Fragrance Reviews from July 2012

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    Hat and Beard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    Being one who likes to create custom incense blends, Tam Dao reminds me of something that I have come across before in the incense world. I have some Indian sandalwood chips that I burn on white bamboo charcoal and Tam Dao smells exactly like the split second when the sandalwood hits the hot charcoal. I say "split second" because anything longer than that means the incense would start to smell much smokier. Even though dry, there isn't a whole lot of smoke in Tam Dao. There is, however, an even mix of cedar wood as well as some sweet amber muskiness that come out more as the fragrance sits on your skin. There is also mention of rosewood, cypress and myrtle in the notes list, but they are not noticeable to me.

    I really like Tam Dao and proudly have it in my collection, but one could criticize that it is a very linear fragrance and doesn't have the best longevity. Don't get me wrong here as it is very well executed in it's linearity and smells very warm and inviting, but too many excessive sprays bring about an almost offensive anise-like note. If you are looking for a nice, soft, incense-like sandalwood that stays close to your skin then Tam Dao is the way to go.

    21st July, 2012

    cheryl's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Bois Blonds by Atelier Cologne

    I'm undecided on whether I can give this a full on positive or a lesser neutral. I believe it performs exactly in accordance to its vision. It opens with a soft orange skin muskiness. It kind of just persistently hovers there. If the composition includes incense and vetiver they are extremely muted and neutered versions. I feel it marries the skin well and is optimistically businesslike. I do wish it was more singular, more twisted, more...?

    21st July, 2012

    Hat and Beard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Harrods Oud Patchouli by Bond No. 9

    I want to put it out there that I love agarwood and I also like patchouli as well, and that this review does not in any way reflect their entire catalog, but this has got to be some of the worst smelling stuff out there. I went into Bond No. 9 in New York really excited to have an olfactory spree as I was not entirely familiar with the brand and was surprised at all of the oud options they had. This was the first one the service woman sprayed on my arm. At first you get a slightly sweet, dirty, musky oud. The oud they use has some of the more fecal qualities you can sometimes get from Cambodian agarwood (I’m assuming its usage here) so this one may not for those who don’t like a more “rural” smell in a fragrance. As the evening went on things took a turn for the worse as this started to smell more and more like body odor. Just to make sure it wasn't just me, my friend who had accompanied me there was (forced into) smelling my arm every time I did. I would assume that these more "human" aspects here are coming from the leather that is mentioned in the notes list as well as the earthy myrrh, but both can’t be detected individually. By the end of the evening my arm smelled as if I had aggressively rubbed it under someone’s funky armpit that for whatever reason had sprayed it with Aquanet hairspray. The silage on this one is thankfully low and the longevity is mediocre. Sorry Bond No. 9.

    21st July, 2012

    Purple Paloma's avatar



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    Gucci Première by Gucci

    Very disappointed... After waiting and waiting for it to arrive in local department stores and having read that it should smell of 2 of my favourite things i.e, champagne and leather! it smelt like a cheap impulse body spray and lasted not quite as long. I foolishly bought it anyway hoping that it would be beautiful on my skin when I got home, but alas! it had disappeared. I will be returning it to the shop after the weekend. I continue to search for my signature scent...

    21st July, 2012

    MatthewPK's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aqua Velva Ice Blue by Williams

    This is an OUTSTANDING product and fragrance. You don't last from 1935 for nothing, and anyone who finds it less than pleasing has some serious olfactory/sensory prolems.

    Whoever came up with this scent was a genius. I just wish it lasted longer. There used to be a cologne version some years ago, but even that didn't last too long.

    Genius. Sheer genius.

    21st July, 2012

    MatthewPK's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royal Copenhagen by Royal Copenhagen

    I never quite 'got' this stuff.

    Powdery, at first, yes. Then, later on, I might as well have smeared sausage grease on my skin from the way it smelled.

