Fragrance Reviews from August 2012

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    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Armani Privé Figuier Eden by Giorgio Armani

    The fig note here is immediately recognizable, but it is handled subtly and with class.
    The scent is dry, dusky, and green. It has peppery spice and at times hints of a fruity note which sometimes is like coconut (typical for fig) and other times something closer to peach/apricot. This is cool, airy, and translucent in style. It has a slightly woody dry-down. It wears well and has amazing longevity.

    16 August, 2012

    AlHamr's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Vetiver by Etro

    Etro Vetiver EDC

    A woodsy vetiver with a strong opening but a pretty subtle, even thin, dry down. This gave me an interesting lesson in skin chemistry. I got the missus to try it first and the woods (ostensibly cedar and cypress) on her are sweet and smooth - I could have sworn sandalwood. On me on the other hand they're much more tannic and harsh. Not necessarily in a bad way, but a real astringency that just doesn't seem to surface on her skin. After the initial alchoholic and slightly medicinal opening it was like licking a freshly roughsawn oak board.

    That said, there is something tantalising about the way these austere woods blend with the supportive cradle of vetiver. The vetiver isn't always very perceptible but it's always there subliminally and becomes more clear in the drydown. It's almost architectural, with the woods providing a soaring, vertical element and the vetiver fleshing it out with a supportive and soft base.

    The problem for me was that this dry down, with the EDC version at least, was very short lived. I'm hoping the EDT I aim to track down on my next trip to London will be a little more full and a little longer lived.

    Initially, the thinness and lack of endurance would have made me tend to a neutral review, but hey, it's only a Cologne and there's something very moreish here that I find myself coming back to pretty often. It needs a liberal application on me though, and that, given Etro's prices, is not a very economic prospect.

    Still, thumbs up.

    16 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 17 August, 2012)

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Uomo? Moschino by Moschino

    It suddenly struck me one day that this fragrance is the Italian response to Givenchy's way ahead of it's time Insense. Insense was perhaps the first intensely floral fragrance marketed to men. Uomo? even begs the comparison by asking whether the scent is for men or women with the question mark. Uomo? is a sunny, citrusy yet essentially floral fragrance. The floral sweetness in tamped down by the citrus, unlike in the case of Insense where they went for broke in the floral dept. I think Insense is a masterpiece. But the Moschino is far more versatile, and thus wearable.
    When I worked at Macy's in the late 90's, I used to not wear scent to work, because every day I could try something new...as much as I wanted...and really get a feel for it. Of course, one is probably only going to like maybe half of what is available at any given time at the fragrance counter. Moschino Uomo? was instantly appealing. But I kept gravitating back to it. That one? Nah. This one? Ehhhh. How about that one? Oh, it's all right... And if I was in doubt, my hand would pick up the tester of MU? and it would be: That's it! It was a default, go to fragrance. Not to say it was a safe, pedestrian choice. No. As much as I came to depend on it, I never got bored with it. I think the mark of a truly great fragrance is that every time you apply it, no matter how often you have in the past, and how familiar you think you are with it; each and every time it is like new. It affects you differently with each wearing, seemingly altering itself to your moods. Moschino Uomo stands proudly on its own. A very old school kind of juice that is not prey to the whimsy one would expect from this designer.
    Even though most of it's scent notes are aldehydes, it doesn't come across as synthetic. Citrusy into a smokey kind of vanilla and herb, maintaining the cirtrus zest throughout. It's a bit like Versace's The Dreamer, but much better. Much more natural in its execution. It's also strangely adaptive. Any time of year, any age of man, any occasion. It's a keeper...no ? about it.

    16 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 25 October, 2012)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Gianni Versace by Versace

    Another disappeared gem forgotten nowadays but still alife in the memory of some lovers and collectors. In the same vein of some complex, vintage-animal and "stuffy"  concoctions of the past as First V&A, Diva Ungaro, Fendi, Salvador Dali for women, Ysatis and others this one is an heavy combination of bergamot, citrus, a bouquet of flowers (notable tuberose and jasmine), patchouli and a base of woods, oakmoss, balsams, patchouli and incense. The outcome was glorious, important and highly refined as the scent of the intellectual ( in jewellery and fur) aged aunt of your best friend. Pleasantly "stuck", rich (but not syrupy) and decadent with accents of leather, fruity mellifluence and mould. One of the smells swirling around in the course of my adolescence. A thumbs up.

