Fragrance Reviews from July 2012

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    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kanøn Agarwood by Kanon

    A modern day powerhouse, if there ever was one. This is dense, thick, heavy and overpowering in the long haul. I smell the oud (synthetic, obviously) overlaid with a LOT of rosewood, with heavy amber, moss, labdanum, sandalwood and patchouli in the base. There is a lot going on with Kanon Agarwood, like a maelstrom of smell.

    I like this scent, but unfortunately by the time the drydown arrives, the synthetic quality of a lot of the ingredients becomes evident, and the scent develops a kind of annoying plasticine smell. Luckily it's not so bad as to completely ruin the fragrance for me. Maybe I need to go lighter on the number of sprays, since this is an overpowering fragrance.

    Very, very 80s in style, and macho. It even reminds me of some of the brutal powerhouse perfumes for women from the 80s, like Fendi per Donna. This is not a refined scent at all. This is all power, power, power.

    MY RATING: 7/10

    19 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 20th July, 2012)

    Beauxbatons13's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

    I recieved a bottle of this in the Eau De Cologne as a birthday/graduation present a couple of days ago along with some other [EPIC!] goodies from fellow basenoter Jujy54. Her note in the card stated that it was 'Racy stuff, pure decadence' and I couldn't agree with that statement more. The porcelain bottle is beautiful and like something off of Marie Antoinette or Josephine Beauharnais' boudoir tables. As others have noted very french. The opening on my skin is very spicy and slightly dizzying if you smell it straight away. I love the spice in the beginning, and after a few moments it begins to develop. Heavy on the musk, vanilla, and rose and a spicy vibe as it dries down to a 'sultry cookie' on my skin. The scent itself reminds me of an extravagant ball at Versailles or some other palace, with flowers all around, and flowing champagne and sweet treats, and ladies and gentlemen [or gentleman/gentleman, lady/lady menage trois] pressed together [it is Bal a Versailles after all] it just reeks of elegance and sultry cookie. and I really like it. <3

    19 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 28 July, 2012)

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Windsor by Creed

    Windsor (new) opens with a gin-like mist with faint lime accents before quickly transitioning to its heart notes that are quite difficult to describe on skin... I get a lot of cedar, with a dull eucalyptus, rotting pine and just a mild faint rose that really is not the star of the scent at all. Projection and longevity are both average.

    I went into smelling Windsor (new) with high expectations as I tend to love rose fragrances, and this one has gotten a lot of love by fellow enthusiasts. Unfortunately Windsor (new) is a failure, IMO. I get very little rose, but instead a weird combination of eucalyptus, pine and cedar primarily that adds in the rose as almost an afterthought to create a scent that comes off as something reminding me of stale hay in a barn house. I realize that is not what any of the notes smell like individually and I normally would not make the association with any of them at all, but maybe it is a skin reaction or something else, but that is what I am getting from the overall accord... The scent is almost something I might expect to smell from an animallic even though this should really not smell like that -- not terrible smelling, per se, but just "off". It is a weird smell and completely different from what I wanted and expected. I give this unfortunate way overpriced semi-stinker from Creed a below average 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5.

    19 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 06 August, 2012)

    photofinish's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ulysse by Vicky Tiel

    Ulysse opens with sweet, heady florals and citrus that transform into a tawdry, spicy musk scent which no self-respecting Greek Hero would ever wear.

    19 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 22 August, 2012)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme Sport by Issey Miyake

    Energizing, sparkling and finally woody. A sharply aquatic and  summery juice for a thirsty skin,  with musk and a touch of spicy orange. Averagely synthetic and unoriginal. I've spent a whole working day with a colleague of mine side by side at office and inside a car moving for the city and i was disturbed by an intimate question: it's Chanel Bleu or Cool Water what is he wearing? I wished to be sure and to guess the write name in order to bewitch him (as i love to do usually). At the end of the day, in front of my homme, i told him "did you wear Chanel Bleu today?"-" No, L'Eau d'Issey Sport" -, "aha". Effectively the synthetic ozonic elements are more stressed in here and the juice is less woodsy and much more ozonic-marine, bright and strictly salty-iodate than the overmentioned scents from Chanel and Davidoff.

    19 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 26 August, 2012)

    CoL's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Citrina by Space NK

    This is a simple cologne style (but much stronger) type of scent. It really should be unisex as I can detect nothing that would suggest otherwise. Just a simple citrus EDT that last quite well and is currently at 80% orf!