    Not even close to Canoe, which neverr eally impressed me, either. Canoe to me was like candy - like wearing jellybean 'juice'. Never picked up a hint of patchouli in that.

    21st July, 2012

    MatthewPK's avatar

    United States United States

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    Old Spice by Procter & Gamble

    This is an AMAZING fragrance - the ultimate epitome of spice, which, if you don't like spice, well, what are you doing here, anyway?

    Those of you who don't like it because it reminds you of old people, well, you're just to old and old at heatt because you remember it from that. Too bad, so sad.

    From 1937. You don't exist for that long because if you're not appreciated.

    21st July, 2012

    MatthewPK's avatar

    United States United States

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    Skin Bracer by Mennen

    Never quite connected with this one.

    Always reminded me of a 'mechanical' smell, like a hair clipper or the 3-in-1 oil used to lubricate it.

    Open-minded, however, I still just may try a bottle.

    21st July, 2012

    midniteoil's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lonestar Memories by Tauer

    Somewhere between Vincent Roubert's Knize Ten and Laurie Erickson's Fireside Intense, Lonestar Memories is set upon a vaguely incandescent citric/myrrhish/vetiver backdrop. While just as bold (and a good deal more complex), I find the Tauer composition more appealing than either. Farther down the smoldering leathery burnt tar trail a dollop of sugared coumarin emerges with a subtile floral accent (the jasmine I presume) wisping about, softening the whole experience. An extremely interesting peice of work, this is definitley a ride I'd enjoy taking on a regular basis.

    21st July, 2012

    heavenscent1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eternity Aqua by Calvin Klein

    I tried this one at the perfume counter at Von Maur last night and really love it. It is a nice aquatic fragrance that lasts. While I couldn't identify it last night, the cucumber really gives it that fresh and clean scent. I swear I could see the seagulls and feel the salty spray on my face when the saleslady sprayed the card. Just what I was looking for in an aquatic. Dries down to a lovely soft woody base. Definitely FBW!!

    21st July, 2012

    unklemoses's avatar



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    Axe Pulse / Lynx Pulse by Axe / Lynx

    so, I added this one to my collection of axe colognes, and I must say despite it's being rather plain and boring, it's actually nice and pleasant, and it lasts! oh yes, to my big surprise it remained noticeable to me myself in 5-6 hours or so..I bet I can smell traces of green apple here, but can't find it on the notes list here..It also reminds me of hugo by hugo boss, probably becuz of lavender and basil at the top, and jasmine in the middle, but pulse has a sweeter thing going on obviously becuz of more pronounced sandalwood base note. this similarity also explains the green apple vibe that I get despite it's not listed here, which is also featured in hugo's hyramid. All in all, nice sweety smell, suitable for work etc.

    21st July, 2012 (Last Edited: 22 July, 2012)

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Essence by Avon

    SirSlarty is right on...Kenneth Cole Reaction with a twist. Essence is a little wetter and more green in its opening, and there is an icy feel in the midnotes before transitioning to a rather dense but generic wood. For longevity, spray 1.5x your normal dosage. I like it, but not totally crazy about it. Great for office, especially in drier weather.

    UPDATE: Thumbs up now. Why? AVON nailed it. It is drier weather now and I decided to just give it a spritz and it is def better in drier, cooler weather. Grapefruit that manages to be better than synthetic and the woody base is better as well. It is a third and better leg to the Nautica Voyage Kenneth Cole Reaction doppelganger.

    21st July, 2012 (Last Edited: 10th December, 2012)

    flathorn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cradle of Light by CB I Hate Perfume

    Notes of Moroccan, Indian, Egyptian and Tunisian jasmine, Indian night blooming jasmine, jonquil, narcissus, tuberose, white lotus, set against sumac, tomato and violet leaves, galbanum, sandalwood and CB MUSK.