    16 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 19 April, 2014)

    Allen-on-Holiday's avatar

    United States United States

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    cK One Shock for Him by Calvin Klein

    I LOVE this fragrance. This is that elusive "cherry cough syrup" scent I have been searching for. THIS is what Dunhill Desire WANTS to be, no joke! This is like a more mature version of Desire. But after wearing it some more, I have come to a conclusion: I DON'T get any lavender or chocolate in this, ALL I smell is a basil-y Cherry Tobacco, like cherry pipe tobacco. In fact, it could have easily been called "Very Cherry". If you don't like cherry, stay away from this.

    16 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 18 May, 2014)

    rbaker's avatar



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    Vetiver by Guerlain

    A bergamot-citrus-green opening, that very briefly reminds me of Neroli Sauvage, to then be embedded in cedar, again cedar and coriander. The vetiver becomes more prominent with time, and a spicy pepper- nutmeg base lays the foundation for the residual fragrance, tempered by whiffs of vetiver and always immersed in the delicious cedar. This base note is less fresh, and more wood and spice. Wearable in all seasons, I understand why it is such a classic. It lacks the light bright freshness of Creed's Vetiver 1948 and is heavier and woodier. As mentioned above, as if Mugler had added a bit of its own style. I tried the vintage version years ago, and although I distrust houses who are taken over by large corporations not to dilute the quality of their original products, there appears not too much of a significant difference as far as I can recall apart from some loss of intensity and more citrus in the newer version IMHO. Projection and silage are adequate, with a pleasant soapiness added toward the end. Longevity overall is about four to five hours.

    16 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 15 June, 2014)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Norne by Slumberhouse

    Dark as the darkest forest in the State of Oregon, with an impenetrable combination of coniferous notes, mould, dried fruits, resins and incense. A typical Slumberhouse, extremely woodsy, smoky and deeply herbal-resinous, almost sticky like a sort of olfactory homage to the lovers of  fir resins, moss, dry spices-berries and camphor. As well as Alfarom underlined the juice is solid, bold, strongly herbal, clammy and medicinal-camphoraceous. At the beginning i detect a punch of spices (i think nutmeg and cloves), sweet-dry fruits and pharmaceutical smoke (that i perceive each time along the trip) while in a second stage is the dark-green forest that spouts  its obscure resins, the moss, the secret herbs, the dry leaves, the juniper berries and the balsamic moulds. The dry down is all a sort of arcane and smoky moss with accents of incense, cellars' humidity and burned woods. Is there any licorice hidden inside? Any agarwood, mint? I don't know exactly but in the middle of the the forest is a sort of licorice kind (a bit tarry, woody and medicinal), mouldy and mossy aftertaste that i inhale as the bitter counterpart of the spicy-fruity (syrupy) kind of sweetness. I catch many Black Tourmaline's conjurations but while the latter is more focused on a real bonfire kind of incensey aroma,  Norne is deeply greener, sweeter (i catch a touch of the Vikt's burnt sugar effect), more resinous and darkened by moulds, petroleous resins, mushrooms and stocked spices.  What a woodsy poem! A fragrance for a solitary and untalkative philosopher of the mountains.

    16 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 15 July, 2014)

    Hojji77's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ungaro III by Ungaro

    The Sick Rose (aka "Ungaro III")
    By William Blake

    O Rose, thou art sick!
    The invisible worm
    That flies in the night,
    In the howling storm,

    Has found out thy bed
    Of crimson joy:
    And his dark secret love
    Does thy life destroy.


    This is one of the strangest fragrances I have tried recently. A volcanic blast of booze detectable two rooms away opens the show, then suddenly shuts down and resolves to a sinister, rather gentle medicated-flower smell: sick-room rose, if not exactly Sick Rose. This in turn fades down to a weakish woody/humidor experience with floral overtones.

    The elements of something really interesting are here--"gothic" is a word that's been tossed around, and I agree that the makings of such an atmosphere are in place. But the parts don't add up. Ungaro III is like a roller-coaster that has one really exciting plunge (the first), and then a bunch of nondescript little bumps and turns, and is over altogether too soon. Or like Blake's rose, subverted suddenly by something bad, but not in a way that's much fun.