    20th July, 2012

    MissMagic's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Pur Désir de Lilas by Yves Rocher

    Perfection *5 stars out of 5* - I'm not all about "niche+highend". There are some hidden treasures out there. This is one. An amazingly good Lilac-soliflore. A fragile spring-beauty. A big realistic bouquet of light purple lilacs. Superb lastingpower and with a very good sillage.

    Perfumer: Annick Ménardo (the nose behind Guerlain's Bois d'Armenie, Le Labo's Patchouli 24, Bulgari Black, Dior's Hypnotic Poison & Bois D`argent. And most by Lolita Lempicka+many others)

    20th July, 2012

    senore01's avatar

    United States United States

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    Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf

    I like Spicebomb. It can be overly sweet just don't apply too much. It has a nice pink pepper/cinnamon vibe going. It is a step up from One Million. But, I must say that Spicebomb is over priced for sure. I have even layered Spicebomb with Lalique White. It is a fantastic combination which gets me many compliments.

    20th July, 2012

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dunhill for Men by Dunhill

    If this is at all true to the original 1934 Dunhill, then it is the progenitor of many classic masculine fragrance tropes. Moustache and Eau Sauvage, to name just two, would owe a sizable debt to Dunhill's eponymous cologne. The combination of bergamot/lemon and clary sage is done to perfection here. There is also, soon after the top notes bloom, a slight detour into classic fougere territory where Zizanie and Canoe may be seen through a partially-closed window, just for a moment. A slightly, quite mild, smoky leather note makes a cameo as well. Ho Hang and Equipage sample beats from this section. Chaz tried to duplicate this and failed. This is the real deal.

    Those who find 4711 too vulgar or too fleeting should make a beeline to Dunhill. On top of all of this symphonic interaction of masculine fragrance staples, the longevity is phenomenal, easily exceeding 12 hours without being overbearing and overpotent. In summary, Dunhill is a superbly-judged anthology of traditional masculine perfumery.

    20th July, 2012

    rbaker's avatar



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    Bois Marocain by Tom Ford

    Pine and cedar straight up - a bit synthetic but a nice initial impression. After one hour it is very close to my skin and it does not change much. I was going to write it off as having a ridiculously short half life, but the faint scent continued to linger for over six hours. I feel it is overpriced, but if you work in the country and want a very unobtrusive fragrance or you just love pine, it might be for you. If I want a real cypress fragrance with some power, Creed Cypres Musc is way superior, and for a more sophisticated cypress, Chanel Sycomore is much better.

    20th July, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Roccobarocco by Roccobarocco

    old style fougere, this says it all

    20th July, 2012

    argentak's avatar

    United States United States

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    John Varvatos STAR USA by John Varvatos

    I bought a full EDT of this number after all of the buzz I heard about it through some various channels. I have to say I'm mightily impressed. It's got your very classic American designer smooth casual feel but yet has a dark depth to it.

    It's rare to find a fragrance which can pull off deep and mysterious while also doing smart and daytime semi-formal.

    20th July, 2012

    argentak's avatar

    United States United States

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    John Varvatos STAR USA by John Varvatos

    Had to write a second review because this frag is double-listed. But anyways. Star USA is clean and smooth but also has a rich, darker undertone. It's a perfect transitional fragrance and isn't heavy in any way. The beauty of it really lies in how the fragrance lingers. There is all the bold definition of a leathery evening cologne but it has a subtle smooth edge that makes it feel effortless in everyday casual situations. The beauty in its dynamic simplicity earns it an A+ for me.

    20th July, 2012

    Angel66's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler

    I love the smell but it doesnt last on me.
    i am wearing it for 4 hours now and my co-workers have to really get close [nose in neck]to smell something.
    i sprayed about 9 times , the same store with pure havane.
    i cannot understand that most people say, that it lasts so long.
    i really love it do, big bummer for me.

    20th July, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mon Cuir by Ramon Monegal

    Mon Cuir opens on skin with a nicely done orange blossom note, before slowly receding giving way to a very strong animallic, even semi-camphorous birch leather note that at first combines with the orange blossom in the early heart then outright overtakes it (and everything else) afterwards. The leather is supported by a barely detectable nutmeg and musk, but there is never any doubt as to who "the star" is in Mon Cuir. Projection is average and longevity is slightly above average.