    I'm not sure if I'm wearing the same fragrance as the other reviewer, as I'm picking up something entirely different, and didn't smell vetiver at all. On me, this is an amazing jasmine, more voluptuous than any I've smelled before. It opens very earthy and indolic, very full. This fragrance has an upside down pyramid, so it starts earthy and deep, and progressively becomes lighter and brighter, and dries down to a fairly smooth jasmine, lessening in intensity through the drydown.
    As a matter of fact, that's it's one drawback, though it's a big one - the intensity lessens fairly quickly, and sort of fades away, a disappointing end to so much promise. Within an hour it was difficult to pick up on the wrist sniff, though it did waft in the air from time to time so I knew it was still present. I dabbed, didn't spray, so don't know if it would have more projection if sprayed, but I have to say I feel reluctant to buy it at the high prices, considering the longevity issue, and that you'd have to reapply often.
    The full, voluptuous opening was my favorite part of the fragrance and well worth sampling for this languid earthy jasmine. And perhaps if you're lucky this won't fade as swiftly as it did with me.

    21st July, 2012 (Last Edited: 27 January, 2013)

    Possum-Pie's avatar

    United States United States

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    The One for Men by Dolce & Gabbana

    The scent was nice, crisp floral and citrus. The big problem I have is that I sprayed 5 squirts on at a fragrance counter, and 15 min later my wife said she couldn't even smell it. The longevity isn't there, and the intensity doesn't survive dry-down. I won't give thumbs down just because the scent for a fleeting moment was nice.

    21st July, 2012 (Last Edited: 05 May, 2013)

    Oviatt's avatar

    United States United States

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    Curzon by Geo F Trumper

    This is one of my favorite Trumper offerings. A dry, spicy chypre, this has more to do--in my mind--with modern classics like Z-14 than any other scent from the 19th century. The oakmoss, spices and bitter woods in this leather chypre really seem like something from the 1970s--in a good way. It reminds me of another scent I love, Crabtree & Evelyn's Sienna, only drier. Far from being "dandified" like most of the house's other fragrances, this smells very masculine to me. Years ago when I was living in London I used to get my hair cut at Trumper's. Occasionally I would treat myself to an old-fashioned shave after which the barber would ask me which of their aftershaves I would like. When I first asked for Curzon, the surpised barber paused and then said "VERY good choice, Sir!"

    22 July, 2012

    gmstrack's avatar

    United States United States

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    Obsession by Calvin Klein

    When I was a teenager, the idea of wearing perfume seemed ridiculous; only bimbos and old ladies would spritz themselves down with “embalming fluid”. I was too busy wearing black, listening to counter culture music (whatever that is), and pretending to not care. Needless to say, I never wore any of the classic fragrances from the late 80s/ mid 90s. Recently, I purchased a bottle of designer juice at the local small town drug store, and hoped for the best. Wow. Obsession is a first-rate production, complete with an eclectic cast of characters. The opening is abrasive with an icky soapy-green burst that makes one wonder why Obsession is classified as a spicy oriental. On the skin, it begins to unfold chaotically, leaving a trace of (almost off-putting) powder. Next, a cute and fuzzy animalic note (civet) politely says hello, instead of throwing a Bal a Versailles middle finger. Slowly, the green-forest-creature-powder begins to expose amber and spices and after about 30 minutes the premise that this is not a spicy oriental turns on its head. This is the spicy oriental. Incense, vanilla, sandalwood, and spices are now the main actors, while the rest of the cast quietly scampers on and off the stage as supporting characters.

    In an attempt to understand Obsession, I applied it to one side of my body and Ambre Sultan to the other. At first, the bombastic Serge Lutens seduced me with delicious sweaty-sweetness, which made Obsession seem like a powdery mess. But, as time progressed it was clear that Ambre Sultan simply turned down the volume, while Obsession told me a story. In fact, I would go as far as to say Ambre Sultan could be a stand-in for one of Obsession’s actors.