    I'd like to see if the earlier red-cap French versions are any better than the current blend I have. I want to believe in this frag, but it's kind of a mess.

    17 August, 2012

    noirdrakkar's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler

    Pure Havane is basically, as others have said, sweet tobacco with honey and sweet cherry notes. This smells like a throat lozenge, basically. I detected the tobacco. It's very subtle, but I don't agree with the people saying that this isn't a tobacco fragrance. This also has gourmand notes such as vanilla, and Mugler's signature patchouli note. This is a bit more heavy and daring than your typical fragrance. Not everyone will appreciate this. Mugler is known for mixing a lot of different ingredients and coming up with strange gourmand concoctions that actually work. To me, I think sweet tobacco fragrances are overdone (and this isn't one of the better ones out there). I think Pure Malt is a much better release, but Pure Havane is pretty good - not bad at all.

    Rating: 7/10

    17 August, 2012

    noirdrakkar's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler

    Let me first start of by saying that I am not a big Thierry Mugler fan. I thought Pure Havane was good, but nothing special. I thought Pure Shot was okay, but not good. I think that AMen, the original, (with the tar note) is offputting. But I REALLY like Pure Malt. I hear this was quite hyped, but in all fairness, it is a very good fragrance.

    It is sweet and boozy, redolent of a fresh frothy pitcher of beer. Deep down I smell the quality patchouli note, as well as some cocoa. It doesn't have that offensive tar note that AMen had and it doesn't smell like a honey-cherry throat lozenge as Pure Havane does. To me, I've sampled hundreds of fragrances, and this could easily be in my top 10 Fall fragrances.

    9/10 - Make sure you get a sample of this one!

    17 August, 2012

    Ben T's avatar



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    Cubano Gold by Victory International

    What a bargain. I bought this stuff after smelling Le Male by JPG in the department store. I honestly like the smell of this even better. Le Male smells a bit sweeter to me and less minty.

    I paid $10 for it off Amazon (direct). It's a 4 oz bottle. This is definitely worth the purchase if you don't mind the ugly looking bottle. Would definitely recommend as a Le Male alternative. Longevity is very good.

    17 August, 2012

    kassana's avatar



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    Millésime Impérial by Creed

    Seriously what is the big deal about this? Luckily i didn't buy a friend of mine had a bottle which he raves about. i tried it over some time to give it a fair chance.

    I mean it's so generic, it doesn't justify the price tag. My father used to wear Avon aftershaves that smelled the same as this. It lasts about ten seconds and then it's gone.

    I really do not understand the hype.

    17 August, 2012

    rbaker's avatar



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    Musk Pure by Tom Ford

    To me this is one of the White Musk series with the strongest musk components. It starts out with quite a barnyard impression that merges into white pepper and beeswax notes mixed with orris and a touch of a wood note. Although synthetic notes are obvious, they blend nicely together, with the light musk always being the foundation of the scent until the end. And this end is respectably timed, as I get a very good longevity of about seven hours. Good silage and projection. A good light musk.

    17 August, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    1872 for Men by Clive Christian

    1872 for Men opens with mandarin orange tempered with a hint of grapefruit and bergamot for zest and even just the faintest whiff of lime for good measure. The heart of the scent is quite the grassy green floral and herbal mixture with primary heart notes of hay-like marigold, clary sage and petitgrain with only patchouli from the base being detectable as it creeps into the heart notes well in the background. Projection and longevity are both below average to average.

    1872 for Men is an astonishing disappointment. The scent is quite natural smelling, but when that natural smell is so dated and boring, who cares? It is not a bad smelling scent at all, but it is not really relevant today and its grassy herbal heart smells quite similar to a brand-less bath toiletry I sniffed at a high-end hotel in Las Vegas many years ago. That toiletry was free of charge, but this stuff is over $300 for a 50ml bottle! If you love your scents very green with mild herbal undertones then 1872 for Men may appeal to you and by all means seek out a sample, but before buying this thing just try Hermes' Eau d'Orange Verte that is much better smelling and relevant, just as natural, has only slightly more brief longevity and costs less than 1/6th the price. 1872 for Men earns a middling 2.5 stars out of 5 for the scent (but 0 out of 5 for value if I rated such a thing). What a scandalous rip-off from Clive Christian!