    I am afraid Mon Cuir is really not to my personal taste. Its animallic leather nature is not the kind of leather I enjoy and I feel quite uncomfortable wearing it. I really did like the opening orange blossom and I think it could have been used more skillfully with a different kind of leather than the animallic stuff used here, but once the leather took the fore it was the beginning of the end for my enjoyment of Mon Cuir. It is interesting having previously sampled Monegal's Cuirelle, that I find the suede-like more soft and gentle approach used in that one as a much more appealing leather that I find far superior and much more accessible. That said, Mon Cuir is more of a "leather purist" kind of leather and may appeal to folks that like their leather more raw and wild than I. As for me, I'll stick to Cuirelle. "Mon Cuir" is not *my* leather and gets a below average to average 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5.

    20th July, 2012

    KJS88's avatar



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    The Baron by LTL

    This was a major disappointment. I usually gravitate to old school, powdery fragrances, and an American acquaintance said I would not be disappointed with this.

    With lavender, bergamot, sage, patchouli, sandal, vetiver, moss, jasmine, rose, carnation, orange blossom, I guess I had imagined something reminiscent of Zizanie (which I love) or even Zino (also love). Nope.

    What I get is something utterly non-descript; I wouldn't say this smells anything like Red Door (hate with a burning passion), and its not headache-inducing like RD is. But it is that same sort of mish-mash and is not at all masculine. It is, in my opinion, the Red Door of the men's fragrance world.

    It doesn't smell metallic to me, but it does have this metallic room temperature feel to it; it also has a cheap washroom miniature soap feel to it, and also reminds me somewhat of the fragrance some company uses in womens' sanitary liners (can't remember which, but remember the smell--I work at a supermarket to pay for university, and often get let stack the sanitary aisle shelves).

    Not good, and I was so looking forward to it.

    With glowing reviews from some people, I went looking for a cheap-ish bottle, found one for about 40 AUD$. Waste of money.

    20th July, 2012

    justiceanthony's avatar

    Ghana Ghana

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    Chrome Legend by Azzaro

    this stays fresh all day.....i really love it. its citrusy and all....but it also gives me this palm-nut note (i don't really know where that comes from...but i do smell it on and off and thats the only thing i dnt really like about it). i own a few bottles of colognes and this here is one of my favourites, its the "king" of longetivity and has really good projection. it lasts all day and you can even smell it in ur clothes 2 days after.

    20th July, 2012

    KJS88's avatar



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    Royall Vetiver by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

    This really holds it own against Guerlain, and against what I remember of Givenchy's Vetyver (memory sketchy here). Of the three, I wear this the most, and it does beautifully in a muggy, hot sub-tropical Eastern Australian summer. Where I live in southern Queensland at the moment, for the benefit of American perusers, its like a muggy warm Louisiana/Florid spring/summer about 9 months of the year :-/

    Its so hard to find a good, affordable Vetiver that can be used year-round. This lush, whereas the Guerlain is a little drier, hand has a more commercial "masculine" feel.

    A good, cool, soothing Vetiver as opposed to crisp and dry. There is a fortifying richness in the heart and base; one can feel the floral, spice, balsamic, and woody notes--they do not announce their arrival or departure. They're there, you don't smell them individually, they do their job. They bring a quality to this inexpensive delight not found everywhere in the world of Vetivers: no sass, no sharp bite, rooty-dirt kept well in check, no inkiness, but there is a certain substance to it. Body splash formula with EdT strength which blooms and contracts with rising and falling body heat, and wafts nicely in the heat of summer.

    Definitely, unmistakable Vetiver, and I get many more compliments on this. I never seem to with the Guerlain (which I like just as much, but for different reasons, and managed to score a fresh 6.8 oz bottle for a steal recently)

    Comes in a nice, but almost kitschy 4 or 8 oz bottle; I order and 8 oz coming into the spring, along with the Royall Lyme (also fabulous very, very nice, but still leaves one wondering if there is a more perfect Lime--there isn't, but I like about 7 or 8 interpretations equally).

    Grad a bottle and give it a go. If you don't like it, it makes a beautiful linen spray. Can also be added to bath, shaving, and laundry water, which the company promotes as qualities of their blends.

    In light of what it is, and not what it claims to be (and also because I think its a tad underrated), 4.5/5.

    20th July, 2012

    KJS88's avatar



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    Spanish Leather by Geo F Trumper

    I purchased the gorgeous splash bottle trio of this, plus Eucris and Ajaccio Violets.

    Spanish Leather: not what I expected, no leather, no churchy-barbershoppy vibe, but still very nice nonetheless. Just not what I expected, but that doesn't detract from its obvious quality and suitability for other people who, well, are not me.