    When I wear Obsession I tend to pair it with a cotton T-shirt and dark eye make-up—the teenager in me definitely approves!
    Tenacity: 5/5
    Sillage: 5/5
    Overall: 5/5 (Ambre Sultan 4/5)

    22 July, 2012

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    Muguet Blanc by Van Cleef & Arpels

    Notes: lily-of-the-valley, white peony, neroli and white cedar

    This is a unique muguet. I am giving it a thumbs up, although when I first bought it I found it to be a thumbs neutral at best. But the more I wear it, the better I have been liking it.
    This has a very cool "round" smell, perhaps due to the peony note, and it is not sharp or shrill, the way many muguet scents are. There is no citrus among the top notes, and it definitely feels cool and "white"...What you may or may not like here is the white cedar note, which in combination with the peony note, makes this muguet an austere, mature and almost masculine scent...It gives it a depth and complexity that distinguishes it from other classic feminine muguet scents.

    If Diorrissimo is an evening gown, then Muguet Blanc is a white crepe pants suit, cool and clean. Try it.

    22 July, 2012

    msi_21's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Armani Code Sport by Giorgio Armani

    As usual Mr. Armani came late but with a decent product. This can be easily seen as a continuation of fresh citrusi spicy mainstream scents pioneered by Dior Homme Sport.

    This is a fresh rendition of citrus-spicy notes which is really well crafted and smooth. As others mentioned there is mint in it which gives the whole scent a mellow sense of iciness.

    It doesn't have anything in common with Armani Code but the qualities of being well-crafted, sleek and wearable.

    Longevity and projection are good.

    It gets '8 out of 10'.

    22 July, 2012

    msi_21's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Artisan by John Varvatos

    Original john varvatos was my signature scent for a while. So when I red the news about this one I was really excited! jv wanted to shift from heavy warm masculine scents (jv original and Vintage) to something fresher and more wearable and I believe he did a good job in here.

    The first thing about this one is the bottle: one of the most fascinating bottles I've ever seen!

    The juice inside is really nice too! its a very well crafted combination of citrus and citrus florals. It develops to a gentle, fresh, clean and pleasant scent on my skin. I really like it!

    If you ask me about the originality of the idea, I should tell you that Jean Paul Gaultier was first among fashion designers who decided to make something like this in Fleur du Male. Apparently he wanted to make a masculine scent heavy on citrus-florals. While his creation is an absolute failure in my book, jv is a winner. jv succeeded in doing the idea in a way that the final product is really pleasant and wearable!

    There's also 'Artisan Black'; a variation on this one. I have both of them on my hands right now and I'm making a one by one comparison here. In the black variation the citrus-floral notes are sort of tamed to give way to warmer(woody-leathery?) base which smell a little artificial to my nose. While Artisan Black is warmer and maybe more 'sensual', I'll definitely go with the original which is brighter and more pleasant.

    Artisan has good longevity and projection on my skin. Overall: 8 out 10.

    22 July, 2012

    cubs1987's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lanvin L'Homme Sport by Lanvin

    Very fresh opening and the dry down is fantastic. This would be perfect for an office scent and I feel this one doesn't get enough attention. You can pick this up on the cheap now and the quality is outstanding for the price. Quickly becoming one of my favorites.

    22 July, 2012

    msi_21's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Artisan Black by John Varvatos

    As a variation on the Artisan, it has the citrus-floral notes tamed and a woody-leathery base which smells a little bit artificial. It's definitely a nice sensual scent compared to other mainstream ones, but is not as good as original Artisan IMHO! Even the bottle is not as good!!!

    Moderate longevity and projection. Overall: 7 out of 10.

    22 July, 2012

    Platicar's avatar

    United States United States

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    En Passant by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    I use this layered with Balenciaga body creme and it adds a wonderful depth to the lilac scent, I think. It also helps it last longer. I am enjoying it during the hot weather as it's such a light fragrance.

    22 July, 2012

    Platicar's avatar

    United States United States

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    Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    I recently bought this because I wanted something to be layered with some Pomegranate Noir body lotion by Jo Malone that I really liked. I love the way they react together...the sandalwood in the lotion gives body to the sharpness of the geranium and it seems to stay on longer.