    17 August, 2012

    rbaker's avatar



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    Urban Musk by Tom Ford

    There is straight up lightish musk with only a minimum of barnyard on my skin, but a light freshness, even a bit of green herbs. After about an hour this becomes close to my skin, and over times a fruity note emanates, that at times gives the impression of overripe bananas and other fruits. Towards the end a nut component develops and blends in very nicely with the rest. After an hour is becomes close to my skin, with limited silage and projection but excellent longevity of nearly eight hours on me. Not much country to me, and the name is not inappropriate in my case.

    17 August, 2012

    danielremy's avatar

    France France

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    Canasta by Jacques Fath

    wonderful fruity chypre, close to Patou Que Sais-Je

    17 August, 2012

    Red Theodora's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vintage Bloom by Jessica Simpson

    I try not to be snobby about fragrances, I really do! I give what I like to call "massmarket fodder" a try from time to time. Some are surprisingly good, others are about as expected.
    Unfortunately, I put Vintage Bloom in the "expected" pile. I find it cloying and very shampooy smelling.
    Oh well, I gave it a shot!

    17 August, 2012

    Red Theodora's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paris Amour by Bath and Body Works

    So....What do you do when it's summertime and you need a new scent, but you don't have a lot of funds at your disposal? I bought Paris Amour!
    Not the most sophisticated frag to pick - a little on the syrupy side.
    I do really like the accord of the base notes though! And that is not a pun!

    17 August, 2012

    trockfield's avatar



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    Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons

    An unmitigated disaster. This fragrance has no personality.

    17 August, 2012

    sophulla's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Bottega Veneta by Bottega Veneta

    I like this one very much. Very subtle, elegant - the scent of a Lady, fresh, powdery, creamy, and all with understatement. As for the flowers, I am not sure if I smell violet or even lilac, in any case I am not getting the jasmine. What I surely get is a really soft, mellow leather (maybe kidskin), together with a note of dextrose...
    Fine stuff.

    17 August, 2012

    komcrad's avatar



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    Joop! Homme by Joop!

    Its a sweet powerhouse and should be used sparingly. Less is more and after two sprays it starts smelling very midicinal. When applying this just be sure to hold the bottle farther away so that it kina skips the beginning harshness it has.

    17 August, 2012

    komcrad's avatar



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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    If you like vanilla and mint this is for you! The performance is incredible. Sure, its not the most natural smelling thing, but if all your worried about is smelling natural then why don't you stick to BO. This scent is delicious and a lot of women love it. If your in highschool this might be great for you. Not many kids where good fragrances at that age, and with this being so sweet it will set you apart from all the fresh scenes kids wear. Just go easy on the trigger and you'll be good. Also the colder is gets the better this smells. There's just something inviting about this in cooler weather.

    17 August, 2012

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse

    Mmmmm, pear and olive, yes, it is an accurate recreation of these two curiously well-matched components. On the downside, unfortunately this combination also conjures the scent of so many shampoos and conditioners....

    17 August, 2012

    odioustoilet's avatar

    Antarctica Antarctica

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    Sultan by Al Rehab

    I am proud to be the first to review this GREAT scent!

    Warm, deep, musky, manly, spicy and projects.

    If you are looking this scent up and looking for reviews you will not find much that is why am glad to offer my review.

    INEXPENSIVE and it does not require much of an application to let those around know that you wear this.

    Al Rehab scents, quite a few of them, seem unisex. This one is definitely an evocative, aromatic fragrance that declares masculinity.

    I gotta hand it to you, if you are looking this up, then you are an inquisitive individual and open to new and interesting smells!

    How can you go wrong, if you feel it is not for you.........you only spent a fraction compared to the "designers" and "name brand" offerings out there!

    17 August, 2012

    Sassafras's avatar

    United States United States

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    Purple Water by Asprey

    What the heck am I missing here??

    I get nothing except a weak lemonade top and a light woody drydown, all of which is totally gone in less than 10 minutes.

    This is a quality upper-class cologne? I don't think so...

    I must have been duped into buying a knock off or something, because what's in the bottle I have, isn't worth 2 cernts.

    Lackluster and boring sum it up.


    17 August, 2012

    Teach13's avatar

    United States United States

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    Burberry for Men by Burberry

    Burberry for Men wasn't really on my radar, but I liked Brit and London, and someone was selling a new bottle of this at a dirt cheap price ($7 for an unopened, 1.7 oz bottle), so I bought it blind.