    I like it, but don't love it. It reminds me precisely of Imperial Leather soap (by Cussons), and smells far more like it that does the horrible Imperial Leather aftershave lotion available cheaply at supermarkets (it and the equally reprehensible Imperial Leather deo spray are huge disappointments).

    Though, like Imperial Leather soap (which I remember as child was much, much, much creamier in lather and gentler on the skin, with a richer, stronger, more lingering fragrance), it lacks the character it had even a few years ago. It goes on just as strong, and in much the same way as Lagerfeld Classic (no connection), quickly (very) peters down to a mere imitation of its former, superior self.

    20th July, 2012

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    Warm rubber and baby powder vanilla in a hockey-puck bottle, simultaneously weird- and cosy-smelling without being remotely grungy or cloying. Bulgari Black contains notes of tea, jasmine and musk, with an intimation of leather throughout, but when push comes to shove it's about the rubber and vanilla.

    I don't know whether Black is a masterpiece, but some of its qualities point in that direction: its elegant simplicity; a perfect linearity as if entering the world fully-formed; its creator Annick Ménardo's track record; its ideal diffusion, quiet yet enduring; and a brilliant gender indeterminacy. While developments since its appearance in 1998 – Comme des Garçons' ‘Synthetics’ series comes to mind – might have chipped away at its novelty, Black will always be (the) original.

    Many have remarked on the scent's 'private life', that 'I-wonder-what-it-will-do-today?' quality. As with Beckett's remark of his 'Endgame', Black depends on the power of the scent to claw, in its ability to bewitch and provoke.

    20th July, 2012

    Hat and Beard's avatar

    United States United States

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    1903 by J Peterman

    I was so excited to try this given all of the reviews praising it. It also seemed like every time I searched fragrances by note on here 1903 popped up in the list. I decided to take the stab and blind buy a bottle from the J. Peterman website. Oh man did I not like this one at all. As I awkwardly applied the cologne from the "classic" style bottle I was suddenly whisked back to high school gym class as this smells EXACTLY like the 'regular' version of Mennen Speed Stick to me. I didn't get much but an extremely soapy/spice/green from this one the entire time it was on my skin. Every time I went back to my arm to take another whiff I was really wanting those leather and tabac notes to be there, but alas they never showed up. I will say that the staying power is excellent, but that unfortunately is not enough to get me to keep the bottle. If more classic style/barbershop fragrances are your thing you probably will enjoy this burly man-juice quite a bit.

    20th July, 2012

    torbacka's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    Brit Summer Edition for Men by Burberry

    I tried this on my wrist after sniffing on the paper. That means that I found it interesting among all the other bottles among the collection of the most basic designer stuff. The positive thing was that it wasn't one of those diluted lame aquatic scents, but had more character and body.

    It starts with nice refreshing cardamom, accompanied by not that strong citrus and some vanilla (tonka bean I guess) and vetiver (for some freshness/airyness). Also some ginger sting there. After the start it softens quite quickly to soft spice (little cardamom and/or musk), woods, vetiver and vanilla combination which is pleasant. Comforting but not heavy.

    It's not only for summer as someone said below though it's quite light still and some vetiver there that makes it more transparent and airy. Maybe optimal for a rainy day summer fragrance.

    Have to try this again some day so neutral rating for now...

    20th July, 2012

    KJS88's avatar



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    Héritage by Guerlain

    I'm giving it a thumbs up for its obvious quality. A great scent--the 'Guerlainade' in masculine form.

    I own two of the 4.2 oz splash bottles, which are terrific on display. I've used about 1/4 from both, which came sealed, but of uncertain vintage.

    I used to love the stuff, but over the last three months I've grown to intensely dislike the genre woody-aromatic-oriental-chypre; I've found this note in pre-reformulation Héritage (most recent reformulation, and even the recent reformulation is pretty damned good) that it shares with post-reformulation Pierre Cardin and Creed Bois des Iles.

    Apparently, I'm the only one who gets it, so I'm supposing that there are a few minor elements to which I have, over the last three months, become anosmic, and another minor but niggling element to which I have become allergic. I've never come across this before the last 3 months which I major shame for me, because I love Héritage so very much. Of the genre in general, I do not notice this grating note in Zino, so I can happily go on wearing that (wow that stuff is a compliment getter on me! A friend told me to only lightly mist my shirt, but concentrate the stuff on my neck and chest--it works).