    22 July, 2012

    syntheticangel's avatar

    United States United States

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    Red Play by Comme des Garçons

    agree with the candy reference. i was thinking cherry lifesavers. or a cherry slushy, and a dip stick at a little league concession stand. definitely cherry, RED and cinnamon. not bad. this faded quickly on me. the green and black outlasted it.

    22 July, 2012

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Well there's one thing most of the lovers and haters can agree on: this ain't no lady!

    How much you enjoy Portrait of a Lady will largely depend on how much a certain style of Middle Eastern perfumery agrees with you, namely rosy oud blends that can cost you anywhere from a fortune to a few cents, and are popular everywhere in the Mid-East. It's a style of perfume popularized among the western perfumista set by Montale, and in recent years is just everywhere.

    I can't say this is anywhere close to my favorite rendition on the theme of oud-rose-patchouli, a combination I'm not terribly enamored with at the start. It is, however, distinctly the most loud and most feral. This even leaves fellow niche monoliths like Black Aoud in the dust in terms of brute force, and only a tiny spritz seemed to choke out the air around me and entomb me in hefty rose, dusty oud, and a fatty, rough-textured patchouli.

    I kept an open mind, but frankly: I hated it. I cannot in the least say, however, that it's a bad deal. This is power in a bottle. A bottle could last you years ( though it just may age you prematurely... )



    22 July, 2012

    Saintkitty's avatar

    Russian Federation Russian Federation

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    Visit for Women by Azzaro

    Georgeous sweet jasmine with woody notes and hint of cherry. Visit is very playful scent, truly feminine and longlasting. It can be worn in the summer or in the winter as well.

    22 July, 2012

    bFlay's avatar

    United States United States

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    La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    Exceptional fragrance profile of bergamot, cardamom, and vanilla that cycles through these notes during wear with intermissions of softer woods and sweet tobacco notes. Quite a nice fragrance, although not bold or "dark" enough to be called "the night". Rather poor longevity 4-5 hours. Still a wonderful frag though.

    22 July, 2012

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Poivre by Caron

    Bay Rhum - it's been around for centuries - a mixture of clove and bay that men have used for aftershave splash since barbershop days.

    This is all it is - and it would be the most expensive bay rhum you ever bought if you succumb to Caron's pricing.

    Try the very inexpensive versions Caswell Massey offers - the effect will be the same and your pocket book will thank you.

    22 July, 2012

    Quarry's avatar

    United States United States

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    French Cancan by Caron

    I had waited weeks to do an intimate sampling of Caron French Cancan. When a person gets something special like Djedi or vintage En Avion or, in this case, Cancan, it behooves said sniffer to give full focus to the experience. DH & DD are jogging down by the lakefront, and I am alone with a rich perfume.

    The scent of the juice alone produced two flashbacks, both of which surprised me. Firstly, I was reminded of the smell of our homemade wine, which is aged dry on oak. Very pleasant. The second memory places me near the dime stores I frequented in the '60s. I don't know how, but I must have been exposed to some of the common scents of the day and their now-less-frequently used ingredients, which remain in this sample. Once on the skin, Cancan very much puts me in mind of the dusty carnation in Terra Cotta Voile d'Ete, an association I'd never made before with "drive-by" sniffing of Cancan. Now that I'm into the heart notes, the scent is mellowing and sweetening, which I prefer since the spiciness of carnation is right near my heat tolerance.

    I'm going to luxuriate now, enjoying my solitude, the air conditioning and Cancan. It is really, really beautiful. Thank you, Kumquat, for these many moments of pleasure I will experience with full mindfullness.

    22 July, 2012

    schwrtz5's avatar

    United States United States

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    John Varvatos by John Varvatos

    In the heartnotes there is a sickly sweet note reminiscent of Joop. The drydown gets slightly better...

    22 July, 2012

    Showing 721 to 750 of 1031.