    Due to the price, I don't regret the purchase, but there's nothing about Burberry for Men that stands out. Fruity to start...faded fast...disappeared after a couple hours. What I liked about it, was another couple hours after it disappeared, it returned: clean and sweet and close to the skin.

    I'm a teacher, and I could see this being okay for school. But there's that word again--okay. Decent. I like it...but I don't love it.

    17 August, 2012

    fellini72's avatar



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    Light Blue Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    This stuff smells like bubble gum. I like other D & G products, but not this one.

    17 August, 2012

    dgenerator's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    New West for Him by Aramis

    My real opinion on this perfume is actually neutral, however I am giving it thumbs down in order to balance the (IMO) unrealistically high positive reviews.

    After reading so much positive reviews, I decided to blind purchase New West. I haven't done blind purchases for years after many disasters in the past, however this time there was no way for me to test New West anywhere in Bulgaria or on any European airport or perfume chain store.

    The very first impression is that of a messy aroma full of redundant notes, thus reminiscent of many cheap deodorants from the past. After few minutes I can actually find some similarities between it and the cheap Imperial Leather green deodorant and the black Denim deodorant from my youth.

    In half an hour it settles down for an old-fashioned masculine fresh fragrance. It's not bad, it's just extremely outdated and unsophisticated. It smells like a barber shop from the communist era as far as I remember it.

    In few hours it gets smoky which is kind of good but also there's some synthetically cheap background.

    I think I will wear it from time to time and I can imagine it being liked on my skin by other people, however I thinks it's a joke compared to great fragrances such as Encre Noire, Terre d'Hermes, GIT, Sander for Men, Cool Water, Cool Water Deep, Gucci pour Homme II, Cartier Declaration, Clinique Happy, etc. Honestly, I am shocked there was such a fuss when it was discontinued.

    17 August, 2012

    roman's avatar



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    Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Stunning. 10/10. Masterpiece.

    I've always loved tuberose. As a man (and acknowledging that fragrance molecules don't have a gender) I didn't think I could ever pull off wearing a tuberose-centric scent because they were always too sweet and/or screamed blinding white floral (hello Fracas!).

    With its bergamot and green-tinged edge (me thinks it's the eucalyptus) to keep the florals in check, a smidgen of coconut to soften and round things out (no worries, you won't smell like a tropical drink), melon and musk, it is perfection, bottled. Dead sexy perfection.

    Men, if you're wondering if you can pull this off, the answer is "Yes. Absolutely." The cost is a little high but in my opinion, it's worth every penny. And you certainly won't smell like 10 other men you run into on your way to work. Get yourself a sample. You will not be disappointed.

    Update: 19 November, 2012: It's official. I'm an addict. A Carnal Flower addict. I've been wearing it nonstop for a month now, neglecting every other bottle of fragrance in my relatively extensive (50+ bottles) collection. While I wear it for myself, receiving compliments (and inquires) from strangers every day is a nice bonus. I rarely tell people what it is because I want to keep it all to myself. Must. Acquire. Back up. Bottle. And a jar of the 'beurre exquise'. Absolutely lovely.

    17 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 19 November, 2012)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Sycomore (new) by Chanel

    Not so much to add, Sycomore is an uncompromising clean (immediately starring) and elegant vetiver whose journey is embellished by coniferous notes, a well calibrated touch of smoke at distance and a peppery dose of incense. The floral patterns of the heart (probably a duo iris-violet) are obscure, lymphatic, softly "laundry" and slightly metallic being able to preserve the general cool, angular and subtle atmosphere of the  olfactory work. The dry down is warmer bacause of the encompassing action from sandalwood and musk but the juice still turns out basically pure, sharp, dark of smoke and cool due to cypress and fir.  The balance is extreme and a touch, but just a minimal touch, of tobacco rounds endly the  smell, imprinting a more masculine undertone. Effectively similar to  Encre Noir, Sycomore is a finally more rounded and complex fragrance  with its womanly side that comes out at distance by its softly musky and aldehydic ( the Chanel landmark) floral  nuances. A perfect scent for the lovers of the aqueous and slightly dusty kind of coniferous vetivers.

    17 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 16 January, 2013)

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