    This particular jarring, grating note smells like olive leaf extract, which tastes absolutely foul. The very though of it makes me queasy; the stuff is very good for you for your internal organs and your skin, and works wonders during flu and cold season, but it tastes foul and I have to fork out a fortune to get tasteless capsules.

    That note lasts only about 15 mins but it really irks me (obviously).

    Other than my own sensitivity to it, no one else notices it (that I've come across).

    But for that note that annoys the hell outta me: 4.5/5--other post adequately describe the scent, so since I've complained enough (lol), I shan't give a note pyramid.

    20th July, 2012

    furrypine's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Jasmin 17 by Le Labo

    A lovely orange blossom fragrance. Jasmine and vanilla are supporting players and keep the orange blossom sweet and non-indolic. Great longevity, huge sillage. I like it a lot but you better love orange blossom if you consider getting it.

    20th July, 2012

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Habit Rouge L’Eau by Guerlain

    An accomplished Habit Rouge flanker. The name is perhaps a little misleading; it is not simply 'watered-down' but rather restructured in an attempt to appeal more to modern tastes. It is softer, smoother, lighter and less 'perfumey' than the standard EdT. The powder has been dialled right down and the leather present in other formulations seems to have gone altogether (I wonder why?). It still opens with that breathtaking burst of bright citrus; and thanks to a medium-sweet woody-vanilla base it has excellent longevity (aided by a shy serving of musk). Although hazelnut is listed, there is no 'nutty' smell to my nose; maybe it is assimilated in the woody base.
    It does smell more 'modern' (mainly due to a relative absence of powder) but the characteristic HR DNA is still clearly recognisable; you won't mistake it for anything else. So if you don't like the 'original' you are unlikely to enjoy this. I think it's a great scent for summer, when the EdP (or Extrait) might be too heavy to wear, but I can see myself wearing it year-round too.

    20th July, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Mulberry (new) by Mulberry

    smelling of ol times, vetiver basically, for refined gentlemen only

    20th July, 2012

    KJS88's avatar



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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Love it, been wearing it since high school. Sweet, woody, vanillic, and yes it is a bit synthetic and overdone. But its JPG after all.

    Also it has in my opinion the best executed note of cumin in perfumery: it does not smell one iota like mexican or middle eastern food, it does not smell one bit like very bad body odour (which is why I dislike cumin), yet it adds a slight funk to the blend as it dries down and descends from the sweeter, heavier, louder top into the lower pitched coumarin-rich vanillic base. Very nice, provided you don't bathe in it.

    Also I've noticed that last year's formula tweaking lessened its sillage, and it now seems to spoil very quickly. I kept an unsealed bottle of a formulation from about 10 years ago, and its fine, but 10 months with the newer formulation and it smells like its beginning to deteriorate, but still quite good.

    End of the day: don't care about how overdone it is, how widely it is used, and the type of people who use it. Its a great fragrance, and does me very well. 4.5/5.

    20th July, 2012

    bookwyrmsmith's avatar

    United States United States

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    Envy by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    According to Bpal the notes are: Green herbs,mint,lime,lavender.
    I have not tried or smelled this yet,-I'm just trying to get the note info in the BN database.I'll review this when and if I ever try it.

    20th July, 2012

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Deauville pour Homme by Michel Germain

    A light, transparent spicy tobacco scent that is very refined. I agree that it's similar to Arpege Pour Homme, albeit a much lighter take on that, and I think it's the iris that makes them similar.

    This really is lovely, and very complex, changing all the time during the day. I get herbal, peppery, powdery, anisic notes all in this, drying down to a great spicy tobacco scent. The tobacco is noticeable throughout its development, but becomes dominant in the drydown, though not heavy.

    Not the most unique scent in the world, but smooth and sophisticated, and much better than its low price would suggest.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    20th July, 2012

    SirScent's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kenneth Cole Signature by Kenneth Cole

    I understand all the neutrals here.
    I agree, the longevity is poor.
    Other then that, I think this is a very nice frag.
    Yes, it does have the "Kenneth Cole" base of Reaction.
    But it is fresh and woodsy.
    A bit like Mario Valentino's Ocean Rain met Cole's Reaction.
    It is non-offending and no silage monster by any means.
    But it still has some nice quality notes. Wears very close to the skin.
    Like other's I wish it lasted more than the 2 or 3 hours I get from it.
    But those few hours are very enjoyable indeed so a thumbs up for a short but nice experience.

    20th July, 2012

    Showing 661 to 690 of 1031.