting, masculine, not overpowering, in others words, everything we want a fragrance to be.

    Try, try, and try again.
    Try, try, and try again.
    Try, try, and try again.

    Lesson learned. Still out $300, though.

    13th July, 2012

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

    I agree with Alfarom, this one is an excellent chypre, well balanced and calibrated but too stiff, common and finally boring. This fragrance is highly aqueous (i mean kind of cologne), dusty and lemony (with a slightly stuffy or, pardon, classic touch of bergamot), ending with the bitterness of the smoke, the pungency of the spices and a sheer touch of leather. One of the starring element is the notable (at least by me) muguet (initially sour than light and melancholic). The starting impression you feel after the first spray is "Wow, what a refined and classy fragrance" but the last sensation this fragrance leaves is "i'm waiting to devoid the bottle, i'm looking forward to try a crazy new scent". I repeat, a refined musky chypre (really woody, hesperidic and aromatic) with spicy-smoky masculine traits, but a too stiff kind of juice to me.

    13th July, 2012

    TXAggie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    I loved the opening of this one, but it turned into something powdery/creamy that kinda made me sick. This was my first experience with Chanel and has turned me off.

    13th July, 2012

    MorganFay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bespoke : Bal de Roses by Keiko Mecheri

    I love Bal de Roses. It is always a happy, lighthearted fragrance- I really feel as if the roses are dancing and carefree when I wear it. And it lasts very well- I can still smell it the next morning!

    13th July, 2012

    MorganFay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bespoke : Ambre Mirabilis by Keiko Mecheri

    This has become my favorite amber fragrance and I've tried a lot of them. It is perfectly balanced and sensuous and delicious and perfectly blended. I would call it linear, except that there is a honey note that weaves its way throughout the fragrance- I imagine it as a golden thread against a darker background. It is a compliment getter and I love to wear it!

    13th July, 2012

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Signature by Avon

    You need to let this sit for awhile so your skin can absorb it before you judge it, because it is pretty unique. Starts off with a pretty generic sweet apple and cinnamon opening, but after a few minutes it starts getting interesting.

    It's hard to put a label on this because it's sort of a melange of woody, spicy, oriental, leather and green scents. It gets less sweet as time goes on, and you can smell the light wood and spicy notes flitting in and out for hours, on top of a smooth leathery, oriental base. The base notes are silky and oily, but not very sweet, and I like that.

    What's best about Signature is how transparent it is. It projects very well, but the cloud of scent around you is never heavy; it's more like small wisps of wood, spicy and dry fruity note float around you.

    Longevity is also very good, so this is good value. Thumbs up!

    MY RATING: 8/10

    13th July, 2012

    Oviatt's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mustang by Mustang

    I recentlty tried this on the strength of Shamu1's review on his excellent site Pour Monsieur. I really like it--it is clearly a cut above most of the similarly-priced fragrances at the drugstore. What it reminds me most of is Creed's new Tabarome--very much so, in fact. The ginger and tobacco combination is very similar and relatively unique. While I think that Mustang is a really good scent, it does smell a bit synthetic to me, but it smells so good and good-natured that it doesn't matter. Others have called it a woody oriental--I do not get that at all. What I do agree to is whoever called it aromatic, because--particularly in the drydown--it reminds me a bit of that aromatic (in this case Fougere) masterpiece, Azzarro Pour Homme. I also sense some anise amoung the middle notes. Great affordable scent!

    13th July, 2012

    D.Sprad's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royal English Leather by Creed

    One of the things I always hope to achieve by wearing Royal English Leather is being different from the pack in the way that I smell. It's just one of those few things I sometimes very much crave - the feeling of wearing a fragrance I know will be exceptionally rare to detect on anyone else I encounter. Creeds in general are often very much their own fragrances, but there will always be comparisons drawn. When you wear Green Irish Tweed, there is a chance you will be recognized as smelling like Cool Water, or Black XS when wearing Himalaya, and so on and so forth. Royal English Leather is distinguished by its total inability to be even vaguely recognized other than for itself. When you wear this fragrance, you wear Royal English Leather and nothing else. It is the very image of uniqueness, and provides insight into the fragrance tastes of a time long past, which is an interesting picture for me.

    I think it's unfortunate that the opening, which I can only describe as a wonderful soapy, floral, semi-sweet cleanliness, occasionally draws comparison to a urinal cake. I don't detect the comparison on the skin at all, only somewhat on paper, and I think it's disturbing that smelling a pleasant clean scent in this day and age inspires the image of something used to make horribly offensive odors go away. I have never been told by anyone that they thought that Royal English Leather's beginning smells of a urinal block, except one person, again on paper rather than the skin. I cannot begin to fathom equating the beautiful beginning of this fine scent to something like that.

    I'll admit the name Royal English Leather is quite underwhelming to what it suggests. The leather that exists upon application is very subtle and cleverly hides behind the cleanliness. It occasionally shows itself in the beginning, and then emerges later on. I can understand, then, why people who apply the fragrance expecting a leather-bomb find themselves disappointed. Luckily I wasn't seeking such a fragrance, and thus am able to recognize how wonderful Royal English Leather is without the strong bias of having wanted strong leather. The drydown of the scent is marvelous, as has been discussed, developing into a semi-sweet and woody leather. Through and through, I love this creation, and there is not one minute I'd prefer to smell something else when it is on my skin.

    13th July, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genghis Khan by Marc de la Morandiere

    Genghis Khan opens with a burst of ginger, soon coupling with a nice cardamom and cumin spice tandem to dirty up the ginger slightly. The heart notes include the ginger from the opening, adding patchouli and a nice herbal soapy accord with woody accents before transitioning to an amber base with the remnants of the remaining spice (which also peeps slightly into the heart notes as well). Projection and longevity are both average.

    The ginger opening is quite a stunner, and I immediately knew I would like Genghis Khan from thereon out. The cardamom and cumin spice could easily spoil the party and come off as body odor, but Genghis Khan keeps them well enough in-check to only add some earthy aspects to the spicy scent. The patchouli and amber in Genghis Khan play key roles to slightly sweeten the spice, but always is in a support, letting the ginger and other spices take center stage throughout. While this scent came out in the "powerhouse 90's," I really do not get a powerhouse vibe from Genghis Khan. It is plenty strong, but it is no projection beast, and while very spicy it is quite civil and pleasant at all times. I am a big fan of this one and give Genghis Khan a truly excellent 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5 and a strong buy recommendation. The vintage juice while long since discontinued and relatively scarce can still be found on eBay for non-wallet busting prices currently.

    13th July, 2012 (Last Edited: 14th July, 2012)

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